I did it again.

Do you ever do it?  I do.  Sometimes too many times in one day.

I know it is not good.  But at times I feel it is the only option.

What about you?

I am talking about escaping.  Running away.  Allowing the overwhelming parts of life to overwhelm to the point of hiding. 

How do I hide or escape?  My go-to escape is Facebook.  I hate it.  I have this love/hate addiction to Facebook.  The worst part is I think I can control it, and well I can’t.

So when life is crazy here, when I want to yell (and sometimes after I yell) I turn to cope with Facebook.  I don’t stop and realize that Jesus is right there in the midst of my being overwhelmed.  I don’t stop and pray that He would give me what I need to deal with what I am running from.  I run.  I hide.

So, today I deleted Facebook off my phone.  I admit, it may not be permanent, but for now it is necessary.  I need to face life.  I need to be here.  I need to deal with the hand I am dealt and not cope by entering the alternate reality of Facebook.  You know?

We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who had been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin.  Let us approach the throne of grace with confidence , so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.  Hebrews 4:15-16

Oh, my.  I need to put this somewhere to remember, maybe a screen saver to stop me when I am tempted to run.

I serve a priest who knows about temptation, and while sometimes I might add “but not the temptation we face with children” – but really, those disciples were just like children!!  He faced trials and he never ran away, instead he ran into it.  He stood his ground or he went deeper. 

When I run I miss the chance to go deeper with my kids, with my struggle, with my need.  I miss it because I run away, and the moment is gone.

So, instead of running (for a while) I hope to stand firm, lean in to my struggle, and see where God leads me and what God teaches me.

Want to join me?

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Those Days

I bet you don’t have them.  But you know people who do.  You know.  Your friend who calls because it is one of those days.  Maybe your neighbor.  But not you…..

Desperate.

Unglued.

Yes, one of those days.

I love that as I am reading Desperate, (and quite honestly feeling like I don’t need it, ha ha) and also the devotion for Unglued – I had one of those days.

All my tomato plants that I have been nurturing for, oh maybe 10 weeks, yes those.  They started dying.  Ugh.  Depression descended upon me.

Then, my kids were not being the angelic beings that I expect them to be – right, silly me.  Math was taking my youngest boy about 9 hours, give or take an hour.  Math U See.  2 pages – 40 problems.  9 HOURS people!!  Oh my.

So.  When Robert finally woke up (he was sleeping from working nights the night before) I informed him I quit.  I was resigning immediately.  Sign the kids up at Malakoff ISD.  I was done with it all.  No yelling.  No screaming.  No slamming doors.  Just a simple clear resignation.

He laughed.

 

The nerve.  He laughed.  This was serious.  I was losing it and it was not pretty.  And, he laughed. 

Then I grabbed Desperate by Sarah Mae.  You know, the one Sally helped write.  The one from a younger mom that I did not really need, my kids are not young, I am not desperate.

Oh wait. 

They are not young.  Right.  But that last part about not being desperate – wait, that was ME.  As I read I cried.  As I sat there after tending my resignation I cried.  I feel like such a failure as my oldest 12 year old hormonal boy disrespects me every 5 minutes, complains about every single thing, grumbles about simple responsibilities.  I keep telling myself if I was doing it right my other son would not take 9 hours to do math.  They would all do the right think.  My oldest would politely grumble.  he would occasionally show some respect (not a new concept around here).  Clearly I am horrible and this and need to find a new job.

Ugh.

But God spoke.  Through Robert who laughed some more.  (honestly.)  Through the Word that I ran to as well.  He told me to rest in the hope that I have in him.  Hope for things I do not see.  He reminded me as my boy speaks his mind right now, he is testing boundaries, me, life and himself.  I remember back to my middle years when I would do things I did not know why I was doing.  Saying things I did not mean. 

So I TRY to offer grace.  I try to offer a sweet spirit.  But man, this journey is HARD!!!  I just want a little respect.  But you know what?  Jesus, yeah, he got none.  He was worthy of so much more than me and got less – and he humbly asked for God to forgive them.

So I am humbled.  God is working through these boys’ hearts.  He is working through me, teaching me more patience, more of leaning into him, more about what this life should really look like.  Yuck, sometimes.

