Month: October 2013

Five Minutes With Mom

Five Minutes With Mom

Every year, I grow a little wiser. Just a little.  And each year, I grow a little closer to God. And realize my need to grow closer still. But the hard thing about this, sometimes, is the looking back. Reliving past failures. Realizing mistakes, too […]

When His Plan Is Different

When His Plan Is Different

She shared at Bible study the other night. Transparent and honest, even when it hurt. Her story was beautiful – the growth obvious. But certain words lodged in my heart, stuck fast. An arrow piercing through. “I had no problem accepting God’s plan when it […]

Yoke

Yoke

joy proud

I sit her down, and I tell her we’re going to use the potty. Big girls use the potty.

And she nods exuberantly and dutifully heads off to the bathroom. And I know. She isn’t quite there. She’s close. And she’ll be ready soon. Soon. But she’s not quite there.

But so and so’s little one is younger than my Joy, and she’s fully potty trained. If I worked harder and paid more attention, I’d have this thing done.

But it’s not about me. It’s not.

I follow her into the bathroom and help her up on the toilet. She grins up at me proud, and she sits. She sits long, and giggles and chirps toddler talk at me. Until she says clearly, I done, Mommy.

She smiles proud because she’s done what Mama told her to do, but when I slip her underpants on, she wets them almost immediately.

I tell her, no, you pee in the toilet.

She smiles, a little unsure this time. And I still know. She’s almost there. But not yet.

This is about her. It isn’t about me and my performance. My show. My need to be as good, do as good, as someone else.

And how many times do I do this? How many times do I take this yoke and put it on my children? Begging them with my looks, my whispered pleas to make me look good.

Goodness.

This truth makes me ache. Because that’s not what my Father does. His Son came and said give me your burden. And take on my yoke. Because it’s gentle and easy.

He didn’t fervently whisper pleas for me to make Him look good. He took my load. He asked me to stop performing. He reminded me that He came to set me free.

Free from this too. This play acting.

I ask Him – please God, show me yokes I’m making them carry. These littles of mine. Lord, help me to not place a burden on them. And please, Abba? Daddy? Take my burden too.

So I’ll buy diapers for a little while longer. And I will snuggle with that baby girl.

And I’ll take off the mask again. And trade it in for His yoke.

 

 

Cutting, Coloring and Gluing – Oh My!

Cutting, Coloring and Gluing – Oh My!

Does anyone remember this book? I was looking for a completely different book, and I ran across this beaut. Loved it when I was little – and loving it through the eyes of my Mollie. We didn’t read to the end to find out that […]

Hard Gifts

Hard Gifts

The past few days, since my Joyless post have been bittersweet. I’ve had these moments of clarity. Sweet moments sitting before me like lavishly wrapped gifts. I open the box and peer inside. Each box contains a lesson that at first invites guilt and pain. […]

Joyless

Joyless

Joy sweet

Red hot, angry words hurled at little ears. Venom spewing forth as I purge myself of my irritation. Frustration. Anger.

And put it where?

On the shoulders of the little ones God gave me to protect and love?

Oh, and I know He gave me authority over these littles, asking me to teach them and hold them accountable. To be responsible, functioning citizens. To be lights in a dim world.

But it’s my light that’s dim as I walk out of the room, angrily wiping away tears.

Tears acknowledging that I’ve failed.

And I call him at work, and say, we need a coming-to-Jesus meeting tonight.

He chuckles softly and asks, kids out of hand today?

No, I whisper, I am.

I take moments to breathe. And ask forgiveness from littles. Telling them I know I reacted harsher than what the crime warranted. They give grace freely. But the oldest, she’s more wary. Wary from a yoke put on her shoulders by a mama who is still trying to wear the mask, the cape. Still trying to be good, better, best at it all. And putting that yoke on those kids.

And I know it has to change. So as I adjust my cape and mask, pasting on a smile, ready to head out to help at our church’s weekly gathering for kids, I give the kids an assignment, give myself an assignment. We will have a meeting when daddy gets home. We’ll talk through this joyless place we find ourselves. We will be honest and transparent. I will be. I will.

I mingle with the other adults as kids stream in ready to play, and I joke transparent, it’s been a little ugly at our house today.

They nod their understanding and share their own tales. This first toe into transparency feels nice.

But when the gathering is over, he finds me. The man I’ve secretly adopted as ‘grandpa’ – full of jokes and love. And wisdom. He gives me a steady eye and asks how I am.

I offer my tongue-in-cheek response I’d practiced so readily this afternoon. He nods and says, authority in his voice, when you’re all dried up, you need to get away. Be with the Lord without distractions.

I offer my feeble excuses but he continues in his simple way.

When you’re grumpy, discontent or you just can’t feel the joy, something’s outta line somewhere. You aren’t walking with God then. You’re putting on a show, but you’re not really right with God.

And I knew. He was right. And it can happen so quick. You focus on your to-do list, compare your life to another’s, or hurry through your time in the Word. Pretty soon you find yourself doing life, going through the motions. Joyless.

But it takes one move. The fall to the knees. And you confess. And you tell Him what’s been more important than Him. You tell Him who you’re performing for. And you tell Him all you’re doing on your own. And you ask Him to take it. To lead your days. Your hours.

I had my own coming-to-Jesus meetin’ on the ride home. I thought about my days. I thought about who I was performing for. And it wasn’t Him. I was living for myself – and for the image I so badly wanted others to believe. The little things causing me stress? Wouldn’t matter in a month, a year. I thought about where I should be putting my efforts, sowing my seeds.

We had our family coming-to-Jesus meeting. We each named a sin, a “giant,” we were  struggling with. Then we brainstormed what we could do to make changes in that area. We then admitted to the others that we needed help – and told them ways they could help us in. In the coming days, we will make arrows and write Bibles verses on them. Scripture – the only way to slay these areas defeating us. The impatience, the tempers, the attitudes.

The thing about God is – I know He’ll do more than help us slay these giants. He’ll replace ’em. He will rise something out of the ashes of our sin struggles.

Joy.

 

 

For Taylor

For Taylor

Tomorrow is his birthday. October first. It’s supposed to be beautiful – a perfect fall day. Last Tuesday was beautiful too. The day he went Home. Later that week though, it rained, tears pouring down the window panes as my own tears splashed onto the […]