This is a simple story of a simple family trying to slow down this crazy life and enjoy the "moments"...

Monday, June 15, 2015

What is your MEANWHILE?

Life is full.
How's that for an understatement?
There are always things happening.
Pretty much everyday we make plans, live out plans,  reminisce about plans that have already happened, and get our lives ready for future plans that are about to take place.

Now….these "things" that happen can be divided into two basic groups:  Big and Little.

The "BIG" things are more…..big.
They might need a lot of prep work,
They might be a life changing event,
They might be a cure for the common cold.
--Point is….they are pretty monumental.

The "LITTLE" things are more….little.
They might BE the prep work for the big things…
They might be daily life activities….
They might be simply finding ways to spend extra time.
--Point is….they certainly don't  always feel monumental.

There are a lot more "little" things than "big" things.
In fact….we might spend long periods of time doing "little" things while we are waiting for the next "big" thing to happen.
If you have a trip coming up, you might spend the week before doing wash, packing, organizing and getting everything ready.  All of these chores are simply preparations for the big event.
Sometimes the "big" thing is a special occasion….and you just try to fill the beforehand time with as many mundane activities as possible so that time will pass quickly and you can get to your desired event.

There sure is a lot of beforehand time.

In one of my favorite books (Oh The Places You'll Go) by one of my favorite authors (Dr. Seuss) (don't laugh) he describes this as, "The Waiting Place."

The Waiting Place…
…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.
Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

Don't we spend most of our time doing this?
We know God has a plan…and we are waiting for Him to reveal it.
We think things will get easier when we get used to them….and we are waiting to get used to them.
We believe that time heals all wounds….and we are waiting for time to pass to feel healed.
We think that eventually we will have more spare time to do something….so we are waiting for that spare time.
We think that we might be one day be good enough to help do something….and we are waiting until we can be confident that we are.

It's like the dots on a graph.
Those dots are the "big events".
There may be hundreds of them scattered over our personal "life graph".
But…in order to get from one dot to another….we have to connect them with lines.
These lines are the "in between times."
The "waiting times."
The "meanwhiles."

Look at a graph.
There are a LOT more areas covered by lines than areas covered by dots.
There are a LOT more "Meanwhiles", than "This-is-it"s.

So here is the question.
How are you spending your Meanwhile?

Are you waiting?
Waiting as in:
staring at the walls,
hoping for chances,
praying for clarity but doing nothing else,
looking for perfect circumstances,
filling the moments with frivolous activities,
staring doggedly at the next "dot" in the graph and willing it to get here so you life is no longer meaningless???

Or, are you waiting?
Waiting as in:
keeping your mind and body ready to go,
taking chances,
praying for clarity and stepping out in faith,
finding methods to overcome obstacles,
discovering ways to serve and make a difference in the "little" things until you reach the next "big thing",
realizing that even the "in between" times can be moments of sweet preparation and discovery?

Waiting can mean sitting quietly, not moving, and exhibiting patience.

Or…waiting can mean actively serving (such as the wait-staff at a restaurant) and doing it all as unto the Lord until you arrive at the next "dot".  This method also requires patience….but an active useful type of patience.

I started this post with, "Life is full."
Let me amend that to, "Life is full of Meanwhiles"

How are you spending yours?

Friday, May 22, 2015

Four years….

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus' name.

When darkness seems to veil His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil.

His oath His covenant and blood,
Support me in the overwhelming flood;

When all around my hope gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.

On Christ the solid rock I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
On Christ the solid rock I stand, 
All other ground is sinking sand.

Christ alone, Cornerstone,
Weak made strong, in the Savior's love,
Through the storm--He is Lord,
Lord of all.

Thanks, God.  For new beginnings.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Only One You

We are our own worst enemies.

Someone else trips…you help them up.
A friend is late….you tell them not to worry so much.
Another person does poorly on a test….you tell them they'll do better next time.
Someone else is complaining… sympathize about their day and not to feel bad.
A friend admits to eating 3 desserts….you rationalize it and tell them they deserved it.


YOU trip and you call yourself a klutz.
YOU are late and you chastise yourself for your awful unprofessionalism.
YOU don't do your best and let the words "stupid moron" float around your brain.
YOU catch yourself griping and let guilt over your ungratefulness consume you.
YOU eat a few tasty treats and berate your lack of willpower and bulging jeans.

When someone we care about goes through a hard time, we try to take care of them.
We listen, advise, sit, and lend an ear or shoulder.
Perhaps we remind them of how strong they are….
of how much they have already been through…
of the good things they have accomplished….
of all the people who need/love/appreciate them….
of how God made them perfect and wonderful and in His image….
of how they are loved beyond measure and the very Son of God chose to die for them!

Yet, when we ourselves mess up, we are not so kind.
We are quick to find fault in all we've done.
We listen to the condemning words:
"You aren't smart enough"
"Why would anyone listen to you?"
"You always mess this up!"
"Who would trust you with this anyway?"
"Why would God talk to you?"
"What do you have that's worthwhile to add to this?"
"You aren't needed!"

And we don't fight these words.
We give into them.

These condemnations….these lies….these ideas planted in our hearts by the master of lies himself.

God made you.
He made me.
He made our friends and our family and the guy frying my rice at Panda Express.

Each one of us….is purposefully made by the same hands that shaped the snow-capped mountains.
God made me because He wanted me here.
God made you because He wanted you here.
We have gifts….we have faults.
We have skills….we have issues.

And we can use EVERYTHING He made us with to do something good.
Something beautiful.
Even the big 'ol messes we make!

