I have the fondest memories of coming home from graduate school, sitting on the balcony of our apartment and reading my Bible.
OK, let me clarify. I wasn’t reading the Bible the way you might be picturing it.
The Lord has such a beautiful way of reminding us of simple truth, and after a week of questioning some hard places in my life, He did that for me.
She doesn’t know she was a part of it, but I’ll tell her one day when I think she’s old enough to really understand how much it meant to me.
The kitchen was full of noise and kids, and as a few neighbors trickled in I realized we weren’t going to have enough food to go around. Todd and the girls had stopped for sub sandwiches on the way home and that was what looked the most appealing to our guests.
“I’ll share half of mine with you.” Kate said. She started tearing her sandwich in half and handed it to her friend, a huge grin across her face.
I mouthed the words, “I’m proud of you” to her, because Kate giving away food is right up there with resurrection as far as miracles.
Apparently the sweet little guy who works at the sandwich shop had informed the kids that if they would allow him to put a jalepeno in their sandwiches, they would get free cookies. That made me laugh because my girls love spicy food, and a teensy little pepper wasn’t going to get in the way of their sugar fix.
So now we had four cookies and five kids.
Again, Kate assured her friend that she would share hers, and I watched her fingers, dirty from a day’s adventures, carefully separate her cookie into two parts.
I could tell that one was smaller than the other, and I watched her glance from one half to the other, obviously having a mental debate about what she should do. I was subtly watching, curious about how she would handle it.
After about 20 seconds of looking back and forth, she began to pull the smaller one to herself and then thrust it out to Sienna instead. I was proud she shared at all, but secretly I was hoping she would act sacrificially and give the bigger one to her friend.
I acted like I wasn’t watching her, but as they scooted out of the kitchen I heard Kate say to Sienna, “That one has more chocolate chips.”
Immediately I realized what I had misunderstood, and a smile spread across my face as I watched her leave the room.
She wasn’t trying to decide which one was better because of it’s size, but rather which one was better because of it’s quality.
And I wonder how many times I shake my head in disappointment because I’m frustrated that the Lord has given me the smaller portion, not realizing He has chosen the best based on a characteristic that I don’t use to assess the options.
She was counting, not debating.
And she gave away what was best in her eyes.
I know He does the same, and today I am thanking Him for that. I may not understand the scale or the process behind the decision, but I am grateful that He is trustworthy and faithful in His care.
It’s a quick story, but I hope it will challenge you today as it has me. Don’t assume He has withheld the best from you because it doesn’t look the way you thought it would. He knows what we need and how we should receive it, and I for one am going to make a point of enjoying my portion more with that in mind.
He doesn’t give us second-best, but He sure might teach us to second-guess what we’re given, daily learning to accept and rejoice that which comes from His hand.
Praying that today is a day where you do the same, and that you are reminded of the way He lovingly enters into our lives and specifically feeds us what is best.
Thank you, sweet Kate, for reminding me that we don’t see our lives through His lens. If we did, we would surely thank Him, following Him like children into the sunshine with full mouths and content hearts.
He is always good, isn’t He?
I have about 15 different posts that have been working their way out of my head after I FINALLY turned in my manuscript a few weeks ago. I can’t wait to share more about what’s been going on in our lives (not much, which is why it’s so fantastic:)) and also to get your opinions on a few struggles I’ve faced recently. I’m learning more and more that it really does take a village, and sometimes it’s best to just ask others how they’ve managed and see what you can glean. All that to say, I’m soaking up some summer and enjoying some breathing room. I hope you all are doing the same!
Next year, I have the incredible honor of being a part of a fantastic adventure, and I want to invite you all to come along. I know it’s not easy to plan for these kinds of things (financially, time-wise etc), but if it fits with where you are, I would love to encourage you to join us. The ship is incredible, and all of the destinations are spectacular. We’re taking the whole family!!! Anyway, I wanted to mention it in the hopes that you might be able to steal away with us for a bit 🙂 In addition to moi, here’s the funtastic lineup:)
The boat leaves February 23-March 2, 2014. You can find more details or sign up here. YAY!!!!!!
