Friday, December 19, 2014

Lights


                This has been a week.  A long and hard week as a 3 year old boy in our church passed away.  We were at his family’s house cleaning and helping out, when I looked out the window and noticed a man from church on the roof.  He was putting up Christmas lights on their house.  It touched my heart as I watched him.  It was freezing outside, probably ten degrees and he was out there willingly serving so the family could come home to some lights on their house.  After losing a light in their family so unexpectedly at this time of year that is supposed to be a time of cheer, lightheartedness and fun, they would be coming home to a bit of darkness.  But I wanted to think as they got home to their home, their sanctuary, their safe place, they would see the lights and be reminded of the light of Christ.  The baby who was born into this world to bring light.  A light that would never be dimmed or faded with the passage of time. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Dear (five minute prompt)


Dear

When Blake and I first started dating, he called me “dear”.  It was almost a deal breaker because what 21 year old calls his girlfriend “dear”?  I always that was an old person term of endearment.  Each time he called me “dear”, I would inwardly cringe.  Finally, I got up the gumption to tell him that “dear” couldn’t be our word because it was old.  He was just find with it and we started calling each other “honey” instead.  (This is much before the new term “babe” had entered the endearment category.)  We have continued to call each other “honey” throughout the last 12.5 years of marriage.  I love the sweetness of that name.  It is just fun and light and sweet.  I would never want to switch, just like I would never want to switch him.  We are going to be marking our 13th first date anniversary January 30th.  Can’t believe it has been that long since we met and just fell in love at first sight pretty much.  It was so easy to skip the whole friend thing and go right to the dating/fiancĂ©e/marriage thing.  It was second nature.  We were married after knowing each other for six months.  Marrying Blake was the easiest thing I have ever done.  When you know, you know.  And I am so happy I knew.
Me and my love
 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Why we celebrate Jesus 2,014 years later


                I was teaching a song to a group of 30 children in church the other day when I had a thought.  A thought that I hoped would gather their attention and their thoughts on the importance of the birth of Jesus Christ.  I asked them how many years ago Jesus was born.  They told me “2,000 years!” excitedly.  Then I asked them if other people were born 2,000 years ago.  They said “Yes”.  Then I asked them why we don’t celebrate all those birthdays.  And I got some interesting responses.  “Because Jesus is so important.”  “Because he died for us.”  “Because he loves us.”  My last question to the kids was, ”Will we celebrate Him in 2,000 years, 4,000 years, forever.”  And they said we would. That we would truly celebrate Him forever.   It was a sweet experience.  Even now, it has me thinking of the greatest birthday party we hold every year.  In honor of a sweet baby, born in a stable.

                I know there are a lot of doubters out there.  People who don’t believe in God or Jesus or creation.  But I don’t have any doubt that there was a baby born.  A baby who would grow to be a child to a teenager to an adult.  That this person would be Jesus.  That he would live a life worthy of emulation.  The only life worthy of complete emulation.  That He would perform miracles, die for us, live for us, and provide teachings for us to live a perfect life or as perfect as we try. That he would stir up the world in such a way that 2,014 years later, there would still be controversy.  There would still be a great desire for people to find Jesus Christ and to make a spot for Him in their lives. 

                This time of year is sweet.  A sweet reminder of love.  Of the pure love of Christ, the One who would change lives and soften hearts.  Why do people feel so happy this time of year? Why do we reach out to others, donate money, donate time and feel the happiness we do?  It is because of Jesus Christ.  Because when we give, we are able to feel the joy of the One who has given us everything. He has given us a chance to change, to improve and to feel a perfect love from One who sacrificed His whole life for us.  And willingly.  My goal this year and every year is to make every day like Christmas. I know that's cheesy.  But I also know that every day we serve others brings us closer to Jesus Christ.  And that is one of the greatest gifts that we can receive.
 
