He looked up at me with his big brown eyes, “Mom, will you color with me?” Who can say no to a sick kid with brown eyes? Not this mom. So we spread out the crayons and self-containing paint brushes and smelly makers. (Score! Remember when smelly markers were the coolest thing ever? And only the coolest teachers had them? Well, now WE have them, so if that makes me cool, then so be it.)
After drawing a few hearts and flowers I started this project. Dots. Small dots. Lots of dots. Dots that take forever.
By the 11th red dot, I was over it. As I was entering into my time machine, transporting myself back to the days of rainbow bright and unicorns, these dots reminded me of how much I HATE hate hate process. Before I even started this little piece of art, I envisioned the finished project. But actually doing the work is a whole other cup of tea.
I hate process. There. I confess. But I made myself finish. And the whole time, I felt the pain of Jesus trying to turn that switch on my heart. And it’s not a flip switch. It’s a turn-one (and yes, that’s the official and proper name for it). By the time I picked up the yellow (lemon) marker I was pushing myself to the finish line. Trying to enjoy every dot, every size, every moment of creativity. In order for me to learn to love the journey, I have to take myself on the journey, over and over, I have to walk that road.
So today I forced myself down another road, to teach me to enjoy the process. And I hated almost every minute of it.
I loved the finish product but by the time I sanded the first plank, I had to remind myself of the beauty of the journey. That there are moments of frustration, and moments you have to force yourself through. Even when you don’t feel like it, you have to take one more step. And each “one more step” brings you closer to the end.
I’ve decided that I will regularly push myself to learn how to enjoy the journey. Even if it’s forcing myself to make colored dots on a piece of paper, I will force myself out of my comfortable, and sometimes unproductive bubble. If I want God to teach me something new, I have to do things differently than I’ve done before. Are you willing to do the same ?
You Are Loved,
Today was wonderful. It started with breakfast, a great day at church, then shopping and dinner. I got some much needed shorts, and some perfume…ahh…it smells so wonderful. All day today was about mothers.
I think it’s wonderful to take a day out and acknowledge your mom for all the great things she’s done for you–like give birth, or clean up your puke or mop up your forgotten frozen beer in the freezer when you were too young to be drinking and the butt-whoopin’ you got for drinking too young to begin with. (thanks mom, but I still swear it wasn’t mine!) Mom’s do above and beyond for us. I know, I have a mom. I know, I am a mom.
Yesterday I was wondering what my family was going to do for me. Fear crept up at the thought that maybe they wouldn’t do anything. My husband works long, crazy hours. My kids are –well, they are kids. I convinced myself that if they didn’t do anything for me, that I would be okay with that. (yah, right! My husband is amazing!) Then this ugly feeling crept up in me. This nasty, too familiar feeling that can ruin you, than can rob you of all joy possible….this….feeling of ….
At the end of the conversation with myself, I convinced myself that I was entitled to presents, and doting and acknowledgement. That somehow, because President Wilson thought it was a good idea to make it a recognized holiday…or Hallmark encourages us to use their words to describe our love for our moms….or the flower industry convinces us that mom’s like already dead things that will continue in that process…somehow, I was entitled. I deserved it. Damn it, I earned it!
In that moment, those feelings of entitlement robbed me of the joy that comes with serving my family. I love taking care of my family. In fact, today, I found it difficult to not handle things. Probably because I”m a control freak, but that’s for another post. Even though I work hard to love my family, I am not entitled to anything. I serve my family because I want to, because I’m called to. Do I want to be honored and respected for what I do? Absolutely. But I want it to flow out of a natural love of God through my kids and husband, showered over me. And I want it everyday. Not because I deserve it, but because I find joy in showing that love to them, and they will ultimately find joy in showing it to me–and any other person in their life.
Mother’s Day should not be that have-to day when we painstakingly try and figure out what to buy a woman who already has everything. It’s a day to do a heart-check.
Are the things you do in your life for your family a natural outflow of God’s love?
Is your reservoir empty? How can you refill it?
Do your kids show a natural outflow of God’s love in their lives?
Love God first, everything will come easier!
You are loved,
I never thought I would care much about politics. I grew up during the Reagan administration and the world seemed at peace to me and I thought that everyone loved the President. Now being married to a soldier, the politics of the world and our government are part of our daily conversations.
I follow Mike Huckabee on Facebook. I love to hear his perspective on the White House and politics and the way our government (mal)functions. Normally after I read, and agree, and my blood boils, I find myself just sitting there asking, “What can I really do about it?”
Really, my hands are tied. Politicians are going to do what they want. The Governors and Senators and Congressmen have their own agendas and negotiations and pretty much will do whatever benefits their
With the recent BIG NEWS (and i say that sarcastically) of Jason Collins coming out of the closet, I left my rantings at the door, of my blog, and found myself totally upset at the mix of politics and morality. It got me thinking.
I wonder if we all don't question our impact when it comes to politics and religion. We all kinda know about Jesus, and some of us even grew up in church. And now there are so many different religions, a buffet of the beliefs of the world colliding, spread out and displayed for us to walk along to pick and choose what we want. In some light it seems doable, but most of the time it's too overwhelming.
