The Best Days With You

As a young mother of one three year old son, I was pretty convinced that I didn’t want girls. I kind of grew up a Tom Boy. Didn’t wear make up til I was 21, and didn’t think I had what it took to conquer the world of pink, Barbie’s, and Tu Tu’s. Almost 23 years ago around this time of the year I was very pregnant with a baby that was bound and determined to not reveal it’s sex during the ultrasound. My husband and I were trying to prepare for baby number two clueless of whether to invest in pink supplies or reuse the blue. I took my son to a local park one afternoon to let him have some time out of our apartment. While there I looked across the park, and I saw a young mom with her cute little girl. There’s been a few times in my life when I have heard God clearly. That day was one. When I looked across the park, I heard Him say, “You’re going to have a girl, and it’s going to be ok.”

My baby girl

I’ve hesitated to talk much about that day, because I didn’t want to appear spooky, or weird. But through the years those words have been an anchor to a mom who has felt a little lacking in the femininity skills. After 23 years of tea parties, pink everything, Barbie’s being traded in for the One Direction boy band crush, training bras, prom dresses, sleep overs with girl friends, high school, college, moving out, meeting her fiancé etc. I quickly learned the girl mom ropes and loved the moments that this little girl and her younger sister have brought for me. God was right, I did have a girl, (two in fact) and it has been more than ok.

The pink princess

Times have not always been easy in our 23 years together as mother daughter. There have been disappointments, losses, hurts… Things we both learned a lot from and some stuff I’m sure we both would agree we would never want to repeat. But God has been faithful to us both when we walked through the hard stuff for a daughter go through and a momma to cry and pray a lot during.

Tea Party years ago

This Saturday we will celebrate the uniting of my girl that God gave to me 23 years ago to a special young man that I’m sure is God’s gift to her and to our family. It’s been a long road that has brought us to this point. The trip hasn’t always been easy, but where we have come is a beautiful place to be, and I am grateful that God is faithful and His promises are true. I did have a girl, now a woman, and everything is beautifully ok.

There’s a song this girl likes to play when she wants to make her momma cry sentimental tears. She usually waits until we drive to Sonic on a particularly hard day and try to drown our sorrows in a Strawberry Limeade. It’s called “The Best Day” by Taylor Swift. It’s a love song from a daughter to her mom. It says:

Me and my girls on a Sonic run

“And now I know why the trees change in the fall. I know you were by my side even when I was wrong. And I love you for giving me your eyes. Staying back and watching me shine and I didn’t know if you knew So I’m taking this chance to say that I had the best day with you today.”

Laura, I wanted to make sure and say that through it all and I’m sure on your wedding day these words will ring true. You are my sunshine, and I have had the best day with you today.

Love you!


My Next Fifty Years

Oh the joys of social media… Probably one of the main reasons I haven’t dumped Facebook and went back to a flip phone is the Birthday reminders. I am notorious for forgetting birthdays. Ask my husband. His is just two days after mine and I forgot it the first year we were married. Notorious… Anyway, the daily reminders of Birthdays of friends and family has been one of the little gems for my life that Facebook has given me. It also provides opportunity for me to mark my birthday each year. I’m not sure if that’s a little gem or not lol. Each year for as long as I can remember having Facebook, my status on my birthday has been “half way to…”. At 45 I was “Half way to 90”. At 47 I was “Half way to 94”. Well this year I have arrived. I will be “Half Way to 100”. This is probably the best year to stop that practice. My grandpa made it to just a few days shy of 101 and I’m pretty sure 100 years is about as far as I want to go.

Me almost 50 years ago. Lol
Just gotta be me.

All this reflecting on being “Halfway to 100” in a few weeks, has had me thinking about an old Tim McGraw song, “My Next 30 Years”. Here’s a little sample of the lyrics to refresh your memory:

“Oh, my next 30 years I’m gonna watch my weight
Eat a few more salads and not stay up so late
Drink a little lemonade and not so many beers, huh
Maybe, I’ll remember my next 30 years”

I’m not a beer drinker, but this song has been rolling around in my head for about a month. It’s a summary of all the things he would do different his next 30 years to get more out of his life. It’s got me thinking… “What would I want to do in my next 50 years?”

Where it all started in my first 20 years .