 
               

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Turn (5 minute prompt)

I bought a picture this summer of a women looking off to the side, while Jesus is looking right at her. He is right beside her, but she doesn't see Him because she is looking away.  It seemed like a sad picture at first, because how many times do we do this?  Turn away when we should be turning toward Him! The one who can and does make all things better.  The one who helps without prejudice or repayment. 
As I looked at that painting, it reminded me of, well, me.  It reminded me of all the times I am trying so hard to do better or help the family better or be a better wife and mother and I look inwards.  Instead I should be looking to Him, the one who can truly make me better. The one who knows me so perfectly that He can improve me with just a mere question from me.  If I just turn my focus to Him, I will have peace. 
Sure, my questions might not be all answered. My situation might not improve.  My life won't become perfect.  But in looking to Him, I will find hope and happiness and an understanding.  An understanding of who I am and why I am here and what my purpose is.  I will be filled with peace.  And all I have to do is turn.
This isn't the picture I was talking about, but it is the way I want to be.  You can find more about what I believe here.

Blake, my hero


            I have been gone since last Thursday.  It is currently Wednesday.  I was supposed to be home last night, but ice and snow in Denver is delaying flights and I keep getting texts, “Your flight will leave at 130”, “Your flight will leave at 530.” They might as well say, “Your flight will leave never!”  But in the course of this craziness, I have had the chance to fall in love with my husband all over again from approximately 1,200sh miles away. 

            He has stayed with the kids on his own the whole time.  In the course of my time away, we have had three with the flu (one of them, Blake) and two with colds.  He has taken them on outings, to school, picked them up from school, went grocery shopping, did laundry, cleaned, did dishes, and even took all four kids to Hailey’s cheer practice, which starts at 7.  I mean, those days make me crazy!  But he has done all this with grace and with patience.  He has put me to shame almost!  I am thinking he is making my job look a little too easy!

            Blake has always been a great dad.  Fun and structured and nurturing. I used to joke with him about how he should be the stay at home mom and I should work, because he knows how to do it so much better!  So, in the midst of all this craziness, I called to let him know that I “might” come home today depending on flights.  Instead of freaking out, he just laughs and says, “That’s fine. I wasn’t feeling to well today anyway.”  What a guy!  He has shown stability and awesomeness throughout all of this uncertainty. 

            I have always wanted to be a bit calmer and relaxed.  I think that is why he and I make such a good match.  He knows when it’s time to chill out and take a break.  He knows it’s fine to have a movie day. He knows that every day doesn’t have to be productive to the last second.  He doesn’t sweat the small stuff with the kids.  He is a daily reminder to me to slow down and enjoy these moments.  I wanted to write this all down so I wouldn’t forget.

            And isn’t that why we write?  To have a chance to look back on old feelings and memories that have faded a bit with time.  To relive these precious moments that we might not ever have the chance again.  So, the next time I am feeling overwhelmed or stressed or annoyed, I can take a look at my husband as a parent and take on some of his characteristics instead of becoming more rigid.  And I will remember how much he sacrificed this week so that I could have a little break and hold some sweet fresh babies.  That he gave up a week of flex time to “relax” with the kids and take care of things at home.  So I will remember this all the time. 

            I love you, Blake!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Leave (5 minut post)

I am joining the five minute prompt group over at Kate Motaung's blog.  She took over from Lisa Jo Baker.  It is a great exercise and can really open your mind and clear your thoughts.  You don't have to link up if you don't want to, but they are all great starts.  I am always a bit surprised to where my writing goes!
Leave

Disclaimer: Blake and I are very happy together.  The “Don’t’ leave me” portion of this kind of just evolved into me needing him all the time.  Although I know that isn’t realistic, it would be super convenient and awesome!=)

