Thursday, October 7, 2010

Today I Bought My Son a Cookie

Today I bought my son a cookie. Not just any cookie. Check it out...
So, why is this blogworthy, you might ask. Well, Jameson likes sweets. (Who can blame him?) More importantly, he wants a bite of anything Mama or Daddy is eating. But, does he know the difference between quality of sweets? A break-and-bake cookie versus one from the Bonbonerie? (That's where we went this morning to return the cake plate from Ashley's wedding over the weekend.) The answer of course is no. He won't value the taste any more. He doesn't get the cute decoration that makes it fun and fall festive. He doesn't appreciate the things that make it a special, fancy cookie. I could just as easily given him something more common, and he would have been happy.
So, why didn't I? Good question. Part of me thought: This is extravagent. There are better things I can do with this money. He doesn't know the difference. But the bigger part of my thought: I love my son. And that's what it comes down to. I love him so much, and I can't wait to see his smile when he takes a big bite!
This isn't something we will do every day. It is a special thing. Yes, extravagent, but I think sometimes I need to be extravagent to be sure I am not loving money. We've all heard that the love of money is the root of all evil. So, I think sometimes using money to shower love on someone, whether that is someone forced into prostitution in India or that someone is my own precious little boy, is a great way to ensure that money isn't getting to be too important in my eyes.
As we walked out of the bakery with our fun cookie, I couldn't help but think about God. I am His precious child. He loves me infinitely more than I even love Jameson. (I still can't even grasp that love.) So, why wouldn't He enjoy throwing blessings my way once in awhile? Not that He needs to make my life a bed of roses, any more than I will make things too easy for Jameson. We live in a fallen world, a battleground, and we have to fight and learn and mature as we go. But somedays, God gives me an extravagent fall cookie just cuz He loves me and wants to make me grin, and I'm so thankful for that.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

One Body, Many Parts

So, have you ever read this passage:
This is something I have heard many times growing up in church. It's one of those ideas I thought I understood. We all have different gifts, talents, callings, etc. Just because someone is a minister doesn't make him better or more important than someone who cleans toilets. Just because someone has a gift of prophecy doesn't make them better than someone whose gift is hospitality. The examples could go on and on, but you get my point. I've heard this, I believe it, we are all called to different things for a different purpose, and the sum of all of our various gifts helps us all grow as a whole. Yep, makes sense.

I have to admit, often times when I think I 'get' a particular passage and what it means, I am tempted to gloss over it. It's like my mind is thinking 'yeah, I already have that one figured out, let's get on to something new.' In doing so, it is easy to miss different truths that can come from the same passage. Recently, I read this passage in a whole new light.

Rejection is something I have struggled with throughout my life. You may know this, you may have talked to me about it. I don't exactly know where it stems from, but I have to work to not take things personally, to not seek out rejection in various interactions with friends, family, etc. So, when I read this passage recently, that's where it struck home. In the same way that just because someone is gifted in healing doesn't make them better than someone whose gift is administration, just because a friend chooses to spend time with another friend instead of me doesn't make me less important. That is HUGE for me. Let me say it again: just because a friend chooses to spend time with another friend instead of me doesn't make me less important. It doesn't mean they don't like me. It doesn't mean they don't value my opinions and what I have to say. It doesn't mean God hasn't blessed me with those friendships, or that He won't use me to bless those people. He may have called me to something different. He may have called me to be their friend in a different way, or with a different level of interaction. This may be for a season, and in the next season things might be different. Regardless, it is ok. The way God made me, the interactions He gives me, the relationships and growth, are what is right for me.

And that doesn't make me any more than or less than anyone else...

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Out Of Control

I like control. I admit it. I like order in my life. I like my to-do list checked off. I like to predict when Jameson will take a nap and when he will be hungry. I like to know what plans we have for the coming weekend. I like having a vision, a goal, and clear cut steps on how to achieve it.

I struggle with chaos, with spontaneity. I have a hard time shifting gears when something new comes up. It could be a great thing, a sudden get together with friends or an outing with family, but if it wasn't in my plans it can take me some time to adjust to it.

Lately God has been convicting me of this. No matter how much control I think I have, the reality is that I don't. I don't control anything. From the safety of my home to Jameson's schedule, none of it is really in my hands. That is a scary thing, until I realize that it IS in God's hands, and His hands are much more capable than mine anyway.

