Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Mowing in the dark.....

Yep, you read this correctly....mowing in the dark.  I will preface this by saying my goal was to go running while my middle child was at football practice.  However, I arrived to find twice as many people at the fields and some sort of game going on as well, no running for me.
So when we arrived home I decided there was just enough light to mow the front yard, get some excersize in and all.  Just, just enough light....right? HA!  Nope,  by the time I got going it was dark and I was mowing by the romantic light of the street lamp. :)  Didn't even finish the whole yard.  But, in those moments of mowing in the dark I learned a few things....

It isn't easy to see the path I was making in the dark....I need a bit of light to figure out if I'm in line with my line, so to speak.  This immediately made me think of my own life.  How often do I try to walk to a place I can't see...His word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path(Psalm 119:105). If I'm all about me and what I can do and I can't be about Him and the amazing things He does!

It is easy to end up going over the same area several times just to make sure I've covered all areas. It makes the job twice as long!  Sometimes I get so carried away with stuff I find I'm just doing the same busy work over and over again....if I'm not asking the Lord to guide my steps and let me know if each step, each moment, each choice is where He is leading, I'm just wasting time trying to make sure I've covered all the "right" areas.

I did try to see what I'd done after I turned the machine off and put it away but you know what....it's really hard to see the details in the dark!  I tried to take some pictures, they did show one area I missed, but the others didn't show much detail either.  I was reminded that in the morning when the sun begins to shine, we will all see how I did.  There won't be any way to hide any mistakes.  The bonus to this is that I can then fix the areas that were missed, but only when the light is shining. :) But often, in life, we think we don't need to fix anything, we can just keep hiding.  We rush, we fill life with stuff with no greater purpose, we slap on a smile, we hide behind a mask, we are sarcastic, or hurtful, or we just refuse to engage.  We can't hide behind stuff forever....Luke 8:17 says this, "For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light." Letting His light shine makes my pitiful attempts to do things my way seem ridiculous...because they are!  But every time He shows me another area I have been holding on to, I am humbled to see Him working in me...He loves me that much! 

So my take away from my silly little plan?  I need His light....I need it constantly, and I need the reminder that working in the dark doesn't work so well. I think we all need the reminder that we need to be willing to toss aside our masks, our defense mechanisms, our pride (it often comes down to pride), our goals, our fears,  our plans, our busy work and give all of it up to the One whose plans will always be better, greater, more amazing than anything we could have ever imagined!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Sometimes we have to walk the hard path.....

I'm writing out the book of John....when I say I'm writing it out I mean that I have a book (called a Journible, you can check them out here)....and when I say I'm writing this out I mean I've been working on this for a loooooooooong time, I'm a procrastinator and there was the time I lost the book...you get the picture.
Anyway, I am almost done now.  I have a chapter left after today.  I didn't go in order, I left chapter 19 almost for last.  Why?  Because this is the crucifixion of my Jesus.  I didn't know how it would feel to write each word involved in this huge story, especially since writing out the rest of the book has been such a meaningful process for me. I have learned so many things, the Holy Spirit has revealed so many different lessons I desperately needed and didn't even know it (He's amazing like that).
Today though, I was to write verses 34-42 of chapter 19....wrap it up, move on to the final chapter, and rejoice that even though I was slow, it is complete. Instead I decided to skip to 20 today, yesterday was emotionally hard to write. 20 is the resurrection!  Woot! Woot!!  What a thing to live through in these words, right?!?!
Nope, I couldn't do it.  I wrote one verse and felt the Lord pulling me back to chapter 19. WHY?  I just wanted today to be THE day...the day we celebrate Him being alive again, feeling the emotions of the disciples and Mary Magdalene (yes, I get into books this intensely, which is why I am super careful with what I invest my time in!). I sat.....I thought...I didn't pray, I already knew what He was saying.....
I obeyed.
Whoa....what lessons He had for me today!  I can hardly type fast enough!
First- sometimes, whether we like it or not....we HAVE to walk the hard path.  Have to....we will be required to face the things that intimidate us or make us uncomfortable or....the things that really hurt....for His glory.
Second....it is worth it...He is worth it. Every hard moment, every tear cried, ever frustration voiced, every everything....worth it when we begin to see Him everywhere, feel His peace, know His Truth in a life altering way, show His love in ways we've never been able to do on our own, because we can't on our own....
Third....we can't hide forever....I read the verse that said Joseph and Nicodemus were secret followers of Christ. Well, Nicodemus is just listed as first coming to Christ by night. Joseph is fearful of the Jewish leaders, they aren't exactly kind to His followers.  Yep, the Bible lists Joseph this way, "being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly" .... and I was struck.....secretly he was a disciple....secretly he followed, secretly he lived....secretly...
 Have I tried to live secretly as a follower?  Have I wanted to watch what everyone was watching, listen to what everyone was listening to, go along with how everyone else was acting/speaking/being?! Yep. I think, if we are honest, we all have. 
But He knows this CANNOT go on forever.  No man can serve two masters (Matthew 6:24) And in the case of Joseph and Nicodemus...it didn't. The time came for both these men, and many others I'm sure, when they couldn't be secret disciples They are the ones that wrapped Jesus' body. Joseph is the one that made the request to Pilate himself! 
But they waited until after their Lord was dead, after they could walk with Him as He was, after the many moments not even listed in Scripture (twice in the book of John alone it is said there are so many other things Jesus did that aren't recorded)....after.....
My challenge for myself and my friends...keep fighting the fight....keep seeking Him above all else...but also, stop trying to hide bits of Jesus in your life....or trying to make your life fit with those around you for fear of the unknown or ridicule or whatever......don't wait until "after".....
Whew....I'm going to go back to the Scripture now and pray and praise Him whose plans are perfect and way better than mine!  Maybe someone else needed to hear this today as well, if not, well, then it was a gift for me and that is enough :)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

