Friday, April 29, 2011

Fess Up Friday - Star Wars Metaphors and Uncle Buck

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I am a little behind since I missed last "Fess Up Friday", but I think I can get you all caught up today:

I will start with the most recent unless I think of something else I've done since then:
  • Today my only "all day" school child John was late. I called the office to tell them he was tardy and told the secretary his excuse was me, I just couldn't get it together this morning. He also went without any of his homework complete and not even a glance at his spelling words for his test today. What can I say, except it's been a rough week.
  • I decided with a friend to go off of sugar for two weeks. Starting the day after Easter and ending on Mother's day. We have to do it together because it is only the knowledge that she is suffering along with me that keeps me from caving! She agrees.
  • Needless to say that with the sugar detox happening in my system my personality has been a little intense. I did something I promised myself I would never do. I freaked out over spilled milk. Granted the kids were goofing around at the dinner table, but honestly, it was still only spilled milk. I am pretty sure my head made at least one if not two full revolutions WHILE I was mentally standing outside myself going "really? are you nuts? This is SO not worth freaking out about!" But... that didn't seem to help me reign in the crazy lady freaked out about spilled milk. About 10 min later I sat down with them and repented. I told them mommy sinned and asked them to forgive me. I apologized for scaring them. They forgave me, again. Making mistakes in parenting and repentance continue to be consistently linked in my life... better get used to it I suppose.
  • I have often wondered if my three year old is more mature than I when there is a "disruption in the Force."
  • I find myself consistently struggling to engage in dialog that does not include a Star Wars metaphor - even to adults.
  • True Jedi's obey their mothers - at least that is what I tell my little Jedi knights.
  • Every time I feel myself getting a little "overboard" I remember this scene from Uncle Buck (its not the greatest quality recording but the speech is great):


this really helps me keep from going ballistic when I expect more out of my children then what is reasonable. I want "silly-hearts" free to be who they are, not automatons who do whatever I say. Honest.

  • I let my kids eat food they drop on the floor under the table ONLY if it is within 48hrs since I mopped and within 24 since I swept - it builds their immune systems right? Not that I actually keep track of it on the calendar! :)
I have several more but I think that is enough for today, after all, Friday will come around next week too!

Monday, April 25, 2011

God in the Yard Week 6 Part 3 -- REST

The prompt that intimidated and intrigued me in this section was "The words in Song of Songs that mirror the words used of Christ are..."

I am not a theologian. At first I was hesitant to take on this question not really knowing how to find a "mirror" passage. But, as I prayed Jesus' words whispered into my spirit, "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will [a]ease and relieve and [b]refresh [c]your souls.] Matthew 11:28 AMP

And, as I read Song of Songs, I found this verse, " His voice and speech are exceedingly sweet; yes, He is altogether lovely [the whole of Him delights and is precious]. [a]This is my Beloved, and this is my Friend, O daughters of Jerusalem!" Song of Songs 5:16 AMP

In this season of my life when I am working hard in the day-to-day practical tasks of meals, homework, and other general home upkeep AND working hard to listen to the Lord for the guidance I need to effectively parent my sons, AND working hard to pursue the dream God deposited in me to become the athlete He created me to be, there is nothing more alluring than when He offers me release from my burdens and REST.

No human relationship offers rest all the time. Yes, there are windows of close companionship in some connections that bring rest, but the relationships we have with feet planted here on earth, they require work. My relationship with the Lover of my soul, my Creator, my Healer, my Savior, and my closest Friend only becomes work when I fail to remember that He is the only one who offers me real REST. All I have to do is come to Him. (Deep sigh)

My Jesus, I am weary. 

There are people and things that call for my attention and I try to remain in the place of the REST You offer me, But I can't help but feel overwhelmed sometimes. 

I need You. 

I press my ear to Your chest, listening for Your heartbeat, seeking the order You bring to the unrest in my world. Help me remember You delight in me, as I am. 

I open myself up to hear Your sweet Words of refreshment. As You do this work in me, I will declare it aloud to all those who seek REST. 

Thank You, Jesus. My Lover, Creator, Healer, Savior, Friend.  
Amen.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

God in the Yard Week 6 Part 2 B

The same prompt stirred me again so I wrote on it again. What came out this time was different.
The prompt

"The thought of coming unprotected to God, as if to a Lover or Beloved makes me feel..."

Wanted - Drawn to the Source.

I know He wants me - as I am - no pretense, no games, no walking on eggshells, or doing whatever exactly how He wants it. There is no expectation of perfection because He knows all my weaknesses. There are no demands to make me perform because He knows and loves the truth of me.

Any "righteous acts" on my part only serve as barriers between He and I. He just wants me. To be. With Him.

Entangled in His embrace I become free to sprout, grow and bestow the Fruit of His Spirit. Our union births righteousness, peace and joy.

Others are changed by our connection - drawn to Him in me - they long for this union themselves. And then they come - embracing the Lover of my soul as their own.

Because He is all to me and all to them there is no  betrayal, no lack, no confusion of significance. It is Divine Intimacy - shared.