A majority of my first 50 years have been spent being married and raising a family. Married won’t change but raising a family already has. I’m down to one kid out of 4 that isn’t an adult yet and he’s just one year away from turning into one. So for my next 50 years life is going to be a lot more different than the first 50. My first 50 years I spent a lot of time preoccupied with things that just didn’t matter. Though I tried my hardest, I let the worries and cares around me squeeze out a lot of the daily joys. It’s funny how the little things like time spent playing at the park with my kids really did become the big things. Being busy with silly stuff made me miss some of the most important things during my first 50 years. My next 50 years I want to enjoy the gifts God has given me in my life: my husband, my kids, and my grandkid (grandkids to come). Being present, here and now each day with them… I want to soak up every ounce of joy God gives me with them for my next 50 years.

Somewhere in time during my first 30- 40 years.

It’s funny how my first 50 years I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to fix me. I think my next 50 I’ll try to just let it be and leave that to God. A good place to start is just accepting that I’m not perfect, but dearly loved by God, His grace really is Amazing and His forgiveness is Free. My next 50 years I am going to believe that when God calls me “Holy and Dearly Loved by Him” Colossians 3:12. He means it. It’s not just words on a page, and He wants me to know Him, not just work at crossing off another item from a religious “to do” list to make Him happy with me. Maybe a little less religiousness and a lot more relationship with Him my next 50 years.

For my next 50 years I want my theme song to be “This Little Light of Mine”. Instead of trying to figure out how to be God’s bullhorn, I want to shine. My daily interactions with family, friends, and acquaintances would be marked by this. Not some bold in your face intimidation, but a taste of God’s goodness just seeping off of my life. Get close enough and you’ll smell it, see it, taste it and want more of Him. I want to be a reflection of Him in everything I do for my next 50 years.

The more I think about it, the more I believe my next 50 years will be the best 50 of my life. Thanks to all the things I’ve learned the last 50. I guess they call that perspective, another Gift God has given to me. May I really take hold of it these Next 50 years.

The family. My “Opus Magnum” and The joyful gift God’s granted me my first 50 years

The Covid Virus and Other Forms of Family Bonding…

Year’s ago I saw a fascinating title for a book, “The Stomach Virus and Other Forms of Family Bonding”. Although I never have had the opportunity to read that book, the title has stuck in my mind many times through the ins and outs of raising four kids and experiencing everything from the stomach virus, head lice, chicken pox, to strep throat, and on and on. There’s something about a little family time brought on by a common ailment. Probably the first time I realized this was my husband and I’s first year of marriage. We both contracted some kind of stomach virus and had to call into our jobs for a sick day. We still laugh about that day of us in a one bedroom/ one bath apartment fighting over that one toilet. It’s one of our fond memories of the “newlywed” period of our life. The rest of that time was spent laying around in our full size bed watching “The Price is Right”, “Oprah”, and whatever else we could catch on our antenna. “Bonding” accurately described that experience… nowhere to go and no one else we would rather spend our time with. Even if our “bonding” was born from our common misery, a bad case of the diarrhea.

Sunday afternoon marked the beginning of another round of “family bonding” when my husband started running a fever and developing COVID symptoms. He’s not the only one who is experiencing “the joy”. Four out of four of us who live under our roof are now experiencing symptoms: Two Positive COVID cases, and two waiting on results. With the exception of me sleeping in another room and instituting a “NO KISS” moratorium, to avoid his germs we probably haven’t been real good about trying to not share our germs. I still sit about six feet from him in my recliner next to his recliner watching TV, checking our temperatures occasionally, sniffing a jar of Vicks to see if we still have our smell, and trying to figure out when our next dose of Tylenol will be. Thankfully our shared sickness has been very mild for all. Occasionally my 20 year old daughter and my 16 year old son will join us and we watch a movie together, Officially completing our “Twilight” movie binge watching last night- something my husband and I never took the time to watch in earlier years. Yep…family Bonding at it’s best.

Laying around feeling kind of sick but not too sick makes me contemplative, thus the blog… Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” There’s a part of this verse that I like to quote to my husband especially on a cold winter night right when I get in bed and put my ice cold feet on his back. “…if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone.” That’s kind of a “well duh…” statement because it is oh so true. But for me this week it is really ringing true. We weren’t meant to be alone. So if you have to do something unpleasant, then do it with someone you love, including being sick. (Not that I would want any one of us to be sick)

I’m sure 20 years from now this time of our life will bring about the stories similar to our newlywed stomach virus day, even though it was unpleasant to go through we laugh about it now. Covid has been a lot of things since it arrived on my horizon at the beginning of the year, scary and intimidating to name a few. But I am reminded that God works “all things” for my good. Together time with some of my favorite people, that’s the silver lining in my Covid 19 cloud.

