The Saving Mom Parents


It’s too hot for…

Posted in General by The Saving Mom on July 25, 2011
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Dear Ones –

Maybe I’m just a big wuss, but it is simply too hot for me to write.  Perhaps it’s because I feel a bit trapped in my house right now (lots of projects and some other things).  Whatever the reason, I have three posts started that I just can’t seem to currently finish.  I will at some point…

If only there were some air-conditioning in my house…ugg.  I’m not actually complaining; just coming up with excuses.  haha  My 10 year anniversary is coming up in a week and there will definitely be a post about the last 10 years of marriage.  In the meantime, I would like to encourage you spend some time with the Shepherd (Psalm 23).  In Him, the heat is nothing for He brings us to still waters and causes us to lie down and rest.  Ahhhhh, He is so good!

~Jessica

Arms wide open

Dear Ones –

Sometimes I think everyone should have a child just so they can grow as a person.  I know that mine teach me so much.  Each one has their own unique personality.  Each ones looks at life a little differently.  They challenge me to see through their eyes.  And in doing so, I become more than I ever was before.

Yummy teaches me moment by moment to ask the why questions in life.  He is teaching me to never take a simple “no” when persistence can pay off into a yes.  He is also teaching me when to stand firm on the hard “no’s” in life and that sometimes it’s okay to just say “yes” right away.  Squeaky is enjoying teaching me how important the yes’es are in life too.  I often think that for him the word “no” means “yes”…(except when you ask him if he needs some sort of punishment for his behavior -then “no” definitely means “no”).

In the midst of teaching me all about the yes there is another lesson that they’ve been teaching me that coincides with it and that is – run into life with arms wide open.  My kids live on an excitement high of what’s coming next.  They can’t wait to see what’s around the corner.  They will jump off high heights, arms flung wide waiting for Mommy or Daddy to catch them.  They will run to the door to see who might be coming to see them or where they can head off to next.

In 2000 Scott Staph put out a song called “With Arms Wide Open”.  I know a lot of people have a lot of opinions about Creed, but no matter what you have to admit that the words to this song are beautiful.  He talks about the wonder of finding out that he was going to be a dad and how he was going to welcome his child with arms wide open.  He also said he hoped that his child would welcome all of life that same way.  That idea has stuck with me and I have often longed to welcome life that way.  I must admit it’s a very hard thing for a realist to do.

As I’ve started thinking about this lesson my new teachers are teaching me I went to the Word to see what my Ultimate Teacher wanted me to see…

Psalm 5:11 (But You’ll welcome us with open arms when we run for cover to you. Let the party last all night! Stand guard over our celebration. You are famous, God, for welcoming God-seekers, for decking us out in delight.)

1 Corinthians 16:23 (Our Master Jesus has His arms wide open for you.)

WOW…could there be a better example?  The way He welcomes us.  God’s arms are wide open for me.  God’s arms are wide open for you!  We are not only invited into His arms, but He eagerly desires that we come into them.

And then Jude reminds us how we freely we can live.  Jude 1:20 (But you, dear friends, carefully build yourselves up in this most holy faith by praying in the Holy Spirit, staying right at the center of God’s love, keeping your arms open and outstretched, ready for the mercy of our Master, Jesus Christ. This is the unending life, the real life!)

It does seem like this is easier for kids.  They haven’t been battered about by the circumstances of life.  They haven’t been knocked around by other people.  They have yet to experience a life tragedy.  And yet, seeing them jump into our arms having no fear that we might miss catching them…there is something I long for in that.  I long to be so free that fear doesn’t hold me back…that disappointment in myself and others doesn’t hold me back.

I am so glad I am starting to see through my children the joy that can be had through living a life with arms wide open.  To be able to laugh and giggle without motive.  To be able to express love without restraint and with no need for reciprocation, but just to show love.  To welcome all that comes my way regardless of the possible outcomes.  To know that my Father has the very best for me and that in times of trouble I can always run into His arms.

I wish with all my heart that you might find this secret too.  I wish that you might find a way to welcome life with your arms wide open.  I wish that you find the freedom to run into the wide open arms of your Father that wait just for you…ALWAYS.

~Jessica

  

It’s just a job…

I’m writing today’s post in the mood of being encouraging.  Let’s see how it comes out.

Recently, hubs and I were watching a show and one of the characters reminded another to remember that at the end of the day, it’s just a job.  I’m sure you’ve all heard this phrase.  In fact, you may have even said it.  I’m sure I have.