God in the Yard Week 6 Part 2 A

The prompt from God in the Yard was this:

"The thought of coming unprotected to God, as if to a Lover or Beloved makes me feel..."
Bare, but free.

There is nothing I have that is hidden from Him. Therefore I am free to press in with my full bubbly heart or my aching cavern of need depending on the hour/day/season of my journey.

I long to dive into Him, to quench the thirst of my earth-bound self in His eternal river. I long for His strength to penetrate my weakness. His power to touch my frail humanity.

My Savior


Longing, aching, my
Salvation pending as the night
Is filled with morning light.

In a few hours the crushing weight
Of sin, fear, loss, despair
Will cascade from me to Him.

Every drop of blood from
His thorn-pressed brow
Will become atonement.

Vast multitudes of evils
Press in from every angle
Stabbing, shouting, invading.

He submits, becoming the gift
From Father to this lost and broken child
Absorbing darkest agony.

With every step His cross-laden frame
Seals the hope for my destiny
The grinding wood upon His spine
Presses me into glory.

He deliberately acquaints with grief
Drawing toxic death upon Himself
To save me.

Spiked upon a tree He hangs
My tear drenched eyes
Meet His forgiving gaze.

Blazing fire envelops my heart
Consuming my sin
With the heat of His Passion.

Then He speaks,
Three short words
Seal my eternal freedom:

"It is finished."

I am undone and complete
In that moment.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Shooting Range and Forts in Public

One of my most favorite bloggers has this button on her site. I snagged it today and plan to join her on
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I plan to start practicing this myself! I confess stuff off and on in my blog but this forces me to pay attention all week to the loopy and ridiculous events of my week to encourage me to lighten up about the little things in life.

A friend with three sons, all grown up called me yesterday to read to me out of her devotional. She is a true inspiration to me - I watched from the sidelines as she and her hubby raised their sons never imagining the craziness of their life would become mine!

She obviously knows me, and my life... here are two of the nuggets I made her repeat back so I could write them down:

"How I react has greater negative consequences than the initial negative situation I encounter."

And

"Don't make matters worse by unplanned emotion driven spur-of-the-moment behavior".

Sometimes I think she lives in my house! The main consolation is that she has already made my mistakes, so I can learn from her. And I do.

Okay, so, back to "Fess up Friday"

- I shot down a trip to the "shooting range" (Cabela's) after a "behave or else" shopping trip that ended in my discouragement and my children crawling under the racks calling them forts, for a calorie laden junk food trip through the McDonald's Drive Thru just so I could confine my kids to their seats instead of letting them spend $5 in tokens shooting targets with laser guns.

- After their recent "fort" discovery, I can't take them to any store without them wanting to play in the 'forts'. I smile at them and act like they are supposed to do that. After all, we do that at home ;)

- My youngest son yells from the basket of the shopping cart, " 'Morning Dude!' " to the man stocking the meat at Albertsons and when we get to the checkout he's yelling "Hey Lady" to the checker while she is trying to help the other people in line. And honestly, I am not embarrassed. Should I be?

- I am so controlling I can't let my kids make cross-gendered people on the Wii. Does that make me prejudice?

- I can barely manage to help my boys memorize their AWANA verses without yelling at them... I really think something gets lost when your mom is hollering the verse at you... maybe not?

- I am seriously considering removing all toys except Legos and Hot Wheels from our home. A friend of mine did it. I thought she was nuts, until I thought about it some more...

- When I watch "Extreme Couponing" I want to slap them for stockpiling all of that stuff instead of donating it to their local food bank! And why aren't there believers working together to DO this for our food banks/churches/families in need?

- When one of my kids is sick I act sick myself - no shower, low motivation, slogging around like I have nothing to do.

I think that is enough for this week!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

God in the Yard Week 6 Part 1 - A Challenging Prompt :)

"I am intrigued (nervous) about framing spiritual disciplines in the language of art, grace or sex because..."

Yowza! I seriously did not want to pick that one of the 3 prompts to respond to! But, I felt the Lord nudge me, almost as if He was daring me to take the leap, so I did.

First let me begin with intrigued AND nervous. I am intrigued enough to tackle the statement above in my writings but nervous about how clearly I can articulate what I really think on such things. Not to mention what my readers will think!

Framing Spiritual Disciplines in the Language of Art
Connecting something as simple as white paper, dense or thin, transparent or textured with gloppy oil based hues, simple clean lines of ink or pencil, dusty shades of chalk, or drippy translucent watercolor paints produces art.

The simple, combined with the creative - subject to interpretation for sure - produces art. Through the loving gaze of the ultimate Creator, there is beauty to be found in even the most basic of images.

It does not matter how much or little I produce, what matters is my willingness to allow the Artist to form me into His image. Opening myself up to His creativity releases beauty in me I didn't know was possible.

Framing Spiritual Disciplines in the Language of Grace
I have been a recipient of God's Amazing Grace but my understanding of it is so small. I don't even know if this poem of sorts will explain it or not...

