Friday, February 26, 2010

Busy Girl

My one year old daughter has quite a bit of energy. In fact, she almost never sits still. She is not the type to cuddle up on the couch and snuggle. She would much rather be running around the house or the yard. There have been times where she has run out of her shoes. Many days I find myself saying to her, “would you please be still, just for a few minutes!” I can see a lot of myself in her, she always has to be doing something.

This morning, she woke up early and I brought her into bed with me. To my surprise, she layed back and snuggled with me. I wrapped my arms around her and held her tight. She actually let me rub her back, stroke her hair, and just love on her. I told her she was beautiful, smart and special, and I loved her more than anything. It was so sweet, and a pleasant change of pace from me chasing her around all the time. I loved the quiet time with her and I think she did too. But, it wasn’t long before she was up, out of the bed and running around again.

I began to think about this encounter with my sweet girl. She is just like me – never wanting to sit still – always doing something. I realized she is sometimes missing out on the love I so desperately want to lavish on her because she won’t be still long enough.

I wonder how many days I’ve missed out on the love my heavenly Father wants to lavish on me because I won’t be still in His presence. How many times have I missed hearing Him say “you are beautiful,” “you are special,” or “I love you more than anything”?

I think I will try harder to wake up early and enjoy a little “still” time with my God. I don’t want to miss out on the love He so desperately wants to lavish on me.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

His Love

Today as I reflect on Valentine's day and all that this day is about I am overcome with a sense of gratitude. It isn't about the gifts, the flowers, or the candy, its about what God has done for me. I have many loves in my life and I am beyond thankful for each of them. God has blessed me so...a healthy, vibrant little girl to love and a husband that shows me unconditional love everyday. How beautiful that the Lord created Tom in his mother's womb to one day be my husband. God knew that Tom would be my husband when He created his life. To me that is so powerful and it shows me how all consuming God's love is for me. It is hard to fathom, yet it's beautiful. So on Valentine's Day I hope that you know that there is a God who LOVES YOU! He created you and He is always with you. It is my prayer that you allow Him to guide your steps. I have learned from experience that being with Him is the best place to be, no matter what the circumstances. There is a peace that I cannot even explain. God is good, all the time.

I woke up this morning with this song by Avalon running through my head and it seems so appropiate this Valentine's Day...

You Were There

I wonder how it must have felt
When David stood to face Goliath on a hill
I imagine that he shook with all his might
Until You took his hand, and held on tight

'Cause You were there, You were there
In the midst of danger's snare
You were there, You were there always
You were there when the hardest fight
Seemed so out of reach
Oh, You were there, You were always there
You were always there

So there he stood upon that hill
Abraham with knife in hand was poised to kill
But God in all his sovereignty had bigger plans
And just in time, You brought a lamb

'Cause You were there,
You were there
In the midst of the unclear
You were there, you were there always
You were there when obedience
Seemed to not make sense
You were there, You were always there
You were always there

So haven't I learned that my ways
Aren't as high as Yours are
And You alone keep the universe
From crumbling into dust
You are God and though we would
Not have understood You
There You were

Hanging blameless on a cross
You would rather die than leave us in the dark
Every moment, every planned coincidence
Just all makes sense
With Your last breath

You were there, You were there
During history’s darkest hour
You were there, You were there always
You were the Victor and the King
You were the power in David's swing
You were the calm in Abraham
You are the God who understands
You are the strength when we have none
You are the living, Holy one
You were, You are and You will always be
the Risen Lamb of God

You were, You are and You will always be
The Risen Lamb of God

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Its February and I Have My Resolution!

Do you have a list of things you want to accomplish before you die? There are a ton of things I want to try. I want to kiss my husband in front of the Eiffel Tower, shop on Rodeo drive, cliff dive in Mexico, look into the grand canyon, ride on a train, design greeting cards, ride a horse bareback on the beach, and so many other things. From a life’s work perspective, I dream of being a decorator, a photographer , a mentor, an author … the list goes on and on. I want to be available at all times to my husband, my daughter, my extended family, my church, my friends, and anyone else who needs help.

