Sunday, June 10, 2018

Icky people

People can be icky, prickly, flawed. I can be icky... prickly... FLAWED. We aren't called to love the behavior of people. We are called to love the people.

Sometimes the behavior of the people I love is terrible. They lose their temper. They make poor choices. They live in perpetuating cycles of dysfunction. But. Still. I. LOVE. Them. Wanna know why? It's not because they are always lovable. Nope. There are two reasons why I love people even when they are unlovable.

1. I love people even when they are unlovable because Christ loves me, and He commands me to love others. When He loves me, it isn't my behavior He's loving. When He loves me, it isn't only when I'm lovable. He. Loves. Me. PERIOD. When He commands me to love others, He doesn't say "love people when they are lovable" He says. Love. People. PERIOD.

This is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another.
1 John 3:11

2. I love people even when they are unlovable because I am unlovable at times too. I lose my crap sometimes. I have unrealistic expectations. I am irritable, ugly, self-centered. I cannot afford to stop loving people when they are unlovable because I am unlovable too!

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.
Romans 3:23

Here's the thing folks... we are called to love. The rest is up to God. Let's work on loving more.... all the time. If we could stop focusing on our differences and just LOVE each other, this world would be a much better place.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

A rare treat

Last night I had a rare treat. I'm always bemoaning the fact that I wish I could go back 10 years to when my babies were lil bitty... when they needed me so much... when pudgy lil toddler arms were my constant necklace.... when I was utterly DEPLETED physically but so FULL of being the MOM. In those days, I was exhausted... continually dreaming of when they could wipe their own butts... tie their own shoes... get their own sandwich... Being the MOM was my every minute.... it was commonplace.... we don't often remember to cherish the commonplace.  Well I'm there. Every one of my offspring can do these things on their own now, and you know what? I actually MISS doing everything for them. I miss the commonplace of being the MOM. I'm still their mom,  but it is just not the same.

Yesterday, Elijah had a minor (but PAINFUL) surgical procedure done on a very irritated, ingrown toenail. 

At about 10:30 p.m. (I had been asleep about an hour and a half) Jeremiah woke me with, "Elijah needs you.  He is in a lot of pain." I inspected his toe to confirm we didn't need to call the doctor, and then proceeded to spend the night getting water, Tylenol, pillows to prop the bad foot up. I slept in his room waking each time his moaning intensified to help him find something to ease the pain. It was EXHAUSTING.

This morning as I woke to a WICKED headache I realized... that was it! I got to be the MOM again for a night.  I got to be NEEDED, and I got to care for my nearly grown up baby. And if it weren't for seeing him in so much pain, it would have been a perfect trip back to being the MOM.

Just a couple of lessons here....

To those of you, exhausted, depleted, WORN OUT moms of lil bitties.... please listen to me! Sooner than you can imagine,  these lil bitties WILL wipe their own butts, tie their own shoes, and make their own sandwiches.  CHERISH EVERY SECOND NOW. Because I promise you, it won't be too long before being this needed will be just a distant memory.

To ALL the rest of us.... regardless of what you are going through, there is something about this season of life that you will eventually long for.  In just 7 months I'll send my first born off to basic training.... I remind myself DAILY to CHERISH his stinky socks left out,  his sometime stinky teen-man attitude,  even the senioritis that has set in to plague all his schoolwork... look around right now, and enjoy the good stuff... because it too shall pass.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Resolutions for 2018

I've been praying for several weeks about the New Year.... what will I resolve to change this year? Based upon the lessons of last year,  what does God want me to focus on this year? I felt led to three sweeping concepts to focus on, instead of specific resolutions to make (i.e. break) this year.

Here's what they are:

1. Listen
2. Bend
3. Moderation

(Yes I realize that list is not parallel... but it's my list, and it's the way God gave it to me.)

Listen... this one is so multifaceted for me.... I need to listen to others better... I need to listen more closely to what my body is telling me. I need to  listen more during my quiet time. But most of all I need to listen for that still, small voice from God..... during my regular day... when I'm faced with a big decision... when I'm losing my stuff over something.... when discouragement settles in... I. Need. To. Listen.

Bend... again this speaks to many areas of my life... I want to physically bend more... like literally... stretch, sweat, strengthen, bend more often. I want to bend my mind to the idea that my way isn't the only way... I want to bend my will to love AND accept those whose beliefs are different than mine... but most of all I want to bend me, mySELF to the will of my great God more readily, more completely, more joyfully.

Moderation... the oddball in this list... the only noun in a list of verbs... a place amongst the action of these resolutions... my overarching goal... the sole idea I most want to carry through this year is moderation. So often, extremes are my goal:

*exercise every day
*lose ___ pounds
*build up $____ in my savings
*stop worrying what others think about me

But guess what:

*some days are made for sitting on your butt
*there should be eat cake days in life
*sometimes that cuss word flies out
*sometimes you make a STUPID purchase
*life just isn't as perfect and EXTREME as Facebook would lead us to believe

So I want to aim for moderation... especially at the expense of perfection.

