Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Where I am

I am hiding in my basement, listening to my youngest pick out one of his favourite songs on the piano. The older two are giggling and laughing in the hallway beside me. I have a headache, which has been slowly creeping on all morning. I suspect the energetic stomping/dancing that I heard earlier contributed to the throbbing I now feel.

I am tired. I remember days when I sat down at my keyboard to write and my mind was full of exciting things to share. Today is not one of those days. Today (and for many days, recently) things are different.

The first difference is that I feel less confident in sharing what I am learning... Not that I don't have good things to share, just that I have been humbled lately in attempting to “teach” others. Those who teach will be judged more strictly, after all. (James 3:1) So I am sitting back and gleaning from others more these days.

Beyond that, though, I have this pervading feeling of weariness. I don't know if it's this everlasting Winter O' 2015 or something else, but I just don't want to do anything. I'm tired of answering questions. I'm tired of meal planning. I'm tired of shopping multiple times a week. I'm tired of listening to people's whining (and I'm not just talking about kids here.) I am weary.

I stood under the spray of the shower this morning and imagined something that I only think about in my weakest moments - an extended period of time away from everything... Cars, stores, internet, people, teaching. In that ever-so-brief moment, it sounds delightful.
Curling up in the fetal position and sucking my thumb was my go-to, years ago

Yet, I know that I have a purpose here, right now.

And, I know that escape is neither healthy, nor useful.

But in those moments, I find it hard to remember that I do have a purpose.


I have heard it said that when someone speaks the word, “BUT...” it really means, “All that stuff I just told you? Forget about it.

Your hair looks great today BUT you have food in your teeth.”
I know you told me not to tell you any more church gossip BUT you have to hear what so-and-so told me.”
“I want something better for my children BUT I'm not willing to make any changes.”

You get the idea. What you read before the “BUT” means nothing, really.

So, all that stuff up there? BUT...

BUT God has put me where I am so that I can shine my light, even when it feels like I'm on my last drop of oil. I am reflecting the light of Jesus to my family, to my church, to my friends, and to people I meet at the store or library or swimming pool.

It's not about me.

It should never have been about me.

I try to make it about me far too often.

So, I will persevere. I will get over myself when I am feeling used up and worn out, because the Lord has satiated the weary soul! (Jeremiah 31:25)

If I am not letting God build this family into what he wants it to be, my work is all vain. (Psalm 127:1)

And how quickly I forget the last part of Psalm 127, where God tells me that my children are a heritage and reward to me. Thank you, Lord, for that reminder. They truly are.

My heritage and reward...  Awesome.

I will not grow weary in doing good. I will reap my reward, one day. (Gal 6:9)

Today...  And every today to follow...

This is my prayer - That I can let my light shine before men, so that they may see my good works and GLORIFY my FATHER in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)

So I am here, sitting at my computer, listening to the noises of my family and resolving to continue doing good. After all, God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:26) It doesn't get better than that, right?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

My Super-Man

Originally written November 16, 2009.

My husband is stretched out on the Lazyboy right now, "watching" MNF with his eyes closed. I take him for granted very often. He's not the most romantic guy in the world and he doesn't always say what I want to hear, but I can't help loving him anyway.

Do you know that he gets up every morning at 6:15 so he can get to work on time? And he never complains about it. He doesn't even try to make noise to wake me up. He lets me sleep until 7:30 when he's heading out the door, at which point, he wakes me with a kiss, EVERY MORNING, and says good-bye. The kids, who he's been holding off until that moment, rush into our room and ask if they can get breakfast. Let me expound... He makes his own lunch each morning (a feat among husbands from what I hear), gets dressed in our dark room, and absorbs the kids while I doze for another hour and fifteen minutes.

And then, THEN! he gets his gear on (coat, hat, mitts if needed) and bike helmet on and rides his bicycle to work. In the rain. In the snow. In the extreme heat. In the cold. It is a very rare day when he accepts my offer of a ride in the morning.

He gets to work on time every day... No wait - he gets to work early every day and makes decisions on his workday based on his morals and ethics, not on what his boss is expecting or what will be easiest.

Do you know that he takes a lunch to work every day? He doesn't spend our money on such frivolous things as pizza and chips or salad and a sandwich. He would rather spend the time making his lunch in the morning. And yes, it is our money, even though I sleep in until 7:30 and the hardest thing I have to do on any given day ranges from unknotting knotted hair to deciding who gets the last blueberry yogurt.

My husband is a superhero! I could go on about how when he bikes home from work he settles in to play with the kids and gets them to clean up before dinner, or how he reads with at least one of the kids almost every night after dinner, or how he chats with me about his day and listens if I feel compelled to complain about mine. (At this point, I'm wondering what there ever was to complain about!)

No, I don't need to tell you all that. Nor do I need to go into how he patiently taught me to understand and appreciate football, or how he goes to concerts with me even though he really would rather not spend the money on the tickets and babysitter. You get the idea without me going into all that.

I am married to Superman. He may appear to be Clark Kent, but he's Superman underneath it all. I'd say that makes me Lois Lane, but I think I'm somewhere closer to Amelia Bedelia. So I just keep thanking God for blessing me with my Aaron and hoping that he doesn't realize he's sorely mis-matched.

And as I finish typing this, he wakes from his peaceful slumber, passes gas, and flashes me his smile. I giggle. I can't help it. I'm smitten.

A Man at 40

I've kind of been out of words lately.  I haven't had a whole lot to say and I've had even fewer words with which to say things, so I've just stayed away from the keyboard.

But today – TODAY – I have a reason to come back to the keyboard!

Today I celebrate my best friend.  

Today I celebrate the person who makes me laugh more than anyone else in this world.

He isn't afraid to get his hands dirty.

And he loves exploring, 

...with me!

My best friend is also an amazing father, someone who will play games that aren't his favourite, simply for the sake of spending time with people who need his time.

There have been lots of highs with my best friend...  I'm glad to have been alongside him for so many of them.

Today, crack open your ice cream and lift a spoon to celebrate the first forty years of this man's life.

Happy birthday to my best friend.