Jun 28, 2012

Following directions

So, I've realized I start a lot of sentences with the word "so."  So, anyway.  We were traveling back from a gymnastics meet, probably in March or something like that.  It's been awhile.  I know that we had to take two cars because even though it was a Saturday, my husband was working and had to meet us there.  Being still relatively new to Texas, we were in an area I was completely unfamiliar with.  Heading home, I plugged our address into my GPS.  I also asked my husband who was more familiar with the area what he thought was the best way home.  So, he told me to go straight, turn here and then keep going straight.  Okay, so maybe it was more detailed than that, but the point was that he gave me directions to get home.  Directions he thought were the best route.  Directions he was going to follow himself.  So, we head on out.  I'm following him, all is good.  But then we got separated at a traffic light.  I kept following the directions he told me but when I was supposed to go straight, my GPS told me to turn.  I looked for my husband.  I couldn't see him anywhere and I started to doubt the directions.  He had told me to go straight.  He had been on this road before.  He was on the road as I drove along.  But I couldn't see him and I had my GPS telling me to turn.  You know what I did?  I turned. 

And that's when I had this thought.  As long as I could see his car, I was okay following his directions.  As soon as I lost sight of him, I didn't trust those directions anymore.  In other words, I didn't trust him.  Ouch.  That was hard for me to accept but I know it was the truth.  I know my husband wouldn't steer me wrong.  I know my husband was familiar with the roads.  I know my husband was on the same road, leading the way.  I know my husband wanted only the best for me.  And yet somehow, that wasn't enough. 

Made me think about how that is true with God, too.  I know God wouldn't steer me wrong.  I know God is familiar with my path.  I know God is with me in this journey of life, leading the way.  I know God wants only the best for me.  And somehow, that still isn't always enough.  As soon as I lose sight of him, I begin to doubt.  Ouch.

I pray that I will trust God.  I pray that I will remember whether I can see him or not, that I will know he is there, leading me home.

Psalm 143:10 (CEV)   
 You are my God. Show me what you want me to do, and let your gentle Spirit lead me in the right path.    

So, going back to the drive.  Did I get home alright?  Yep, I sure did.  And it only took me about 20 minutes longer than it took him!!!  Sometimes I wonder if I will ever learn to trust in others.  To know that I don't always have the best solution.  To be open to God's leading.  I wonder.

Okay, so here's the deal ...

I have had so many thoughts about what I want to do with this blog.  And I want to do it right.  But I've realized that in trying to determine the "perfect" way to do this blog, I have paralyzed myself from doing anything.  So you know what?  I'm not going to worry about the structure of every sentence.  I'm not going to worry if I have some fabulous photo to go with my post.  I'm not going to worry about the theology behind what I'm trying to say.  I'm just going to say what pops into my mind.  So be warned.  It may not make sense.  It could flat out be off base.  It could be completely uninspiring.  But, I'm going to do it anyone.  With that in mind, this blog is the kind of thoughts that ramble through my head.  I just wonder if they make sense to anyone else at all.

Jun 8, 2011

the promises from your Word are enough ...

So, I have shared this song before on the blog: Blessings by Laura Story

I was listening to this song in the car the other day and a few lines resonated with me.

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
And we cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough

And it just struck me how I live my life this way. How I can still struggle with my faith, my circumstances, my joy. I know God loves me. I know he wants the best for me. But sometimes I still pout when I don't get 'my' way. I am glad that God reminds us through the Bible of his promises for us.

Here are some promises to cling through as we do this thing called life.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 (CEV)

1Everything on earth

has its own time

and its own season.

2There is a time

for birth and death,

planting and reaping,

Hebrews 13:8 (CEV)

8Jesus Christ never changes! He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Philippians 4:13 (CEV)

13Christ gives me the strength to face anything.

1 John 4:16 (NIV)

16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.

John 3:16 (NIV)

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV)

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.

Monday Minute: Swivel Store

Okay, this is one of those As Seen on TV that I actually want to buy.

You can buy it here: Swivel Store

Am I the only one whose "spice bottles are out of control?" Or are there others out there?

May 16, 2011

Monday Minute: Sparrow Keychain

How cute is this?!?

The Sparrow Keychain doubles as whistle and then when you get home you put the bird in its birdhouse. Super cute. I think this would make a fantastic housewarming gift.

May 11, 2011

Parenting is Hard

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV)

The other day my children's school sent home the weekly newsletter. In it was a short article titled, "WANTED. Understanding children who talk back."

This caught my eye. Why would an understanding child talk back?!? And who wants a child that talks back?!? So I read through it. It was then that I realized that the WANTED banner was just part of the fancy clip art associated with our wild west theme of our school mascot, The Rangers. The article was about understanding why your children might talk back and some advice on what to do. Here's what it stated.

It is normal for children to talk back to their parents at different stages of their development. If talking back seems to be a concern, consider the following ...

