Thursday, January 27, 2011

What's your point!?

I have been bursting at the seams for a long while now. Having a burning message on the tip of my tongue and unable to form it into intelligent speech. It's so close that it makes me want to cry out in frustration, "Kriminy! What are the words that I am looking for?!"
It's huge on the inside of me! Pushing me to organize my thoughts enough to get it out.... must somehow get the message out. My heart feels full of something that I don't think I could explain in neither 3 words nor 547.
But I have to try because if I don't let a little bit out then I'm just a paper weight.

"What's your point?!"That's it.... That. Is. It.
What is YOUR point?
I finally know what mine is...
My point for being here.
On this planet.
In this state.
In this neighborhood.
At this church.
Why I'm alive at this moment....
I know my point. My reason for being here. My calling.
I have my own place to fill that only I can fill. I have people to reach that only I can reach. There are words for ME to speak that only I can the right setting, to the right person, for that certain situation. He (capital 'H'e) needs me.
I am THE Church.
I am Jesus.
I look different but I am Him. I will allow Him to flow through me. He has been misunderstood so many many times. Grace is not yet fully understood. The "Good News", in so many people's lives, has been preached incorrectly! I am here to help Jesus clarify His message to all who will listen.
Jesus is God. God is love. Grace is alive!
I am not wandering around aimlessly in life. I am not a mother simply because I had the right parts. I am raising compassionate, understanding leaders. Jason is still my husband because we both have an undeniable gut feeling that we are a part of the same whole. We are a team. We are one flesh. (and the other half of me is currently, at this very minute, plunging the toliet in the bathroom) Soul mates we are.... (He just came out of 'said' bathroom saying, "Got a bat stuck in the belfry if you know what I mean.") Awesome, he is.... :)
God use me in the home and workplace, in the school or store. Anywhere that a light or friend or shoulder is needed, use me. Till I breathe my last breathe on this ball of dirt I will strive to be available for your use; for your plan to fit into my plans.
I am content with God's calling for my life.
His calling for to be 'me'.
I am happy with that.
I know my point.
What's yours.....?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I am thankful that we are not normal

My heart wants to burst because of our awesomeness! Having the family that we do makes me feel like a kid whenever we get together. Jesus said to come as little children and I think we have that part down. My heart feels safe in this family. Thank you my great God for that!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Cultivate a thankful heart....and repeat

My heart is stuffed this morning to the point of aching. Full to the brim. My life, how be it not perfect, is so so so where I need it to be.
I am thankful for unanswered prayers....
Although, I suppose that is not exactly what I mean because I don't believe for one millisecond that God doesn't answer our prayers... I believe every prayer we lift to Him gets answered in one way or the other. So I suppose, perhaps what I mean is that I am thankful for the prayers of mine that He has answered with a no.
As a child I despised this single syllable. For sure as a teen as well.
We think we know it all.
All wisdom is ours and in the pride and haughtiness of our youth we blast through life with a know-it-all attitude.
"I" know what's best for me!
"I" know what's best for you!
"I" know what's best in this situation as well.
Thank precious patient, so patient friend.....for being the one who stands up to my pride and states matter-of-factly, " NO, you do NOT know what's best Tami!....I do. "
Insert long thankful and contented sigh....
I would've traded what was precious for what is cheap years ago if He had let me have my way. My heart would've given into the confusion and deception if it were not for His love, His bottomless Grace, His Word and His life experience that far surpasses some eternal number of years that are uncountable.
So here is a thank you note given from my heart to the feet of Jesus.
Me coming boldly to the throne of Grace and saying a simple but not-so-simple....Thank you my Father in Heaven for teaching me that the word no is not a curse nearly as often as it is interpreted as such. I cannot put into words how much your wisdom, that sees through past, present as well as future time, means to me. Thank you from the deepest part of my soul for knowing what is best for me and loving me enough to say no.
I will never stop loving you and serving you, even unto death.
You are my Lord and King.....and best friend.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

What color is love?