And that Unglued devotional, I cannot tell you the times I have opened in the last few days that the devotions have been exactly what I needed to read in that moment.  Seriously – more than chance (which I don’t believe it) this was divine intervention!!  God has so been speaking to my heart in the devotion.

So, I know you don’t have these days.  I don’t have them all that often – I am sure my hormones were wildly swinging this day too – but I still have them.

The day ended much better.  Robert and I ran about a mile away (well, we drove) had dinner for about 15$ ~without kids~ and I withdrew my resignation.  So, I still have a job – and as of today, I love it! 

pieces

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I love it when God is working, you can see it, you cannot see what he is doing but you know he is moving about.

I always find it amazing when he is working the same thing using many people too.  For instance, he may use one person to tell you the first part, then another situation to tell you the next and it takes getting up at 5:00am one morning and a few quiet minutes on the couch for you to put it all together.  Maybe it is just me.  But I love when he does this.

He did it recently.  I poured out a {brief} part of my life that I have been struggling with for years, okay, really more than that – almost decades.  I told this dear friend the Reader’s Digest version, we did not have all night, and asked for her opinion.  She did not tell me what I expected to hear, I expected to hear, well do this……

Instead, she said, be still.  Stop doing everything.  Be still and wait on the Lord.  I said, really?  You mean, don’t do “this” or “this” or even “that”?  Really?  Do nothing?  Then I confessed I have a REALLY hard time doing nothing.  Especially when I care a great deal about something, and I do care so much about this.  But really, nothing???  Yes, she assured me.  She gently told me that no matter what I do, I cannot change this situation, the hearts involved, that God needed to do it and he did not need me. 

 

This whole time (decades, really.) I have believed that it was up to me to do the right thing that would change everything.  I have been trying to fix it.  I am a fixer, I am not so much a “be still”-er. 

So I have been chewing on that.

Next, Kristen is leading another book e-study and I am simply listening in, not reading, just gleaning.  But the verse this week to meditate on is

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Phil 4:13

So, I have been really working on knowing I can Be Still, if I allow Christ to still me, my actions, my mind – if I let him direct my thoughts and me, I can be still.

Lastly, in Sunday school some friends just came back from 2 months in Uganda.  He shared Psalm 16 in Sunday school and I knew it was something I needed to spend some time with.  This morning, I was able to complete this pictures God has been putting together.

I am loving v.2 –

I said to the Lord, “You are my Lord, apart from you I have no good thing.” Psalm 16:2

So, apart from him, as in : in my own strength – I have no good thing.  Goes back to – when I am not still, when I am not resting in him in my trials, I am stepping on my own and “fixing” – I have no good thing.  I have no peace, no joy, no strength.

So, God used 3 people, to each offer a piece of a puzzle he was putting together.  But without some quiet minutes this morning I am not sure I would have seen the big picture – I am not sure I would have seen how it all fits together.

God is so good, sometimes we just need to slow down enough to see Him, hear Him, and Know him.

{so thankful for friends who speak the truth, for trusting even though it is hard, for waking up early…}

Where to start

Recently, my dear husband and I have felt like we need to back up and start some things over.  What prompted this?  Well, when you realize you are still falling into destructive patterns, say when you fight, it is not a good thing.  Not when you are on the brink of your 15th anniversary.  You know?  So we had to go backward a bit, dig up some of the yucky and ask ourselves how can we do this different?

Well, one way is to get away more often.  The past, say two years, we have had about 6 dates I think.  Especially if you do not count the company Christmas Party, or similar things.  Because, honestly, who talks about deep stuff at the “crazy” company Christmas party?  Not me. (it is hard to get my husband to talk about deep stuff anytime, but especially not in front of people who know him!!)

 

So we took some time to talk about our marriage and where we are looking for changes.  We talked about what we each do well, and where we are needing some improvements.  It was good.

Next up, date night.  So fun to get away and catch a movie, but the best part was the plan to work on our family mission statement over some dinner.  I was impressed that when I told Robert he was in charge of planning the conversation, that this is what he wanted to do.  Floored is more like it. 

So I printed off a few things that I found on the internet to help guide us, and I did not really look at it prior to printing, I mean, we were walking out the door….

