Check That Verse Off

 

So I failed my husband. NO, not in the way you might think. Let me start with a verse that I thought I had down. A verse that I thought I could check off the list of what a “good” Christian looks like.

Read with me –

Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Don’t conform? Check (I don’t live a life like culture dictates)

Be transformed? Check (I have had a complete transformation)

Renew my mind? Check (I am much nicer and read the Bible)

Test and approve what God’s will is? Check (He IS in control after all)

THEN, life happens and this verse took on a whole new meaning.

Back in December of 2015, my husband’s company decided to move his division to the East Coast. We had the opportunity to go, but after prayer, we stayed. Since that point, I have been a “model” loving and supportive wife. Rather than jump in and constantly question him about his job search, I have stood back and been quietly supportive.

That is NOT in my natural character… It has been tough…and then…

I started letting little things that bother me pile up. I started feeling fear creep in…and I BLEW UP. Not in a nice way, but in a way where I was bringing up anything and everything that I had stuffed inside. I brought up that it had been eight months and if it were ME I would have had a job in 2 weeks. AND that I would have this or that and how he wasn’t doing any of it.

I blew up.

I then left for some school shopping and started praying for God to help HIM because boy did HE need it. I prayed for God to help me – the saint – to endure this difficult time. I prayed for God to teach HIM whatever he needed to learn so we would be over this challenge.

And then, God hit me…with Romans 12:2

Read it with me, again…

Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Do not conform to the pattern of this world. – Do what it takes to get what you want?

Be transformed. – Had I really been transformed that much, to react in such a horrible way?

The renewing of your mind. – Was I constantly renewing my mind? Or did I think it was a one and done?

Able to test and approve what GOD’S Will is. – So I put a time limit on what I thought should happen. I was counting the days and at eight months it still hadn’t gone the way I though it should. Was I doubting God’s will being good, pleasing and perfect?

As I walked through all of this in my mind, I realized I had to apologize to my husband.

When I walked in the door, he braced himself for what could only be another beat down by his wife as it had only been a couple of hours. I proceeded to apologize. I told him how very sorry I was for putting a time limit on him. I apologized for playing a good wife for eight months, rather than just becoming one. I apologized for thinking that I HAD been renewed and transformed, rather than realizing it’ll be a lifetime of continual renewal and transformation.

I let him know how much I love him and how I will try and be a better wife.

What I learned…I need to embrace the whole journey. There will never be a point where I “arrive” this side of heaven. I need to keep score less and love much, much more.

In what ways can you stop keeping score with people in your life?

In what ways can you love others better?

 

Advertisements

Ooooooh, Eve

This is not a deep theological post…it’s more of a quick note regarding my frustration at the loads and loads of laundry that seem to multiple daily!

So, when Eve took that bite of the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden, that God said not to touch, and then realized she was naked and put on fig leaves to cover herself…do you REALLY think she realized what she got herself in to?

Do think that God, though upset, smiled to Himself thinking, “Oh, honey. Fig leaves now…but wait until people fill their closets with clothes to wear each week. You just took hours and days and years away from the lives of people in the future!”.

Pains of childbirth, ruled over by our husbands AND laundry. God knew what He was doing.

What I learned today…Not to expect chores to be done unless I ask for them to be done. I need to be specific as in a house full of boys, NO ONE can read my mind.

Laundry

 

Whining or Winning?

I have decided to turn the whining of my family in to a win. For example, when I say we are going to a museum for a family activity, all of my boys tend to start whining. As their mom, I know that one of the best things I can do for my family is open their eyes to new experiences. I can take them places they wouldn’t normally choose to go, to learn things they wouldn’t learn otherwise.

Now, my husband is NOT thrilled when I suggest these things, but thankfully I do the same thing with him that I do with my kids…

I replace their whining words with my own.

For example if my kids say, ” I can’t believe you’d MAKE us go do something so stupid! You obviously hate me if you don’t let me stay home and hang out with my friends!!”.

I translate that in to a winning response and reply, “What I just heard you say was, Thank you, mom, SO MUCH, for broadening my horizons and taking me places I might not have thought to go!”.

Then my husband will say something like, “I can’t believe you are forcing them to go with you. Just let them stay home and do whatever they want.”.

What that translates into is, “I am so thankful you allow us to do things with you. That you have the strength to push through all of our whining and be a great mom to our kids. I love you and your determination.”.

At this point, you might be thinking this is craziness. Or you might think it won’t work for me and that is okay. This works for ME.