FaceTiming our Grandson.

Really, Where are You Going to Go?

1992 The Summer of Love

I’ve been married to my husband for 27 years now. We met in April of 92 and were married in January of 93 after a whirlwind romance we jokingly call our “Summer of Love”. Looking back at it now we were just a couple of kids. I was 21. He was 19. Yes, I am a cougar. lol. Our first year was a time of two independently minded people trying to figure out how to navigate, decisions and live with our oppositeness. My husband is direct. I am not. My husband lets you know exactly what he’s thinking. I do not. My husband has opinions on almost everything. I have trouble expressing mine sometimes. I kind of like to go with the flow. His characteristics aren’t bad, just different than mine. This difference brought out many late night fights/ arguments, and us dragging our tired butts into work the next day. Because we took it literally when we read in the Bible that we should not “let the sun go down on our anger”. Thankfully, we’ve both mellowed quite a bit in our middle aged state. Our fights are significantly fewer. We’ve kind of came to a place that we fit like a comfortable pair of old blue jeans. Our fight/ arguments/ or as we call them in front of our kids “discussions” are a lot more fewer and far between than they used to be back in the 90’s. But every once and awhile one does explode on the scene. Especially when we are H.A.L.T. (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired) Such was the case last Friday.

We had a few choice words for each other. Then a few angry texts to each other. Then I decided I need to go for a drive. So I hopped in my car and drove the mile of gravel to the highway, sat at the stop sign, and thought to myself. “Really, where are you going to go?” The truth of the matter is our occasional blow up cannot outweigh our usual times of loving companionship. I like the sunset drives on our golf cart around our property. I enjoy the runs to town for an ice cream cone. I’m a huge fan of holding hands as we walk into SAMS for our “old people date” of Sushi and shopping. There really isn’t any place I would rather be than with him. So I took a 20 min scenic drive to cool down. Pulled back into our driveway and went back into the house to work out our spat.

This all came to mind as I contemplated my Bible study this morning. It probably pales in comparison, but there may be a slight parallel between my relationship to Rich and God’s relationship with me. ““Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’ “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭14:28-33‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Twenty Eight years ago my husband and I began to count the cost of our relationship. Would it be worth it to sacrifice our own desires, our own opinions, our own plans, to be united in marriage? As a couple of starry eyed love sick kids, we agreed it was. We stood in front of friends and family and made a commitment that we would stick together, in sickness and in health, in the good times and the bad times, and our vision for life would no longer be two but one. Jesus is alluding to that kind of cost counting for following Him. “So you want to follow me, you need to think of what this may mean past the glamour of large crowds, miracles, and all the good times. It also means that sometime along the way, you will have to lay aside your desires, take up a cross of death like I do, and follow Me.” Somewhere along the line you may find yourself sitting at the edge of your spiritual gravel road thinking to yourself as you run from where God may take you, “Really, where am I going?” The question is, “is the cost worth what you gain?”

John 6:60-68 is an account of Jesus’ disciples coming to that crossroad as they walked and talked with Jesus 2000 + years ago. Jesus told them in no uncertain terms that being with Him and following Him would mean that they would have to let His life become their own. They would no longer be calling the shots. He would. So “many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching, Who can accept?'”. They decided to turn back and no longer follow him. Jesus then asked the Twelve that were with Him, “You do not want to leave too, do you?”. This was their own time sitting at the edge of the gravel road and open highway hearing the still small voice saying, “Really where are you going to go?” Peter answered this question the way I always hope to have courage to answer Jesus with. “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.” Where else can I go? Things may not always be easy in the life of following Jesus, but what is the alternative? Do I want to go back to the time before I had Him actively in my life just because I do not want to work the things out in my heart that need adjusted? I love the joy and peace He brings. I love His presence always abiding with me and His power He gives to walk through this life. I appreciate the gifts and blessings He has given me. So for the sake of one or two things that are hard am I really wanting to drive away? What would my life really be like without Him?

Taking advantage of the front bench seat of our truck while listening to our song “Everything I Do” -Bryan Adams

Counting the cost is important. Just like it was for my husband and I twenty eight years ago as we prepared to get married. We promised to never use the “D” word, “divorce”. We would work it out. Jesus wants us to look at our lives of following Him. Obedience and never quitting are not an option. If our commitment is to do just that and Follow Him, He assures us He will give us all that we need to follow through. Because there really isn’t any place we can go. He is the one with the “words of eternal life.”

