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Archive for posts tagged with ‘God’s at Work in My Life’

Running

Thoughtfully penned on March 17th, 2014 and generally concerning God's at Work in My Life, The Glory of God

I am a runner. It’s true. I don’t currently run long distances and due to the time constraints of our schedules I don’t run often, but I am a runner.

I started running in high school. It was a good way to stay in shape in the off-season (I also played basketball). But equally, if not more, important to me at the time was the fact that my brother was a runner. My brother was (is) my hero, and I desperately wanted to be like him.

One thing I clearly remember from my days as a track athlete (and I use the term very loosely) is pacing. If you start a race too fast you don’t have anything left at the end. You struggle along that last distance as you watch your fellow racers pass you. The goal is to start at a moderate pace saving some of your energy and momentum for a final kick, a strong end.

Right now I am in that closing distance. The finish line of so many things looms just out of reach in the distance. And I am struggling to maintain momentum.

Last week was spring break from all of our activities, and we took the week off of school as well. I hoped the break would refresh, and I would come into this week ready to finish strong, ready to dig in, excited to get back to it.

But I’m not.

As I ran Saturday I prayed for endurance. I prayed that I will finish well. I prayed that at the end of these next seven weeks I can count victory in the name of Jesus. I prayed that each day I will press on, and at the end of the day I will raise my hands to heaven and praise my God because he allowed me to endure.

You see, I think these next seven weeks aren’t about the things I do. They aren’t about finishing the book work and learning to read and knowing how to multiply. They aren’t about preparing meals and doing laundry and sweeping the floors. They aren’t about having the best Bible story and pitching my hymns perfectly and answering all of the questions right.

I think these next seven weeks are about finding strength in weakness. They are about relying on God to take care of the things. They are about trusting that He equips me because He has called me. They are about enduring and finishing well.

Paul was a runner, too; a runner for the cause of Christ.

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it…I do not run aimlessly.” 1 Corinthians 9:24, 26

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7


Paul is one of my heroes, and I desperately want to be like him.

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Weekend Antics

Thoughtfully penned on September 16th, 2013 and generally concerning Family, God's at Work in My Life

The weekend began with giraffes, just because it was Friday,

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and ended with trampoline hair at small group on Sunday evening.

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The time between was packed with fun, and work, and rest.

A freezer filled with meals for the days and weeks to come.

Hanging out with the cousins who we see much more often now, but not nearly as often as we’d prefer.

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And long, good, intense (deep, not heated) discussions with our small group family.

I’ve spent time recently reflecting a bit on our time here, in this city that we now call home. Just over eight years ago God moved us to this place that we never would have chosen on our own, this place that would never have come up in a discussion about places we would consider living.

But oh, how good God is! He has placed us in family, not of blood but of Christ. He has blessed us with four lives and entrusted to us their care and training. He has given us work to do and sweet rest. He’s given contentment in places there was once only longing. He has made this home, and how abundantly thankful we are.

“For the Lord comforts Zion; he comforts all her waste places and makes her wilderness like Eden, her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the voice of song.” Isaiah 51:3

Holding us close

Thoughtfully penned on March 16th, 2011 and generally concerning Babywearing, God's at Work in My Life, Life with littles, Motherhood

A couple weeks ago my wonderful mother-in-law (known around here as Nonnie) commented saying she would like to read about what God’s been teaching me in this season of three littles. Oh the pages I could fill.

But let’s start with this one, one I’ve been meaning to post for a couple of years now…

Just over two years ago (when J was about 9 months old), I was able to enjoy a ladies’ weekend with some wonderful ladies from church. We visited a beautiful lake house owned by the family of one of the ladies and spent the weekend hanging out, relaxing, eating, and enjoying some time with just the ladies.

I had J with me that weekend (the only guy allowed!) because he was still nursing full-time, so taking him with me was the only way I could go. At one point I was wearing him in the BabyHawk and he was all snuggled up against me with his head on my chest. I love wearing my babies like that because I love to be able to bend my head and kiss the top of their sweet little head.

One of the ladies commented on how that reminded her of the way God holds us sweetly, gently, like a parent holding their child. I thought of how precious that really is. God holds us close, draws us to his chest where we hear his heartbeat, leans over and kisses us on the top of the head.

One thing God has been revealing to me over the last 4+ years that I’ve been known as “mommy” is that part of his character that is loving parent, comforter, the one who draws us near and holds us close, loving us in spite of ourselves.

Boo prays

Thoughtfully penned on September 27th, 2010 and generally concerning God's at Work in My Life, J

So, last week’s conundrum and down-in-the-dumps has passed thanks to a conversation with a very wise friend and many chats with God. I think I’m on the right track again now. Thank you to all of you who checked in on me. It wasn’t anything life altering, just something that was weighing on me.

