Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Uncomfortable Seat Belts

I am feeling like a rookie juggler these days struggling with rhythm and balance. I'm pursuing my normal day to day duties as a mother and wife as well as working hard to use my God given gifts in this world to make a little extra money. As well as, preparing for my third son to come into this world in about 4 weeks.

Juggling along, I'm also noticing the seat belt I strap into each day is getting a bit snug and uncomfortable. I cannot deny heart is overwhelmed and I ‘m struggling to not crumble as I want to utter the words, “What am I doing?” Stress.

Do you ever feel the same way? Does stress rise up in you as you seek to do your best each day?
Some days are just hard…some days are just so full of discouragement without even being able to pin point the exact source. Some days my head falls to the pillow in utter exhaustion at the end of the day and I am tempted to wonder what good I brought to the day. It’s these days I easily succumb to the lies and feelings of defeat, forgetting all the good God brought to me and all the ways He equipped me to succeed the hours prior to my slumber.

I’ve been struggling to keep the balance lately and have had some hard days…the days that I just want to cancel every appointment, every responsibility and hire it done while I take a long nap. I realize right there in my emotions my desire to give up and I know that this is not God’s desire for me.

His burden is easy and His yoke is light and He desire for me to not throw off my confidence and to find rest in Him.

My body is in need of rest and nourishment from Him continually, not just physical rest but spiritual rest and rejuvenation.

As I try to sort it out I hear and see things that I must only attribute to my Lord. He is beckoning my heart to cry out to Him….beckoning me to draw near to Him and ask for help…desiring for me to seek Him and rest.

I heard Him today as I stood in the grocery line watching another mother juggle her own tasks at hand with a little one in tote that was fighting to sit still in the grocery cart. The toddler sat buckled securely in the grocery cart and even though he was too young for words, he was communicating very clearly that he wanted out of his situation. He was tugging at the belt, looking with desperation at his mommy and then even pointing adamantly towards the strap of confinement.

I identified with the toddlers frustration and remembered what I pictured after reading in Genesis 37 and Psalm 105:18 about Joseph being shackled into slavery. Oh, how Joseph must have felt strapped in too and Joseph must have also struggled with emotions of wanting to give up.

I continued to watch this quiet spoken toddler fidget as the mother calmly put her hands on the child and snuggled and kissed him.

God must have done the same and comforted and snuggled Joseph when he was stuck in bondage and sold out by the very ones placed in his life to love him and care for him.
God must be doing the same for us!!!

Sometimes we are not ejected from our current uncomfortable situation as our desire for a remedy undoubtedly increases, causing us to fidget like this toddler. Just like this boy was not immediately taken out of the seatbelt, neither are we rescued instantaneously. Just like this toddler resolved to quietly sit through the moment, we too learn to sit still and endure.

During these times that we are learning to endure, may we see the loving hands of our Father reaching down to comfort us and give us the strength to keep going—to endure.

And when we can’t see or feel Him near, may we keep crying out and asking Him to reveal Himself and His love.

May we remember His miracles, and may this encourage us to keep living close to Him through whatever seatbelt in life may be confining us.

May we remember to Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.” (Psalm 105:4)

Do you see Him reaching down to snuggle you close today or are your eyes fixated on an uncomfortable seat belt?

Thursday, November 11, 2010


I heard the stomping of his little feet come down the stairs just before I heard his little voice, “You forgot the medicine.” I was thankful my little guy reminded me and I just smiled. Taking medicine in our house is not something we have to do on a regular basis; but the medicine bottles have sure been cluttering the counter lately.

I was surprised at how willing and energetic my boys have been to take their prescribed medications; this week it is an antibiotic and last week it was ibuprofen for a bruised rib. When it tastes good, I understand—but showing such enthusiasm even when it’s just swallowing a pill, I was a bit perplexed.

Puzzled over the lack of struggle to give doses of medicine, I asked my son, “Why are you so eager to take your medicine?”

