Sunday, June 17, 2012


“RrrrriPPP!”  The pieces of paper my toddler hands got a hold of was instantly torn in several pieces.  It doesn’t take long for his tiny, curious hands to grab a hold of something before I realize his destruction project is underway. 

Some things do seem to just slip through our fingertips and glide right by our noises don’t they? 

I have been feeling a bit sentimental lately; and I’m not sure exactly why?

It could be a culmination of all the change that has occurred close to my heart this last year; and the seemingly faster pace of these minute hands on the clock called life.

It could be that it is just this season of summer and I feel the urge to soak up the joy with my boys.  The desire to spend my time and energy on the things that matter the most to me…my boys.

This week on Girlfriendit Radio, Patty and Lisa chatted with Wm. Paul Young, the author of the Shack.  Young talked a lot about focusing on what matters most and I was so encouraged to not look at what I desire to do right now with my boys as another item on my to do list but look at our time together as an “adventure.” There were so many other great take-aways from listening to Young…you can download the podcast and listen here.

As a little girl, adventures always scared me; but slowly—God has been transforming my heart into a girl seeking adventure.  It began almost 20 years ago when I met my husband and discovered who Jesus was too.  I literally jumped in with both feet.  And, I am thankful for the memory my husband I created late one night at the lake; with a full moon over head and the calm still lake below as we stood at the edge of the cliff…yes this little girl once scared of adventure and unfamiliar with embracing the pure thrill of letting go was learning to embrace the unknown while holding the hand of her man!  

I want more of this…and although I am not thinking of trekking up the cliff at the next full moon—I am thinking about embracing the adventure of this summer with my boys. 

Some girlfriends who have watched their own boys turn into men recently shared some great ideas:

*midnight chats (plop myself on their bed before we say good night and just listen)
*hugs (the power of touch to communicate love)
*pray (huddle up and pray with them)
*memorize scripture with them  (plant the seeds of truth)
*laugh with them  (good times…games…story-telling)

Years ago, my boyfriend, now husband had a great idea to take me cliff jumping; and this summer I want to follow suit with some more adventure with my growing boys.    As I stare at the multiple pieces of torn paper—I want to see confetti and choose to throw it up in the air—rather than just toss it away.  Who knows...this kind of attitude may just lead us to cliff jumping together some day-ha! 

I would love to hear your ideas too…what are you doing to embrace the time with your kids this summer?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Surprising Storms

Have you ever been surprised by a storm?

It wasn’t that long ago that I was surprised by a storm.  A literal one, that reminded me also of how storms of the heart, mind and soul can occur unexpectantly. 

I sat working near my patio doors, which face towards the North and the sun was blazing through the windowpanes sharing its warmth.  On the opposite end of the house I heard the doorknob turn with added force as my boys feet came running in from playing ball.  A gush of cold wind ushered them through the doors and also seemed to turn up the volume of their voices as they spoke about the sudden dark clouds, rain and lightning.

We used this time to use up the lingering hot cocoa packets in the pantry while their soggy heads dried out and we watched the rain fall.  I am thankful for the opportunity to pause and be present. 

Life is sure full of storms; but I am not sure I am always ready to celebrate all of the storms that come my way like I did that spring afternoon.  .  There are many situations, events and circumstances that occur in our days that bring either a physical or mental downpour on our hearts.   Storms are pretty significant and meteorologists even give the weather storms various names, like Haboob, or specific names like, Tropical Storm Alberto, the first Atlantic storm of 2012.

Maybe some storms that have come your way recently have been named too…. Storm Medical Diagnosis, Storm Financial Distress, and maybe Storm Misunderstanding. 

When storms hit; where do you go running for shelter?  I know I don’t always run to celebrate with a cup of hot cocoa.  And there is a time to grieve and a time to celebrate…right!?!

I was reminded this week of how important it is to run to my best friend Jesus; but I admit sometimes I struggle with running to Him first.  Can you relate? 

And the BIG question on my heart is does a storm mean that God is disciplining us? 

This question was asked this week on Girlfriendit Radio and I encourage you to hear what Pastor Tullian had to say.  You can find the podcast here.

My heart latched onto Pastor Tullian’s words; and my breaths felt lighter.  Just because we are dealing with a storm does not mean that God is disciplining us.   Pastor Tullian brought up the stories in the Bible about Job and his friends and also Jesus chatting with his disciples about who sinned in the life of the blind man….I had to search for sweet Jesus’ words in John 9… “Neither this man nor his parents sinned.” 

I’m not in a storm now; but I have been and I know I will find another one over my head soon—because that is just how life is.  Pastor Tullian reminded me that life cannot be lived without the presence of storms.

We must learn to trust God.  A friend once encouraged me with her goal to keep the highs not so high and the lows not so low. 

What about you?  How do you handle the storms—are you in one right now?  Are you preparing for the next one? 

I am so thankful for the perspective of others-and the reminder from Tullian that while I am waiting to hear from God about a storm, I will likely have to tune out some well meaning friends, like those who tried to help Job through his storm.     

I wonder if this might be key to learning to dance in the downpours of life.  Just as I was quick to celebrate the storm with hot cocoa; I want to be quick to celebrate and dance through the storms of this life. 

I’m beginning to think that while dancing in the rain I just might be surprised with a shower of God’s amazing grace…and I’m trusting God and trusting it is ALL GOOD!  I want to learn to dance in the rain...

And on a side note; I’m adding a plethora of books to my summer reading collection.  The latest is Tullian’s book “Surprised by Grace,”….who knows when the next shower will hit.  What are you reading this summer?