Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Out of the mouth of a babe

--- who isn't a babe any more; he is my grown son, whom I adore.  He's not always around these days, busy with work and school, so we don't get to have conversations as much as we once did.  Today what he had to say seemed as if God had placed just the right words on his lips for my heart to hear. 

"Words are powerful, Mom." 

Yes, Joshua, they most certainly are. He went on to share some things, and to be perfectly honest I couldn't tell you exactly what he said but I definitely know what he was "saying" - you see how powerful words are?  I don't even remember the words, I just remember the meaning behind them.  It all just seemed to reinforce what I have been mulling over and over in my space.  How to use words wisely because they do hold so much power.  Power to hurt or help, power to kill or give life, power to discourage or encourage. I know which I want to do.

I've been seeing the current of conversation between my favorite writers and bloggers move in the same direction, touching some very serious and relevant-to-me topics.  Many times, I find that what has already been on my heart and mind for weeks or months is surfacing in these threads of conversation, so I know I've found my "tribe".

What to do with that now...

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Holiday Hangover

That's what I call the days following a three or four day weekend - Holiday Hangover.

As much as I enjoy the time off with my family, I sure do pay the price in the days immediately after their return to normal routines.  First of all, I am truly a creature of habit.  I'd really like to be able to say I'm a creature of rhythm, but I'm still a work-in-progress in that area.  I cling to my good habits like a life raft.  When it's taken from me (or willingly given over), even for good things and good times, it takes me a minute to get my bearings back.  Needless to say, I'm a little grumpy today.  I know it won't last long, because I know what I have to do to release myself from what is making me that way, but allow me a moment to recognize and perhaps even label this little 'mood'.

In most ways I look forward to a break from the busy morning schedule; waking the troops, breakfast for all, lunches packed, necessary housework - somebody's gotta do it, right? I enjoy lingering in my comfy sweatpants and t-shirt while I read a little more, write a little more, play a little more, sip a little more jo - you get the picture.  But that necessary housework - it doesn't take a break from needing to be done.  And if/when I take a break from doing it, I have to play catch-up eventually and that leads to and heavily contributes to Holiday Hangover. 

So my mission today is to continue to build and maintain good habits that help alleviate that feeling of overwhelm when everyone returns to their routine and I am left to re-focus my efforts.  I don't want to wish away the all-too-fleeting precious time and good memories created when we have the opportunity, and I don't want to suffer from this nagging feeling of - what am I doing wrong?  Why is it so hard to come away from such times without blender-brain? There must be a better way of managing my time and energy.  I'm not asking for perfection, just progress...

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Harden not your hearts

Hardened hearts. How can we avoid hardened hearts when life is so very difficult at times?  How do we lift our eyes above our circumstances and choose not to remain in our natural human state - broken and bleeding?

Betrayal, loss, fear.  These are the ingredients for a hardened heart.  It's a self-defense mechanism; it puts up walls to try to keep out any further pain. It's our attempt to distance ourselves from that which would completely destroy us, burying us under the weight of things we cannot control.

I don't know how anyone exists in the world without faith.  I know many do, I just can't imagine how. If it were not for the fact that I have a refuge, a safe and sure place to hide when my walls of protection fail, which they inevitably will, I would probably have been a statistic long ago.  Hardened hearts often lead to desperation and depression, hopelessness.

But for those who have faith, there is another way.  And all it really takes from us is letting go, surrendering.  Not to other people, not just to circumstances, although it does require that, but rather to our invisible God. How do we surrender to Him?  First, we have to believe that there is a God, the God who loves us and cares for us.  The God who does truly hold everything in His hands, including the circumstances of our lives and our futures.  And we have to want to - let it go, surrender.  Most of the time, we don't want to because it goes against our nature of making our walls bigger, deeper, stronger, isolating us more and more from anyone who has the power and potential to cause us more injury, more pain.

When I found myself in that place where I didn't want to let down my walls, where I struggled to trust that it could be different, I chose to "want to want to".  I admitted that I didn't want to - surrender, let down my walls and trust, but I wanted to want to.  And God can work with that.  It's a crack in the walls we've built and an invitation to let Him soften our heart and work the miracles that only He can in our lives.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Day 19,145 - I'm here!!!

