Friday, February 20, 2015

Be Still and Know.

Its been a long 4 weeks in our house. Every single member of our family has come down with something to compromise their health. We thought we were doing sooo good having everyone healthy going into Christmas and New Years - - we were pretty pumped about it, actually. But still humble. Then............ mid January hit. First my husband, then me, followed by our daughters, now our son. Thankfully, mine has somewhat subsided with only some minor issues but my poor husband on the otherhand seems to be on the down-ended spiral. With our son winding up with an ear infection last night with a pretty high fever I found myself looking at my husband asking him, "are we ever going to see the light at the end of the tunnel?" Its the very question many of us Minnesotans are asking ourselves and each other about the frigidly cold arctic freeze we've been handed once again this year. It just doesn't seem to let up!
I have to admit - I'm a little bit of a worry wort. Ok, a lot. Not sure where I got that from or where it stemmed from.. but I tend to 'borrow trouble' and often times its my husband who has to give me a firm kick in the bum, so to speak, to knock it off. So, when my son has a little bit of a high fever, I'm not at all relaxed when I'm hanging out with my husband after a crazy day. I'm sitting there on the couch rather tense and feeling anxious (I have a short history of anxiety, which I am faithfully working on). I husband then gently asks, "have you been getting on your knees and praying for your family's health?"  What I wanted to say was "Yessss I have been praying!". But the cold hard truth was that when I'm saying prayers with the kids at bedtime, we're thanking Jesus for our health and asking Him to heal each and every symptom we're all challenged with.... but I have not taken the time to personally commune with Him on this issue. Duh. Silly me.

So instead of sleeping in my bed (where my ill husband and son are soundly sleeping), I find a spot in the hallway between my daughters' rooms where I can hear if one of them is coughing a lot and the other  to catch if she tries to sneek into our bed to sleep I can catch her so she does not.
I found myself talking to the Lord about our family and our current health situation. In what feels like  desperation, I am in tears praying about this and knowing full well that most things just take time to resolve it all just feels like an eternity. Even so, as I'm drifing off to sleep in my prayer mode, He's reassuring me that He hears me by reminding of His word. He hears the cries of his people and he answers.  He answers them in their time of need. Thats all I needed. To know that He hears me. Isnt that all we need to know sometimes? That He hears us and that our redemption is near? He is so good.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Trading Stress for Peace.

My life is an open canvas. I see it. I know it. I fill it. Every day. Yet at times it seems that I'm not filling it with anything of real meaning. I love Jesus. I love my husband. I love my children. Passionately and with great reverance.  Even so, what is keeping me from experiencing great peace and joy? I am easily irritable and frustrated with my children who often times don't listen or make bad choices in our home.... so I am irritable with my husband who, let's be honest, he's one of the kids and plays it well. Hahaa.. Ahh, yes, these are the days of my life. Simple but how does it feel so complicated? It feels far from simple. Far from the charmed life at times. I am blessed and I know I am. But why isn't my heart feeling as thankful as it should be with such a blessed life?

Enter: Anxiety and distress.  Over what? Over everything. Every little frieking detail of the daily life. The five year old sasses off. Then chooses to sneak into the pantry and scarf down as much snack food as he can until he ultimately gets caught red-handed. Three year old takes every single play dress she owns and throws them all over the playroom. Five year old then proceeds to throw her 'pretties' everywhere. Three year old belts out blood-curtling screams that makes my blood boil with each getting louder, and LOUDER. Almost 24 month old screams every time a toy is taken away by said older brother and sister........ all the while there are three or four loads of laundry to be either done, folded, or put away. Floor is a disgusting disaster from breakfast, lunch, and snack... needs to be swept and mopped. Floors are begging to be vacuumed - due to the explosion of before breakfast snack sneaking that occured at 7:30 in the morning before I managed to crawl out of bed hearing those horrible screams. Dishes in the dishwasher need to be unloaded, then washer needs to be loaded. Don't even get me started on the dusting that I haven't gotten to, the toilet that needs to be cleaned since it hasn't been cleaned since last week, or the basement project that I have been aspiring to get to  --- the storage area where about half of it needs to be weeded through and just tossed into the garbage or hauled off to Goodwill.  Oh good. My husband is home. But wait, he has appointments to get to after dinner. False alarm. Back to the evening all by myself.

Does this sound familiar to any of you? Or am I the only crazy woman over here?  Peace. I need peace. And this is where the Lord steps in and says,

 "My Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."  John 14:27

And, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you for my yoke is easy." Matthew 11:28-30

Easier said than done, I know. But do it. You'll be glad you did. It might take some practice... it takes me some time to really do it but once you figure out the groove of letting it go (the stress of it all) it gets easier. Let Jesus have it. All of it. Because you don't need it. It is peace we need.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

So much to do so little time

Have you ever noticed how quickly time goes? It feels like 5 years have gone by in the blink of an eye... I have been going through old photos and just being captured down memory lane. My daughter's and my son's birthdays are coming up soon and I just can't believe we're going to have a 5 year old! How is that possible?!? I can vividly remember that evening he was born - how the midwife rested him on my chest and how his eyes just searched mine. I remember whispering 'Hello' to him for the first time and sweetly telling him that I was his Mommy.. his eyes were completely fixed onto mine.  I had thought that I would cry tears of joy when he was initially born, but, I was so caught up in the awe and magic in that moment that I couldn't help but stare into his eyes and try to take in as much of that amazing first glimpse as I possibly could.  And here I sit, knee-deep in the birthday buzz. (Have I mentioned that my kids LOVE birthdays? Even if its not their own - - they get sooo excited. I love it.)