I don't believe that anyone, except God Himself, could do adequate justice when asked to define love.
I indeed feel confident enough in that statement so as to add that if you can explain love to me in two sentences or less, I'll give you a bazillion dollars!
I belive that few find it, in all it's untainted glory and splendor and those who do, have not enough words in their vocabulary to complete it's description.
What is love?
What does it mean to fall in love?
To fall...
The word "fall", when used in it's usual place, indicates an accidental occurance; something that took the reciever off guard. Completely unexpected! A "What do I do now?" situation.
And, for sure, love CAN be that! It can be an unexpected meeting of someone who, from the get go...from the very first feel like you've known that person for years.... A kindred spirit that crosses your path, most unexpectedly.
And that is for sure a type of "falling in love" in the accidental form.
But the love I am talking about is the love that has the ability to last 65 years.
Those who claim to have truly and deeply found this love, well...they the very core of their being that there is nothing accidental about it.
Most emphatically on the contrary, there is undoubtedly something very deliberate about love; not resembling an accident by any stretch of the imagination.
The definition that has been created in my heart through my years of living and loving and learning and losing and loving, consists primarily of these four points:

Love is a commitment.
Love is a decision.
Love is not a wimp.
Love is forever.

Love is a commitment not a feeling. A giving of oneself despite a roller coaster of emotions that might be present, despite wavering feelings and misgivings, no matter what the weather condition is outside, the fashion trends that are stocking the shelves or the circumstances surrounding your relationship. Love never, never, never gives up. Sometimes emotions are a luxury that you cannot afford to spend time on. There will be times when love must do what love. must. do. Simply because it is the right thing to do!

Love is a quality decision. Not a decision that wavers or questions itself. No. Love is a decision of sheer stubborness and determination to plant your feet in the dirt, let the wind push you, let the rain pound against your face and mix with the tears that were already present! No matter if the hail cracks your glasses and cuts at your skin, take the storms as they come and love in spite of it all!

Love is no sissy wimp! Love is not passive, self-conscious or unsure of itself. Love is strength and passion under restaint. Love has a strength that surpasses any other. Love does not get pushed around! Love knows what it wants, knows what is best for the other person, wants God's best for themselves AND for others. Love does not cower in the corner, shaking and nervous of what will happen next....oh no...Love grabs the situation by the horns and bases it's decisions on what would be best for everyone involved! ( Not just based on one person's opinion of what is best.)

Love is and MUST be forever....
Love has no end. The kind of love that an elderly person sitting on a park bench with their spouse of 63 years speaks of is a love that has no end. Love does not give up when feelings are hurt. Love does not give up when opinions are not listened to. It does not go stomping out the door when weight is gained or wrinkles begin to form. If love was only for a season, then it in fact, most emphatically, WAS NOT LOVE. If "love" has a time frame, then I dare say it's an imposter! A phoney! A little bald man dressed up like Minnie Mouse at Disney World! Love....the real love that I am pursuing, seeking after and speaking has no end. It just keeps going and going and going hand in hand with the Energizer Bunny. Love chooses to put on the handcuffs of marriage, if you will, and then...gasp....throw away the key. Leave no back door open a crack because if you do, guess will probably opt to head out that back door when the going gets tough and the heart yells "Uncle!!!" You will FOR SURE give up if you entertain those thoughts....

Love is not easy and may be the hardest goal for you to reach in this lifetime.
Love will hurt and produce snot, sweat and tears on occasion.
Love can be your worst enemy....

and yet....
at times....

Love can be so blissfully, wonderful that it feels as though your heart ate too many Jelly Bellies.
Love is a bond that can save a life and last a lifetime.
Love is gentle, kind and forgiving to a fault.
and love just might...if you don't give up on it and if you nourish it and have patience with it and refuse to quit when the going gets just might become your dearest and most cherished friend for life until it breathes it's last breathe.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Life with Bebo the Great

He is fabulous....really he is.
Cute, silly, loving, innocent, genuine.
Yes, all of those, to the 27th power. His smile and giggle can bring you from grumpy to grand in 2 seconds flat.
So why is it that raising him, has pushed me past my very limits and then added another shove just to make a point?!
It's not for lack of love that I struggle. I know the problem is me, but how to fix it, I have not figured out.....
He begins the day on "High Frequency" at 6:15am. EVERY morning! (Now, of course, there is the occasional holiday in which we are given the gift of 7am....but that is only a rarely seen treasure.)
Hardly ever does he wake in a sour mood. He is usually silly and happy and fun and loud and happy and silly and AWAKE right from the get go! So this is how my morning began this morning and most mornings and I suppose nothing would be wrong with that if the rest of the family also were that joyful and ready for loud, loud, loudness right out of the gate.
So why do I find myself typing about Bryson during my only time to myself for the past month? I have quiet time while my parents (angels that they are) escorted all three of my darlings to the movies.....and here I am venting.
I just HAD too!
I know that I'm not alone and, in fact, my situation is probably excruciatingly easier than some. I know that my life is good when compared to the hell that some live. But, WOWIE, does my personality LONG for peace and quiet....oh the beauty of uninterrupted silence. Just a little bit more than what I have now. Right?! Now THAT would make things better.
To just bask in my own personal space for a couple hours each morning would be bliss and then I would feel prepared and willing to give love out to the children I have been blessed with.....

