MY EMAIL

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

I GET TO



Hi all! My friend sent me this story her friend wrote. Enjoy this story as it has so much rich insight!

I wanted to take a moment to reach out to each of you. The last few weeks have been so tiring and overwhelming for me as I am sure you would all agree to the same! I started not to feel like myself and became quite frustrated with the daily mind game that I had to play with myself to get through all of the responsibilities with grace and patience. This includes simple things that I used to find such joy in (waking up my children, making dinner for my family, etc.). I felt like I would go to bed exhausted, wake up the next morning with high hopes and a better day and very quickly it always seemed to take a turn for the worse. I reached out to my sister on Monday morning when my day was in shambles before I even set foot on Lincoln property. My text read: I can not do this any more. Something has to change. How will I ever face all that I have to do today??? I can't get it all done. My wise sister (who has also been struggling with this issue in her life) responded with such wisdom that I would like to share it with you all.  

She said:" Change your perspective. Listen: Do not say have to, say get to. It hit me like a ton of bricks this morning. Relieve your burden. Change obligation to opportunity. Look: "I get to wake up Maddie. I get to go to work. I get to teach my class. I get to go to Orland today to participate in homeschool group. I get to take my son to band. I get to make dinner. It changes burdened to BLESSED." 

I instantly felt relief as I looked at my drive to Luca's school as a gift. I get to drop my son off and give him a hug each morning as he starts off his day. I get to drive with my daughter to school in the morning providing me with time to chat. Something that I will not always have the opportunity to do (after all, some day she will be off to college). When I walked into Lincoln Monday morning I was flooded with new realities. I get to be a part of my students' journey through life. I get to report to parents on strengths and weaknesses. I get to work in a building with amazing people. I get to be the person who reaches out to a child who is feeling distraught or frustrated. It continued throughout the day and instead of feeling heavy with burdens, each moment became an opportunity. I did not feel the rush, the anxiety, the frustration. 

I woke the next day hoping for another day like Monday. I will tell you I was afraid I would go back to where I was at before. Instead, I found renewed hope and calm as I continued to live in opportunity instead of obligation. I was humbled by my daughter (not really a big surprise here due to my inability to parent well) and I started sharing this with her. I reassured her that she doesn't need to be so frustrated (she didn't want to have to go get Luca and Grandma Kelly sometimes frustrates her). I reframed it for her: "You get to be a big sister to Luca and be the one who reads to him." The tears started to flow. I realized on that day that living in opportunity is also living in gratitude. What a gift to be a big sister! We continued...."You get to spend time with her Grandma Kelly (who loves you so much!). Many other people have lost a grandparent and can never have that time or have never met their grandparents. As she reflected she said: "So, I don't have to go to school, I get to go to a great school and learn. Not everyone has a nice school like Lincoln." Yes Delaney, you get it!   
Me: "I get to go to the grocery store because I have legs to walk to the car, a car to drive, and money to spend at the store to feed my family." 

I was tearful because I recognized that I have been taking so much for granted and missing out on so much during my crazed days. I want for my children to learn to live in opportunity not obligation and I realized that I had not been showing that to them. I am truly humbled by this new perspective. 
So does this mean that every day will be perfect and I will never feel frustrated again? Absolutely not. After a lot of redirection last night, I began to get frustrated with my kid's lack of following directions the first time. Ugh! Parenting can be so tiring....but....I get to be a mother to two children. I get to help them learn through consequences and love. I get to help shape them into responsible people. And then I was able to take the opportunity to do so, in a constructive way. Changing my perspective gave me opportunity instead of an exhausting obligation. Burdened became blessed.  

God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1
God wants to help you in your trouble. Start your day with a prayer.
Dear God: I get to love you. I get to know that you are with me. I get to be your child. Thank you for each new day. I get to ask you for help today.  Help me. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

WOO HOO


Dear Friend:

