Tag Archives: kindness

My Journey Back

Proverbs 1- Wisdom calls aloud in the street, she raises her voice in the public square, at the head of the noisy street she cries out. How long will you simple ones love your simple ways?

I’ve been drowning in a bittersweet pool of daily chores, school work, teaching, mothering, wifing and all around trying to be a put together human being. I’ve been so busy keeping all of my blessings in check that I have forgotten to remember who gave them to me in the first place. I have forgotten to give credit where credit is due. I’ve blamed my lack of sleep on the children, who for the most part sleep through the night, sometimes in our bed but they still get a solid nights sleep these days. I blame my lack of quiet time in the Bible and a real relationship with God on everything from my checklist when really my checklist is, well let’s face it….. Crap!

I believe that being in the Bible¬†daily and having a moment (and sometimes that’s really all it will end up being, just one moment) with God will change the course of my day. I believe this because I’ve lived it. Before I let this world get ahold of me, before my list of priorities became somewhat skewed, I’ve felt that change, that strength, that patience, that love, all those things that can only come from a growing relationship with God course through me when I needed it most. (Usually around 2:00 everyday) But for the last several months I’ve been more irritable, I’ve been biting my tongue a lot more when my son isn’t figuring something out as quickly as I think he should throughout our school day. When in all reality I want to be able to possess the grace and the compassion and the patience that I try to instill in my children everyday. How can I do that when I am lacking those qualities myself?

I’ve known I’ve needed a change and I’ve known how to fix it for awhile now but still my priorities weren’t quite cutting it. I wasn’t making the changes that I needed to. I just kept my worries and yearning for something more bottled up inside of me. Do you believe that God puts people in your life at just the right time? I definitely do. I’m sure it’s happened a lot more than I’ve actually noticed but this time around I definitely did. I’m 31 and I have a new friend. A person who I’ve gotten close to just within the last few months and we have both realized how much alike we actually are… but I think she is much lovelier. She is so kind and considerate and thoughtful. Well a few nights ago she invited me on a trip with her to Hy-vee to pick up some groceries she’d ordered online. Haha she admits that it was kind of an odd invite but I said “sure, I needed to pick up coffee.” So away we went, on a Friday night I believe. What else are two moms to do on a weekend? Anyways, she got to talking and then I got to talking and I finally worked up the nerve to ask her what kind of devotion or study she uses to motivate herself to get up at 6 am every morning and spend time with God. I wanted that so much but honestly I’ve never been all that open when it comes to sharing my spiritual needs with someone else. Well, she made some suggestions and by the end of that trip to Hy-vee I had a new skip in my step. I felt lighter within my soul. I’m not sure how to explain it but I knew that confiding in someone else who has this beautiful heart for God and letting them in, helped me. I knew that I would wake up the next morning (I’m still working on getting up at 6am) at least a little earlier than usual and open my Bible, open my notebook and just spend a little time with God.

And I did.

Starting in Proverbs, with a chapter a day. So far I haven’t had to search very hard to feel lead to write down parts of the chapter that moved me. That have inspired me. (There have been so many.) I felt like the first chapter of Proverbs was fitting to get me started on my journey back to God. To building on a relationship that I’ve let slip through my finger tips. I’ve found that searching for wisdom and guidance and love is only possible through his word, it’s only possible when there is a relationship there. An ever growing relationship that is so much more important than my timeline, my comfort, and my sleep schedule.

 

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A Speck in the Night’s Sky

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There are things in this life that actually mean something. Things that are worth holding dear, things that are worth keeping safe and close to your heart.

When you have people in your life that mean something to you and when you mean something to people, it is okay to think of them when you make a decision, it is okay to consider their feelings.

Whether we are “grown ups” and can “do what we want” or not, sparing someone’s feelings should at least be in the forefront of our mind. Thinking of someone else, doing something you may not want to do or feel up to doing for someone else is something that I feel should come naturally, at least if it has to do with someone you truly love. I wish it was a lot easier, even if it isn’t someone we are extremely close to. (That’s when it gets really tricky)

What is our goal while we are here, in this world? Is it to, like so many things and “heartfelt” quotes I see, completely phase out the people who don’t make us feel good about ourselves, who don’t allow us to be a better person? There are few times when I see a quote like this or hear someone say this exact thing, that I actually agree with it. (I do believe that some people are toxic and can emotionally and physically be hurting you and in that instance I’m all for distancing yourself but I so often see or hear people wanting to rid themselves of everyone who makes them feel bad about themselves and the person doesn’t even have to do anything wrong to be on the dump list, except maybe appear happy of Facebook.)