As you know, I am a stay-at-home mom.  This means my “job” is 24/7 and it really isn’t just a job.  It’s work, pure and simple, but rewarding work.  Sometimes I feel like I’m riding an emotional roller-coaster throughout the day.  My boys can go from sweet and loving to very challenging in a heartbeat.  I’m sure this is true for all parents (and if it hasn’t happened to you yet, just wait.)  The other truth is that it can also go the other way from pull your hair out to cuddles and kisses in a heartbeat.  Children can be unpredictable and that is one of the amazing things about them.

My” job” somehow requires me to be so much more than I ever thought I could be.  It pushes and pulls me in all sorts of directions.  I am challenged to rise to new heights all the time.  And there are certainly times I fall to lower lows than I ever thought I could.  The other thing about my “job” is that it is much more than looking after children.  It involves managing a household -meaning grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, keeping a budget and a whole other assortment of mundane little tasks.  Plus, during all of this I try to instill in my children a sense of awe for their Creator, recognition that they are well-loved, a desire to grow in wisdom and knowledge and an overall sense of peace and well-being.

What I do is more than a job.  It is a calling.  It is what I was made for.  Every time I recognize this I get a little more strength to make it through the rough moments.  Breaking up my routine for fun and laughter helps me remember that even the little things can be big things.  When I spend time focusing on Who enabled me to do this job I see that I am more than able and am not limited.  There is no list of to-dos that is too-great for me.  I am blessed, fortunate, happy and to be envied.

The thing is that some of you do work -just a job.  Some of you love what you do.  Some of you hate what you do.  Either way, it is a source of financial income for your household and you do it to provide for your family and maintain a lifestyle.  I use to work one of these types of jobs.  I’ve worked in food, retail (home-goods and clothing), office work and for a church.  Some of these jobs I loved or loved for a while and some of them I did just because I needed to work.  In some I had purpose.  In some, I just wanted to run for the hills.  But, the real part of life is your family.  Big or small the people are what matters.  Investing in the people in your life is what makes life real.  And when we put income ahead of people we miss out.  When the goal is to have all the “toys”, we find we don’t have time to play with them.  And eventually we find that this “job” is consuming us.  When we are home all we can think about is that project, or assignment or customer from earlier in the day.  Even if it’s a good thing, if it is stealing from your family time and focus, then I ask you to ask yourself if it’s worth it.

That’s all good and well you might say to me, but I am too invested in this job.  It’s already consuming me and at this point in my life I have no way out.  I would like to contend that you do have a way out.  Instead of saying “Remember, at the end of the day, it’s just a job.” try saying something similar as you start your day “As you begin your day remember that it’s just a job.”  Remembering as you fall into bed completely exhausted at the end of the night having been completely consumed (at least in your mind) with your job is too late.  Starting your day remembering it may just help you be focused on what really matters in life.  It might give you some extra energy to finish up at “the office” so you can be free when you get home.  When you are at work, then be at work.  And when you are with your family, then BE with your family.  All I can say is that if you are feeling overwhelmed with the things in life that aren’t the important thing then maybe a little mind change might be just what you need for a fresh day.  Maybe saying those few little words at the right time of day might make all the difference.  I hope so.  It certainly can’t hurt, can it?

~Jessica

Guilty Christians

Yesterday Hubs and I were listening to a local radio station and they were discussing this blog about the top 10 religious companies (excluding Chick-fil-a).  They were talking about the different things that companies do that make them this way.  Some companies stamp a scripture reference on the bottom of their bags.  Some just reflect it in their business practices.

Then a woman called up and started saying that these companies which fall into the Christian status don’t go all the way and so they shouldn’t be counted as Christian companies.  Then she said, “Well, who am I to judge?  I guess I don’t really live Christian all the time either.”

How many times in life have you heard this sort of a “Christian” conversation?  One person judging another and then saying that they shouldn’t do that because they don’t live up to those standards themselves all the time anyway, but still they DO judge the other one.  They see clearly the splinter in another’s eye and think they should say something about pulling it out.  This is often the Christian way.  (Matthew 7:1-5) No matter how often we are told not to judge, we judge.  Oh, we often say it’s “out of love”.  We pretend that we’re just trying to help.  I mean, if they could only see how false they are they would want to change, right?  And so we should point it out, right?  Because clearly, if we had the same problem we would want to have someone else point it out to us.  Because we all want to change and be more “Christian”, right?  We all want to live all “Christian” all the time…right?  And we all want our faults and failures and lack of Christianity to be in the light, so everyone can see them, right?  Because that will help us change, right?  That will help us be “more Christian”.

