Tuesday, October 1, 2013

What happened??

At the end of the day when my kids are tucked in I sometimes sit back and wonder, "What happened? What did I do today?  Did I spend any time really listening to my kids or just having fun with them?"  And I always determine to live differently the next day, and sometimes I really do.

But so many days I wake up and I'm running the minute my feet hit the floor.  There's always something to clean or a status to be updated or a text or e-mail to return or a meal to be prepared.  And again at the end of the day I wonder, "What happened?"

How do I get off this treadmill when there are 4 other people on it with me?

And I want to live more simply, but the masses of stuff I've aquired is like a lead ballon everywhere I look.  And it weighs and it suffocates and I want to live free but how do I do it?  Because I read my Bible and I pray and I read books and I try to live with the attitude of gratitude and I still feel the same.  And I know I can't live based on feelings, but sometimes I want to feel free and really be free.

Deep. Breath.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

My treasure is in my stomach

"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." -Matthew 6:21

A few nights ago I listened to a sermon about money.  The pastor told a story about a friend saying to him, "Let me read your journals, then I can tell you what your treasure is."  The pastor said I don't think I can let you do that.  They're too private.  So the friend said,  "OK, let me see your bank statements.  Because wherever you spend your money, that's where your heart is."

I had to try this out.  I went through about 50 transactions on my bank statement categorizing with labels like: house, clothes, entertainment, etc...  But there was one category that took the cake, literally! 


That's right.  FOOD took a whopping 30 out of just the 50 transactions I went through.  This included things like groceries, Starbucks, eating out.  My treasure is literally going into my stomach.  I know I shouldn't have been surprised.  I've read plenty of books on the unhealthy relationship so many of us have with food.  I just had no idea my relationship with it was so out of control.

The saddest part was the 2 categories that I would swear are super important to me: giving and fitness.  Both categories only had 1 transaction out of the 50.  

There's really no good way to conclude this blog.  Not yet anyway...

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Consider it pure joy

As another school year is about to begin, it is no accident that I happen to read James 1:2-4.

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

Everyone's trials come in different shapes and sizes, and in different areas of life.  Mine tend to come in the area of motherhood, in particular with one child and school.  This particular situation started 5 years ago.  Every year I think it will be over.  I hope and I pray.  But every year it pops back up in one way or another.  

And when it first started 5 years ago I cried and and I screamed and I was mad at God and wanted to run away from it or ignore it, hoping it would just go away.  But it didn't.  So I surrendered and faced it head on believing God's promise that He "works for the good of those who love him"-Romans 8:28.  And He has worked for my good and the good of my child.  More than I even know He has worked for my good.  And sometimes I still scream and cry and want to run away.  But not at God and not from God... to God.  I run as fast as I can and say, "HELP ME!"

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Yesterday I walked under the Narrows Bridge for the first time.  I stood on the beach looking up at the two massive metal stuctures and I very much felt my true and actual size.

I am small.

I pretend not to be.  I try to make myself big.  I raise my voice loud to be heard; to seem big and in charge and in control.  I talk too much and too loud.  I wear clothes to be noticed.  I'm big and important in my mind... because I'm the only one there.

I realized I usually experience the bridge from a different perspective; up above.  I drive across it, almost daily, in my very large Suburban.  I look down on the world below and I feel big and untouchable.  But when I give up the big car and change my perspective and get into the low position I see how very small I am.  Towering cliffs and heavy trees and deep waters and giant bridges surround me.  And I am nothing and nothing makes me big and it feels right.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Hugs are not just for 'Goodnight'

Tonight when I gave my daughter a hug goodnight, I realized it was one of 2 times I had given her a hug all day long.  The other time was when she woke up... at least I think I gave her a hug when she woke up.  There was a twinge of pain in my heart.

Then I flashed to how many times my hands had touched a dish to wash or a rag to clean something today.  Too many times to count.  It's just sad.