His answer was so simple and insightful. “Because the doctor said to take it.”

As the words left his mouth and my ears digested his wisdom, I heard the Lord whisper,

“It is that simple, I am here to help you.”

Then my boy, as if to make sure I understood what he said, added, “I want to feel better Mom, so I want to do what the doctor says.”

Do we do enough of what the “Doctor” of all doctors says?

I heard some other wise words while studying this week that anchored in my heart with Veteran’s Day approaching. I heard Beth Moore say something to the effect that we are all wired for a need to know that there is someone larger than us, someone that can SAVE US!

With Veteran’s Day this week, we are celebrating, remembering those who have exemplified such bravery and served and died for us. As we remember and say thank you, I’m also remembering another who has served and died for all of humanity to save us…his name is Jesus.

My thoughts have drifted more than once this week towards thankfulness and the freedoms we have not only in the USA, but in our hearts and lives for eternity when we choose to believe in Jesus.

As we say thank you to the men and women who have chosen to serve, may we also say thank you to our God and His Son Jesus who died for us.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. (Gal 5:1)

May we take our hearts of gratitude one step further and look intently into all that the Doctor ordered…Our God’s orders which gives freedomnot forgetting what we have heard, but doing it. (James 1:25).

Like my son said this week, may we desire to do what the Doctor says.
May we believe that it is that simple.

May we believe that He is here to help us.

May we believe that nothing is too hard for Him...Him who brings us FREEDOM!

Thank you Jesus.

And thank you to the men and women who have served and continue to serve in the spirit of freedom!

In memory of my grandfather, who served during WWII.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Still and Thriving...

I’m glancing out my window and not a thing is moving. The stillness has captivated my heart.

I have to admit, nothing in my life these days seems to be still. Whether it is Jacob kicking and jabbing away in my belly (I rejoice in his movements), or the ever flowing to do list that unravels every day, if I was prone to motion sickness—I would have it right now.

Really though, when have I ever not felt this way? Okay, maybe on vacation or when I am intentional about scheduling in some still moments, but a mother’s heart, a women’s heart is rarely still on its own.

When the hand of God is on us beckoning us to be still do we listen?

I admit this is hard for me, I am doer and more times than not I could be characterized as an overachiever.

In my overachieving, I am often not able to hear His voice whisper, “Be still.”(Psalm 46:10)

I’m thankful for the still trees outside my window sill reminding me to be still. The still branches draw me in further as I reflect on the prior week, I was not very still. Rather the opposite seemed to occur, tempted to be shaken to and fro with things seen, heard and felt.

When Justin glanced my way, indirectly communicating that he questioned my comment sent my heart in auto-protect and my mouth opened with a knee jerk reaction which I later regretted. I heard God whisper then, “Be still.”

When a customer's frustration got the best of him and he let out an outburst of profanity, the blood went rushing through my veins and jumping to respond my mouth opened.
I heard God whisper then, “Be still.”

When my adolescent boys cried out with whines of their childish desires, I was quick to put out their fire and again opened my mouth. I heard God whisper then, “Be Still.”

I’m know this to be true, but I am learning that being quiet and still ushers in God’s divine work. And His work is always best.

But what happens when the wind blows? What happens when life around us is not still? I see the leaves and palm branches outside my window move then too in response to the wind. I noticed myself asking my God…"What then?"

I pictured instantly how the trees when rooted deep within the ground do not fall over and God's Word says they bear much fruit (John 15:5-8). Then I remembered the dinner conversation earlier this week with my boys.

Justin chaperoned a field trip with my son’s class to the Biosphere2, part of the University of Arizona's research center where they study the Earth, the Earth's living systems and the Earth's place in the universe.

Our dinner conversation one night was full of all that they had learned and experienced seeing the ecosystems under glass. One thing that captured my attention was when they described that trees were initially not doing very well in the Biosphere. They explained that scientists realized they were weak and began to topple over because there was no wind or storms present in the ecosystem.

