Sunday, January 11, 2015
Selah. Stop. Listen. Reflect on what the Lord has done.
Sometimes it’s hard to stop. And listen. And reflect. It’s no secret that I like to take pictures. And it’s no secret that we have a lot going on in our house right now. 5 kids in 6 years, and a 6th on the way. It’s hard to stop and listen sometimes. Sometimes I get so caught up in making pictures look pretty that I forget to capture our everyday life, cause, let's face it, our everyday life isn't always pretty. I usually don’t make New Year’s resolutions, but this year, I decided to start a project. A Project 365. I decided to take a picture every day for one full year to capture our normal, everyday life. I quickly realized that one picture a day isn’t enough. I also realized that taking pictures of our everyday life makes me stop and enjoy moments that I normally don’t.
Stop. Listen. Reflect on what the Lord has done.
The Lord has blessed our family in so many ways. And taking pictures gives me a chance to stop and reflect on that. So for the next 361 days, I will be taking pictures (I started a little late on the resolution thing), and I will be posting. I may not post every day, but I will be taking pictures. And stopping. And enjoying the little moments that God has given us.
Monday, December 8, 2014
I take pictures. Lots of pictures. But sometimes, I get so focused on what I see behind the camera, that I forget to see what is in front of the camera. I get so focused on making things look pretty in my lens, that I miss the day to day moments. I miss my boy riding his sister’s pink tricycle across the front yard and into the ditch just cause it seems like the thing to do. I miss my girl getting out her plastic rake, and raking the front yard because she thinks it’s fun. I miss my boy dragging his wagon through his sister’s leaf pile, because, well, after all, he is a boy, and antagonizing his sister is part of his daily routine. Sometimes, I get so distracted because of the things that I need to do, that I miss the magic of every day moments. I miss hearing the giggles of two little boys, who are supposed to be napping, but who’ve figured out a fun game to play instead.
And honestly, there are days that I want to miss it. There are days that I want to be somewhere else. There are days that I just want everything to be in its place, and I want it to stay there. But I know that when things are pretty, there won’t be baby giggles anymore. There won’t be plastic shovels everywhere. Or dolls, or trains, or cars. I won’t find bath toys waiting for me in the shower, because a little boy thought that I needed them. There will be a time that I’ll have quiet. And uninterrupted moments. But now is not that time. And that’s ok. But for now, I’ll try to enjoy the beautiful chaos God has given.
Sunday, July 20, 2014
“I have a bad heart, Mom. And I don’t know how to change it.”
She’s 6. And she’s asking big questions, and trying to understand hard concepts. Concepts that I still don’t know that I fully understand.
“Why, Mom? Why do I have a bad heart?”
So we talked. We talked about why Jesus died. We talked about why He rose again. We talked about her name, and what it means. We talked about what it means to pray. And how she has to pray on her own, and how I can’t do it for her.
“Can I go color now, Mom?”
Sometimes I think I am more moved by these conversations than she is. But I also know that I don’t understand what the Lord is doing in that little heart.
I just pray that He continues to work.
Sunday, July 13, 2014
Blackberries. Big, beautiful blackberries.
Totally worth every mosquito bite in the fight to harvest them. And totally worth every thorn prick, too.
It’s funny how sometimes, we don’t really think about mosquitoes and thorns until after we have had our fill. But other times, the mosquitoes chase us away.
And I wonder ... how often do the “mosquitoes” of this life chase me away from God? How often I let little things cause me to sin, instead of reaching out to Him. And I wonder, is it worth it? Is this life worth it? Is it worth fighting off the little things to reap the benefits of the fruit? It certainly should be, but so often I know I lose focus of the reward and only see the things that get in the way
... But maybe, just maybe those things don’t really get “in the way”. Maybe, just maybe, those things are used to grow us, to strengthen us and to give us scars. Because don’t those scars remind us of the battle fought? Of the victory obtained? Or maybe the battle fought that was lost?
And yet, there is someone who bears scars only because of a battle won. The victory over sin. The victory over death. A battle we don’t have to fight, because we would never win. And yet, He saw fit to win it for us and bear the scars that should have been ours.
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a million times. “You are so strong,” people say. “How do you handle being a military wife?” Most times I am just left speechless, because I have never really figured out how to respond. Tonight, my husband and I figured out that he has left every year for the past 4 years, and next year he will probably be leaving again. All because of the military. Not only that, but we’ve also added 3 children to the mix in those 4 years. 3 children, in addition to the 2 we already had. So, that makes 5 children in 5 ½ years, plus my husband has been gone a total of 13 months out of those 4 years. Thankfully though, this last 3 months of training we were able to go with him. But anyways, back to the original statement .. “You must be so strong.” I finally have a response. I’m not strong, but my God is strong.
A long time ago, in very different circumstances, I remember my husband telling me that our God was bigger than the situation we were in. And that statement has followed me ever since ... My God is bigger than (fill in the blank). My God is bigger than any deployment. My God is bigger than mushed blueberries all over the playroom floor (the carpeted playroom floor). My God is bigger than melted marshmallow on my 6 month old (someone was trying to share). My God is bigger than being without my husband for yet another anniversary. My God is bigger than my kids being without their daddy for another 6 months.
So am I strong? Maybe, but I don’t think so. I can’t be strong enough. But my God is. And He isn’t surprised that my husband may be going away again. And even though I struggle (a lot), I am so thankful that I don’t have to do it alone.
Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations (Deut. 7:9)