Monday, February 8, 2016

Cry out to Jesus

I found this post in my drafts. Not sure why I never posted it--such a powerful song no matter what season of life we are in

To everyone who's lost someone they love
Long before it was their time
You feel like the days you had were not enough
When you said goodbye.

And to all of the people with burdens and pains
Keeping you back from your life
You believe that there's nothing and there is no one
Who can make it right

There is hope for the helpless
Rest for the weary
Love for the broken heart
There is grace and forgiveness
Mercy and healing
He'll meet you wherever you are
Cry out to Jesus
Cry out to Jesus

For the marriage that's struggling just to hang on
They've lost all of their faith in love
They've done all they can do to make it right again
Still it's not enough

For the ones who can't break the addictions and chains
You try to give up but you come back again
Just remember that you're not alone in your shame
And your suffering

There is hope for the helpless
Rest for the weary
Love for the broken heart
There is grace and forgiveness
Mercy and healing
He'll meet you wherever you are
Cry out to Jesus
Cry out to Jesus

When you're lonely
And it feels like the whole world is falling on you
You just reach out
You just cry out to Jesus
Cry to Jesus

There is hope for the helpless
Rest for the weary
Love for the broken heart
There is grace and forgiveness
Mercy and healing
He'll meet you wherever you are
Cry out to Jesus
Cry out to Jesus

To the widow who suffers from being alone
Wiping the tears from her eyes
For the children around the world without a home
Say a prayer tonight

There is hope for the helpless
Rest for the weary
Love for the broken heart
There is grace and forgiveness
Mercy and healing
He'll meet you wherever you are
Cry out to Jesus
Cry out to Jesus

-Third Day

Getting to the Heart of it

I tend to parent with consequences. "If you don't do that, then this will be your punishment."  It's been very effective for me.  NOT.

I tend to get an ego at times because of my job. I get to go to conferences on parenting. I read blogs and books daily on parenting. I'm around "experts" all the time.

But the truth of the matter is I suck at parenting.

The good news is that when I realize and embrace my failure, I let God take control and He is the best parent ever!  Sadly, that's not easy for me to do. I want to put a plan in place that's orderly and laid out.

Brian, on the other hand, shouldn't be good at parenting. He doesn't get exposed to even 1/16th of the stuff I do. He builds and demolishes and plans but he doesn't talk with his subs about what age is good for a snapchat account.

But he is great at it. He approaches it from the opposite of how I do it. He uses kindness.

What a concept.

Kinda like God Himself does.

It's so simple that it's hard. I miss it over and over again. This morning one of my girls couldn't find an item she needed for school. He patiently went in her room to look with her and when he couldn't find it either, he told her he would take her to school and come back home and keep looking for it and bring it up to her. Me?  I immediately went to "If you would have laid out all your stuff last night according to the system I've put in place, we wouldn't be scrambling this morning."

And even though I was right, he was more right. His kindness calmed her on an already turbulent morning and diffused the situation instead of making her feel defiance or shame or anger.

I'm running out of time to get this parenting thing right.  Four and a half years. 226 weeks until my oldest graduates from high school. 226. That's not much. And the younger only has 330 so it's not like I have a bunch of extra time there either.

Do you respond out of kindness or anger/frustration?  I'm talking about the majority of the time--most of us can point back to a time of each. Do you have any non-cliche things that work for you?  What's your biggest struggle in parenting?

Saturday, January 30, 2016

A soul without a mate

You know you're old when sleeping past 7am is nearly impossible. Brian and I have been up early this Saturday morning and he's already knee-deep in a project.

I rearranged my room a few weeks ago and it inspired me to get creative again. I've lived in my house for 2 1/2 years and have only put one thing on my walls in my bedroom. It's been past time to make it homey, but it took the reconfiguration to give me the energy I needed to do anything more than plop in my bed.

I'm working on a sign for above our bed (I'll post that later) and have been finally thinking about window treatments other than just the dirty white blinds that are currently hanging in our windows.  One of the first projects was to finally mount our tv to the wall. This became a necessity when, after moving furniture, I realized it didn't fit on the top of the dresser that I had planned to hold it. I've been talking about doing it for the last couple of weeks, so yesterday I went to Lowes to pick up the bracket. Ok, actually, I went to Lowes to look for a new mat for my front door and remembered on the way I needed the bracket--you know how that works.

The way we do things at the Royal house is we buy it and it sits there for a few weeks until someone gets the time to deal with it. Imagine my surprise when I came out of my room last night and Brian had pulled it out of the box and started assembling it.  And even more my joy when he took the tv off the chairs it had been sitting on and proceeded to attach the bracket and mount it. All before 8am (technically, it didn't get finished until 8:34 because he had to cut out a notch on the metal bracket because it covered up the spot the satellite plugs into it--yes he's amazing and can do that kind of stuff).

He's super busy right now--like working until 10pm every night busy. But he took time to do something that gives me simple joy--before the Saturday morning cooking shows I love to watch--and without me even asking. Be still my heart!

As I was tearing off my Mary Engelbreit calendar today (another thing that makes me oh, so happy) the quote caught my attention:

"A soul without a mate is like a vase without flowers."

I think we have a distorted view of what love is. I was trying to explain this to my almost-12 year old last night when we were watching Twilight (talk about a wonky view!).  This morning's act of service (my love language) was a perfect picture of that.

Thankful for a man who "gets" me--even if my vases don't have flowers in them.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Poop is the Word of the Year

Last night I told Brian that I wanted us to be intentional this year and come up with a "word of the year" over the next few weeks that we can use next year.  I braced myself for the "why?" and "That's strange--why just focus on 1 thing?" replies that I thought would come. 

Instead, he said, "Poop.  That's our word for the year.  It's something we're all good at." 

