Thursday, March 4, 2010

Lessons I'm learning

*** Fresh flowers will always make me smile.

*** Grass really is much nicer than mud.

*** Giving up sweet tea is much, much harder than I thought.

*** Healthy living is work. Hard work. And some days, I simply don't succeed. Because a modest portion of pasta doesn't satisfy... because a mammoth glass of water is simply NOT what I want... because the carton of Breyer's mint chocolate chip ice cream is screaming my name. No, establishing healthier eating habits is going to be hard. Very, very hard.

*** No matter how thoroughly I prepare for the day, things never go just like I planned. In fact, I'd say Murphy's Law is alive and well (and on some days actually thriving) in our home.

*** Making homemade chicken soup, stock and all, is not nearly as difficult as I once imagined. I tried my first batch this past week and my children rejoiced (how's that for a treat :). Looks like we found another winter staple.

*** I really don't care for business that calls my husband out of town. I wish he was home every single night.

*** Helping a child learn to read... learn to explore God's creation through the written word... is truly a wondrous gift (and one of the most fantastic adventures I've ever known).

*** Even though the laundry is piled three feet high and my to-do list is growing by the hour...even though my kitchen is a mess and my family room looks like a hazard zone... this gift of motherhood is one I wouldn't trade for the world.

*** A foot race between an active two-year old and an extremely athletic five-year old is NEVER a fair match.

*** Puppy kisses are like salve to the soul.

*** The power of forgiveness is an amazing thing.

*** Parenting a thriving two-year old daughter is a whole new ball game. In a word... DRAMA!!

*** There's never too much pink. And there are never too many outfits in any given day. Change... apparently... is good.

*** Evidently... somewhere... there exists an unwritten rule which clearly states that 11-year old boys and their mothers will very, very rarely agree on anything fashion-related. And... evidently... that rule is being followed out to the T in our house! Our current struggle: hair. His. Our compromise: as long as it's clean, I'm good (though I'm spending many, many minutes with my lips pressed tightly shut, or close to it, as I hope beyond hope beyond hope he'll reconsider the meaning of the word, "cool.")

*** Priorities... sifting the good from the best-- and doing it with a joyful heart-- is tough.

Just recently, I was reminded by Priscilla Shirer
(in her book And We Are Changed) that
"...our spiritual enemy, Satan,
wants us to be so busy working for the Lord that we miss out on what matters most:
our relationship with the Lord.
The temptation of wrong priorities is high on the devil's list.
In fact, I am certain this is Satan's biggest attack
on those who desire to live the victorious Christian life."

Yikes. But oh-so-true.

So, priorities... it's becoming apparent to me that I might need to lay a few things down...
I might need to scratch one or two (or a gazillion) things
off my overflowing daily docket in order to carve out that precious Lord-time.
(Remember this post? Yea, I'm still working on it~)

"What He may ask you to give up will be different from what He has required of me.
Your responsibility is simply to respond to the conviction of the Holy Spirit in your life.
What is He asking you to put aside for His sake?
Don't let your personal schedule and tasks
override the real reason you were put on this earth--
fellowship with the Father, found by living in obedience to Him.
There is nothing wrong with earthly things having their place;
just make sure it's second place."

But oh, it doesn't stop there!
No, once the priorities are in place, then it's on to ATTITUDE.
And I know for me, that's oftentimes a much more difficult step in the process.

"The Lord does not want our service unless we are going to do it unto Him.
Do you complain about the ministry you serve in at the church?
Do you complain about your role as wife?
Do you complain about your role as mother?
We need to be reminded that our service is not for those physical beings
such as our boss or spouse.
Our service should be done with a joyful attitude unto the Lord.
He notices our efforts and appreciates our work, even when others do not.
The Bible says in 1 Peter 4:8-9,
"Above all, love each other deeply,
because love covers a multitude of sins.
Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling."

Here's the secret to serving with the right attitude:
take your eyes off the physical people you are serving,
and place your eyes solely on the One whom you must ultimately serve...
Sometimes your husband will appreciate you, and sometimes he will not.
Sometimes your children will thank you, but many times they will not.
Sometimes people in your life will applaud your efforts, and sometimes they won't.
When you find that a spirit of complaining is overtaking you
in what the Lord has called you to do, take a personal inventory.
Whose praise are you attempting to receive?
Who are you trying to impress with your labor?
Could you have forgotten that all of your work is for the Most High God?" (pp 56-59)

I don't think I can ever hear that reminder enough.

*** Even though flawed and failure-ridden, selfish and sinful, Jesus. loves. me.
And that's all I really need to know.

We find freedom in life only when we seek the Lord with all of our might,
no matter what it costs us...

--Priscilla Shirer


gretchen said...

Oh! How we need to get together again! Maybe I'll stop to see you this afternoon. :) I'm in the same boat with you sister... I said, as I was rinse Chops's poopy underwear in the toilet - "unto Your glory Lord" -- unfortunately, I don't often remember to say it... love you, praying for you - and FYI - the "word" is out - so if you want to share with the rest of the world (ie, your kidlets) - go ahead. :) love you - oh and Dr. M says "hi" and that he misses you. :)

Anonymous said...

Amen to your post! The Lord knew I needed to hear that today. I have a feeling I'll be rereading it over the next few months as a reminder. The tulips are gorgeous!! Enjoy and have a great day. The sunshine is out in all its glory! Love to all from Camp Gmom

Carrie said...

Whew!! For a minute there, I thought you were telling us you were giving up blogging! I would be so sad! I always love to read what's on your heart. You have such an inspirational way with words and the gift of encouragement. So, remember, Carrie says you can't give up blogging, okay?! ;)

I needed to hear this post, too! Thanks, Heather, for sharing your heart and keeping it real! Yes, we do have SO MUCH in common ... the girl drama and changing of clothes is all too familiar. When Ethan turns 11, you can bet I'll be running to you for advice!!

Thanks again for sharing your heart ... love and hugs to you today!

Linda said...

I may be taking a little bloggy break, but there are some special people I cannot resist visiting :-)

How I appreciate this Heather. Just this morning, as I was walking on our little country road, I found myself tearfully confessing yet again how I have let my life get out of balance and how I complain even when the Father gives me so many good things. So much of what you wrote about.

I am encouraged and uplifted just reading your words. No matter what season of life we are in there are some commonalities - and I think priorities and attitudes are just a couple of them. We walk this road together sweet girl.

Leslie said...

Since I love you, I have trouble seeing any flaws, failures, selfishness or sin in you; I'll have to take your word about them! Thanks for this uplifting post, Heath. Yes, Colossians 3:23,24 are my special favorites, so I always like to hear how others are applying them--they always spur me on! Big hugs, les