Friday, November 2, 2012

Roots (5 Minute Friday)

Five Minute Friday
The rules for 5 Minute Friday are simple:  Write on a given topic for five good minutes.  Then, let it loose into the world.  No editing, no revisions.  Just write and share and connect.  So here it is, fresh from my mind...5 minutes, free from edits on the topic of :


I'm typing in near-darkness, so as not to disturb the camp-out taking place on my living room floor. 
Tonight my pajama clad girlies are snuggled up for a slumber party ... just the two of them.  These are the moments I hope that they remember.  Little, created moments of joy and laughter and fun at home.  These are the times I want them to smile about as they sit together, twenty years down the road, sipping on coffee. 

Sisters first, friends always.  Roots that are growing from the love we're planting in the this house...and in this home.  I hope they remember this, someday.


Monday, June 18, 2012

When Life Hurts Too Much (7 Days of Hope #7)

Today is the last day in our 7 Days of Hope.  Thanks for reading along with me!
If you want to catch up, you'll find the other six days here:

As I type, I can hear my girls downstairs, giggling and talking and playing together.  These are the sounds that make this house our home.  It's easy to smile and be happy and content on days like today.

But what when the bad things come?  What about when life gives us little to smile about?

Our family hasn't experienced the kinds of loss and sadness like Brooke describes in this chapter.  But there have been tough times.  There have been days when I was unsure what the future held for our family.  There have been moments when I've said to God, "I know you have a plan for us, but do you think you could let me in on it?  Because I'm having a hard time seeing the big picture!"

In this chapter, Brooke describes moments when she's felt like walking away from God; when she's questioned God's goodness.  But then she writes:
"The question that always stops me is this:  if I turn away from Jesus, where do I go?"
Where else would I turn?  Where else would I be?  All that is good in my life is from Him.  So, when life hurts too much, when life is hard, then next to Him is STILL the place I most need to be.  Even when I don't understand, and even when I can't see the path ahead.

In this moment, when life seems good, I hope and pray that my response will still be the same when storms come my way.  Will I be able to say, like Brooke, that,
"I follow Jesus not because of what He can do for me, but because of what He's already done for me on the cross."

Let's Chat:

~Have you experienced hard times in the past?  Share some of the tings you've been through lately...your hurts, losses, or disappointments.
~And tell me:  which of the 7 chapters of Hope for the Weary Mom spoke most clearly to your heart?  


Thanks for following along with me on these 7 Days of Hope!  I'm so thankful to Brooke & Stacey for the opportunity to be a part of this experience!


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sometimes It Takes an Altar (7 Days of Hope #6)

Welcome back to 7 Days of Hope!

The summer before my senior year in high school, I went in a mission trip to Brazil. It was such an amazing experience - each day was filled with service; sights and sounds and memories. And each evening was filled with worship and teaching like I've never been a part of anywhere else in my life.

One night, the leaders informed us we were going to a funeral. A wooden box was set at the front of the room, and we walked past one by one. Glancing into the box, I saw a own reflection was staring back at me. The lesson of the night was about the need to die to ourselves; to let go of all the things we so tightly held onto, and let Jesus live within us. And that place became an altar.

It been many years since that moment. And it's time to revisit it. Because its not about how great of a mother I am-- if I am the best classroom volunteer or if I've enrolled my girls in numerous extra curricular activities. The only thing that truly matter is how Jesus is living in I'm mirroring Him for my daughters.

I'm not perfect. I don't have it all together, and I disappoint. But as Stacey says in this chapter,
"Sisters, we WILL disappoint. We will fail. But we can point to Him who is not weary. We can point to Him who is waiting to strengthen us."

Let's Chat:
Share some interesting places you've knelt at the altar of God in the past.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

When You Just Want to Give Up (7 Days of Hope #5)

Sometimes, I want to be a quitter.

Being a mom? It's hard! It's the shaping of human life. What will my children value? How will they treat others? Am I filling them with faith? Are they turning into responsible people?

Sometimes I wonder if God knew what he was doing when he put these children in my care. Maybe I wasn't the best person for this job.

In this chapter, Brooke puts it this way:
"It's sweaty work--manual labor of the most intense kind because it required more than just body. Mothering requires body, soul, mind and heart."

There are days, weeks, and months when it feels like what I do is not making a difference. But then, I get a glimpse -- a small peek of the wonderful people my girls are becoming. And so I continue on. Because I'm not the mother of these girls by accident. God gave me them for a purpose. And if He's not quitting on me, then I shouldn't be quitting on Him.

Mommas: join with me in committing to the Weary Mom Manifesto!

"I believe that God's plans for me are good. Therefore, I commit today that I will never give up on my family, and i will never give up on God's ability to move in their hearts. With His help, I will take the next step of faith even when I feel I can't, because He is the God of miracles."

Print it off, write it down, put it in a frame, and look at these words each day!
Let's Chat:
What does "God meeting you in your mess" mean to you? Do you expect God to change your environment, or to get in it with you, giving you the tools you need to make it?

Friday, June 15, 2012

Why You Can't Live at the Spa (7 Days of Hope - #4)

Today, we're on Day 4 of the 7 Days of Hope
This chapter is near and dear to my heart.  Several months ago, it was my turn to share a devotion at a meeting.  I had recently received a copy of Hope for the Weary Mom, and I knew immediately what I would share.  The chapter "Why You Can't Live at the Spa" was speaking to the exact place that my heart was at in that moment.  