Mistake #1.  When you sit down to do this, you need to make sure the guide you are using is Biblically based, otherwise you will see words like happy, fulfilled, and fun throughout.  Not sure those are God’s call to us as believers.   Honestly, I think we could build a mission statement with a piece of paper, a pen and the Bible.  Really, that is the only guide we need.  But it is helpful to see some steps outlined as we go through this.  The most important part of this statement, though, is that it reflects the overall vision of God, his word.  It must be able to lay next to the Bible and support what it tells us we need to do, and how we need to live. 

So, this morning I went back to my search and found the Simple Mom’s version of a guide HERE.  LOVE it!!  I am printing this so that my husband and I can look it over and we can start again.  There are other great bloggers out these who have shared their journey through this, but for now, we are going to follow Tsh as she went through her journey and the steps she took.  I know we will end up in a good place for our marriage and our family!!

So, do you have a Family Mission Statement?  I am so sad to say we have never written one down.  We have talked about it many, many times – but I guess we felt like we were good.  Now that our kids are flying through childhood, approaching adolescence, it is not a desire any longer – it is a REQUIREMENT!!  Life is far to hectic and crazy to not have the main purpose defined, clearly. 

So we are off, to plan, to share and to create. 

Renewal

I am still a bit amazed at how God showed up this morning during my quiet time.  I am not sure why.  I am not sure why I allow myself to forget in order to be amazed over and over.

The last 2 weeks I have virtually played hooky from my morning quiet time.  I was getting to bed late, rushing through a few quiet moments before the crowd assembled (my kids) and it was anything but intimate and precious.

This morning I woke up at 5:30 on my own, sans alarm clock or showering husband.  I love when that happens!!  I love when he gently prods me to open those eyes and get out of my bed.

And after 2 days of getting back into the groove, I hit my stride this morning.  God was there.  He was waiting for me to show up, to leave my agenda behind, to really allow him to lead my moments.  So I did.

I turned to Psalms to pray through a Psalm – I wanted to change things up a bit from my note cards, and just pray through words he penned in the book.  I ended up in Psalm 77.

(First, let me tell you how Jen Hatmaker wrote yesterday (well I read it yesterday) the value of writing our prayers – keeping a log.  How those who have gone before us logged their prayers throughout the pages of our Bible and who are we to not!?)

I prayed through many verses, but

verse 11 : I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes I will remember your miracles of long ago

That hit me right between the eyes.

You see, yesterday morning I was questioning why I write my prayers down each morning, for the same people, many the same prayers.  Why do I log them?  Why?  Then Jen told me what she thought, why I should.  Then God told me. 

But, it does not stop there.  As I am praying, studying, etc.  I get a message from Kristen, telling me she prayed this morning too.  She prayed

Psalm 68:9 – you gave abundant showers O God; you refreshed your weary inheritance. 

That’s right, the same Psalm 68 Jen Hatmaker took us through 3 weeks ago.  Yes, that is my God – he is BIG and he knits things together perfectly.

You see, God “gave” – he did it in the past, they were reflecting on what he did in the past, they wrote about it.  They logged all God’s goodness of what he has DONE.  And as they logged, they provided a record for you and me.  And we need to do the same.

Why?  Because this road we travel is long.  It is hard.  And it is with MANY bumps along the way.  When we hit those bumps we need the log to look back on and remember.  Remember when he refreshed their (our) weary souls.  We remember his faithfulness, his love for us, his mercy.  We remember all he has done and trust that he is not done doing for us.

I love it when God – I mean I show up .  Really, was God there on the couch at 5:30 yesterday?  Last week?  you bet.  He is always there.  He is waiting for me to show up with a humble heart, with an open agenda to let him lead me.  The habit of prayer is wonderful, but we need to be open enough in carrying out our habits to listen to the still small voice – as it calls us to follow him.  Sometimes it looks different, and we wonder, but oh, it can be so precious when we do!


Today was a much needed morning of renewal.  So thankful!!

Constantly offering up thanks…

#376 ~ #385 {Gratitude Journal}

– friends who text at 6am – accountability!!

– Friends who inspire : Flo

– Friends who love & dig deeper : Julie

– Friends who say what I need to hear : Kristen

– Friends who push : Jenna

– a quiet house at 5:30, other than Louie waking up the world

– a pull back to my blog

– laying down health concerns of my boy, trusting God can sort it out

– truth of resting in who I am and knowing that is good enough

– finding God on the couch, waiting for me to offer my heart.