I was looking at my friend’s cancer care page online. I know many patients now have care pages where they can post their thoughts and receive comments. It is empowering for them.
My friend's page was brimming with names of volunteers willing to care for her. It listed people to contact about providing food and gifts. From her end, she is willing to blog and update readers about her treatments. She included her plan to deal with infertility and the gradual losing of her hair.
I thought of this verse after glancing at her site: "So Jesus said to them, 'Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, "Move from here to there," and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you'" (Matthew 17:20 NKJV).
I wrote to my friend, "Your website is moving that mountain of cancer. It is so detailed and combative toward this disease. The cancer has no choice but to move out. You are not going to take this lying down. No way! This plan is the faith you need to fight and tell that mountain of cancer to move!"
She responded "WOO HOO." I picture her hand in the air giving me a high-five back!
On any given day something can happen and suddenly things are spinning out of our control. Some things we can fix, and others we have to have faith to give the situation to God. It empowers us to have some sort of plan for how to move forward. The care page is an example of moving forward while being filled with the love of so many people helping to care for body, mind and soul. High-five to family, friends, doctors and nurses!!!
PRAYER:  Father please give me the faith I need for today. Amen.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

IMPULSIVE RESPONSE STEEPED IN TRUTH


Dear Friend: 

My day was disrupted by my family making an accusation against me. I felt it was unjust.
I stirred within. I questioned "Why don’t they respect my truth?" I wanted them to understand what was deep within me. I hate quarrels. My desire is to talk things out. Taken aback, I made an impulsive response steeped in truth–but I said it wrong.
Ugh! I needed help. I ran to my bedroom and prayed. My heart fought. I asked God for forgiveness. "Help me. I don’t want to hold things against others. Take my thoughts, emotions, body and impulses. I can’t do this. I’m too forceful. I need Your perspective so that I can let it go."
I was reading through Exodus 10 where Moses asks Pharaoh "How long will you refuse to humble yourself before me?" (v. 3, NIV).
Imagine if we all walked humbly with our God.
I want to do what the scripture says, yet I don’t want to be a doormat. I want to walk humbly with my God and love others. "What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God" (Micah 6:8 NIV).
Jesus invites us to come and learn from Him for He is gentle and humble in heart. If we learn from Jesus we can be more gentle and humble in heart. Yeah, progress! We don’t have to stay the same.
It is important for me to have these scriptures memorized. At times like this the Spirit gently reminds me of how God wants me to deal with conflict. I was able to give it to Him and let Him take care of the hearts of those in the home. Sometimes He may have me state a fact and then let it go or He may have me go back and apologize for my quick tongue.
I found each of their hearts had been softened. We were able to talk together and speak the truth in love. We can all come to a simple conclusion. Each of us can have a day like this. We love each other and we want to stay in the relationship for better and for worse. Nobody is perfect, after all!
PRAYER:  Father in heaven I want to walk humbly with you each day. Take me, walk with me, and teach me your ways. Amen.

Friday, October 3, 2014

NOT THE END

Dear Friend:

A song came to mind, “The ants go marching ten by ten hurrah, hurrah! The ants going marching ten by ten hurrah, hurrah! The ants go marching ten by ten the little one stops to say ‘The End’, and they all go marching down to the ground to get out of the rain. Boom, boom, boom!”

All I could do is sing as I cleaned and sprayed my kitchen counter when I was confronted with a whole lot of ants. I wasn’t happy. In fact I was tired. I had been resting from surgery. I was just getting back in the swing of cleaning and this mess was wearing me out.

Before discovering the ants I was on my back porch taking in the blue sky, sipping a good cup of coffee and spending sweet time with God reading his word. Peter greets, “To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours… For this very reason, make every effort to add … perseverance … For if you posses this quality in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:1-8 NIV).

I was totally caught off guard with the ants. In a flash I was itchy and crabby. It took quite a while to clean and the heaviness was not lifting. I contacted a friend who was clear headed. She had me pray “by the weapons God has given to me and by the power of the Holy Spirit in Jesus name I take authority over every belief system, high thing and thought that keeps me blinded from the truth. I capture and demolish that in Jesus name. Thank You, Lord, for your help. Amen.”

I doubted that spending time with God would give me energy for today. That is a lie. I had a bump in the road. I did exactly what God asks; persevere. On any given day one of my children could need me more than usual. They may come to me constantly. I would keep opening arms and comforting them. Like my kids coming to me I can keep going to God and His arms will be wide open. I was needy.

Instead of pouting like our children tend to when trouble brews we need to pause for prayer. Realize God is there 24/7/365. It was “The End” for those ants but not for me.

PRAYER:  Thank you Lord with you everything is possible. In Jesus' name. Amen.