What an Imagination!

Tired Housewife Cleanning House with Children

Before I got married I had six theories about bringing up children; now I have six children and no theories. -John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester

I was 26 years young. I had visions of being a stay-at-home mom. I imagined lots of cooing and giggling and love going on in my house. I imagined I would take my baby to all of the play-dates and tumbling classes. My husband would come in from work to a sparkling home and a happy momma with child.

Then reality quickly (and literally) hit home. With my first child I was learning the ropes and thankfully had time to focus on my daughter and try to figure this parenting thing out. But then we had two. And again, I imagined.

I imagined I would have time to shower (although that thought quickly disappeared). I imagined my two sweet angels would laugh and play while I cleaned the house. My husband would come home and kiss me on my cheek as I finished last minute preparation on the lovely roast and homemade garlic mashed potatoes. I would put my bouncing baby boy in his jumper and my then precious two-year old would sit quietly and eat her peas. Okay, so by now you can see, I had quite the imagination!

Truth be told, my fairytale household was anything but a fairytale. My house was spotless, but only while I was dreaming in my sleep. With my husband working six days a week and no family close by to come and relieve me for a couple of hours, I was in the trenches! My home was a complete disaster. On any given day you would find dishes piled high and quite possibly a few diapers that were waiting to be tossed in the trash (but the trash was usually full). I was lucky if I could get a Hamburger Helper on the table by the time my husband walked in. My unfinished laundry was daunting and my mountains of paperwork and bills were all in a big pile marked ‘to-be-filed’. My son was colicky the first six months and that definitely didn’t help matters.  And a shower… yeah, right! I was happy if my pajamas matched.

Then we had baby number three. Oh, yes, maybe I was imagining bliss would start with three. You can imagine the look of concern when my husband and I announced baby #3 was on his way. I think everyone must have thought we were completely out of our minds. And I won’t lie- at times I think we were!

Now imagine a newborn, a two-year old, and a four-year old. And unlike a commander in an army, there was no way to radio back up. At that time it felt like any event or outing was a major production. To leave the home I needed to be very organized. I can tell you right now, I was not. I needed to have snacks pre-packed, bottles ready in hand, extra outfits, Sippy cups fully loaded, diaper bag with all the basic necessities, and of course, my fully un-automatic double-wide stroller. Not to mention only leaving during certain hours to ‘try’ and maintain nap schedules! At times I felt like it might have been easier to just enlist in the army.

My kids are now ten, twelve, and fourteen. Thankfully, all my years of imagining a picturesque “Leave it to Beaver” life have all but vanished. I think sometimes we all have unrealistic imaginations on what this parenting thing is all about. As I look back on those younger years I will be the first one to admit that they were messy at times. But I wouldn’t trade any of it. Those weren’t just growing years for my little ones, those were also growing years for me. I grew in my faith, I grew as a person, and thankfully, I grew as a mom. And, as one might imagine, I also grew in patience.

I think back and laugh as I remember two out of three screaming in the car as I raced just to make it home. I look at my scrapbooks and see all the days that we did enjoy. We did make it to the zoo (a lot). We did the museums and the aquariums and we actually really did enjoy most of it! And guess what? I, no, we, survived. And not only did we survive, we made beautiful memories right there in the middle of the messes. If I could blow fish one more time on their bellies, I would. If I could kiss their little feet one more time (without being stinky), I would in a second. If I could hold them in my arms until we both stopped crying, I just might. But I can’t. So instead of living with ‘if I could’, I’m going to be at peace with ‘I’m glad I did’.

Parenting isn’t for the faint of heart. I imagine it’s for those of us that are in it for the long haul; for those of us that accept the messy with the beautiful. Parenting is for those of us that realize that there is no such thing as perfect and that sometimes we will be called to give and give and give and accept nothing in return. I imagine that sometimes parenting will be painful, but that pain will be nothing in comparison to the joy of seeing my children live a full life of their own someday. I imagine for them one day, that they too will have their own beautiful messes, and all will be as it should be. I imagine.