Once this dinner of judgement happens, the dessert of guilt becomes the Christian taste of choice.  There is the guilt of the judgement from other Christians, the guilt of judgement by non-Christians and the guilt of judgement from ourselves.  And what is the guilt for?  It’s for not living Christian enough.  It’s for all those places we fall short of living just the way Jesus did.  It’s for not measuring up to the list of standards placed on what Christians are supposed to be like.

When I heard that woman on the radio something inside of me began to jump up and down.  It was like I suddenly heard these words, “What?  Since when does being Christian mean being perfect?…Since when does being Christian mean we have all these have-to’s and do not’s?”  I would like to contend that being a Christian means that you follow the ways of Christ, not that you ARE Christ.  Because in my mind if being a Christian means being an exact replica of Christ then I do not know ONE person who is a Christian.  None of us live perfectly.  We all fall short on what we expect a Christian to be like.  We ALL have at least a splinter, if not a whole log, in our eyes.  We ALL trip and stumble on the path.  We aren’t THE LIGHT.  We are just following after THE LIGHT.

I believe that before God we are perfect.  Before God we ALWAYS measure up.  Because God sees us through Jesus.  Jesus, the ONLY way to the Father, has redeemed us.  As we live following Jesus on earth God is NOT looking at our earthly performance to see if we measure up to His standards.  He looks at what Jesus has done and welcomes us.  Once again I must say “Thank you Jesus.  Without You, I would be up a creek without a paddle.”.

Because you see, sometimes I do feel guilty over my actions.  I don’t always follow Christ.  When I realize that I’ve yelled at my kids, I hate that feeling.  When I have dis-honored my husband by speaking badly about him or made him feel inadequate as a partner the guilt settles over me like a heavy blanket.  Why?  Because that’s not how a “Christian” wife and mother should act.  Some people get a guilty feeling when they leave someone’s presence and realize that they didn’t tell that person about Jesus and His great love for them.  Some people feel guilty when they don’t pray for the sick (because maybe they didn’t want to feel the embarrassment of that person not being healed).  I mean, after all, doesn’t the Bible say -lay hands on the sick and they shall recover?  Maybe the real guilt comes from the fact that our actions often reveal a lack of trust in God rather than the profound and unique mindset that comes when we do live out of complete trust and faith in Him.

Have some things come to mind that make you a Guilty Christian?  Flipping off another driver, modeling anger to your children, speeding, breaking a park rule, not helping an elderly lady find her car in the parking lot, being late for church, having a fight in the car on the way to church, not cleaning your house, watching too much TV, watching a show on TV that has a lot of bad stuff in it, listening to non-Christian music, not giving the homeless the shirt off your back or even $5 bucks, not caring for a sick person and the list could go on and on.  You know where your guilt comes from.

And this is my challenge to you -LET GO OF THE JUDGEMENT AND GUILT.  You don’t have to be Jesus.  You don’t even have to live like Him.  If you choose to, however, then you get to see amazing things.  You get to feel amazing things.  You get to do amazing things.  Living like Jesus isn’t that hard, unless you try to live like Him in your own strength.  When it’s you, you will always fall short.  When you live like Him, in Him, that’s when you start to live really differently…the way your heart cries out to live.  Trying to BE Jesus will only bring you stress and frustration because you cannot be Him.  Following after Him…that’s where peace comes from.  And that is what I believe a Christian is…a follower of the Way.

Please I ask you, stop judging one another.  Stop judging yourself.  Do your best and when you fall down, get back up and try again.  Offer a hand to the fallen and support them in their journey.  Follow after Christ and live the way He showed how to live.  Those who do not follow will reflect whatever followers show them.  If followers are judging each other they will see the hypocrisy of that and judge the followers too.  If they see followers loving and supporting each other, then there is an opportunity for them to be drawn in by that love and come into relationship with Jesus.  Without judging ourselves and each other, we have no reason to live in a guilty state.  We can really be free the way the sacrifice of Jesus made a way for us.  We can live in a state of thanksgiving instead of a state of guilt.  I believe that is a much better place to live.  So next time you are tempted to point out someone else’s splinter, let it go.  They may not be living as completely Christian as they could, but is it really your place to point it out?  And next time you fall short, let it go.  You may not be acting out all Christian, so just turn and go the other way.  Show your kids and others around you that a life lived in judgement and guilt is really no way to REALLY LIVE.