So when you trip, just stand yourself back up.  Brush off your knees and check yourself over.
Realize that you might have caught your foot on that crack because you were thinking about something super important….or that you were just tired from the long day of work you'd put in…or that you were so excited to do something wonderful that your feet just couldn't keep up with your heart.
Then remind yourself….IT'S OK.

Excuse yourself when you mess up….just like you would excuse a friend.
When you feel like a failure…remind yourself of all you've accomplished.
If you eat 3 wedding cake concretes…thank God for inventing them and go for a long walk.

God made YOU….so be nice to YOU.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Some days...

Some days it all makes sense.
Others….nothing seems to quite fit together smoothly.

Some days we feel productive… we've made a good dent in our work pile.
Others…our wheels spin until the tires are bald and we end up farther behind then when we started.

Some days we can be sure we fulfilled a specific purpose…made a difference that counts somewhere in this great big world.
Others…not only can't we do anything seemingly worthwhile, but we aren't really even needed.

Some days we know we are heading down the particular path that God specifically chose for us.
Others…we are floundering in the middle of a maze and are fairly certain that there are NO ways out.

Some days God feels close.
Others…doubt and loneliness are all that surround us.

Some days we have the strength to rally and keep on fighting.
Others….we can barely make it to a soft landing spot before we lie down and curl up into a sad little ball.

Some days last 24 hours….others seem to drag on for weeks.

But thankfully…..just as the sun always rises,
It also always sets.

Seasons always end.
Days aways begin.
Night always falls.
Spring always follows winter.

And God,
In his steady unchanging way,
Is always there.
He knows what kind of day we are having….and He knows what kind of day we need.

And a bruised reed He will not break,
And a smoking flax He will not quench.
(Matthew 12:20)

He is close to the brokenhearted;
He rescues those whose spirits are crushed.
(Psalm 34:18)

Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning.
(Psalm 30:5)

At the end of each day comes a time for rest.
God has given us a promise will enter into His rest, (Hebrews 4)
And that time always comes.

Sure as the day follows the night,
Sure as the rivers flow to the ocean,
Sure as kids sleep through alarms on school days and wake up at the crack of dawn on Saturdays….

God stays near.
He hears.
We can receive His strength and rest.

And He is always willing to and ready to give it…
As long as we ask.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Girl Gets It….

I am on a bit of MT kick….and I like it!!!

A Christian leader visited Mother Teresa. 
As he prepared to leave, she asked him: "How can I pray for you." 
He replied: "That I have more clarity on the plan that the Lord has for me in the future."
Mother Teresa replied: "I will not pray that for you. If you have clarity on the specifics of His plan, you will rely on your knowledge. Instead, I will pray that you have more trust. He wants you to rely on Him, not your knowledge. He will care for the specifics.
The leader answered: "But, Mother Teresa: you always had clarity." 
"No," she replied. "I never had clarity. I only had trust."

Thursday, January 15, 2015

My Non-Tattoo

I have a new saying.
A mantra if you will.
One I will work on memorizing….
And certainly on applying.

I want God to use me…to deem me worthy of being usable.
I want to be available….but not just available--ready and primed and locked and loaded.

If I were to get a tattoo….which I'm not because I've seen what happens when you get saggy and baggy and you can't read the words anymore….
THIS is what I'd have inked up my arm.

(Then my addled brain wouldn't have to memorize it.)

Be kind and merciful.
Let no one ever come to you without coming away better and happier.
Be the living expression of God's kindness:
Kindness in your face,
Kindness in your eyes,
Kindness in your smile,
Kindness in your warm greeting.
In the slums (or out in the real world) we are the light of God's kindness to the poor.
To children.
To the poor,
To all who suffer and are lonely,
Give always a happy smile.
Give them not only your care,
But also your heart.

            --Mother Theresa

Sunday, December 21, 2014

An Original Composition…..

Recent events in our home  (or perhaps its the lack of sleep) have inspired me to compose a poem.  This might be the only "gift" I give this season….'cause 'ain't NOBODY wants cookies from dis house!

A Mom's Christmas Poem

'Twas the week before Christmas and all through the land,
The germs are on rampage! They've taken a stand;

The viruses are nestled in children and spouses,
With visions of infecting families and houses.

And I, on my couch, with a dog in my lap
Dreamed of a beautiful afternoon nap.

Then what to my wondering eyes should appear…
But an 8-year-old saying those words all moms fear.

"My tummy feels funny and something's not right."
I knew we were in for a magical night.

When from the upstairs there arose such a clatter
I sprang from my couch to see what was the matter!

Dragging one child up the staircase I ran-
Burst into the bathroom and the door I did slam.

Big brother was bent over the porcelain throne,
And I patted his back as the poor child moaned;

His eyes--how they watered,
His arms---how shaky;
His back was so tense it would later be achey.

Then poor little sister--not to be outdone,
Began using the sink for some more puking fun.

Her long pretty hair I pulled back in a tie
As she wretched and she sobbed and she thought she "might die."

They filled up their vessels and sat on the floor,
Then crawled back to bed to try and sleep some more.

Then using my fingers to pinch off my nose,
And grabbing my bleach off to cleansing I go!

Then both spouse and children come join me downstairs
As I try and alleviate cross-contamination fears;

So I tuck the kids in with a blanket and bowl,
And give my spouse DayQuill and more Tylenol;

Then turn on a movie and pray healing's begun,
And echo Mr. Dickens, "God bless us, everyone."