Wednesday, May 13, 2009


"If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you LOVE. Don't be surly at home, then go out in the street and start grinning 'Good Morning' at total strangers."
-Maya Angelou

I've talked about my priorities: God, husband, child, others, and lastly self. That makes sense in theory. But it's not so easily put into practice, at least by me...

I'm guilty of worrying about what others think. Of putting my best foot forward for people I don't know to try to make a good impression, but letting my family see the worst side of me since they "have" to love me.

And I find it far easier to talk on the phone to someone I don't know and probably will never meet than to call my own family.

Now it may be true that your loved ones treat you in a way a stranger would never dare to - with a lack of respect or harsh word. But are you guilty of the same thing?

I've learned the hard way that no one "has" to love you. If you spend all your energy - putting all your priorities - on others outside the family, you may lose the ones you love.

My own challenge - and yours, too, should you choose to accept - is not to take love for granted, but to treat those I love with the highest honors...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Questions

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised." Proverbs 31:30

Life is so busy. There is no way possible to do everything I want to do. So my biggest challenge is prioritization. What things should I focus on? I know my priorities are God, husband, children, and others, in that order. But it's not always so clear how to best serve those priorities.

There are a number of questions I've asked God in the past to try to sort things out:

  • How can I make a difference?
  • How can I have the biggest impact?
  • What is Your purpose for my life?
  • What is the value in what I am doing?

But I've come to realize that these are not the questions we are to ask. It may not be for us to understand God's purpose in our lifetime.

Instead, I'm learning to ask:

  • What are You calling me to do right now?
  • Who are You calling me to be right now?
  • Where do You want me right now?

These questions He can and will answer if I open my ears.

But when I try to RATIONALIZE the calling - what He is asking me to do - it all falls apart, and I'm left with nothing.

Meaningless. Everything is meaningless. Like chasing the wind.

I look at the challenge to me in Proverbs 31, and I realize it's impossible. No matter how much I prioritize and juggle my life, I will never get there.

Yet that's not a reason to give up.

"He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God's work from beginning to end." Ecclesiastes 3:11

I want to do wonderful things. I want to make a difference in life. I want to stand tall for God, husband, child, and others. That desire was planted in me. But I cannot see the whole scope in this lifetime. It IS beyond me.

And it's OK.

Because Proverbs 31 is summed up in the end: "a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised." God's purpose is simple. "God's purpose is that people should fear him." Ecclesiastes 3:14

The answer to all that prioritization and juggling dilemma is simple. It's found, not in our accomplishments for God, but in our relationship with God.

So I purpose today to enjoy the moments. Striving to be the Proverbs 31 woman - each moment. Striving for God-defined greatness - each moment. With God - each moment. Enjoy life now. Because it comes from God's hand. He didn't create life to madden us, but to enjoy it with us.

And everything will fall into place. Moment by moment.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thursday 13 - Change Needed

Do you ever take a physical assessment of yourself and come up with a plan for change? Here's my self-improvement plan...
  1. Straighten my teeth
  2. Whiten my teeth
  3. Lose weight
  4. Get fit
  5. Get my hair cut and highlighted, or something
  6. Lasik surgery so I can lose the glasses
  7. A new wardrobe
  8. A makeover and lessons on makeup
  9. A pedicure
  10. Something to eliminate bad breath for sure and forever
  11. Time in my schedule to keep myself looking fit and good every day
  12. A belly ring
  13. While we're at it, breast implants, and maybe a face lift...

And that's just the outside. Can you imagine all the changes needed on the inside? And all the changes I want to make to my surroundings? Where do I start?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

5:16? Or Not?

"making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil." Ephesians 5:16

I signed up for the 5:16 club a month or so ago. The idea stems from wanting to be a Proverbs 31 woman: "She gets up while it is still dark," Proverbs 31:15.

So you get up around 5 a.m. Or at 5:16 a.m., to be more realistic. And you spend your time in study and prayer and preparation for the day, to become more productive and more like the woman God created you to be. Check this button out if you're interested...