My small (or great) act for today is to let go of judgement and guilt and to grab onto freedom and LIVE.  I would love to have you join me.  Let me know if you’re in.
(‘Cause if our God is for us then who could ever stop us and if our God is with us then what could stand against us!)
~Jessica

In the beginning…

In the beginning there was a certain look that spoke volumes.  In the beginning there was a sense of excitement that shimmered in the air.  In the beginning nothing could rain on the parade.  In the beginning an innocent brush of the hand when picking up something fallen felt like a bolt of electricity shooting through your body.  In the beginning no wrong was too bad, everything could easily be forgiven if it was even noticed in the first place.  In the beginning work went into every part of the hair, thought was put into if this shoe went with that skirt and how it would make your legs look.

And then time went by.  Not all the experiences were new anymore.  Sometimes things were said that really hurt and in fact left a scar.  Instead of running into the embrace or giggling when an arm went around your shoulder, you turned away.  Not that your relationship was a bad one.  You both just got tired and comfortable.  And kids multiplied those feelings.  Now you both just long to crawl into bed and SLEEP without interruption.  Now you both change into sweats at the end of the day and maybe have forgotten a little bit what ties and heels are all about.

Maybe you still celebrate those special moments.  Together you cherish the little accomplishments.  But maybe your conversation has changed.  Now you talk about your kids poop in a second-hand type of way.  Instead of dreaming hopes and dreams you’re living them and barely have a chance to think.  You still share those specials smiles, but now it’s about the kids instead of the two of you.  At this point you both know which buttons to press and have pressed them…probably more than once.  You go out for date night, but now that’s somewhere casual instead of la-te-dah.  Boiled down to the deepest part, you are still madly in love with your man, but your relationship needs some sparks.

Along the way you read some marriage books and you get excited and passionate.  You try some new things.  You start wearing perfume everyday.  And you read some blogs that remind you about the beginning.  You get tips on how to encourage those feelings.  When he walks into the room your heart starts to quicken again.  Suddenly you are counting the minutes until he returns and not just cause you need a break.

Then you start thinking about Jesus and the radical way He lived.  You start thinking about living a lifestyle like that.  You begin to scour the Word looking for the scriptures on real living.  You find the ones that apply to the most radical way to live and love.  And then you read again 1 Peter 3.  And the first four verses seem so radical to the way a woman is taught how to live.  I mean, of course you’ve always wanted to be submissive to your husband…maybe you just hadn’t thought through how that should look.  Honestly, if I go to the core my mom did teach me to live this way.  And I have at points, but there is always the times when life gets to you and you get a little lax.  But some of those concepts are pretty hardcore…like living as secondary.  How often are we taught in this secular world to put ourselves first; take a little me time; make sure they treat you right.  This scripture is not talking about how they treat you.  It’s talking about you the wife.  How do you live?  How do you serve your husband?  How often do you bicker, complain and assert your way of doing things, your thoughts, your desires?  Am I saying that women are less than men?  No, I’m saying that we have been given this great opportunity to give of ourselves and find true fulfillment.  We women, as wives, (or even women preparing to be wives) often look at our role as work instead our greatest blessing.  Living a life where we adore, honor, praise, deeply love and enjoy our husbands is God’s gift to us.  We can live a lazy marriage that is focused on what we are getting or we can live a vibrant marriage where our focus is on what we get to give.  The choice is ours.  Just because your spouse is a Godly man does not mean that we should ignore this verse.  Our husbands need us to be a rock for them…one who draws them to God even in the most difficult moments.  One who inspires their passions in their Creator and their dreams.

It comes down to humbling yourself.  It is not always easy.  Sometimes we’re right.  Sometimes we actually know what is best.  Sometimes we have needs.  And so, from someone who is in the process of getting there, I ask you to read the words of Peter and open yourself to them.  Allow the Holy Spirit to speak to your mind and heart.  Ask Him to help you make the changes you need to make or to encourage you on the path you are already walking on.  Forget what the world tells you you need to be like.  Let go of their rules and way of doing things.  Get radical.  Submit.  Live differently and see the hand of God at work in you.