No matter what I do, what precautions I take, what safeguards I put in place, there are going to be fires and floods, illnesses and job changes, impromptu opportunities and last minute dinners in my life. And these are good things. Some of the best times with family and friends aren't planned at all. Some of the greatest lessons I learn about trusting God and walking more closely with Him rise out of these 'out-of-control moments.'

So, with God's help, I am trying to let go of control, to be free, relaxed, take life as it comes, savoring every moment and embracing where it takes me. Care to come along?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Bigger Picture

I recently read something that got me thinking: do I look at God only as who He is to me, or do I look at His bigger story? That thought has given me pause, and is something I am working through. How easy it is to be consumed with my little world. My basement flooded. My house caught on fire. My baby is sick. I pray, I ask God for healing, for restoration, I thank Him for our safety, I get frustrated when I don't feel my prayers are immediately answered. Where is He? Why isn't He responding?
Is this selfishness? These trials that we are going through, are they part of a bigger story, one that I may or may not ever know the full extent of? Instead of being frustrated that God isn't answering my prayers as quickly as I want, should I instead be patient, wait in faith, trust in His goodness, and ask Him to use me, to use these situations for His glory? This is a lot to consider. But it gives me hope. I would much rather look for the bigger picture than feel frustrated or ignored. Hmmm...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Psalm 46 tells us to "Be still and know that I am God." It sounds so simple, does it not? Be still. Do...nothing. Just exist. No agenda, no expectations. Why is this such a difficult task?

Our society so values efficiency. We judge how good a day was by how much we accomplished. How many items were checked off of our 'to-do' list. What great and mighty actions can we lay claim to. Yet, all this hustle and bustle takes away from the goodness of life. When I am too focused on household chores, I don't get to enjoy and treasure my time with Jameson. When we are too focused on being busy in the evenings, we miss valuable time we could be spending as a family. And, when we don't practice the art of being still it becomes hard to slow ourselves down and listen to God.

How often do we half-pray? By that I mean we talk to God, asking for His guidance, His help, maybe offering praise, but we don't listen to His response. How would your relationship with your spouse, your best friend, with anyone grown if you only ever talked to them, but never listened. It's hard to listen when the words aren't always audible, and when we are always distracted by the many things we need to be doing. So, when the tough times and big decisions come along, we aren't well-practiced in the art of listening to God's response to our pleas for guidance. It is hard to suddenly Be still and know Him when we are out of practice, harder still to hear His response.

I find myself right now sitting in a hotel room. Jameson is (finally) napping, Michael is in meetings, and I have some down time. Unlike at home, where I would be running laundry, cooking dinner, cleaning the house, I have a few minutes. Deciding what to do with them I thought "I could pray." Nothing the world would see as efficient or noteworthy, but probably the best thing I could do for my family right now.

So, the next time I try to fill my day from morning to night, or the next time I find myself wanting to judge someone for being lazy I need to remember to be still. The simplest thing in the world, yet often the hardest.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Facelift (Part 2): Generosity

So, what changes have been going on in my life? A lot! Some of you have asked me about the 'facelift' that I mentioned, and when I would post again. Honestly, I have thought about it a few times, but it never seemed the right time. Until now, so here I am. I definitely feel like there has been a lot of 'refining' going on in my life. Some changes still taking place, but I feel like I can start to process them now, and often for me the best way to do that is in writing. So, here goes...

Generosity. Giving. Let's start there. This may not come as much of a surprise, but a lot of times generosity does not come easily to me. In my life I tend to focus a lot on fairness. Who knows what early childhood event or trauma this stems from, but I look at life in a very transactional way, each side of the balance sheet has to equal out. Over the years we have been together Michael has inspired me to be more generous of spirit. He is always quick to help someone out, to offer to lend a friend anything at his disposal, to give of himself, his time, his expertise without expecting anything in return. I love this about him, and aspire to allow God to soften my heart. I fully believe that everything we have, material possessions, gifts, skills, abilities, are from God. They belong to Him, and He entrusts them to us during our time here on earth. So, I don't need to worry about looking out for myself and my interests; God is doing that. I am FREE to share, and to share generously.

This fairness mentality really came to a head with a new baby in the house. Even in the midst of the love affair I am having with Jameson, I found myself struggling with the lack of "fairness." Instead of enjoying putting Jameson to bed, or giving him a bath, I would focus on why I was always the one doing it while Michael could sit downstairs and relax watching TV. It wasn't "fair." When was my time to relax and unwind? I let bitterness creep in, until it hit me: this is a blessing! I get to put my baby to bed at night, read him a story, say his prayers, sing a song, etc. Much too quickly, the day will come when he won't need me for that anymore, and I will treasure the memories of these precious times. The devil was trying to steal that joy, by having me focus on what I wasn't getting instead of enjoying what a tremendous gift was right in front of me. This is just one example of the fairness sturggle, but a big one.

