This is the Day…

This is the day that the Lord (and the school district) has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!!

My ears are ringing from the silence in our house…the first day of school. Whew, a little routine and some quiet moments is a welcome respite for me! Every 365 days, the world celebrates the New Year with fireworks, champagne toasts, and New Year’s resolutions. But for me, my new year starts at the beginning of a school year. The first day of school represents a change in our family’s life more than January 1. The only sadness from this mama is the reminder that the freight train of time cannot be stopped or even slowed down. I am reminded of passing time, more than ever, as my children move on to the next grade.

With a new year comes resolutions. And my resolution is ‘to do’ LESS… easier said than done. I am a slave to my ‘To Do’ list. I keep a general ‘To Do’ list, a ‘To Do This Week’ list, and a ‘To Do Today’ list…each item with it’s own reminders and deadlines. Without my lists, I would chase my tail in circles getting very little accomplished. But unfortunately, my ‘to do’s get in the way of my heart. And all to often, I look for my worth in my ability to get through my lists. My selfish pride is rooted in what I have accomplished that day.

However, I know deep in my heart that when I pass through the gates of heaven to meet Jesus, He’s NOT going to say, “Well done my good and faithful servant…you were so well organized, and you really tackled that ‘To Do’ list every day. Nice work.” No, that’s not what life is all about. I need to focus more on my ‘To Be’ list, my ‘To Feel’ list, my ‘To Love’ list.

I want to be gentle, patient and kind…even when I’m overwhelmed.
I want to feel empathetic and considerate…even when I’m rushed or busy.
I want to love the person who is in closest proximately to me…whether it’s my child getting in my personal space with sticky hands or the person in front of me in line at the grocery store (with a very large cart, multiple coupons and a checkbook.) I want to actively love my husband, my children, and my parents. Isn’t it ironic that sometimes it’s hardest to intentionally love those who we actually love the most?

Although, I know will not find my worth in being, feeling or loving either. I find my worth in being loved…not by my parents or my husband, my children or my friends. My worth is found in the deep love of God. My worth is felt in the presence of God, my anchor and my one true source of joy and abundant life. I was created with longings that cannot be satisfied, other than through experiencing the fullness of God.

In just a few quiet moments of intimidate presence with my God, I am allowing Him to work His ‘To Do’ list on me. -Make her more patient. -Make her more gentle. -Make her more loving. -Fill her with My joy.  …No doubt a reoccurring list that He delights in each day.

My ‘To Do’ list is certainly not the answer to an abundant life. I really, truly, want ‘to be’, ‘to feel’, and ‘to love’ more than I want ‘to do.’ But the first step is letting God do His thing.

“God’s presence is real, full of love, and completely transformational. It takes what was broken and brings healing. It takes what was lost and guides us to our rightful place in the Father. It satisfies the weary, brings light to the darkness, and pours out the refreshing rain of God’s love on the driest, deepest parts of the soul.” Craig Denison, First 15.

So, for me it’s resolution time. Because less is more in so many ways. Less leaves space to be, to feel, and to love.

 

“…Live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Ephesians 4:1-2
“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11
“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
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Bracing for Impact?

Bracing for Impact

It’s the first week of summer break. Like many mamas, I’m taking it a little slower this week…relishing in the fact that no lunches need to be packed…there’s no morning bell to beat…no spelling words to study.

But at the same time, as summer has been approaching, I have been bracing for impact. Summer will bring a lot more…quality?…time at home with my kiddos.  Each summer gets less and less exhausting as the kids are getting older.  But, I know there will be bickering, there will be yelling, and there will be tears.  I just hope its not mostly from me.

Whatever this summer holds for any of us…whether its lots more time at home with the kids, a more stressful routine of balancing kids and work, difficult relationships, or even bigger transitions looming in the Fall –  there will be joys, pains, and challenges.  More often than not, we feel ourselves bracing for impact.

But I am reminded of God’s greatest desires for us…

“Don’t let the impact of the world shatter your thinking or draw you away from focusing on Me.” Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, May 22.

The great God of the Universe wants us to put our focus on Him, to seek His face, feel his deep love, and be still in His presence as we face each new day.

“God’s presence is real, full of love, and completely transformational. It takes what was broken and brings healing. It takes what was lost and guides us to our rightful place in the Father. It satisfies the weary, brings light to the darkness, and pours out the refreshing rain of God’s love on the dryest, deepest parts of the soul…He longs to make the reality of his presence known to you. He longs to refresh you with his nearness” Craig Denison, First 15, May 18

I love the concept of ‘making space’ for God.  I was recently taught that even when we use God’s gifts to capacity, we are called to still hold space for God.  Without making time to focus on God each day, the impact of the world (and the little people whom I love so much) will no doubt bring out the worst in me. My goal this summer is to make space for God.  Rather than bracing for impact, I want to feel His loving embrace.

“The absolute, most important single act of the children of God is making space to encounter our heavenly Father in the secret place…It establishes roots which enable us to receive all that we need to bear the fruit of the Spirit.” Denison, First15 May 22

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.  These are the fruits of the Spirit.  These particular virtues have been on my heart for a few years now.  Perhaps because they are ideal virtues to teach our little ones…Perhaps, because they are ideal virtues for us as adults in a broken world.

I struggle.sooo.much to be patient and gentle with my children.

John 15:7-8 says “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you…By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.” 

Will you join me in planting seeds as we head into summer? The fruits of the Spirit have already been gifted to us.  But we must nurture them to see growth. For me, it’s only by making space for God and watering the dryest parts of my soul.  Then, we pour out our love to the world around us. Now that’s worthwhile impact.