Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Back When I Knew Everything

The backpacks are full, the pencils are sharpened, the notebooks are still neat and tidy.
The smell of fresh boxes of crayons is in the air. OH, how I love the beginning of the school year!
So much possibility and potential! Whatever, happened last year is gone and you get to start over. Every year I was in school, I made the Aug. vow that this would be the year I got all A's.
By, Sept.1 that dream was usually gone.

Today, I had the fun of watching one of my boys on the playground. I love to do that when they don't know I'm there!
I remember when I first found out we were having a boy and the day he was born. All the dreams we had for him. And there were LOTS of them. Because, that was back when I knew everything.
Seems like you know so much about kids and parenting before God actually entrusts you with the little people.

And then reality hits.

My big boy has been through much in his short life. Some major, some with the potential of being major and then God steps in and shows once again that He and He alone is in charge.
Big boy is a gifted kid; smart, fun, extremely deep thinker, loves technology, loves to laugh, LOVES Jesus.
But, as I was secretly watching him, I found my mind wondering, wishing his road didn't have to be so hard. Wishing he was a bit different in some areas, just so his life would be a bit easier.
Big boy is the kid who will be president of the Debate and Math club. I, who struggled in school (I was all about the fun part of school-learning was a distant second for me-shocking I know!) sometimes doesn't know what to do with that or how to relate. So, sometimes I wish things , ok he was different. He is ridiculously smart and sometimes that makes life harder not easier.

But, as I walked home a thought struck me like a lighting bolt. Never once, has the Lord tried to change who I am at the core. Yes, there are things-lots of things-He has changed, is trying to change. Sinful things, but not who I am. That's who he created in His image. This crazy, flighty, chubby girl. He loves and adores just the way she is.
The thought made me laugh and cry at the same time.
My boy, my beautiful boy, who I love so dearly, Lord, let me let him be the kid you created him to be, help me learn to not just love, but appreciate, the things that make him uniquely him, just like you do in me!
Thank you, Jesus for being the ultimate loving parent and for loving me even when I thought I knew everything.
Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sometimes I can't hear the siriens

We began a little family thing a long time ago, that when we heard a police siren or firetruck we would stop and pray. Pray for safety of the officers, safety for who they were going to help and a safe trip to get where they needed to go. It takes all of about 30 seconds.

But, I must confess sometimes I don't hear the sirens. Oh, I can literally hear them, it's just my brain is so wrapped up in what I have going on, what needs to be done next that- I don't HEAR them.
Today was one of those days. We were on a little picnic after school today when baby girl came RUNNING full speed over to me saying Stop and pray Mama, Stop and pray!! Her little hands were already folded before she had even stopped running. I had must confess, I had heard them as background noise and had felt no sense of urgency to pray until that face came running at me.

Thirty seconds and I couldn't be bothered. Well, it's not even bothered so much as just didn't even think of it. Wrapped up in my own selfish thoughts and lists of things to do-I couldn't hear the sirens. My three year old baby girl, however jumped off her little riding toy and ran to me thinking of others before her own desires or wants.

I want to be like that, because there are sirens that go off around me all the time. A friend who needs encouraged, a marriage in trouble, kids just looking for someone to talk to-to notice they are there. But, like today, sometimes I get so caught up in my needs, wants I can't hear the sirens.
Some days when I hear them it calls for prayer but sometimes when I hear them they call for prayer and ACTION! How dangerous for us all if we don't hear them( or worse yet, pretend like we don't hear them).

