Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Seriously...who stole the remote?!

Graduation is upon us!

My Zack graduated early, but the official Ceremony is on Saturday.

Carter never got to walk last year, but even though he graduated last year, he decided to officially walk in cap and gown with his brother.

Wasn't it just yesterday they were eating the 'Graduates' baby food for big boys?  Hmmmm...those calendar pages were flipping at lightning speed.  Who was leaning on the FF (fast forwarding) button?

Reminds me of that movie with Adam Sandler...Click. In the Bed, Bath and Beyond, and he got that cool remote which could actually do that!  Come to find out,  fast forwarding is HIGHLY overrated!

I prefer the pause button, personally.
And on certain days I'm tempted to hit the rewind.

We tend to do that on the good parts.
The amazing...
the pivotal moments.
No one really rewinds the ho hum scenes.
The routine.
The everyday breakfast.
The hanging out on the couch after work scenes.

Yet those are the moments I will miss the most with my boys.
Not just the 'spectacular'.
The big family trips.
The entertaining events.
But the 'everyday'.
The routine.
The predictable.
The irreplaceable.
Those moments.

I'd like to frame those ones like a priceless piece of art!
My own private Gallery Collection.
Not. For. Sale.

And on our Ultimate Graduation Day...
at the end of our lives...
I think those are the moments we'll look back on...
'swinging on the front porch swing' moments.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Are your emotional tires wearing thin?

My car is out of alignment, which apparently caused my tires to wear out and need to be replaced.
(Oh goody!)

And so it is with us, if we are out of alignment...
(out of balance),
we will eventually wear out.

Just like the car will pull in a certain direction...
when we are out of balance,
we may tend to pull in a certain direction automatically.

Whether we are too focused on work,
and then we naturally gravitate towards all things 'work'...
and our life continues to lean that way.
Almost has a magnetic pull that we 'think' we have no control of.

Or maybe if we're too focused on 'self',
our life begins to lean in that direction.
Our mantra becomes Me, Myself, and I.

Meanwhile other parts of our life end up getting neglected.
Whether the result is bald spots on your tires...
or worse yet, bald spots on your head from the stress of it all :-O
your car (and you) need a tune up.

Being out of alignment...whether it be your car, your spine, or your life...
has it's consequences.  It affects everything.  Try throwing your back out,
and now your neck hurts and you have a throbbing headache.  It's not
just an isolated issue, it impacts everything around it.

It's back to the old 'Symptom and Cause' thing.
The symptom was the tires wearing thin,
the cause was the car was out of alignment.

The symptom is that you are wearing thin,
the cause could be that you are out of balance.

Yea, we could ignore the cause and just keep replacing tires and
taking stress relievers to numb the feeling...
but maybe it's time to diagnose how it all began and where it stemmed from.

So schedule the appointment...with your mechanic and with yourself.
You could be headed for a crash and burn if you're not careful.

"For God is not a God of disorder, but of peace." - 1 Corinthians 14:32
(He desires that we have balance in our personal lives.)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Don't be puttin' band aids on the 'symptom'

It's a funny thing, isn't it? 
The things at our disposal,
we walk on by.
Hardly noticing,
seldom appreciating.

But have it break down for 1 day?
And suddenly it's got your attention.

Whether it's something like my toilet which just broke down and is
suddenly out of commission -
or maybe for you it could be a relationship that broke down,
and now suddenly you take notice.

You start investigating it a little closer...
get 2nd opinions.
Do your own research.
Try and evcaluate the source of the leak.

Was it a slow leak that didn't set off the alarm in your head because it was subtle?

Was it under the carpet so it was carefully covered up, not a sign of mold in sight?

Well, over time the erosion tends to come to the surface and eventually  a major waterline may burst wide open flooding different rooms in your life.

Patch up the leak -
deal with it 911!
But then don't forget to go back and find the root of the problem.
Don't just put a band aid on the 'symptom'...
fix the 'source'.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Do you have a sunburn faith?

Was just moved to tears over a friends daughter, who wrote a blog post she was 'considering' posting, but wondered if it would be offensive. 

A young girl in her 20's...
with conviction, no less.
That never gets old.

Her frustration with the state of the church...the ones led astray.
The ones looking for that 'high' in place of the relationship.