But can I just be still and know that God is in control? Could I just spend my time loving others without having an overwhelming need to "do" or "be" something? Why do I always fill up my life with things, and in doing so end up feeling disorganized, unsuccessful, incompetent...a failure because I can’t do it all well?

How do we determine the "right" things to work on? Which of these great things to do are part of God’s will for my life, and which are just my own feeble ideas? If I could find the answer to that question, I would know exactly what to work on each day and I would know that I was following His plan. I wouldn’t waste any time on things that he didn’t think were worthwhile. Wouldn’t that be a great feeling?

But what if God gives me lots of options within his plan? Maybe God’s will is like a meal. He could sit us down and place exactly what he wants us to have in front of us. All we need to do is eat up and we would know we are being obedient. On the other hand, he might lead us to a glorious banquet where he lets us choose those things we really want out of many wonderful options. Where whatever we choose is within His will. Some choices might be healthier than others, and some may be more pleasing to our tastes, but he allows us to feast on whatever we choose!

The closer I get to God, the more I see that he wants to give me choices, and often any option I choose will be acceptable (within reason). But I am quickly awed and overwhelmed by the alternatives. I try to take a piece of everything and my plate quickly overflows. Just imagine my plate at a church potluck, you get the picture!The gravy gets in the corn, the Jell-O melts into the spaghetti, and soon I’m not able to separate any one item from the rest.

Perhaps my goal this year should be to address God’s feast one course at a time. To step up to the salad bar, take a reasonably sized portion, and finish that before moving on to the soup. I want to really taste and enjoy each part of my life without rushing on to the next great possibility.

I’ve decided to spend my journaling time in February evaluating my activities and my long list of dreams. I want to understand the few, the most important things and to be able to do them well. The other activities may come in time, and if they don’t I may be a little sad but I won’t see it as failure. By the end of this year I want to know that I’ve sought after God’s peace that passes understanding, not that I’ve grabbed up a piece of every interesting or important thing I’ve seen. God wants us to know his peace… and he stands next to us just waiting for us to reach out for it. But our hands are too full of all the things we thing we have to do. I pray that I may empty my arms of the "things" of this world and embrace His gift of peace!

What to you want to embrace this year?

What Really Matters

Before I married my husband I could have been labeled as having a “Type A” personality (still sometimes it rears it's ugly head). I was proud to say I was always on time, I gasped at the thought of clean laundry piled up on the floor, and my movies were always returned on time. Three years later, all I can say is at least he is still as handsome and good looking! Each Sunday we are literally running in the doors of church 10 minutes late even before we had Julia. Sometimes the laundry is put away but most of the time we hunt for socks in a pile in the floor. Rarely, our movies are returned on time.

These annoyances drove me insane, and I took it out on my husband. I spent many a morning with God trying to convince Him that my husband needed a BIG change. ”Please just make him take two extra steps to the laundry basket to throw his dirty clothes and that will make me happy”. Little did I know that while I prayed for my husband to fix HIS problem, God was unwinding MY problems. It is so easy to point the finger, and blame the spouse for the imperfections in a marriage. I would consistently tell my husband that “If only you would…then our marriage would be great”. I think if I was really quiet I could actually hear God laughing at me!

As I sent those prayers of pleading for a fix in my husband, God continually sent me a scripture to change my heart. For a long time I had this verse on a post-it note on our bathroom mirror because I needed to be reminded daily of what true love really was.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
~1 Corinthians 13:4

Even as I write this today, I have to stop and inhale this scripture reminding me to focus at what really matters. What matters is that that we spend our precious time as husband and wife glorifying a truly righteous and holy God and not on the fact that a dish is in the sink and the Christmas tree was taken down at the end of January.

