Monthly Archives: April 2014

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

How to Change Your Spouse

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Better to live on the corner of a roof than to share a house with a nagging wife. Proverbs 21:9 (HCSB)

Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife. Proverbs 21:19

I still remember those early years of marriage. While my husband and I agree, those years weren’t nearly as hard as others’ had warned us about, I still had much to learn about this whole wifey thing. I had a gift right from the start. I was actually a natural at this particular thing. It came so easy for me. I sounded something like this… “drip… drip.” Unfortunately I had mistaken the fine art of communication for the gift to nag. Whenever my husband would come up short, I mastered the art of huffing and puffing and, well, nagging about what he was or wasn’t doing and all the ways he was frustrating me. Crazy confession- I didn’t even realize I was doing it. As I look back at those years, I realize I wasted so much time and energy and emotion complaining to him about all the ways I wished he would do things differently. In my young, Christian head I thought I was the one who was in the right (self-righteousness anyone?!). But for some reason unbeknownst to me, all my complaining wasn’t changing him! huh.

Through the years and at times, tears, I have learned a powerful lesson. Guess who knows my husband even more than I do? That’s right, God. He formed him, He made Him in his mother’s womb, and He knows him inside and out. And guess who’s the only one that can make someone have a lasting heart change? That’s right- God. Sometimes we let stuff build and fester and then just like in that movie ‘Mean Girls’, we have word vomit. And once we get it out, there’s just no taking it back. And ladies, you might think that if you just get on to him enough, then he’ll get the point and somehow, dramatically change. And he might. But if God doesn’t convict and mold and shape the heart, it’s not going to stick. It will just be temporary. We must learn to take our frustrations and disappointments to God. Philippians 4:6-7 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.  I have learned to take my stuff to God first! Sometimes, through prayer, I realize it’s not as big of a deal as I’m making it out to be and other times God just gives me peace, reminding me that He’s in control.

I read an article recently that got me thinking about my role as a wife. Some of you may have heard about this a few weeks ago. It was an apology letter from Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church. I’m not going to go into my opinion on that whole controversy, there are plenty of blogs that are already doing that. Something jumped out at me as I was reading the letter. (Mark Driscoll’s apology letter).  Here’s the part about his discussion with his wife:

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Guess what? God heard her prayers and began working on him. If she had nagged about his schedule and the lack of time he spent with the family, because he’s a good guy, he might have made some changes to say ‘no’ more often to some events and try to spend more time with his family to please his wife. But we all know that when we change to appease someone else, it’s often short lived. It lasts maybe a few weeks and we get back into our same routines and habits as before. And the cycle continues.

 But when we pray…

When we pray and God starts to work, that is when heart change starts to happen. As we read in his letter, Mark’s wife didn’t want to discourage him, so when he came to her and began to share what God was doing, that’s when the tears of joy started. God answered her prayers.

We need to pray to God about the deep things in our heart and ask Him to bring about the right time to talk with our spouse about those things. And then we talk. But when we talk, let’s not attack because no one responds well when they feel like they’re being attacked. But share openly about those things close to our heart (after we’ve prayed about them). And then, we go back into our prayer closets and pray for Gods will to be done in our marriage. I have seen this happen over and over. And here’s the cool thing- while God is working on our spouse, guess what? He’s also changing us.

So let’s commit to lower the drip so our spouse doesn’t have to move to the roof or the desert.  Lets pray for a release of His Spirit in our marriage and in our lives. We’ve tried doing this thing on our own, and we all know that doesn’t work. How about releasing it to the inventor of marriage Himself?  His ways are always higher than our ways.

Lord, we come to you today and ask that our marriage would be all that you’ve called it to be. Forgive us for trying to take matters into our own hands. We surrender and ask that your will would be done. We ask for wisdom. And as we lift up our requests to you, we pray that you would not only touch our spouse, but that you would change us in the process. Help us to be quick to forgive and to be an encourager to our spouse. And Lord, remind us today that our spouse is never our enemy but that there is an enemy that would love nothing more than to divide and conquer. Protect and bless our marriage. Amen.

1 John 5:14-15- And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.