Monday, November 11, 2013

What's the Problem?

I haven't written in like a million years! It seems that the busier life gets, the more I disconnect from everything. My 'free' time is used for napping, vegging, and whatever else doesn't require me to think, give, do, or even be!

Today, amid some of the most amazing things beginning to unfold, I realized that I was feeling a little bit off. I just couldn't find that joy or thrill. I found that I was actually almost against the good.....but why? Finally, after a discussion with someone on a totally different topic, it dawned on me that I wasn't against all this good, I was afraid of it! When you've been working, praying, watching, attempting patience, and nothing seems to ever be happening, you come to a place of acceptance and just carry on.

BUT, when all of a sudden things rapidly start to shift, even when you wanted them too, you come to a place of having to accept and move. It starts as disbelief - "Oh, isn't that nice", and you just keep moving forward. Then you reach shock - "Oh, I think this is good & is maybe what I prayed for", and you kind of keep moving forward with a bit of wonder. Finally, you hit ummmmm - "Oh my goodness! This is what I waited & prayed for.....and it's happening! BUT, is it time? Is it real? Should I be relieved? Is it really going to happen? Maybe I should just sit here?!" You just stop and stare at what's in front of you not really knowing how to react.

That would be me today. It made me think though about how often what actually stands in our way of moving forward is US! How often do we have an opportunity to see something happen and we get scared or feel intimidated or worse, we feel unworthy of it, and then we just stop or walk away? What's the problem? Or should I ask, what's the REAL problem?

I've worked with so many different teams of people over the years. Sometimes I was the leader, sometimes I was just a participant. In each case one phrase was always used - "Do you believe in what you're doing?" It wasn't always a question that fit perfectly, but it suggested that we needed to see the value of our actions within the bigger picture. When we doubt our abilities, our strengths, or what we have to offer, it paralyzes us.

Who would want to look stupid or be moving towards a big goal only to have it flop - no one wants to take the fall or blame for something that didn't work out quite right. What would people think!

For me, I had gotten so comfortable in not expecting anything to happen, that when something finally did happen, it shook my comfort zone! I have a dear friend who has been in a similar boat. Plod, plod, plod, wait, wait, wait and then bam! Blessing pours out but doesn't look like anything that was being waited on! In each of our cases, the bam exceeded our expectations without even remotely looking like what we were waiting for.

When I was, ahem 'younger', I was so thrilled for each new adventure. Now that I'm not younger, I find that each new adventure has become relative to my safety, security and comfort zone. If it feels off, I sit longer looking at it, weighing all the options and pro's and con's. Is that the problem? Do we stand in our own way, forgetting the fun of new adventures? Have we just seen enough to know that life is actually very fleeting and we only have so much of it? Do we realize that we are no longer invincible? Are we fearful and less full of confidence?

What I finally realized today was that I was standing in my own way. I have blessing right in front me, and I'm a little nervous about it! All along I believed it would eventually happen, and when it did - I got scared. I am certainly capable of handling everything in front of me. I have honed a lot of the skills needed and juggled far more in a short amount of time. However, I think I became a little too content with the good and stopped looking for the great! I think I accepted the 'wait on Me' answer so well that what I actually heard was 'no'. Since patience is not my fave virtue, I think I became an overachiever in the patience category, and gave up on the hope & dream of adventure. I allowed content to become boring and doubtful, but excused it as a positive.

What's the problem? Me. What's the solution? Get out of my own way! How will I do that? By thanking God for provision, protection, blessing, growth, and timing! His ways are not mine, and I'm really grateful for that today! His way has proven much better and I'm much more confident in the outcome which is now totally dependent on Him, and not on me at all! I get to wake up, do what I love to do, and watch Him work it all out!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Politically Correct

I hate the phrase politically correct. What does it mean exactly? See, last I checked we had a growing number of political parties, that all differed in their view points in many areas. That would mean, that in identifying with any of them, you would in essence, by disagreeing with the rest, be unable to politically correct.

Does it mean that we are to be in agreement with the majority or the minority? And how am I to know which group is currently the minority group of the moment? And, how am I possibly to know what each camp believes? And what if I agree with some of the views of a couple of the camps? Then what am I allowed to say?