 

I Give You Permission

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Stop waiting for something to happen or for someone to give you permission to do thing. Kate Kendall

Have you ever felt unworthy or not enough? Has God called you to something and you hear a voice in your head that says, ”Who do you think you are?” or “You can’t do that.”  I received a calling on my life to speak almost 20 years ago at Christ for the Nations in Dallas, TX. My first message, which I still have somewhere, was titled ‘The Joy of the Lord is My Strength’. As I spoke, I felt both nervousness and the pleasure of God.

Occasionally, even after all these years, I still hear a voice saying, “Who do you think you are?”

Click the link to continue reading this article… (This article was published in an online magazine, The Kingdom Life Now.)

http://thekingdomlifenow.com/give-permission/

The Devils Dream

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I dream of taking you down, taking you all out one by one, scattering you, separating you, isolating you.

I’ve tried through your childhood, and your teen years, but you wouldn’t stay down.

I’ve tried to seduce you with the pleasures of this world- chasing after fame, money, success, making a name for yourself.

I’ve tried to get you through hurting family members, health issues, and such, but it seems to only make you run to Him.

I’ve tried to destroy your life by making you feel worthless, not enough, and incapable of doing anything right. But you keep going back to that Book.

I’ve since tried more subtle tactics: Apathy, laziness, lukewarm living. If I can just get you comfortable enough, comfortable enough to not care.

You won’t need anything and you won’t do anything and everything will just be… okay….

And people will silently go to hell.
And others will desperately search for the light but not find any.
And others will quietly suffer.

But you’re okay and everything on the surface is just so comfortable.

No need to seek or to push yourself out of the ‘safe’ waters.

No need to go deeper.

Just stay right there….

A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest… (Proverbs 24:33)

My new dream for you now is for you just to be comfortable and to ‘feel’ safe.

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Friends reading this…Don’t stop.

You’ve come so far.

Don’t give up.

Don’t give in.

And please stop listening to the enemy’s lies.

His job and sole purpose is to destroy you.

Pick your Sword back up and fight the good fight.

The plans of the King are not just about your story-

But He wants to use your story to change someone else’s story.

Stay in the ring.

You are not alone.  And don’t for a second let the enemy tell you that you are.

Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8

 

Word Girl

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 Your word, Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Psalms 119:89

 I often think back about where I was pre-Jesus, because sometimes this journey seems so daily that it’s easy to forget how far I’ve come. Sometimes I think I should be so much further in my Christian walk. I never want to glorify my previous life style, but only allow God to redeem what was and be glorified by what now is. I remember that insecure teenager on a Greyhound bus traveling seven hours from home, alone, never to return. I remember the scars of betrayal, the disappointments of the past, and the countless things that held me in bondage. Who was that little girl that tried to make a way for herself when she was 16, 17, 18, and 19 years old? That girl who worked two jobs just to survive, drank until she blacked out, dressed in skimpy outfits to attract attention, smoked, and cursed like a sailor? Where did she go? Rumor has it she died. Don’t mourn for her… celebrate! Galatians 2:20 (CEV)- I have died, but Christ lives in me. And I now live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave his life for me. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)- This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! It’s been 20 years. I’m thankful that even though I’m not where I would like to be, I’m nowhere near where I used to be!

There have been many things in my Christian walk that have shaped me, molded me, and helped me to grow in my relationship with the Lord. My mind wanders back to those days as a new Christian. Crying through every worship service at church, receiving healing from so much pain in my past, and so hungry for more of the Word of God. Still feeling the tug of the enemy to go to clubs and hang out with that same crowd. I made some bold moves to get myself into a place where I could grow in my new relationship with the Lord. I lost friends. I moved out of my condo with my roommates and into an apartment by myself. I said good-bye to a boyfriend because I knew we were unequally yoked. All such a small sacrifice compared to what my Jesus did for me.

The One thing that has caused the greatest change in my life then (and now) is the Word of God. I ate it up. I woke up every morning by 5am, made a big pot of coffee, and just read His Word. I could not get enough of reading Gods Word. Then on the weekends I would sit out by the swimming pool with Bible and highlighter in hand and just soak it up (The Son and the sun)! There were many other things that helped to shape and mold me but to this day my greatest joy is found in His Word. And what I love about Gods Word is that it never stops changing you. You never ‘arrive’. We are constantly growing and being changed by His Word.