My kids are 4,7, and almost 10.  4,7, and almost 10 happened over night.  And in 10 years they will be 14,17, and almost 20, and I'm guessing it will happen over night.  So I won't browse Pinterest or Houzz or any other thing to make my home pretty or cute.  I'll choose to leave dishes in the sink and dried milk stuck to the table.  I'll feel glad when my girls fight about who gets to sit next to me at the table.  Because pretty soon I'll be the one following my kids around wishing they had enough time for me.

Because hugs are not just for 'Goodnight'.  They are for all day long and they're more important than a tidy house.

P.S. I'm pretty sure I've written a dozen blogs with this same message.  I guess this is one of those lessons I have to learn over and over.

Friday, June 21, 2013

I will stand alone

I have a confession...

I spend a lot of time judging you, comparing myself to you, criticizing you and the way you do things, gossiping about you.

I have an apology...

I'm sorry for judging you.
I'm sorry for comparing us.
I'm sorry for criticizing you and the way you do things.
I'm sorry for gossiping about you.

I'm so so sorry!

You are a child of God.  You are fearfully and wonderfully made.  You are created in His image.

And when I stand before God I have no idea what it will be like or what He will say.  I know He will not ask me my opinion of you or what I think of the decisions you made.

I will stand alone.  And I imagine He will ask me what I did to love you, what I did to serve you, what  I did to care for you.

 “Then the king will answer, ‘The truth is, anything you did for any of my people here, you also did for me.’- Matthew 25:40

Saturday, June 8, 2013

It's bragging

I've been off Facebook for 7 or 8 months.  I get too addicted to it.  Addicted to seeing what people are up to; snooping around on peoples profiles.  Addicted to the little red notification number telling me someone "liked" or commented on my post.  The other reason I deactivated my account is because I find myself thinking extremely judgemental thoughts toward people.  I once heard someone say, "when you compare yourself to someones Facebook post you're comparing your 'behind the scenes' to their 'highlights'."

Nobody posts a picture of themselves with their besties with a caption that says "So blessed to have the most AMAZING friends in the world!", with the intent to make me feel like crap.  But if I'm feeling lonely and isolated that day, that's exactly what it does.

Just like when I post a status that says, "My husband is the best!!  I came home to a clean house, a beautiful bouquet of tulips, and my favorite dinner.", I don't mean to make anyone else feel bad.  But if you and your hubby are going through a rough season, and you just got into a massive fight before reading my status, I'm guessing it might make you feel pretty bad.

The thing is, saying these things is not bad.  It's good!  But does it really need to be said for all of Facebook to see?  What is the purpose of that?  Wouldn't it be just as effective, if not more, to send your "besties" a card or a letter telling them how amazing you think they are?  And couldn't I just tell my husband to his face how much I appreciate him?

When we do this over social media it's bragging.  I'm sure this is never anybodies intent.  But that's exactly what it is.  I promise I am not casting stones.  I have been the 'Facebook Bragger' more times than I care to admit.  Any one of my friends could tell you that.  It's just not right.

I'm not saying all status updates are bragging, but so many are.  We were not created to blurt out every thought that comes into our mind.  People do not need to know about every good thing we are doing or everything going on in our lives.

"Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men to be seen by them.  If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.  Do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret.  Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.  For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted."  Matthew 6:1,3,4; 23:12

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


We recently bought a house and moved.  We still own our other house and are working to turn it into a rental property.  But until it is ready to rent we have 2 mortgages.  Needless to say, this causes the budget to be a little tight.  So guess what?  I haven't been tithing.  I haven't been giving our usual "10%".

I don't write this to justify why I'm not tithing right now.  I write it because every time I don't tithe I feel guilt, not conviction, guilt.  Like something bad is going to happen if I don't give a certain amount of money for a few months.  Guilt; because I'm not tithing right now we're never going to get someone to rent our house.

And then something bad does happen.  A strong gas smell comes from our oven every time I turn it on. So bad I have to open the doors and windows.  And this morning the burners won't light.  And my first thought is, "this wouldn't have happened if you would have been tithing."

