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Monday, April 25, 2016

Children Make You Crazy ~

James 4:1   What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? ESV

My daughter makes me crazy.  She is defiant, hard-headed, stubborn, controlling, and always has to have the last word. She is a literal thinker and assumes every word that I say to her has a hidden meaning. She is exasperating!! (do people still even use the word “exasperating”). My daughter can push every button I have in seconds. My daughter….

I don't like it when I'm in the middle of being pissed off and God says, “Hey now. You're mad at your child.  She has these terrible character traits. She is hot-headed and controlling. She speaks her mind. Hmmmm. I know exactly how you feel. She reminds me of…”  

God, as your child, I can only imagine how “exasperating” I am to You.  Today, I had a reality check.  Sometimes You have to put it right in my face to make me see it.  I’m so thankful You don’t don’t see us through human eyes, but with love, compassion, understanding and grace.  This year of the onion….geez...

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Sending Him Back~

Philemon 1:12. I am sending him back to you; sending my very heart.  NIV

This morning, I was sitting in my husband’s shop.  Sometimes, we talk about our babies. Would they have had brown eyes like their daddy, or blue, like mine?  Would they have been boys or girls?  For sure, they would have had dimples.

13 years ago, I had 2 pregnancies. The first baby, we loved for 6 weeks. The next baby, we were able to carry and love for 14 weeks.  When we passed that 12 week stage, we just knew this baby would live.  But, he didn’t.

I remember when they died, I was so angry. I could not understand why I couldn't have a baby. Everywhere I went, 15 year olds had healthy babies they didn't even want. I probably spent about a year totally pissed off with God.

Now, I see God had a bigger plan.

God,  I cannot wait to get to Heaven to hold those babies. Thank you so much  for a husband who understands and talks to me about our babies, even 13 years later.  Sending my babies back to You before I even got to meet them was one of the most heartbreaking things I’ve ever done.  I didn’t think I’d ever live through it.  I’m so sorry I was mad with You.  At the time, I didn’t understand.  Part of my heart is already in Heaven, God.  Hold them close until I can get there and hold them myself.  

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

See Me ~

Proverbs 31:28  Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:  NIV

See me ~ As your wife, who is your biggest cheerleader.

See me ~ As your mom; the one who loves you unconditionally.

See me ~ See that your laundry is done.  

See me ~ See that I fixed dinner and brought you a plate for you after working all day.  

See me ~ The house that you came to after work is a home.

See me ~ Your children are safe, fed, clean, and loved.  

See me ~ That you will always be loved.  

See me ~ Don’t take me for granted.

God, tonight I pray that the women who read this post know that they are loved, treasured, and cherished.  Being a Wife, Mom, and working woman is tough.  Help our spouses and our children actually see what we do for them.  Help them not take us for granted.  I don’t know of anybody who doesn’t like to hear that they have done a great job.  Sometimes, we are so exhausted, that we end up feeling resentful; like our boat is sinking and nobody cares.  Tonight, I ask that you show us that no matter what, God, You care.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Seasons of Her Life ~

Malachi 3:6. "I the Lord do not change." KJV

I read a post yesterday from a young mother.  She said her laundry wasn’t done.  Her floors were muddy as well. She is the homeschooling mother already and is expecting another baby.  They have a ministry, also.  She said she is just exhausted - in this season of her life.

I talked with a neighbor today. She is retired and misses the companionship of her coworkers as she tries to find her balance - in this season of her life.

My cousins (two of them) are pausing their lives to care for their elderly parents - in their season of their lives.

I talked with a lifelong friend in the grocery store about the struggle she is having with her adult daughter - in this season of her life.

Tomorrow I will photograph dozens of young people as they get ready for prom - in their season of their lives.

God, every one of us are in a different season of our lives. Some are exciting, some are exhausting, some are promising, some are demanding, and some are just heartbreaking. Our seasons change, God.  But You never do. You're  constant. You're our Rock, no matter what season we are in. You never change, even when our lives do.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Making Ends Meet~

Philippians 4:19   And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from His glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.  NIV

I bet when you saw the title, you thought this would be a blog post about finances.  Not today.  This is about you.  How, as a working woman, wife, mother, daughter to aging parents, or even a single mom struggling with day to day demands “make ends meet” in your personal/emotional/what about me time bank?

