Monday, January 31, 2011

The Rotter

My mom is a helper - it is just in her DNA to serve.  She was over babysitting one night and went through our fridge to clean out the nasty stuff that I forget about (ok let's be honest - I forget about it, remember it, but by that time I am too grossed out to touch it!).  She then organized our fridge (also part of her DNA, organization. . .was I adopted?). 

A few days ago, I went to the grocery store and after my mom's helpful organization I could see what we had and what we needed.  I picked up some green grapes, among other things, since we were out and my kids love grapes like candy.  Actually they love fruit more than candy (praying this phase will last!).

Upon arriving home (there is a point here. . . keep reading!) I started to put the groceries away and just happened to see a little green showing through the bottom drawer of our fridge - you know the Rotter Crisper.  I NEVER use this drawer for the simple fact that I forget it exists and then anything that does get put in here ROTS!  My mom (and the rest of the world apparently) don't have this problem and so logically she put the fruit that we had (grapes and blueberries) in this drawer.  Thankfully I found them before they rotted - we just had a supper of fruit! 

Yesterday when my mom was over, I asked her to not put any food in the Rotter Crisper again as I forget about it.  She said, "Well, it's a clear drawer isn't it?  Don't you see what's in there when you are looking around?" 

The simple answer is "no."  The lengthy answer is "No, but I have no idea why and maybe I should seek help on why looking down in my fridge is such a challenge for me."

You see if food - fruit in particular - is not eye level in front of me, I tend to forget about it.  Since having kids, my outlook on fruit has changed a lot, but before then. . . . well, lets just say that unless we were talking about fruit juice, fruit snacks, fruit loops, etc. the word fruit was not a regular part of my diet.

I like fruit, I really do - just when given the option of something else. . well it took a backseat.  Since having kids and wanting them to grow up healthy and strong, I make fruit a bigger part of our menu.  But, I would buy fruit, stick it in the Rotter Crisper and forget about it.  Even though I knew it was important to the health and well-being of my family. 

So now fruit and any other food that my mind deems less than desirable, but necessary is right in front of me at eye level in the fridge. . . no excuse now!

I got to thinking about this today.  How easy it is to overlook things in life that are good for me and yet maybe do not give me the instant satisfaction or delight that something else might.  Give me the choice between the chips and dip of life or the fruit of life and 9 out of 10 times, I am gonna grab me some chips and dip! Especially if the good (the fruit) is not layed before me on a constant basis, right in front of my eyes.  It is so easy to forget about the benefits of 'fruit':  being patient, finding joy in the mundane, building relationship with God, thinking on things that are good, finding your passion and doing something about it, etc.

I find that I get these great ideas or I feel really motivated to do something, but I so quickly forget about it and instead pick up the 'chips and dip' of:  I am too tired, I am too busy, I am not good enough, I have young kids so I can't, etc.  In the short term, these feel real and like truth.  But in the long run, a steady diet of 'chips and dip' will make me fat, lazy, unhealthy from the inside out.

So, the lesson that I have learned and started to put into practice is to write out goals, lessons, things I want in my life that are ultimately good for me, but maybe are hard at the beginning.  I want to open the fridge of my life and see, "Spend time with God."  "Be intentional with my kids."  "Submit an article to be published."  "Do the dishes every night." 

Since I am a visual person I have decided to write out some of these (and others) and place them on cards around my house.  The bathroom mirror, on the fridge (maybe in the fridge!), in my van, etc. 

What is the fruit in your life?  What are the chips and dip?

Friday, January 28, 2011

My ONE word for 2011

I listen to a Christian radio station KLOVE on the way to work (after dropping kids off since they love the watch this in the van) and at the beginning of January the morning show hosts started talking about choosing ONE word for 2011.  They got the idea from Lysa Terkeurst who for the past few years has asked God for one word to shape/define her year.  Kind of a different take on New Year's resilutions.

I have been pondering doing this myself, but I didn't know what word to choose.  I kept thinking it had to do with something relating to my biggest struggle in life which is fear.  So I kept thinking of all kids of words that are the opposite of fear - peace, hope, strength, etc.  Nothing seemed to fit. 

Then a few days ago, I was listening to KLOVE again and Lisa (morning co-host) was talking about how she was struggling to choose her word for the year.  She continued on to say basically what I had been feeling - trying to 'force' a word so to speak.  She then realized she hadn't asked God specifically what her word should be.  So, one night, laying in bed she did just that and she heard a word impressed on her heart that was completely different than any of the words she had been thinking of - she knew God had now given her a word for 2011.