I guess he has a point...

Friday, November 13, 2015

Unexpected Friends in Unexpected Places

Do you ever think you'll find friends in places you don't and don't think you will find friends in places you do?  When we moved to Aubrey, I thought it would be easy to make friends.  I mean, I meet new people in my job every week.  I even ENJOY meeting new people.  Moving to a new city was going to be a I thought.
It wasn't that people were unfriendly.  They were just busy.  And already had friends.  And didn't realize they were leaving me out.  I'm sure I have done the same thing thousands of times.

One Sunday, I was working in Carrollton when I saw a student with an Aubrey shirt.  After pretty-much accosting him and peppering him with questions, ("Do you live in Aubrey?" "What grade are you in?"  "Do you know my daughter Hope?" "Do you always go to church here?"  Where in Aubrey do you live?") I met his mom.  And the craziest part of this?  They used to live in the same city I did and moved to Aubrey the same month I did.  And knew many of the same people I do.

So we became facebook friends--Bonnie--the mom, not the 6th grader.  And that was about it for a year. Until Lovepacs-Aubrey started.  And once again, I was reminded that when you serve alongside someone, you are setting yourself up to find a kindred spirit.  Someone whose heart bleeds for the same thing yours does.  Someone who sees that same heart in you and locks arms with you to tackle a task.  And if you're REALLY lucky, you might have kids the same age who become great friends and husbands who like each other. 

And the next thing you know, they are feeding you dinner and taking your kids home and saving you a seat at the football game.

Here's my point...I think most of us want more friends or want to go deeper with the friends we have.   The best way I know to do this is to pick a project to do together that serves others.  Something that gets you outside of yourself and what you think YOU need.  Something that reminds you the world is bigger than you.  Something that gives you a sense of accomplishment when it's done and gives you an opportunity to hug your friend close.

A Secret Women of all ages Share

I ran across this blog today: How to find a circle of mentors and started to just share it, but felt like I wanted to add something to it.  It has some great advice.  And sounds really simple.  But here's what I know...

We are insecure.  It feels weird asking someone to mentor you.  It feels even weirder to ask someone if YOU can mentor THEM.  I speak from personal experience.  I've asked people in the past to mentor me who have said both yes and no--and even worse, nothing at all.  Some have turned our really great and others have flopped.  It's made me extra-sensitive to ask again.  I mean, shouldn't all this just come naturally?  Shouldn't I just "click" with someone and the mentoring happens without me having to put myself out there to ask?

Sometimes it does. But not always... 

But here's what I also know: sometimes easy isn't best.  Sometimes you have to be willing to be vulnerable to set the stage for the relationship--to put yourself out there and get out of your comfort zone. 

And another thing:  I loved in this post where she talked about our expectations.  Many times we think we need the perfect mom to mentor us in our parenting, the top exec to mentor us in our work, the friend with the cleanest house to mentor us in how to get it all done each day.  And in holding on to those expectations, we miss the person in front of us who might be the best for us, but is far from perfect.

Are you stuck in that place of wanting to ask--either to be mentored or to mentor--and scared to move forward?  I'd love to hear why you think you haven't taken that step yet. 

Are you in a mentoring relationship right now?  What's the best and worst thing about it?  How did you find your mentor/mentee? 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Just Because I don't Say it doesn't mean it isn't True

My girls have gotten older.  This means they have friends on facebook.  And access to the world wide web.  And can see things I post.  I can't tell you how many times it took for them to get angry with me for posting "unapproved pics" before I finally wised up and stopped.

Parenting is hard.  Just because I don't post the hard stuff, doesn't mean things are a piece of cake.  Just the other morning, I found myself having an ugly cry about how I messed up and how clueless I was on what to do. 

I fail.  EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.  I yell.  I ignore.  I speak sarcastically...way more fluently than I should.  I don't always believe the best.  I push too hard.  I focus on what needs to be corrected instead of what's being done well.   And yes, I even roll my eyes...a lot (wish I could say my girls got that character trait from their dad).

I read a post a few years ago from a middle school mom that basically said the same thing, but much more eloquently.  If I could find it, I'd post it instead of mine.  But I can't, and I felt this urgency to post SOMETHING to let other mamas know they are not alone. 

I hear it whispered or talked about in a private place--while they furtively look over their shoulders to make sure others aren't listening.  They feel the same way I do.  Not wanting to give up, but not sure what steps to take.  Mamas who believe in Jesus and mamas who don't.  Mamas who search the Bible and Christian blog posts and mamas who look to the leading psychologists.  And mamas who do all of the above at different stages--grasping for an answer.

I wish I had one for them and for me.  I wish God would speak to me in very clear voice and tell me "Hey, before you say that thought in your head, here's what you need to know is going on in your daughter's head right now."  or "Ummm...Angel, patience comes from me and you haven't talked to me at all today.  How do you think you are going to cope with a moody tween without it?" or even better, "Angel, this is EXACTLY how you need to handle this"--down to the steps doled out to me in recipe form (Make sure your room temp is at 72.  Rub your daughter's back.  Try not to stir too quickly or she will become whipped instead of blended).

Alas, it doesn't really work that way.  (Ok--who still uses the word "Alas" when they talk?  I started to take it out, but it sounds right here and makes me sound like a deep thinking kind of blogger so it's staying in). 

Anywhoooo, for now, I will continue to be vague and not post the hard stuff that would embarrass my family.  I will keep posting the chicken blogs, the pics of the things my family does that I'm proud of, the goofy thoughts that come into my head that need to find an audience who will appreciate them more than hormonal teenagers, the #itsaroyallife hashtag.  Because those things are real, too.  As real as the hard times.  And sometimes, we just need to grasp onto and celebrate the times when things are going well because, there's enough other times to keep us down.