I can’t think of anything to write about.

I literally have no idea what to write about.  However, all the experts say that when you are learning to write you have to just sit down and make yourself do it anyway.  They say that developing your writing style is about consistency.  I am nothing if not consistent.  It is my “time” to write and I am just typing whatever comes to my mind.  Maybe this will feel like a roller coaster and you will get a glimpse of what goes on in my head.  Thrilling and scary as heck.

It’s not that Jesus isn’t teaching me and showing up in all different ways.  He totally is!  I am writing a bible study right now on the book of Galatians and He is showing me so much it’s almost like I don’t even know where to start if I wanted to write about it here.  I’m gearing up and in the planning stages of teaching a bible study this summer which is just about the most fun thing in the world.  The kids get out of school in a week and a half.  May is almost over! I am also really tired and overwhelmed and don’t know what to write about.  Plus I spent most of my weekend watching the royal wedding, and am having to play catch up now.  So I am in this joyful, tired, overwhelmed, allergy ridden, anxious state of mind.  And in this frame of mind I find it hard to think of something to write about.

Right now I am listening to the nonrhythmic pounding of a new roof going on my house.  I feel like this could be some form torture.  I mean if they all hammered in sync with their music I feel like this could be the beginnings of a musical.  “Sarah Faces the Day,” by Rogers and Hammerstein.  BUT they do not hammer in sync.  They hammer at random times, from every direction.  Let’s say this has been a challenge to my anxious mind.  My daughters dog, Abby the Labby, is likewise tortured by the banging.  She is hanging out in the goat pen with the chickens and the goats.  The Corgi’s are out there too.  I’m not going to lie, I have gotten considerable joy out of these creatures trying to navigate being together.

The goats don’t want them in their pen because who rules the world? GOATS  The goats want to do what they want to do and they don’t want anyone on their turf or in their food.  Now the Corgi’s are herding dogs.  So a herders going to herd.  This fly’s with goats for exactly 0 seconds before they turn around to head but the Corgi’s.  Then everyone runs back to their corners to come up with a new strategy.  When the Corgi’s get bored with the goats they go and see what the chickens are doing.  I think the Corgi’s feel super bad ass because the chickens run from them every single time.  This also never gets old, but the Corgi’s have to take a nap about every 30 minutes.  I think it is because their legs are only like 3 inches long.  Abby spends her time worrying about what is happening at he house.  She eats her feelings by snacking all day on the goat droppings.  Think of it as chocolate for dogs.

The ducks.  They come running up from the pond anytime they see a human outside of our house because they believe all humans carry kale around in their pockets.  So about every hour or so I have to chase them back to the pond for their own safety.  Also, they are super fat ducks that might make a good dinner for someone, if you know what I mean, and I don’t want someone to slip them into their truck.  Our General Contractor knows the only thing I really care about is the ducks and I told him to tell everyone who comes on this property to watch out for them.  He said he has nightmares about having to tell me someone ran over a duck.  Rightly so, don’t mess with my ducks.

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My sweet daughter got me this T-shirt for mother’s day.

I am about to have to go shower to take Sydney to the Orthodontist.  I never let them miss school for doctor’s appointments but its the second to last week of school and I am tired of fighting the appointment schedulers.  I also appreciate the schools sending out emails asking for the parents help to maintain discipline in the schools as we approach summer.  Listen, my heart is with the teachers for sure.  I really think school should end after the STAAR test is over, but no one listens to me.  It’s all I can do to get these kids up and into the school building to be counted present.  I am normally such an inspirational speaker in the morning.  This comes with the territory if you are morning person like me.  I’m all “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” and “the best preparation for tomorrow is what you do today!”  But right now the inspiration has left me.  I’m actually sleeping in until 6 am right now.(my friends are gasping right now because I usually get up at 4:45)  I don’t even know myself anymore.  I’m like “I don’t care if you want to go, you have to go or I get arrested, goodbye”  We go get Sonic drinks everyday after school just so they will have to slurp their straw and not complain about their day.  So basically we are winning around here.

Well I have done about all I can do here.  I’m sorry if you read this because you are probably in a bad mood now because of all my inspirational talk.  I had nothing to write about and yet still wrote 1000 words.  I guess the experts are right, you just have to do it. Here’s hoping we all make it to the finish line.  I’m holding on to the fact that my best most inspirational self will resurface in August, at back to school time.  I will leave you with a picture of a Gizmo the swimming corgi and my fat ducks, Downton and Cora.

God’s Sovereignty–a housewife’s perspective.