What if I disagree in principle, but agree in the practical....or vice versa? And which major religion is backing which thought or trend? And if I disagree with a major religion, than would it be religiously incorrect, while agreeing with another would be religiously correct?

Where does that leave me in the business world? Different industries employ different means of accessing, tracking, and marketing their goods/services/vision. Which is the 'right' one....or more aptly, which is correct?

Wouldn't it be more practical and accurate to instead say that I was being 'evangelically correct' or 'independently correct' or 'femaninely correct' or 'caucasiananly correct'?

If we all agreed, then wouldn't we essentially, possess a Hitler-like attitude, which stated that anything other than what he considered to be correct, was incorrect and therefore needed to be eradicated in order to protect the correct?

Sadly however, I think this is exactly what IS happening. If you disagree with me, we aren't allowed to be 'friends' anymore. If you don't say what I think you should, or dress the way I think you should, or aren't behaving the way I want you to, I just don't think we can get along. Everyone must act, think, speak, believe the same things.....in order to protect the 'correct'.

In an effort to not offend any group we must censor ourselves to the point that we may no longer have independent opinions, beliefs, or thoughts. Then we will all be the same and be equal and correct and can be friends. We will have eradicated the incorrect and protected the correct.

Doesn't this lead to the question though of what correct is? Who gets to decide? The majority? But should it be the majority of white or black or Hispanic or male or female or evangelical or Catholic or atheist or Jew or old or young or smart or rich or poor or physically challenged or tall or short or blond or brunette or..... who? And if it's the majority of American, than what is an American? And if you're an American than can you also be polish or Italian or African or British? And once you have identified these factors, than shouldn't we all start living with only those that match better?

I know....we need to bring back segregation! Remember that? Where the majority of white people decided what the African-American population was allowed to do...where they could live, work, drink, ride, be educated. How about when the immigrants came and only lived together in groups....Little Italy, Chinatown, because they 'fit' better.

So it seems that instead of moving forward, in essence we're moving backwards....I won't hang out with you until you think/act/look like me. I'm sorry, but I don't see this as progress. Before you get all pissy and start posting comments, I ask that you stop and think....how many people do you ACTUALLY know that don't look like or sound like you? Stop and think how many people you've removed from your 'friend' list because their views differed and you decided that wouldn't do. Stop and think about that conversation YOU had the other day with someone that may have offended THEM.

Yes, I will delete your comments or not post them at all. Is it because I may not agree with you? No. It's because I'm not seeking to create a debate or a discussion or a division. I'll delete them whether you agree or disagree. I'm asking you to stop....think....process....decide - for YOURSELF... Not a group, not a party, not to fit in. Just to think independently about what it is you believe and how it actually looks and what it actually means. I'm simply putting some thoughts out there to consider because of some of my recent experiences.

Truthfully, I may not even agree with some of the questions I've posed....but I've heard some of them asked recently. Some of them came as statements even....not questions. Facts not opinions. This just makes me so mad because I have friends of assorted races, sexes, educational backgrounds, political viewpoints, religious affiliations, backgrounds, sexual orientation, belief systems, addicts, ex-cons, morally upright, somewhere in the middles, immigrants, illegals, employed, un-employed, homeless, rich, etc... People who I talk with regularly, love, respect, admire, appreciate being in my life.

This diverse group of PEOPLE have added so much to my life. We don't always agree, but can talk through, work out, and treat each other with respect and dignity. THIS is in my eyes what being 'correct' is about. They are not pushed to compromise what they believe and neither am I. We can agree to disagree. They have formed their views based on what they have lived with and through, as have I.

This isn't a question for me about right vs wrong. This is a question of choosing how we treat PEOPLE. If you don't have friends that are ex-cons, don't tell me how to 'rehabilitate' them. If you have never lived with an addict, don't tell me how to 'cure' them. If you haven't heard racial slurs while standing with your very dear friend, don't tell me how 'those people' ought to react. Don't give me a clearer definition of what love looks like, while spewing hate and disrespect. Don't tell me what my 'correct' opinion or position should be, until you know WHY my opinion/position is what it is, and don't criticize me for my views until you've willingly walked all those many miles in my shoes.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Husbands Who Snore & The Women Who Love Them

I have come to believe that the women who write all the books on marriage, relationships, etc...encouraging us girls to be loving, supportive, wives and girlfriends, have never had a snorer in their lives. I'll save the farting, burping, and other generally disgusting behaviors for another day. (The men who write these books are probably didn't ask their wives if they snore.)