In order to make the trees stronger, the scientists turned on fans to imitate wind for the trees.

“There is purpose in me allowing the resistance and storms in your life. Your learning to respond is character building…I am making your stronger. Be still and sway with the wind.”
I sensed the wisdom of the Lord filling my heart.
Could it be that the storms of this life are helping us to thrive?

I may need to sway a bit this week in response to any storms that God allows to come my way, but my heart wants to work on being still and knowing that He is God. (Psalm 46:10)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Remembering & Practicing What I Learned

I’m eating a bite of my son’s Kit Kat bar (yes, I am one of those mom’s who raids the Halloween candy when no one is looking) and taking a break to remember.

I just learned how to load more than one photo to my blog. I feel like such a dork and know that I am revealing my naivety to this social media world. I’m hanging in there though…

These last few days and usually every weekend (sometimes my weekends are 3 and 4 days long) I try to take a break from the social media world and soak up the love in the physical world around me.

This past weekend called for my specific attention with Fall Festivities intermixed with 3 sick boys. Between batches of homemade soup, restful naps and doses of antibiotics we still managed to squeeze in some precious family time.

I can so easily succumb to confines of my laptop and get lost writing and networking abroad with other servants of the Lord that I admire yet barely know via Facebook and other mediums. I find time in the social media world so inspiring and great, yet I do know the importance of loving the little and big men right within the four walls of which I live…for God uses them to encourage and inspire me like no one else.

So, reaching outside the screen of my laptop I embraced these beautiful gifts these past few days. Before the illness began the boys helped me make pumpkin sugar cookies for their parties at school:

I love doing things like this with my boys!!!

They are still ALL BOY though…
The next day my son lost his tooth just in time for his costume ensemble.

Here my oldest is looking so serious…getting ready to carve the pumpkin after the boys sat around asking Dad what different weapons would do to a pumpkin. The conversation was so over my head and there was no way for me to add any of my girlie ways to the conversation…I just smiled and took in the way that God has wired my boys.

AAAaahh! Taking it all in, practicing what I learend and remembering it all. May we take time to do this more often and soak up the love.
"I will remember the deeds of the LORD;
yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago."
Psalm 77:11

Monday, November 1, 2010

Something New...

I am tempted to write a bit more about the water balloons…hee hee; for yet again this morning we opened the door to more latex debris sprinkled throughout the neighborhood lawn. It is clearly the latest neighborhood obsession…but I am choosing to move on.

I am thankful for the promises in God’s Word that encourage me to embrace something new!

"See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland." Isaiah 43:19

What is God doing new in your life right now?

I am being challenged and stretched these days and I am not just talking about my expanding almost nine month pregnant belly. These past few months I have been taking on some new responsibilities for a ministry that my husband and I have been involved with these past couple of years.

Has anyone ever heard of a “Social Media Network Administrator?” That’s now a new hat I get to wear throughout the week. I am stretching it out for size these days.

It sounds so official and techno savvy—but really it's not. I am thankful for my husband’s training background and techno savvy gifts because he has been helping me embrace this new endeavor with great gusto!

Basically, I am beginning to use the gifts that God has given me to write, encourage, inspire and unite. I am learning new terms such as wiki tiki or tiki wiki and that’s not a childhood rhyme.

God is using this world of social media in ways I never imagined or thought possible. I’m grateful for God’s provision and the way He has orchestrated such a ministry to flow from His hands onto the key pads of my laptop.

Such a great thrill to learn something new and know that I will need to rely on Him to guide me every step of the way.

Are you using your God-given gifts? Do you need to rely on God for something new that is springing up in your life right now?

How are you surviving in this social media world? Am I the only one who sometimes feels like I am walking into a dark room with a tiny little flashlight trying to find my way?

I would love to hear what new things God is springing up in your heart and home.
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