Friday, March 22, 2013

Ashes into Beauty

I've always said "Parenting is NOT a one-size fits all."  Actually, I'm sure I heard/read it somewhere and it just stuck--that's too great to have come from my little pea brain. 

But we try to make ourselves fit in to a certain stereotype--even if it's the stereotype of being a rebel who doesn't have a stereotype.  And when we don't measure up, we look around and criticize others who aren't measuring up in areas that we feel like we have handled. 

It's a vicious cycle.  I've read several posts this week that were amazing.  And it gave me hope for us.  The first was written in rebuttal to another (which I won't post because I don't want it to get any more clicks than it already has--if you haven't seen it and want to find it, you will):   Another was a great post for moms of daughters--not beating each other up, but encouraging us to stand up for our girls:

But this was my favorite:  Such great wisdom in this little post and something I WISH an older, wiser mom had told me when my girls were little and I stuggled (esp. the time that my oldest threw a fit so loud at church that I thought it was CPS knocking on my front door later that afternoon to put me in jail and take my kids for being such an awful parent). 

These women said things much better than I ever could so I won't add anything totheir eloquence. 

What I will say, is that as I was praying this morning (btw--I was praying selfishly for a house for me--nothing for anyone else at that point), I heard this song and it moved me.  And reminded me that I will never measure up.  And there was a relief in that--not guilt, because He will take my ashes and turn them into beauty.  Take a listen (better yet, watch--esp. the last minute and a half--you will see what the foot of the cross looks like):

I pray that I support the moms around me and that every time I start to judge (it's a lot more often than I'd like to admit), I would go to the foot of the cross on their--and my--behalf. 

And remember that He wants to win our hearts and take our ashes. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Could God be like a Soldier?

I've been reminded several times in the last week of what a sacrifice our soldiers and their families make for me and my family. It overwhelms me. The thought of putting other families' freedom in front of being with my family is unfathomable to me.

A friend posted this video and at first I didn't like the song chosen and felt like it was comparing these soldiers to God. But then I stopped and just listened and watched. Be ready with a Kleenex.

"Just as I am" was an altar call song for me growing up. We sang it every Sunday. And, on occasion, I truly meant the words. But seeing them in this context, made me ask myself if I am willing to throw myself with utter abandon at my "Daddy" like these kids did?  Do I cling to him?  Am I overwhelmed with emotion just to be in His presence?

I've always struggled with viewing God as good and kind and loving (I get the just and wanting us to grow part of Him). Seeing this video, put a new picture to that view. I pray that I will be like the boy who would not let go, and the little girl who kept laughing and touching her daddy's face.

"Running to Your Arms"(aka Forever Reign) has come alive for me in a new way.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Humbling Opportunities

This week, I've been completely humbled. In a good way.

Our Granny had surgery almost 2 weeks ago and was finally able to leave the hospital on Saturday, but she can't go home yet. She has to stay in the Dallas area. 

Since the girls and I are on spring break this week, we made plans for me to hang out with Granny on Tuesday while Mimi took the girls to the American Girl Doll Store. Honestly, from the beginning I KNEW I got the better end of the deal. 

Until Mimi asked me to help Granny with her shower. To say I was NOT looking forward to that part of my day was an understatement. So I hoped that it would be done before I got to the house.

No such luck. At least, that's what I thought at first.

But it wasn't horrible. In fact, it reminded me of what I am called to do.

I am called to love the person that God puts in front of me. Doing tangible things for that person is icing on the cake for a "doer" like me.  By helping Granny with her basic needs, I was loving her.  And without trying to over-spiritualize a simple shower, I need to say that it was a great reminder to me of WHY we do for others. Out of love--not for recognition (seriously, who's gonna praise me for washing Granny's back and feet?).

So often, we make serving this big thing. We start off doing it for the right reasons but they quickly get diluted and west art trying to get credit for our service. In fact, I almost didn't write this post because I was questioning my motives--since nobody saw me, was I writing this to make sure someone knows?

But my reason for writing this is to remind my girls that serving isn't always glamorous but it's sooo worth it. Don't miss the opportunities that seem beneath you because those turn out to be the best ones. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Hair Washin'

True Conversation last night after the girls had baths:

Me: Caroline, why is your hair dry in the back?  Did you wash it?
Caroline:  I was supposed to wash my hair?  But I took a bubble bath!
Hope:  I rubbed the bubbles on my head, that's good, right?

Just when you think you've taught your kids the basics, you might want to review them...

Thursday, March 7, 2013

B-I-G Moves

Once again, God is showing up in BIG ways. Just when I start to get complacent and think I have things figured out, He reminds me of just how UH-MAZING He is!

Just over a week ago, doors opened for Lovepacs ( to be in not only some Frisco schools, but also a school in Little Elm.  For THIS spring break.  And not only did doors open with counselors, the community, once again, responded.   They have collected food, delivered Lovepacs, packed boxes and spread the word. 

And here’s what I think is the irony of all of it.  Our original goal with Lovepacs has been to feed hungry kids.  Pretty simple.   But we also have prayed for ways for the Gospel to get into these kiddos’ lives. 

What we didn’t expect is how the Gospel would spread among the people packing the boxes.  Many don’t believe in Jesus or if they do, some just don’t make time for Him.  Lovepacs constantly walks that fine line of not offending people but also not backing down from the Truth that the founding families stand firm on. 

If you’re reading this, would you please take a moment to pray for all involved in Lovepacs—the people packing, the people collecting, the people giving, the counselors, and of course, the kiddos receiving the boxes?

“Lovepacs exists to be an expression of God’s love in The Colony and surrounding communities.”