I want to eat healthier, but also have permission to have decadence in my life.
I want to move more often, but I'm not giving up my crochet in my recliner time.
I want to save money, but I need to STOP obsessing over EVERY SINGLE penny.
I want to SLOW MY ROLL during my quiet time... this year I don't want a read through the Bible plan.... instead I want to slowly absorb some specific passages.


I love this time of year... the focus on newness... the chance for beginnings... the blank slate of a new year in front of me.... and I'm praying that these concepts will stick with me ALL the way through 2018.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Lessons from 2017

This past week I've been focusing on what lessons 2017 has taught me. I want to use these lessons as a springboard for my 2018 resolutions.

This is what I've come up with so far.

1. Everyone is on his/her own journey.

Everyone in this world is on his/her own journey. When my journey intersects with someone else's journey, it's helpful to remember that what God is working the other person through is NOT what God is working on with me. This year, I learned (painfully and not really completely yet) to take my interactions with others less personally.... to focus on what God wants ME to learn.... and to love the other person through his/her journey.

2. It's okay if it's not MY way.

This was a tough lesson for someone like me to accept. Obviously, MY way is the best way... I'm guessing it was because this lesson would be so hard for me to learn that the fire that forged it was INTENSE. For MONTHS this year, I was stuck on my rear end... forced to allow others to cook, clean, shop, and care for me... what may sound like a vacation was actually torture. I like to do things on my own so they get done MY way. Would you believe that teenage boys don't realize the sink should be wiped down every day? Can you fathom that some people don't fold the towels in thirds? And the horror of it ALL: there are people who drink unfiltered TAP water and try bringing it to me when I ask for a glass of water??? This year I learned (maybe not COMPLETELY though) to let others do for me and to relax the reigns a little when they don't do things MY way.

3. Slow and steady wins the race.

Healing from a ruptured Achilles tendon took. a. LONG. time. You wouldn't believe how long. In some ways, 7+ months after the fact,  I'm still working on parts of the healing. I don't like moving slowly. I zip from task-to-task. I don't really do slow. But I really, really wanted to get this Achilles rehab RIGHT. So I forced myself to take it slow. It taught me a lesson to apply outside of physical therapy.  This year I learned that life isn't a sprint. It's a marathon.  And slow and steady wins the race.

Hope this blog makes you pause for a second and look back at 2017.... life is a lesson... let's learn from it.

But watch out! Be careful never to forget what you yourself have seen. Do not let these memories escape from your mind as long as you live! And be sure to pass them on to your children and grandchildren.
Deuteronomy 4:9

Sunday, November 19, 2017

The cattle on a thousand hills

Yesterday was a tough day.  We woke up to a hole in the bathroom ceiling (leaky toilet above) and in the middle of showering the filth of the toilet mess off me, I missed a call from Jeremiah who was trying to reach me because he had been in a car wreck.... with his baby cousin in the car. It wasn't exactly the peaceful Saturday I had planned on. But somehow, honestly, In the misdst of the turmoil, I had complete and utter peace.

As I sat on the couch yesterday listening to John pull down the water logged bathroom ceiling, I wondered how vast this repair would be, and I realized I wasn't nervous at all. My husband has leaped over every hurdle in our initiation into homeownership with grace and skill. As I sat on the couch I truly WONDERED how much this would cost. I didn't worry at. all. I did puzzle for a second, thinking, Hey God, I'm really not worried about this. I heard Him whisper, Yes... because you KNOW I own the cattle on a thousand hills.

That knowledge wobbled just a smidge when I returned Jeremiah's missed call, "Mom," he said, sounding very calm and steady, "I was driving Cori's car to try to get Declan to sleep, and we were in a little car accident. We're both fine, but I have to go because the police are here." Satan turned my peace cup upside down.  I felt my peace FALLING toward the ground,  but faith STOPPED the descent toward fear with a whisper,  "the cattle on a thousand hills..." THEY ARE BOTH FINE. nothing else matters.

Lest you think I have arrived at some Nirvana island of perfect peace, let me explain to you.  Peace isn't calm blue seas around a tropical island.  It's more like chin barely above the CHURNING seas, but KNOWING that Life Preserver is SOLIDLY under your armpits. As the adrenaline wore off, I felt this sense of waiting for the other shoe to drop... a knowing that God would see it drop and have a plan for that... but still waiting for it to drop.... When Hannah returned from seeing a movie with Oma... and Jeremiah and Elijah were back from Cori's.... and Noah FINALLY finished gaming with Seth.... I released a HUGE sigh of relief that my babies were back under my roof, and we could put this day to rest.

So I'm over here.... the seas are calmer but I still have my Life Preserver firmly under my armpits.... and I just wanted to remind you...

For all the animals of the forest are mine, and I own the cattle on a thousand hills.
Psalm 50:10
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