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Archive for November, 2007

Gifts

gift.jpgDennis (wow, two links in one day!), started a dialogue on his blog about wish lists.  You can follow this post here.

We are talking about wish lists.  Tristi, made a comment this morning that struck me.  She said, “We need thought behind gifts and that just doesn’t happen too much these days anymore. Everyone is just expected to buy for everyone. We tell people what to go out and buy us? Might as well just go buy it ourselves.”

So this has me thinking about gifts & gift giving.  I didn’t use to ask people what they wanted for Christmas.  I would give them something I thought they might enjoy or appreciate.

I discovered though, that people would show their disappointment when the gift didn’t quite meet their desires.  This would make my heart sink so fast – I hate disappointing people!

But, you know what, I’ve done this!  And now I’m thinking, “wow, I’ve been disappointed in someone’s gift.”  This is something that they took the time to think about (hopefully 🙂 ) & give to me.  Its an expression of love.  And I’m disappointed?  Somehow that doesn’t seem right, does it…

This is something I need to keep in mind this Christmas season. 

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Silence

My friend Lorraine (lor) just wrote an incredible post tonight on one of our church ministry blogs.

Dennis recently went on his annual “silence” retreat.  This prompted some reflections from Lorraine & they’re so insightful.

Here’s her post:

You know, Dennis’ ‘silent’ retreat has got me thinking about the discipline of silence in my own life… 

One of the most important things a servant leader can do is guard their time with God.  When we fail to take care of ourselves, it’s difficult to take care of anyone else, particularly the children that God has entrusted to our care.  Let’s face it, when we’re not hooked into our relationship with God, then we begin to think we can do any of this on our own.  And when we lean on our own understanding, then our successes become our own, which brings no honor to God.  And our failures become our own as well, which opens the door to guilt, regret and self-recrimination rather than the learning experiences and growth opportunities that God wants for us.

For me, one of the most effective ways to connect with God’s quiet voice is to practice the art of silence.  This was so hard at first.  And to be honest it still is at times.  Effective, but difficult.  And it’s not just the distractions of everyday life that makes it hard.  My head has the tendency to be a really bad neighborhood and to hang out can be dangerous.  Too many thoughts that run so contrary to what I know God’s plan for me is, too much worry, too many doubts, stuff that I have spent years trying to flat out eliminate tend to resurface with really annoying regularity.  man oh man.  Maybe you know the feeling?  🙂

It can be easier in the short term to lose myself in the busyness of life, the tv is on, the music’s loud, the conversations are good, any number of things – none of them bad on their own – that keep me from hearing God.  So I have to be intentional about where I find my silence.  I intentionally don’t turn the radio on to and from work.  I may leave my desk and find a quiet place for lunch.  I occasionally enforce an electric free evening at home (although nowadays this only works without a battle when I’m alone). 

And it’s not just the opportunity for silence but the intentionality of what I do with it.  I really don’t do ‘silence for the sake of silence’ well.  I’m still not comfortable enough with it to enjoy it for its own sake.  But I do appreciate it when I am intentional about using it as a conduit to God.  And without an agenda, no wish list, no to-do list, but a genuine wish to speak and be spoken to. 

The Gospel of Luke shows Jesus very clearly understood the need for solitude and for silence.  What a great role model for us.

May God continue to bless you in this aspect of your journey!

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A Lie

When Adam goes out of town for business, the kids & I usually have a fun evening.  We go out to dinner, come home & watch a special movie & enjoy a special treat (usually popcorn).  After that the boys go to bed & Ava ends up staying in my bed for the night.

Last night started out as planned.  We went out to dinner & came home.

That’s when it happened.

I could tell something was up.  Ava was hiding something.

I asked her about it.  She told me she wasn’t hiding anything.  Now, I’m a big believer in giving people every opportunity to step up when they do something wrong, especially when a lie is involved.  So, I gave her the chance to come clean & asked her again.  Only this time, I also told her, that its never okay to lie about something, so if she needed to tell me something, this was the time to do it.

She looked me in the eyes and said, “Mommy, I promise I’m not hiding anything.”

She went upstairs to her room.  I followed quietly behind & waited upstairs until she headed back downstairs.

Now, I faced a dilemma.  Did I really want to go into her room?  I went back & forth on this.  At first, I thought maybe I should just let this go.  We still have to do all our “special” things that we do when Adam is away.  I didn’t want to wreck that.

And that’s when it hit me.

I didn’t want to go into her room because I was afraid of what I was going to find.  It wasn’t the item I was worried about.  I was afraid I was going to discover a lie.

Well, I went into her room & found what she was hiding.

I went downstairs & asked Ava to come up to her room with me.  Instantly she asked, “Is it something bad?”  I didn’t answer her.  I couldn’t.  I knew I felt disappointed & honestly I didn’t know what to say.

We got to her room & I asked her again if she was hiding something.  She kept saying over & over, “I promise I’m not.”  I finally told her to stop saying “I promise” because it stung more & more each time she said it.

I took a breath & told her to get me the thing she was hiding from her closet.  She looked at me, then hung her head & brought back what I asked for.

I didn’t speak for a long time.  Finally, I asked her if she knew why I was sad.  She guessed it was because she hid something.  “No,” I replied, “its because you lied to me.  This was never really about the object.  Its about the lie.”

In fact that’s why I haven’t mentioned what it is she did.  It wasn’t the action that upset me, so much as it was the fact that she lied about it.