Seasons of Change

It’s a very distinct memory of mine. Around 15 years ago, standing on the right-hand side of the church we were going to talking to someone. At the time I had a 1 year old, 4-year-old, 6-year-old, and a 9-year-old. Then someone approached me and said, “I’ve been praying for you and I just feel like the Lord wants me to tell you, you are just in a season.” I’m sure they said more, but that is all I got out of that conversation. As I went home, I remember thinking to myself, “This is going to be the longest season I’ve ever been through. I just started and I have another 17 years before it’s over.” I didn’t think there would ever be the end of meal planning, dirty diapers, nursing, house cleaning, disciplining, etc. Everyday felt like another day in the movie “Groundhog’s Day”. Same thing over and over and over. What’s weird is how gradually it all changed. One significant milestone reached by one kid, then another, and another,… you get the point (some people just don’t know when to stop having kids, ha ha) It’s like this long spiral ladder of progress that feels like you’re going nowhere and then all of a sudden you look down and see how far you’ve really gone. Although internally I wanted to smack the sweet sister who told me “It’s just a season”, the truth is, it was. What seemed like forever was really a flash, and here I sit on the other side, pondering just how much things change, how quickly it does, and how I don’t even notice until I wake up on a whole new life time plane to figure out and maneuver within.

Today my husband and I went to church.  That’s been our mode of operation for the past 27 years. The difference was I didn’t have four little ones to try to wrangle through the worship service, and hope that they would stay in children’s church for an hour so I could get a break.  It was just me and him.  The oldest 3 are off doing their own thing in their own lives, and the youngest would prefer to sit by friends than us, not that I mind or anything.  I’ve hit another season… this one doesn’t seem like it holds as many challenges as the previous. But I’m fairly certain it does.  That’s kind of what seasons do.  In summer, the challenge is to keep cool, in winter, the challenge is to keep warm. In Spring, the challenge is to get everything planted in the garden.  In fall, the challenge is to get everything processed that you planted in the garden.  Life is kind of like that as well. I’ve awakened to a world where my husband and I are sitting in the same room alone quite a bit, the house is quiet, and the only ones I need to feed on the regular are me and him.  It’s quite a bit different than the world I just left where the only place I could get alone was in the master bathroom after I locked myself into my room and hid back in that corner of the house, or all I heard on the hourly if not more is “mom I’m hungry”, “mom what do you have to eat?” “Mom tell him to stop…” (you get the picture)

So, what’s a girl to do with this whole new gig? Especially since the past 8 months I’ve found myself with less and less outside commitments.   It’s pretty uncomfortable to not be “doing” when all you’ve known for quite awhile is “do”. 

I think every once and awhile God likes to get us here: At a place where “doing” isn’t what defines us, but “being” is. I know that I have a tendency to use a title to define myself, and like most, a title with a little umph behind it feels even better. But “who I am” is what means the most not so much what all I do, and maybe for a “season”, God wants me to rest in that.

It’s kind of like this sleepy Sunday afternoon with me and the husband in a quiet, practically empty two-story house. We finally have some time to just enjoy each other, sit next to each other and talk. Spiritually, God’s brought me here as well. I can enjoy God more, not the ministry, the busyness, one activity/ meeting to the next. Instead, spending time being His girl, listening to His heart, and letting Him prepare me for the next season whatever it may be like. Because where He leads is good especially since where He leads, He is.

Generations Blessed

I’ve often said the happiest times of my life were each of the days my kids were born and the day I married their Dad years before. Each of those days hold those “magic” moments: watching my groom sing the love songs to me at our wedding as he stared directly into my eyes and smiled, the moment I saw my first born son as he was lifted over the small curtain where the c section occurred, Rich searching all over the hospital for a bow for our first daughter’s hair, the doctor hardly catching our second daughter because she came so fast, and our youngest son not breathing as the doctor called the resuscitation team only to hear a faint whimper from him as the doctor worked and worked on him and knowing it was going to be ok. “Magic moments” that are probably better described as “miraculous”. It’s the kind of thing you wished would just freeze in time forever, but it can’t because time just goes on.

