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?
Yah, I got sucked in! Preacher’s Daughters is a new show on Lifetime. I’m always interested in how the mainstream interprets the lives of those in ministry. I could definitely tell a bit of “overacting” when the camera got too close. Because just in case you didn’t know, Reality TV is often NOT actually reality. Sorry if I ruined your day ….
I think it’s interesting to see that the families that were picked had ‘real world’ issues. Divorce, teenage pregnancy, disobedience. As a fellow “pastor” (and I use that term loosely) it is refreshing that Christians aren’t made out to be perfect.
I was reminded of walking with a neighbor a few years ago and we were chatting about the kids in the neighborhood. As we passed a house she pointed and said, “Those kids are the worst. Always cussing and acting stupid. And they are even pastors kids.”
Later I walked to my house after dropping her off and wondered if Pastor’s kids had some sort of special DNA or gene that exempted them from temptation and the realities of sin. The world definitely has an expectation on families in ministry to act differently and respond differently to the culture and the natural sinfulness of the world.
But like everyone else, we are only human. We have a heart after God, wanting to do His will and lead people to Him, but we don’t always get it right. And often times our kids are just along for the ride.
I don’t agree with everything on the show. I definitely see the brokenness in the single mom and the way she parents in fear and other parenting struggles where the camera adds ten pounds.
Regardless of our vocation, one with eternal purpose or not, it’s hard to raise kids. Everyone is different and we have become a different person with every child. It is a daily prayer walk of fully relying on God and trusting Him to do His part as we do ours!
You are loved,
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!
It was a bad case of the Mondays. I spent the day in bed, not feeling well–trying to fight the guilt of not feeling well–trying to force myself to feel better. I even got up and showered, did my hair & make up, but soon after I grabbed all the kids from school, I went right back to bed, fully clothed. I lead a youth group about 20 minutes away on Mondays, so I found a little strength after a pleading prayer and headed out.
After a great night of hanging with amazing kids, I headed home to my own amazing kids… to find this greeting me:
Now what is disturbing to me is that I hate Nicolas Cage. I’m sure he’s a nice person blah blah blah, but as an actor, I think the world of film could do without him. When I see him, or worse hear his voice, I think of the slicked back creepy uncle who walks around with his hand his pocket jingling his “change”. I imagine him with a Marlboro in one hand a luke-warm half drank bottle of beer sitting in front of him while he invites his nieces and nephews who are passing through the kitchen to come and sit on his lap. He just…creeps. me. out.
Now I know there are people out there who think he’s wonderful, artistic, blah blah blah. But I think he’s a creeper. And now thanks to my two teenage children, who will remain unnamed
Alyssa and Cody I now have creeper status pics all over my house: My mirror where I sit to put my make up on, the microwave where I cook my food and the computer mouse where I sit typing. He’s freekin’ everywhere.
What I love about this rather disturbing prank is it came from my kids. Our lives get so bogged down–get your homework done, hurry up and eat we have football–don’t make too much noise dad has to work overtime tonight–go to bed—do…-go…-do…-go. Sometimes as families we forget to have fun. Fun and humor is such an important part of your family. If your family doesn’t feel like you can play together, there is a sense of safety that is missing–and it is vital.
We should be able to joke with one another, even pick on each other (within limits) and maybe even once in a while, post creepy pics of your most hated actor all over your house. Simply cause some laughter, connect, and show that you care–in a round about crazy sort of way, a way that shows your kids that you know them, and that even as an adult, you know how to have a little fun. With spring break approaching, now is the time to put down your agendas, and have some fun with your kids.
How have you created an atmosphere of fun in your family? Comment–let me know, I would love to hear from you!