What a ride! Lessons from the Car....

Jared has exactly 3 more hours at LearningRx.....that means the week after camp I will be done driving from my house to Hodges Blvd. three days a week....yea?

I am excited to be done.  Jared is too.  But I am left with a bit of wanting....or wishing...wanting him to be further along on the journey of his to read easily...wishing things weren't so tough some days...wanting him to feel comfortable reading whatever sign, menu, book, etc that comes his way...wishing I were "better" at reaching him, teaching him, understanding him.....

Ug....I read a friend's post earlier that said she had a nice bath in her own personal pity party...I know the feeling!  How I long to be more organized, more even tempered, more "with it"....but thankfully I am only called to focus on Christ, not on these other things I impose on myself!

Anyway!!  So here are some lessons I have learned over the past seven months- lessons from the car:

Driving 45 minutes away, 3 days a week is draining....it drains your time, your gas, your money....
Driving 45 minutes away, 3 days a week is rewarding...I am rewarded with LOTS of one on one time with the kids, I am rewarded with lots of laughter, smiles, sharing...
It is a necessity to have snacks in the car at all times!
It is important that said snacks not be perishable.....
If the car smells funny.....check for the chicken leg from yesterday's lunch! ;)
If you are a 6 year old little girl, a 45 minute drive does not mean you had time to put your shoes on.
If you are the mother to this girl, the 45 minute drive should have been spent praying for patience!
It is really fun to mess with your kids as you drive....
Laughing together is so very important!!
When you are stuck in the rain, on the Buckman, going 20 mph.....2 of your kids WILL have to go to the bathroom....baaaaaadly
Dancing to the radio is fun....especially when done together!
Letting the kids call to request a song on the radio is interesting.....
If the phone rings and you are able to safely answer it....all three kids will begin talking at once....
If you wave your hand at them like a crazy person to get them to stop talking, they will only begin to whisper.....loudly
Lessons in humility, truth, love, and kindness are taught as you drive.....
I am not usually the teacher of such lessons.
Sneezing in a closed in space(as in the passenger seat right next to me) will indeed make me cringe....
I need to do better and censoring this cringe and any words that may accidentally slip out(like, "Ew gross!)...
I will need to apologize to a few people when the 6 year old repeats such a phrase when someone sneezes near her....joy
I have really funny kids....
I am incredibly thankful for this time.....
 Being trapped together like this won't happen again....treasure the moments together as they come.

Friday, July 6, 2012

From my son to all moms.....

Last night as I was going in to tell my oldest goodnight an interesting thing happened.  Earlier he had whined about having to help straighten up the next day(being today) before playing a computer game.  I didn't get mad or fuss, I simply went on my way.  Apparently guilt had been settling on him.  He said, "Can we talk about what happened earlier?"  Imagine my surprise!  So we talked it through and then just talked.

He had been watching home movies that day.  He enjoys seeing himself and his siblings as little people...cute, funny, sweet, playing nicely with others, etc.  So on the tail end of talking through why he didn't want to help out today he asked me last night why he wasn't like that anymore.  My heart sank.  He was struggling with feelings of not being worth much, inadequate.

