Friday, October 30, 2009

In The Now

I realized the other day my problem with Fall. So many people love it. I do love the beautiful colors, the scent of burning leaves, the crispness in the air and the excitement of the new school year beginning. But that's where the excitement ends. And I've often wondered why. I mean, what's my problem? There is so much beauty to enjoy (in every sense). So why don't I like this season? Why can't I soak up all that I have right now? Well, I think I've figured it out.


It's because of what I know is coming! Cold days stuck inside. The dirty snow that messes my floors. The cold feet that haunt my husband at bedtime each night. (Sorry, Honey.) Sure, I love the beauty of freshly-fallen, untouched snow and the warmth of cuddling by the fire with my family. And, oh how I do love Christmas! But, again, that is where it ends.

So the other day, I caught myself feeling anxious to be done with Fall simply so we could get on with it and get to Christmas, trudge through the rest of winter, and anticipate the coming warmth of spring and summer. I realized that I've let my drudgery of what I know is coming in Winter ruin the beauty of what I have before me now in the Fall.

Man, what a bummer!

I don't want to be that kind of person. I want to be the kind of person that lives in the now. Soaks it all up for everything it is. No matter what's around the bend. Because that's where the living is.

This mentality seems to have oozed over into other areas of my life, as well. Like when I knew my husband had to leave town for business in three days, so I was unable to enjoy the time I did have with him when I had it. I actually think it's a mentality that a lot of people stuggle with. Like those who leave the baseball game early for the dread of getting stuck in traffic on the way home. This makes no sense, if you think about it. Isn't the purpose of going to the game to enjoy the game? But we miss the full enjoyment if we dread what inevitably happens afterward, namely the traffic issue. And we've let the future ruin the now.


So I'm gonna' try to enjoy the beauty of this season right now. Who knows? Maybe it will even help prepare me to enjoy the (dreaded) winter when it does arrive.

And I'm gonna' try to apply this living in the now thing to time with my kids, too. Because goodness knows I don't want to end up in the Fall of my life and realize what I missed. I want to think back on all the seasons with lots of great and lasting memories made while I was "in the now".

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Some Quotes I Just Read

"We are always too busy for our children; we never give them the time or interest they deserve. We lavish gifts upon them; but the most precious gift, our personal association, which means so much to them, we give grudgingly." -- Mark Twain said that.

Oh, Lord, let that not be true of me.

And someone named Marceline Cox said, "parents are often so busy with the physical rearing of children that they miss the glory of parenthood, just as the grandeur of the trees is lost when raking leaves."

And, Lord God, please don't let me be so busy with "my stuff" that I miss the "glory of parenthood. I so badly want to enjoy this journey.

But, sometimes it's just so darn hard.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Mommy Mission

I need to set some goals. I am currently stuck in a rut of sorts. A rut of laziness, I think. I honestly feel like I'm just floundering around, waiting for my calling to come, so I can respond to it next year, when both kids are in school all day, and I have the time to do what I need to do. Uh-huh, right.

Only, pretty obviously, my call is to be a mommy. (Obvious in the fact that God has allowed me to actually be one.) So, what the heck am I thinking?

In my estimation, it seems there is not one verse pointed to mothers that says exactly what to do or not to do. I can, however, find several really good examples of Godly moms, like Hannah -- whose life was lived in total sacrifice and submission to the Lord Almighty. And, as a result, her son Samuel lived in that same kind of submission to Him. Then there's Naomi, another example of one who mothered her grown daughter-in-law, Ruth, in such a way that Ruth longed to honor her as she would her own mother. And I have the number five of the Ten Commandments. "Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you." (Ex 20:12) I believe this is a promise of God. But I also think that it logically makes sense that if you honor your parents, you'll learn the ways of the land. You'll learn how to live.

Of course, this puts a pretty hefty assumption of responsibility on parents. Namely -- that we live lives that are worthy of honor. And that we, in fact, teach them how to live. Sounds obvious, maybe, but a pretty major challenge, in my opinion.

Dt 11:-21 says, "Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land that the Lord swore to give your forefathers, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth."

So this is how I do it. And this is what I teach them.

And I absolutely need a plan. So I've decided to set some goals for myself. To hold myself accountable for my job. Since I can't really get fired for not doing my job (being a full-time mommy), I need something.

I used to be pretty good at being involved in and creative at just playing with my kids. When both of my children were at home full time we lived in a different part of the country. Before we moved here, we had several friends with children around the same ages as mine. And this constant teaching seemed to be much more easily accomplished, having the support of other moms in the same phase of motherhood as I. The accountability was much more natural, as I would daily chat with my friends and make plans for creative activities with them and our children. But now that we've moved away from that area, and at the same time have grown out of that phase (with only one child home full-time with me now), I'm forced to be more proactive and independent. I need to get creative. And focused on the calling God has given me and the task at hand. And I absolutely need to take full advantage of this time with my children. Because, without a doubt, it will pass quickly. And before I know it, they will be grown and gone and have children of their own. But for now, I'll just take advantage of this moment.

