Saturday, April 28, 2012

What happened to the time?


Time.
We've all been given the same amount each day.
No one gets to hoard it...and save it for tomorrow.
Can't stockpile it.
We're all at the starting block together.

Time is a funny thing, yet something you want to curse.
The time wasted.  Doing nothing.
Or worse, the time poorly spent.  Regret.
Those are the times you're glad, "Time flies."
Yet it won't.
It lingers.
Yet those sweet moments fast forward too quickly.
Kids grow like weeds.
They graduate.
And off they go.

It's comical that when you're young, you round up, "I'm 5 1/2!"...
but when you're old(er)...you round down, "I...um...I'm 50...ish."
We want to speed it up in our early years,
get it all done - fast!
Become a teen, drive, graduate, move out.
Yet in our later years we want to slow down the crazy pace.
Let. It. Simmer.
Marinate.

Try and grip it with your hands and it slips through your fingers.
Try and stop it and it mows you down like a freight train.

That quiet, steady ticking you hear in the background?
That's YOUR time.
A reminder of life passing.
Or life being lived.

Are you living it well?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Who are you anyway?

Don't have your identity so wrapped up in what you 'Do'.
What if you suddenly can't 'Do' it anymore?
Is your identity suddenly lost?

Base your identity in the One who never changes...
never lays you off...
isn't affected by market changes...
won't fire you!

Then you'll be stable in who you are regardless of what's going
on around you.

If you're a Mom...be a great Mom!
But don't become so entrenched in your kids to the point where when they leave you...
you don't know who YOU are anymore.

Monday, April 23, 2012

How invisible are you?




Well if you haven't read this already...I highly urge you to "get on it!" ;O)
I've read it several times before, but today decided to do it in one sitting.
It's a quick read for you busy people (which is most of us).

And for you men out there, I wouldn't let the title scare you off.
Whether you read it to understand your other half a bit more...
or sympathize with the mom who raised you. ..it's worth the time.

But I suspect a lot of men feel quite invisible on any given day.
Buried in bills...
working long hours...
hibernating in their offices.

My hubby refers to himself at times as, "Couple of bucks, Dad."
How many countless times over the years has one of our 4 come up to him with puppy dog eyes, "Can I have a couple of bucks Dad?"

We, as Moms or Dads, husbands or wives...can somehow feel not much more than an ATM, a cab driver, a housekeeper.
A 'service' of some sort.
A nameless, faceless person who performs certain 'functions'.

Or as Nicole Johnson says in her book, "Mostly I'm just Mom or Honey, the butter lady or the driver.  Sometimes I'm 'Would you mind?' or 'Whenever
you get a minute...'   I also go by 'While you're up' or 'Since you're going out anyway."

As much as all of us can feel slighted and taken for granted in all that we do...Nicole states in her book, "Somewhere along the way, I managed to
make God invisible in my life, placing him in the same position my family had put me.  I didn't see what God was doing, so I treated him as if he wasn't there.  I had it in my mind that God was just supposed to answer my prayers (the butter God?) and then move out of they way and disappear.  You would think that after knowing how if feels to be invisible I would know better than to trust only what I see.  I'm pretty sure that makes me an invisible hypocrite."

Ouch!
Sadly true.

She compares our work to the invisible builders of the great cathedrals of Europe, many of them were nameless.  Some of them took over 100 years to build and she said, "Many builders devoted their whole lives to a work they would never see finished."

We as parents many never see our work finished. 
How our parenting has influenced our kids for the long haul. 
The decisions they make 'down the road' based on what they are learning from us 'today'.

In ending, she says, "I'm fully convinced that invisibility is love's most beautiful costume, given only to its choicest of servants when they are really serious about serving."

Her prayer:  "Make me more invisible.  Strengthen my heart to do the things that no one sees or appreciates, and to do them as unto you.  And if history never knows my name, may I have helped it know yours a little better.  Allow me to be invisible, that the world might see you."

Have you seen invisibility as a positive or a negative thing?



Saturday, April 21, 2012

Show off!

Was just hanging out with my daughters in the back yard, and noticed 2 lizards.  So apparently the male does push-ups to impress the female, so he can mate with her.  (My youngest informed me of this...she's 12!!)  This is my 6th grader who also just announced to me that next year in school she has to see 'The Movie'.  You know the one. 

So back to the lizards...I googled it just to back up her story.
(Yes, of COURSE I believed her!)
'They' said (cuz you know we all care about what 'they' have to say)...
that it's a 'look at me' technique.
They do it to get their fellow lizards to turn their heads. 
They work out for the same reason the guy at the gym might,
as a display of strength.
It shows they are not to be messed with!  (Show off!)

So often we're just the same.
Flexing our muscles...
whether it be our bi-ceps,
or our talents.
We display them to insure we are 'not to be messed with.'
We're capable.
We're strong.
We can handle things.

Funny little creatures!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Are you just blah blah-ing, or really listening?

Who's the greatest listener that you know?
You know...the one who 'really' hears you.
Not just the quiet one.
The one who 'gets' you.

Oh, and not the one dying for you to finish up your sentence so they can get back to more important matters...
them.