But I know myself better than that.

I know that if I had that, that peace and alone time, then I would find some minuscule new hassle that was bothering me, irritating me, threatening my "calm and quiet". I would want to pin point a new scab that needed picking.
The quiet time would become too much, the peace would be deafening and then loneliness would creep up soon after.
What does one do with so much quiet time? Who out there is thinking of me while I am basking in the aloneness of alone time? Not to mention the excess sleep would no doubt cause a growth in either waist or butt. Laziness that I have fought against for years would possibly be a little bit more convincing in it's arguments if I had no reason to get out of bed so expediently each and every morning and 6:15ish a.m.

Life would indeed be MUCH less worth living....

So what does one do when faced with "Bebo the Great" invading one's personal bubble of happiness? When my personality longs to read and think and write and listen to beautiful works of music and relish in relationships that challenge my intellect and conversation skills....what do I do when sweet, long-lashed Bebo comes bounding onto the bed and rips me from the warmth of night's sleep? How does sanity stay with me when he just won't sit still and keeps hopping, jumping, bothering, wiggling, and bugging his siblings? When he is not "defying" me but is simply just "annoying" me, what do I do?

I must love.
and love.
and love again.

And when I have no more love to give, I shed a tear and ask God to please....please...give me just a bit more for today. God help me make it through this next meal, this next jumping attack, this next moment of hyperness that creeps up out of nowhere. God help me to know what's best in every situation so as not to crush his spirit, but indeed correct his actions!

Because Bryson is, inherently, a good boy.
He tries so very hard to please his parents!
He tries to remember the rules but forgets them 2 seconds later and then must accept the consequence.
Bebo has a good heart and I do not want to be the one to squash that little heart just because he is ever.SO.exhausting most days.
This to shall pass....and until it does....
I will find joy in the small things.

*His stories which he tells with all the proper voice inflections, so that it draws you into his world of alligators and forests and spiders that bite the toes of little boys.
*His polite correction that he offers to me when I did indeed give him a kiss before bed but not a hug as well.
*How he rubs his mattress while falling asleep and has, ever since before he expressed himself with words.
*When he turns down another scoop of ice cream because he can't have too much sugar, he states, "it makes him crazy".
*And how, when I have reached my very limit and my head can't take anymore loud silliness and in-my-face fun, he obediently completes the task of running around the outside of the house 4 times to "get rid of some energy!". =D
He is a good boy and I just need to keep my cool, accept encouragement when it is offered and never, never, never stop loving him.
(But correcting him is definitely in the cards DAILY!) =D O.M.G.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Enduring the fire.

Useful, painful, dangerous, life-threatening, life giving.
A refiner's fire. Useful.
Heating the precious metals until all imperfections and impurities rise to the surface for all to see. Bubbling there unable to stay hidden.
If left, they will continue to choke out the beauty that is awaiting inside the liquid gold.
Being a parent is the equivalent to being thrown into a refiner's after day after every single day.
Behaviors that I never would have imagined, were lurking down in the deep, darkness of my soul.
They begin to bubble up when put to the test of parenting.
Selfishness, greed, impatience. The list seems to never end.
When provoked with "Mom....Mom?....MOM!!?!!?!" even Mother Theresa herself might allow a sigh to escape her lips. With a glance of annoyance she would utter, "Masses of poor, cold and hungry children....might you give Mother just a moments peace?! For the sake of all that is Holy?!"
Parenthood is a great and powerful tool. It has the ability to transform multiple souls. Continually.... Day after day after every single day.
I am not the woman I was 13 years ago, not the woman I was last month, not the woman I was yesterday.
I will choose to protect the hearts of those that I have been given. Protect them from evil that may creep in, protect them from harsh words spoken, protect them from myself and everyday anger and frustration.
I WILL NOT let myself go. I desire to hold myself to a higher standard. I will give of myself with every breath. Life is not meant to be horded up like the last piece of birthday cake that you do not wish to share.
It is meant to be poured out for others breath by breath.
Just like the mother that everyone dreams about....always ready with a plateful of warm, gooey chocolate chip cookies and a listening ear. A safe haven to come to. Curl up and enjoy home.
Just like sitting on the lap of Jesus.
Accepted for who you are. Never a harsh word spoken. No condemnation. Grace oozing out every pore.
I wish to be refined day after day after everyday.
Thank you God that I am a mom.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Super Human Strength: I've got it!