So, I began telling him what he was REALLY like...not the video version of himself.  Yes, he was sweet, funny, kind, played with others well...most of the time....but also he was stubborn, opinionated, and a very typical toddler.  I told him I loved who he was as a little one and so enjoyed him growing up...AND I sooooo love who he is and watching and helping him figure out this thing called life!  I love how crazy he is, how he tries to be sarcastic(not at all the right times, though), how he has a tender heart, and how I love to watch and see how he is growing in to a young man.  I told him of his birthday blog- he was pleased with that. :)  and listed some of the things that are dear to me about my sweet, sweet boy.  Like crazy, funny, sarcastic....

With tears my 12 year old said, "But if I'm crazy, how can I learn to be a responsible young man?!"  I giggled. :)  I told him I loved that he still danced like no one was watching and in a room full of people(doesn't matter who they are) he still yells, "MOMMY! or MOM!" and runs to give me a hug, no matter who may be staring.  That is crazy....in such a great way!  It is the type of crazy I want for all my kids...the type of crazy that means they are willing to defy the "norm" and be who God wants them to be!

We talked for another long while about all that I saw in him and that I only desire for him to follow God's path for his life..not my path for him.  It was sweet and precious and I will treasure it always.....
At this point for the 1 or 2 reading this you are probably wondering why I am blogging about this.  Well, as I was getting up to leave Jordan said to me, "Mom, will you blog our conversation?"  Very confused, I asked for clarification...he is a very private boy and most of his funny comments on life I am not allowed to share with the world.  Here is his explanation:

Well, I think that other moms of boys should do this.  You know, talk about what makes them special and why you love them and stuff, list the stuff that they like about them.  Maybe it would help someone else, you know?

So I bid you all a good day and with the wisdom of a 12 year old I say.....Go tell your kids why they are amazing and unique and that God made them specifically how they are, on purpose, and for His glory! :)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

And then came one.....

A few months ago I relived the birth of my middle boy on his birthday.  I had all intentions of doing the same for my oldest as well.....his birthday was yesterday.  he he he, at least it's only a day, maybe a few more, right?!

My oldest was a surprise.  Not one of those, "OH MY WORD, I CAN'T BELIEVE IT" surprises.  More like an early Sunday morning test followed by an equally early morning phone call to my sister(who reminded me I needed to tell Eddie and that all would be ok....she was going to be an AUNT!)  I will never forget going to class that Sunday morning and during the praise/prayer request time hearing another couple excitedly announce their pregnancy.  Oh how they rejoiced, how thrilled everyone was....they(the class) knew that this was not a quick journey to parenthood for them.  And then came our turn.  I, tearfully, announced we were also expecting.  The response was totally opposite, due to my tears and concern.  I was overwhelmed by the women AND men in our class surrounding us with support, love, and excitement.  Don't get me wrong, I was excited to be carrying a sweet baby.  I was, however, a young newly married "girl"...I didn't feel like I was old enough to be considered worthy or ready to grow a baby and then care for said sweet one. But God knows better.

A few months later we welcomed our sweet boy into this world.  It was such an amazing experience with my family and friends!  We brought a Polaroid type camera and Eddie rushed pictures of Jordan out to the waiting room that was filled with church family wanting to catch a glimpse of this new life.  My sister and mom were both in town and got to spend time with him soon after he was born, before I was moved to a regular room.  Such sweet memories.

What happened to the other couple?  Well, six days after my sweet boy was born....their sweet boy was born!  It was so great to go through pregnancy together- having someone to ask questions to, exchange stories with, and just spend time together.  I have pictures of our boys "playing" together as babies...such fun!  Alas, all good things come to an end and this did as well.  They were transferred elsewhere when the boys were still toddlers. His birthday, coincidentally, is today. :) 

My Jordan is 12......he is tall, goofy, handsome, funny, sarcastic, witty, lanky, smart, nerdy(his terms), sweet, kind, curious, Lego-enthusiast, creator, thinker, responsible-ish ;) , writer, artist, gamer(also his term), intuitive, quirky, cuddly(well, as cuddly as a kid can be who is almost as tall as I am!).  He is a Christ follower, is there anything better?!  He is learning to create his own relationship with Christ, separate from what I have taught him so far, what a wonderful thing!  We are entering a new time in his life.  One with lots of ups and downs....ok, lets be honest...lots of downs and some ups. ;)  How I miss that sweet little toddler who trusted everything mommy said and did.  How I love this 12 year old who wants to know ME more, not just as a mom but as a person.  He is one of my joys, one of my challenges, one of my blessings!