Hebrews 4:12- For the Word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. I am changed, challenged and refreshed by His Word. The Word of God is living and breathing and every time I read it I am amazed that it never gets old. He breathes His Spirit into my spirit as I read it. And on those days where I am just overwhelmed, His Word gives me peace.

I think a lot of us have felt at times like we should be farther along on our journey. We are all on a brave journey to find out what He has for us to do and then do it. Apart from Him I can do nothing, but with Him I can do all things. He makes me brave. And the only way I can be filled up with His brave Words is to give myself daily time to reflect on His Word. As you can tell, I am passionate about God’s Word and I believe that loosing yourself in His Word is the key to living a victorious life.

John 1:1- In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Here in John we read that the Word is from the beginning of time. Not only was the Word with God, but also the Word was God. And the more we read it, meditate on it, and live by it, the more we’re getting to know God, hearing His words for our lives, and being changed by it. I am in His presence when I am in His Word.

I remember a time when I got so busy, that the things of this world started to crowd out His Word. I started relying on my own strength to try and get things done. I was more irritable and felt like there wasn’t enough time in the day to do everything. “What is wrong with me?” I thought to myself. I felt exhausted and was focused on all ‘my’ stuff. And after a time of struggling to do everything and figure everything out, I realized my time with the Lord and in His Word were no longer a priority and I was laboring to do everything on my own. Oh, I still said my prayers for people as I was driving around or getting ready in the morning. But I hadn’t stopped in a while to sit and reflect- reflect on God and on His goodness. Psalms 46:10a- He says, “Be still, and know that I am God. I had allowed the cares of this world to get in the way of the One who made this world.

Here’s the cool thing about God- He doesn’t give us the silent treatment or the cold shoulder. Oh no. He’s waiting for us, with arms wide open, to get back into sweet fellowship with Him. This really defies all human understanding. If we have a friend or spouse who’s been ignoring us, we start to put up a wall to protect our heart. Our feelings are hurt. But God doesn’t forgive like humans forgive. And he doesn’t respond the way people do either. He is waiting for us, always, His heart open towards us. And even though we still break His heart at times, He always takes us back. If you don’t believe me, do a study on the book of Hosea.

So there you have it, the thing that’s brought the most change in my life and continues to do so- His Word. I am unashamedly a Word girl. I depend on His Word for my hope, encouragement, and strength. Whenever I am feeling insecure or I am feeling unsettled and need His peace, I know I need to open the Bible. And afterwards I feel His peace once again. Without His Word, I would quite possibly still resemble that lost little girl headed to nowhere fast on that Greyhound bus.

Lord, sometimes we read your Word and our hearts have become dry wells and it’s hard for us to get excited about it, but Your Word is living and breathing and active. Lord, open my eyes to see and my ears to hear. Help me to fall in love once again with Your Words to me. Cause me to hunger and thirst for more of You. I want to fall in love with You through Your Word. I give You permission to change and challenge me through it. I commit to make it a habit to start reading your Word again- not out of obligation or to check off some checklist, but because I desire all of You. I love You Lord and I am so thankful for Your life giving Words to me this day. In Jesus name, amen.

 

 

 

When the World Goes Crazy

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When the world goes crazy
There is still beauty all around
When the world goes crazy
There is still love to be found
When the world goes crazy
Through the dark I see the light
When the world goes crazy
I can always find You in my night
When the world goes crazy
It’s my raging heart you calm
When the world goes crazy
You sing to me Your Psalms
When the world goes crazy
My hand you hold and won’t let go
When the world goes crazy
I know You’re near to crush every foe

When the world goes crazy
And it all just breaks your heart
Pain and sickness, sorrow too
Every taste is tart
When the world goes crazy
And exhaustion fills your soul
Look to the One who made you
Who is still in control

Look up He says- your heart is safe
The safest place to be
When the world goes crazy
His heart is always home to me

 