Do you see what I did there?!?  I willingly called myself a housewife!!!  #GROWTH #IMGONNABESOHOLY #SUPERHUMBLE  Anyway,  if you remember a few weeks back I set out to write this post and then got waylaid by the whole, “Wait, being a housewife is not good enough,” thing.  Isn’t it funny how God works?  And by funny I mean not funny because He makes me look myself square in the eye and He asks me, “If you write about this I need you to really understand that your reluctance to step into being a housewife shows me that you actually do not understand my sovereignty.  So why don’t we have a rap session about that and then you can tell people what you learned.  PS.  It will hurt me more than it hurts you, but its going to hurt, remember the cross? PSS.  Remember how pruning is good?  PSSS.  I love you.”   Got it Lord, thanks.  Then in the unfolding I learned how the God of the universe is sovereign over everything from housewives to weather to galaxies to everything in betwixt.

First, I want to define God’s sovereignty.  I find that when you are talking about words in the bible people get really weird and think that normal grammatical rules don’t apply.  Really?  Our God is the God of order.  He for sure is going to apply proper grammar rules to his ALL POWERFUL WORD!!!!  Anyway, I used my super fancy Logos software and did a search for the word sovereign or sovereignty in the bible.  The word, or version of it is used 294 times in the bible.  When a word is used that much in the bible it is easy to define because you just see how it is used and what the context is and wham bam, you know what the definition is.  So collectively the definition is as follows:

sovereignty. The possession of ultimate authority and power. In political theory the state is often regarded as sovereign, while in theology, sovereignty is a characteristic of the all-powerful, all-knowing Creator, who governs the universe for his own purposes.

Evans, C. Stephen. Pocket dictionary of apologetics & philosophy of religion 2002 : 110. Print.

My understanding of His sovereignty comes from the fact that I believe God is the ultimate authority and power over the universe.  I believe that everything is under His control.  I don’t believe in chance, or karma.  If I have a flat tire, God is in control of that.  He decided I needed a flat tire.  If I hit every green light and arrive 5 minutes early to something, God is in control of that.  He decided I need to be early.  To believe this requires me to believe in a BIG GOD!  And He is a BIG GOD.  He tells us that all through the bible.

I realize this topic strikes up debates between differing groups of christians.  I take no part in that.  You can ask me all day long if I am a TULIP Calvinist, Arminian, a Three Pointer, or an Augustinian.  I will answer, “I love Jesus, and I am whatever He is so lets ask Him when we get there.”  I am pretty sure that is how Jesus will decide what softball team we are on in Heaven.  “Oh you are tulip, and also a 3rd baseman? Great, head over to field 3, your team is playing the 3 Pointers today.”  For now, He is clear in His word.  He is the sovereign authority over everything and His parting command was to love Him first, and love our neighbor as I love myself.  His parting commission was to go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to obey the Lords commands.  I don’t know about you, but I am going to focus on that.

When I first became a Christian I did not understand God’s sovereignty at all.  I wanted to be on the path He made for me, I just didn’t know anything about God yet so I had no direction.  When I don’t know what to do I am really good at making stuff up.  I formulated in my mind an idea about Gods’ sovereignty that looked like this…..

I thought it was something you had to divine from the Lord.  I thought you had  one chance to get on the path and if you screwed up and made a wrong turn you were off the path.  I started to become hyper vigilant for a sign from the Lord.  I went so far as to ask other people, whom I thought were very holy, to pray about me joining a ministry to see if they “saw” me in the ministry or not.  Does anyone else get their theology from pop culture?  Sometimes I think my syncretism of pop culture and following the Lord is such a deficit then I remember, “Oh wait, I can always be used as a bad example.”

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The problem with trying to follow a path laid down by someone you don’t really know is that you have no idea what they are going to do or how they roll.  So the more vigilant I got about looking for signs and trying to stay on the path of God’s sovereignty the more I was convinced that I was off the path and not capable of seeing the signs.  It left me feeling like I had missed out and that I was lost.  I knew God was good, and I saw Him leading friends of mine to amazing things, but I was never sure enough to take a step because I could not see the yellow brick road.

So then, in His kindness, He saw me drowning in this and rescued me.  I was sitting in class one day and our Professor, Scot Keen, drew a long line across the dry erase board.  He said, “This is not how God’s Sovereignty works, you are not on tight rope, trying to keep your balance so you don’t fall off.”  I fully tuned in at this point because I was sure He was about to tell us where the yellow brick road started!  He said, “God’s sovereignty is like an ocean that you can never get out of.  You are in a boat and you can steer where you want to go, but you are always in the water no matter what.”  Does your brain hurt like mine does right now?  These are deep thoughts and our human brains have a hard time understanding this amazing idea.