Why can’t we be the someone who makes that other person want to be a better person? Why can’t we have a servant’s heart and do for others? Why don’t I have a servant’s heart and do for others? If I am in this world to do for myself then what is the point?

We give ourself what we want, we spend our money on ourself, we only think about what kind of relationships will make us stronger (make me stronger) or us happier or make MY world better. What are we leaving behind when we leave? Well I would answer with, absolutely nothing.

There is nothing left after we are gone but a faded shadow of what could have been.

What could have been?

A light in someone else’s life. Someone who is different or hard to love, someone who doesn’t make us light up when we are around them. If we touch someone else and change their life, just think of how many others are changed just by that one small thing that we did, that one small sacrifice that we made.

Our light though tiny, just a speck in the night sky, has the potential to light up a city.

My Stuff is Better than all of Your Stuff

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My stuff is better than all of your stuff.

That is what an almost 4 year old told me today. I’ve heard the same thing from this same little kiddo a few times but this time I was deeply offended.

Yes, an almost 4 year old deeply offended me. (Oh I love kids and how they can make you feel bad without even knowing it or trying. Yes I was offended, I’m not proud) It’s not because what they said is true or that I’m envious of “all of their stuff” but it’s more of a situation where as a parent of the same age kids I can’t imagine my kids saying this to anyone and for that matter multiple times. (It would break my heart just a little if they looked at things like this or made other kids feel bad. I’m sure there will come a day though…:/) I know that kids will be kids and they say stuff not knowing really what they are even talking about but I have explained it to this particular child so many times. My kids have even responded with…

“But we have to be happy with what we have and what we get.”

My response is about the same, just a little more in-depth such as,

“Your stuff is better than my stuff, huh? Well your face…. ”

Pause, remain calm, I am 30 and this is a child… approach changes…

“It’s not about the things we have but the people who we get to share it with, like our brother and sisters or our neighbors and even people that we don’t know but don’t have as much as we do.”

My kids seem to understand this (and I’m not saying they are rays of sunshine all the time themselves.) There have been fits when they don’t want to do something or leave a certain place. My daughter is as stubborn as they come. I get it, they are kids and they are learning how to express their feelings and emotions and how to respond to certain situations and sometimes it’s not always how I want them to act. Okay okay okay now that all being said…

“My stuff is better than all of your stuff.”

Said in various ways to me and my kids the last few times we’ve been around this child is really starting to get under my skin and I automatically think, this kids parents are creating a monster. (Those are just my instant ideas, I’m sure it’s not true and I’m sure they are just lovely!) I have to pull my annoyed feelings inwards because again I do realize that this cute little kiddo is only 4ish.

I also realize that this is one of many times my kids may be told things like this, that children will not treat them kindly or fairly and that they will probably wonder or start feeling like they deserve more, that it’s normal for others to get everything they want right when they want it and if its normal for these other kids then why aren’t they given everything their hearts desire as well. So I really can’t hold it against this child (maybe their parents;) but I can try my hardest to instill in my children what the most important desires of our hearts should be. Not to desire things but to desire love, a generous heart, a giving spirit, our family and friends and people in general. A genuine love for God.

Those things are my desires for my kiddos and for others kiddos as well. Even the ones that tell me how horrible all of our stuff is. ūüėČ

So, moral of the story, here’s to not letting a cute little almost 4 year old hurt my feelings… again.

How to Encourage our Kids to Be Healthy in a Healthy Way

I ran across this article on Facebook. A friend shared it and then I shared it and now I just can’t resist sharing it on here. This was specifically written for mothers with daughters but I think that it’s fitting for boys and girls alike and really just people in general. It’s a great reminder on choosing our words wisely and putting more focus on positive encouragement, on motivating and training little ones up with healthy habits not unattainable perfection. Hope you enjoy as much as I did.

Continue to article…

Is This Marriage On?

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Have you ever treated your marriage like a microphone that just isn’t carrying your voice. You aren’t sure if you are being heard, if your words are coming across clearly so you just keep tapping the microphone, tapping it until you hear that loud vibrating bomp it gives off when it’s working. Occasionally I feel like I’m just waiting to hear that bomp in my marriage. Just a sign that my husband sees me, a sign that we aren’t really roommates who’ve decided to have kids together for the increased tax return. I don’t think I’m alone in these thoughts. It’s not like they are all the time but all marriages do go through slumps. If someone tries to argue with me on this please look at divorce statistics first and if you can convince me that a divorce isn’t the worst kind of slump in a marriage than I might just have to give you a gold star. Yeah, you thought about it, I’m not giving out any gold stars today am I? Same with those marriages that last 50-60 years. You can’t be under the same roof with somebody that¬†long without a few terrifying slumps!