~Jessica

1 Peter 3:1-4 (AMPLIFIED)

IN LIKE manner, you married women, be submissive to your own husbands [subordinate yourselves as being secondary to and dependent on them, and adapt yourselves to them], so that even if any do not obey the Word [of God], they may be won over not by discussion but by the [godly] lives of their wives,

    2When they observe the pure and modest way in which you conduct yourselves, together with your reverence [for your husband; you are to feel for him all that reverence includes: to respect, defer to, revere him–to honor, esteem, appreciate, prize, and, in the human sense, to adore him, that is, to admire, praise, be devoted to, deeply love, and enjoy your husband].

    3Let not yours be the [merely] external adorning with [elaborate] interweaving and knotting of the hair, the wearing of jewelry, or changes of clothes;

    4But let it be the inward adorning and beauty of the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible and unfading charm of a gentle and peaceful spirit, which [is not anxious or wrought up, but] is very precious in the sight of God.

Laura, quit your whining…

When I was a kid I had a coach in highschool  who was also one of my parent’s best friends.  In addition, their family lived a block away from mine and so his kids always played with my brother and me.  Their daughter was one of my best friends and we had lots of fun playing together.  She was a few years younger than me, but since we went to a Christian school together we ended up on the same basketball team.  Let’s just say that during the season the two of them butted heads a bit and every now and then you’d hear him shout to her “Laar-ra, quit your whining…”  in a very Wisconsin accent.

You must be wondering why in the world I am telling you about this.  Well, in our family that little phrase has come to be the phrase we say to each other whenever we catch the other one whining.  And I’ve been hearing it from God lately.  And so with that comes the challenge for April.

This April I am giving up complaining.  There are so many aspects to complaining.  For me I am going to focus on these three types of complaining… verbal complaining, mental complaining and physical complaining.  First of all I am going to focus on Ephesians 4:29 -Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift.  My mouth is going to be used to bless and not to curse…because that is what complaining is.  If you are speaking in a foul way about others you are cursing them.  If you are speaking in a dirty way about something you have or don’t have then you are cursing the gifts God has given you.
Sometimes I manage to keep my mouth shut, but my mind does the job just to me or just to God. My mind gripes and stews and holds on to things and creates mountain out of mole hills. This is a deadly practice. How many people create ulcers in their bodies or suffer bouts of depression and fatigue? I’m not saying this is always the cause, but I think sometimes the simple act of internal complaining can have a huge impact. I’m guessing this may end up being the most difficult for me.
And then there are those times when I start stewing on the inside and follow it up with actions on the outside. Doors slammed. People rejected. The coat of coldness gets worn and I become unapproachable or act out violently even.
I think complaining is one of those seemingly small things that is really just a grain of poison. One grain can kill. I want to bring life to all I do. It’s time to eliminate some poison from my life.

Here’s my game plan.
#1 -Stop complaining…in every area of my life by recognizing that when I complain I am looking through my eyes instead of seeing the way God has made for me to see.
#2 -Start seeing through His eyes and His vision by recognizing all the gifts I have been given. This is the count-your-blessings stuff.
#3 -Counter-act on the complaining by lifting up thanksgiving. Let’s face it. No challenge would be worthwhile if it was totally possible to accomplish right away. I already know that I am going to slip up and complain at times. My goal is to recognize that I have or am complaining and stop and start praising or giving thanksgiving about the issue or person. Of course, there are also going to be times that I just can’t be thankful for that thing or person in that moment. At these points I am going to focus on God and began to praise Him. I believe this is what is really going to help me “see the light”.

I started reading a book this week called “Wives of the Signers”. It is about the wives of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence. (Fantastic book so far.) One of the things it mentions is how these women did what they had to do without complaining. They did not pledge their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor, but give up all that is what they did. So many of them had to run from their burning homes with what they could carry and hide out and even died from exposure or lost children to it. And yet these women were passionate about what they did because they believed in the freedom they were gaining for posterity. We are that posterity. What are we leaving to our posterity? Are we raising children in a house filled with complaining and strife? Are we creating an atmosphere in our home that stinks? Do we teach our kids that when someone “does us wrong” we should gripe and complain about them? Do we teach our children to appreciate the things we have and value them or do we teach them that dissatisfaction with what we have and getting more brings happiness?