First of all, how can you possibly be pleasant to anyone if you haven't slept for more than 4 hours on a given night, due to the jet engines that are sleeping next to your head, let alone be nice to the jet?

I know all about cPaps, Breathe Right, weight loss, different pillows, allergies, etc... But anyone who says these are simple solutions, hasn't been married to a man. Men don't do easy solutions. They complain, deny, laugh, and then go find some buddies to agree with them.

These seemingly great guys, whom during the day are wonderful men - men who buy presents, take out the trash, tell you you're pretty - are signing their own death sentence at night. Do they realize the strength of character it takes to not smother them while they are causing us to slowly go deaf, deny us our beauty rest, and flop about all night long?

I think its a conspiracy. I think there is a secret snoring society or something. I think that they plot our demise, purposefully. It's as if they know that the lack of sleep will turn us into shrill, obnoxious, people they can then complain about. Maybe this is where PMS actually begins? Maybe instead of sleep studies, we need to study the correlation between snoring & nasty wives?

So to all those that have & love a snorer....I'm praying for you! Don't smother him tonight!!! Stay strong, take a nap during the day, sleep in another room, whatever you must do to remain sane. You're not alone.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Sheer Curtains

I have an ivory, sheer curtain in my bedroom. In the morning, since the window faces east, the sun will shine through the curtain & fill the whole room with bright, warm light. I can see the circular sun outlined. But most everything else is just kind of a blurry mess. It's beautiful really. In the middle of the afternoon, when the sun is on the opposite side of the house, I open this curtain so that more clear light comes in. Suddenly I can see every blurry object so very clearly & it's much less beautiful.

The curtain is translucent, meaning you can only see a general shape or color of the object on the other side. If it were transparent, I would be able to see every object clearly, just as I can through the window. When I want privacy, I pull the thicker curtains closed - they are solid and nothing is coming through them!

Christians are often encouraged to be transparent. In other words, those that identify themselves as such should be people who can be seen through, assuming that God will be visible on the other side.

I wonder, is transparent really what we would choose to be? Isn't translucent a better word for what we would choose? Do we really want people to see through us, or even see who we are for real?

Here's a better question - do we really want to see who other people really are? Do we really want to see them and their stuff, or would we rather see only a vague, general sense of who they are?

I think that we want our life and the lives of others to be more like that sheer curtain. We want to see the beautiful warm light. Even worse, we pretend that that's what we see or that's what we put on display.

"How are you today?" - "Fine." - "Great!" - End of conversation. "How can I pray for you?" - "Oh, just pray that God will continue to bless us." - "Sure." - End of conversation.

What if we asked expecting a real answer? What if we really answered? What if the conversation went like this - "How are you?" - "Kind of bummed. I was really hoping for something and it didn't work out." - "I'm sorry to hear that. I'll be praying that God bring some encouragement into your day. How about a cup of coffee on me?" - "Thanks!"

I think that the really real reality of life is that we want to believe there are people who have it all together, that everything works for, so we can feel hopeful about our own lives. I think we don't really want to answer questions in a real way, because we don't want anyone else to think WE don't have it all together.

I think we like living translucent lives and having translucent relationships. I think that we don't really want to deal with real, because real is hard, painful, tough, requires time, requires understanding, requires us to actually be LIKE Christ. We might have to DO something beyond pretending, beyond the sheer curtains.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Tough Stuff

When I started this blog, it was a way for me to stay accountable in my journey and create a 'forever' copy of some of my thoughts. Once online, always online....oh be careful little fingers what you type, photographer, and post!

Since I have no aspirations of developing a large following, I suppose it wasn't a great form of accountability. I have no desire to publish a book, so I wasn't particularly worried about maintaining a presence, or gathering enough info to put into book form. I would miss days, weeks, months, goodness whole sections of life. I could say it was circumstances, or I could say I forgot, or I could say it wasn't the priority at the time.