Like politics, we may catch ourselves asking:
What can we really do about it anyway?
How can we possibly sift through it all and come up with the right answer?
In politics and religion it feels like our hands are tied. So we do nothing…
Ultimately, it's about taking responsibility. Our apathy in politics or religion are going to come to great consequence that we aren't going to be happy living with, not in this life or the next.
We are too content with apathy.
Just like with anything in life, we have to try. It is up to us to pick up the phone and call our Congressman to help change laws to stop human trafficking. It is up to us to read Scripture and know what God expects of us. We may not make a difference immediately or feel a difference immediately. But someone has to do something, or no one will do anything.
Are you going to do anything?
Last night the big NBA story came out, well more like NBA basketball player Jason Collins came out. In a story for Sports Illustrated, the Wizard player announced to the world that he is gay.
Now I know that lots of you will expect me to speak out against homosexuality, because after all, I am a Christian. I am not outraged at homosexuality, it's everywhere, it's even in the Bible. But for the record I am against homosexuality because I believe it is a lifestyle choice. More so, I don't think that anything that places a person's identity in sexuality can align with God's character or plan for the people he loves.
I don't really want to argue the sexuality-nature-nurture-God's-Justice-vs-Gods-Grace-homosexuality-Christians-are-so-judgemental-you-have-to-accept-me issue. I'm really more pissed that President Obama called Jason Collins and congratulated him on being gay.
I mean it's not bad enough that our Vice President spent $1 million dollars of tax payers money on a two day trip to Paris. Or that the Obama family so kindly didn't spend their own money giving each other gifts last Christmas, they just spent $20 million of our dollars to jet off to Hawaii to celebrate the birth of Baby Jesus together in the surf.
Now on the President's agenda, along with Late Night Show interviews and other celebrity appearances, the President feels compelled to call an NBA player, that most likely he doesn't even really know, and say “Yay, You're Gay!”
I know some of you are thinking that the President lives in a free country and can call who he wants. But I'm just saying–Not on my dime. I'm not okay with that. I would much rather Mr. President call maybe the wife of the soldier who lost both his legs fighting in the war, and now their marriage is on brink of failure but they are pushing through to try and make it work. And maybe he could say to them, “Yay! You're doing it!”
Perhaps he could pick up the cell phone that we pay the bill on and call the veteran of two wars, who just can't get a job with the government because there is a job hiring freeze because due to an excess of money spent on Paris and Hawaii. Daily this soldier battles PTSD and severe pain, but hasn't been able to get a disability claim approved or paid in the last two years because no one will return his calls and the government doesn't have the staff or the money to actually support the soldiers that fight to make sure that NBA players can make millions and our President can freely support same sex relationships. Yah, he could call that guy and say thanks for serving our country. Or even better–President Obama could call someone at the VA and ask them to pay out the soldiers claim.
And maybe when First Lady Michelle Obama says that a NBA player coming out of the closet is a huge step forward for our country, maybe she could mean that when families are actually able to pay their rent, and people are actually able to get jobs, and students can actually finish school without being hundreds of thousands in debt.
I guess I'm just fed up. I'm tired of the President wanting to be more friend of the celebrity than the leader of our nation. It's getting really old, it's making me nauseous. I find myself losing hope for our future, wondering why God would allow such authority over our country–why we tolerate such authority.
Luckily my hope is in Jesus–Jesus is the Hope for Real Change.
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
In case you haven't noticed, it's Monday. With Monday's comes whining by 7 am, and this morning a sick child before 9. Let us not forget the empty fridge because I was too busy to go to the Walmart this weekend. My whiny complaints are actually pretty menial. I really enjoy my life, but what I always tend to do is build everything up, in this tall well-stacked tower, and just hold my breath as I wait for it to topple over.
I do this with my work, too. When I'm ready to start actually “working” (writing, ministry stuff, Biblical Study, Market Research, Blah Blah) I tower that up too, a tall pile of papers waiting to proof read, books to read, newspapers, books, peridocials, blah blah. Sometimes I just sit and stare at the pile, trying to climb the tower to the right floor, or maybe even just hang out at the top waiting for my knight to rescue me.
But in my long life of painstaking experience, I know that I can't sit and wait for anyone in shiny armor to ride up on a horse, because the back of a horse isn't exactly condusive to typing and reading, not for me anyway.
Growing up I had horrible experiences (plural) on horse. The summer after third grade, I was riding a horse at summer camp. The horse was tall, the horse was old. There were three of us riding it. The Texas summer heat was beating down, the trails seemed long. I was bored. The tree limbs were low, the girl in front of me was suppose to duck. But she didn't. All three of us BAM! fell right off. Mortified, but not hurt, I swore myself away from thousand pound animals from that day forward.
Fear. The F Word that motivates me to ditch horses, and over analyze the piles of work. I just fear not finishing, or not doing it well or right. My check lists are long, and none of my “To Do's” seem to get checks next to them. Then at the end of the day, I just hate myself for not getting anything done. It's an ugly vicious cycle. And torments me from Monday to Monday. I'm trying to break out of the cycle, but it's not as easy as riding a horse, that's for sure.
What is your “F” Word?