And then, we had another baby. And then another. For a total of three. Yes, we are a very busy family. Never a dull moment in this house. This third little munchkin, you gotta watch out for her, she's going to give the older two a run for their money! HA! I'm not kidding. Our life here is a four ring circus. (if you haven't figured out, that includes the hubby. I'm the ring master. Once in a while I have to keep them all in line. Right?)

Then, to make another attempt to convince you we're a little crazy... we moved to a new home some months ago. A long time in the making... but it's beautiful and its ours. We have many plans for this home - - to make it more and more ours and closer to our dream home. We had great dreams before this home but, felt the Lord was leading us to put those to the side for the time being and get our family into the space we needed sooner than later. So we did. And we're finding out that with home ownership, there are always projects. Projects to make your home beautiful and gorgeous. Its fun and inspiring. (thanks to Pinterest!)

Where am I going with all of this? First: this is the first post I have done in quite some time. Does that tell you anything? It means that life has been hectic, lots to do, and well.. haven't gotten to the computer to do THIS in a while. Sorry. I'm being honest here. Second: there's more to life than just your home and projects and work. Your home is where you abide and live. Sure you want it to be your dwelling place; your sanctuary and resting place.. but you also want to take that time to enjoy it as a resting place. Work is just work. Yes, it pays the bills and puts food on the table. But it is not our well being, it is not our legacy. Are you going to be remembered for your work? No. You'll be remembered for the time you invested in people and in those you love.

I'm coming to the conclusion that there is such a balancing act in life. There is a time to put in our time to make a living, but it is more valuable and memorable to spend time making memories and making a legacy with our family and our children. They grow in the blink of an eye... becoming these clever, sweet, caring, kind-hearted, comical little people that grow into mature adults before we know it. Granted, mine aren't there quite yet... but I don't want to be there and have regrets either. The other end of the spectrum is being a grandparent and remembering how quickly their children grew and having grandchildren that are growing like weeds. Grandkids are not going to remember how many hours you spent at the office. They're going to remember those awesome moments spent in their presence... the fishing trips, the movies they got to go to with grams and papa, the tractor rides with papa, the walks to the lake and wading in the water with grams, the trips to the waterpark as a family - and gramma & grampa came too!

Make memories, build strong relationships, leave lasting legacies worth building on by those kids and grandkids. Those are the times that matter the most - - forever.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Go Celebrate and Jump in Some Leaves

This is time of year when everything changes - - the colors on the trees, the climate is all over the place (warm one day, chilly sweatshirt weather the next - rain, sleet or snow is always possible!) and we start to think Pumpkin Spice and jumping in leaves. And my kids are bouncing off the walls..... wait, they're doing that right now! What's perplexing is how the stores go from Halloween directly into Christmas merchandise. To be honest, I get irritated every year about this. What happened to Thanksgiving? Have we forgotten a holiday or have we forgotten to be thankful for all of our blessings? Some may say, 'what blessings?' I have news - - if you wake up in the morning and have breath, have clothes on your back, food for your belly, and a roof over your head.. you are blessed!

Now, those that know me well know that Halloween is my least favorite holiday of the year, due to how society makes it into a fear-filled horror story with 'ghosts' and 'goblins'.... in scripture, the Lord tells us not to fear. There is no fear Jesus. This time of year is a celebration - of the harvest that God has blessed us with. The food that he has provided. Nourishment. I know, I'm sure many could provide several different links of the true meaning of the fall harvest - or All Hallows Eve. Truthfully, that's not what I'm writing about, here. That's just what got me started today.

I was thinking about celebration. Celebration of the Lord's blessings, provision, and what he has given to us. I was thinking about how we celebrate life, even those that have left us and join Jesus in the Heavens - one in particular that has impacted many recently in their passing including me. If I was going to be truthful I would say that I am not always faithful in my fellowship time with the Lord but I am always communicating to Him about how thankful I am for all that he has done for our family and for his constant care and faithfulness to us - even though we don't deserve it. He loves us. Oh how he loves us! He wants us to be in daily celebration of his love, his faithfulness, for the very fact that he gives us eternal life through his son, Jesus! That is celebration all in itself!

 It is living a life that is focused upon giving of oneself - thinking more of those around us with needs than of what our own needs are. As we give to others, he in return meets our needs and provides according to his riches and glory. It is showering love and selflessness daily over every single person we encounter. Why? Because that is the heart of God. Our time and our hearts is what is required of us to live The Ultimate Life of celebration. To live a life of legacy and purpose. Life is not about us. Its about people. Does not matter who they are, what they look like, or where they are in their lives nor where they've come from. Never give up on anyone. Ever. Be that person that they need at that very moment no matter the cost. Its the 'I'm willing, whattdya need' attitude in life. Meet that need. Be love. And while you're doing that, go jump in some leaves and drink a Pumpkin Spice mocha (or a Chai tea or hot chocolate) for me.