My goal, as it relates to fairness, is to fight it head on. When I start to feel myself reverting to a stance of looking-out-for-me I am going to choose to be generous instead. If I feel like I am doing more than my fair share, instead of complaining or fighting about it, I am going to take on more. If I feel like someone is asking too much of me, instead of being bitter toward them I am going to offer more. For me, right now, I feel like generosity is the opposite of fairness, so I hope to overflow with generosity to all those around me.

Easy? No. Worth it? Absolutely.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Well, if you are reading this blog (not for the first time) you will notice a lot of changes in the color, format, text, etc. It was time for a change. God is working a lot in my life, I am being changed, refined, created anew, and I felt like it was time for the blog to do the same. More details on the changes in my life later. (Currently it is all still in process.) For now, enjoy the changes in the blog. More to follow...

Friday, February 19, 2010

Hold Me

This week was rough. Jameson had his first cold, poor little guy. It was a rough one...coughing, sneezing, really runny nose, congestion, the works! The first few days he kept up a really good attitude, but the last few days we have had our bouts of inconsolable crying. It is so heartwrenching, to see my little boy with big tears running down his face, his lower lip quivering, totally uncomfortable and not understanding why. He can't understand why he doesn't feel well, or that it is only temporary and will soon go away. He just knows that something isn't right and he doesn't like it. During these times, the only thing that helps is to have me hold him. I can rock him, walk with him, rub his back, hold him tight, and speak soothing words. Sooner or later, he calms down. I can feel his little body relax, see his eyes get heavy as he finally gives in to sleep. I whisper to him, telling him everything is going to be ok, he is going to feel better, Mama is going to be here with him no matter what, and it brings him comfort.

As I've spoken these words over and over to him, I have realized that he just wants to be held and comforted. And that God is just waiting to hold me the same way. When things aren't right in my life, when something is wrong, bothering me, upsetting me, causing me concern, God wants to hold me and share in my pain. Just like Jameson, I don't know why things are rough, or how long a tough patch will last, but if I have faith in God I know that weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. So, even though I don't understand why I may be hurting, and he doesn't know why he doesn't feel well, we can know that it will just last a short time in the grand scheme of things. And just as he knows that when Mama holds him he can relax and let go, I can go to God, ask Him to hold me, and release all that is on my mind. What a freeing thing to do! I am learning so much from my little man...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


This past weekend, Michael surprised me with a party to celebrate my 30th birthday. 30 years. Wow! I had no idea at all, and was totally caught off-guard. I thought we were going to have dinner with friends, and instead we walked into their house filled with my parents, my sister and her fiance, and all my closest friends. We had kids running around, babies crying, a steady steam of women heading upstairs to nurse babies, montiors on to keep track of the napping infants, a run to the emergency room for one dad and son..and it was awesome.

We are blessed beyond words to have these friends. How many people can say their mom would come home from a weeklong vacation and help make food for a surprise party less than 24 hours later? How many friends would offer to host a party at their house, clean, decorate, cook, and put together a video photo show with three kids at home including a 9 week old baby?? How many womeon would venture out into the cold with an 8-day-old baby to share in the celebration?

Needless to say...I am blessed. To be in this environment, surrounded by so much love and caring, to hear the support and encouragement and shared advice, to know these are the people we can go to at any time for any reason when we need them...there are no words to describe the goodness that existed in that place. Such warmth, such love, these are things you don't find often in our world today. No pushing to get ahead, no need to self-promote, to keep up with the Joneses, to prove your worth, just the relaxed atmosphere of coming home to a place where you are truly accepted, appreciated, and loved just for who you are, every hour of every day.

I love you all.

On a side note, this party was on the anniversary of the day last winter when we sat in a cabin in Hocking Hills and told most of these people that I was pregnant. In January we shared that news, in February Tim had a surprise party for Robyn, closely followed by Connie and Katie finding out they were pregnant. Then came Erin's pregnancy, then Tricia's, then the birth of our baby, a surprise party for Michael, the birth of Connie's baby, Katie's baby, Erin's baby, a surprise party for Tim, Robyn's pregnancy, the birth of Tricia's baby, a surprise party for me. Wow, that makes me tired just thinking about it. Can't imagine what the next 12 months will bring...