She started crying & telling me how sorry she was.  I told her, “You know what?  I’m sorry to.”

That’s when she said something that struck me.

“Why are you sorry when I do something wrong?”

“Because,” I told her, “I care & love you so much that when you do something wrong, I feel sorry too.”

Well, I ended up sending her to bed right away where she cried for a good half hour.

She came into my room a little while after she stopped crying.  I thought she was going to ask to stay up or to stay in my room with me.  But, she didn’t.  She climbed up into my lap, threw her arms around me & told me that she was “so, very sorry” that she lied to me.

I kissed her & told her that no matter what she does, she needs to be able to tell me about it & not lie.  I don’t ever want her to be afraid to talk to me.  I told her how important it was for her to remember that (please God let her remember this when she’s a teenager!)

She then went back to her room.

And then she came back to mine in the middle of the night.

And that’s where she stayed.

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Oops!

I started writing a post when I accidentally hit “publish” right in the middle of my composition.

I ended up pulling it pretty quickly, but the draft still showed up on “google reader” (for my friends who subscribe to my blog 🙂 )

Anyway, I haven’t completed it yet, but the real deal will be up in the morning.

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When We Lose Our Cool

crazy-lady.jpgI shared this story on a blog I enjoy.  If you haven’t yet, you need to check out Christine Henry – always a good read!

Basically, we were talking about having “one of those days.”

Everyone has them.  The thing is, God can grow us in these situations.  Its not so much the circumstances surrounding the situation, but how we handle ourselves while we’re in it.

So, here it is.

The day I officially “lost it:”

Its hard when those days come isn’t it? And why is it that they always have the tendency to just sneak up on you??

We used to have a boxer. Yes, the past tense is correct – we USED to have a boxer. Normally, this breed is very docile, but I guess we got a lemon because this dog was crazy!

Normally, I’m a very easy going person & I don’t have a problem “rollin” with things. However, one day in particular I simply lost it!

At the time my daughter was 3, my son was 1 and I was pregnant with our third. Well, on this lovely day, I thought, “I’ll think I’ll cook my husband some filet mignon.” (at the time we were doing lots of boxed dinners because I was in my third trimester & just didn’t have the energy to cook…sigh) Anyway, I put the steaks out on the counter so I could marinade them, but then had to run (waddle) up the stairs to get my son who woke up from his nap.

Can you tell where this is going yet??

I came back down & that dog had eaten both steaks – raw! I grabbed a pan & starting whacking her!

(Please pause for mental image – psycho, very pregnant woman hitting 60 lb dog that could easily take her down)

So, the worst part of this whole fiasco was I didn’t see that my daughter had walked into the kitchen. She looked at me & said, “Mommy, why are you hitting Kacy?” I had to look at her & gasp, “because she ate our dinner.”

I felt horrible. My little girl watched my lose my cool over a couple of steaks. Pretty sad, when you think about it, huh?

I explained to her that I was wrong & its never okay to act that way when we are angry.

Anyway, those days will come & I guess I’m still learning how to continue to be a light in those moments when things seem pretty dark.

Oh, and btw, we had pizza that night.

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Quick Update

I was a little nervous today.

Garrett hasn’t been to school in a week because of Thanksgiving break.

Last Tuesday he got on the bus without any tears!  I was afraid we might take two steps back today, but let me tell you – he was excited!

When I told him he was going to school, he grabbed his backpack & stood in front of the door watching for the bus.  I have been waiting for this & the moment was incredibly sweet!

Way to go Garrett!

* On a side note, we almost had a little stowaway today.  Payton (our little 8 lb ragamuffin dog) started to get on the bus after us.  I couldn’t help it and started humming Mary Had a Little Lamb, while thinking, “Garrett had a little dog…”

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Heal the Wound

scar.jpgHow do you see your scars?

 Do you find them ugly?  Imperfect blemishes?  Are they painful reminders?

What story does your scar tell?

 I heard a song the other day & I can’t get it out of my head.  Actually, I think its my heart where it has taken root so deeply.

Its called “Heal the Wound.”

I used to wish that I could rewrite history.

I used to dream that each mistake would be erased.

Then I could just pretend, I never knew the me back then.

I used to pray that You would take this shame away.

Hide all the evidence of who I’ve been.

 

Have you ever felt this way?

I know I have.  There are so many instances where I really wish I could just have a “redo.”  I’ll think, “why did I say that?” or “why did I do that?”  And then I’ll let the memory of that instance slowly embed itself so deeply that I give it the power to make me feel hopeless.  It becomes a burden that causes me to hang my head & tear at my heart.

However, our “scars” don’t have to be marks of shame.  They don’t have to have a hold on our life.  God can take their power of devastation if we let Him.

 

But its the memory of the place you’ve brought me from that keeps me on my knees.

And even though I’m free…

Heal the wound, but leave a scar.

A reminder of how merciful You are.

I am broke and torn apart.

Take the pieces of this heart

And heal the wound, but leave a scar. 

 

Can you imagine ever asking for a scar?

This is what I find so striking in this song.  God heals us, but then leaves us that reminder of where we’ve been.  The beautiful thing is the scar isn’t His way to condemn us or judge us.  The scar is His gentle way of reminding us that He loves us unconditionally & embraces us in spite of all our sins.

“He heals the brokenhearted, He binds up their wounds.”  Psalm 147:3 

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