Monday, January 18, 2010

Faith put in practice

I took my kids to the zoo today.  It was crazy crowded due to school being out, but the weather was nice and Mason really wanted to go so we went.  The day was going great, we saw all the animals, fed giraffes, rode the merry-go-round and played on the playground.  That was when the day turned bad.  The playground was insane.  Kids were everywhere, all over each other.  I wanted to let Mason play but I didn't want him to get lost in the crowd.  So with McKinley in tow we climbed stairs and slid down slides, we played in the giant birds nest and Mason walked the high net to get inside the tree house.  Just as we were about to leave Mason wanted to climb the climbing wall.  This wall is designed so kids can climb to the top and over and then walk down the path back to their parents.  My child, however, decided he was not going to walk by down the path but rather run across the wooded area and out of sight.  As I yelled for him from below, he did not answer.  He was not there.  I bolted for the closest stairway and up to those woods.  He must be playing a game, he's going to be right here I thought.  But as I reached those woods he was not there. I began to panic.  My friend who was with me stayed by our strollers in case he came back there, and for 10 long, panic stricken minutes I ran throughout that entire playground area, in every knook and cranny, in every hidden digging spot in the woods, down every path yelling out my childs name, hoping that someone would help me find him.  I knew I couldn't melt down and cry.  I had to keep my composure, I had to find him.  All I could do was search and pray. I just kept say,  "God I know you are big enough to bring him back to me safe and sound.  Help me to find him or help him to find me." That is when I spotted him.  He had started crying and some older girls were helping him climb down a net to the bottom level so he could find me.  My friend saw him and quickly grabbed him.  As I ran down to him I didn't know which emotion was going to show anger or relief.  All I could do was hug him tightly and strap him into his stroller.  Play time was over.  With my children safe in the stroller we promptly left the zoo.  As I strapped them into their car seats I thanked God for keeping Mason safe.  I thanked him for being my calm and comfort in the most panicked moment of my life to date and I thanked God that I have another opportunity to teach my son about obedience and safety. Today I had to put my faith truly into practice.  I had to have faith in God to bring me back my precious son and I had to have faith that God would keep me calm and sane so I could effectively search for him and God did.  My kids are safe, they are napping.  But my mind is reeling.  I am still emotional.  I am also very aware right now of all those parents whose kids went missing and were not found in 10 minutes, or 20 minutes or ever.  My heart and prayers are with those parents today.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Abundantly More

 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus unto all generations for ever and ever. Amen.
                               Ephesians 3:20-21 (American Standard Version)

Through my work in ministry and counseling I have encountered many people that felt as if God has let them down. He has said No to their prayers; to their inmost desires even after they have been faithful to his word.  After all Gods own word says in Psalms 37:4 "Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart."  So how do you respond when you have been (truly) devoting yourself to the Lord and yet he still seems to withhold from you the thing you desire most?

Perhaps He is not saying no. Perhaps God wants us to step back and see that he is ABLE to do EXEEDING ABUNDANTLY MORE than what we ask. Imagine that!  God wants more for us than we can even concieve in our minds.  He is ABLE to do more for us than we can ever desire!  We have heartache over what is deemed to be an unfullfilled desire, when God is masterminding so much better. Does God want us to let go of that precious desire that in its humanness has so many limitations, so we can experience what He desires for us in all its grandure? 

As I write I have dear loved ones and friends desiring marriage, desiring babies, desiring security, desiring forgiveness and most don't see these desires being fullfilled anytime soon.  I would challenge those friends tonight to be patient with these desires. Do not become burdened by them. Do not loose heart, do not give up faith. Rejoice in what God is doing in behind the scenes. God is fashioning a Grand Plan for your life! We serve a mighty God! He is ABLE to do EXEEDING ABUNDANTLY beyond what we can concieve.  Hold tight to His word, find delight in His ways and He will grant you the desires of your heart but in His grand and mighty way.

Controlled Chaos

I like to describe my household as controlled chaos.

There is always a lot of activity, a lot of noise and a lot interruptions!  It is impossible to get any one task completed without having to stop to change a diaper, fix a meal, kiss a scraped knee, administer a little discipline and correction, give a bath, soothe a crying baby, let out and feed the dog and so on and so on. 
However in the midst of the crying, the whining, the begging, the barking - THE NOISE - there are a few very precious and very tender moments. 

Like when I am putting McKinley (8 mos) down for a nap.  We go into her room, I grab her blanket and pacifier, turn off her light and turn on her music and we sit down to rock.  As I rock her and quietly sing to her, she lays her head against my chest and holds on tight to my shirt or reaches up and plays with my hair and she flashes me the sweetest smile I've ever seen. Then she closes her eyes and drifts off to sleep.  Oh I could hold her forever!  I could play with her forever too. I love when we are playing on the floor and I blow on her tummy or under her arm and she lets out a loud, robust laugh. Her laugh is contagious!