When I verbalize the things above, and other ways of responding in a way I wish happened, it changes the feel of the conversation.

I remember that this won’t last forever.

I remember that I only have my family for a limited amount of time.

I remember I am their mom and they love me, even if they aren’t showing it in the moment.

I remember, these are memory making times.

I remember the days are long and the years are short.

How can you protect your heart when you KNOW you are doing the best thing for your family.

What I learned today…Look for the best in all situations. You can find good, or push through knowing, the negative will end. Be patient and do your best to be the best YOU you can be.

You are not responsible for what they say….but how you react to it.

Teenage Tantrums

Do you have wise people around you? Do you listen to them?

One of the wise people around me said something in a short 5 minute conversation that made me sad, mad and glad.

I was talking about a tough week I had had with one of my teens. His reply was, “Huh. It is great to watch God having you go through this with one of your kids right now, as you are going through the same thing with God.”

Sad – Oh, NO! I do tend to get upset and say, “God, what are you doing?! Don’t you know what will make me happy?” And then wait fairly impatiently for God to do what I want Him too.

Mad – WHAT?!?! I don’t throw tantrums like that! Well, okay, maybe I do. BUT I trust God’s path for me, don’t I? I push and talk to God about what I want, but I do lean on His direction.

Glad – I do. I do lean on God as He moves me through situations that will grow and stretch me. I don’t mind being uncomfortable for HIM.

As it stands, I’m glad someone pointed out the similarities. It helped me remember that God, my Father, has His hands full with me. I do go to Him with my fears and worries, and though it might take me awhile sometimes, I do walk the path He is putting in front of me.

What I learned today…I feel a change is coming. I don’t know what it is, but I know who is directing it. Whether I like it or not, the whole point of my life is to do what God is asking me to do…and pray I like it. 🙂

Teenagers…Always

I remember being one…but it wasn’t like it is now. I can’t begin to imagine the pressure our teens feel. Everything is at their fingertips. They truly have to guard their minds and hearts at all times.

Having a teenager is AWESOME. I currently have two and a “tweeny” (11yr old describes himself that way). They are fun, funny, active, caring, witty…just all around amazing. We were always told teens were difficult. No one told us how much fun they would be to hang out with!

That doesn’t mean we don’t have tough times. Through all the battles they go through, my heart breaks for them frequently. That doesn’t mean I will take the easy road. That would be difficult in the long run, for allll of us.

I was talking with one of them over a challenge he was facing. Now that he is getting older, he couldn’t understand why I won’t let him dictate his direction. It’s a bit negotiable, but I am still the mom.

This is how I described it to him…

When he was a toddler, he loved eating with his hands. He would giggle and get food everywhere. There came a point when I need him to start learning how to use a spoon and fork. That made him FURIOUS! He would scream and through the utensils, then scream and throw the food! His actions showed how made he was because I didn’t understand that he DIDN’T WANT TO follow my direction. It was so much easier to just use his hands!

Now, though he is old and wiser, there are times where he will still feel like he really knows the best way to go, the best choices for his future. I could let him do whatever he feels like, however there are times when, as a parent, we need to step in and provide direction. He will get VERY made and get frustrated and maybe even not like us in the moment. All I can do is pray and stay strong. I can remember that little boy that threw a tantrum when he couldn’t see the path ahead of him. He only knew what he wanted in the moment.

I am like that with God. I think I know what would be best for me, and pray and pray that God will answer my prayers. When He doesn’t, I throw a tantrum. I do. I get so frustrated and think he doesn’t understand that I REALLY wanted it!

I know I have to realize that He knows what is best for me. He sees all the things I can’t see. I have to trust in Him and though I don’t understand His direction, I have to know He truly wants the best for me.

Remember –

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not in your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight. Prov 3:5-6

What I learned today…I love my teens so very much. I have to remember, to parent them, even when it is hard. Each day I need to spend thanking God for being patient with me and constantly showing me mercy and pray I can do the same to those I love.

 

Highs and Lows

I don’t know about you, when I have a REALLY good day, I forget that all things are temporary. On the same note, when I have a REALLY bad day, I forget the same thing.

This weekend was pretty amazing. Sitting down with someone I didn’t know who was able to take my life and remind me of the truth of how God made me. Coming off the high from the weekend, I forgot that I generally hit a low soon after.

Personally, I believe we can be such a positive force for good that evil has to throw a wrench in wherever he can. If I am loving how God made me, and sharing how knowing what you are built for puts you even closer to doing what God has for you, of COURSE there will be opposition. Today, it felt a bit overwhelming.

