A Day in the Life

I Just Love You…

Today by some unexplainably wonderful turn of events, my two year old began calling me ‘Mama Bear’ which sounds more like mama beew. And my four year old will be turning five soon, and has been flexing his proverbial muscles trying to show us who’s boss. My six year old freshly turned seven is budding socially and affirming her position in the family as the resident “sweetheart”. Then there’s my nine year old, who I will be holding for the last time tonight. Tomorrow, she will be ten. If I am being honest, and I am. I feel a sense of grief. Don’t get me wrong, I’m blessed, I’ve got a good life, but what I don’t have anymore is a nine year old. I blinked, quite by accident, and she’s gone. Six year old, seven year old, eight year old M. Gone. Nine year old M…gone. And what I have here before me is a lanky, articulate, intense 10 year old, who just wants to sit on my lap tonight.
If I have learned anything it’s this. Life is short. As the Bible reads “All men are like grass. All their glory like the fields, the grass withers and the flowers fall.”
I may not have those sweet fat legged babies anymore, but I have now. Right now. I have another moment, another glimpse, another fit of laughter, another walk in the sunset.
Because I have now, I must make the most of it. I must breath deeply and take it all in. That means there are days that I do not turn on a single screen. Hours of my day when social media is a distant memory. Moments however intense, I grab a member of my tribe and say “I just love you.” Sometimes I do it at the height of the intensity, the meltdown, the whining, etc. After all, if I only show love when they are behaving perfectly, and not when they are not. It sends the wrong message, that my love and perhaps even God’s love is conditional. And it is not.
His love never fails.

Random Musings

Once Upon an Altar

Tonight I am finding my place on the altar.

We’ve heard that each man or woman must take up their cross and follow Him, and somehow we allow movies or well meaning Sunday School teachers to determine how that is depicted. We hear WWJD and we somehow romanticize self sacrifice and think “I got this.” But in reality we don’t have anything. Emulating the Master? Following the One who says that He (although Diety) did not come to be served, but to serve…Imitating the One who bowed low and washed His dysfunctional disciples’ feet. And even that’s ok, but then He invites us to go and do the same.

The Christian life is marked by sacrifice. His sacrifice for us and our sacrifice for Him.

Tonight I find my place on the altar.

Sacrifices are bloody, flesh is mutilated, carcasses laid bare. Birds of prey circle overhead, the smell of blood filling the air. They salivate as the anticipation of feasting on the flesh mounts. Suddenly you come to the realization that you are the sacrifice. You lay there on the altar looking up or looking down, but you blink incessantly hoping to wake up from this horrible nightmare. It’s your flesh that must be offered…you’re the helpless animal. The news gets even better…
We are supposed to do this daily.

“I therefore urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercies, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices that are holy and pleasing to God, for this is the reasonable way for you to worship.” Romans 12:1

God calls it reasonable.

According to Mathew Henry’s Concise Commentary “This is a powerful appeal. We receive from the Lord every day the fruits of his mercy. Let us render ourselves; all we are, all we have, all we can do: and after all, what return is it for such very rich receivings?”

Every single day, we are to crucify our flesh. We make it sounds so churchy and awesome. We go get new dresses and wear our best suit for Easter. What is Easter? The day we celebrate the death, burial and in particular, the resurrection of our Savior. Once a year we love sacrifice. But it’s gut wrenching, painful…and well, beautiful.

Once we crucify ourselves…mortifying our sinful flesh…then the life of Christ can truly be lived through us. That is when we transform from being mere mortals to supernatural sons and daughters of God.

Tonight, find your place on the altar.

“Lord, not my will, but thy will be done.”

A Day in the Life

I Love What I Do…Most Days

I love what I do and I do what I love.
It’s a rare privilege to be able to utter those words and even more rare to mean it.
Don’t get me wrong, there are days that are filled with excruciating inadequacy, and aching inability to produce the desired results. Yet there is something absolutely thrilling about the challenge.
So what do I do on those those days I’m exasperated and overwhelmed? I simply surrender, I give up.
I don’t mean quit or throw in the towel…I mean that I lay aside my type A-ness, my agenda, my modus operendum, and I embrace His. I embrace theirs.
God explains to us in a very loving way that His thoughts are higher than thoughts and His ways higher than our ways. He also urges us as a loving Father to trust in Him with all our heart and not to lean on or rely on our understanding. Instead we are to acknowledge Him in all our ways and He will direct our paths. The truth is…sometimes I am wise in my own eyes, I try to do it my way. That’s when I get overwhelmed and exasperated. Motherhood is tough stuff, The last thing we need to do is go it alone. We must go and surrender in prayer.
Not only do I embrace His way, I embrace theirs. I tear up the schedule (so to speak) and I build a fort under the dining room table. Or I may kick off my shoes and spend the afternoon in the backyard doing.whatever.they.want.to.do. I may even read the same book aloud eight consecutive times making the same sound effects each time.
Truth is, sometimes I can be like the The Very Busy Spider in Eric Carle’s book. We can entirely miss out on the Father’s call to worship, our husband’s call to simply be, and our children’s call to not do.
Slow down, Mama, slow down.
It’s a gift from God to do what we do and to love it. Don’t let your type A-ness get in the way of intimacy with those you love or in the way of enjoying what you do. Your effectiveness depends on it.

A Song for Parents

A Book for Parents