2013

Back Talk

Don’t you love it when you appear to have it all together?  It’s a great feeling until you go home and realize that it’s all an illusion.  You are as messed up as the next person.

I have a wonderful friend who thinks I’m an expert at parenting and “wifery” because she must have noticed the one or two times my kids said “yes ma’am” or did something thoughtful or a tender moment between me and my husband.  My kids are wonderful, but they are kids.  They are like any who messes up, has a bad day or doesn’t live up to the expectations around them.  What makes a precious kid even precious-er is how they deal with it.  Shawn and I do love each other to pieces, but we  know how to scatter those pieces too.  I tell my friend that we’re just like anyone else…our kids tell us “no” sometimes and I give my lovely husband dirty looks from time to time.

However, I do have the ultimate link to wisdom…our Heavenly Father.  He’s the ultimate love-giver (I wanted to say lover, but that just sounds weird) and parent in all the land.  I also have some helps from the blue planet.  One of my favorite is called iMom.  I know I’ve shared about the practical website before but here it is again.  I get daily emails from them.  Some I read, some I skip.  This week, I got a doozy that ANY parent would find useful!  The subject-back talk.  Unless your children are mute, then this is something I’m sure you deal with.  And I assume that even a sweet, mute child finds ways to accomplish this universal childhood trait. Here’s the link.

Sweet Spot

Writing a blog on this subject has crossed my mind SO many times.  After this past Sunday, I couldn’t wait any longer…

I’m not a super emotional gal.  I don’t tend to cry about things “typical” girls cry over.  However, there is one area that I cry without control EVERY TIME! There is no explanation other than the fact that I’m viewing something beautiful.  For example, when I’m watching a sporting event (especially the olympics) and someone is just in their moment.  They’ve been working, practicing and preparing for countless hours for their five minute ice skating routine, or 10 second vault, or world record race.  The sheer beauty of what they’re doing and what they must be feeling overwhelms me.  I love seeing someone doing what they were born to do.  A sense of pride comes over me even though I’ve never spoken to this person in my life.  I know, weird right?

Typically a downhill skiier lives in a mountainous region of the world.  Based on their environment they had opportunities starting at a young age to flourish at a particular sport.  Have you ever wondered if you could have been the worlds best __________ if you lived in a community where that was the normal activity?  When we lived in Michigan, hockey was a popular sport.  I’ve never lived anywhere else that it was.  It would be abnormal for a boy living in Georgia to pick up a love for hockey.  Kind of like a Jamaican learning how to be on a bobsled team.  Wait…there’s a movie about that.

This past weekend, I had one of these overwhelming moments.  I couldn’t control my emotions as I looked around and saw the band members at my church worshiping.  I love to worship, but I also love to watch others worship God.  It is one of the most beautiful things in the world.  These people were in their sweet spot.  They’ve played guitar, drums, piano and used their voice for many years.  But when you see someone using their talents for The Lord, it is unmistakable.  Seeing someone find their “moment” is a wonderful thing to witness.

What’s your sweet spot?  Have you found it yet?  We all have one. Have you asked The Lord to help you find it?  Look around and evaluate the environment you live in. Maybe you are ignoring what God wants you to do?  Let him guide and direct you.  You won’t regret it.

Be Still

Psalm 46:10

10 Be still, and know that I am God;

There’s a little exercise I do that a college professor recommended when feeling overwhelmed.  He said to speak aloud the beginning of Psalm 46:10. Then repeat it over and over taking away the last word until you are left with only one.  Try it.  It is very contemplative and surprisingly calming.  It can quickly put things into perspective.

Be still, and know that I am God

Be still, and know that I am

Be still, and know that I

Be still, and know that

Be still, and know

Be still, and

Be still

Be

Why Blog?

Okay, so I go in blogging spurts.  I don’t think I’m alone in this trend.  I will consistently blog for several weeks, then I’ll unintentionally take a month or two off.  Then, my husband will lovingly encourage/challenge me to get back on the blogging track.  So, here I am…at it again.