So, we’ve been keeping busy of late, but there really hasn’t been much exciting to report. One thing that’s kept us smiling around here the last few weeks is Boo’s prayers. He’s to the point where he wants to pray anytime we do, but he doesn’t have a real grasp on the whole thing yet.

A few examples…

His dinner prayer a couple of weeks ago: “Bless, bless. The end.”

And at bedtime the same night: “God is good, God is good, God is good, God is good, God is good, God is great, God is good … um, the end.”

And then tonight at dinner: “Bless, bless, bless … what comes next?”

That boy sure brings joy to our lives! I love you, Boo!

Good vs. Better

Thoughtfully penned on September 23rd, 2010 and generally concerning God's at Work in My Life

I’m tired.

Drained.

Emotionally wrought.

I’m learning that sometimes we have to make a choice between good and better.

I’m trying to trust God and get over myself.

I know he is bigger than the circumstances.

I know he is at work.

I just wish it didn’t hurt.

Goings on

Thoughtfully penned on September 13th, 2010 and generally concerning God's at Work in My Life, J, Life with littles, S

There has been a lot and not much going on here all at the same time. As of today our Fall activities are in full swing, and we are busy.

Little is going to preschool two days a week at a local church. She was so excited to go to “big school”, and she seems to love it. My oldest girl thrives on structure, so school is right up her alley; guess I’ll have to get my act together if we decide to homeschool next year for Kindergarten.

Little has also begun taking dance. She is part of a class held at a local church and led by a lady from our church. It is a pretty casual class (no big production, no make up, no stage moms), which was just what we were looking for to start her off. Mrs. Kim teaches them ballet and tap, and Little is really excited to dance.

This is my fourth year participating in Bible Study Fellowship, and this year I am serving as a leader in the children’s program. That means that I have leaders’ meetings on Mondays in addition to our regular class meeting, and a couple of hours of teaching prep on top of the usual class homework. It seems odd to a lot of people that I, mom to three kids four and under, am working in the children’s program, and all I can say is that sometimes God calls us to do (seemingly) strange things.

I’m also doing a Bible study at church this Fall. We’ve started a new ministry for moms and this study is kind of a “kick-off”. This ministry is something that has been on my heart and in my mind for a while now, so I was very excited when I was approached about being part of the leadership/vision team. The last couple of years God has really placed a burden on my heart for young moms, children, and families. I am excitedly anticipating God’s work through the moms ministry this year!

And between all of these things we are trying to fit in playdates, housework, and rest. We’re looking forward to a fun and exciting Fall.

Happy December!

Thoughtfully penned on December 1st, 2009 and generally concerning Christmas Time, God's at Work in My Life

This morning Matt asked me if I realized that this past Sunday was the first Sunday of Advent and it was at that moment that I realized that December is upon us. Really, where has the year gone? I know for me, the last few weeks have passed in a haze of illness (for all four of us), Thanksgiving prep and travel, and thinking oh my goodness this baby is coming soon. So here I sit on the first day of December with nothing planned or prepared for our Advent/Christmas traditions that we’ve hoped to start for the last couple of years (nah, I’m not a procrastinator!).

This morning in the time before our play date I did some searching online and planning in my head and decided that I will make our Advent calendar, we will read through the nativity story in Luke multiple times, we will have Advent candles (don’t know yet whether we’ll have a “wreath” or just the candles), and that we’ll do several Christmas themed activities as a family throughout the month.

I’m trying not to be overly ambitious this year since the wee babe is scheduled to make her appearance sometime in the next 5ish weeks, but I do want to make it a joyous and festive time for our family. So, here is our Advent/Christmas season plan (hopefully it will all play out)…

~Advent Calendar – Since I’m making it, it will be sweet and simple, with emphasis on the simple. Something like this is what I have in mind.

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I will, however, rely on printed scrapbook paper and a cute paper punch to create the ornaments.

~The Nativity story – I would like to read through the story every evening, but since our children are so young we will probably have to break it up into a few segments over the course of several nights. I do want to read through it multiple times, though, for the sake of repetition (especially with Little).

~Advent candles/wreath – our Advent candles aren’t the right colors (the store I visited didn’t have any purple candles), but we’ll go with what we have. We will light them on the remaining three Sundays preceding Christmas and will catch up the first week’s candle this coming Sunday.

~Christmas themed activities – this weekend (hopefully) we will put up the Christmas tree and decorate the house, next weekend we will attend a community event called Alpine Village at one of the local churches, and the weekend before Christmas we will drive around to view Christmas lights and make a stop for cocoa/coffee. We also have Christmas cookies to bake, goodies to make for gifts, and will probably have a Christmas get together with friends. And, of course, we plan to attend the Christmas Eve service at our church.

