September 16, 2014

Crusty Cheese.

If there was a picture that could sum up a moment in life, it could be crusty Mac & Cheese. I had just baked some fresh bread, well the bread machine had, and I had my favorite candle burning. Needless to say, the house smelled good. Maybe it was me trying to cover up the other "smells" that also seemed to keep 'popping' out that day too, but for the moment it smelled good.

As I walked out of the kitchen though, it hit me, I had two pictures, or points of view, I could choose to focus on today. One was clean, fresh and relaxing. The other was dirty, tasteless and stinky. Seems like an obvious choice which picture I or anyone would choose, but it's interesting how easy it is to pick the crusty over the delicious.

"...I have set before you life and death, 
blessings and curses. Now choose life..." 
Deuteronomy 30:19

It's a choice. Each day, each moment, I have a choice as to how I'm going to view what is going on around me. Do I have to love the dirty and smelly, absolutely not, but I don't have to dwell in them. I also shouldn't ignore those things, because even if I wished they would just disappear, the stinky things of life are going to continue to happen. So, I can deal with the yucky stuff, and then spend my time dwelling the the yummy stuff; resting in the good.

So now I'm going to go clean up a baby, rinse off some crusty cheese, and take in some good.

September 11, 2014

Mommy Moments.

"Uh-oh mommy...Mommy I'm hungry....
Mom, yucky...Mommy, mama, mom!"
If you're not careful this can happen, correction will happen, if and when you become a mom. I love that name, and all the many forms and tones it comes in. I dreamt of becoming a mom when I was little. Imagined all of the sweet snuggles, bath time fun and walks to the park. These dreams are now my reality, and I am so thankful for the little boys that changed my title and direction in life.
After adding in baby boy number two, I've learned some things already. I am surrounded by cars, trains, diapers and dirt all the time. My boys could care less if I've showered, painted my nails, exercised or eaten breakfast myself. The days go so fast, yet the hour before dad comes home seems to drag on. The moment they are resting peacefully in their rooms, I stop and scan the house...

"...Do I take a ' mommy moment,' 
or do I cook, clean or complain."

It is in this moment a choice is made, do I take a 'mommy moment,' or do I cook, clean or complain. I'll admit,  I often tend to lean toward the latter. I've realized even if dinner is ready, the house is clean and my mind is clear; if I haven't invested time in me, I'm no good. I've learned I need to fuel myself if I'm going to help my busy family run smoothly.

"If I haven't invested time in me, I'm no good."

I don't know why taking a moment for myself can be so hard. Perhaps it's because I enjoy putting others before me, but I know too that those same 'others' love me, and want me to be happy too. So I've been trying to be more diligent in taking time during the day to be at rest for me. Reading my Bible, drinking a coffee, while sitting down, putting on make-up, painting or writing, these all serve the same purpose. These are are MY moments, not theirs. I have learned its not being selfish or lazy to invest in me.
Even the woman described in Proverbs 31, after taking care of her family and home, also took care of herself. She spent time: weaving, cooking, gardening, exercising, sewing, giving, decorating, selling and studying God's word (Proverbs 31:10-31).  I used to read through this section and think, "Man that's a crazy list. I don't have time for that." But the truth is, I want the result from living a life like she did, "She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come...Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her..." (Pro. 31:25,28). She is living a life of peace and rest, and those living with her on a daily basis can see a difference in her. I want this too.

"These are MY moments, not theirs."

So now, everyday, I vow to take some time to fill myself up. Some days this might be only a few minutes, while other days (depending on nap time success...or not), it might be longer. The importance is not the length of time, but the intention behind the time I set aside. I vow to be intentional toward how I treat myself. If I take a 'mommy moment,' then everyone, not just me, will be positively affected. "Honor her for all that her hands have done..." (Pro. 31:31).

September 01, 2014

"God is Bigger than the Boogie Man..."

"God is bigger than the boogie man,
He's bigger than Godzilla, or the monsters on TV.
Oh, God is bigger than the boogie man,
And He's watching out for you and me."
- Veggie Tales 'God is Bigger'

While I was sitting on the couch feeding my sweet two-month old baby, this song popped into my head. It was a song made popular by the 'Veggie Tales' movies; and the writers did their job well because it is still engraved in my brain. The thing is though, as I've lived more life, the fears and problems that I've watched family, friends and myself face are bigger than the fictional characters sung about in this song.

Even though these problems are so much bigger; whether physical, emotional or spiritual hurts; the truth is, is that God is bigger. Going through hard times in this life is a given; one truth that I wish weren't a reality. As a mother, I wish I could protect my boys from having to suffer any sort of pain or hurt. I wish I could foresee the pain that is coming ahead.  Looking back though, over my own pain and struggles, I can clearly see that it was during those unknown times that I was brought closer to the Lord.

The trials that seemed to spring up in my own life, were not surprises to God. In fact, He knew they were coming, and is already waiting and ready to be there for me when the next one hits. He is bigger. He is all-knowing. He is God.
"The trials that seemed to spring up 
in my own life, 
were not surprises to God."
I do find myself wondering sometimes, "Why wouldn't He stop that from coming? Why did ____ have to endure that? I didn't ask for this. Why..." The conclusion that I've come to, is that sadly in this life I'm not going to necessarily understand or get answered the 'whys.' We live in a broken world where people make poor choices, we make wrong decisions and "good" people end up getting hurt. While those things are all true, God is bigger, stronger and has already overcome this world. He is bigger than the hard things I've already endured, and He isn't going to change when it comes to the things yet to come in my life. He has the power to turn a hurtful and dark situation into the light; He can make what the world intends for evil into good.
"God is bigger, stronger 
and has already overcome this world."
I can't help but think of the story of Joseph in the Bible. A young boy, so despised by his own brothers that he was sold into slavery; while his own father believed he had been viciously killed. God could have left Joseph's story there. God could have said, "Well, that's a bummer, wish his brothers hadn't made such a bad choice." The truth is, Joseph had faith. He believed that even though his present situation looked bleak, that God was bigger, and could make 'good' come of such hurt. After years apart, when Joseph meets his brothers face-to-face he lets them know what he learned, "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done..." (Genesis 50:20). Joseph trusted the Lord in the midst of heartache and pain; Joseph was blessed. God is bigger, and He is able to make good out of even the hardest and most painful situations.
"You intended to harm me, 
but God intended it for good to accomplish 
what is now being done..."
So thankful that each morning when I wake up, and each night that I go to bed that I am not alone. I have a God that is, and has fought for me. He is faithful and unchanging; even when the situations in life are not. He has the power to make good out of evil. I'm thankful that He is the one, "watching out for you and me."