I encourage you stop what you are doing at this very moment and pray for your husband and allow God to remind you of what really matters in His marriage. Thank God for giving you such a precious gift, a mate, someone who loves you despite your imperfections. Someone who yearns to encourage you as a woman, a wife, a mother and most importantly a child of God. What a beautiful thing God has given us in our husbands.

Monday, February 8, 2010

What Were You Thinking?!?!- Just for a chuckle.:)

It seems that several times each day I find myself wondering (often very loudly and in an irritated tone of voice) what on earth this child is thinking when she performs some of her antics. I am reasonably sure that she is really not just trying to drive me crazy (is she?) and I believe she is of at least average intelligence but sometimes the things that she does just shocks me.

Take Julia today. I was busy taking care of my business in the bathroom (yes, you know that I get no privacy what so ever) and she had found my keys.

Well, anyway, Julia, being the adorable little 16-month old that she is started using the key to pretend to open all the door in the bathroom. I remember thinking how cute it was to see her pudgy little hands role-playing with the key and thinking how brilliant she was that she knew what a key was and how to use it. I'm just being honest. After all, if your own mother can't think that you are brilliant then who can?

Well, I had to interupt my reverie to finish up what I was doing and so that I could get dinner going. In the 30, no more like 10, seconds that it took me to look away from Julia to attempt to find the tissue. We can not keep it on the roll anymore because those cute pudgy fingers will rip the ENTIRE roll to shreds which literally KILLS her father who will fold it and lay it on the back of the tiolet...but that is another story! So in that short amount of time she managed to transform from cute role-playing toddler into a crazed maniac.

The girl had put the key UP HER NOSE! Yes, that's right, the key was placed inside of her nostril. She was just holding it up there just as calm as you please. She did have a slightly quizzical look on her face. Was she wondering "What posessed me to do that?" I do not know for sure.

I did not want to shout too loud which would frighten her and make the pointy object go even further into the place where it should not be! So as I moved towards her to calmly remove the key from her she removed the key and went on about her business. She dropped it and turned and starting walking away.

I found myself trying to recreate the moment that the key went into her nose. Was she merely wondering, "What do keys feel like in your nose?" or was there something more intellectual, more scientific in her query?

I guess I will never know. (Thank goodness!)

The Tiniest Breath

I remember the night we brought Julia home from the hospital, laying with her in our bed while she slept soundly and peacefully next to me. Not to worry, I was not sleeping, but just laying there amazed at how our life had changed with the arrival of this sweet girl. After daydreaming for a while I was startled to not notice her breathing.(Admit it, you other moms have done that too, irrational as it is.) So I put my ear close to her mouth and what I heard was a sweeter sound than any other. Something about listening to her breathe was so soothing, so peaceful it was hard for me to stop. For just a few seconds, my muscles relaxed and I took a deep breath. Even as I realized how tired I was, I somehow felt rejuvenated and warm all over listening to that precious little breath.

Well, I still listen to Julia's breathing every now and then after I lay her down to sleep. And it still soothes me. Last night, she was fussy and kept waking up which is not her usual routine. As I walked back in her room for the third time I have to say I was not happy, I was beyond tired. I took a deep breath and I gingerly laid her down in her bed and instead of quickly sneaking away like I usually, I ever-so-gently put my ear near her mouth and listened to her regular, rhythmic breathing. I was instantly soothed and I offered up a prayer of gratitude to God along with a repentant heart for having grumbled and complained about getting up with her.

I prayed "Lord, I am so grateful to have this special little girl in my life, your creation that you have trusted into my care. Thank you Lord for giving her breath and thank you for giving me ears to hear and a heart to love her. You are an Almighty God, deserving of all praise and I rejoice in your name forever."

After that, I was on a roll, could not get back to sleep and went to work on my frugal living workshop presentation. When she woke up again, I went with a grateful (although admittedly tired) heart to put her back to sleep again. God is so good!