You may know where this is going - I took this to heart and asked God while driving to work what my word should be.  I love God - for multiple reasons, but His care for me amazes me.  I heard (and when I say heard, for me it was like an impression/thought that popped into my head-not an audible voice) the word DELIGHT. 

Hmmm, now if you will glance up at the title of my blog you will see that word in the title.  I have a bracelet that my mom gave me for my 30th birthday that has the verse from Psalms 37:4 "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart." 

I think know that God has been preparing me for this word and this year.  I would have never thought of this word (as obvious as it seems) for my life this year.  I would love to lead a more delightful life, to be more satisfied, joyful, etc.  But I focus so often on the problems and struggles in my life that I forget to look at what God has for me and what He sees in me.

Read the definition of the word DELIGHT: 
1. a high degree of pleasure or enjoyment; joy; rapture:
2. something that gives great pleasure:
-verb (used with object)
3. to give great pleasure, satisfaction, or enjoyment to; please highly:
–verb (used without object)
4. to have great pleasure; take pleasure (fol. by in or an infinitive):

I forget that He wants me to delight or take pleasure in Him, He wants for me to delight or give great pleasure, satisfaction, please highly Him.  He desires to delight or give me a high dgree of pleasure or enjoyment; joy in Him and in life.  He promises to give me the desires of my heart when I delight myself in Him-see Psalms 37:4 again. 

To me that means that He won't leave me when I am in trouble or afraid, He won't despise me when I make a mistake.  He will always forgive me when I ask, He will provide for me, protect me, love me.  He will have a plan for me - even bigger and better than I could dream (see Jeremiah 29:11-13).

I don't have any illusions that now life in 2011 will be perfect and without fear - in fact, I may go through more or different struggles this year.  But I want to have a relationship with God that is one of delight and love, not one of fear and measuring up.  I want to know that in the midst of the great times God is my rock and my peace and joy and I want to know in the bad times that God is my rock and my peace and joy.

What journey is God leading you on in 2011?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Potty training, sick kids and life in between

Even after I typed the title to this post, I chuckled to myself. . . what life in between?  When these 2 occasions are happening, life pretty much revolves around the toilet and the doctor.

We started potty training Isaac on Saturday, January 16 after reading a book that our dear daycare provider Mary gave us.  It is called Toilet Training in Less Than a Day and that along with Isaac practically begging to use the toilet all the time worked for us.  We did not follow the book exactly, but it was very helpful!  Isaac had 3 accidents the first weekend and 2 accidents the following week and since then has been a star!  We are so proud of him!  He even stays dry at night.  Although we are now having to work on not letting him get up 6 times/night to pee. . . *sigh*.  But overall I consider it a success.

Piper has been congested for MONTHS and we have just attributed it to common cold, teething, weather, virus, etc.  Her pediatrician agreed - well, finally we had enough and lo and behold before we went in for her 15 month appt. she spiked a fever and her pediatrician said she had a double ear infection and possible sinus infection.  It is so hard to tell in kids. . . becuase they do get snot nosed from a whole lot of things.  We love our pediatrician and appreciate his candor, willingness to listen and manner with our kids.  So, we are on round 2 of antibiotics. . . . first one wasn't strong enough. . . *sigh*.

I know the above information is not super interesting, but I wanted to A) document it B) get past writers block C) brag about my boy ;)!! ha!

Life otherwise has been the same and different.  I feel like I God is drawing me in a new direction-I feel like passions that I once had and thought were dead are coming back to life and passions I never had are coming to the surface.  My desire for God is so strong and I feel a change is coming.  And yet, for the first time ever, I feel a peace and contentment in His timing.  I am not trying to force anything - which if you know me, is a miracle.  I see God's timing and hand on my life of being a wife, a mom, an employee and most importantly, a child of God being prepared.  Does that make sense to anyone but me?  Keep in mind I have not written anything in months! 

I guess ultimately I know that He will guide my steps - I just want to continue to delight myself in Him.  I heard an artist on the radio talking about a recent song say that if you want to build a relationship with God, just do the things you would do to get to know someone in any other relationship in life.  Sounds simple, but what a profound thought-I felt like a lightbulb went off.  Yes, I know, sometimes I am slow.

Well, here's to hoping writer's block is gone - I apologize if this post is random and ambiguous. . . but then again it's my blog. . . .

Happy Wednesday!