Questions swam in my mind as soon as I opened it up to the idea of what my next blog would be about.  The first one was, “why blog?”.  It’s not like I am an expert in any one area and the world MUST know my insight to be able to discern their next step in life.  Whew, that would be a lot of pressure.  Nope, for me, it’s kinda just for me.  Sure I’m putting it out there for anyone to read, but I honestly do it as a time of “personal” reflection.

We use busy-ness as an excuse for so many things…not calling that friend, not having lunch with that mom, not folding that laundry, saying no to that trip and unfortunately – to not have any unique thoughts.  It takes time and effort to shut off the constant rumble of my own stresses, lists and entertainment to ask myself, “what do I think about that?”.  To a 20 something person this is probably a foreign idea.  Just wait, your day is coming where the thing you look most forward to is sitting down and “vegging”.  Sitting in a Starbucks-esk environment sharing ideas about the protagonist in the latest novel I read just doesn’t fit into my schedule.  So I blog.  Guess what, writing down thoughts causes me to THINK!

So, after asking myself one question, I had my topic for my next blog.  Kind of ironic…blogging about blogging.  LOL!

Do you find yourself swimming in a sea of busy-ness?  When was the last time you had an intelligent conversation about an idea, topic or scripture…not about your spouse or kids?  Do you feel like there’s no time for that?

Blog.

Bringing Home Puppies

Shawn and I just had a quick pop-in visit from our friend Adam.  Adam’s world is being “wrecked by God” and Adam is wrecking our world in the process.  Poor guy leaves thinking he was a bother to our quiet morning.  Little does he know he brings excitement and revival where ever he goes.  Shawn and I feel like an old couple who just brought home a little puppy,  who can’t be stuck in their ways anymore, because they have a puppy.  Puppies have a way of changing a home.  They bring joy and smiles and responsibility.

We chatted about our hope being stored up in heaven and what that means.  We spoke about treasures we try to store up on earth.  My mind trailed from the conversation around the dinner table and went to words I’ve spoken this week.  We’ve  just moved into a new house.  Much of our time has been spent unpacking and then just sitting and admiring the blessing God has given.  Many, many people have asked about the house in person and on facebook.  I find myself being more excited about this house than the one who gave it to us.  I have spent more time talking about this house than the one who blessed us with it.  I have unknowingly made it an earthly treasure.  This house is just a house.  It cannot save me.  It cannot redeem me.  It cannot pursue me.  It cannot love me.  My true hope is being stored up in heaven, not in this house.

I am so glad that God has brought Adam into our lives.  His excitement for The Lord is challenging to be around.  He can’t even sit still when he talks about God.  The creaky old dinning room chair he was sitting in never fell silent.  Yet, my chair didn’t make a peep.  Oh, Lord help me.  He keeps talking about how knowing Shawn has changed his life.  Little does he know how us knowing him is changing ours!

Snow Day

One of the most magical childhood phenomenon are snow days.  {Adults like them too.}  We’ve had an active day today for a Thursday.  Close to 12 inches of snow has fallen and you’d think we’d be bored.  Wrong!  We’ve built snow forts, wrestled with our dog Maggie, and lost our breath playing Just Dance on the xBox Kinnect.  I’m not sure if my boys will remember everything we did today, but I hope they remember spending the day with Shawn and me.

I don’t remember what grade I was in exactly…probably 3rd or 4th.  It was back before schools sent emails and pre-recorded phone messages announcing those lovely words, “school is cancelled today”.  I would wake up and listen to the radio DJ or the morning news just hoping to hear or see the R7 School District included in the list of cancellations.  The most memorable snow day I can recall is actually a day I don’t remember many specifics.  I just remember looking out the front window to see a really strange sight.  My mom’s ’85 Honda Civic Hatchback was stuck at the end of our drive in the pile of snow from the snow plow.  She couldn’t get out of our driveway to get to work.  That meant I got to spend the whole day with her!  Like I said, I don’t remember what we did, but I do remember that feeling of being so excited she was going to be home all day from work the same day I was home from school!  Best snow day ever!

As a parent, I need to remember that the thing that will stick with my kids the longest is their time spent with Shawn and I…not necessarily all the activities.