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,
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
Ever have a crappy, horrible, why did I get out of bed kinda day? Tuesday was mine. It started with lower back spasms and muscle relaxers. Then it turned into this:
“Mom, I have a headache.”
“Do you need me to come get you?”
“No, it’s okay. We’re on lockdown anyway.”
“Apparently there are kids with guns on campus.”
Meanwhile, my phone rings. It’s about the middle child in middle school:
“Your child is suspended from riding the bus for three days… “
And then when I picked up the youngest from Private Christian School, the teacher told me this:
“He can be such a good, loving child, but if I could’ve paddled him today I would have.”
So how’s that whole Parenting According to Amos thing going for me? I won’t even ask you, because most likely your children are close to perfection and you’ve just humored me in reading what I think God is saying to parents through the prophet Amos. Most likely your children get all greens or smiley faces on their agendas. Most likely your children live up to every single responsibility you ask of them. Most likely your children get all A’s on their report card (not even one ‘F’, not even one). Most likely you just pity me, looking down on me with a pierced mouthed smile, trying to let me know through your eyes that someday, I will be a better mother and everything will be okay.
But in the meantime I take this to heart–like God is telling me to straighten it up, to tighten the reins on my little family:
“Hear this word that the LORD has spoken against you…against the whole family…”Amos 3:1
Oh and it doesn’t stop there either, because verse 11 says this:
“An Adversary shall be all around the land; He shall sap your strength from you, and your palaces shall be plundered.”
God was speaking of the Assyrians at the time, but now, I consider my adversary Satan himself. And yes, he is sapping my strength and yes, he is plundering my palace. My child was held in a classroom for 2 hours yesterday so the 10 police cars full of officers could search students class by class. (There were kids peeing in bottles in the corners of rooms–no kidding. I have photographic evidence, but I’ll spare you.) My boys are forgetting their manners, and what obedience is, and how important honesty is to our family, and to God.
But I am reminded that the Adversary is the real enemy, from the beginning of my life to the end of my children’s. I must discipline my kids, I must teach them a better way of life. I must teach them to fight from a place of Victory in Christ, because if I don’t stop the disobedience now–if we don’t teach our kids honesty, responsibility, respect–then one of our kids could be the one at school with a gun.
When God speaks of disciplining his chosen people of Israel in the book of Amos it’s because he knows the possibility of the outcome if he didn’t. We can’t ignore the possible outcomes in our own kids lives.
What are some ways you need to stand firm against the ADVERSARY and not allow him to sap your strength?
What is your worst day ever with your kids?
Share with me!
Lots of you are wondering, okay some of you, okay two of you are wondering, what is going on in my life. A few post ago, I mentioned that God was doing something to rock my world and no doubt He has.
Last Sunday was my last week serving on a church plant. The 3 1/2 year journey has never ceased to surprise me and even shock me. God has humbled me by using me, and taught me about building His church. After all this time, I've grown but not sure I know much more.
But I'm stepping out trying to use my slightly increased knowledge and a tremendous amount of faith growing a ministry out of my house. A year ago I began ministering to the misfit teenagers in my neighborhood and community. And now, well, they just keep coming. I just keep feeding them (both spaghetti and spiritual). For some reason God wants me to keep doing it, and on top of that, all these other things.
So now, I'm without a paying job, without a church, and without a clue as what to do next. But I'm certain, pretty certain, that I'm exactly where I need to be. I just have to figure out exactly how to do it.
I have to find some rhythm in my days, and accomplish something, anything, before the sun goes down bringing in the night, which brings another day. My greatest fear in all of this is wasting time accomplishing nothing. I'm pretty good at nothing. I can do days and days of nothing. I'm hoping that this will make the somethings, the anythings, mean so much more.
So for the two of you that asked, thank you. Pray for me. And since I have so much time on my hands, how can I pray for you? Comment and let me know.