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God’s sovereignty is not a path or tight rope that I have to worry about staying on.  I am never ever out of sovereignty because He is in absolute control over everything.  I have the freedom to make choices.  I can go left, I can go right and I am always in God’s sovereignty because there is nothing out of His control.  He made it all (from galaxies to ants) and he controls it all (from seasons to traffic).  I can make a choice that doesn’t reflect my belief in God and I am still in the sovereignty of God.  I can make a choice that does reflect my belief in God and I am still in the sovereignty of God.  Good things happen to me because of His sovereignty and bad things happen to me because of his sovereignty.  I am never ever out of His sovereign control.  This is important and I want to come back to it later.

The problem with me thinking it was a path is that anytime I thought I was off the path I felt like God was not happy with me, and that I was lost.  Anytime something bad happened to me I thought it was God telling me I was not on the path.  Suddenly, I couldn’t move forward or backward or left or right for fear of being off the path.  This is not how it works, praise the Lord.  I was confusing sanctification (a $5 word for learning to walk with the Lord) with God’s sovereignty.  Nothing, no wrong decision, or wrong step can take you out of God’s sovereignty.  Also, who wants to believe in a God that can accidentally lose us?  “Where did Sarah go? She was right here on her way to the homeless shelter and then she went the wrong way and I lost her!  She must have seen a sale at Nordstrom’s.  Well, she was a cool chick, that’s too bad! She reminded me so much of Lara Croft Tomb Raider.  I wish I hadn’t lost her.”  That is not a very powerful God.

That is not the God I believe in.  The God I believe in is in control of all life.  There is no one who is so far gone that He can’t see them and work in their life.  This is so important because our bad decisions and bad things that happen make us believe that God has deserted us or is no longer with us.  The truth is that all the bad stuff is meant to drive you into His ever open arms.  It’s meant to show you that you are not in control but that God is in control.  Understanding that you can never get out of God’s sovereignty, no matter what you have done, no matter how unloveable you think you are, no matter how many drugs you have taken, no matter how many people you have hurt makes you finally take His offering of salvation.  And in his sovereignty He will never force you to love Him.  He wants you to love Him, He will use all your circumstances to show you how much you need him.  Through His son he made the way for us to not just be in the ocean of His sovereignty but be in His family and know Him personally.

Now as I walk through my day it is no longer a matter of divining His path for me,  it is living out my belief that He is in total control over everything that happens.  I believe that if I get a flat tire, God allowed it to happen and that He is still Good.  I believe that if plans change, God allowed it to happen and that He is still Good.  And so on, and so on.  Now, acting like I believe these things falls into that category of sanctification–and that is a story for another blog post.

 

How do I get my ducks in a row?

I am not my best self right now.  I have tried to write an up beat, happy and fun story about how much I love my ducks.  Every time I sat down to write it, anger and complaining came out of my typing fingers.  I was like, “Girl, what is the deal, you have nothing to complain about!  Your cleaning ladies started this week!”  After some contemplation I realized it was because I was hungry.  We started a diet this week.  We totally cut out refined sugar and I realized that lack of refined sugar makes it hard for me to be a nice human.  I also should warn you that if you see me in public and you come up to me to offer your advice on dieting I will probably throat punch you.  That would not be a good thing to do on this weekend that we get to celebrate the fact that our sins have been paid for and our Savior has RISEN!  So lets agree not to go there.  Jesse and I decided to try Nutri System (you know, Marie Osmond advertises it.)  They send you all this miniature food and snacks and tell you it is a “meal.”  Jesse will probably lose 40 lbs and I will gain 12, but whatever, I’m super excited about it.  Let me get over the diet and tell you about my ducks.

My ducks.  We had no plans of raising ducks.  When we went to buy our chicks, there was one duck in the duck brooder.  His friends had been sold.  They tried to put him in with the chicks but they did not get along.  I looked at the sweet little duckling all alone peeping and I swear I could hear him singing:

“But I won’t let them break me down to dust
I know that there’s a place for me
For I am glorious
When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I’m meant to be, this is me
Look out ’cause here I come
And I’m marching on to the beat I drum
I’m not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me!”
Because The Greatest Showman in my new favorite movie of all time, I had to take him. We named him Downton after my favorite TV show and the pun…(Downton, He is a duck covered in down, get it?)   He couldn’t help that he was a duck surrounded by chicks.  My plan was to just raise him with the chicks, I figured they would eventually get along.
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Look at him.  Oh my heart.  And so for a few weeks everybody was happy and I don’t think Downton knew he was any different from the chicks.  But as he grew the differences became bigger.  Like for instance how he loved the waterer.  The chicks got so offended by the fact that Downton would go in for a sip and end up splashing around in the water.  You have heard the saying, “mad as a wet hen.”  Well it is true, wet hens are not happy hens.  He was also a lot bigger!  I started to realize that duck and chickens are actually quite different and we needed to so something different for him.  So that is when this happened….