Sunday, August 16, 2009

I had a little argument with God. . guess who won

This has been a crazy week! Our boys were gone for a get- a -way with the grandparents, the hubby was home for a long weekend-needless to say the TO DO list was a long one! Complete with garage sale. I had no time for dilly dallyng and certainly no time for arguments. Especially, with God.
It all began Wednesday evening at choir practice when our Worship Pastor asked me to participate in a video tape series of short segments for an some upcoming sermons our Pastor is doing.
Let me say right up front, that I KNOW I'm irrational-let's just get that out of the way. Moving on to the unique insight that is the inner workings of my brain, I don't mind being up in front of people for teaching Bible study or singing on the praise team. In my mind, I can't really be seen-we're focusing on either study or worshiping. This case would be different. I DO NOT enjoy having my picture taken at ALL! So, while our Worship Pastor was asking me, in my mind I was saying-I don't think so, that is way worse than a picture and there certainly isn't time to lose 50 lbs. before Sunday. But, at the same time I was thinking those thoughts, I could hear the Holy Spirit (no not audibly) saying, " Yes, you are going to do it". Ok, Ok. Yes, I'll do it.
Thursday I began thinking about what I would like to say and when in all the craziness shaping up in our weekend, I could get my hair cut and colored. Let's just say, there might be a few, gulp, gray hairs poking through. So, I had some time carved out for Friday night.
When God said NO. Can you believe it? No, just like that! He's never really spoken to me about my hair before ( although, goodness knows I would like for Him too!) so why, WHY was He starting now??? Now, is when I needed to look as good as possible. Since I didn't have time to lose the 50 lbs, having good hair was supposed to distract from that!!
I would like to say, that I said "Of course, Lord! Have your way, I'll do whatever you want me to do!" Instead the conversation went something like--WHAT? I can't do WHAT? Why! WHY! WHY! You've never cared before, why would you care now???
It wasn't pretty folks, I'll admit, I threw a fit! So much so, my hubby asked what was wrong ( he was baring the brunt of the attitude problem.) Of course, I said the ever popular, 'Nothing'! I mean who is admitting that they are arguing with God about their hair???
Well, Saturday night, when I'd stopped whining enough to listen, God told me why He'd chosen this road for me this week.
And, are you ready for this?? Because, it's not about me! (Say What?!?) My testimony, the things He asks me to do for His name sake, are for Him and Him alone. My vanity, and seriously that is ALL this week was about, was getting in the way of the mission- telling others about Jesus being the Lord of my life.

I pray the next time He asks me to something, I can get out of the way faster, not put up a fuss and just say, Yes, Lord!

And for the record, I don't think God is against highlights-PTL!

I'll be getting some next week, and it's Ok, I have permission.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

From Extraodinary to Ordinary and Back Again

It would be a rare occasion in our house to not hear music coming from somewhere. Car, a room a voice-somewhere.
Music has been a huge part of my life since I was a little girl. From show tunes to horribly produced 80's rock , old hymns to the newest praise and worship-I've got it all tucked away forever in my head. And in many ways, it speaks to my soul, makes me feel- it also gets stuck in my head and rolls around in there for long periods of time. A blessing or a curse depending on what song it is, that's for sure!

One that has been rolling around in there the past few days is a Mercy Me song that I just adore.
But the line I can't over is this:
Who are we that you that you would be mindful of us?
What do you see that's worth looking our way?
What a beautiful picture of Grace! Sometimes the weight of grace can feel so crushing. Who are we? Who do I think I am? To call the creator of the universe Abba-Daddy?
For those of us who believe in the complete sovereignty of God, we understand that not only are we saved, but that we were chosen. Think about THAT for a minute. He choose you. He choose ME. Trust me, I KNOW how rotten I am and what evil things I have done!
But, this is where the grace part kicks in. . God doesn't see me when He looks at me. He sees the cross of Christ. Overwhelming isn't it, and yet if you've been a believer for any length of time it can become quite ordinary. Or maybe that's just me. Digging out from under the laundry pile, putting up the groceries, breaking up arguments, cleaning the bathroom, fixing dinner ( and breakfast and lunch). Ordinary life and change our outlook on the extraordinary. When we get so caught up in the ordinary it takes our zest of the extraordinary away one chip at a time.

Maybe that is another gift of music. I can be reminded of these extraordinary things in brief 3 minute clips, then they get stuck there and roll around for days, forcing me to focus on them.
Grace once again, not letting me go, even in the midst of the ordinary-yet another gift.

