Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Our world has been flooded with butterflies lately. My daughter is in love with red butterflies and wanted that to be the theme of her 4th birthday party (her twin sister wanted pink pigs! So we had a red butterfly pink pig birthday party.). At pre-school the girls each have their own caterpillar who are currently in their cocoons, getting ready to emerge as butterflies. Chrysalis: The stage in which a caterpillar becomes a butterfly. The dictionary defines chrysalis as "the protected stage of development." It’s amazing to me that one creature can curl up into a capsule, fall asleep, and wake up as a completely different creature! And why? Why doesn’t a caterpillar stay a caterpillar? Why aren’t butterflies just born butterflies? Whatever the answers may be, I’m grateful that God has given us this amazing process to witness through nature and glean hope from it for our own lives. To know that I am a work in progress, that I am no longer what I was and still becoming what I will be, is such a comfort to me. God is at work - creating, transforming, renewing. When I feel stuck in my caterpillarness, weak, longing for more, I am comforted by the promise of chrysalis – I am becoming something greater by the work of God in me.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Start How You Want to Finish
A dear friend gave me this advise in regards to parenting. If you don’t want to end up with your children sleeping in bed with you, then don’t start that way. If you don’t want to end up feeding your children mac and cheese and chicken nuggets every meal, then don’t start that way. This logic is so true, not only for raising children, but for living life! Start how you want to finish. It first demands that we sit and think about the “finish” part of our life– how do I want to end up? What do I want to be known for or how do I want to be remembered? Not to be morbid, but how can we know what path to start down if we don’t know where we want to finish? This idea of thinking about the end result, thinking of the finished product and what I want it to look like has come to the forefront of my mind as my Grandmother is in the sunset years of her life at 89 years old. Our time on earth is so brief, to live without intention is a waste. To start habits or routine that seems easy for the moment, yet we know we’ll have to change down the road, seems foolish. Start how you want to finish. Even if we’ve started down paths that we know will not take us to a wonderful place, it’s not too late to change the course and start anew. Take some time to think about how you want to finish, then make plans to start living in a way that will yield that end result.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Baby Bunnies
I can’t believe you’re 4 years old today! Where has the time gone? It feels like yesterday that the doctor said, “yes, there are two babies!” I couldn’t believe it. I just prayed that you’d be healthy, but secretly, I hoped you were twin girls! I thought 2 little girls would be so much fun. And God blessed me with twin baby girls!! Emmie Squirrel – you are my precious mouse. I love how you dress up so pretty and dance and sing. You love to include everyone and graciously hand out toys to all your friends. Georgie Mouse – you are my love bug. I love how you help me in the kitchen and dance and sing while doing it! You are so loving and always give hugs and kisses to everyone. I am so blessed to have two darling daughters who teach me so much and challenge me to be a better woman every day. I love you both dearly. Happy Birthday Baby Bunnies!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

You Reap What You Sow
My girls and I planted our Summer garden today. It seemed a little bit funny to be planting a “Summer” garden while we were bundled up, trying to quickly plant before the rain came! They had so much fun digging the dirt, helping decide where to place the plants, and placing their pinwheels in the finished garden to add some color and whimsy! But now the really hard work begins – waiting! A garden is such a beautiful thing that teaches so many life lessons. Because we’ve planted zucchini, watermelon, tomatoes and various other vegetables and herbs, we are expecting to harvest zucchini, watermelon, tomatoes, etc. We will not grow what we did not plant! I’ve never seen blueberries grow on a tomato bush! You reap what you sow, or, you grow what you plant into your life. If you want the benefit of a healthy life, you must sow healthy seeds into your life. That means getting rid of hazardous relationships, toxic media, and polluted habits, and replacing them with life-giving relationships, pure information, and clean habits. “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, for that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” What fruit are you producing in your life? Is it time to rip out some plants and sow some new seeds? If there are various attributes you are seeking in your life, start planting seeds that will yield that crop in time. You reap what you sow.

Monday, April 19, 2010

I have a very hard time shutting down my mind. When I lay in bed at night, my mind races with conversations from the day, songs I’ve heard, or to-do lists that still need to be checked off. It’s not difficult to have some time to be physically still, but to be mentally still is another story. My husband and I just came back from a mini vacation. Three simple days alone in Mexico, where something amazing happened – rest! I didn’t get many extra hours of sleep (in fact I didn’t sleep well at all!), I didn’t even visit the spa, but I experienced a lot of rest and relaxation. Maybe it was the hypnotic waves, perhaps the fresh sea air, or simply the fact that I had no schedule to keep and no one to look after, but my mind was completely at peace and thus I was able to truly rest. Constant physical activity can make one very tired, but constant mental activity can be deadly. We need to find a way to quiet our minds to find true rest. When Jesus says, “come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest,” I think what he is really saying is, “come give me everything that is on your mind and I will take care of it so that you can be at peace and rest.” A quiet mind produces incredible rest where 3 days on vacation feels like 13! We are restored, renewed and rested.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

We just returned from Easter with Grammie and Papa. Although the home my parents’ live in is not the home I grew up in, it is still on the same piece of property and thus feels like home. Every time I’m there, so many memories come back – birthday parties, slumber parties, Christmas, hot dog roasts in the fire pit, getting ready on my wedding day. All of those things happened at home. Now when I take my children up there to visit, my parents go above and beyond to make our time special. Easter Bunnies filled the house this time. Eggs, chicks, baskets, all welcoming the children to come and play! I was reminded how as a child my mother not only made holidays special, but she truly made each day special. She sang songs to us, cooked amazing meals, tickled us, prayed with us, and she loved us passionately. My father always worked so hard to take care of us, he kept us safe, took us on amazing journeys all over the world, he hugged us tightly and freely told us he loved us. Now back to my “home,” I wonder what memories my children will have of this house. The home where they learned to walk, where their baby brother came home from the hospital, where they started pre-school, where they learned to swim, birthday parties, Christmas… Will they remember a mother who made each day special? Who loved them passionately? Who hugged them tightly and freely told them she loved them? No family is perfect. No parent is always right. No amount of money can turn a house into a home. Only love can do that. If we have nothing else to offer our children than our unconditional love, that is more than enough.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The one thing every human wants and needs in life is love. True love. Unconditional love. Love that will never change, no matter what we do. Without this love in our life, we simply exist. We breathe in and out to fill our lungs, but no life fills our spirit.
Recently, loneliness came over me as I sat in a room with some dear friends. I felt absent from the conversation and absent from the camaraderie of the others. As I drove home I wondered if I truly had friends who loved me. Today is Maundy Thursday, the day before Jesus went to the cross to die and I’m reminded of his time with close friends on the night before his death. They sat around a dinner table and enjoyed a meal together. I wonder if Jesus felt loved by them. Did he feel loneliness in the midst of their company? One of those very dear friends, whom he’d trusted, would betray him and send him to his death. Another would deny that he’d ever known Jesus. Is that love? Why does human love fail us sometimes? We question the love of others. We don’t love ourselves. We wonder what love really is. “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.” The true love that we seek is not of this world. Wonderful friends and family cannot fulfill us with their human love. True love can only come from God through Jesus. “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” The love of Jesus never fails, never disappoints, never runs out.


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