Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Anything that we place above God is an idol in our life. Anything. Many years back I was faced with a large decision in my life; to move to a new city and take on a new job, or move into a new condo I had just bought and carry on in my familiar city with friends and a great job. One verse leapt off the page to me as I sought wisdom from God, “Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.” – Jonah 2:8 The big roadblock for me was this condo that I dreamed about and wanted to move into so badly that I could taste it! But holding onto that condo was potentially keeping me from something amazing if I’d be willing to let go. I did and amazing blessing flooded my life in a new city with a new job. Yesterday in church our pastor spoke about idols in our life. What today is a priority above God for me? What dominates my time, if not Him? One thing quickly came to mind – my computer. At any free moment I run to quickly check e-mails or check social networking sites to see what’s going on, is anyone thinking of me? Did anyone comment on my status? Are there any new photos? It might sound silly and innocent, but it's a bit of an obsession. If I spent all that time praying or reading verses, I think my day would look radically different. My need to feel important, included, and relevant is something I’ve placed before God, in fact, instead of God! For truly He is the only one who can give importance to my life, make me feel apart of something larger than myself, and use me to impact the world for His glory. As of today I am on an indefinite social networking hiatus. I hope to return in the right time with a proper sense of priorities! What idols do you have? Is there anything in your life that you value more than God? Marriage? Kids? Job? Your dog? Your home? Fashion? Time on your computer? Anything that we place above God is an idol in our life.
Friday, August 27, 2010
At the beach house I bought the girls their first kite. I’ve been waiting for this moment and doing it with my brother seemed perfect because he’s always loved to fly kites! The girls were anxious to launch the kite and were thrilled as it lifted off and sailed high. When it first crashed, my daughter ran to pick it up and throw it into the air. My brother, however, discovered that if he just tugged the string, the kite would lift off on its own and fly again. My daughter wasn’t too happy about that (but my brother and I thought it was great that we didn’t need to move and could stay comfy on the sand!). As I saw her disappointment, I realized that she really wanted to help. It wasn’t about doing what was easiest; it was about her having a role in flying the kite. We let her run back and forth every time it crashed and gave her the joy of launching the kite and feeling important as she helped it fly. How many times do I simply do what is quickest and easiest? Eliminating what at the time seems like a nuisance of little people wanting to interfere? All the while there are little hands eager to help and longing to be a part of what I’m doing. Life isn’t all about getting things done in the most perfect or efficient manner. It’s about sharing life, passing on wisdom, teaching simple tasks and learning new things together. Whether it’s making sandwiches, setting the table, or flying kites, I’m better off to take the extra time to include my children and let them help because if I continue to cut them out of the process, one day, when I really need their help, they won’t be equipped or willing.
Monday, August 23, 2010
We just returned from a lovely vacation at a beach house in Northern California. In dreamlike beach house fashion, the furniture was overstuffed and comfy, there was a large picture window with a spectacular unobstructed view, and downstairs there were bunk beds! That might sound silly, but it was a dream for my little girls! For fear that one might fall out in the middle of the night, they both shared the bottom bunk which was a double bed. Somehow I ended up on the top bunk for the majority of the week and the result was amazing. My daughters slept so soundly and didn’t get up at all through the night. There was such a comfort in knowing that mom was just above them and they were safe. I recall as a child, the times I felt most safe were when we were on vacation and all four of us were together in a hotel room. With mom and dad right next to me, I knew I was safe and I could sleep so peacefully. I love that my God promises to be with me always, to uphold me with His right hand, and to never leave me nor forsake me. There is such a comfort and peace in knowing that I don’t journey through life alone and I can rest assured that someone is on the top bunk, watching over me and keeping me safe.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
This word takes my mind in a couple of directions – discipline, as in the strength to do something I need to do rather than do what I want to do! Or, discipline, the act of correcting and instructing, usually following inappropriate behavior. These days the later is on my mind most of the time. My daughters need discipline more and more and I find their different responses to discipline rather interesting. One fights me and gets very angry when she is going to be disciplined. She is not broken nor sorry for her actions at all – she is stubborn! The other is still quite upset, but she almost willingly yields to the discipline and will always run to hug me through her tears. Unfortunately, I am much more like the first daughter! It takes me longer to yield to the hand of discipline and truly grasp that it is for my good, and that healthy discipline is done out of love. As a parent, I find the task to disciplining my children out of sheer love for them and a desire to protect them from evil behavior to be rather difficult. I confess that I’m usually disgusted by what they’ve done and rather angry. How does God do it? I’m amazed that He doesn’t pour out His wrath on me more and “let me have it!” He is gentle and kind. His heart breaks when He sees me disobey. He steps in with a controlled strength and loves me desperately as He rescues me from myself. God disciplines the ones that He loves. If we love our children, we must discipline them.
Monday, August 9, 2010
Nothing thrills me more than to see one of my children genuinely having fun with their friends – playing their own games, running with their imaginations, sharing, hugging… all without a prompting from mom! It’s so magical to see their pure excitement, love, and joy when seeing one of their friends. It’s almost like a sigh of relief, or expectations met, or even a dream come true – that sight of your friend walking through the door that makes you feel like “now the fun can begin!” My heart is full seeing my children want to share life with others. Perhaps we spend too much time with friends because they ask me almost every morning, “who’s coming over today Mommy?”! I grew up surrounded by wonderful family friends that we vacationed with and spent holidays with. All of my relatives live in other states, so these families quickly became what we call our, “California Family.” And truly, they are my family. I want my children to have the same depth of relationship in their lives, relationship that goes beyond play dates, but really is sharing life together. Good times and bad. Nothing is better than great friends to share life with and that truly excited feeling when they walk through your door!
Monday, August 2, 2010
I was recently at my neighbor’s house for dinner when I saw their amazing, abundant peach tree. I was envious from the start and asked if they were loving the peaches? She kinda shrugged her shoulders as if to say, “not really.” A few hours later I couldn’t get the plethora of fruit off my mind and starting to grow a bit too envious, so I asked her if she’d be interested in making peach jam? Much to my joy she thought it sounded like fun and we made a date! This is in no reflection of my sweet neighbors whom I love dearly, but I got to thinking of the abundance we have in our lives. It may be in the form of money, time, talents, gifts… what are we doing with the abundance we’ve been given? Are we overwhelmed by the responsibility? Are we sitting idly, ignoring the possibilities? Are we wasting life waiting for just the right moment to share? Or are we giving what we’ve been given to enhance the life of another? God has blessed each one of His children with an abundance for us to use to bless others. If you don’t know what do to with the abundance God has given to you, ask a friend to make some suggestions. They just might have a great idea of what to do with the abundance you have – something you’ve never though of like making "jam"! I am blessed to have several jars of divine peach jam in my home because of the abundance that my neighbors shared.