The day of that meeting got off to a rocky start.  I was a bona fied "weary mom" by nine in the morning.  While driving to work and listening to the radio, I heard the Nick DePartee from the group Kutless speaking about their song, "Carry Me To The Cross."  He said that in the process of writing the song, they kept coming back to "how huge it is that the God who created the universe and everything around us, steps into our daily lives and carries us through everything that we go through."  It was in that moment that I decided that this song would be my weary-mom anthem.  

So at my meeting, I shared this chapter and the lyrics to this song.  And I passed out copies of this verse, which has become one of my favorites:

Being a mom is SOOOOO much about pouring out a part of your life.  It's amazing to know that Jesus GETS that.  He understands how it feels to give and give and give and not always get a lot back.  It encourages me to know that I can turn to him and He is the one who can fill me up.

Because he's been poured out, he understands perfectly how to fill me up.

Let's Chat:

-How often do you retreat into the comfort of God's Word?
-Do you see God's Word as providing you with comfort?  Why or why not?


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Beer & Cigarettes? (7 Days of Hope - #3)

Did that title grab your attention?  We're on Day Three of the 7 Days of Hope! (To catch up, check out Day 2 and Day 1.)  Today's chapter talks about reaching a breaking point.  In a moment of mommy-desperation, Brooke (who neither drinks nor smokes) called her husband and told him to come home, bringing beer and cigarettes.  The smart man came home, and brought chocolate and Coke.

Have you had a moment when you just couldn't take it anymore?  When you were just so tired and frustrated and weary?


R - one year
In the summer and fall of 2008, Hubby was working on a senatorial campaign.
The girls were 1 and 3.

N - 3 years
And we had just gotten a new puppy.  (The timing of that decision was not so brilliant!)


Hubby was traveling all over the state.  He usually arrived home long after bedtime and left before the girls woke up in the morning.  In fact, in order to keep track of where he was at, we hung a map of Minnesota in the hallway, and would place stickers on the cities where Daddy was at....and let me tell you, there were a lot of stickers.

Our "Where's Daddy?" map

Those were some long, long, long days -- with an uber-active pre-schooler, a toddler requiring lots of care, and a puppy who would eat anything in his path.  Dishes, laundry, cooking, cleaning, child care .... these things were solely my responsibility because Hubby was rarely at home when he wasn't sleeping.

In order to combat a bit of the craziness I was feeling, I started loading up the girls and heading for the drive-thru at the local coffee shop.  I was a seeker of sanity.  But I settled for being a seeker of Starbucks.  (I can trace my love of mochas and lattes to this year!)

I can remember locking myself in the bathroom, crying because I was out of energy, out of patience, out of everything.  There were so many times in that stretch of endless days where I didn't even know how to ask for help.  I began throwing up "breath prayers" - you know, those words, desperately lifted towards heaven in a quick breath, like a gasp for help.
"Father, help me not to lose it."
"God, I really need you right now."
"Jesus, help me."

And I believe He heard those cries of my heart, when I didn't even have the strength to fully form my requests.  He was strength in my weakness.  And I made it through those times, with all of us in one piece.  Almost four years later, we still talk about "the map of all the places Daddy went." (And the dog still eats socks.)

Let's Chat:

- Where do you usually turn for relief?
Can you relate to the story Brooke shared in this chapter of feeling completely overwhelmed?
- Have you gotten to the place of total breakdown?  What did it look like for you


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

When You Don't Measure Up (7 Days of Hope - #2)

Welcome to Day 2 in the 7 Days of Hope!
Today, we're talking about not measuring up.  (Catch up with Day 1 and our Introduction.)

A few months ago, I sat in a MOPS meeting and made a confession:
"I haven't been able to see the kitchen counter in at least a week.  I just keep pushing the piles back and forth, trying to make enough space for the kids to eat."

And then, I cringed.  Because surely you're not supposed to admit that kind of stuff out loud.  What were these women going to think of me?  Were they now judging me? Finding my faults?

But the response was this: "That happens at our house, too."  And these lovely women proceeded to tell me about their own messes and how things aren't always perfect.

And then a friend turned to me and said, "Thanks for being real."

In that moment, on that day, I was real.  I did share what was really going on.  But that's not my normal inclination.  I tend to want to keep that imperfection under-wraps.  At times, I'm overwhelmed by how underwhelming I seem to be.  As I read blogs, check statuses on Facebook, and follow feeds on Twitter, it sometimes appears that everyone else is somehow more "with-it" than me....somehow more "on top" of things...somehow, just "more."  The problem is, sometimes we catch a tiny glimpse of someone else's life, and we compare our self to that one small bit of information.  But that's not the whole picture.

I love the verse that Stacey shares in this chapter:

"Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.  
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you.  
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."  
Isaiah 41:10

Don't listen to that voice in your head, telling you that you don't measure up.  Listen to God, who tells us with him, we're ALWAYS enough.

Let's Chat:

How often do you catch yourself comparing your home, job, income, or parenting to someone else?  

Leave comment and let's talk about it.  
What do you do when you feel yourself making those comparisons?  

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