Monday, September 30, 2013

In case you missed it...

I am contributing over at Joyful Home and Life on Mondays now!!

You can view today's post here. Hop on over and show them some love :)

That moment when I ask God to scoot over so I can squeeze in next to Him....

I hesitated sharing this, for no other reason except that I was scared. Having spent so many years running from being super spiritual and unapproachable, I am coming to terms with the very special ways God speaks to my heart. Sometimes I feel the nudge to share and when I don't, I steal from God the opportunity to speak and be heard in my life, my relevant stories. So here it goes.
The following exchange happened one morning a couple of weeks ago, while I was making oatmeal for my boys. Fresh out of time in the Word it looked a lot more like Father singing over me and me singing back to Him but for this, I will just tell it as a story. I think the weight of what He shared with me will echo in your hearts too. At least I hope so.
I hear a whisper. Its my name and it blows through the trees. I start to run, because I know who it is that calls me. I run in and out of trees around corners until I catch a glimpse of Him. Just after the trees open up, into a field sitting on a horizon, I see Him sitting there, on the edge of something. I am immediately nervous and quiet and my heart starts pounding as I walk slower and slower toward the silhouette. He is casually parked in the grass, with broad shoulders His arms drape over His knees in front of His chest. I sit next to Him, dwarfed by His shadow. I don't feel insignificant, just small. He smiles but his eyes are steady as He looks straight out into a vast horizon in front of us. Without looking away He says "I want you to close your eyes. And dream." I am quick to do it, because dreaming is my favorite, and I imagine that sitting here, in closeness with Him that I will see things I have never seen. I giggle like a kid on Christmas and squeeze my eyes shut. My joy quickly turns to grief. I am distraught.  When I close my eyes, my mind races past all of the good things, straight to a far corner of my heart and a closed door. I know what's in there. It is full of lies and insecurity and all of the reasons I am not cut out for greatness. The door swings open with no warning and the words hit me in the face as they are loosed. I can't describe the feeling except that I can only imagine that getting caught in a swarm of bats making a hasty escape would feel exactly this awful. My eyes are still closed and I feel a tear break through and roll down my cheek. I cannot see the dreams for all of the terrible words. 
It is in this moment that I feel the weight of His hand on my back and a whisper.
"No. Think of Me."
It is impossible to think about God without thinking about the way He thinks of me. I walk through the door and find a room muraled in dreams. Beautiful. Colorful. Truthful. There are no lies here.
Hope is believing. It is knowing where our help comes from. Hope for me is a position of the heart. But hope for my Dad is simpler. I wish and dream and believe. He does. When God hopes over me, He speaks it into being. When He does, all of the lies take flight.
[Jeremiah 29:11] For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. ♥

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Always on the defense

Have you ever been blindly sucked in by your kids? I'm talking about those moments when all sweetness and selfless getting along with siblings takes over. I zone out for a second, like a sheep to the slaughter house, or worse- like deepwater prey drawn into the gorgeousness of a tiny light in a dark place and then BOOM. Gnarly teeth and "Good feeling gone."

It is in these moments that I despise parenting the most. It's true. Sure, the constant arguing and lack of personal space get uncomfortable, but nothing stings as much as a seemingly magical moment gone awry. I think every parent EVER understands this. Each of us has a rolodex of memories that leave a little to be desired- the special dinner turned toddler freak out, the quality time vacation turned family bonding cotastrophe, quick errands turned three-hour whine fest. It is one of the threads that binds us together.

These moments, all lined up without any of the awesomeness in between can seem like a recipe for crazy, and maybe they are. But these moments also make us. More importantly these moments make our kids. More accurately, our reactions to these moments make our kids. Have you ever stopped to wonder why we find such tiny mishaps so troubling? I know exactly why they get under my skin. It always always always has to do with me. When my idea of how things were supposed to go down gets all messed up, I get all bent out of shape. It goes against what I deeply believe about my life, that it's all about me. Ugh. There, I said it. This is one of those times where Paul's confusing dialogue about doing things that he doesn't want to do and not doing what he does want to do comes into play in my own life. Every single time my kids bust up my dream world with their nonsense I am reminded that the very thing that I am trying to steer them from is what is alive and thriving in my own heart. "Stop fighting. Share. Don't be selfish. Speak kindly. Be pleasant with one another."

My boys will always follow my example before they hear my advice. Until I begin to examine my own motivation, take captive my own thoughts, release my mind to God's transformation, and mirror my heart to the heart of my Jesus, I will continue walking away from these encounters with an ache in my spirit.

Inventory your reactions and learn something about yourself today.

These little people are the leaders of the tomorrow. The way we lead them is shaping the way they will lead others. Youch.