I have to say, it seems over my lifetime(I know, that's allotta years!)
...it's much easier to remember the great communicators.
The ones who don't leave out a detail...(yes, they had ketchup on their hamburger!)

Trust me, I love my fun, verbal, very expressive Type A friends...
they keep me laughing AND entertained.
(Life would be stale and boring without 'em!)

But there's something priceless about that friend who remembers your conversation from weeks ago...
and asks about it.
They heard me.
They remembered.
They inquired.

My mom's a friend like that to me.
She even asks about appointments I forgot I had.

I aim to be THAT kinda friend...
that kind of wife.
That mom.

What a perfect example we've all been given.
(despite whether we got it from our earthly mother or father)
Our heavenly Father.
The Master question asker.
He didn't just simply answer questions.
He questioned their questions.
He wanted to know them.
And He wants to know you!

Isn't it nice to be known like THAT?



Thursday, April 12, 2012

Even grown adults need a 'Time Out'!

Not sure if you're anything like me...
but if I am to be of any use to those around me,

(AND be nice about it)...

I simply need to go off and spend time with God.

Away from the distractions.
The noise.
The noise that so often tries to drown You out.
The noise competing for my affection.
Wooing me.
Calling me to 'Pay attention!'
The immediate stuff.
The texts.
The calls.
The mounds of things on my 'To Do List'.
(Does it even qualify as just a 'list' anymore?)
It's endless.
Overwhelming.
Never made to feel on top of.
The black hole filled with responsibility.

Then. There's. You.

The peace in the center of chaos.

The calm in the storm.

The mini getaway.

That deep breath.

My much needed 'Time Out'!
(Not quite sure why small children see this as a punishment.)

My anchor.

Today, have you snuck away yet...
from the kids, from the bills,  from pinterest(oh...that hurts!)
just to realign your compass?

Friday, April 6, 2012

What are you believing?

So I had a dream just recently that I finished writing my Book.
So, of course, what do you think I did?
Posted the dream on Facebook. (I know, shocking!)
After mentioning that I had the dream, I followed with the question,
"Could it be a sign?"
And a News Anchorwoman from CNN replied with a resounding,
"YES!  It's called a precognitive dream!"

Now I haven't done my research, so I don't quite know if I believe or even understand precognitive dreams, but here's what I do believe.
I believe that her confident, immediate response  injected a dose of 'belief' into me.
It was as if the book was already done in my mind!
Complete!
Ready for publishing!

Like the saying goes:
 "She believed she could...
so she did!"

Imagine if God came down and told you (yes you...the one reading this)
that you could...(fill in the blank).
At that point it wouldn't be a matter of 'IF'...
but rather a matter of 'WHEN'.

So I gathered up the courage (based on this infusion of belief),
and headed off to Malibu, with my Book in hand.
I put it in the hands of a Book Publisher.
Her response to my writing was just what I needed.
An unbiased opinion, telling me that I have a talent and I must use it!
I never wanted to be like that kid on American Idol, who grew up thinking he could sing cuz his mommy said so...
yet Simon told him he was bloody dreadful!
(So needless to say, I was relieved Simon wasn't the Book Publisher!)
Phew!

When she told me I was better than Erma Bombeck, my natural default was to think, "Oh, she's just being polite."
She then proceeded to tell me how her own friend wrote a book for her to review, and she boldly informed her that it wasn't good enough.
This was in her attempt to convince me that she wasn't just giving me lip service.  She had nothing to lose by being brutally honest with me,
and yet she continued to tell me how clever my writing was.

Please don't misinterpret this as me patting myself on the back,
there's nothing more annoying...
but God has gifted each and every one of you.  And if the enemy(or ourselves) can convince us otherwise, then we bury that talent.
We're like Gideon when God calls out to him, hiding in the wine press, "Oh mighty man of valor!"  Gideon's looking around timidly like, "Who me?"

Just a side note...
I prayed on my way to this meeting that I would see a movie star on that particular day.  Someone famous.  Not that I'm obsessed with celebrities...
it just came to me.
I thought, "Lord...this is not too big for you.  Just a simple request.  You could do it in a heartbeat.  It will just be that encouragement that reminds me that you can do all things.  And showing me this is a sign
that you also can help me write this Book.  Because ultimately, it's You who will be speaking through me.

So me and the Book Publisher decide to take a 10 mile hike in Malibu, and who do we see heading on to the trail that we just came off of? 
Owen Wilson.
We even had a brief exchange as her dogs chased after his 2 dogs.
She yelled, "They're not dangerous!"
And I piped up, "Yeah, they'll just lick you to death!"
He looked me right in the eye as he laughed heartily.
I almost missed it!
It was a wink from God.
Under his baseball cap, I almost didn't recognize him.
How often we may not recognize God in many of our situations.
They sometimes come in disguise.
The 'ball cap' can throw us off, because it looks a little different than we expected. 

I was actually a bit embarrassed by my prayer, and wasn't quick to
openly admit it.  In case you'd mistake me for being 'shallow'.
Someone who secretly carries a Star Map in her purse.
Or the latest National Enquirer. (enquiring minds need to know!;)
(I confess, I do record E News on occassion.)
Just sayin'.

So imagine with me for a minute...
what could YOU do in this brief time here on earth...
if you just believed?