I just can’t understand how the practice of tearing down people, things and our situations is an acceptable practice. Since when did complaining about our spouses, children, relatives, homes, cars, food, clothes and time become the way to do things? What does it profit us? Are we happier? Do we live more contentedly? Do we see things more clearly? Are the attitudes of those around us more pleasant because we lashed out about something? Do our children appreciate the sacrifices we make for them more when we complain about how difficult our lives are…or how we are so tired because we were up comforting them all night? Does our spouse feel loved and appreciated when they come home from working hard all day when we complain about how they never help us clean or cook dinner or keep an eye on the kids for just 5 minutes so we can use the bathroom by ourselves? I say no. When we do all those things we open the can of poison in our homes. It may just be a slow leak, but I must remind you again that it is deadly. It will kill, happiness, contentment, relationships and atmosphere.

I believe it is time to count it all joy. James 1:2-4 -Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.

Back to my game plan.
#4 -Take the focus off of my selfish self. Start to see others around me. What do they need? How can we support them? How can we bring out the best in what I have and who I spend time with? How can I encourage those around me?
#5 -Spend time loving on myself. Sounds like a contradiction to #4, but it isn’t. What I’m talking about here is not complaining about myself and where I fall short, but rather if I don’t like something about myself to spend time changing the things I can and understanding the things I can’t. When I appreciate who God has made me and live out as His daughter I will make decisions and act on all that He has enabled me to be.

Maybe you are thinking, boy, I’d love to join Jessica in this month’s challenge, but I think it sounds a little overwhelming. If that’s you, can I challenge you to pick just one thing or one person that drives you nuts and you find yourself constantly complaining about. Perhaps it’s your tiny kitchen or the dog or your father-in-law. Whatever IT is, decide to make a change about it. Decide to stop complaining. Decide to find what you can be thankful for about it. And overall, give yourself grace when you don’t.

John 3:17 -For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. I ask you to let His saving power work in you and see the difference.  Giving up complaining is not something that can be done all by yourself.  It can be done through Him though.  Spend 5 minutes a day asking Him for strength and wisdom on how to start with a fresh view and run with it.

As always, I would love to pray with you if you have any concerns or want help.  Just email me thesavingmom(at)gmail.com.  Hope you join me this month.

~Jessica

But…it’s not enough

(Warning -This is a long post that does ramble a little.  Thanks for your indulgence.)

Glug, glug, glug…air bubbles are floating up to the surface, but I am far from being able to take a breath.  At first I was just dipping my toes in.  Then I was just wading out to my knees.  Suddenly the waves started to roll in.  I didn’t even see them coming.  The next thing I knew I was being pulled under and tossed about.  I was drowning…drowning in the deepest ocean I had ever been in.  The ocean of too much.

Too much stuff, too many ideas, too many thoughts, too many responsibilities, you name it, I was over my head.  Maybe it started with parenting, maybe with politics, maybe with food, maybe with blogging.  I can’t really even say anymore what the starting point was…maybe it was just a good idea.  I think the waves that finally pulled me under were the waves of lack of sleep.  So, this is how I’ve been lately.  Feeling like there are so many things coming in that I can’t hold anymore.  Feeling like I need to know more and that when I start to look into something simple I get overwhelmed with the mountain behind it.  And everybody’s opinions vary.

All of this overwhelming feeling usually takes me to one other feeling…the feeling of failure.  It’s like ugg…I will never be able to understand all of this or take it all in or do it all.  How do I be all that I want to be and succeed doing it?  I can’t say that I’ve been wallowing in this feeling, just recognizing that I need to do some re-evaluating.  I’m dropping balls anyway; I might as well take a break from juggling altogether.

And so I stopped reading blogs for a bit.  Now I’ve started going through my list and only keeping those I was really aware of missing.  I LOVE reading blogs.  There is so much interesting information to read about and so many interesting people to get to know.  The thing is that I sort of let reading blogs steal a bit of my real love away…reading REAL books.  (And I have to say one of my favorite things about going to the gym is that I get to read there.  Who knew you could exercise and read at the same time?  This rocks…because let’s face it: I don’t have much time for real book reading at home.  Or wait, is it really that I haven’t been making time for it? Hmmm…)

And Hubs and I have been taking a look around our house and seeing what we can do without.  It’s definitely getting harder.  I have a lot more to let go of, but I just don’t want to.  I like my stuff…  I like not being without.  I like freedom.  I like peace.  I like trusting God to supply all of my needs.  Ahh, the crux of this problem.  Am I holding onto things because it is wise to and they have a positive impact on my life?  Or am I holding onto things because I am afraid I won’t have what I need when I need it?  Seems like every time I make the decision to trust Him He comes through…could I please remember this right away next time instead of stressing over things?