I find myself anticipating another such day very soon.  It’s kind of hard to believe, with my genuine youthful looks and all, that in a matter of a day or so I will be a Grandma, although I believe I’ve been a Grandma for the past 9 months.  Off and on today I’ve caught myself getting a little misty eyed at the thought.  From what I’m told, it sounds like I’m headed for another “magic” moment, another time I will probably wish will stand still and freeze so I can enjoy it forever.  But I know it will only last for a short while so I need to soak it in and absorb every second of its beauty.  

It’s been around 25 year since I caught baby fever the first time and wanted to try to have my grandson’s Daddy.   I can remember wanting a baby so bad that a Johnson and Johnson Baby Shampoo commercial would send me into tears.  It was just my heart’s desire.  I wanted to be a mom.  

When he was born, I would rock my son, I remember thinking, “You know I’m not really a fan of the old nursery rhyme songs. I think I’ll sing him worship songs about Jesus instead.  With exception of one song, Phil Collins “Groovy Kinda Love”.  I figured it was a good song for a mom to sing to her son. 

I spent a lot of time praying for each of my kids.  I kind of felt bad because we never formally “dedicated” any of them at a church service.  But I prayed to God often and told Him how even if we never celebrated a dedication in a service I wanted with all my heart to teach my kids to love Him, to know Him, and to walk close with Him because He was and is everything.  

Now I look at my kids.  I know they aren’t perfect, but I am grateful for the journey so far.  They walk with Jesus and many of the things I have prayed for through the years are growing in them.  

Galatians 6:9 is the verse of Motherhood. I would figure it is the verse of fatherhood also, but I’m writing as a mom. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” I feel like in some small way my new Grandson is another fruit of that harvest. Looking back, my mom and dad sowed seeds of faith in me, their moms and dads sowed seed of faith into them and so on and the same on my husband’s side. My grandmas invested their time sharing Jesus with me as well as pie, cakes, and cookies. I know I’ll need to get that Grandma vibe going, and from what I understand, I have joined a long line of Notable “Grandma N’s” some of which will be pretty tough shoes to fill. But I’m pretty excited about getting my chance.

Psalm 112:1-2 says, “Praise the LORD. Blessed are those who fear the LORD, who find great delight in his commands. Their children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed.” 

Every workday morning, right after breakfast, my husband and I join hands and pray for our kids and each other. Something he started a few years ago when God placed it on his heart to be the Godly leader of our family He was called to be. When we pray here lately, we’ve added our anticipated little one and the others that will surely come. “Our generations will be blessed.” That’s our prayer. I’m not asking God to give them wealth, straight teeth, and knock out good looks. I’m asking for Him to bless them with a soft, responsive heart that hears the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit calling them when they are young. I’m asking God to carry on the fire that was there years ago in the generations before us and will carry on long after we are gone. I’m also asking that in the every day life that I find myself in the baby slobbers, the baby laughs, the first steps, and the Grandma stuff I do that I soak in the blessing God has given me in the generations God gives to us, and that my children and their children and so on and so on will be mighty in the land. I know God has blessed me and with His good gifts like the “magic/ miraculous” moments ahead are meant for me to soak in and enjoy. It will only be for a moment and then time will go on. I guess that’s what makes those moments so sweet.

The Joneses and Me- A Reflection on Storms

My husband got laid off the year I was pregnant with our firstborn.  Somehow, we were able to survive on my $4/hour job for 5 months.  It was the 90’s so things weren’t as expensive then, but still it was tight.  I can remember trying to find maternity clothes at the Goodwill and scraping by. My husband looked and looked for a job. We both believed it was God’s will for me to be able to stay home and take care of our baby after he was born.  We knew he needed to find one that made around $10/ hr.  (Our financial goals were survival at the time) The job placement service of his tech school was sending him out for much less.  

In the mean time I kept going to work and one of my coworkers would almost daily come in from the warehouse to the office where I was a secretary.  He would ask me how the job search for my husband was going and then would say, “When is that bum husband of yours going to go and get a job and take care of his pregnant wife?”  I would hop in my car at the end of the day and cry most of the way home.  Several times I would turn on the Christian radio station and hear a song by Big Tent Revival named “Two Sets of Jones”.  It told the story of two couples starting out their lives. One was well to do, but lacked a relationship with Jesus.  The other was more like us, poor monetarily, yet walking with God.  There was the phrase in the song that said, “Ruben and Sue, they had nothing but Jesus and at night they would pray that he would care for them each.” I would hear it and cry out a prayer to God, “God you KNOW we have nothing but Jesus.  Nothing but you.” Long story short, my husband started the job that allowed me to stay home with our son the day after we came home from the hospital, we never missed a bill, and some 25 years later, we walk in tremendous blessing.  