Do you know what this is?  LIES!!!

God does not work that way!  He does not guilt me into obedience.  He does not shame me when I'm down.

The devil on the other hand does.  He loves to play the guilt card and he knows exactly when to use it.  Always when I'm already down; he throws in another punch to beat me further down.


I choose not to believe the lies today.  Crappy stuff happens.  Ovens break, things get lost, money gets tight.  This is not God's punishment on me.  Rather it is an opportunity to grow my faith and to see God at work.

" Do not worry about tomorrow.  Each day has enough trouble of it's own.  There is no condemnation in Christ!  He works for my good because I love Him."

Thursday, May 16, 2013

You are here

Lately I've noticed I'm paying a lot of attention to where other people are in life.  I've been envious and wondered why I'm not where some people are.  Or I've been judgemental and wondered why others aren't where I am.

God gave me a picture of a map.  One of those maps you would find in a mall or an airport.  The one's that have a big red star or something of the like with the words "YOU ARE HERE".  And suddenly I got it.  I am here.  I am living my life, not someone else's.  

I am in one part of the mall while others are at a completely different place.  And that's OK.  But I can't get where I'm going if I'm looking at where they are, rather than where I am.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Life is a mess

Today as I was getting ready for the day my 4 year old daughter made a mess of clothes and blankets in my closet.  I snapped at her and said, "I'm sick and tired of cleaning up messes you make."  She ran out of the closet, feelings hurt.  Immediately I was convicted and heard the Lord say, "How many times have I had to clean up your messes." Truth.

I apologized and asked my daughters forgiveness.  I thought about how life is messy and probably always will be... until the day I die.  Real life does not look like a Potter Barn magazine page.  It's full of activity and movement and mess  and action.  And if it were any other way I'd be bored out of my mind.  

Thank you Jesus for the mess of life and that you are always right there beside me.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Bottle it up

I never want to forget today.  The kids and the cousins and I took a walk to get a free sucker at the Metropolitan Market.  The we headed for the playground.  Just as we arrived it started to pour.  We played anyway.  They giggled and laughed as the splashed down the slide and slipped off the monkey bars.  We didn't stay long.

As we walked home I thought my heart might burst with joy!  We walked through my old neighborhood.  Streets I've walked a million times.  We passed by my best friends old house.  I watched my almost 7 year-old daughter hold her 2 year-old cousins hand.  She looked so grown up. They jumped over cracks and into puddles.  Dandelions were picked.  Sticks were grabbed.  The was running and skipping and twirling.

Never in my life have I wanted to bottle up a moment in time so badly.  It was so simple.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Awkward moments at Starbucks

I went to Starbucks today and saw someone I knew.  By saw I mean, when I first saw her I didn't recognize her, then I squinted my eyes and awkwardly tilted my head forward to get a better look. At this time the lady who was sitting at the table with her noticed me staring (and probably thought I was a total weirdo).  You would think at this point in time I would say something to the lady, but no.  I just looked down and pretended to look at the paint samples in front of me. I'm pretty sure at one point I caught the person I knew (yes it really was her) glance up at me and quickly look back down.  This gave me the impression that she wasn't super interested in talking to me, so I just kept my eyes on my paint samples and left about 10 minutes later.

It's so weird.  Why was it so awkward?  At one point this woman was a very important person in my life.  I looked forward to seeing her and talking with her every week.  We had even talked about her mentoring me at one time.  Now we're avoiding each other at Starbucks.

All I had to do was say "Hi".

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Candid Conversations

Sometimes candid conversations with good friends are more refreshing that a church service.  Let's just be honest with each other.  Nobody wants to be friends with a perfect person.  My best friends are the people who know my crap, and I know theirs.  We all have junk we try to hide and we wish no one would ever find out about.  But when we get the courage to tell someone about it there is such a freedom that comes with it.  It's like saying, "This is the real me.  Do you still love me?"  And the REAL friend will still love you...junk in the trunk and all.