post (that I loved) by my sister Kara about our parents, I looked at this picture sitting on my window sill and had to share it.
This is one of my very favorite pictures.
I could be wrong, but I think this is my Mom holding me after I went through surgery on my eye. The reason I say "I could be wrong" is because I can't imagine why my parents would hold me up in direct sunlight after getting eye surgery. But that's where I've always thought this picture was from... and it's too late to call my Mom and check.
Either way. I love this picture.
I love my Mom.
My Mom is an excellent mom. I think this year she has received more phone calls from me than she ever wished to receive in her life. But she would also tell me not to say that, because no matter how many times I call, how many questions I ask, no matter how many tears I cry or thoughts I run by her-- at the end, she always tells me how good it was to talk.
She's always spoken truth into my life, encouraged me in prayer, ministry, and friendships.
She has this incredible ability, definitely aided by the work of the Holy Spirit, in our conversations to help me figure out what on earth is going through my mind and what it is exactly that I need to hear.
Thanks for being who you are, Mom. Incredibly gifted, loving, selfless, and strong, with a heart powerfully pursuing the Lord. Thanks for all the hallmark movies you've watched with me, for sitting at the kitchen table crying tears of joy with me the day after God called me to ministry, and for modeling before me the kind of wife and mom I want to be some day.
I could go on and on.
I love you, Mom.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Today is my second snow day of the week. I really do like snow days... I just like non-snow-days better. I like the structure of non-snow-days (what I suppose you could call 'regular days'). But this morning as I was getting breakfast I was thinking "Maybe snow days are good. Maybe I need these so I have a day every once in a while for a little self-evaluation." I think that's important. To have a day where you see where your work ethic is, how you spend your time, what you rely on... when it's not really being decided for you. It does a heart good to be sure you're genuine and trusting in unshakable things.
So snow days are good.
I think this is our 3rd this year... I've always had a hard time remembering snow days. The picture above is my breakfast on the window seat I'm eating on. There's something really great about sitting on a window seat when it's snowy outside and you're eating pancakes.
Yesterday I read an example of a man's personal creed. It was beautifully written and I felt like I knew him by the end of it. My favorite was this: "To defend those who are not present." I love the high priority the man put on that commitment.
He also wrote, "Listen twice as much as I speak". That's good.
And on a side note, look at that picture up there. See the dark orange-red fruit? Do you know what that is? Because I just realized I don't. Just let me know. :)
Enjoy your snow day, or "non-snow-day", today.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
"Do not lock yourself in a box-- always afraid to fail and afraid to make a mistake."
We watched this video the end of our class last week. You want to know what my biggest area of fear used to be? (used to-- Praise God!) I used to be so afraid of disobeying God, accidentally. Not because I was afraid God wouldn't love me anymore, not even because I was afraid He would be upset with me... just because I REALLY wanted to make decisions that honored God.
God has given me a very sensitive heart. Very sensitive to the thoughts and feelings of other people. But a tender heart can turn into an over analytical heart. It is easy for me to allow a little feeling of doubt to make me think, "Oh, wait, maybe I was wrong-- what if God actually meant this rather than that... maybe I made it all up."
Ah. But God is telling me to put the sword down. To stop internally warring when I can just trust instead. I love that I am sensitive to the Lord and to people. I am so grateful God has developed that in me. But God has also developed a rooted and reassuring peace in me. He's given me a sound mind.
On Saturday, in a really beautiful prayer time, I believe God spoke something to me that would seem really strange to anyone I shared it with. (That's why I've only talked to my Mom about it, she has to love me unconditionally, ;) ) . All I asked though, is that as confirmation, God would give me a really deep and lasting peace about this situation. And He did.
And in prayer times since, I've experienced the same thing: peace about a decision that kind of blows my mind.
So this is challenging me in a number of areas, this thought that fear locks me in a box. I don't want to be a Christian who hangs onto the balance beam my entire life and then gets off, goes into eternity and can only show how safe I was. I LOVE adventure. I love trying new things and living an abundant life-- so fun and so full because you're living it with God.
So instead of trusting a heart that will sometimes be scared, sometimes worried, sometimes passionate-- I'll trust the Word of God spoken to me. I'll stand up on the balance beam and walk in confidence and obedience-- knowing that in His sovereignty and mercy, God can and will turn me around if I start to head the wrong way without realizing it.
Today, I'll walk in faith and trust instead of fear and doubt.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
This semester I'm taking a college course called 'Life Formation" with Elevate Leadership School. Rather than journaling, blogging is a class requirement. The plan now is to add "-life formation" to the title of posts written specifically for this course. I'm thankful for a little push to be more consistent in blogging-- here it goes!
Last Wednesday in class, Al (our course professor) said something like, "How awesome is it when someone is talking to you and they turn off their cell phone? There's something spiritual about that."
I realize that statement may seem a little ordinary to you at first... but for some reason it clicked with me right away. Forgive me for lack of a better word, but that gesture is just so special. I think that is because it makes the person, for whom the phone was shut off, realize that they are important and valued... that their words and insights are so meaningful to the other that they were willing to shut everything else off... just to listen.
This happened to me just the other day. It said so much to me about how much this person values other people. Constant rushing and thinking about all we need to accomplish causes us to forget how valuable people are, as well as the importance of real connection and listening (not just hearing).
Sometimes, I really like to multi-task (for example, the other day I tried to do a crossword while driving... it was the last time, I promise). Maybe multi-tasking isn't really it... maybe I just like to stay busy. Whatever it is, it has too often robbed from me some of the sweetest opportunities to get to know people. I don't do this intentionally, but I have noticed recently that I too often pick up my phone or check my email when instead I could be giving all of my focus and all my attention to the person right in front of me. Friends, thank you for being patient with me. I'm learning. :)
So, thank you to each of you who have ignored a text, turned off your phone, or taken the time to sit down so we could talk. Thank you for simply listening. I like getting to know you.