- Don't get into a power struggle with your child. An angry response from you may result in more back talking.
- Let your child know in a calm manner that you are not happy with the way they are talking and that the conversation will continue when they are ready to talk in a respectful and calm manner.
- Acknowledge when your child speaks in a respectful manner.
- Model the way you want to be talked to when you are talking to your child.
- Use wait time. Take the time to listen and show your child you will consider their thoughts and concerns.

Uggh. I need to print this out in poster size and hang it in every room in my home. To be completely honest, I have a roller coaster relationship with my son. We are either on a big high and getting along fabulously or we are in the pits. It is so hard. When I look back at a conversation, I can see where it went terribly wrong. But in the heat of the moment, I just can't see my mistakes. Sometimes I'm not a crazy Christian girl. I'm just crazy!

Now, I know that this is not a one sided equation. I know that my son is responsible for his attitude and actions. But, I can't help feeling that if I were a better model of how to respond, and not react when frustrated, he would be better at it, too.

So, I went to Scripture to see if this advice is supported. Here's what I found.

- Don't get into a power struggle with your child. An angry response from you may result in more back talking.

Fathers, don't exasperate your children by coming down hard on them. Ephesians 6:4a (The Message)

- Let your child know in a calm manner that you are not happy with the way they are talking and that the conversation will continue when they are ready to talk in a respectful and calm manner.

Out of respect for Christ, be courteously reverent to one another. Ephesians 5:21 (The Message)

Respect your father and mother—God, your God, commands it! You'll have a long life; the land that God is giving you will treat you well. Deuteronomy 5:16 (The Message)

- Acknowledge when your child speaks in a respectful manner.

Take them by the hand and lead them in the way of the Master. Ephesians 6:4b (The Message)

- Model the way you want to be talked to when you are talking to your child.

1 These are the commands, decrees and laws the LORD your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, 2 so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the LORD your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Deuteronomy 6:1-2, 6-7 (New International Version, ©2011)

- Use wait time. Take the time to listen and show your child you will consider their thoughts and concerns.

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. James 1:19 (New International Version, ©2011)

My prayer is that I will respond to my child in love and grace, the way God responds to me when I act badly. Thanks for letting me be transparent with you. I hope that you are encouraged by God's promises to us (like the unconditional love he has for every single person on this planet) and that like me, you can ask for forgiveness for past mistakes and move beyond them into God's plan and purpose for your own life.

Matthew 3:17 (New International Version, ©2011)

17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

May 9, 2011

Monday Minute: kelly & katie Wedge

So, now that I live in a warmer climate, I need more than one pair of flip-flops. I needed some cute sandals that added a touch of style to my outfit while still being comfortable. These wedges by kelly & katie totally fit the bill.

I actually bought them while we were out on our date night - we drove past DSW and couldn't resist - and wore them out of the store! So comfortable and so cute. That's win-win.

Apr 25, 2011

Monday Minute: The Help

Last summer, this was on everyone's reading list.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett.

Well, now this summer you can see the movie.

But I would suggest you read the book first.

Apr 20, 2011

Preparing for Rain

Leviticus 26:3-4 (New International Version, ©2011)

3 “‘If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, 4 I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees their fruit.

The other night when I was putting my son to bed, we were praying. I am trying to teach my children the ACTS method of prayer.

A - Adoration

C - Confession

T - Thanksgiving

S - Supplication

This is not the only way we pray but I do think it's important to remember that praising God and thanking him need to be a big part of our prayer time. Prayer is not just about asking God for things and that can easily become our focus. To help them out I start and they finish. What I mean is that I'll pray, "Dear God, You are great because ...." and they'll come up with a reason. I try to encourage them to not thank God at this part. Just try to recognize a different quality trait or the character of God. Something that is independent of his actions. Then we go on, "I confess my sin today when I ...." I tell them they can pray this silently but often they choose to confess their sin out loud. "Thank you for ...." and we finish up with, "I pray that ..." Again, not that I want my kids to think their is some magical formula to prayer, but I just want them to include some praises and thanks in their prayer time.

To get back to where, I started, I was putting my son to bed the other night. We prayed and he thanked God for letting him get some good hits at his baseball game. This struck me because I would have thought that my son would think that good hits were purely the result of his own efforts and skills. When we finished praying, he elaborated on this prayer. He told me that every time he gets up to bat, he prays to God that he will get a hit and then he prepares for rain. Now, if you have seen Facing The Giants, you know what I am talking about. If not, take a minute and view this clip.

Okay, are you with me now? My sweet son told me that he prays for a hit and then he prepares for rain. He keeps his eye on the ball, he steps towards the pitcher and he swings hard. He does his best and leaves the results up to God.

And if that just doesn't make my heart burst with pride. Well, it does. I love my son deeply and my prayer is that he will prepare for rain and wait on God to answer.

Jeremiah 14:22 (New International Version, ©2011)

22 Do any of the worthless idols of the nations bring rain?
Do the skies themselves send down showers?
No, it is you, LORD our God.
Therefore our hope is in you,
for you are the one who does all this.

Revelation 3:7 (New International Version, ©2011)

To the Church in Philadelphia
7 “To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:

These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.