Reality says though that during the tough spots of life, I just didn't want to have to put anything out there for anyone to see or read. Plus, a computer at the pool is a disaster waiting to happen!

Since my official 2013 began in February, I find myself having some time for rest, work, play, God, creativity, cleaning, laundry, friends. I had forgotten how delightful it was to take a break, have some tea (I know not coffee, surprised right?), read a good book, do some journaling, find some respite from chaos.

I have also found though that there has been a different form of tough stuff. See, I started my year believing one thing, focused on one thing, determined to succeed in one area. I had a few set-backs, but overall thought I knew where I was going. Now, only 2 months in (well really just 1), I find myself thinking that maybe I should switch up my focus. Maybe I'm actually on a totally different road than I thought I was.

So what do you do with that tough stuff? What do you do when you discover that the road your on is the correct one, but it's name is not what you thought, and it's not going to take you where you thought you were going? What do you do when you find yourself in a place that seems so foreign, yet amazingly feels like home?

This is the truly tough stuff of life I think. The times where you are discovering the journey looks so different. So here's what I determined to do. Instead of rushing out and discovering a map of THIS journey, just in case, I'm going to just follow the road. I'm going to exercise faith. I'm going to not worry, not spend 100 hours a week working to reach what's ahead. I'm just going to WALK.

I've had some great time to spend with God. So I've been reading my Bible with a different perspective. I've been re-reading some great books on christian growth, spiritual development, warfare, the person of God, Godly leadership styles, etc...

I've exhausted almost a whole journal already with all I've been writing. I haven't kept up with the vacuuming...it'll be there when I'm done. I've gone from devotions, to my office, to the laundry room, to the dinner table, to the office, to time with God before bed. I find myself devouring His words, rekindling my deepest desires and joy, and identifying my truest self. I find myself growing into a healthier, happier person, feeling so free from the weight of plans.

This is the tough stuff of life....but I'm not sure I would want it to look any different.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Love

So many people don't like Valentine's Day. It's hard for me to believe that the ONE day devoted to saying I love you, would have haters.

Of course I don't NEED some pre-determined day to say I love you, or to hear it. BUT, you must admit, men don't usually forget it...unlike anniversaries, birthdays, etc... My man always remembers all of the above, but I certainly don't mind the extras today. :)

This has by far been the literal best Valentine's Day I have ever had. It began with me getting up at my usual time, then rolling back over and falling back to sleep for just another hour. When I woke up, my hubby had gone and gotten me my fave doughnut, and left for me to find. :) What an awesome, thoughtful thing to do! I then made the sad mistake of telling him it was even better than flowers, not realizing he had also ordered my fave colored roses to be delivered here. (They delivered mine & my daughters to HIM! How funny!!)

What made it by far the best though, was God in His most loving way, showered me with gifts today. I for the first time in all my life was keenly aware of not only who I was, but who He is! His extreme generosity in handing me back my dreams even if only for a moment brought me to tears.

Then, he gave me a new friend, who I already consider so dear to my heart! What a sweetie! Love you girl!! Then he blessed me with a phone call from a bestie who needed the reminder that God has such great plans for us all! In His time though. Then a great chat with another new friend God sent my way...wow! What awesome connections & blessings these people are in my life! Then another chat with another great friend!

It was a day filled with my fave people, doing my fave things, and relishing in this amazing Love. Even small glimmers of hope and peace are sometimes enough to breathe fresh air into our lives. I have had a whole week like that - glimmers, joy, peace, contentment, and lots of admiration for an amazing God who blessed me with the one thing I always wanted - peace that passes understanding!

No matter what tomorrow holds, I can look back on today & always remember the refreshment my spirit felt, the joy in the moment, the love of my God. I will walk boldly forward into tomorrow thanking God ahead of time for what I know will continue to be a journey of love & blessing!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

My Purpose

Why is it that right before you go to bed, your brain kicks into overdrive? If you're male you have no idea what I'm talking about do you? You use sleep as a way to turn your brain off. If you're female, you are already sighing, dreading the pre-bedtime ritual that will maybe help you to stop thinking so you can fall asleep.

