Friday, April 3, 2015

It is Finished.


The final words of my Savior as he hung on a tree.

Baring the physical wounds of his tormentors. Carrying the weight of a world of sinners. A weight that was not his own. A weight he willingly took upon himself. Not his cup, but he drank from it.


This was not a cry given in resignation. These were not the relieved last words of a broken God man.


It is a battle cry. A proclamation of victory. A declaration that will end a fight you or I could not win for ourselves.


It is finished.
He has conquered sin.
He has defeated death.

He is the sacrificial Lamb.
He is the victorious warrior.

I, I am the unworthy wretch who is now clean.
I am also a victor. Because of His gift. His grace.


Saturday, August 2, 2014

It's not really about Sharing anyway...

I normally don't write in response to other blogs or articles I have read, but today I feel the need to respond to a blog that has been going around the "mommy blogs". I've seen it pop up repeatedly in my news feed over the past couple of weeks. The first time I read it, I sorta shrugged and admitted I agreed with most of it. But, the more it popped up the more it began to annoy me and the less I found myself agreeing with in it. 

It's the "Why I don't make my child share" blog post. If you haven't read it this is the gist- A mom has decided that by forcing her son to share with others she is giving these children unrealistic expectations of life. They will grow up thinking that they deserve to get anything and everything just because they want it....

I see her point....kinda. Children shouldn't be allowed to point at anything and everything another person has and automatically assume they will receive it in the name of "sharing".  I don't want my son to be walked all over by some kid who envokes the holy rights of sharing! Like all kids, my son has favorite or new toys that are special and can be reserved for him. But, telling your child they can use a toy ( one that doesn't even belong to them) indefinitely when another child is standing on the side lines staring longingly? I think there is a deeper more important lesson being missed here.

Kindness. Thoughtfulness. Compassion. Empathy. Shoot, a general awareness that the world contains people other than them! These are important traits to instill in our children as well. The act of sharing should be less about the desires of the other child and more about the attitude of your child. I want my son to share not because the other child really wants it. I want him to share because he is kind and understands what it feels like to be the kid without. Call me crazy, but I think if we are more concerned about teaching our children kindness and compassion the selfish attitudes the author is so afraid of will be taken care of as well. 

At the end of the blog the author gives an example of how adults wouldn't just go skipping in the grocery store line because they feel they deserve to go sooner. Ok sure. But, will we have citizens who look around and see the person with only one item and kindly let them skip ahead? Will someone see the frazzled mom with three kids who is obviously having a DAY and take compassion on her by letting her go first? Or will they simply think, " I was here first. Stinks for them, but I DESERVE to go first."

Maybe I'm taking the whole "no share" policy to seriously. But, I find the results of it much more frightening than the world in which Tommy's Mommy encouraged him to hand over the cool toy for a little while.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Back In The Saddle Again (Part II)

Sooo.... I got a job. I really am excited.

And yet..... I'm also a little sad ( I really did search for a more impressive adjective to put here but sad just summed it up perfectly).

You see, I have had a fairly flexible schedule for the past few years, and was even a stay at home mom this past year. I had oodles of time with my boys. I was there for all the early morning bed heads, rare but precious snuggles, silly jokes, crazy temper tantrums, exciting firsts, blatant disobedience, and precious sleepy naptime faces. Now, I simply won't be there. And this, this is what makes me sad.

As my mind begins to romanticize these days at home, mommy guilt settles over me. That feeling I am betraying my children by not letting them be the sole center of my universe nags at me. Yet, I do not doubt that returning to teaching is the right decision for me and my family. Isaac will be at the same school I am teaching at, and I know this will be great for him. Titus will be watched ( and spoiled rotten) by family. I've been amazed and encouraged by how the job and then the situations for my children have all been provided. I have peace that this is God directed. But, I'm a girl. And girls love to needlessly drown themselves in guilt!

I also worry about being able to juggle it all. Wife. Mom. Teacher. Pastor's wife. Sometimes I feel slightly overwhelmed by the workload of it all. It'll be a lot. It will be a change. I'm sure there will be several posts this year addressing this very thing.

 When I start to panic at the thought of it all, I reflect on the woman in Proverbs 31. She was a wife, a mother, a business woman. She was busy, yet her family was proud of her and thankful for her. Why? .... Because she prioritized. Her heavenly Father, her husband, her children, her home, her work. In that order. She was diligent, managed her time well, planned ahead, made wise choices, and was strong. What an awesome example of womanhood. Some women view this chapter as an impossible standard that judgingly looks down on them ( I know because I used to think that). But after studying this chapter, I see this as an encouraging testament to what women can accomplish. I can be diligent, use my time wisely, plan ahead, make biblical choices, be strong. 

I can choose to put my God first. I can still pour into my family. I can be a diligent teacher and love my students. I can do all these things, not because I'm naturally strong but because He is. 

So.....Goodbye guilt, goodbye panic, goodbye sadness.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Back In the Saddle Again...

So, I got a job. It's pretty great and I am nervously excited. It's not my dream job (unfortunately no one has offered to pay me gross amounts of money to lounge around and read all day. Maybe one day...). But, it's pretty close.

Starting in August I will be a middle school teacher at a christian school here in town. I already know several teachers who work there and a few parents whose children attend there. All have great things to say. I find this encouraging. I'm excited. And I'm also scared.

I haven't been in a traditional classroom for several years now. I have been tutoring and assisting others with homeschooling. But 16+ students in a classroom all staring at and depending on me...its been awhile. I have an overwhelming desire to reread every teaching book I've ever owned. I no longer browse pinterest for recipes but classroom ideas. I  sit on the couch staring at the tv but thinking about curriculum, classroom management, and various other teachery things. But the biggest sign of the upcoming school year are the nightmares.

