Category Archives: TREES & SUCH
My husband doesn’t know it, but I’ve been sitting in front of the TV all morning watching the terrible images of the Oklahoma Tornado. I can’t imagine wondering if I will ever find my child buried beneath the rubble. I can’t imagine it all being stripped from me, in an unexpected moment because of wind and rain. I can’t imagine… Did you know that the winds were so fierce they stripped the bark off of trees. But the trees were left standing–rooted. Being rooted in Christ, I feel like our family is that tree, and no matter what we’ve been through, we are still standing. And because of that, we have to do something.
Everything in me is ready to pack and start the 20 hour drive to Moore, OK. But every doubt and question and reason not to is flooding my head. My attachment to stuff and my worry about money and bills keeps my feet planted. And for the record: I HATE IT!
This can’t be how Jesus intends for us to live our lives. Unable to help, to reach out to those in need, because of stuff. I can’t imagine He desired for us to be so comfortable that it hinders, and pretty much enables us to feed the poor, help the needy, love the broken. More and more I resent this life I’ve created for myself and my kids. This life of stuff and materialism. This world of work hard at a job you may or may not like, that may or may not be your God given gifts to buy more stuff, and bigger houses, that you absolutely do not need…that with a little wind and rain, can be taken in moments.
So I’m concocting this plan…to leave. I believe that going to Oklahoma could change our family, our lives, and my marriage. I believe that going to Oklahoma will ignite a passion for people in my children. I believe that going to Oklahoma will deepen my families faith in a way that we will never be able to be at this place again. I believe going to Oklahoma will further the kingdom, and help a family believe in Jesus who never knew Him before. I believe I want to go…I believe we need to go. In order to go, I’m going to need to raise the money to prove to my slumbering husband how serious I am. I am praying that God is speaking to him in his dreams right now, and I’m praying that by the time he wakes up my plan will be in full swing, and he will be unable to say No.
Will you donate? I don’t need pledges, I need the cash! Can you give? Will you give? I’m thinking we would need anywhere from $1500-$2000 to stay a week, have money for gas and food and be able to freely give to those in need. I will be taking photos and documenting our trip, so you know I’m not trying to swindle you! Help me get my plan in motion, and so I can be completely convincing when my husband awakens. I don’t think my blue eyes alone are going to get me this one.
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,
She’s finally driving. My daughter turned 15 nine months ago and I finally talked her into getting her permit. She has no intentions of using it, well not often anyway. I pretty much make her drive, or make it sound exciting enough that she wants to. Then she starts down the road, stresses at every light and turn and hates it…every minute of it. She is likely to have a heart attack by 17 if she continues at this pace.
I was emphasizing the importance of a turn signal and when to use it. “Yes, even if you are in a turn lane, you need to have your blinker on.” Followed by the question, “How exactly DID you get your permit?”
Answered with, “The questions were about towing vehicles. I’m not thinking I’m going to tow a vehicle with my car anytime soon. Anytime. Ever. And if I’m in a turn lane, then everyone should know I’m turning.”
Driving boils down to awareness. I need to be aware of what is happening around me, and I need to make people aware of what I’m doing and what my intentions are. Awareness is such an overused term these days. We have “awareness” (and ribbons) for every issue, every disease, every plight, every personal issue, every tick, every fingernail broken. We want everyone to be aware of everything.
All the while, Jesus wants us to be aware of him. Our relationship with him boils down to awareness. We need to be aware of what Jesus is doing around us, and we need to make people aware of what Jesus is doing with us and through us. Our ribbon is how we live our life. It’s pretty much that simple.
I love how when I’m teaching my daughter to drive (and I say that knowing you realize it’s more me screaming and gasping)…that Jesus is teaching me more about Him and His purpose for all humanity. It’s how He rolls.
Are you aware of Him today?
The last few days I’ve spent ample time with Zac. He’s been home from school with pulmonary junk. So between the million breathing treatments, we’ve watched the Karate Kid at least as many times. Zac loves to punch and kick and flip. So after the millionth time of me asking him to sit down and stop putting himself on the brink of respiratory failure, he settled in with my iPad.
“Mom, how do you spell karate?”
Before I knew it, Zac was on Karate Depot investigating how much black belts cost.
“Mom, can I buy a black belt?”
So being the fantastic, insightful mom I am, I replied with, “A black belt can’t be bought. It must be earned.”
Quickly, Zac was just as insightful, “I am going to earn it–well, I’m going to pretend I did.”
Isn’t that the American way? We want to pretend, or live as if, we have earned something. We want a fantastic marriage, but we don’t want to fight our way through it. We want kids who are well-adjusted and able to handle no matter what comes their way, but we don’t want to impose the boundaries. We want that deep faith in God, but shrug our shoulders at the thought of daily prayer and Bible reading.
All of us on some level want to pretend we’ve earned all the benefits of maturity. We shop at a Karate Depot, or Marriage Depot, or Parenting Depot, hoping to find something that will give us an outward badge of honor–to show the world our amazing-ness. We are willing to pay the $29.95 and even the inflated shipping fees if only it will give us the shortcut.
I wish I could purchase a black belt in writing, and in teenage dating issues, and in church planting, and in marriage. But even if I did, when it came down to the time to battle the enemy, I would lose.
I finished the conversation with my determined child forehead to forehead. I looked him in the eyes and said, “We can’t cheat our way through things. We have to work hard, train, do whatever it takes to get our black belt. Even if it takes 15 years to get it. And that’s not just with Kung Fu. We have to work hard to be whatever it is we dream about. We can’t buy our dreams on the internet.”
He flipped and kicked his way upstairs and came down with his Judo uniform and proudly tied his white belt. The kicking and flipping never stopped, but hopefully he learned–hopefully we have learned–that whatever it is we want to be best in, whatever we want to wear a black belt for, will take doing the hard work!
Happy Friday. You are loved!