Mommy Fears

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Always do what you are afraid to do ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Mommy Fears. We all have them. I wish I could put on some mommy armor that would render these fears ineffective. But they’re real- and they affect me. Most people I meet have something that scares them or there’s something holding them back from being all that God has created them to be. The older I get, the more I realize how much these fears affect everything I do. Fears paralyze you from moving or taking action. Fears make you think you are safe by not acting on what you, deep down, know you should do. One of the enemy’s greatest lies is to make us believe that these fears are truths in our lives. One of my biggest mommy fears was talking to my kids about sex and everything else that goes along with that topic. I’ve had a few victories in this area. I read my daughter a book once (Gods Design for Sex by Stan & Brenna Jones). I bought her the Body Book by Nancy Rue and we went over that when she was around 11. Now she’s 14- I just knew we needed to have a much bigger talk so that we could be comfortable and keep the dialogue open of dating, purity, waiting, etc. Years. It’s been a fear for years. The enemy had me believing I couldn’t go there. I didn’t have any of these talks with my mom growing up and so the enemy told me that somehow I was ill equipped and not enough…What happens when you have a fear and instead of stepping out and doing it anyways, you think about it and think about it and then think about it some more? Our fears become much bigger than the item at hand really is. In our minds, it becomes overwhelming.

Lie- I just don’t know how, so I won’t. I am not equipped and not enough.

 Truth- With every victory, the enemy’s voice grows weaker and weaker.

 My friend let me borrow her Passport2Purity CDs from Focus on the Family. I had them for a few months and put it off like the plague. My friend let me know that she would be moving soon to another state and I knew I needed to return her CDs to her.

So I took the first step. I found an inexpensive room close by (South Padre Island, TX.). Once the wheels were in motion, I knew I had to follow through. Before reading anything or listening to the CDs, I let my daughter know about my fun plans I had for us. Unfortunately, because of my own awkwardness around the topic, my words failed me. “We’re going to have a night away at the Island and I have some curriculum we’re going to go over.” (Don’t ever say that to your teenager). Insert crickets chirping here. “Um…okay… curriculum?” If there were ever a rewind button in life, this is about where I would have pushed it! As I sat there driving with my daughter in the back seat, I tried to redeem my social awkwardness. And the next week we went. I was prayed up and had friends praying for me- that I would be able to relax and not make it too awkward. And what a wonderful couple of days it was! We ate out, swam, drove go-carts, played all of the CD’s and talked after each one while she filled out her journal. I honestly could feel God’s peace over that time together. I know He was with me and blessed our time immensely.

And guess what? It wasn’t as big of a deal as I had set it up to be in my mind for… years. A huge burden was lifted because I silenced the enemy by doing it afraid. As his voice got weaker and weaker, God’s voice got louder and louder.

Do what you fear and fear disappears. ~ David Joseph Schwartz

Recently I read something, and realize it to be true more than ever….

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Do you believe that?

I’ll let you in on a little secret about my relationship with the phone. I do not like talking on the phone. I have to tell you- for someone who has friends across the US and family far off, this probably makes them think I’m pretty self-absorbed. I’m usually not the one who calls. And I’m not proud of this. In the past, I’ve been so consumed by this that I would rehearse in my mind why I don’t talk on the phone. It would go something like this: I’ve got however many family members to catch up with. Which ones to call first? And mentally I’m preparing because it’s been so long since we’ve last talked, I know I’ll need to update my life from the beginning. It’s the same thing with my friends. Which one to call first? And I will have to update everything I have been up to since the last time we talked. And by this time I’m so emotionally exhausted, guess what? I don’t even make the call. Sad. I know. I realize I am running from something and every single time I choose to just pick up the phone and make the call, I am a little freer. Marilyn Ferguson says, “Ultimately we know deeply that the other side if every fear is freedom.” It really wasn’t as hard as I thought. And I am actually refreshed by talking to someone I care about! And I realize once again…

Everything I’m running away from is in my head.

I have self-preservation issues too. Sometimes I under commit because I don’t want to wear myself out and be too tired. I want to preserve myself… but for what? It’s like a fear of being worn out or tired. So I try to stay in my safe little bubble and in my controlled little world. And I miss out on so many opportunities to be a part of something bigger than myself. I know that truly living and honest, authentic community is found in the deep and sometimes craziness of life.

Everything I’m running away from is in my head.

I wonder what our lives would look like if we looked our fears in the face and did it anyway? The talk, helping out, reaching out, inviting others over, being the first to call, changing things up with our kids when we get in a rut, sharing a struggle with a close friend, inviting that neighbor over for coffee, teaching that Bible Study, mentoring that young girl, asking your kids the hard questions, running that 5k, letting go of trying to control everything, or whatever else has a hold on you and gives you anxiety just thinking about it!