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Oh, I can so use this! I need that time to connect. That time to get out of the foggy haze that surrounds my daze, er, days. I need to grab God's lifeline every morning.

So I tried.

The first morning, I got up at 5:42 a.m. I didn't use an alarm because I didn't want to wake anybody. I tiptoed through the house.

Five minutes later, my girl was up. She wanted to be with me. I put her back to bed, and got back to my morning thing after about 15 minutes.

Baby girl got up again! In less than five minutes this time. So I gave up. I went back to bed with the baby. Finally I managed to get away at 7:30 a.m. And she slept in until 9 a.m. - yeah!

So I DID get an extra 1/2 hour from the deal, since mornings usually start at 8 a.m.

But then I got sick, and she got sick, and we just really needed our sleep.

And since then, the trend is that she is always up within five minutes of when I get up. It doesn't matter when. So there's no "extra" time gained by getting up early, just a cranky tired baby. Help!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Too Late

"It is never too late to be what you might have been." -George Eliot

I just missed out on my 20th high school reunion. There are several reasons I didn't go. But one of the major reasons is I didn't want to think about what might have been. I didn't want to remember everything I dreamed of being 20 years ago and have to compare it to where I am today.

Sad, isn't it? Former friends and acquaintances that I missed out on seeing and reconnecting with. Because of my own insecurities and issues.

Right now I just don't believe what George Eliot said. It IS too late. You can never go back and redo your past, hit the "undo" button. Your past is an indelible part of you that you can't shake.

What you can do is start again. Start fresh. You still have all your baggage and past life to deal with. But you can adjust your course right now.

That's what I want to do, if I can just cut through the fog...

I've purchased The Love Dare, by Stephen & Alex Kendrick. I'm going to start through it tomorrow morning, if I can just break away from being a mom for a few minutes. I'm hoping this will be my fresh start. We shall see...

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Repose of the Soul

"Today, act as if you are a woman with repose of the soul. Greet everyone you meet with a warm smile. No matter how busy you are, don't rush your encounters with co-workers, family, and friends. Speak softly. Listen attentively. Act as if every conversation you have is the most important thing on your mind today. Look at your children and your partner in the eyes when they talk to you. Stroke the cat, caress the dog. Lavish love on every living being you meet."
-Sarah Ban Breathnach, Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy

How I would love to take this challenge on.

Right now I feel like I'm in the active stages of labor. So focused on just surviving each moment that I lose track of everything around me - all the details, all the beauty. Life is overwhelming. I am constantly behind. Each step is a struggle, and it doesn't seem to be taking me forward at all.

It's not that life is all about me. I'm not such a terrible person that I only think of myself. I want to reach out, help others, be a friend. But I am in such pain that I can't get beyond it. I am drowning.

I think - if only I can get enough sleep. If only I can get some time to myself. To think and meditate. To get out of the haze. Yet life keeps happening, my child keeps moving, the house keeps leaning towards chaos, and I have to struggle to keep up.

I long for the transition stage. When all of a sudden, in an instant, my surroundings come into focus, and I can see what's going on once again. There is still pain, but I know that it's for good. And I know where I'm going. And I know that the pain will be over soon. I can see beyond myself. I can love others.

I long for repose. But I don't know how to get there.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Broken Road

I haven't reached my destination yet. But this song reminds me that my road will have a beautiful ending someday.

God Bless the Broken Road

I set out on a narrow way
Many years ago
Hoping I would find true love
Along the broken road
But I got lost a time or two
I wiped my brow
Kept pushin through
I couldn't see how every sign
Pointed straight to you

And every long lost dream
Led me to where you are
Others who broke my heart
They were just northern stars
Pointing me on my way
Into your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
And led me straight to you.

I think about the years I spent
Just passing through
I'd like to take the time I lost
And give it back to you
But you just smile and take my hand
You've been there you understand
It's all part of this grander plan
That is coming true.

And every long lost dream
Led me to where you are
Others who broke my heart
They were just northern stars
Pointing me on my way
Into your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
And led me straight to you.

Oh, straight to you

Now I'm just rolling home
Into your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
And led me straight to you.
Yes, God blessed the broken road
And led me straight to you