An Epic Anniversary…

Today is post-14 year wedding anniversary. It was epic.

Last night Jeremy had a meeting (plus we celebrated last week). The kids and I stayed here…

We ate Kraft mac and cheese, cleaned the house, played with water balloons, and all things happy anniversary!

Despite the 125 degrees outside and my 150 degree attitude (not kidding), we took a pre-bedtime bike ride.

We stopped to talk to a neighbor. She takes care of her paralyzed husband every day, all day. Never leaves. Can’t. And she tells me he’s getting worse.

I could cry.

Then I blurt it out. Tell her it’s our 14th anniversary. Ask for wisdom. How does she do what she does day in and day out? How does marriage work after 42 years?

And she asks me these 2 questions: 1-Do you love him? Yes, I answer. 2-Aren’t your kids little? Yes, again.

Then it’s simple. This is a season. It will pass. Marriage takes hard work. It takes prayer.

That was it. Timely.

In “The Meaning of Marriage,” Tim Keller writes, “This means we must say to ourselves something like this: ‘Well, when Jesus looked down from the cross, he didn’t think, ‘I am giving myself to you because you are so attractive to me.’ No, he was in agony, and he looked down at us-denying him, abandoning him, betraying him-and in the greatest act of love in history, he stayed. He loved us, not because we were lovely to him, but to make us lovely. That is why I am going to love my spouse’.”

Then that. Wow. Happy anniversary!=)

And walk in love,as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (Ephesians 5:2)

IMG_3398

We found a waterfall on last week’s anniversary trip!

Little Boys and Super Heroes

We have four boys. Their room is scattered with Nerf guns, Legos, Star Wars posters, and so on.

Recently we’ve entered the Super Hero realm. Captain America. The Winter Soldier. Iron Man. My knowledge is growing each day.

Then there are the movies. How much is too much?

There’s a balance. Can we ever fully protect them from everything? And could it possibly become a disservice when we hold too tightly? When we overreact and under explain?  Could we be encouraging them to rebel?

You see…We want our boys to be looking for a hero. We want them to pull for the good guy. We want them to know what it is to be a man. And that doesn’t necessarily mean muscles, a nice car, or a pretty girl.

The hero they’re looking for isn’t found in the most recent movie or comic book.

So Jeremy and I watch the movie first. We check Plugged In. Then we watch it with the boys. Often we fast forward. But most importantly, we talk.

And it ends with this…Who was the hero? What made him the hero? Do you know that everyone’s looking for a hero? Who are they looking for?

And without fail one of them gets it…Jesus is the hero.

He came with super powers, but He chose to lay them down. He came with ultimate strength, but He chose to be weak. He wasn’t just willing to die, He did die. For you. For me.

Yes, as parents we must be wise. We must protect.

But we also must prepare. We could teach our kids how to filter everything through the Gospel. How to look for Him in everything they face.

Because we are all looking for the same thing. A Hero. And we are willing to do whatever it takes to reach our boys with this message.

“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:5-8)

FullSizeRender (4)

Here’s a little snapshot of their room!

 

None Could Be Just Enough…

Well, 6 out of 7 have dropped sick since June 1. Jeremy is still standing strong. Me…not so much.

I felt so tired and burned out a couple weeks ago that I carelessly threw out to Jeremy, “Maybe I’ll get sick and have to lay in bed.” Sounds terrible. But that’s where I was.

Well, God heard me. Made good on my request. And now I’m realizing how foolish I am.

Being healthy is a blessing. Being tired could be one too. “For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 

I was missing it.

The little chalkboard sign in the kitchen got changed yesterday. I snapped this picture at lunch…

FullSizeRender (2)

Can you read it? “Today is the last like this.” (Ann Voskamp)

Nothing in this day will ever be replicated exactly like today. The orange juice will be less full. Those pickles will most likely be gone. My Caleb will keep growing.

And the only way to slow it down is to stop. Make myself like a huge boulder in a river and settle into the wet soil. Watch it all. Feel it all.

That’s what God’s been doing this week. Stopping me in my tracks.

Reminding me that He showed Himself most strong when He became weak. The resurrection came after the cross.

Living weak may be the best way to live like Him. Then I have no choice but to be filled…poured out…again and again and again.

One perfectly created day at a time.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1,2)

 

 

How We’ve Failed Staying At Home

Off the bat let me clear the air…I am so blessed to be able to stay home with our kids.

But I also believe we are failing at it.

No day will ever be perfect. We will all question our choices at some point.

Maybe I announced to the neighborhood the other day…”Why is my life so dumb? Is this really why I went to college?” All the while holding one baby and chasing a puppy from yard to yard. (Dear Lord, I hope no one saw me!).

Being thankful to stay home can get smashed with the cookie I wipe off my shoulder. It can get lost in the pile of laundry on the bed. And we’re left looking around…wondering…why am I even doing this?

We’ve all been there.

But here’s where I think we’re failing. Nope, not in our bad days. Not in the ones where we text SOS messages to our hubbies. No.

I believe we’re failing by claiming to be stay at home Moms and chasing all kinds of other things.

Staying home doesn’t mean I have time to change the world. (Or could I already be?)

I’m tempted to commit to this and that and drag my kids around while I “stay home” yet continue to chase my dreams.

I believe He’s saying to me…”Either be all here or be all there. Stop trying to manage and juggle both.”

And I do need me time. And things I do for enjoyment. And I am called to live on mission. And Heaven knows…just let me get out of this house once a week!

But where’s my heart? Is it all here? Is it in this little place where He’s called me? For now?

Then God, help me to be all here. All of me. For Your glory.

He can be trusted.

And He sees me on those bad days. He sees me looking at the college degree on the wall wondering what in the world happened. He sees me wishing for more.

But He also sees me sharpening these little arrows with the sword of His Word every day. He sees me teaching grace by saying those words “I’m sorry” when Mommy really just needs a time out.

He sees me loving. And struggling. And can I look far enough past dinner to hear Him say “Well done”?

This…this is holy work.

Jim Elliot said, “Wherever you are. Be all there.”

Yes! And somehow…in His way…I believe we’ll find pure joy in the journey.

  “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master’.” (Matthew 25:21)

IMG_3342

And if you made it to the end of this post…kudos. I’m anti long blog posts but somehow this one never ended. Sorry!

Living in Half

Last night he picked “Halfway Herbert” to read. Herbert has a problem. He only does things half way.

I live my life in halves…

The house is always halfway clean. Dinner is almost halfway made. We’re halfway through the Hardy Boys book.

But what else? Am I parenting halfway? Am I loving Jeremy halfway? Am I a halfway friend? What about my time with Him? Am I doing it halfway too?

A life lived in half can’t be fully lived.

And the only way to live fully must be to cut out some of the halves.

Have I become complacent at everything and excellent at nothing?

We are burning ourselves out.

Then this… “With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! “(Psalm 119:10)

Not half but whole. Seeking Him with my whole heart. Trusting Him wholly. Saying yes to where He leads, so I can give up the halves.

How much of Himself did He offer for me? His whole self. How could I offer anything else?

021