About two years ago we were going through transition and my husband asked me to pray about homeschooling our three kids and I laughed. “You’re a funny man,” I said. It was on a list I made to God called my “I Will Never” list. And for all of my children’s lives I said, “I will never homeschool.” (I can be stubborn at times when I’m afraid of something.) I was terrified to homeschool. This brought my mommy fears to a whole new level! Not only do I not remember much about school but what I do remember was not all that great! And I am supposed to teach my kids? But as I prayed, I felt Gods peace. And even though I had certain fears, like, what if I mess them up, what if I don’t teach them what they need to know, what if I’m not disciplined enough, etc., I can tell you right now that in those areas where anxiety was high, God was faithful and He was and is more than enough. Was it the right move for our family? Absolutely. God was asking me to trust Him and do it in spite of my fears. My part in it was to be obedient. Here it is, the end of another school year, and guess what?

Everything I’m running away from is in my head.

This post is not about health issues, or difficulties, or things or events that have happened or are happening that you’re struggling to walk through. I’m specifically speaking about things that we know we should do, but because of our fears or anxieties, we run from those things.

I believe it was Joyce Meyer that coined the phrase, “Do it afraid.” Well I have come up with my own that fits my season perfectly… Do it awkward! I need stop trying to figure everything out and just do it awkward! Every time I wait until it’s perfectly figured out in my head, I usually wait too long and never actually do what I should have done! Don’t just do it afraid, but if you have to, do it awkward. The key here is to just do it. That is what makes you brave. Listen to the Urban Dictionary’s definition of brave: To be able to look at your biggest fear and face it in the eye.

To fight fear, act. To increase fear- wait, put off, postpone. ~ David Joseph Schwartz

So what about you? Have I touched on anything that you can relate to? Think about some fears/anxieties that hold you back from fully living. Write them down and ask God to give you the strength and courage to do them anyways… He will.

Romans 8:31 (NIV) ~ What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

1 John 4:4 (NLT) ~ But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.

 (This post originally appeared on The Mom Initiative)

Happy Mother’s Day

image-2“There’s no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.” —Jill Churchill

We took my boys to Archery 101 yesterday at a State Park called Resaca De La Palma. It’s green and lush and filled with tropical birds & butterflies. As the boys were practicing their shooting, my mind began to wander. For obvious reasons, it moved in the general direction of Mother’s Day. I know I have written a lot about my childhood because, number one, it helps people who have been through stuff and number two, it’s my therapy. But as I was enjoying the amazing landscape practically in my backyard, I began to remember places my mom took me when I was young. Although my mom was an alcoholic, I realize I don’t write much on the good memories I have. So in honor of Mother’s Day, here you go!

I have this love for nature that connects me and refreshes me like nothing else. When I cycle, when I run, when I go to the beach, and when I go on hikes- nature fills me up. I grew up in Northern California and I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how breathtaking the views can be from there. When I was a kid my mom would take me on the weekends to all kinds of outdoor adventures. I didn’t really appreciate it then but I do now. I remember hiking down long cement stairs through a hill covered in greenery that led to a trail. I witnessed amazing waterfalls at the end of some of those hikes. And camping- we camped all the time. My brother and I would wander off into the woods to see what we could find. We climbed rocks, walked trails, and swam in lakes. My mom loved camping and fishing. My step dad owned a boat, so we would go out to Folsom Lake practically every weekend. As a teen I loved going out on the boat but not to fish. I had to work on my tan! And when we weren’t out on the boat, she would drive us to Folsom lake and find a place as far away from people as she could find (she wasn’t a big fan of crowds) and we’d spend the day there. I remember bringing my friend Leslie sometimes. We would make up names for dives off of different rocks and go exploring. My mom loved Reno, Lake Tahoe, the Bay Area, San Francisco, Downtown Sacramento and the Fisherman’s Warf. I think I got my love for places and scenery from her. For that, I am thankful.