'Relationship' implies highs and lows.
Ebs and flows.

If you're depending on that buzz...
then when it's not there,
you'll be heading for the hills during your next crisis.

Just like your relationship with your friend or spouse,
what happens when you're just not 'feelin' it on any given day?

A genuine faith is especially evident when there's no signs of joy inducing circumstances going on around you. 

It's an internal steadiness when the world around you is crumbling.
It's when you're in so deep that you can't see the surface.
When the bills are piled so high, it's hard to see past them.
But you keep working.
And trusting.

Our culture is unfortunately addicted to feeling good. (and to convenience)
Instant gratification.
Microwave faith.
Drive thru grace. (with a side order of peace)
Not a lot of talk about discipline and commitment and long suffering.

It's like getting a good tan...
it's gradual.
A little bit at a time.

If you try and do it in one day...
it just ends up peeling off anyway.

Invest time in your relationship with God...
so it doesn't just peel off like a bad sunburn (cuz you tried to rush it.)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Do you need to feed your 'Faith' too?

My dog Faith has been feeling sick the past few days.  I found her hiding under the desk in my kitchen and under my bed.  Apparently that's normal for dogs to hide when they're not doing too well.

How about your Faith?

Do you find that you like to hide out when it's not doing too well?
I guess we don't naturally gravitate towards people when we're bummed.
We may not go as far as crawling under the bed...but maybe under the covers! (Hoping the feeling will pass.)

I finally coaxed her into eating her food. (Although I did have to camoflauge the healthy food with a little chicken patty and BBQ sauce mixed in!)

She did finally eat. (even though she tried to pick through the healthy food to snarf down the tasty!)

I know when I finally get some spiritual food in me, I eventually start to feel better.  I don't always recognize it as hunger.

Sometimes we get weak when we haven't been eating regularly.
(Physically AND spiritually speaking.)

Just as our insulin levels can spike high and then drop low...
our faith can do the same.

So do yourself a favor...

Friday, May 11, 2012

'No' is a complete sentence!

Jack Canfield says that we must learn to say no to the good so we can say yes to the great.

'No' is a complete sentence, I've been told.

When you focus on what God has gifted you to do, and invest in those types of endeavors, then you become productive rather than just busy!

Mind you, I'm not implying you "JUST SAY NO"... to doing the mundane... like dishes.
("Uhhh, yea...that's just not my gift!" may not cut it over in your house.)

If you're an artist, you need to create with your hands.
If you're a writer, create with your words.

Thank God Mozart composed music, rather than himself.
And Hemingway used his pen as a tool,
while Steve Jobs used Powerpoint as his.

We all have a function, like different parts of the body.

Romans 12:4-6
"In this way we are like the various parts of a human body.  Each part gets ts meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way around.  The body we're talking about is Christ's body of chosen people.  Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body. 

But as a chopped off finger or cut off toe we wouldn't amount to much, would we?

So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ's body, lets just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren't."

How can you focus on being the best you?
An original.
Not a carbon copy.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Mother's Day Tribute to my Mom


If you thank your Mom publicly on your own Blog, the above link will explain in detail about 'The 1000 Moms Project'.  It's about 1000 people standing up and thanking their mom publicly and they will match your honoring of mothers by funding a Maternity/Child Survival Program in Haiti for a whole YEAR!

So here goes Mom...

You gave me room.
Room to flourish...
room to fail.

You didn't hover.  That gave me space to develop 'me'.  And you didn't force me to be 'you'. 

You didn't do my homework for me, and didn't complete my projects like most parents these days...(that are afraid their kids 'failure' might be a poor reflection of 'them'.)  And amazingly I got A's...on my own. 

Oh how you could teach so many mom's that THAT'S how you build your kids confidence, in allowing THEM  to do it.  What good is an A to a kid who knows it's not theirs? (Other than how good the 'My Child is an Honor Student' looks on the back of THEIR mini van. ;)

You instilled in me a love of God's word.
I can still see you reading at the corner of the couch...without fail.

You never seemed to get caught up in the hectic pace of life.  You invested in us kids.  You were less about 'doing' and more on who you were 'being'.
(and still to this day.)

You literally just texted me while preparing this for you.  How timely.
It said, "Marinate in the presence of God - it makes you tender!  Love you."