Grace poured out without limit
Washed over in abundance
My heart cries out for more
Feeling the lack of Earth planted feet
While my heart longs for Heaven.

He holds this paradox true
While I seek the balance
Of submitting my flesh
To His supreme authority
While submerged in His
Ocean of Grace.
Breathing in a gift
I don't understand or deserve

Complete freedom in Him
Confined within my human heart
Authority and abundance
Combine for my blessing
And His glory.

This poem makes me think of an ethereal shadow - something you can't quite see, but you know it is there - framing the spiritual discipline of experiencing grace. Maybe?

AND the big one!

Framing Spiritual Disciplines in the language of SEX! Hmmmm ;)
His presence beckons me
Drawing me into His arms
Nourishing me as I accept
His embrace.

The giving
The receiving
The heat of His desire
For me
Combines with my
Aching longing
For Him

Once united
Sparks of vision
Destiny and purpose
Explode into
Reality.

Hee hee, suddenly I feel a bit euphoric.. (Big Grin)

Monday, April 4, 2011

God in the Yard Week 5 - Part 3 "I have been trained to think that growth happens through suffering more than play. I think this is based on..."

As I respond to this statement/contemplative comment made by L.L. Barkat in the book God in the Yard I find that the consistent focus of several authorities in my life has been obedience = blessing. If you obey you will be blessed. If you don't, well, bummer.

When obedience is the "be all" and "end all" of everything spiritual there is not a lot of space for play. You are so busy obeying that anything else feels like negligence or even dismissive of God's presence.

Also, until recently, my seasons of painful growth have been much more memorable than the times I have grown in places of play. It is hard to imagine God teaches us anything during play because it doesn't usually leave a BIG mark like the education of the furnace.

I played growing up. My mom especially knows how to play. We grew up with lots of laughter, especially at the family dinner table. As we shared the events of the day, something funny usually came up and we would all (including Dad, though often he was the last to cave to the belly laughs) giggle til our faces ached. The ultimate goal would then become to get mom to snort, which would set off another whole round of hysteria (that was usually when Dad caved!).

I think my mom learned how to "perform" obedience because of her very authoritative father (retired from both Army and Navy) was pretty hard on her big brother so she jumped through the hoops to stay out of trouble. But for as long as I can remember, Grandpa has been very funny too. So they knew how to play and laugh as well as follow the rules.

In my adult spiritual journey I became more obsessed with obedience as a means to an end. I wanted to become pregnant and therefore I had to show God I would be able to be trusted with a child if I obeyed - all the time. Except it was never His standard I was meeting, it was my perception of His standard which left me empty, angry, depressed and overweight.

After almost ten years of that, He blessed me with three boys (His timing - no drugs or special stuff) and my sense of humor has been tested zillions of times. He has used them to teach me more than I could ever describe.

But let me bring this all the way to right now in my life:

These past few months God has been teaching me to "lighten up". I have spent almost two decades diving into the "deeper" things and have failed to really embrace the "lighter" things.

The interesting part of this has been watching a movie or two that contain "questionable" humor or having  a drink past "enough". And instead of a lightning bolt zapping me onto the greased pole to hell, I have kicked back and laughed more.

Now, don't get me wrong here, I do not believe that getting drunk or watching "The Hangover" should become a habit or a lifestyle. I am just saying that for a girl who spent many, many years trying to be "obedient" (according to my legalistic understanding) it has amazed me that I have not been "deeply convicted" (said in a condescending tone with condemning eyes looking darkly at me over half lenses). I have actually sensed God's chuckle over me. He wants me to lighten up. He is teaching me how to love Him and receive love from Him within His boundless grace. He has reminded me time and time again that who I am in Him will not change whether I have an uptight demeanor or a spunky, adventurous, funny zest for life.

I am seeking Him on how to play more and this book is really drawing me into it. I want to learn how to play well, often. Laughter has always been frequent with me, but my playing, it's improving - so watch out!! :)

A POEM:

LOL

Laughing out Loud
Brings glitter to a "nice" day
Reminds us there is joy
Not just happiness.

Gut bustin' peals of sound
Teary eyes and aching cheeks
Reveal the delight
We were created to savor.

A silly word
Funny phrases
Mismatched rhymes
All can free the giggles
From their somber abode.

Making someone laugh
Is more satisfying than
The richest meal
More refreshing than
A good nights sleep.

Laughter gets on everyone
Like a shower of confetti
We should be okay
With a little mess
So it gets on us too!

Not the most brilliant poem I've ever written - but you get the point... Laugh. More. Play. More.

Who am I?

My photo
I am a wife and mother of 3. I have been married to my best friend for over 25 years and our children are 12, 11 and 9 years old. I have struggled with infertility, suffered the loss of a baby by miscarriage, and endured multiple career paths. I have experienced a crisis of faith that shook me to the core and lost a dear friend to a tragic death. I have had a personal relationship with Jesus for most of my life. The Bible and my relationship with Christ has been essential to my surviving and even thriving in my circumstances. I hope you will be blessed by joining me in this process of life. I thank you for showing up to read what I have written.