It’s tough, isn’t it?  You think you have it all figured out.  You set up your little schedules.  On paper, it works.  In reality, it never balances out, leaving you exhausted and empty.  At the end of the day, almost, you fall into bed, leaving something undone.  The next day, you try again.

The fact is this:  It’s ok.  You are hanging by a sliver of the last thread on the end of your rope, but you are hanging still.  Your kid will be ok if they play ball in dirty underwear because you forgot to throw the whites in the dryer before you fell asleep.  Sandwiches or cereal for supper never killed anyone.  And, most importantly, you’re going to miss this season of your life sooner than you expect.  Give yourself some grace.

God, today I ask a special prayer for every overwhelmed woman reading this blog.  I pray that You hold them in Your hand and remind them that You do, indeed, supply their every need.  No matter what season they are in, You are there, making the way.  Help them to see that it’s ok, that they are doing a great job, that they are worthy of this job You have given them. Every person needs to know someone is proud of them. I ask today that you put someone in their paths to encourage, uplift, and help them “make ends meet”.  

Friday, April 8, 2016

Peace and Husbands~

Philippians 4:9  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  NIV

I am a control freak.  I like everything to be the way I want it when I want it and exactly how I want it.  I like order.  I don’t like change. I don’t like last minute.  I don’t like “late”.
If I want the garbage taken out, I want it done right now.  It doesn’t matter that the ballgame is on and it’s the last few seconds of the last quarter and the score is tied.   I end up just taking the damn garbage out myself, and being mad the whole way to the garbage can.  Note to self: Guard my attitude. Women set the tone of their household.  

Sometimes, God puts people in your life to change you, to test you, to build your testimony.  That’s why He gives us husbands and children.  First off, I think anything male has their own internal time clock.  “On time” means “before it’s over”.  My husband thinks helping with the housework involves moving his feet so I can mop under them.  He thinks helping me get ready to go somewhere means sitting in the car with the motor running “to cool it off” while I get everything loaded.  Men are precious.  And I don’t even have enough words to rant about children.  

Letting go of control has been one of the biggest battles in my “Year of the Onion”.  Picking my battles, seeing what is important, and finding humor instead of resentment are a few more.  Waiting.  That is another.  Geez…..I sound like I need to go on Dr. Phil.  I bet my husband would agree!

God, thank You for showing me that the world won’t end if I turn loose of the control a little.  Thank you for teaching me about Your peace.  I love how you are showing me how ridiculous  some of my hangups are.  Guard my heart and my mind, God, when I tend to get frustrated with things that don’t really matter at all.  I pray for my precious husband, too.  I’m sure he needs some of that peace that transcends understanding, too.  After all, he’s married to me.

Monday, April 4, 2016

What Might Have Beens

Isaiah 43:18  Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. NIV

Do you ever catch yourself thinking about the “what might have been” things in your life?  I kind of got stuck here for a little while this morning when I realized that it is April 4.  In 1980, I married on this date.  We promised to love, cherish, honor and respect each other until the day we died. Well, we didn’t.  

I wasn’t the best wife, that’s for sure.  He wasn’t the best husband, either.  So, we did what so many people do in this day and age.  We ended our marriage.  Divorces are nasty, vicious, bitter, hate-filled battles.  Divorces leave everybody involved wounded and broken, some much more than others.  But, what I learned from that season of my life is I am not who I was then:  I am better.  I cannot change one thing about my former marriage, because that is in the past. I cannot be bitter over a nasty divorce that happened 18 years ago, but I can learn from mistakes that I made, accept responsibility for them, and make sure I don’t repeat them.  I can refuse to waste my life holding grudges and being resentful and angry. Been there. Done that. Accomplished nothing.

God, thank You for reminding me that sometimes we have to move out of the bitterness of the past.  You’ve given me such a loving husband.  We have a wonderful life together.  We respect each other.  Today, I choose to not dwell on the “what might have beens” of the past.  I am so thankful for Your grace.  This “year of the onion” stuff has been tough.  Thank You for walking with me, every step of the way.