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This is Downton and “company” because at the time we did not know what he or she was.  Do you see Company there hiding behind Downton.  They were fast friends.  Sydney and I took dog crates, a water trough and some wood and made a duck habitat in my garage.  We had to make a ramp into the water trough so they could waddle in and out.  This is what the garage looked like…

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Am I a crazy person? Yes.  I love these little chicks we are raising.  The chickens and the ducks!  Once the ducks moved out the chickens became happy again.  Before I knew it they were ready to move to their awesome coop in the goat barn.  To say the ducks loved their habitat would be an understatement.  I don’t think there were happier ducklings ever!  They love to swim.  Sooner than I was ready for however, they were getting too big for the garage.  Our house has a cute little pond area in the back yard.  We turned it off during the winter but it occurred to me that this would be a perfect place for the ducks to grow up a little more.  So we put our thinking caps on and engineered a new area for them using the dog crates, some metal gate panels we had and dog igloo.  Check it out…

Also, Chip Gaines the corgi has decided that he ducks are his.  He loves them and keeps the other dogs away from them.  He sleeps by them, it is really cute.  Will he eventually eat them? I am not sure….

I will say ducks are not clean animals.  Their poop literally comes shooting out of their tail ends.  They have no decorum at all.  They “go” everywhere.  In the water, in the food, on the rocks.  I thought maybe they could stay right up here by the house forever, but that’s a no.  They are going to have to move down to the pond at some point.

In the last week we have realized that we have a boy and a girl.  We are calling them Downton and Cora.  I realize Grantham and Cora would be more true to the show but Downton is Downton now and we can’t change it.  I live in constant terror of them growing up and leaving, getting eaten by the giant alligator snapping turtle that lurks in the bottom of our pond or one of dogs getting them when Chip is not looking.  Putting that fear aside it is my joy in the morning to go out and see them swimming.  They quack at me when they see me.  They are the only ones on this property who will eat kale besides me.  They also love grapes.  They love eating in general, which is how this happened…

They have grown so much in just a month!  It is so fun to watch them, and interact with them.  Now we are getting ready for them to move down to pond.  I realize they may leave.  I realize I am not a mommy duck able to “get her ducks in a row.”  I think I have pretty thoroughly documented how I don’t have any ducks in a row in my life.  I have so enjoyed them for the last month.  I had no idea how fun they would be.  I really hope they stay.

Now going forward Jesse and I have decided we will probably get ducks every year.  Don’t for one second think he is not a party to this chaos.  Have we hired Tropical John from our church to build us a new and improved duck pond complete with a sloped entrance? YES!  Have we researched how to get rid of alligator snapping turtles? YES!  Are we insane? YES!  I really hope in a few weeks I can report that our sweet Downton and Cora are safe and living the good life in our pond (and that I have lost weight and have not murdered anyone due to hunger).  If not, I will need more therapy.

I’ll leave you with this sweet picture of them sleeping…

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Q: What do you call a housewife who doesn’t clean her own house? A: Sarah Griffith, Tomb Raider

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Well it has come to this.  After weeks of mulling over this pace of life stuff, begging God to write my schedule out for me so I know what He wants me to be doing, processing with my counselor, and talking Jesse’s ear off, I have had to make some decisions that have made me scared to death to write about it and put it out in the world.  But the point of all this is to record what Jesus is doing in my life.  And so I have to admit that I have hired a cleaning lady and Jesus still loves me anyway.  The biggest thing He is teaching me right now is I am more scared about people thinking I am worthless, than I am willing to be obedient to Him and what He is asking me to do.  That is why this is coming out on a Saturday instead of a Tuesday.  I have been trying to avoid writing about this all week, trying other topics, but this topic is the only one that has words right now.