I know, I know.
It shouldn’t really be called a blog when I come over so infrequently.
I gave up guilt for Lent so I’m just not going to make a big thing out of it. Actually I didn’t think ahead enough to give up anything for Lent. And now I kind of feel guilty about that too.
I got a sweet message on Twitter the other day from a gal who wanted me to know she still checked over here every day, and it was the sweetest thing to me. I have had a lot going on in my world these past few months and I think I just kind of checked out of my blog until I could get through it. So, for the few of you still hanging out, thank you! I’m going to write more and try to be interesting and spiritually deep and funny. But it’s entirely possible that I will fail on at least 2 of those at any given point. What can I say? I set the bar high.
I am writing, though. And it’s absolutely wrecking me.
Pretty sure it’s the hardest book I’ve ever worked through, and I can only pray that I still have a publisher when I get to the end of it. If I get to the end of it. Kidding! I totally probably will.
So, there’s that. I’ll go ahead and be selfish for prayer at the front end…because I need it.
I spoke at the dotmom conference recently (the link will take you to details about the next dotmom conference, and it’s going to be AMAZING-I’m trying to go to it myself because I love it so much:)), and my topic was “Evaluating what the sub-text of your parenting is teaching your children about the way God loves them.” Because that sounded easy and non-invasive. Awesome.
I can tell you this with certainty-it was an area the Lord wanted me to work on in my life, and it’s been pretty rough. It’s also been great, which is why I want to spend a little time on here chatting about the process with you, hoping it will bless you as a momma like it did me.
As I prayed through it in the weeks prior, God challenged me to take an active stance in my own home in ways I had been failing to do so. I want to continue to flesh out the places He revealed as weak, and I want to invite you to do the same. I’m going to put a couple of these posts up and I’m going to be honest with you about my shortcomings. It was a lengthy talk and there were a lot of different things that I didn’t even get to because, well, it turns out that understanding you are a representative of the Gospel to your kids is kind of a daunting realization. It’s easy to feel ill-equipped and bury our heads because we’re overwhelmed with the responsibility.
What I noticed as I prepared for the conference was the way I subtly expressed a message (often totally unintentionally) that wasn’t in agreement with my “main message.” Here’s an example: What I tell my kids in words is that I value them as individuals, but I often parent them as if they are a group. I took note of how many times I used the word “Girls,” and it was pitiful.
I started taking notes on myself throughout the day and I was shocked by the frequency of sentences that conveyed a subtext that didn’t line up with my heart for them. Obviously this is a work in progress, but I will say I have made changes and have already seen results.
So, before I get into the details, I want to encourage you to spend the next few days making notes as you parent throughout the day. Write down the words you say the most frequently, the things that surprise you, and anything else you feel like the Holy Spirit leads you to consider. It’s the first step in what will be a long journey, but you have to start somewhere.
I know the comment system on the blog is pretty involved, and we’re looking into ways to make conversation easier. I would love for you to share anything you are noticing in the next couple days, so if you’re willing to, please leave your comments here or shoot me an email. I just know that others are blessed when we’re walking in humility, and it’s good to be reminded that none of us have it all figured out.
I have plenty of stories to share about what my little experiment taught me, don’t worry 🙂
So, if you’re game, start today. There’s no exact science to it, but I believe God will bless your efforts to live more like Him. Let’s be diligent students of ourselves as mothers, and allow the Lord to speak wisdom into the gaps. It’s important that you write it down in some way that will help you look back and categorize, but don’t worry about organization right this second. We’ll get there:)
I’m looking forward to hearing from you, and I would welcome thoughts from ladies who have already raised their children as well.
Ready? I hope so. I’m really looking forward to digging into it with you 🙂