I’ve been contemplating the storms of life the past couple of weeks.  I’ve been thinking about what the Bible has to say about different storms.  There were storms He spoke after, Storms He spoke to, Storms He took naps during, Storms that blew His servant Paul off course and caused him to be shipwrecked on an island.  Then there was the reference Jesus made in His parable to the storms and the houses that they blew on.  One house withstood the storm.  One house did not.  The common denominator in that story was there most certainly was a storm.  Matthew 7:24-27 NIV tells the story.

“Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

The comparison of the houses pointed to the foundation they were built on: One the Rock, one sand.   

I’d like to say that in our 20’s my husband got the job and our storms were over. That one was, but the nature of life on planet earth has provided many other storms for us to weather. I’ve often said that like the disciples on that stormy sea, the best place to be during a storm is in the boat with Jesus.  He alone has the power to calm it. He alone can see you through.  He alone gives purpose in the midst of it, and though it may take time, we always see He was there at work when nothing made sense during the intensity of it. 

I take quite a bit of comfort when I think of Jesus being the Prince of Peace.  The anxiety that roars from time to time is quieted at His word.  HE is the difference I have seen while raising my family, during the joyful times of sunshine or the uncertainty of storms and He is the difference today.

Enjoying the Abundance of Simplicity

Each time I went through the ins and outs of pregnancy, you know the stuff no woman really wants to deal with but does so they can hold the prize of a newborn child, I would think to myself, “Someday, I will have a talk with Eve in heaven and let her know what I think of her boneheaded decision.”  Now that I’m starting to leave behind the childrearing years, I think Eve and I may have quite a bit in common that we could sit around a heavenly mocha and talk like old friends.  I’m not so sure that I would have done much better having to face the decision of what appeared to be an ordinary life of garden tending with my husband, or the pizzazz of knowing it all, being able to stand out above the rest and experience things that tantalizingly weren’t meant for me, but sure seem to be more than what I’ve got going in the present.  

This may be a woman thing, but I have my hunch that it is more than that, it’s a human thing. Always looking for the something bigger that we’re supposed to be about, but missing the spectacular in our lives that is right under our nose.  The problem is, if I am the proverbial donkey chasing the carrot all my life, going places but never getting what satisfies, I will live my life unsatisfied. I’m pretty sure that that wasn’t what God was aiming for in us.  When Jesus talked about the abundant life He came to give us in John 10:10, He meant abundant.  Last I checked abundance and unsatisfied don’t abide together very well as roommates.  

I end up talking quite a bit to women who are around 10 years younger than me trying to encourage them in the area of motherhood.  A friend of mine reminded me that that’s what us “older women of the church” are supposed to do.  (I have arrived! LOL) I see them struggling with the same feelings I had back when I started out my life with all 4 of my kids: an eight-year-old, a five-year-old, a three-year-old, and a baby.  The first trip to Walmart with them left me in my Suburban, in tears.  I told God, “I can’t do this.  I can’t do four kids. What was I thinking?”

Laundry, messes, runny noses, fights, stomach bugs, head lice… You name it, I struggled through it with them.  It wasn’t the glamorous life I thought was lying just feet ahead of me if I stretched my neck a little more and grabbed the golden carrot.  Had I only had my eyes on what I wasn’t, I would have missed so much of what I was:  I was the rabbi for my little band of four disciples.  I had a brief stretch of time to tell them what I knew of God and I tried so hard to make sure It was told.  I was able to soak in so many magic moments: First steps, First words, twinkling playful eyes underneath construction paper masks we would make, laughter from building the most outrageous playdough figures, watching them sleep after nursing them in my chair (I’m pretty sure that’s as close to an angelic look they could muster).  Moments that would have been lost to me had I been looking everywhere else for the magic to appear. 

We live in a performance-based society.  What you do, your title, is commonly a sought-after commodity.  Somehow the title “Mom” doesn’t appear to be as appealing as the many other money-making titles that can follow our name.  We want to be somebody, have our few moments in the spot light.  Maybe we’re all a little bit like Eve, reaching out for the forbidden fruit that would make her spectacular in her own eyes.  