I know as moms, we can be really hard on ourselves. I know I can. Did anyone see the movie, Mom’s Night Out? I won’t spoil it for you, but the character, Sarah Drew, didn’t feel like she was doing a good job at this whole ‘mom’ thing. She didn’t feel like she deserved to be called a good mom or that she was measuring up.  I relate, I do. Instead of seeing all the good things that I’m doing right, I focus on the areas where I have dropped the ball. Anyone else do that? And then my vision becomes blurred by all the areas that I need to improve on and it feels overwhelming.

The other night while we were playing Skip Bo, our main computer was playing a slide show of my kid’s childhood memories. There were pictures of birthday parties and parks and Chuck E Cheeses and zoos and hikes and swim parks… and the photos scrolled on and on. And as we laughed and talked about different pictures I said “You guys were really good kids, I had a lot of fun with you.” And my now 14-year-old daughter said, “Wow, we had a really good childhood.” (Insert mommy heart-melting here).

So this blog is really for all of you mommies out there that feel like you’ve dropped the ball, haven’t done enough, hit cruise control for too long, or whatever area you feel like you are lacking in your parental skill. Guess what? God redeems everything.

You may not ever be ‘enough’, because you weren’t made to be enough. That’s where God comes in. His strength is made perfect in your weakness. And His mercies are new every single morning, without fail. You don’t have to be perfect for your kids, and really, you can’t. That’s Gods job. Your job is to love them, lead them, and point them to the One who is more than enough.

So to my mom, thank you for the adventures, praying we’ll have some more in Heaven. And if you’re like me and you grew up with a less than perfect mom, maybe today is the day to extend grace and forgiveness. I know that my mom did the best she knew how to do given her own childhood. Let’s face it- we all have our issues! And yet, God forgives us so quickly and every time. And to you reading this, if you’re a mamma, go ahead and celebrate you today! You are worthy and you are doing a good job and your kids will look back by the grace of God as I have been able to and my daughter was able to and say, “What an adventure we had!” Happy Mother’s Day…Be blessed!

And as I was about to hit ‘publish’ my daughter came down stairs with this for me…. (She knows I love her writing, but she never wants share it with me!) And yes, happy tears…

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The Day-to-Day Stuff is It

family“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” Robert Brault

“Oh nothing as exciting as you …just the day to day stuff…” That’s what my uncle said as we were catching up. I told him, “I promise my life is not that exciting right now.” But after we hung up the phone I was thinking… “Does my life ‘sound’ like it’s so exciting that it makes others feel like theirs is just so ‘ordinary’? I must admit, on Facebook I like to post fun get-togethers and outings…I do.  When I update people or post pictures, I don’t show pictures of me struggling or us waiting to figure out what God is doing in our lives. I don’t post or share the inadequacies I feel at times as a parent and the many (many) ways I’ve dropped the ball.

I have been guilty of looking at posts or pictures thinking, “Wow, life looks like a party over there.”  Or, “Wow, traveling and speaking all the time, now there’s the gig!” But let’s be real honest for a moment, shall we? There are things and events that happen that give us stuff to look forward to and share with our friends and family. That’s a part of life; a small piece in the life puzzle. But something in what my uncle said struck a cord with me.

I have come to realize that the normal, day-to-day stuff is the stuff that makes life. Someone’s vacation is great, but that’s maybe once or twice a year. Speaking and traveling if you’re called to it is wonderful, but you don’t see the amount of hours and preparation that went into the day-to-day before that one big event happened. I am convinced that our day-to-day stuff is the real meat of life. And the sooner we embrace our day-to-day every-days, the sooner we will realize just how rich life is.

Working and being a part of the tribe that you work with, learning the ins and outs of their lives as they learn yours. Baseball games. Parks. Coffee dates. Walks. Making family memories. Movie nights. Bonfires. Meetings. Classes. Breaking bread together. Game night. Playing dress up & tea party. Going swimming. A picnic. Watching a child play sports. BBQ with friends. Baby showers. Weddings. The people we let in who begin to become part of our story. It’s the people in the day-to-day stuff that matter. The everyday, ordinary, real life stuff is what makes the journey joyful- if we realize it. The hard part is to be in the moment instead of always waiting for the next ‘big thing’. Guys, this is it.