Now, I have a choice to crumble under the pressure of 3 things that happened today, that each on their own could be debilitating. I did take moments throughout the day to cry out to God. AND, to be honest, physically cry whether it be in my office, a stairway, or in my car. After each release and pause, I turned my face up, wiped away the tears, and carried on.

Though my day could have crushed me, I choose to be joyful and ask God to show me all the blessings around. He reminded me of what my husband shared in our small group, “If there is breath in our lungs, we have a chance to rejoice. God gave us another day and another breath”.

Today had it’s highs and lows. I am CHOOSING to take a moment and pray about the lows, asking for direction, guidance, support and wisdom. I am choosing to put another step forward and rejoice, thanking God for always being faithful.

Today I learned…I cannot control my families thoughts or actions. I can pray and keep praying. I have to remind myself that God loves my family even more than I do, though I can’t understand that!

1 Thessalonians 5:17 “Pray without ceasing”

Describe Yourself in 3 Words

I live in a house FULL to the brim of testosterone. With a husband, 2 teens and a tween, it can get loud and rambunctious to say the least. At their ages, it’s a time where they could tend to retreat in to their own “social” worlds within their rooms.

I have to consistently and intentionally draw them out to talk. It doesn’t work all that often. What does work, is forcing them to have time together with the family. Now I NEVER thought I’d have to force people to hang out with me as I always thought I had a bit of fun in me. According to my kids, that doesn’t seem to be true.

As I “forced” them to hangout this last weekend, we did the usual. I’ll ask them questions. It could be anything from “What is your favorite color right now”, to “What is your favorite movie of the moment”. This weekend, I took a stack of TABLETOPICS with me as I wasn’t in the mood to come up with my own questions.

One of the questions was Describe Yourself in 3 Words. Have you ever done that? Have you done it recently?

Are You Tired?

Time to review things I don’t like about myself, and if their valid flaws (valid, meaning my accountablitiy partners agree) it’s time to clean them out of my life.

Flaw I’m concentrating on?

I am TIRED. Sure I could lay out all the reasons why, but you don’t want to hear it, do you? Why? Because I bet you are tired, too.

Tired Physically
Tired Emotionally
Tired Mentally.
Sick kids.
Medical issues.
Busy schedule.
Tough relationships.
Rough work day.

We stretch and bend then stretch and bend again. With our busy lives, busy schedules and worry about EVERYTHING…

How do you behave when you are tired?

I am short tempered, easy to get angry at little things, only want “me” time, feel like the whole world is against me, etc…etc….

Don’t get me wrong, I know how to “behave in public” when I’m tired, but not when those doors close at home. Am I alone?

When I’m tired, I tend do things like…. I yell at my kids over little things and shove my husband away PLUS push all his “buttons” so he feels as crappy as I do.

My kids have gotten used to the ever on-going prayer request on our morning trip to school of, “God, you know I’m tired. Help me get through the day. Please help me control my temper in the morning”.

Yes, it’s good that I’m acknowledging it to God and my children. There IS a great lesson in those prayers coupled with asking my kids for forgiveness for my bad attitude.

HOWEVER, I heard the whispers of – that’s not enought – during my prayers yesterday morning. My kids do not need to listen to me give excuses of “I’m tired. Tough day at work. I was up with YOU all night.” or ___________ enter whatever reason I have here.  They need to know Mom loves them and can over-come the tiredness to be a bigger person and CHANGE my attitude.

So my prayers have become, “God, you know I am tired. I ask you to help me to change my attitude and enjoy the blessings YOU put around me. Help me show more joy than exhaustion today. In YOU I can find rest. Through YOU I can find strength.”

Starting today, my goal is embrace the tired. It’s part of my life in this season. It’s not going to go away. So I will be changing my attitude in it. I’m going to start the process of teaching my children being tired is NOT an excuse to be mean, short tempured or quick to condemn.

That through resting In God’s Word. I can find the strength and peace I need. If I take a couple minutes a day to talk with God, read a verse or two and enjoy time with HIM, even if it’s 5 minutes, HE can give me anything I need to become that better mom that I long to be. That mom that doesn’t use the excuse of I’m Tired, for bad behaviour.

What will you be looking at to Clean out of your life today?
Today I’m praying for my fellow tired people. May you overcome the excuse and find time to REST in HIM today.

Today I learned…again…I need to take time to rest in Him.