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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Put on a happy face

"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." I Thessalonians 5:16-18.

Do you rejoice always, in all things, in all circumstances? Yeah, me either! I mean I know I should. It's what we are instructed to do. But sometimes, I'm just not happy with my situation. However, I was lead to these verses a couple of days ago and they have continued to ring in my mind. First, let me take you back about 2 weeks. On Saturday, Aug 13th, my mom came to live with us, not permanently, but still without any notice. For several days, she had been having a lot of pain in her left knee. So on my way home from the gym, I called to check on her. No answer. I tried her cell. She was in tears, telling me she was on her way to our house. She'd been to the ER, she had her clothes and she was going to stay with us for awhile. WHAT!!! Ok, it's only for a couple of days (or so we thought). Little did we know, she no longer has any cartilage in that knee and needs a total knee replacement. So she has been in a lot of pain; and we have had to rearrange our home, schedules and lives to accommodate her present needs.

Now, I come from a family (as does my husband) that strongly believes in caring for your parents as they age. Inconvenience aside, we both knew it was the right thing to do. And although better than I used to be, I'm still not very good at "rolling with the punches". I am a planner. I need warning and time to prepare before changes can be made in my life. But apparently, God had forgotten about that little quirk, because 10 minutes later she was in our living room, leg propped up in a recliner (no, not my husband's). Did I mention, she had to bring her big, slobbery Boxer too. (sigh)

So if you can't tell, I've been stressed out!!! I really felt like I needed to go in a closet or up to a mountain top so God and I could have a chat. But between caring for 2 kids, my mom, 2 dogs and a husband,  there has barely been time for a shower. So while enjoying a few quiet moments, I felt God lead me to read I Thessalonians 5:17. I read the 2 short words, "pray continually," and decided to read the surrounding verses. "Rejoice always. Give thanks in all circumstances." Immediately, I knew that God was speaking to me about my attitude and the stress I'd been feeling. I LOVE  how God meets you right where you are, with the perfect words you need to hear. He knew my quirks. He knew I'd be stressed. He knew how overwhelmed I'd be. He knew HE had it all under control. And He knew what verse to use to speak to me, familiar verses revealed in a new light. I can't control what God allows to bring into my life. But I can control my attitude. He says "rejoice, pray and give thanks." They aren't suggestions. They are commands!  And although it may be difficult at times, it's what I will strive to do.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Change my heart, Oh God!

As a parent, you experience everything your kids go through, just on a grander scale. When they succeed, you beam with joy; when they fall, you rush to pick them up; when they are sad, your heart break with them and when they make a tough (but right) choice you smile and thank God that at least something you said got through.

I thought the hard part of parenting was the sleepless nights, the potty training, the whining, the temper tantrums and the embarrassing questions from the mouths of babes. Oh, how wrong I was! I think God has given me two children with a 6 1/2 year age gap as a reminder that in fact...this is the easy part! I'm coming to the conclusion that the older they get the harder your heart breaks for them and the more prayers you pray. So then why is it so hard for me to totally pray my kids over to God? I mean, He created them, and loves them more than I could ever imagine. He has allowed my husband and I the privilege of caring for them, and trusted us to do so. So as they are beginning to make their own choices (and not all of them being what I would make for them), why don't I trust that He will cover them, protect them, guide them, and ultimately bring them back to Him if need be? I trust God so completely with other areas of my life, yet find it such a struggle to give my precious babes back to Him. When in fact, they were His precious angels before they were mine.

Tonight, my 9 year old prayed that God would change his heart and help him be more kind to his sister. But his isn't the only heart that needs to change...

"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." ~ Proverbs 22:6

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Time for Me

I'm exhausted! Even as I write this post today, I am struggling to keep my eyes open. Blame it on the heat, the humidity, or just life in general - but Momma needs a break (or at least a nap)!

Sometimes, we as moms, think we are the Energizer bunny. We just keep going until our tank is empty, then we continue to run on fumes. And if we do take a couple of minutes (and I do mean a couple of minutes) for ourselves, that little voice begins reminding us of all the things that still need to be done. Whether it's society or our own need to feel like Super Mom, we tell ourselves to just keep going right into exhaustion. We become stressed out and frustrated. We aren't able to be the wives, mothers, friends or women we want to be, that we're called to be. And really the solution is simple: all we need is a break. And guess what??? It's ok!! In fact, it's necessary.

I learned shortly after I became a SAHM (stay at home mom) that although I had everything I ever wanted, I needed some "me time". I found it doesn't have to be long, maybe only 30 minutes or so. But I desperately needed it and I bet you do too. Find something you enjoy-read a book, take a nap when the kids take one, go to the gym, grab a cup of coffee, just sit and enjoy the silence, re-discover a hobby. The dishes and laundry will still be there when you're done. Chances are you will be refreshed and ready to tackle the rest of your day.  So what are you waiting for? Go enjoy some "me time" before the kids find you online. :)

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