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

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

39 and Counting....

39 Thoughts on my Last Day of the Decade

1.  Always grant the "Just one more hug??" request.  Even the 11th time.
2.  When someone cuts you off in big and wave bigger.
3.  Take your contacts out every night.  Seriously.  Every night.
4.  One cupcake is always worth it.
5.  Two cupcakes are not.
6.  Separating your whites and darks is really a waste of time.  The clothes will wear out before they fade too much anyway.
7.  Turn your phone to silent and shut your laptop when you come home in the evening.  As long as your spouse and kids are at home....there's nothing that can't wait until after they go to bed.
8.  Wearing lip gloss when it's windy will never be good idea.
9.  Go ahead and make that call you have been putting off making.  You won't regret it.  I promise.
10.  Dance to crazy loud music in your car.  Your younger kids will love it... and you will love your spouse and teenagers cringing with abject shame.
11.  Smell the roses.  Literally.  It makes you slow down, breathe deeply, and relax a bit.
12.  Always Always Always smell the milk before you pour it over cereal.  Always.
13.  Take pictures of "normal moments".  Someday you will look back and realize that those were the most precious memories of all.
14.  When in doubt, send a thank-you note.
15.  After a shower get as ready as you can before attending to your hair.  Then it won't be as wet and will take less time to dry.
16.  If you forget someone's name,  just go ahead and apologize and ask them again.
17.  If you forget someone's name a second time....fake it.
18.  Make time for coffee with a friend.  MAKE it happen.  It's an investment that is totally worth it.
19.  Ink cartridges and staplers never run out at convenient times.  Just go ahead and replace them as soon as you know they're low.
20.  Cold soggy french fries are simply not worth the calories.  Put. Them. Down.
21.  Genuinely apologizing to your kids can leave a bigger impression then your bad behavior did in the first place.
22.  The cookie dough is simply better than the baked cookie.  Admit it.  Deal with it.  And eat it.
23.  Even when you don't feel like it at all....go ahead and exercise.  You will be happier.
24.  However...if you have to choose between being there for a friend and working out...choose the friend.  You will be happier.
25.  Actual tangible mail that arrives in a physical mailbox really makes people happy.  Send a real card.
26.  If you don't take time with God first thing in the morning...the rest of your day will go crazy and it will be very difficult to find time later.
27.  When you take kids out for ice cream--go ahead and get some for yourself.  You don't have to eat it all...but you need to participate in the activity.
28.  Doritos and fluffer-nutter sandwiches are still as good as you remember them being when you were young.  Bubblicious gum is not.
29.  When someone asks you for advice....take a moment before answering.  Chances are-that first response that popped into your head should stay in your head.
30.  Teaching your kids to clean a toilet is one of the greatest gifts you can give their future spouses.
31.  Gift bags are convenient...but there is something truly special about wrapping paper.
32.  Generic brand lemon juice is fine.  Generic brand toilet paper and cream cheese aren't.
33.  Sometimes things that interrupt a finely tuned schedule are actually beautiful opportunities from God.  Don't miss them.
34.  Always have your coffee maker ready to turn on.
35.  The music you have playing in your car WILL enter your kids' (and your own) minds and hearts. This can be a curse and a blessing.  Play wisely.
36.  If you're feeling sad...find someone who needs help and help them.  You'll both feel better.
37.  Pre-made chocolate milk out of a bottle tastes better than white milk mixed with chocolate syrup.
38.  You really truly might be the only "Bible" others ever read.  Think about what you're representing.
39.  Sometimes individual days stretch out for weeks....but time, overall, moves very very very quickly.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Lower Your Net!

Some days I feel so redundant.
No....that wasn't a type-o...
I meant to put "I".

I feel redundant.
Not needed.
An extra person just taking up space.

My kids get everything done without me
(Cue heavenly angelic chorus)....
My husband has all the answers...
Someone invites us for dinner
(so I don't have to cook!)
and what they prepare is 40 thousand times better than what I can do....

And even though these above things may seem like a dream world
(in fact....they are!)
Sometimes I simply feel like I have nothing good to offer anyone.

This isn't a "I feel sorry for myself" kind of thing....
It's more of a "Why am I even around and bothering?" type of issue.

Have you ever felt like that?

You go to sign up for something and are told that it's been taken care of already.
You spend all day making a "here's how we're going to productively get our lives on track after school" plan and the kids end up going home with their friends/grandparents.
You finally offer to help someone with something and find out that other people have already stepped in.

Are you really all that needed?
Do you really have something to bring to the proverbial table?
Is it really worth bothering?

It is.

You have a gift.
I'm not talking about some sparkly present with a glittery bow...

But a talent.
An ability.
A God given strength.

God says,
Do not neglect the gift that is in you.
1 Timothy 4:14

In you.
It is IN you.

God put it there when he knitted you together cell by cell back in your mother's womb.

YOU have a very special gift.

Find it.
Discover it.
Nurture it.

Neglect means: to give little attention or respect to, to disregard.  To leave undone or unattended to especially through carelessness.

So we have to regard this talent.
Attend to this gift.
Respect this ability.

My pastor included a quote in our Bible study from a guy named John Courson.
He stated;

Each us has been given gifts by the Spirit.  But here's the problem:  We spend far too much time trying to strengthen our weaknesses--only to find that in so doing, we weaken our strengths!  Go where you're strong.  If you are gifted as a worship leader, then lead worship.  If you're gifted with kids, plug into children's ministry.  If you're gifted in one-on-one situations, don't try to preach before thousands.  Go with your strength, gang.  Whatever God has called you to do, go for it with intensity and tenacity.

So maybe I'm not a fabulous cook.
Or I don't "go with the flow" on a busy after school day.
Perhaps I'm really not as good as I think I am with organizing life!

So what?
Stop trying to strengthen the weaknesses!
Do the best that can be done...
and then use the abilities God has given you.

The ability He has given me.

What is my special gift?

Not sure.
But I don't want to neglect it....
So I'm going to find it....
And see what God wants me to do with it.

It's findable, I think.
It's IN me....and surely I can search my own darn self.

Isn't it easier to see others gifts and talents sometimes though???
I can look at people and tell you,
"She's an awesome photographer!"
"He is such a great writer!"
"That lady is a fabulous teacher!"
"This guy is a phenomenal physician!"'s often not too hard to find all of the amazing abilities God has given the people around us.

But we need to Look Inward, as Jedi Master Yoda (I think??) said.

Lower your net into the water and allow God to help you discover your calling.
Let Him reveal your gifts.

We all have a gift.
The Bible tells us so!

So quit neglecting it.
Be grateful for it.
Use it.
Stir it up....commit it to God....and