Tonight my body said it was time for bed, but my brain was processing....processing.....aha! It was a moment of clarity that all of sudden shook me. My purpose. My what and why and how and, everything.

Last week I just sort of chilled out. No to-do lists, no real plan. It was heavenly actually. Given the chance to really focus on some things, the ideas just flew, the words just came, the peace & joy just found me. I was able to process through some things that I've been working on deciphering for years.

 I was blessed a few years back to have had a wonderful mentor who provided me with some tremendous opportunities to learn to be an effective leader & helped me grow into who I am. Conversations, situations, lessons, all came rushing back to me last week. I discovered I did indeed know who I was and what I was uniquely created to do.

Yesterday I read a quote that said, "God didn't give you what you wanted when you wanted it, because if He had, you would have killed it." Wowsers, that is a powerful statement. If I am honest, that quote fits me perfectly. I once had a grand vision. It never materialized. I was confused as to why God would do such a thing? Why give someone a clear picture, then bolt the window and close the curtains? I eventually let it go and assumed that God had a very different plan in mind.

Just tonight, as I was getting ready for bed I was struck with this thought, "for such a time as this". I find myself in a unique position with the opportunity to be completely and fully who I am and potentially fulfill what has been a long held dream.

Purpose - mine, for such a time as this. The pieces all fit tonight, as though life is just a giant puzzle and I had a few pieces backward. Maybe I was trying to force them to fit? Maybe they looked so close I thought they fit? Overall, it looked okay. But now, it is beautiful and fits so perfectly in every way. 

I know who I am, what I was created to do, and have a very clear vision of how to do it. It required ALL the years of life lessons. Each moment God was bending and shaping and growing and healing and moving me. If God would have allowed me to move into my dream then, I would have killed it. It wouldn't have been intentional. In fact, I know I would've worked my tail off to make it work. But it still would've died. Other peoples dreams would have died also.

Since it didn't work then, because I wasn't who I am now, I made new friends, I went new places, I had new experiences, I connected people to people. I learned things I needed to know. I helped other people find their dreams, encouraged them to discover who they were. It's silly, but until tonight, I never even saw that that was what was happening.

I am so in awe at the moment of what I see God doing. If I don't wake up tomorrow, I will still have at least lived this moment being fully who I am and devoted to the plan God has and what my purpose really is. I believe whole-heartedly though that I will wake up tomorrow and God will bring my dream and vision to it's reality in the future. I will fulfill my purpose. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Boy Am I Mad

I am so stinking peeved right now, that I probably shouldn't be blogging. Thankfully only like 3 people read this, so there's safety in numbers right?

I have fought long, hard battles to get to this place in my faith, life, etc... I struggled, persevered, cried, yelled, sometimes laughed. I have always refused to give up. I have always given second, tenth, hundredth chances, and really do want to believe the best about people. I refuse to believe that if given time & encouragement things just can't change for the better.

BUT, right now, I've pretty much had enough. I'm mad at how few people really seem to grasp that our life is a gift. We should never take anything, anyone or even today for granted.

God created me. On purpose, for a purpose. I don't care who or where you are, it's the same. I don't care if you believe in God or not. Bottom line - you're here for a reason. Now, we may not know what that reason is. In fact, we may spend our whole life trying to sort through why we're here. But we're alive.....period.

Some days I don't handle anything with grace. Some days I need a good swift kick in the butt to propel me out of a pity party. But I get up every day determined that I will live that day, be it good or bad, and pray that I will get up again the next day. That I will fulfill my purpose, accomplish whatever it is I need to before I go.

I want to find the good in people and see the positives. I want to believe that others care. I don't want utopia, I want to believe that people who are grumpy, are just hurting and need a friend; people who are angry, just need someone to love them; people who are insecure, just need someone to lift them up; people who are prideful, just need to land on their a$$, but we can offer hand to help them back up again. I want to celebrate with those who have realized that they're here for a purpose & are looking to accomplish it before it's too late. I want to celebrate 12 days sober, healing, health, remission, life!!

