Monday, January 30, 2012

Looking Forward . . . a few months anyway

This April, Sonny and I have an opportunity to do something we've done separately but never together. We're going on a mission trip to Show Low, Arizona to serve alongside others from our church with the American Indian Christian Mission. I should say that we both have missions experiences, but not with this organization. Therefore, I have very little to share here. What I do have is a lot of excitement and nervous energy to go and be surrounded by people groups who have called out to me since I knew of their existence. And I so look forward to doing it alongside a man who just sees needs and fills them without any fanfare, and often without even being asked and a great group of team members who are as excited as I am.

I did want to leave you with some words from others who have made this trip. The first is from our trip leader and the second is another church leader from a completely different state. I hope you'll take some time to read about these groups' experiences. Then, if you feel led and able, please consider making a contribution to our trip with the little box on the right side of this page. If you can't financially contribute, and even if you can, please pray for our team as God continues to prepare us for the work He has in store for us. Thanks. A LOT.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Looking Back

I think I need to go back to an end of the week review. I think it was good for me to be able to look back and see what we've been through. I also think it was helpful because it made me re-experience some things and not just survive them. A lot of times I feel myself just trying to get through days, just make it through school, to nap time, until Daddy comes home, or to bedtime. It's ridiculous really, when there's so much life to be lived in between, but I still find myself doing it. So this is my list of sorts, just something to catalog the things going on in our lives or inside my head.

- This week has been a slow one, as far as responsibilities outside of the house, so the house should reflect that. But it really doesn't. Kid stuff is everywhere and there's still laundry to wash and floors to clean.

- For Christmas this year, Sonny's grandmother gave the girls a trunk full of dressup clothes. I've been slowly rationing some of these cool gifts just to make the pile less overwhelming, and this week we got it all out. They've had such a good time. But that youngest one, she scares me, the way she can walk around in a floor length gown with high heels and clip on earrings, purse in the crook of her arm.

- We've cut out sugar yet again, and again I'm amazed at the difference that it makes. No acid reflux, no after-lunch dragging, more energy. Maybe this will stick in my mind the next time I want a candy bar.

- Speaking of no sugar, we took the day off of dieting yesterday and had a fun time with it. There was a cookie or two and some white flour pitas. But it was a great time with just the two of us and all of the food was soooo good. It made me want to learn to make spanakopita. I am really enjoying our local Greek restaurant. And I really enjoyed some alone time with my husband. I read an eye-opening article this week about a lot of us moms/wives and it really gave me some things to work on last night.

- We're in the middle of trying to raise money to go on a mission trip to Arizona with our church, and it has come to my attention that I have trust issues. With God, actually. The fundraising part has me a bit stressed, and it shouldn't. A few recent experiences in different areas and my fear that my sphere of influence is no bigger than a penny have taken over these past few days. I realize the ridiculousness of this, but I haven't been able to shake it. It will be a big part of my prayers this week.

- My Kindergartener is making crazy strides in reading. It's blowing my mind sometimes. She's pretty strong in Math and loves a map. But what is really cracking me up is her love of drawing animals. And she's pretty good at it. I'm trying to think of ways to foster this without pushing it on her, so this week I might be doing a little research into that.

So that's a little of our week. I'm sure there were other things that seemed important at the time, but this what still stands out at the end of the week. My goal is for next week to be more productive, but for me to also be more focused on the one thing that's going on at that time.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Love - Where do I start?

This post will contain a lot of links. I won't make it a habit, I promise, but please bear with me. Last week, I almost wrote a blog post titled "Satan Reads My Blog", because it seemed like the only reasonable explanation for the difficult to love week I was having. The kids were having a hard time settling back into a normal routine after holidays and Daddy being home for over a week, and I was having a hard time tolerating everyone and everything. I was really trying hard to be loving to my family, but they just weren't being very cooperative. On Tuesday, I read a post from the Compassion blog written by their president and CEO that led me to believe that my problem was that I should have started with evaluating and working on my love for God before looking at home. Well that made sense. So I decided to shift my focus. I tried to pray more and read the Bible more. I'm not saying that it didn't help at all, but I was still having a hard time not exploding at most of the people in my path (a reaction that really isn't THAT common for me).

This continued for what seemed like weeks but was actually only two days. Then there was a blog post from Shaun Groves where he was reliving a lot of his past and evaluating different parts of his life. Then he said, " I wasn’t a good boy because I was good but because I was scared of being bad. Scared of throwing up, of getting caught, of being talked about, of disappointing." That was me as a kid, too, and I thought it was funny that he had that same trait. It occurred to me that I was still living in some of that. I was trying to love God harder and better, but I was still doing it with my own strength, because I said that this was my goal for this year and obviously I had to start with the most important. I mean, how can I love my family well if I can't love God well.

Fast forward a few days to Sunday and this is where I confess to not paying much attention to the church newsletter this week. Every song we sang was about God's love. The sermon text was John 3:16. God's love. Not mine. Not for Him. Not for my kids or my husband or the people who run me over in Wal-Mart or the developing world. God's love. And sometimes I think he loves us enough to let us have a crappy week and choose the wrong doors to open so we can get to where he wants us. Surely he could have hit me over the head with this truth with some of the songs I had been listening to and the books and Bible passages I've been reading. But He chose to wait. His love is perfect and until I can just dwell in that, I won't be any better at loving the rest of the world.