Tuesday, October 11, 2016

I just spent five dollars on Pokeballs

First can I just say that I never in my life thought I would spend $5 on an in-app purchase?  Never in a million years.  As a matter of fact I have zealously teased my husband when he buys more lives in his Candy Crush game.  But... I just spent five dollars on Pokeballs.

Parenting is hard, we all know that.  It's this delicate balance between feeling the need to bend willful creatures with more energy than you to your will, and giving them grace because they are just kids.  It's the never knowing if you're doing the right thing.  Let me share with you for a moment where I'm at.  My oldest will be 13 in four months, 13 ya'll, I'm not ready to be a mom of a teenager!  My second oldest will be 10 two days after that (followed two days after that with my little mimi turning 4 and almost a month to the day after that my baby will be 2, bizarre I know).  And everything I have heard about boys being easier is so, so, so true.  I love my big baby girl so very much; she is my rainbow baby.  She truly has a heart of gold and has real love for other people, compassion is great with this one.  She is also my most trying child.  My oldest, I get him, we understand each other.  He is me only with testosterone.  Her? not so much.  The Lord is definitely using her to refine me!

So what does that look like, the refining?  It looks like spending five dollars on Pokeballs.  I am learning to let go of my pride, what I think is right, and learning a new way.  It looks like laying bare the soul to other human beings and (gasp!) actually admitting how hard things have been.  It looks like praying for a soft heart, a tender heart, even if it hurts.  And it will, because when you pray that prayer, God answers, and life hurts.  But the peace of God that passes all understanding will guard you; it will give you the still peace in the eye of the storm.  It will allow you to see past the hurt to see the tender shoot underneath.  The tender shoot of that child's heart, the woman's heart beside you, the heart of a man doing his very best.

Have a blessed day ya'll; love the ones placed in your life with a sacrificial love that releases pride.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Reflecting on Him

Hi there

I know I haven't posted in a while, but my ideal for this blog is for it to be a source of encouragement, comfort, and perhaps a little sarcasm (smile).  Since I've been a maudlin lately, I didn't want to whine about my first-world problems; so began the radio silence.  I have been brought to a place of introspection; which is usually preceded by the word 'quiet,' but there may have been some kicking and screaming involved...

What have I learned?  Grief is not just for when a person dies; it's also for relationships, former lives, and wasted time.  

Hug your babies; scoop them up and don't let them go so that someday they'll take joy in your relationship.  In developmental psych we learned the concept of 'firmly attached babies' that are secure enough in their relationship to their parent, that they feel free to be independent, and yet still come back.  Yes, that, do that with your kids.

Laugh; take the time to laugh.

I've also learned to not be so busy that you can't take the time to check out your husband's ass.  Yeah, I said it.  Look at it, remember what attracted you to your husband.  I'm not talking about all those nice, sweet things good Christian girls talk about, his personality, how funny he is, what a sweetheart he can be.  I'm talking about what physically attracted you to your man, because he is a man and he'll like it, I promise.

I've also learned that sometimes we may never know the answer to the age old question of 'why?' 

 The book of Job is often lauded as an example of a man who didn't question God; he kept the faith.   In the 9th chapter, Job laments, "Though I say, 'I will forget my complaint, I will leave off my sad countenance and be cheerful.'  I am afraid of all my pains, I know that You will not acquit me.  I am accounted wicked, Why then should I toil in vain?"  (v.27-29 NASB).  Now I'm not a Bible scholar, but it sure seems like Job is questioning God here; he's also a bit despair-y, a bit maudlin.  Job seems to be asking a question that I've been asking more than I should lately, "why God, what's the point?" What is the point?  Jesus.  Jesus is the point.  

Earlier in Job 9, he says, "but how can a man be in the right before God?" (v.2).  Jesus, the Lamb of God, whose blood was shed that we could be made right with God.  Jesus, who came to give us to ultimate example of a life lived for God.  Jesus, who knew we would fall, and loved on us anyway.
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
Romans 5:8

Sunday, September 11, 2016

To begin again

Like a newly walking baby, so goes our walk in Christ.
Sometimes we run to Our Father; sometimes we fall
and wait for Him to pick us up.

I won't lie folks, it's been a rough couple of weeks.  Last time I wrote I was frustrated with my plans changing, and I had great plans ya'll; they were the stuff of legend.  But they changed, they're still changing; I have to let God pick me up, and I fell hard.  I won't go into details, but think weeping in the bathroom intermittently coughing so hard I gagged, snot going everywhere, hard.  But sometimes, sometimes that's where Our Father has to lets us be so that we know our great need for Him.  Sometimes we have to look up and see our own pride in pushing forward, trying to get it all done, the boxes checked, in order that we can repent and let Him lift us from the miry clay.

In Exodus 33, God promises His people that He will go with them and He will give them rest.  Rest...  Rest beloved.  In the NASB, the word 'rest' is found 292 times, according to blueletterbible.org.  Think about that for a moment.  We, as a society, are so busy doing our works, some are even very good works, that we lose sight of the fact that resting was so important to God, that the word can be found 292 times.  Heck, it's even one of the Ten Commandments.  Why do we lose sight of that?

I am also convinced that it's not just physical rest God wants us to take, but spiritual.  Jesus said in Matthew 11:29, "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."  Rest for our souls...  To be gentle and humble in heart...

Can you imagine how much less you would hurt another human being, one of God's creatures, one of your children, yourself, if we were gentle, humble in heart?  I cannot tell you how many times I have hurt one of my children's hearts' simply because I was in a hurry; I just wanted to get something done.  Or I didn't feel well, or I was tired, or..or..or... you get the idea.  To be gentle, to rest in Him.  To know that He will gives us peace beyond understanding (Philippians 4:7).  To begin again.  To stop pushing forward when everything is saying stop, when He is saying stop.  We have an enemy ya'll, an enemy that will keep us so worked up we can't hear the soft still voice of Our Father.  An enemy that doesn't want you to hear the soft, still voice of the Father.  Our enemy knows that if he can separate us from God's voice, if he can make us feel alone, we will give in to the temptation to despair.  Now mind, I'm not talking about sadness, or even depression, but despair.  Despair says there's no hope, no point, and you actually start to believe it.  

Join me in resting in Him.  Join me in learning to be gentle and humble in heart; pride tells you you're not doing enough, humility says it doesn't matter.  Join me to begin again, to let Your Father pick you up.  When I was younger I thought I made God unhappy when He had to pick me up, again (and again).  But now I know He is smiling.  He's so happy to have me home, to have you home; He is the Good Shepherd gone after the 1 lost sheep.  Oh what a celebration there is in Heaven when the lost sheep comes home.