I'm angry because I can't stand to see great people fall victim to the lies that say they must protect themselves at all costs. That they are failures, are less than, are entitled. I'm angry because hurting people hurt people. I'm angry because I've watched these lies destroy people. I'm angry because people give in, write other's off, can't forgive, abuse, mistreat, and deny others grace or mercy.

If you are given a second chance, another day, to say I love you to someone, or offer forgiveness, or another day to be the best you you can be - grab it, do it, don't delay. Someday it'll be too late.....and what will you be left with.

A dear, sweet one I love, is facing her own 'why am I still here' battle with cancer. I said maybe she's here so she can lead her doctors to the lord, so she can write out her wisdom for other generations to see, to accomplish something we can't see. Maybe she's only here so I can tell her I love her one more time. Or maybe so she can say it to her kids. Or maybe she's only still here because God doesn't have her housing prepared just yet. Who cares! The point is, she's here, she's okay.....she didn't give up.  I will appreciate every moment.

There's another in my life who God spared not once, but twice. The words "I love you" were used today. Few have heard these words, which make them extra special. I watched this strong person get choked up over a long ago honor and choice, which had a profound effect on their future. The realization of how short the time really is has dawned on them. I'm sad and mad that some didn't see it as the miracle and gift it really was. Some couldn't and some chose not to. Some chose to miss the blessing because they couldn't see past themselves.

I could go on with this list. The point is that I'm mad at how easily we give up because it's hard or seems unfair, or seems to take to much energy or time. Face your own last day and you won't be so quick to take them for granted. And yes, I've faced my own last day a time or two. Every now and again, I forget how very precious each day is. But God is always gracious enough to remind me.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Journey

I was so stoked this past Saturday because two of my favorite bands teamed up for a special concert event - Journey & Rascal Flatts. I stayed up until 10pm just to watch, and even convinced the hubby to interrupt his 'nap' and dance with me to our song. :)

Journey had a new lead singer and let me just say, while he may be able to sing, he ruined forever my delusion that I'm not getting any older. He was probably 10....the rest of the band is not 10, none of the Flatts are 10, and I certainly am not 10. In fact the rest of us aren't 20 or 30 anymore either!

It was an amazing hour listening so some of my favorite songs, heard in stereo and I wish I could've been there!

The most humorous part of the entire event was the fact that when I woke up Sunday morning, all I could think about was the word 'journey'. Co-inky-dink? The whole day all the idea of being on a journey lingered in my brain. Now mind, the Superbowl was scheduled for that evening, so even that tied into the word - both teams had a long journey getting there.

Today, I took the time to process this lingering a bit. I think the idea of being on a journey is what it really was. My journey through life. How far I've come and still have to go. The challenges I've dealt with and will inevitably face in the future. The difference in who I am because of all that I've experienced. The joy of knowing that I'm still heading down the same road, to the same place and goal, and knowing that there are tremendous opportunities right in front of me.

I'm so excited to see what is just around the corner up-ahead. Big things, exciting things, blessings that I claim even now! Thankfulness that they are sitting there waiting, and gratefulness that I have so many friends around me to share the experience with. The journey is always more fun when done in group formation!!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Little Bro

My 'little' brother recently 'accused' me of being something of an overly-dramatic person. Sadly, this is a pretty accurate accusation. I grew up in a home filled with literal drama lovers...my great-grandmother was an actress, and so on down the line.

I also grew up with loud, enthusiastic, exclamatory, filled with emotion, and, let's say 'discussions'. My whole family is loud and dramatic and filled with exaggeration of all sorts. Apples only fall from apple trees you know. Thank goodness I like apples!

My bro made this statement quite dramatically I might add, placing great emphasis on the details he didn't want me to miss. I just grinned at him, and pointed out that we are cut from familiar cloth.

I prefer to think of myself as an energetic, enthusiastic person, who really does enjoy her life & realizes her blessings. If this means that I seem a bit excited or dramatic sometimes.....well this is to be expected.

Yes, I'm loud. Yes, I can be quite emotional (rarely tears, but emotion yes). Yes, I ALWAYS over-react initially, but given about 5 minutes can calm down & look at the facts. I hate drama, don't appreciate negativity, and despise deceit.