You see, I found when my therapist said “I want you to write out your schedule, your real schedule, in real-time,” I started to see that what I was expecting of myself was not a realistic pace of life.  I have always thought of myself as Lara Croft Tomb Raider.  Not that new imposter Lara Croft, but the OG Lara Croft (Angelina Jolie).  Guns strapped to her legs, cheeky, smart, takes no crap, will straight up shoot you in the head, and can DO ALL THINGS.  Lara Croft does not worry about writing her schedule out because all her schedule would say everyday is:

Monday:  Kick Ass

Tuesday: Kick Ass

Wednesday:  Kick Ass

Thursday:  Kick Ass

Friday: Kick Ass

Saturday: Kick Ass

Sunday:  Go to Church and then Kick Ass

In my world, the real world, this kind of pace of life does not lead to good things.  This blasted anxiety cripples me when the pace of life reaches an unrealistic pace.  I become mean, I yell, I get paranoid, and I hurt the people I love when I am running at “kick ass” pace.  That’s how I know it is an unrealistic pace, because I can’t do the things that Jesus asks me to do.  More than anything I don’t want to be that ungentle, mean, impatient person anymore.  So, things have to change.  I had to prioritize what can get done by someone who is not Lara Croft in a normal week.  When I say I had to prioritize I mean I had to take every one of those priorities to the Lord in prayer.  I had to submit to what came up in that meditation with Him.  I had to talk to Jesse, admit how much I am struggling and ask him (gulp) how he thought I needed to prioritize things.  I had to ask all this and then I had to listen.  Which is good because people always say I am a really good listener, when I shut up long enough to hear them talk.

Here is what I came up with.  I’m hiring a cleaning lady.  I am scared to death to write that down and put it out in the world because I am terrified of people thinking I am worthless.  I am so scared you will think that I am lazy and just a well to do white woman with nothing to worry about except what to wear.  But Jesus is asking me to be patient and gentle and I can’t be patient and gentle with the pace of life I use to live.  Things have to change.  I have things that Jesus has put things on my heart to write, to study, and bible studies to teach.  I want to devote my time to that and not to my ridiculous cleaning schedule.  I will constantly deal with the guilt of not doing it myself.  I will have to remind myself that I am not worthless for hiring a cleaning lady.  I don’t know why God has blessed us with the resources to hire a cleaning lady, I just want to be thankful for it.  It would be so much easier to justify it if I worked outside of the house full-time.  If I had a full time job I would not hesitate to hire a cleaning lady.  I don’t and so I am a housewife who is hiring a cleaning lady, and I have to deal with it.

Guess who had a cleaning lady, Lara Croft.  Actually it was a guy, but you get the point.  People of the world, hear me now.  I am trying to stop living my life based on what you think of me.  I am going to try to live my life based on what God thinks of me.  I am almost 100% sure that God does not care if I hire a cleaning lady as long as I am not going into debt over it.  He is especially ok with it since my husband says he wants me to.  If I hire a cleaning lady and I tell you and you think that I am somehow less worthy because of it I don’t have to carry that around with me.  This is one of the crutches my anxiety leans on, “Do this because of what people think.”  I can’t live like that, its crushing me.  I have to become me, follower of Christ.  More worried about pleasing Him than the world.

I set out to write this post to tell you the following story, but of course it took 1000 words of back story to get here.

I called a cleaning company to get an estimate.  The lady on the phone told me she would like go over what they do during a cleaning before she scheduled the in home estimate.  Here is how the conversation went.  Her name is Linda.

Linda:  Mrs. Griffith the maids who work for us have all been trained and our cleaning comes with a guarantee, so if you are unhappy for any reason you call me and we will make it right.  We want you to be a long time customer.

Me:  Linda, that is so great.

Linda:  The ladies will come in and dust from ceiling to floor including the base boards.

Me: Really?

Linda: Yes ma’am.  They will be sure there are no cobwebs and they will vacuum out the window sills.

Me: Ok, (thinking to myself, shoot, I need to vacuum out the window sills before they come because I never do that.)

Linda:  They will vacuum your furniture, and all the floors.  Do you have dogs?

Me: (Shoot? Do I lie?  I don’t think I can hide them when the come over…..) Um, yes we have 3? Is that ok?

Linda: Oh yes!  We love dogs, and I just wanted to tell you that we will make sure and get all the dog hair from under your furniture too.

Me: Under the furniture?

Linda: Yes, except for things the ladies can’t move themselves.  Is that ok?

Me: Um, yes.  (Cuss word, now I have to vacuum under the furniture before they come)

Linda: The ladies will mop the tile and they will use Bona on the hardwoods.  Is that ok?

Me:  That is great.

Linda:  They will wipe down and polish all your appliances.