We so quickly forget what it was like with the simplicity in the Garden.  I think God wants us to move back towards that simplicity we had before the fall.  It’s what Jesus died and rose again so we could have.  Before things got complicated with the fall, life for Eve was time walking closely with God, living simply with her husband, and enjoying the things that God had surrounded her with.  

That sounds like the recipe for a better life for each of us moms and wives: Walk closely to God.  Enjoy what God has made you to be.  Soak in the time you have with your children (it will fly by faster than you wanted it to).  Remember the gift your husband was intended to be to you, enjoy the love story you are writing. These are the big things. Don’t miss them chasing something tiny and unfulfilling that will vanish like a mist that you can never hold.  

The Crescendo of Time

I spend a lot of my time thinking about me. I imagine most people do: What will I do today? What will I eat? How will this life event affect me? How can I make the best possible outcome for me?

Even my pondering on God goes back to me: Does God hear me? Does God see what’s going on around me? What does God want me to do? Where does God want me to go?

Both of these scenarios are probably fairly normal for the human mind. I imagine God isn’t surprised by my self-centeredness. He knows me – thoughts, worries, ponderings, and all. In His eyes, I have vision like a new born baby. I can only see a few inches in front of me, which is why it is so good He holds me close. Because if left further out, I wouldn’t be able to recognize the smallest iota of Him and would feel so alone.

This morning I have been contemplating how human life, not just yours and mine, but all of it from the dawn of time until the day time is no more, is like a song. A song of worship to the one who created it. It starts in a tiny point when creation began and slowly increases in its intensity through the ages. The musical term for that is a Crescendo. Our lives are one small note played in the symphony orchestra of time. Our note we play is combined with the billions, maybe trillions, or beyond of other notes played on the sheet music of history. I have one chance to play my tiny part in this song of worship. One short dot in time to make my sound to bring glory to the One who created the Song. The question I’ve been thinking about is how will my tiny sound be? Will it be a sound played with all fervor to add to the crescendo of glory and worship? Or will it be a confused sound, fizzling out not playing it’s part in the song?

I get caught up, at times, looking for the next best thing to give myself to and I quickly forget that all I really need to do is concentrate on my note I play in the crescendo, and that I play it well. My days should be filled with sounding off His glory in what I do, what I say, and how I act. Recognizing the small things that are around me to do: laundry, cooking meals, loving my husband, my kids, my friends, and my neighbors well are what makes my sound stay on key for my part in the Crescendo. Enjoying the small things He has blessed me with are part of the sound of His note He has given me to make. For me my note I play seems like an eternity because I am too small to see the entirety of the piece written and orchestrated by God my Great Composer and Conductor. But in the scheme of things my part is one little millisecond of a note. A millisecond I want to play well and give honor with to the One who allowed me to be a part of His Crescendo because He loves me and wants to hear my part in the song He has written of His Greatness and His Glory.

Simple Devotion

I wrote this Poem almost 27 years ago shortly after we met. Rich instantly swept me off my feet back in 1992. I wasn’t sure what to think. I hid this poem inside a picture frame with his picture in it. (back then I wasn’t apt to share any poems I wrote) One day I pulled it out and showed my girlfriends. Anyway it ended up on our Wedding Programs.

My sweet husband has been making the point today to make me feel especially special today on Valentines: Sending me texts with our song, “Everything I do” Bryan Adams, declaring his love for me on Facebook. He really is God’s gift to me for so many reasons. I can honestly say that marrying him back on January 2nd, 1993 was the best thing I have ever done with exception of giving my life to God as a kid.

Our relationship was centered on Jesus from the beginning and has been throughout the years. Our love has been a gift not from within ourselves, but from God who gives perfect love.

I love you Rich with all my heart! Happy Valentine’s Day my Special Young Man that God promised me!

Simple Devotion

I look into your eyes and know the love you have.

I see it in your smile, I hear it in your laugh.

I feel a thrill when you are near, and when we’re together there is nothing to fear.

Simple devotion is what I see

I see it in you, I hope you see it in me

A devotion that goes beyond us

Where your love is not only for me

But what you give to God for all eternity.

I must tell you this one thing that is true

I see Jesus living in you

I love you more and more with each passing day,

But my love can not compare to the love that God gave.

I know you know it and you see it is true,

I know His Fire is burning in you

As we’re here together in front of God and man

Pledging our love and lives together as part of His plan

As one we will live, as one we will give

Our hearts, souls and bodies as an offering

Of simple devotion to our Lord and King

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 NIV