Thank You, Lord, for not only caring about my salvation and the vastness of that, but caring about the ordinary moments of my life! For making a way to remind me, even in those moments, of who You are and what You have done for this wayward child.
Saturday, August 8, 2009

Getting to the Good Stuff

This week I had the joy of hanging out by the pool with some dear friends I don't get to see nearly enough, Oh how I love these girls! They've been a part of my life for many years and we have some wonderful memories together!
Our kiddos were playing together, which always makes me so happy to see these guys growing up together just like we did, creating their own memories.
One thing that struck me once again, is how big the Kingdom of God is- and, how thankful I am that He's included so many of us of various stripes.
We can sing different music in church, choose different activities to attended or not. . all sorts of things Christians like to fight about and get caught up in- of which I'm sure Satan enjoys all too much! And in the end, we are all still part of the family of God.
Sitting there on the porch, laughing and catching up with old friends I was reminded once again how much we all need each other. How, if the body of Christ is working together, we can get past the trivial and get to the good stuff of life.

There isn't much better than hanging with people who've known you most of your life and getting to the good stuff!
Thursday, August 6, 2009
I was reading today and came across this question and thought it might be fun for us!

When you were 16 what did you want to be? And what are you doing now?
When/if did your passion change?

I'll get us started. . .

I had two dreams at 16: One- to be a lawyer and Two-to be the next Amy Grant.

My dreams of being a lawyer changed when I realized how much schooling was involved-I was way more interested in 'having fun' then going to school and working hard for that long!! And my dreams of going to Nashville changed when I met Jerry-and also realized I was a bit delusional that I could be the next Amy. .and I didn't so much want to be the next Amy as to BE Amy, so you know someone already had that job, and she was quite good at it!
Being a stay at home mom-way harder job than both of those btw!

Ok, now it's your turn. . .can't wait to read your answers !
Monday, August 3, 2009

Fun in the Sun

The three monkeys and I went to a local water park today. There was excitement in the air!! We've been wanting to go for a while, but the weather hasn't been cooperating. So, today was the BIG DAY!
Normally, we would have friends with us, but for various reasons, today it was just us. And, I must confess, I was a little leery of that.
There is a pretty wide age gap with my kiddos and there is a HUGE personality gap with my boys. Night and Day. One is a thinker, one is a doer. One is laid back, one is a ball of energy. Thankfully, the baby girl is right in the middle. But, you can imagine that those differences often bring-shall we say, challenges?!?!
BUT, today-TODAY I watched this lovely thing unfold before my eyes. A coming together- a meeting of the minds. Watching Mr. Go Getter let Mr. Laid Back take his hand while waiting their turn , and then go down the water slides together with Sister in between. Sharing, concern for one another,cheering each other on, encouraging each other to do the Biggest Cannon Ball Ever. Genuine love passing back and forth.
This is a day a mother holds in her heart for years to come! One you look back on and reflect on how perfect it was, how good God is.
Now, I'm not naive, I know there will be fights again this week and a hurt feelings again tomorrow.
But, for today- today was a glimpse of the all the things we've been working on- paying off.

Thank You, Jesus, for answering prayer and giving us hope to hold on- a glimmer of the finish line, so we can keep pursuing the prize.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Will the Circle Be Unbroken

What a beautiful day here in sunny Kansas!
Baby Girl and I spent the morning running errands, while the two boys spent the day with the grandparents.
Then tonight the Hubs and I went to hear some music at our local Christian coffee house. Some friends from church play in a band and they were having a tribute tonight for one of their band members who had recently passed away.
The place was packed! Wall to wall people everywhere-having a great time, listening to some great musicians.
Several bands played and at the end they had a jam session where they sung the old gospel song
Will the Circle Be Unbroken. I feel the need to say here (and I don't know why) that this isn't my favorite kind of music but I certainly could appreciate the talent in the room. But, what struck me as I looked around coffeehouse at the eclectic group of people singing and clapping along was something greater than good music or even good friends. It was our faith that this isn't the end. That one day we will cross over and see Jesus. That no matter the pain and sorrow we face here on earth there is something better coming. When our REAL life will begin.
It overwhelmed me for a moment. To be reminded once again, that this world isn't my home and whether it's tomorrow or 40 years now, someday I'll see Jesus and all those I've loved who left so soon. Oh, how I can't wait to dance with them at the feet of Jesus!
A beautiful ending to a beautiful day!