Brother of mine I believe I will take your loving words & respond in an over-dramatic way via blog as follows:

I would rather be an overly-dramatic person in all areas, than a dull-boring person in any area. I would rather over-react than under-react. I would rather over-emphasize, than not. I would rather be over the top, than completely forgettable.

I am working on creating balance in all things. I'm growing into who I will be when I grow up. I've curbed my temper, toned down exaggerated word choices, and now try to live with just the joy of my life. I will get it wrong, make mistakes, and try again. I will sometimes be a moldy apple, filled with worms of the over-done.

I will also post this for all to see, utilize your wise advice and finally remind you that apples only fall from apple trees. I write this in your honor....because I'm the big sister & I can & there's nothing like a little bit overly-dramatic response! :D

Monday, January 21, 2013

Chocolate Pudding

I am sort of stealing part of this from a very wise youth pastor. He posted on his blog about the nature of God as our father and used an example of parenting involving chocolate pudding and his toddler. His point was that God loves us the way we love our children - what wouldn't we do or provide for our children, just so they will smile, giggle, be happy. We do it because we love them, not because they deserve it. Ditto with God.

What I walked away with was that I needed to remind myself that God loves to watch us smile, and would love to spoil us with chocolate pudding. As the parent of a teenager, I know something this youth pastor will learn as the years go by....sometimes we don't give our kids chocolate pudding even if it makes them smile, because it can also make them sick and hyper.

So as I started praying through I realized that we were both right. God has a desire to spoil us with chocolate pudding to watch us smile, but sometimes we only get a spoonful, not the whole container. Sometimes He reserves the chocolate pudding because He knows it's not the healthiest choice for us in the moment.

Remember the Mary Poppins song, "A Spoon-full of Sugar"? She tells the kids that a spoon full of sugar makes medicine go down much easier. Maybe sometimes we get a spoon full of chocolate pudding to get through the hard life lessons. Maybe sometimes we get the whole cup of chocolate pudding as a treat, just to make us smile. It still has nothing to do with deserving it, but simply to do with God's nature as a loving father. It's grace in its simplest form.

Isn't that the whole point really? We have this goal of teaching our children, disciplining them, training them, filling them with love. All of these to help them grow into the people that God intends them to be. We weigh through the options, the fruits & veggies, the treats, the giggles, the scoldings. We do it all simply because we love them and want the best for them. This is what God's goal is too, right? To help us become all He intended us to be?

I will thank Him every day for the cups of chocolate pudding, the spoon fulls, AND the days filled with only good food, no treats. I will focus on His grace and loving nature. I will remember that He is shaping me into the person He needs and wants me to be. I will have the faith, though sometimes small as a speck of dust, to trust in His plan, His time, His ways. I will struggle, argue, rebel, get put in time out, lose dessert, and always know that He still loves me because He is my daddy.

He wants the best for me, so how could I possible go wrong resting in that?


Thursday, January 3, 2013

2013

It's officially 2013....and I've written 2012 a few times. This is a bit of a problem when you're doing important things like bills!!

I find that I have so much to say, about so many things, that I have no place to start. A fresh year, a fresh outlook, a fresh adventure.

I'm in awe, undone, overwhelmed. I'm hopeful, anxious, excited, motivated. I'm choosing to walk & enjoy, not run & miss something. I've chosen to walk through open doors praying that God bless every step.

I know myself well enough to know that if I'm not careful & intentional, I will start to run. I will race through & miss the process. I will analyze & think & plan & ruin the journey.

All that I love about the new year wars with all that I hate. Fresh adventures come on the heels of stale misadventures. Clean slates come at the expense of acknowledged mistakes. New stories come with the remnants of scars.

2013 I've been expecting you! God has opened doors that I've been waiting to see open for so long! Now, He will give me the courage, faith, opportunity & help to walk through into all that He called me to so long ago. My goal? To walk, not run. To pray, not fret. To embrace, not fear. To be all that He called me to be. To not get distracted, dissuaded, discouraged.

I Must Confess - Day 3

Confession time here. Be prepared. Last night, after a fairly emotionally charged day, I snapped at my husband. I shall pause to let that s...