Me:  (lump forming in my throat)

Linda:  They will disinfect all bathrooms, and wash with soap and water all your counter tops.  (Hears sniffling on the other end of the line)  Are you there, Mrs. Griffith?

Me: (small) Yes

Linda:  Ok, great.  Well I wanted to let you know that they will also change your sheets for you if you leave the clean ones out on in your rooms.  They will also dust and clean all the ceiling fans and light……….(hears sobbing)  Ma’am are you ok?

Me: I-I-I’m fine.  (sob-sob) I-I’m so sorry Linda. (sob-sob) I have just been so stressed out about this. (sob-sob) Just to know that it will get done and I don’t have to do it, (sob-sob) is just so great.

Linda: Um, ok.  So do you want to set up the in home estimate?

Me: Yes, absolutely, when can you come. (sniff, sniff)

Linda:  We could have our estimator come tomorrow (pauses, talking to someone with the phone receiver covered) Actually Mrs. Griffith, my manager says he could come right now if you really need someone so urgently.

Me: (Laughing) Oh, no Linda, tomorrow is fine, I’m ok, I promise.  I swear I am not a crazy person.  I promise I am not weird, I’m just so relieved.

Linda:  Ok, I will schedule you for tomorrow.  I’m glad you called, sounds like you need some help.

Me:  Yes, Linda I need help.  (Girl, you have no idea how much help I need!)

 

 

I am the most patient person I know.

Seriously, I am so patient.  I love sitting in the Chick-Fil-A drive-thru that is 100 cars long.  I love patiently sitting in my car waiting for my people to get all their stuff together and get in the car.  I love saying we are leaving at a certain time only to be delayed for some magical reason.  I love stopping to smell the roses.  I refuse to feel rushed or get flustered in an attempt to get something done quickly.  I have no ill will towards someone who delays me because they are doing something so charmingly ineptly.  Patiently sitting in traffic is one of my favorite pass times.  Lines, waiting rooms and ill-made plans are also favorites.  I am the most patient with my husband.  I love the pace at which he moves, and the pace at which he makes decisions.  Patience is my strong suit for sure.  It is my default and my go to.

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Oh wait, did I say patience, I meant hurrying.  I am cracking myself up!  Just in case you are reading this and don’t actually know me, I could barely type all that above without laughing hysterically.  “Patient,” would not be a word used to describe me.

This weekend at church Pastor Doug taught on Ephesians 4: 1-6.  Check it out:

Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all, in all, and living through all.

Tyndale House Publishers. Holy Bible: New Living Translation. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2013. Print.

My friend Ashley was sitting behind me and as soon as Pastor Doug read this passage I turned to her and said “We should go, let’s go get breakfast!”  I knew it would be one of those days in church when it feels like Pastor is talking directly to me and I wanted to escape with my friend who shares my affinity to avoid talking about words like “gentle, humble and patience.” Of course it is Jesus talking directly to me, not actually Pastor Doug.  This is how God’s word works.  It goes right to the heart and says “Oh, its Demo Day baby!”

You see in the passage above where it says “Always be humble and gentle.”  I read this and feel the impossibility of this command.  I didn’t use to.  In my baby christian days I read stuff like this and was like, “Oh ok, I can do that.”  I would be the most humble and gentle person you have ever seen for like 30 seconds, and then something would irritate me and all bets were off.  I have realized by now when these little gems where being handed out by the Lord, I was in the bathroom or something.  I did not get those particular gifts, I bring other things to the table like cuss words and yelling.

Now I read these words and realize my need for the Lord.  He is the one that exposes these parts of me that are not like Christ, and asks me to let His power loose to change me.  He says to me, “Sarah, you are not humble and gentle, but I AM.  If you will deny yourself and seek Me, I can live through you and you will start to reflect humbleness and gentleness to others.”  It takes me putting my own desires, my flesh, aside and choosing to live by the spirit.  The next part of the passage is “be patient with each other.”  Being patient comes after learning to be humble and gentle.

Patient, patient, patient.  Maybe if I type it enough I will understand it.  Here is what I do know.  I am not patient.  Unless you are using it in refer to someone being in a hospital.  Then I am very much a “patient.”  But something tells me that is not what God is talking about here.  Do you know how I know I am not patient?  Because my favorite word is “HURRY UP!”  Here are some of my favorite ways to use this word grouping.

HURRY UP, GET IN THE CAR!

HURRY UP, AND TELL ME WHAT WE ARE DOING!

HURRY UP!  WE ARE LATE!

HURRY UP AND MAKE THIS DECISION!

HURRY UP, COME ON, WE HAVE TO GO!