My hopes were nearly dashed this weekend by a foe I had yet to meet. He crept up when I least expected any adversity to be standing in my way, and he was not one of the usual suspects. I am quite used to "a spill on the shirt as you are walking out the door" and "overdue fines at the library". We have met each other often. My new little friend, however, waltzed into my life when I was leaving to go to a fondue lunch at our friends' home....and this annoyance absolutely made my day in the end.
I was so excited because I had never used my happy little fondue set that I have owned for...well, to not make me sound like the horrible procrastinator that I am, let's just say a while. So while preparing for her maiden voyage I had me some excitement threatening to spill out my nostrils. I really was happy for the opportunity to dip the bread in the cheese using my very own fondue set. So I pulled all the pieces out and oh the horror....two of my matching fondue-holder-cup-things (using their official scientific name) were stuck together.
Now when I say stuck together, I am using too mild of a term for what they were doing. They were locked in a passionate embrace as if one had been at war for the past 3 years. They, for all intensive purposes, had almost, somehow become physically fused together. Of course me being the independent, prideful woman that I am, I wanted to take care of this on my own accord. I put on my sassy-pants and pulled....then tugged...then jerked....then while breaking a sweat, pulled again. I have never been strong physically. My hands, as Jason knows well, are puny when it comes to opening jars and the likes but in this case I was giving it everything down to my toes!
Taylor, after enjoying the show for 5 minutes thus far, suggests we use soap because as she learned in 6th grade science this year, "soap makes water wetter". Light bulb! Science is indeed helpful in everyday life yet again. Grabbing my trusty antibacterial liquid goo, I slather and slide my fingers all over the bowls and wiggle and tap and turn....and NOTHING! FOR THE LOVE! I really do like this fondue set and it is so fabulous with 6 matching bowls of festiveness and I would like to emerge out of this match with all 6 still intact!!!
My lightening fast brain soon meanders to the idea that if we could wedge something sharp and unsafe in between the 2 bowls we might have a fighting chance to break this seal of eternity that has taken a hold of my day. Insert sharp instrument....literally.
No go.
Nothin' doing.
Why?! Why!!!
Is this punishment for my tendency to procrastinate? Is there a life lesson that I am supposed to get out of this now 10 minutes of science vs. man hands?
Oooooo, the voice of Jason that always is residing in my head speaks up. "Run it under hot water". That is his usual response if he is unavailable and I lack the strength to open the pickles. So, under the spout it goes and stays. Ouch, hot! But, I don't give up! I want to conquer this! I am stubborn! I am woman, hear me grunt and sputter and observe as I get angry at an inanimate object.
This is not working.....
I bang it on a towel on the counter hoping that it won't break because it is my beautiful, brand ing new, wonderful pile of fondue utensils. But the banging is unprofitable and I give my own strength that is.
What comes next, is the icing on my really ugly, pretend cake that had made a mess of my previous 15 minutes!
I pray.
But not a "normal" prayer. Not a holier-than-thou, belongs in St. Paul's Cathedral, prayer. Oh no!! I was being "real"! A comical, half-joking but in my heart of heart's quite sincere, last result prayer.
I glance at Taylor with a smile on my lips and a sigh escaping in between.
"Father God, you KNOW that this is a heart's desire of mine. (To not break my pretty little party set.) So please give me....Super Human Strength. In the name of Jesus."
Not kidding in the least. Those were my exact words and I didn't even make it through the prayer. I lost it as I was saying "strength". I mean, do you blame me?! I just asked God for Super Human Strength for the sake of Pete! So I guffawed at the end of my sentence to God. Is that o.k.?! Darn-tootin' it's o.k.!
And Taylor and I giggled again, and then I pulled...AGAIN....
and I am as serious as a tax audit when I say that the very next pull
they came apart....
They came apart!!!
Taylor and myself laughed and flipped out as if we had won an elephant for a day! We giggled until our tummies ached from all the joy and I thanked God while giggling.
The point of the story is God loves so awesomely with a sprinkling of creativity that is never ending.....and I think He likes fondue just as much as I do.