Mr. Lane and I have had our share of slumps, sometimes it’s just getting into the routine of turning on the television right after the kids are down and not really interacting the rest of the night. Sometimes it’s not really seeing each other, not taking the time to show our love to one another. I’ve heard people say,

“Well, you shouldn’t have to see proof to know that your spouse loves you.”

Okay, I get what you’re saying,¬†if you are really in love then they should just know how you feel and that be that. But then come those dreaded slumps, the microphone moments when you just don’t know if that marriage, that love is working anymore. Those slumps can easily turn into slopes if we let them. Mr. Lane and I have fallen into the snare of a downward slump/slope and it took one of us noticing, one of us saying, WOAH… wait a minute here this thing, this once wonderful and loving marriage is slowly dying. Thank the Lord that one of us has always shown the other love, put the other back on top of their list of priorities and trudged up out of that slump. It takes work, it takes determination and a little humbling of oneself to do it but it can be done.

John 13:34 says, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”

So how has God loved us? How does God love us? Well, he shows me everyday by the blessings he has given me, my children, my marriage (slump or no slump), his forgiveness and grace that constantly overwhelms me because I know I don’t deserve it. When I feel like this marriage isn’t working, when it feels like there isn’t enough love to carry it, that’s when¬†I think of all the ways God loves. Showing I love my husband can be as small as bringing home Mike and Ikes because that’s his favorite candy or as big as a scavenger hunt around the house, which I’ve done by the way and I think I had more fun with it than he did but it’s the thought that counts. I’m sure you can go bigger than that but remember I’m a stay at home mom;).

So when you are wishing your spouse would give a little and show some love first and then you can return it, remember there is no prize for the quietest mouse game. And if there is it’s not going to be much better than a little tootsie roll which doesn’t last long and hurts later. (I’m not the greatest at metaphors but after rereading that one I’ve decided to keep it because it gave me a little chuckle.)

I understand that all marriages have different struggles and hurts. Some have seen much better days and some have already seen their final days. I just write about what I’ve learned in my marriage and what has helped us get through some not so lovey dovey marriage moments and I’m sure there will be more to come but I also know that if we love like God loves than it’s easier to get through it, easier to love with your whole heart even when we don’t feel it in return. I always think about how sad it must make God to have so many not return his love but how he still loves us regardless. I sure am thankful for that.

Here’s to turning that marriage back on!

(I wrote this a couple years ago and came across while going through my past entries. I actually read it at the exact moment I needed it so thought I would repost)

Rise and Shine

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(Photo by Amber D. Duff Photography)

“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10

Today I woke up and actually felt myself giving glory to God. I will confess not all mornings are like that and sometimes I fail to give God the glory that he is due daily. Oh how I love those mornings that without even a thought I wake up thanking him.

I took a little peek into my daughter’s unusually quiet room and found her laying on her tummy playing so nicely with her Minnie Mouse dolls. I couldn’t stop myself, I got down on my tummy and wished her a good morning and wrapped her in my arms and thanked the Lord for this little blessing.

My oldest is hit or miss with the touchy feeling stuff but he asked me to hold him this morning and I squeezed with all my might with thanksgiving and love.

And my littlest, well he’s pretty much my little stress ball. He’s, round and squishy and loves those hugs and I try not to miss one second. Stressed out or not, he’s my little happy hugger.

This morning I woke with a kick in my step and joyfulness in my heart. I sang “Rise and Shine and give God the Glory Glory,” at the top of my lungs while making breakfast. I stopped when my oldest son started covering his ears with his hands. He’s very much a lover of singing but I suppose he too has his breaking point.

Days like these are reminders of how awesome God is, and yes I sometimes need a reminder because I get so caught up in the lists and the ins and outs of our day that I forget where the main focus of my day should be in the first place. The shining light that is the reason for the joy in my heart is just dying to shine through wherever it can. I can show God glory with my kindness, with how I treat my husband (even on days when I’d like to keep to myself), I can show it with the patience I show my kiddos (even during the most craziest of tantrums). I can show God’s glory with my compassion, forgiveness, love and grace towards people who I don’t understand or who have hurt me. Today reminded me of all the good that God created me with. I want to pass the goodness and love around, like he intended for me to do.

To wrap up, it was one great morning!

Here’s to rising and shining and giving it all to God!:)