Then there are the moments that I get to sit and read a book to Mason (2 1/2) and he is so intrigued by every detail on every page. I love reading to him as he asks questions and points out characters and then takes the book from me so he can read it himself.  Or when he runs up to me for no other reason than to throw his arms around my neck and say "I wuv you Momma.  Or the times at night when singing songs to him before bed and he asks me to sing all the theme songs of his cartoons and I'll say to him Mason you're crazy and he'll laugh and laugh!  Tonight he asked me to sing  "Go Noles song Momma!" Oh - If you only knew how that made me melt inside.  He is a product of Micah and I - he bleeds Garnet and Gold.

Those moments make all the chaos forgettable.  Those moments are what I'll think on when I go to sleep, they are what I will look forward to the next day and remember for years to come.

Thank you God for tender and precious moments in the midst of a chaotic life!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Mental Pictures

I just recently started watching The Office. On this weeks episode a couple was getting married (like I said, I just started watching so I don't know the characters names) and the bride-to-be was talking about how her mother had told her that weddings go buy so fast that you need to be sure to take mental pictures so you remember the highlights.  So all throughout the episode the bride and groom would pull out their imaginary camera and take a mental pic when something special happened.  That is how I feel about my life.  It's going by so fast that I need to remember to take mental pictures of the highlights.

One such highlight was last nights wagon ride with my kids.  What started out as me pulling my kids around the neighborhood in their wagon turned into me walking the dog while Mason (2 1/2) pulled his sister (8 mos) on her first wagon ride.  He was so sweet with her.  He double checked her to make sure she was strapped in tight. He handed her a toy and her drink cup so she could enjoy the ride in style. He walked slowly and carefully so that he didn't jar her too much.  And he walked. He walked and pulled his kid sister for an entire mile on her very first wagon ride.  Every once in a while he would turn around and ask "You ok sissy, you ok?" to which I would respond to him "She's ok Mason.  McKinley is enjoying you pull her in the wagon."  He would smile and say "Me too momma!" McKinley meanwhile just relaxed and enjoyed the ride. She played with my keys, squeeled at lizards and made a lion type roar any time we go over a bump.  As I walked behind the wagon with Maddy (our Corgi) in tow I couldn't help but smile and laugh to myself.  What a precious moment for a mom to see her kids enjoying one another!

In that moment I was thankful that I wasn't too busy cleaning the kitchen or straightening up the house or working on the budget to to take them for a walk.  I am thankful for those precious moments that remind me how blessed I am to have these beautiful children. I am also reminded that time is passing by too quickly and I need to enjoy my family each and every moment and always be sure to stop and take my mental picture to remember the highlights.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Resting in Faith

I love facebook.  I find it a great way to connect to old friends (and it fulfills my small desire to know what's going on with other people!)  Recently, through facebook, I was reconnected with a friend from high school.  I have not seen her nor spoken to her since we graduated (over 10 yrs!) but have always thought of her fondly. 

As I took a moment to check out her facebook page, pictures, etc.  I found out that she is in the midst of a tragedy. She gave birth to a baby girl three months ago but that little girl never came home. One hour after being born she went home to be with Jesus and now my friend is grieving.
Reading her blog about her daughter and the swarm of emotions she is feeling broke my heart.  I couldn't help but just sit as tears poured from my eyes as I experienced only a glimpse of the emotions she must be feeling.  She is not the only friend I have facing extreme hardship today. As I write, I have a dear friend holding onto her marriage by a thread, I have several friends worried about how they are going to pay this months bills or how they are going to feed their kids,  I have a neighbor that is mourning the loss of a beloved pet. 

I ask myself this - How do you move on?  How do you move forward when the unimaginable has happened. What do you do when there is no answer to the WHY and there is no clear understanding of teh purpose?  I was recently at a women's conference with Kay Arthur and she addressed this very issue. Her answer - You rest in Faith!  Let faith be your pillow you sleep on at night, let faith be the cup that quenches your thirst, let faith be the arms that hold you.  You rest in Faith!

This scripture was posted on my dear friends page and I find it fitting here too.  May I have the kind faith to be able to claim this in my own life.
“I have learned to be content, whatever the circumstances may be. I know now how to live when things are difficult and I know how to live when things are prosperous. In general and in particular I have learned the secret of… facing either plenty or poverty. I am ready for anything through the strength of the One who lives within me.” Philippians 4: 11-13

I am praying today for you my dear friends.  I am praying that you will find rest in you faith, that you will experience peace and that you will feel the Lords loving arms holding you close.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I'm a Mom

I am a mom
Today I am a mom with 2 sick kids
I had plans for the day but they will not happen
I need to take a shower but probably won't get to
The house needs to be cleaned but it will have to wait
I needed to call a dear friend but she won't get called
I wanted to run an errand but it won't get done
I hoped to take my son to a playdate but we will not be going

Today I am a Mom with sick kids
so I will wipe noses and dispense medicine
I will pour the juice and make the toast
I will assist in putting together numerous puzzles
and watch the same video for the hundreth time
I will kiss the booboos and sanitize the hands
I will hug and kiss grumpy children
and I will strive to remain patient
because today I am a mom

I will not complain about my plans being derailed
I will delight in rocking my daughter and singing to my son till they fall asleep
I will cherish their laughter through the stuffy noses
My heart will be warmed when they reach out for a hug and offer a smile
I will be grateful if I get a shower and ok if I don't
For today I am a mom and I am blessed!