HURRY UP AND GET US A TABLE!

HURRY UP AND GET YOUR HOMEWORK DONE!

HURRY!

HURRY!

So let me tell you something really funny.  Guess what word my husband hates most in the world?  You guessed it, “hurry.”  This word is a cuss word in his book.  Nothing makes him shut down faster than someone hurrying him.  So as you can imagine this is a hot mess of me hurrying him and him freaking out on me to stop hurrying him.  It goes really well.  The more I walk with Jesus the more I see my hurried approach to life.  The more I become brave enough to look at myself in light of who Jesus is, the more empowered I become to say, “Sarah, where are you going in such a hurry?”

If I hurry my husband, guess who else I hurry?  Well, yes my kids, but I’m not talking about them.  (I’m not ready to talk about the fact that both of my kids had stutters because they felt so rushed to get a thought out.  Literally, the speech therapist said to me, “you have to slow down and look them in the face when they are trying to tell you something. Ouch.)  I am talking about the fact that I hurry God.  I am impatient with God.  I say things like, “God, hurry up and change Jesse so we can get things done faster.”  “God, hurry up and change me so I look like you.”  Guess who is not in a hurry because time does not bother Him?  That’s right God.

Pastor Doug defined patience as, “Gracious and loving waiting.”  Ashley and I should probably not sit by each other in church because we both laughed so loud at this.  Then Jesse looked over at me all smug and self-righteous and smiled at me.  Jerk.  Just kidding, I love him.

Gracious and loving waiting.  Gracious and loving waiting.  Gracious and loving waiting.  Does anyone else read that definition and start to look for a paper bag to breath in? This is just one more way God is going to teach me to stop trying to be patient and to start trusting Him to change me into someone who reflects His patience.  Yes it will hurt, yes it will be a challenge, yes I will try to do it in my own strength and fail.  The thrill of hope is that what if I could become patient.  What if I could be free of the frustration of a hurried life.  What if I could stop hurrying the people I love.  What if I could get off this hamster wheel that is “hurry?”  What if I could look myself in the face and say, “Why are you in such a hurry anyway? Where are you trying to get to so fast?” Well my friends, that sounds like a glorious way of living to me.  I love you Jesus, thank you for being humble and gentle, and thank you for promising to transform me into someone who relfects you.

Happy Birthday Baby Boy.

 

meandbrock

Dear Brock,

Since this is how I have been celebrating the things that are going on in our life, this seems a fitting way to celebrate you and the fact that I am so thrilled you were born.  Brock, there is absolutely no way to tell you how much I love you.  The only litmus test you have is the fact that when I think you are going to get hurt I absolutely lose my mind and scream and yell at you to be careful.  This is because the thought of not having you as part of my day makes me hurt in a way that I never actually want to know.  The saving grace is that I know how much you love Jesus, and if you are not with me here on earth you will be with Jesus in heaven.  This realization has allowed me to let you walk out the door and go to school, camps, and vacations.  This realization has made it almost possible for me to watch you play lacrosse and not completely lose my mind, or murder any kids that push you on the field–almost.

The ache I feel as I watch you grow up and need me less and less, is in equal proportion to the joy I feel as I see you growing up into the coolest dude this world will ever know.  I know you will look at that and say, “mom, that is not a proper algebraic equation,” or some other form of nerd speak that I don’t get.  Buddy, there is nothing mathematic about how much I love you.  It is fierce and wild and makes me do crazy things like grab you by the front of your shirt, lift you off the ground, and scream at you because you almost ran out in front of a car.  It is also tender like the moments we sit on the couch and read together under a comfy quilt, silent and close.  You are not getting a perfect mama with me buddy, but you are getting a mama that loves you so much it hurts.

Little dude, God made you to love to be respected.  More than loved you want to be respected.  It’s just part of what makes guys, guys.   Buddy, one of the things I am learning as you grow up is how to not just love you like a mom loves her son, but to also respect you as the man you are growing up to be.  I want you to get use to hearing a woman respect you so that when a woman doesn’t respect you it seems odd to you.  (And God help that women if I am around because I have not been saved that long and I would not test the Jesus in me, if I were you girlfriend.)  So here is a list for you of all the things I respect about you buddy.

