Friday, June 8, 2012

Lesson 21: "I Do It Mama..."

We are in Newnan, GA this weekend spending some time together as a family of three. We have never taken a vacation by this has been a fun learning experience to say the least! :) A lot of time has been spent being lazy which has been WONDERFUL!!! This morning we got up and went down to the indoor pool at our hotel. Julia loves getting in the water so the screams began as soon as we opened the door. I loved watching her get in. Big smiles...loosing her breath when she hit the water...lots of splashing...and squealing. It was inevitable however, that whenever she got in the water only a few minutes went by before she started squirming and repeating several...hundred...times, "I do it Mama." She really believed with everything she's worth that she really could "do it" all by herself.

As I held her I evaluated this silly situation. She most certainly cannot, at 1 year old, swim alone. But she certainly feels all 28 of her little pounds...that she can.

That was me a year ago in my relationship with Christ.

I honestly thought there was a lot that I could do right by myself. See...I was raised in a family of strong...or well, strong-willed women. We always "handle" things ourselves. I had always thought that was the way my life really operated.

One year ago today that way of thinking stopped. I sat in the waiting room of Emory Hospital in Atlanta, GA waiting on Tim to come through open heart surgery. There has never been a more horrifying, helpless, suffocating, useless feeling than the one I had that day. I had not one ounce of control over anything. All I had was a cell phone that the hospital issued for me to receive phone calls from the operating room. The waiting room was filled with family and friends who had all sacrificed to come be with us during this difficult time. Even surrounded by all of those people, loneliness still crept in somehow. It was in the moments like that I understood that I may have thought I could do it by myself...but I couldn't...still can't.

Psalm 121 is a great reminder to me that even though I may be going through a time where life feels out of control God is taking care of it. Read and be encouraged.

"I lift my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel
Will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper.
The Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
Nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all evil;
He will keep your life.
The Lord will your going out and your coming in
From this time forth and forevermore."

"I do it Mama"

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Lesson 20: Lots to be thankful for

One of my favorite passages in the Bible is Philippians 4:6-7. It reads:

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."

I have always enjoyed the thought of making my requests known to God and that as a result He would give me indescribable peace. Until a few days ago, I had never caught the "with thanksgiving" part. I guess in my reading I always focused on the "making my requests known...peace of God" parts. I was reading an article by Lisa TerKeurst where she mentioned praying with an attitude of thanksgiving even when we are anxious. She wrote:

How are we instructed to pray in Philippians 4:6 when we feel anxious? With thanksgiving.

And what is the outcome of each of these situations where thanksgiving is proclaimed? Peace.
Powerful, unexplainable, uncontainable peace.

"And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:7, NIV).

One of Webster's official definitions of thanksgiving is: "a public acknowledgment or celebration of divine goodness."

I wonder how we might celebrate God's divine goodness today?

I wonder what might happen if we decide in the midst of our circumstances today to notice, pause and choose something for which we can truly be thankful...."

How could I have missed the part about praying with thanksgiving...? I guess in my times of feeling anxious I tend to hang on tight to the part about God giving me peace. But that peace comes only after I express thankfulness. So today I choose to be thankful. Perfect timing...since Thanksgiving is only a few days away! 

I am thankful that Jesus cared enough about me to die. I am thankful that I am Tim's wife and Julia's mommy. I am thankful that she is taken care of daily by people that love her a lot. I am thankful that we can provide for her to give her the things she needs. I am thankful that she is healthy.

The point of being thankful is that if I spend my time praying to God out of a thankful heart, I start to focus on those things instead of the things that are making me anxious...

So what do you have to be thankful for? 

What I am most thankful for

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Lesson 19: Just like my screaming baby in her highchair...

Yesterday was a doozie! It began with a less than stellar can ask my friends I work with how I made a crying fool of myself! By the time I got home with Julia we were getting ready to eat supper and walk out the door for church. I think we may have been home 45 minutes total before we left. In those short few minutes she decides to have one of the biggest breakdowns I think I have ever seen. She had no desire whatsoever to stay in her highchair and eat...and I was determined she was going to stay and at least get in a few bites!!! Needless to say, after she started hyperventilating (literally) I finally got her out of the highchair. That really didn't help because at that point she was so far gone it took the rest of the time at home to get her to stop crying! Then, off to church...having not eaten a bite mind you :)

After I got home and Julia went down for the night, I threw my own little tantrum. Directed at whom, you might ask? None other than the One who gave me that sweet child in the first place. I was really struggling with the not being a stay-at-home mom issue...again. "If You are able to fix this, then why aren't You doing anything about it??"....."On a day that we are only home for 45 minutes, does our time together have to be a fighting match...not really any quality time?"..."  And the questions went on...and on...and on. Thankfully, what I had read earlier in the day popped back in my mind to help me get through the onslaught of all those emotions!...

"I'm on a diet of tears - tears for breakfast, tears for supper (didn't really know this was going to be what I had for breakfast and supper...ha!)... Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul? Why are you crying the blues? Fix my eyes on God - soon I'll be praising again. He puts a smile on my face. He's my God. When my soul is in the dumps, I rehearse everything I know of you, From Jordan depths to Hermon heights, including Mount Mizar (my Jordan depths would be how He walked us through the past 3 years of life...rehearsing over and over again what I remembered to be true of His character, not just what I felt at the time)... ~ excerpts from Psalm 42.  I wonder sometimes why my auto-pilot response is to question God instead of trust Him immediately. I certainly have no clue what He is working in our lives but I do know He is reliable. I guess that is something David struggled with as well...he had to rehearse over and over again in his mind all of the experiences in his life where God had been faithful. I have those times too where I can look back and see how He brought us through something painful, or difficult.  So at the end of yesterday I realized that the way I looked at Julia pitching a fit in her highchair was the same way God was looking at me pitching my fit. In spite of my wanting to get out of this unpleasant situation, He realizes (like I did with Julia) that sometimes staying put is the best thing...even if it isn't what I want...or like. 