This is not new for me. Every year about two weeks before school started I would begin having nightmares. The content of the nightmares is what you expect, I'm sure. Unruly children creating chaos and small fires everywhere they go, disapproving principals ominously shaking their heads, me running horribly late, forgetting which classroom is mine, realizing I forgot to get dressed. But this year they have come earlier, happen more frequently, and seem much more vivid. I feel like a newbie again. I wake up startled and drenched in sweat. My mind charges back to reality and relief floods my entire body as I realize it was just a dream, and no, I have not been fired on the first day of school.

As weird as this may read.... I'm glad for these nightmares. They are proof of new experiences. New adventures. New school and new friends. They signal my return to a profession I love.

My hiatus is over. The school year will start and the nightmares will end.

They always do.

And yet....... well, that's for the next entry........

Thursday, June 26, 2014

What a Mighty Fine Man

Ten years ago on this date I stood at the end of a long aisle in a poofy white dress staring at a  nervous young man. A young man who was about to make some awfully big promises. He promised to cherish me. Protect me. Love me. Till death do us part. Promises he has upheld in millions of ways over the past ten years.

Getting up early with the boys because I'm exhausted (even though we both went to bed at the same time).

Trading seats with me in the restaurant because the sun is in my eyes.

Telling me I look just as lovely as the day he married me (and meaning it despite my new baby squishyness).

Making me laugh harder than anyone else. Ever. Everyday.

Putting our oldest to bed every night. Its their quality time together. 

Indulging my whiny self and picking up my slack when I'm sick.

Not judging me when I have my weekly "I'm the worst mother ever" breakdown.

Sweetly going along with all my impromptu and crazy schemes, whether it be home improvement or last minute family trips.

Lovingly telling me when I'm being a brat.

Humbly listening when I tell him he is being a brat.

Pretending like he actually cares when I go on a ten minute schpeel about why I NEED a jean jacket.

Holding me when I need to cry. And just letting me cry.

Being excited for and supportive of my passions and dreams.

Ten years of putting me before his own wants or needs.

Ten years ago as my newly married self looked ahead I envisioned this day, our ten year anniversary, a little differently. I saw us boarding a plane to some fabulous location as hundred dollar bills rained down. New York. Paris. St. Lucia. Somewhere beautiful to celebrate us. Instead, we will put our two boys to bed and snuggle up on the couch while eating a celebratory bowl of icecream as pennies raindown! We will reminisce, laugh, indulge in dreaming about the next ten years. And I will feel cherished. Protected. Loved. 

Happy Anniversary Hubs.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The NOT So Cool Kid.

This past weekend we had our students from church over to the house. At some point during the night one student insinuated ( or maybe flat out stated) that I was a bit of a nerdy person. I was not offended. I had heard this before and at the age of thirty-one readily accepted the truth of the statement. I am a bit of a nerd, and always have been. I just didn't always know it.

I went to a very small high school where everyone hung out with everyone. When there are only ten people in your graduating class you are forced to have social interactioins with everyone despite perceived status. So honestly, I just never even thought about "cool" in high school. From my high school puddle I jumped straight to a ginormous lake. A 14,000 person lake. Again, I really didn't think about social status. There were way too many people for that to even be relevant. But, I built a little friend group. They were hilarious, fun, and creative ladies. We had an awesome time together. It would be these same ladies that would open my eyes.

It was a regular old weeknight, and we sat in my dormroom playing a board game ( that probably should have been my first clue).  In this particular game you describe people using provided adjectives. When it came time to describe me I was bewildered to see that ALL of my friends had chosen Cheesy. I, of course, had chosen Hilarious...... cause I am. They all assured me that we were all cheesy in a lovable dorky way. My confused expression and breathless stutters prompted one friend to quietly ask, " oh honey, you didn't think we were the cool kids did you?" I sat there mouth gaping and simply nodded. I felt like the main character who just learned they were adopted. Past moments swirled through my head: making up dance routines to Debbie Gibson songs. My bedroom walls covered in posters of the Beatles, Cary Grant, William Holden, and Jimmy Stewart ( sigh). The coolest party I had ever been to was hosted by parents. I had only been to parties that used words like "hosted". A flash of me tumbling down a hill after falling off my bike two days before Senior Prom. 

My eyes were open, and sadly the world made more sense now. I was not the Kelly Kapowski. I was the female Screech. 

This might have been a devastating blow for some, but I was surrounded by friends who assured me we shared this common bond. Instead of clawing against it, I embraced it. 

My college years were spent laughing, making up stupid dances, campus water balloon fights, midnight hide and go seek, 80s movies marathons, a 21st birthday rootbeer kegger, and thousands of Cheesy inside jokes. I loved every lame minute. 

And I still do. 

You can call me lame, cheesy or nerdy... but I know it's really just code for Awesome.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Change Will do You Good....

Change. A dirty word in my world. Something I'm not particularly keen to embrace. Instead I wiggle down into my comfort zones and try to ignore the little hints God is giving me. I curl my fingers tight around my wants and refuse to consider other possibilities. I close my eyes, stick my fingers in my ears, and loudly sing la-la-la. Very adult, I know. 

In the book The Beloved Disciple Beth Moore asks,"What do you do when you don't understand what Jesus is doing?"

Sometimes during a season of change, this is exactly how I feel. Jesus, what are you doing?? More importantly, how will I respond to what you are doing? Will I obey even when it's scary? Or hurts? Or doesn't quite make sense from man's perpective? Am I willing to embrace the change that unsettles me?

Thankfully, my Jesus isn't just playing this by ear. He has it all planned out and even if it doesnt make sense to me, I know it makes perfect sense to Him.

 Time to loosen my grip and open my eyes. My God has a plan, an adventure, a change.