  1.  I respect the fact that you are not a follower of things just to impress people.  You know what you like, and you just do your thing.
  2. I respect the fact that you are so brilliant but you are not a jerk about it to people who don’t think on the same plane as you–mainly me.
  3. I respect that fact that you are always ready to learn something new.
  4. I respect the fact that you are kind.  You are not just nice to people you are KIND.  You display LOVING-KINDNESS, not just tolerance.
  5. I respect the fact that you are the one who started the family bible study in our house.  You are the one that came home from GRAPPLE and said, “We need to read two Proverbs everyday.”  And you harassed us enough that it has now become a family bible study every morning.  Your passion for God’s Word did that, buddy.  You changed our family dynamic.
  6. I respect the fact that you are an early riser.  Now this might be one that people call into question because I am also an early riser and I value rising early and think it is the best way to ward off laziness.  But none the less, I respect you for it.
  7. I respect the fact that you are the most contented person I know.  I respect this because I happen to carry around a lot of disconnectedness.  So to see someone get up everyday and go with the flow, and be happy no matter what is something that makes me have respect for you.
  8. I respect that fact that you do what Daddy and I ask you to do without any kind of flack.  You are such an obedient little dude and I respect that fact that you can humble yourself and do what we ask you to do.
  9. I respect how you love technology.  I respect that you just know how to do things on the computer.  I love how you know that you can make technology  in this world better.  I love how you come up with inventions that I know will change the world one day.
  10. I respect how you have allowed Daddy and I to guide you through how to use technology in a safe way.  I respect that you have heeded our warnings about pornography and predators, but you are not afraid, you are just prepared and vigilant.  Your future wife will love you for that.
  11. I respect that you are growing into a man right before my eyes but sometimes you still need your mama to love on you.
  12. I respect the fact that you don’t want me cheering louder than anyone else at Lacrosse but that you still look over to be sure I am there.

Dude, there is just so much about you that is amazing.  I love you so much, you are my favorite 11-year-old in the whole wide world.  And if I could give you a “pinch to grow and inch,” my pinch would be: Continue to pursue the Lord, Brock.  Life often times will make no sense without Jesus.  He is always with you and will guide you.  I have tried to make a special deal with Him to save you from all the pain in this world, but no luck buddy.  He will use pain to teach you about who He is and who you are.  As you pursue Him buddy, you will find a love even more fierce, wild, tender and strong than mine.  His love can sustain you for your entire life time, and then eternity.  Happy 11 th Birthday little dude, you are the coolest kid I know.

Love you always,

Mom

singinghappybirthday

 

My blogging injury

Well I guess I can officially call myself a blogger since I have written 8 blog posts in the last month.  Wordpress is very encouraging because they give you these little badges that say “You made it to 10 followers!” and “You have 5 likes!”  As I have discussed at length, I love winning things, so this feels very productive to me.  However, I woke up yesterday morning with my first blogging injury.

When I got up my lower eyelid on my right eye was twitching.  Just a little bit, jumping around here and there.  It was annoying but not too bad.  Then as the day went on I was convinced it was turning into Parkinson’s disease.  I’m not diminishing Parkinson’s, it is one of my biggest fears to come down with that and I’m constantly on the look out for tremors.  We drove home from Lubbock yesterday and I tried not strain my eye at all.  Luckily for me Jesse loves to drive so he drove all the way home.  Jesse convinced me that with a good night sleep in our bed it would be fine in the morning.

Well, it wasn’t.  This morning it was really spazzing.  It was to the point that when Jesse saw me he was like, “You are freaking me out, are you possessed?”  I called my eye doctor and he got me right in.  Jesse said, “Get out of here you look like Clint Eastwood giving me the evil eye.” So I hit the road, preparing myself, as any good hypochondriac does, for the impending eye removal surgery, and what kind of eye patch I would wear.

Well as it turns out it is not a big deal at all.  It is called blepharospasm.  It is caused by eye strain, stress, caffeine and computer screens—which pretty much describes the last month for me.  He also said that I need—gulp—readers.  To which I replied, “Oh, I have those, I got them at the grocery store.”  He said, “You are beyond what they sell at the grocery store.”  This is what 39 years old looks like.  What happens at 40 because I am running out of parts to remove and apparently I will be blind as bat.

All that to say, I’m not sure when I will learn to pace myself better.  I just know that I have discovered that I love to write about what God is doing in my life and what he is teaching me.  I think the Lord will always have to give me a steadying “Whoa” when I get going with something.  He made me passionate so I can pour myself out on these pages, but He also taught to me to listen to Him.  (This time in the form of a spazzing eye twitch.)  Just a reminder to say, “Sarah, you don’t have to write all the things in the first month, we have a life time to record these things.”  And in the end I get one more lesson in submitting to the Lord.  And I will try—this post is only 500 words! That’s almost like a tweet for me!