Not every high chair moment is a bad one :)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Lesson 18: Everything Changes...almost :)

Just when I am getting used to Julia's current stage...she changes!
During her first few weeks everything was so simple...leaned back in the Boppy with the play toys hanging above her head...we would lay in the floor and "talk" forever on those days! Then she started sitting up. Still not so bad. "This is so fun," I would think...and again she would  be in one spot, playing with her toys. Got used to that and she started crawling. And it got interesting here. She was everywhere into everything! After the first few panic attacks I realized crawling wasn't so bad after all. I could still manage with her being "mobile." Then the week before her birthday she started walking. I had no clue how this really would change everything!! My thoughts were, "All of the other stages have been easy enough to handle...this one shouldn't be so bad..." Not true at all!

I don't mean "bad" as in something terrible or anything like that...I just mean nothing too hard to deal with. Boy was I in for a shock.

A few days ago we were sitting in the living room watching one of her shows and Tim was on the computer. I got up to go to the bathroom and Tim stayed with Julia in the living room. After I came back into the living room I noticed Julia was not there. I asked Tim where she was...which in retrospect was a really stupid question...since he would have been with her had he known she wasn't in the room...He said he didn't know...he thought she was with me and then off we ran! Around the corner we went to find her halfway up our staircase...turned around smiling. Geez. We win parent of the year award for that one. Needless to say, the walking stage has presented the most problems :)

All of this to make me think of my  life...each of my life stages have come with different challenges (no need to really discuss anything in particular here to save myself from major embarrassment!). Just when I am getting used to how my schedule is or where I am in life, something changes. In times like these I really find encouragement in these words...

"Jesus Christ is the SAME, yesterday, today, and forever."  ~ Hebrews 13:8
Glad I have this to hold onto today.

My little, walking girl :)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Lesson 17: Seeing it through her eyes

We had a GREAT weekend at the beach with my family! We spent our long weekend being lazy and eating good seafood. It was a lot of fun seeing everything through Julia's eyes. She had been to the beach before but she was very little and wasn't very impressed with her unfamiliar surroundings :) This weekend, however, was a lot different. We couldn't get in the door of our condo without her "ooo-ing" and "aah-ing" at everything in sight! The on the wall...the bathroom mirrors...even the leather couch in the lobby. I think she wanted to get out of Dothan as badly as we did!!!

The last night we went to eat at the Saltwater Grill...which, by the way, was amazing! They had a 25,000 gallon saltwater fish tank right inside the front door. It really made for a cool dining experience. She screamed and laughed the minute she saw all of those "pishies" (her word for fish).

I had been there before and remembered the fish tank and the great food. It was a good memory with family, but it paled in comparison with how fun it was experiencing it all through her eyes. She had the best time watching those fish. We all had the best time watching her :) It just makes me look forward to all of the other vacations we will have and what all she has to experience in her lifetime.

I mean if the fish tank was that exciting, can you even imagine what she will do at a place like Disney World??... ha! :)

I guess she was blowing a kiss to the fish :)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Lesson 16: Thank You God for this day

When my brother and I were little we would start every prayer we prayed like this..."Thank You God for this day, and thank You for our lives." I don't really know where we learned that introduction but it has been part of our prayers ever since.

He prayed after our band practice at church a few weeks ago and started his prayer that way. It made me think back on how we used to say that as children. Ashamed to say it...but I normally speed through that part and then get to the "real" part of my prayer. You know, the stuff that really needs to be prayed about...

Yesterday, however, was a little different. I was standing in our children's room at church, after spending the afternoon celebrating Julia's 1st birthday, and found myself saying those words over and over again. I was overwhelmed at how blessed we are to have such a great family and wonderful friends that love us and our daughter. I also couldn't believe we were celebrating her first birthday! I have to learn to say those words and mean them everyday...not just the days that I enjoy.

At the end of a long day at work...on the days where circumstances keep me from spending time with Tim and Julia like I would like to...or the days when someone I trust turns out to be a disappointment...all of those days too. That's the hard part. I easily said "Thank You God for this day", yesterday. The true test is saying them and meaning them on all other 364 days! :)

I love my party! :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Lesson 15: It's All In The Details

What a WONDERFUL day!!! I took off of work today and spent the day with Julia. I can't believe I have a 1 year old. It has been the best day. I love celebrating birthdays, Christmases, Thanksgivings, etc. ....but I had no clue celebrating a birthday could be this much fun! I couldn't go to sleep last night because I was so excited :) I can't imagine what the night before her party is going to be like...ha!

We started our day with the "Happy Birthday" song and strawberry muffins...while watching "Super Readers"...her new favorite. After her nap we went and ate lunch with Tim, then to play with Asher. Back home for another nap and then to eat at Cracker Barrell with Te-Ta, G-Pa, Bubba, and CeCe. I know she didn't know what was going on, but she definitely LOVED all of the attention! She got some presents after supper and then off to bed.

Julia will not remember this day...but I sure will. Happy Birthday my sweet girl.

Birthday hugs :) 

Julia, CeCe, and Bubba

Our birthday girl!

Julia, G-Pa, and Te-Ta, and some crazy monkey :)