Woke up bright and early this Saturday morning and was able to get right to work - after going to Wal-mart to purchase the necessary components to my morning routine - COFFEE, CofFeE, cOFfeE, CoFfEe...   --- creamer :-)

My mornings (good ones at least) include about an hour pouring over my Morning Pages Journal, Language of Letting Go, More Language of Letting Go, Jesus Calling and scripture.  A brisk walk at the park adds the perfect mix of ready-to-start-my-day.

It's April 1st, which makes it "April Fool's Day".  I don't enjoy the idea of foolishness on this day, especially now, three years to the day that my daughter was in a serious car accident she miraculously was able to crawl away (into the ditch in the Spring rain)  from with just a pretty nasty bump on the head and concussion.  God definitely watches over us, you'll never hear me say otherwise.

Tomorrow there is a special celebration of a life we enthusiastically look forward to welcoming into our family.  The Blessing Way is new to me and to the mom-to-be.  I'll report more later.  Now, I have to step away and head to church.

Peace, Out

Friday, March 31, 2017

Day 19,144

That's right, I have been breathing on this earth for 19,144 days.  I am thankful for each and every one of them.  Really, I am.

All is not well on the home front, the extended home front actually.  Last week was a week for the records, sadly.  Can't go into details, sorry, some things are better left un-blogged.  But I want to remember that during this time, I have been peaceful, and I know it's only because of lessons I've learned in the deep end.  I can't change things that have already happened, I can't change the way things will happen.  I can only do my best to manage how I respond to people and events.  My best bet is simply to hide in the heart of God.  I know I won't be alone there.  I know some other people I love are hidden deeply there also.  I pray God will be gentle with them.

So, 19,144 days is a good thing.  If I am fortunate enough to claim 19,145, maybe I'll be back tomorrow to say so.

*** I heard an interesting saying yesterday.  You can either be born twice and die once, or you can be born once and die twice.   Something to think about.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Marking time

It's what we do,  life itself is one of the many ways that we mark time. Birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, memorials - they all mark time.  Is it any wonder then that one of the components of the hope of heaven we experience is the hope of time.  Knowing that we won't be limited by the amount of time we have.  If you ask a million different people what they think heaven will be like you'll likely get as many different descriptions of "doing" something - without end, no time limit.

We were created as eternal beings.  The question we need to ask ourselves is where will we spend that eternity?  As Christians we believe we will either spend it in heaven or hell.  There's been a lot of time and energy spent trying to figure out or describe what both might be like.  Yesterday I listened to a podcast by Chip Ingram - Why I Believe (in Life After Death).  He said something that got my attention.

"When you die, you will have an extended capacity to know him and enjoy him and worship him. And actually get to work. Heaven is not sipping iced tea and floating on clouds. Heaven is going to be…there’s an intermediate heaven but heaven will be a new heaven that’s very concrete that has culture and life and music and food and jobs and rewards and God’s presence. You will have an extended capacity forever and ever to enjoy that."

Extended capacity  -  time.  I don't know about you but that makes me happy, hopeful.  There are a lot of things I hope to do in this life and I know I'll never accomplish many of them. I have this hope that I will have time - an extended capacity - to accomplish them and fulfill the deepest yearning and longing of my heart - to know him and enjoy him and worship him.

"if your yearning was to draw near to God and you’d received his forgiveness and you wanted to know him and you found yourself saying I want to get to know God through his Word and I want to be around the community of God’s people and, sure, it’s three steps forward and two steps backward - but the deepest yearning is to please God and to honor God and to love people and discover why I’m here and what’s my purpose and what are my spiritual gifts."

Love is a verb, we express love to others by our choice of actions.  Our spiritual gifts are given to us to benefit the body.  If then we have this extended capacity to love people and use our spiritual gifts, are we not going to be busy (in a good way!) in heaven?

We have all heard the phrase the greatest gift is the gift of time...  This gives that a whole new meaning.  In redeeming us on the cross, Jesus bought for us the gift of heaven for eternity- endless time spent in the presence of God.  It's our choice to accept the gift or reject it.  It's a good idea to know what that choice will mean, because it is final and it's eternal.

Monday, February 13, 2017

If you feed them, they will come

... to Life Group!!  That's our theory anyway. :-)  I love having a reason to cook and people willing to be guinea pigs taste testers.

Here's the newest recipe.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Something new and beautiful this way comes...

In preparation for a very special arrival.  This post will be part of an on-going effort to learn about Blessing Way for an expectant mom.  So excited!

I'll add some links here until I'm ready to put it all together in a coherent narrative.

Gentle Christian Birthing
Little Bit of Love 
Wholly Doula