P.s. JH, thanks for reminding me.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Movin' Right Along -- in Love.

Wow. A lot has happened since the last post! Finished school, had a baby, sold precious land, put offer on new home... about to close on new home... so many adventures about to begin! Ahh, the blessing of new beginnings. Its scary, sometimes stressful, but oh so exciting. There are so many dreams, hopes, desires and great ideas that we have stirring around in our minds and in our hearts about our future and where we hope to go from here.  The one thing that we do know for sure no matter the outcome is that the Lord has his favor upon us and has our best interest in mind - - and our greatest desire is to serve and glorify Him in everything we do.

In the mornings that I have the darnest time waking up only to find my older babes getting into mischief (I'll spare you the details, but know that some of those mornings still have me shaking my head!) I have to remind myself that I need to take it all into stride in order to continue smiling and enjoying the day. My life is not my own and my children will only be little vessels of sweet, adorable energy for so long. Where am I going with all of this?  Only this: life goes by way to quickly. Whether you notice or acknowledge it or not. Here I sit at nearly 11pm at night because I just got my baby to bed nearly half and hour ago.... I am very tired with a slight headache from the day and I decided to sit down and take a moment to just be. To recollect. And then I remembered a dear friend of mine that I sat down with probably a few weeks ago who admitted to me that she misses my posts.Thinking of you Ms. K! I am not too busy to share my heart. But I allow myself to be. My heart is to love, to listen, to care, empathize, to share, to pray for you.

And may I remind you, that the Lord's favor is upon you and he smiles on you each and everyday just as much as he deeply loves you. Life may be busy and hard to endure, however, you have breath to breathe because there is purpose for you to do so. Love yourself, love  your life. Love your family, dear friends, and those you see for but a moment. You may be the only real smile and genuine heart they cross paths with all day. Why should you? Because you are loved and you are meant to share that love with those that need love. Be love. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Always A Student

I am learning a lot lately about figuring out what true joy and contentment is. As it has been said, joy is not in the material or the tangible but rather in the spirit of things. I get a constant reminder sometimes of my past mistakes, failures, regrets and then fall into this mind trap of thinking I am no good to anyone. Where does this thinking come from? How is it learned? Certainly not from the God I serve. It is at that moment that I have to ask God to forgive me for such lies and shame so that I can be renewed by his opinion of who I am instead of the world's outlook regarding my fallbacks.

Why is it that we're so willing to look at ourselves from the eyes of those in the world around us? Other people did not create us. We are not perfect in anyone's eyes... especially when we look through our own eyes. At least I'm not. We always have critisism for the person next to us or that person taking forever in the check out line who's kid's are being obnoxious.... oh wait, those are my kids! Ha! I was having this discussion with my husband the other day about how I recognise that I need to learn to take my thoughts captive and re-train myself to think life into my thought-life. His response was this:

The moment you think that you can do it on your own - you've already failed. You were created in His image and to live a life sustained in Him. It is by his power that you draw your strength to get through your toughest battle. No matter how hard to try each and everytime you think a negative thought - you will stumble because you are not asking for his help to change you. You need to ask him to change you from the inside-out.

Now, this is why I married this man. Ever heard of that scripture verse, "Iron sharpens iron"? That would be my hubby. He points me right back to where I need to be anytime I need a good kick in the behind. He's right, you know. There have been many times when I have said to myself, 'I will never be like this person or turn into that...' I even had a counselor once tell me several years back that the moment I said that to myself, I became that behavior. Yikes. That is how powerful our thoughts are, folks.

So now days I find myself sitting in my bed at night before I go to sleep, renewing my mind with the one thing that can heal my thought-life and my seemingly rugged heart these days.... the Word of God.  Because with Him ALL things are possible. Not always to our expectations but only He knows the reasons for all things. And to that I say that He is good and His love endures forever.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Its all in the family

Now, to those close to our family who thought that these two would be constantly in competition for attention.......................................................................... well, you were right. However, despite the competion, these two are madly in love. From the moment his little sister was born he loved her so much. Now, when it comes to toys, (whether or not they are his or hers does not matter) then big brother is all for himself. HA!  I couldn't resist posting this - I even had it put onto Daddy's iphone it was so cute. Its one of the things I love about being the family photographer... catching those amazing candid moments that I'll probably never lay eyes on again.

But I ask myself this - how do I nurture this affection they have toward one another so that it grows to a strong, intangible bond between them in the years to come? I was praying about this yesterday afternoon as I was thinking about it.. I felt as though the Lord was showing me that its one of those things you develop - on a day to day basis. You teach them about love just as He teaches us about his love for us as well as to protect each other as your own. No matter how happy or angry they make you - - you love them because they're a part of you and a part of your family.

I need to love my fellow brother/sister because they are a part of my family. The body of Christ. Whether or not I agree with their choices and the lifestyle they choose - they are a child of God. Just like me.