Lord, help me. Please.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

To Smash Or Not To Smash

I had a chance to live in the "more" this morning. Spend time playing Super SmashBros on Nintendo Gamecube or play by myself on the laptop. See -- I really like doing my own thing. And now that I have this blog, I kind of have another one of my own things. So I thought I could check the blog, see if there were any new comments, maybe do a new post, play a little more with applying new gadgets, check facebook, maybe play a game or ten :) of Bejeweled Blitz . . . well, you get the idea.

The problem is that I did that last night while the rest of my family played Gamecube. In truth, I sort of needed that time "alone" (in the same room as they were, but doing my own thing). But this morning, well, it was definitely time to spend with my family. And they needed it too. Time to be a family.

Sadly, it involved a minor struggle within my own selfish being. I love my "me time". And, as a mom who stays home full time, I can almost always justify taking any possible mintue I get that is not entirely sucked up by catering to the needs of my family or my home. But, I think I've taken this a bit too far. Like I've started living like that "me time" is what's going to fulfill my life, instead of living in the truth that doing what God has called me to do (at this phase of my life that is "mommy") is actually where it's at. Well, God's been working on pulling that weed from my life. So -- this morning He gave me a chance to find a little "more" of that life that He came to give. The "more" that comes when I follow His way, His leading, His calling. And He let me have it, just a little of it, as I sat in my chair in the living room, Gamecube controller in hand, and kick some virtual tail as "Samus" in a smashing game of Nintendo.

It was fun. Even more fun than bloging.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Of Baguettes and Pains Chocolats

I love bread! During our four months as expatriots in Paris, we ate baguettes at least daily. Every evening, I would walk to the patisserie (bakery) and get two baguettes -- one to eat as I walked back to our flat, and one for dinner with the family. Seriously. It was one of my very favorite things about living in Paris. In fact, when my husband went back to Paris, I asked him to bring me one home on the plane. Nothin' like a real Parisian baguette!

And the pains chocolats!!! Oh man, my mouth waters just remembering them! French chocolate wrapped in a perfectly flaky, homemade croissant. A meal in itself, the pain chocolat definitely held its own in our Parisian home.

So when I think of how Jesus called Himself "The Bread of Life", I gotta' think He was referring to the very finest and most satisfying of bread! I'm not talking about Wonder bread (although, I must say, Wonder holds a special place in my childhood memories, as I think of getting to eat it at my grandma's house because my mom never bought it. Weird that I remember that, huh?) Anyway, Jesus said, "I am the Bread of Life. . . I am the Bread -- living Bread!" (John 6, The Message) I seriously think I could have lived on that bread in Paris. Mmmmmm. Yum! And when I think about Him calling Himself the Living Bread, the only kind of bread we will ever need, it makes me wanna' know THAT kind of Bread. To taste it. But I wonder what tasting THIS Bread entails. I think it has to do with taking Him for all He says He is and all He says He will do. I think it means believing Him absolutely. Living like I believe it! Living out HIS definition of living, according to Scripture. Not looking for satisfaction and joy in what doesn't last (like making my house looks good, or eating all kinds of great food, or even finding all kinds of great deals on clothes and making my kids and myself look good).

And I have to believe that in order to know that definition, Jesus' definition of life, I need to know more of what He said. And I need to obey it.

I read this and have to believe that not only did Jesus come to fulfill my deepest, intimate, humanly-unmeetable needs. But He also came in order to show me the real definition of living. Like what we know as life, without Him, is not really life at all. I mean to say that "eternal life" is not only living forever, but is also living for real!

I was reading the Bible this morning in John chapter 6. Jesus said, "Don't waste your energy striving for perishable food . . . Work for the food that sticks with you, food that nourishes your lasting life, food the Son of Man provides. . . This is what the Father wants: that anyone who sees the Son and trusts who he is and what he does and then aligns with him will enter real life, eternal life."

That's the life I want. For real. And forever.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Drink the Water

So I've been struck lately by the truth that God is way bigger, way more beautiful, abundantly more kind and loving and gracious and more than my tiny being can grasp. At the same time, I've been realizing how little I take Him at His Word. I mean, truly. Jesus said He is the WATER of LIFE. And He said it more than once. He claimed to be the BREAD of LIFE. If these things are true, than He should, in fact, be all I need for sustenance. Right? I mean, not that I want to live on bread and water alone, but I could if I needed to.
Here's the thing, though... He gives me not only what I need, but even more! When I let Him be my bread and water, He makes my life better than I ever dreamed. He said it right there in John 10.
So -- here's the experiment. What if I live like I believe that? What if I stop trying to find satisfaction and happiness and fulfillment, even rest, in things that aren't, well, Him? What if Jesus IS all that and a slice of bread?!? Okay, not just a slice, but the whole loaf. :)
I'm gonna' try it.
Here goes.
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