Matt and I hope to teach our children that the Christmas season is more than gifts and Santa and reindeer and spending money; that it is about anticipating and celebrating Christ’s birth, about blessing others from the bounty that God has given us, and about spending time with people you love.

What are your favorite family Advent/Christmas traditions?

Can you do it “all”? I can’t.

Thoughtfully penned on September 9th, 2009 and generally concerning God's at Work in My Life, Learning for a lifetime, Motherhood, Sidetrack'd

I came across a post on Simple Mom this weekend (via Rocks in My Dryer) entitled “The Great Myth“. It was a great reminder that none of us, no matter how it seems, is able to do it “all”. I was particularly struck by these two quotes:

“Every choice we make in life is both a choice to do something and a choice to not do something.”

“And at the end of the day, we need to trust that God gave us the energy to do those things to which He called us, and no more.”

I hope you’ll read the complete post and find encouragement for those days when you just don’t seem to measure up (at least in your own mind).

A vacuum story

Thoughtfully penned on July 23rd, 2009 and generally concerning Giving Thanks, God's at Work in My Life, Housework, Of games and good things

About three weeks ago our vacuum (which has served us pretty well during these 8+ years of marriage) died a smoky death as it cleaned out the dryer vent. With a preschooler and a crazy toddler roaming around this place we really can’t do without a vacuum for even a short period of time, so the search began.

Matt did some research, and we did some shopping, and we settled on a small canister vac that would serve our needs. All the while I dreamed and drooled over the Dyson vacuum that I would love to have but just wasn’t in the budget.

Then…a week after we purchased our vacuum I was notified by 5 Minutes for Mom that I was randomly selected as the winner of their Dyson DC25 giveaway. I was so excited! Matt, being the resident skeptic, was, well, a bit skeptical in the “I’ll believe it when I see it” sort of way.

The following Tuesday our new vacuum arrived. We excitedly opened the box expecting to put together the new toy vacuum and try it. We were unpleasantly surprised to find that the box did not contain the vacuum attachments or, more importantly, the front part of the vacuum (you know, the part that touches the floor and picks up the dirt).

On Wednesday morning I set out to find a way to remedy the situation. I e-mailed the prize coordinator at 5M4M and she got in touch with the PR rep for Dyson. I expected to receive an e-mail saying that they would ship me the missing parts and we would live happily with our new, fully assembled vacuum. When the PR rep contacted me, he was extremely apologetic for the problem and offered, not to get me the missing parts, but to upgrade us to a DC28, Dyson’s most powerful vacuum!

Our new vacuum arrived on Tuesday, and Tuesday night we put it together and tried it. From our first run, I think this is a great vacuum!

God is so good! A super-dooper vacuum was not something we had to have, but is definitely something for which we are thankful. God knows all of our wants and needs, the big and the small, and provides for us in ways that we couldn’t even imagine.

Don’t scare Momma like that!

Thoughtfully penned on July 10th, 2009 and generally concerning God's at Work in My Life, Life with littles, S

It’s Monday morning. I sit in the waiting room of my OB’s office reading Harry Potter (again) and waiting my turn. This should be a quick visit (with “quick” being a relative term when it comes to the OB’s office) – just the usual weight-blood-pressure-how-are-you-feeling-baby’s-heart-rate-is-good kind of visit.

My name is called and I am ushered to an exam room where I wait a bit longer before the doctor arrives to visit with me. “All seems well,” I tell her. “I’m feeling a bit better; although, I do still have a few moments/days where I feel sick,” I tell her.

She pulls out the doppler and sets to work finding the baby’s heartbeat. A few seconds, and nothing. Several more seconds, and nothing. A full minute, still nothing. The silence that strikes fear in the heart of any expectant mother. The doctor tries to reassure me: “It could just be the baby’s position or the position of the uterus,” she says. But we both know there is also the possibility of miscarriage. “Let’s take a look and see what’s going on,” she says.

So off I go to wait again. In a different set of chairs this time. Praying fervently all the while that everything is okay with this tiny one growing within my body. I feel a couple of tiny little movements that are more reassuring than anything anyone could say. Thank you, Jesus.

The ultrasound tech calls my name. I lie down on the table and she places the ultrasound wand on my belly. “This baby’s heart-rate is great,” she says almost immediately. Relief, gratitude, praise flood my being as I see images of this little one who has, in the last four weeks, begun to look more like a baby and less like a peanut.

The next day I drive down the road listening to my two little people giggle together in the back seat. “How Great is My God” plays on the radio, and all I can think is “Amen!”