When I was 17 I was out roller blading and fell down and broke my collarbone and knocked myself out.  Scary right?  The really scary part is that I now seem to find gaps in my brain power.  I was talking to Hubs about this the other night, but he thinks it’s just lack of sleep.  Claims I would be totally smart if I didn’t have kids keeping me from sleeping normal.  I think perhaps it’s a combination of these and a little scatter-brainedness thrown in too.  I remember in highschool…I used to be smart.  Now I struggle to hold in all the important facts.

But maybe it’s really that I want to know so much.  There are so many important things to know in life and I don’t like having to pick and choose.  I want to know all there is to know about so many things.  Thankfully no matter what I’m learning about I always seem to find a new aspect of God.  This seems to happen to me especially when it would appear I am learning about something totally unrelated.  But He has this way about Him…

There are three things that have really been impacting my life lately.  One -The book by Ann Voscamp One Thousand Gifts.  Two -Blogs posts written in January by Megan (part 2) from Sorta Crunchy and her husband Kyle about making their home and their lives an Oasis. Three – The book Made from Scratch by Jenna Woginrich.  These three sources have been working on me to clarify some things and help me sort out what really matters.

Ann is helping me to see the beauty in the gifts God has given me in the everyday and the ordinary.  Megan and Kyle are helping us to let go of our “treasures” and be open to allow God to really move in and through us.  Jenna is helping me see that trying to rush through things to get to the end of the dream isn’t going to get me where I want to be.  It’s better to take things slowly and one at a time to truly understand what I’m doing.

So, I don’t have to know everything this minute about raising chickens or canning food or vaccinating my kids or hunting or the GAPS diet or exercise or discipline or knitting or loving everyone or understanding what this or that scripture means or soaking grains or cloth diapering.  Honestly, this is only a small portion of the things that have been running through my head.  Trying to know and understand everything.  Feeling like I can’t know enough or even that I am not enough because I can’t quite grab it all and coming back to the drowning place.  And when I let go of needing to get it all at once…  And when I let go of trying to wrap my brain around everything…  And when I let go of my self-imposed expectations…  And when I let go of what everyone else thinks…  Well, that’s when I realize that I have reached in ENOUGH.  I am ENOUGH.  I don’t have to be everything to everyone.  I just need to tackle one thing at a time.  I just need to let God show me which thing to open up to.  I just need to see the gift He has for me waiting for me to pick up.  I don’t have to tear off the paper.  I can savor and enjoy the feel of the ribbon.  I can treasure the time my Father took to wrap it up for me.  The way He wound this universe together for me to discover.  Like the unfolding of a rosebud in the light of His glory I can breathe in the daily lesson He has for me.  I can be content with what He has given me for today.  I can see Him in all that I do because He is in it ALL.  Nothing is separate from His hand.  I can trust my brain cells to Him.  I can can trust that I will know what I need to know when I need to know it.  I can rest in HIM.

Because the simple truth of life that I am realizing once again is that – IT is NEVER enough, but

HE is ALWAYS MORE than enough.

~Jessica

Something about the blood…

Posted in General by The Saving Mom on February 6, 2011
Tags: , , , , ,

~I may live in Colorado, but I bleed in green and gold!~

 

And you thought I was going to write something about Jesus’ blood.  Seriously, there is nothing more amazing than His blood.  However, today’s little post is just a celebration of the amazing Superbowl win by the Green Bay Packers!

It’s hard for me to fathom someone born in WI that isn’t a Packer fan, but then I don’t like cheese so I guess it can happen.  In my family and my husband’s family though we have the same blood running through our veins.  Break our skin and you will see a stream of green and gold pouring out.  (Even my SIL who is from another country is a true fan.  Once that marriage band was slipped on her finger she was committed to the Packers.)  Fortunately for our kids even though they have been born in another state they’re genetics tie them to the Pack.  And they are some pretty adorable fans if I do say so myself.

So today I just want to give a cheer and celebrate that this season the Packers brought the Lombardi trophy home!  Yay Wisconsin!

~Jessica

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