“Don’t leave me.” I mumble to Blake in the early darkness of the morning.  He is headed off to work and I am lying warm as a caterpillar in its cocoon under my baby blue down comforter, king sized on a queen sized bed.  The only way to live.  I look to Blake as my steady rock.  My helper, my understander, my hugger, my everything.  Because he knows me so well. He gets my moods, my needs, my dreams and wishes.  And he accepts them. He doesn’t try to change them or tell me that I shouldn’t do that or that I won’t be able to do that.  No matter how far-fetched it might seem. Or no matter how many times I claim to have discovered a new way to help the kids listen or keep the house clean or to get rid of belly fat.  He just agrees that all my plans are awesome.  So, that is why I don’t want him to leave me.  Don’t go to work!  Be a self-made millionaire so we can travel to Spain with the kids, so we can visit Ireland’s rocky shores, so that we can lie on the beach in the Caribbean.  Don’t leave me, so that we can hang out on the couch all day watching food network or picking up the kids toys or rake leaves.  Don’t leave me so I have an excuse to go to breakfast every morning and lunch every afternoon.  Don’t leave me because you have great facts to share from NPR and Bloomberg Business and because most days, you are my news source! Don’t leave me because you remind me to sit down in the day, to snuggle the kids more, to get things done quickly so they don’t bother me the rest of the day.  Don’t leave me because after knowing you only five months, I married you.  And I know you will never leave me.

 
Blake on his last birthday eating red velvet cake. He said it's the best cake he's ever had.  See why I love this man!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Our Mini Miracle of Glasses

                Today we had a mini miracle.  A lesson learned that I won’t forget.  I hope the kids won’t forget either.
                We were raking leaves outside and the kids had gotten a bit rambunctious.  Brooke threw leaves in Spencer’s face, so he took off his glasses.  Of course, he dropped them accidentally into a pile of leaves.  A mountain of thousands of leaves.  All colors, black, brown stems and a maze of a mess.  We searched and searched through the leaves and couldn’t find them anywhere.  I was telling myself to not get mad, because what does getting mad ever do?  It just brings up bad feelings and causes more anger.  So, we prayed that we would be able to find the glasses. 
                We raked all the leaves into a pile and carefully tried to put them into the leaf bags, while also watching out for the glasses.  It was tricky with three “helpful” kids.  They really were trying.  Especially when I reminded Brooke and Spencer that they would be paying for new glasses if we couldn’t find them.  We had bagged eight huge bags of leaves and still couldn’t find them.  I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want to empty them all and not find them glasses, but they had to be somewhere!
                I told Spencer to go somewhere quiet and pray to find them and to listen afterwards to see if any ideas came to his head.  I wanted to give him the opportunity to understand prayer.  Brooke and I were still looking through the leaves and not finding anything.  We had been listening to music and I had the feeling to turn off the music and be still.  To not have any excess noise entering my head.  So, I turned off the music and I could hear the birds singing and the leaves blowing and it was so peaceful.  I had the feeling that we should look through the bags again.  But there were eight of them!  Brooke and I went over to the car to decide which one to go through first.  We said a prayer that we would be able to find the glasses.  After the prayer, Brooke pointed at a bag and said, “This one.”  What did we have to lose? 
                We grabbed the bag and started going through it, a little bit at a time.  Spencer came over and took Brooke’s spot in the search.  About halfway through the bag, there were the glasses!  I couldn’t believe it!  We had found them and on the first bag.  That was awesome, but it wasn’t the miracle.  This was the mini miracle.  Brooke said, “I heard a voice tell me ‘This is the bag’.”  And you know what, I believe her.  I believe that the Spirit told her where to look because she is innocent and will listen.  She will listen without question. 
                I know that Heavenly Father cared about our situation.  I know that glasses are important to him, because they are important to us.  Sure, we could have bought more glasses, but why buy more glasses, when Heavenly Father is there to help us.  When all He wants is for me to put my trust in Him, so that He can teach me and help me.  I am so grateful for this experience.  It gave me the chance to be patient. It gave Brooke the chance to feel the Holy Ghost.  It gave Spencer the chance to pray for something He needed help with.  It brought us together.  I won’t forget that on a beautiful Fall day, Heavenly Father sent us a little miracle through a little girl who was willing to listen.
 
Moments before the "incident".  See, I'm talking leaves!!

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