Thursday, May 31, 2012

Kisses

Yes. Kisses. I am not talking about passionate "movie star" kisses (that's what we called them when we were kids) but I am talking about right and tender affection.

I am always smooching on my sons. I have often described a mother's affection for her son and his for her as the perfect romance. She pours out her affection for him and he soaks it up like a sponge drawing all the compassion and tenderness of a mothers heart into his boy, someday will be a man, heart and then pours back to her his unbridled affection for her. All healthy, all wholesome, fully designed by God to be that way.

One of the things I do consistently is kiss my little fellas' armpits. I know it sounds NUTS but it is one of the ways I remind myself that they will only be small once. There is a short time when they aren't going to be stinky or hairy there and I want to savor that time. One of my guys even lifts his arm in the air and says, "Kiss me Mom! Is it stinky yet?" Oh, I love that. Such a reminder to be in THIS MOMENT, right now.

I never used to kiss people much. It seemed awkward unless it was my family, kids or my husband. I do have a few close friends that it didn't seem strange to kiss every once in a while, quick peck on the cheek and be done with it.

I have always chuckled at the "air kisses" - you know, you press your cheek up against someones cheek and make the smoochy sound? No offense, but I don't get it. I tried it once. Ended up with someones earlobe in my mouth... talk about AWKWARD!

So, I just have avoided it...

Until lately...

Years ago there were several mamas that really poured into me. I told one of them today how her kisses and her perfume always stayed with me --- the continuation of her blessing and love for me...

One of the things God has put on my heart is to encourage some of the young people around me. I cook for them, I listen, I pray, I hug, and now, I kiss them. Like a Mama would. Tender, motivated by God's love for them, and expecting nothing in return, just like my own Mama and a few others have done for me.

I don't write this to encourage you to start kissing each other, but to encouage you to consider giving to someone something that someone gave to you... with no expectations, a free gift.






Friday, May 25, 2012

Birthday Blog

I arrived at 41 today. Funny, it doesn’t feel much different, though I know it is.

I welcomed this birthday parked at the base of the three crosses at our church.  The center cross, lit at the base, calls to me to come, lift my heart to the One who made me and brought me this far. I worship from the depths of my soul - overwhelmed with gratitude for His mercy and grace.

The daughter He gave my heart arrived about 12:30am and wished me a happy birthday as she climbed in the car after a concert. I loved hearing about her day, soaking in the blessing of her presence. About 30 minutes later I’m in bed next to my Love, praising God for the gift he is to me.

Before 7am I had “Happy Birthdays”, hugs, been shown the inside of underwear with comments about how one of my little fellas is doing better with personal hygiene, and overheard exclamations about how loud someone just “tooted”. I opened cards from my parents, my Love, and it seems my cards from the kids are still in progress.

I even made my Love breakfast this morning, much to his surprise. I love living in the place of fullness. I am not desperate for others to acknowledge me or fill some void in my heart. I love being “seen” and appreciated, for sure. But my craving for being “served” isn’t there anymore. I am happy to receive when it happens, but my relationship with Jesus is so alive and real that I am FULL in my heart and mind.

I “feel” empty sometimes, but God is showing me that it isn’t true. There are SO many places in the Bible that remind me that He has already given me more than I could ever ask for or imagine (which can be hard to remember on challenging days). And when I get tired or frustrated He reminds me to only do what He asks me to do, not one thing more. Obeying Him in that instruction is essential to living in His fullness.

I must get moving and the request of the day is that I wear my hair in ponytails. Oh, they crack me up! I think I have a picture of this time last year with the same request fulfilled!

It is a Happy Birthday. One I am grateful for. It is a gift to be here, living life, savoring the blessings around me and enjoying the fullness of Jesus Christ in me.

Thank you for being a blessing to me. I am grateful you take the time to read my blog. Have an awesome day!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Living What I Love

I am participating in a Healthy Living Challenge on Spark People.These are the specific answers to the mental challenge question for week 9 - but since I am still me - see below for my thoughts in greater detail...

Three things that currently give me happiness:
1) My God - the joy in Him is unshakable even in the worst and hardest circumstances
2) My biological family - My husband and sons give me happiness that is consistent and often about keeping perspective on the important things
3) My spiritual family -  there are many God has put in my life that bless me with their presence.

Three things I would like to do or experience that would increase my happiness:
1) Have my outside body reflect the health of my spirit
2) Taking my kids to Disneyland and NEVER having to wonder if I'd fit on the rides
3) Giving more to others.

I know above I listed the specific answers to those specific questions but it made me ponder - What does Living What I Love look like in the practical...

It's all about perspective.


How do I want to look through the lens of my mind and heart into my life?

If I see lack or disappointment or despair then how can I love anything well? There can always be more or something "better" or different but am I CHOOSING to live what I love RIGHT NOW?

I love my husband - but how do I live to love him? I respect him, I am intentional about saying thank you, I meet practical and even sometimes impractical needs he has without his even asking, I pray for him and I believe in him. If I am choosing to live what I love then I choose to do these things, because I love him.

I love my sons - they are each a mixed bag of personality, emotions, spunk, and enthusiasm - living to love them is tricky on some days. The principal and I are on a first name basis and we talk an average of once a week. Their intensity and their silliness shift so fast sometimes I am sure I have whiplash. They challenge me daily to be innovative in activities and consequences.

In this season while they are small, I can live to love them by holding them accountable for their choices, holding them close every day, looking into their eyes and smiling at them, and being creative to meet their unspoken heart needs as well as the practical- food, clean underwear, etc...

Those are just two examples of Living what I love - it is hard. I don't always "feel" like it. But if I keep in perspective that "Living what I love" doesn't mean - "living to make my life easier" then I see the challenges and trials as opportunities to act on LOVE...

Like my dear friend Roni who now resides in Heaven used to say all the time "Love is something you DO!"

Monday, May 7, 2012

Our School Staff





Our School Staff
(by Jennifer Bogdanowicz)

September till June
You pour out
Reaching
Giving
To each one.

At year’s end
The gift remains
Outstretched
Thankful
Children grown.

We are so blessed to have
YOU at our school! ~  PTA

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Benched


Aching of body and mind
Endorphins blocked by “rest”
Stuck on caboose

When all are out

Active, biking, living fitness.


My own advice echoes in my head.
I would tell another

Press in and ask the One
Who allows seasons of “rest”

Seek & find what He’s after
In my heart.


I hear Him.
“Trust Me.
You can’t do this.
I have to.
So you know it’s Me
That did it.
Not you.”


“But I want to!”
I argue back.
“I know what to do!”

“I know”

He replies.





Shifting focus.
Rearrange understanding

Listen for direction
Pursue new avenues

Wouldn’t have had time.


He knows what He asks

Of me
Without Him I am

Weak, simple and worn.
Within Him I am

Victorious, fit and fully alive
Prepared to do ALL He asks of me.


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.