We have begun a sharing journal, he and I.  It has been neat to see his heart through this.  I have also tried to make sure he and I have time to chat at bedtime, with no set time frame, just to chat about the day and anything going on in his head....BOY, there are some amazing things floating around up there!!  I can hardly wait to see what he will accomplish in his life for the Lord.  I cherish these times and this journal.  It has been so honest, so open, so sweet.  He has shared things with me that have surprised me, made me laugh, yes-made me cry as well, and given me new, more insightful ways to pray for and with him.

So on this his birthday time, he he he, I am so very thankful for the perfect surprise.  What a treasure he is.  What a joy it is!  What a time we've had.  My heart feels as though it will overflow with love for this young man!

Happy birthday to my boy wonder!!!

My sweet boy wonder at a pool party!

Such a handsome one!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Lesson from sickness

I hate being sick.  Not sure I know many people who enjoy it but I really, really don't like getting sick.
This week has been no exception.  My sharing, caring daughter shared her "sick germs" and this past Sunday I started to feel kinda bad.  Not terrible, mind you, just not great.  By that evening though, I was miserable.  Monday was no different.  I was in bed allllllllllllll day and still no great relief.  It didn't help that I had worked out on Saturday and was also incredibly sore.....really bad combination, in case you were wondering.

Anyway, when Bethany was sick I noticed the Lord showing me something about sickness and sin.  I tried to articulate it, found that I couldn't so I deleted the idea and went on my way.  Last night, though, the Lord reminded me again of the lesson from being sick.  So, I am going to try again....

Do you remember that first moment you did something you KNEW would not please your Savior?  Perhaps it was a word spoken in anger/gossip/malice.  Maybe it was something you chose to watch?   At first, when we are seeking to live for Christ moment by moment, we can be convicted pretty quickly of the sin in our lives.....when we....ok I'm going to switch to my life now...when I do something I know doesn't please Christ I am immediately convicted.  I am usually very repentant too.  Kinda like when you first get sick and nothing is right in the world.
But a funny thing happens over time.  I noticed last night that while I didn't enjoy being sick, I had settled into a routine that I kinda liked.  I stay in my room to contain the germs as much as I can, I play on the computer or take a nap or watch tv or play a game or read a book....whatever I would like to do.  Then, I get a drink and maybe stay up for a few minutes before I begin to feel yucky again and need to go lay down.  The cycle then continues.  While I don't like being separated from my kids, they have been amazingly well behaved and I haven't had to deal with any arguing.  I don't like not being able to teach them but it has been nice to not have any lessons to complete.  I miss fixing dinner for everyone but not the mess it makes and it has been nice not being in charge of it all the time  I miss spending time with my hubby, just the two of us chatting after the kids go to bed but with him doing the bedtime routine I only get the good stuff(when the kids all file in the room to tell me goodnight and they hope I feel better soon).    So while I don't love my new routine.....I do kinda like it.

It can be the same with sin.  While I may know immediately what I am doing/saying is wrong this time....if I decide(yes, it is a choice, "I can't help it" doesn't apply) to repeat that same behavior or action.....I may  not feel so badly about it.  Each time I dull that conviction that earlier was so strong.  How?  Well, it is a choice to walk away from Christ.  The further I get the easier it is to make poor choices, and they are poor choices.  Ones that will harm me.  I may think it's fun but He knows what is best for me and in the end......it isn't actually fun.  It's hurtful or it draws me into the world's way of thinking(not a good thing).  It makes it harder to share about Christ to those around me.  The sad part is, while I may not be comfortable, I turn it into a new routine.  One that includes my selfishness.  One that I can rationalize isn't too terrible.  One that does not glorify Christ.  I think I'm doing well until I try to get up and realize how yucky I feel.  Yep, just like being sick, when wallowing in sin I am not doing well.

Thankfully He is the Great Physician!  Christ is always drawing His kids back.  He forgives, He loves, He is always there. 

So that is my lesson the Lord taught me.  Not sure I explained it the best way possible but there it is. :)  

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Beach prep.

For my son,
I will stay up getting snacks ready.

For my son,
I will get up when I could be sleeping.

For my son,
I will go to the beach when I could be avoiding it.

For my son,
I will get my bathing suit out and put it on.

For my self,
I will cringe....

he he he he

Have a blessed day all! :)