You always check in.
You send the most sentimental gifts.
You're generous to me and continue to sacrifice your own comfort to allow for mine. 

I'm remembering just recently where you mailed out a cooler with freezer paks so you could send me the original "Hoffman's" hotdogs all the way from N.Y. reminding me of the many years we went to that Restaurant growing up.  Nothin' beats that N.Y. Coney Dog!

I've benefitted from your wisdom, and pass that torch to my kids.

Love how you still try to keep all us kids connected.  You text me to pray for Tom when he's on a flight...and pray for Jeff when he's at the hospital with Robbie.  

I'm sad for those who don't have a Mom like you.
Whether they've died...physically.
Or died in their mind.  
I value having you in my life.  You may be across the Country,
but you are close to my heart. 

I love you Mom!

(Oh, and P.S.  I swear I'm not bitter about how much more you spoil your dog Buddy than you ever did me! Just sayin'! )

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

'Regular' appointments help straighten you out

My daughter Moriah has braces, and the other day she went on her regular 6 week check up where they tighten her wires. 
With that...
comes pain.
But that is what straightens her teeth.

The same with our life, if you want to 'straighten' your life out...
it involves some pain in the process.

But if Moriah chose to skip her appointments, her teeth would go back
to being crooked.  They naturally tend to go back that way.
(and so do we, by the way.)

Proverbs 26:11 says, "Like a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly."

Have you been 'skipping' your appointments lately?
Let God 'tighten' up those things in your life that will help straighten you out.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

I GET to be here and do THIS!

"I think of it only a couple hundred times a year, that single wide-eyed night by the bed of one of our sons in the pediatric wing of a city hospital.  The moaning of babes, the crying of sick children, the murmur of nurses with grim prognoses on lips and morphine in hand, these haunted through the endless hours.  I did not sleep, the pain of that place begging me to pray.  After our son was given the thumbs-up and the signature of release, I came home to bedrooms and bathrooms and kitchen and fridge and windows and unmerited, luxurious health and I threw up my arms in giddy gratitude.  Here?  This place?  Surprise!  I was a woman who saw what her life could well have been, a woman who didn't live by a deathbed or in a refugee camp or a war zone or the rubble of an earthquake.  I laughed at the surprise of dishes in my sink and the wild surprise of turning on the stove to boil water and I swished toilet and I was healthy and I got to be here and do this!  And things but forty-eight hours prior I entirely took for granted --even rather half resented as flawed and less than -- I spun around:  All surprising grace!  And there has not been a single night the nearly ten years since, that my son and I haven't whispered in bedside prayers for those who cry out in the dark, for we witnessed and we remember and we will always carry...

Is it only when our lives are emptied that we're surprised by how truly full our lives were?" -Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts

I had wrestled between household chores or reading outside for a bit.  Glad I chose to pause and read, for now I have a better perspective on the ordinary. (or the extraordinary, depending on how ya look at it!)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Would you put up with 'momentary' to avoid 'ongoing'?

My daughter has been having some major stomach issues.
Took her to Urgent Care and she was put on prescription meds
(which are hard to swallow),
so I decided to crush it up with sugar to help it go down easier.

She fought me a bit on drinking all the water it required too.
So I proceeded to go into 'teacher' mode, and appealed to her
that if she puts up with the 'momentary' pain of taking the yucky
medicine, she then doesn't have to put up with the 'ongoing' pain of her illness.

Isn't that indicative of life in general?

It could be putting up with the 'momentary' pain of working out,
therefore forfeiting the 'long term' pain of being unhealthy and
out of shape.

Maybe it's the 'temporary' pain of studying hard,
to avoid the 'endless' pain in struggling to pay your bills.

Some pain we get to choose.

So many of us just don't want to be uncomfortable on the front end,
not realizing that if we aren't,  we'll end up very uncomfortable
on the back end!

As far as my daughter taking her meds all crushed up with sugar
to make it go down easier...
we too can do that for the people in our life.  When we want to give them 'helpful' information that's good for them...
sweeten it up a bit to help it go down easy.  Nobody likes chomping on a chalky bitter pill-
no matter HOW good it is for you!

Hebrews 12:11
"For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it."

Proverbs 25:11
"A word rightly spoken and in due season is like apples of gold in settings of silver."