Thursday, April 28, 2011

I Wanted To Do It First...It's a Mom Thing...

Okay, so it might not be a mom thing...In fact, I don't even think it's a woman thing. I think it's just a me thing.

The fact that I want to do (most) everything with my kids first!

So here they are:

We went to The Grove Nature Center as a family because my daughter was going to go to the Grove the next day with her class for a field trip.

It doesn't matter that we had been there a couple years earlier. She didn't remember it, so I wanted to take her. Crazy, right? I know, and sometimes, I am fine with my children having experiences without me, but for this one, I couldn't help it.

I think that might have been one of the reasons I home schooled two of my children last year. I took pride in the fact that I was teaching them all about the world around them....first!

I loved it when we could make connections to what we were learning to everyday things that happened to us. And I still love that. With all my children in school, I do not get as many opportunities to make those connections all day long. In fact, God, in His humorous way, smashes that pride every time something comes up at school that I meant to teach my kids and they come home and share what they learned...a new poetry unit that I wanted to do with them last year, playing The Oregon Trail, and even tasting buttermilk! Well, at least homemade butter from reading The Little House in the Big Woods.

It is almost like each time that happens, God is reminding me that my kids are individual people created for His glory and not just for my enjoyment. They will experience so much in this life. And especially having four, if I feel the only time they can experience something is if I did it with them first, they will either miss out on a lot or I will be too exhausted to even enjoy it!

God cares for them in a bigger way than I ever could. I need to give them over to Him daily and realize that He has great things in store for them. Things I couldn't even plan. And when I do this, He will bless me and them!

As for this trip, He still chose to bless me. We had a wonderful time checking out the water scorpion, turtles, and even eating cornbread muffins on the porch.

We made memories and enjoyed a red robin moment. That time together was truly a gift from God.

"Every good and perfect gift is from above..." James 1:17

May you enjoy the gift of MOMents today!


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I Want Candy!

Last Sunday, we had a guest speaker in my daughter's Sunday School Class. She was a dynamic lady who was describing the symbols of Easter. At one point, she described how much she liked candy. One of the students in the back row declared, "Obviously!"

Although you might want to go remind that child the inappropriateness of his comment, none of us did...because the student who said that comment is... blind. In no way was he judging the speaker's appearance. He was commenting on the fact that when she talked of candy, he could hear in her voice how much she like it. And really, who doesn't like candy?! It is pretty obvious!

In his blindness, he was able to "see" past the outside and truly hear the heart of the speaker. God desires us to be like that as well. He does not want us to get so wrapped up in the outside of ourselves that we neglect the inside. He commands us to abide in Him, to work on the inside, by letting Him teach us through His word.

How many of us get up early to shower, dry our hair, make sure we have make up on before we step out of the house? Now, how many of us take that much time or even any time at all to make sure our heart, our inside, is ready for the day?

I admit, many days, I do not. In my sorry defense, I also do not take as much time as I should with my hair either, but my hair stylist is working on that one with me!

Most days, I tend to fit God into my schedule instead of fitting my schedule around Him. And on the days I do that, I can children can tell. I see less and less of the joy and more and more of the labor. I see more of me and less of Him. And that is a place that is not sweet at all!

You hold me by your right hand. You will guide me with your counsel.
Psalm 73:23-24

Lord, help me to see more of you coming from my inside. Guide me in my actions and my words. And may I be sweet as candy to those around me.

Enjoy your MOMents today,

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me!

March 29, 2011 - written on April 6, 2011

I am blessed.

I am just coming off of a high that can only be felt when you get home from a wonderful birthday lunch celebrating friendship. I say that because although the women who gave me this party might have thought they were celebrating me, I was celebrating friendship and the fact that God, in His mighty love for us, gives us very specific friends at very specific times in our lives.

And today, I am thankful for my real forever friends. Friends that will come to a party even though they only found out about it less then 24 hours ago. Friends that call and ask me to have lunch because we share the same birthday month. Friends that send a card to say no matter how busy we get, we will always be friends. These are forever friends.

These are the friends that know you do not like laundry and that is why it is always in the family room. These are the friends that know you get anxious about the future sometimes, but they are quick to remind you God has it in control. These are the friends that you vacationed with and gave you the biggest bedroom!

These are the friends that are family: a husband who loves me, children with the gift of cards, love, and songs, parents that send flowers or give gifts , sisters that celebrate and give gifts of joy, my 90 year old grandma who calls and sings Happy Birthday, Godparents that call or send me a card, brothers that call to sing and or say HI, nieces and nephews, and all in between.

These are friends that might not even know it's your birthday, but when you see them, it is like you talked to them last night in bed when you were roommates, or classmates, or church mates. It is comfortable, it is fun, it is real. You know where their coffee cups go and they know what your car usually looks like!

These are forever friends.

And to My Forever Friends,

I am grateful for my gifts
candles, sweaters, a piece of jewelery or two,
I am thankful for the encouraging cards, and all you say and do
But no matter if you said it, or even if you knew
Please know that on this special day,
I'm mostly thankful for YOU.

A friend loves at all times. Proverbs 17:17

Thank you for this special MOMent!

I'm Back!

April 5, 2011

Okay, so much for the wanting to save all the material for the book. I want to connect with you, my readers, my family, my friends. Thank you for allowing me time to process (which stands for finsh our house we have been rebuilding) all that is going on in our family!
But now, I am back in full force.
I desire to not only connect with those who know me now, but those who read these words and feel like they know me because they are going through something very similar.

Tonight something happened that we all wish for, yet seldom get...a night alone in our own home!

Yes, my husband took all my children to Awana and I had two hours to myself.
I had big plans...finish a book proposal, finish cleaning my closet, okay, to finish even one load of laundry would have been big! I did none of that. What I did do, I later found out, meant much more:

I talked to a friend of mine who is going through one of the most difficult times in her life because of some struggles her child is having. Being one of her only confidantes at this moment, it gave her a time to reflect, question, fear, cry, and know that she is loved by me and I will always adore her children! This night was a night of encouragement.

I went through a pile of paper and found a birthday invitation of a party that I had forgotten for one of my sons. I was able to put it on my calender and make sure he is able to share special times with his friends. This was a night of expectation.

I took a shower.... by myself...That's all that needs to be said on that one. This was a night of refreshment.

And I took a few minutes and set out a snack for my kids to find when they got home. Nothing much; oranges and some toffee. I even put their pj's on the stairs to surprise them. What I thought was my idea was a nudge from the Holy Spirit, because unbeknownst (I always wanted to use that word) to me, my daughter said to my husband on the way home,"It would be so nice for mom to have a snack ready and our pajamas out for us. Remember when she used to do that?"

I was upstairs when I heard them come in. They were all excited when they saw what was waiting for them.
"Guys, don't move anything, don't eat anything, don't move anything!" my daughter kept saying while yelling for her dad to hurry from the car and see a tiny miracle!
"I love my kids," my son read from the note I left,"Awwww," he said with a cute slope to his voice.
I had made their homecoming special. I had made them feel cherished, welcomed, and loved. This was a night of miracles!

That's all Jesus wants to do for us as well. He wants us to come into His presence - expecting miracles. He wants to refresh us. He wants to share his plans with us. He wants to encourage us. He is just waiting for us to open the door. How do we do that? We can stop and pray, read His word, go to church with an open heart to learn.... And I am betting when he gets to you and makes himself will be even better than pj's, Mandarin oranges and a piece of toffee!

"I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders. " Psalm 9:1

May you have a day filled with wonder filled MOMents !