I have another uncle in California (I have a lot of family in California). He doesn’t have a lot of money, but his life is so rich. He’s spent his life investing in people- sewn costumes, shown up for plays, shows up for sporting events, takes pictures for people, records music for family, and the list goes on. I look at his life and think, he gets something that so many of us miss. He’s invested in the real, day-to-day stuff. I’m not always great at this, but God has been working on me. The Lord has been asking me “Will you just show up?” You know, be all there. Be in the moment and hold this moment for what it is. When you see it through God’s eyes, the day-to-day, ordinary stuff is truly holy ground.

I was telling some girlfriends the other day about our beautiful, ordinary night. We went to Academy Sports Store and bought a soccer ball & some cones. Exciting, right? And then we went home and played soccer as a family in the backyard. It was so fun! And then my husband lit a fire in our fire pit. I looked out the window and saw my husband and my teenage daughter just relaxing by the fire. Then we finished the evening off by making smores. Nothing extravagant- just a beautiful, ordinary night. And I think sometimes we miss those moments because in our society, we seem to always need something to look forward to- more. But truth is, most of our lives are lived out in the day-to-day stuff.

My brother in law has cancer and has been undergoing chemo for the past 8 months. Ya’ll, what he and his wife wouldn’t give to just have some ordinary day-to-day stuff going on. What he wouldn’t do to just go to work and come home and have dinner or spend quality time with friends and family. Please, don’t take your every day life for granted. Invest in people. Always. Every time. You will never go wrong investing your time and energy into friends and family.

Let us love deeply and drink up the ordinary. Let us be there for one another, and embrace our day-to-day, sometimes messy, sometimes clumsy, sometimes stressful, ordinary, holy life.

Lord, I pray that you would help us to realize that the big things really are the little things. Each day is a gift from You. Help us not take it for granted. Remind us that we’ll never get this day back. Help us to embrace our ordinary, because it’s in that ordinary day that you open our eyes to see the extra, to make it extra ordinary. And Lord, sometimes when we’re going through something hard, we just want to get through the day. Would you show us that you’re with us, send people our way, and even in little things, remind us that You’re in this day. In Jesus name, amen.

 “That might sound boring, but I think the boring stuff is the stuff I remember the most.” ~Russell from UP

 

Love Came Down

love came down

I was dead in my sins, without a way home

And love came down on this Earth and did roam

I was selfish and living for me

Yet God almighty made a way to be free

His Son, He sent, to pay my way

And carry the burden so I could say….

So I could say without a doubt

Love came down and freely poured out

Poured out His love with me on His mind

Even though I had been so unkind

“Why are you weeping?” The angels inquired?

“Because my Savior is missing, I can’t comprehend what’s transpired!”

Weep no more, except for delight

Our Savior has risen, woman, He has won the fight!

With us on His mind, to no longer part

The ultimate sacrifice was made, with us on His heart

Death couldn’t hold Him- His love broke through

He’s looking at me and He’s looking at you

For truly He has risen, our freedom has just begun

What kind of love is this Lord? Truly… I’m undone

 

 

 

Come Back to Me

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This month is National Poetry Month. I used to write poetry in High School. They were a little dark, but it was my way of expressing how I was feeling. So in Honor of National Poetry Month, you will see a few more poems in my posts. Writers Digest has a challenge going on to write one poem a day for the month of April, so that’s what I have been doing. Every now and then when I’m feeling brave, I will share them here.

The following poem is for anyone who has ever felt distant from God. We could search for so many other things, but truly, only His love satisfies. And all you have to do is call out to Him- He is waiting with open arms. We go through times where it’s so quiet, you wonder where God is. He is here.

Jeremiah 29:13- You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Come Back to Me

I’m reaching out

Or can’t you hear?

I’m calling through the stratosphere

 Day after day after day

I feel as if we are further away

 But I’m desperate for one more dance

Look my way

See my glance

 My heart is heavy almost cold

And I need to feel the love you hold

 I cry out

But do you not see?

Every ember that was once in me

 The fire was there

Your love was sought

But now icicles grow where you are not

 Return to me

For I cannot bear

One more day without you there

 For you are faithful

When I am not

And it’s for your tenderness

That I have fought

 I will not give up

I will not give in

For it is your love that covers my sin

 Come back to me

And me to you

For this is the only love that will ever do