Tuesday, June 29, 2010

In The Middle

I've been thinking a lot lately about my purpose in writing on these pages. It started out as being a way to communicate with friends and relatives that we don't see often. They get a taste of "us" on a semi-regular basis, and the pictures are always a bonus. Then... it became a way to "scrapbook" our lives. I have scrapbooks, but I seem to really stink at keeping up with them. In the midst of all of this, strangers have come to this site and left comments about being "inspired" by something that I wrote. One reader even said that he/she (it was an anonymous comment) had made some life changes based on their thoughts provoked by something I wrote.

Okay... so that is SO NOT what I EVER intended this site to be. BUT....

I won't lie and tell you that I wasn't at all excited about the fact that others enjoy reading what I write. Language arts was always my favorite, but especially the writing. I have kept journals since I was 14 years old. I have always been somewhat of a "deep thinker". Therefore.... During the past couple of weeks, I have stopped to think and pray (while taking MORE cough syrup) about the purpose in these pages.

I will continue to scrapbook. I will keep on journaling our lives so that all of the things that I might otherwise forget will get recorded. While doing this might seem to some like it should just include daily life and pictures, to me... since I am admittedly a deep thinker, it will also include much more. If this is an avenue that God chooses to make my life more missional, then I will consider that a gift and be grateful for the opportunity.

With that... brace yourselves for a long post.

I heard Casting Crowns 'Somewhere In The Middle' on my ipod last night. Like so many times before, I heard this song for the millionth time, but it's meaning just spoke differently to me. I found myself sitting there with this prayerful heart. I considered all that I've ever been, who I am now, and who I will become. I came home and looked back at posts from the beginning of these pages, and I see a person who has experienced HUGE growth. I have moved from the 'Whisper' to the 'Roar'. However, I'm STILL in the middle. I realized after thinking on it for a while that I'm pretty sure that's where I'll always be. Is that a bad thing? Well, I don't think it is. I think it's just where God wants me. Being in the middle means that I am continually seeking Him... wanting more. I am desiring to achieve that deep water faith in the DEEP end instead of the shallow end. And when I achieve that someday, then I will be seeking Him still... wanting to achieve even more.

It's not a bad thing to make goals in life. I have always been encouraged to do so, and I now encourage my boys to do the same. I have learned though, that our goals might not be the same as God's goals for our lives. Something that we see as a small and almost insignificant goal can become a life changing opportunity... IF we don't miss it. It's easy to miss too. It's easy to overlook the obvious and say, "Well, maybe somebody ELSE can handle that, but most certainly NOT me".

After praying about what I was to write today, It became obvious. Today, what I want to share is that each time I step out in obedience of my Creator and go forward with something that I never would have considered for myself, I get closer to the Altar. I get closer to living out God's desires for my life instead of my own dreams for myself.

To me, this deep thinker that I am.... THAT'S a beautiful thing.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Letter To Luke

Dearest Son of MIne,

I can't even fathom that you are actually a TEENAGER now! I know I say this all the time, but WHERE does the time go?

Last night I hugged you good night and I held you tighter than I usually do. I told you that my boys' birthdays were a bittersweet thing for me. I explained that I LOVE to celebrate the day of your birth, but at the same time, I recognize that we are one year closer to the day that you will leave this nest. That's hard for a Mama. I know you don't completely get it now, because I remember my parents saying the same goofy things to me, and I thought they were a little cooky (sorry Mom & Dad). However, I can now say that someday you WILL get it. The day that you lay your eyes on each of your babies (LOTS... remember?) is when it first starts and I guess that yes... we DO get a little cooky with all of our little "mushy" statements and long stares at the breakfast table while you're just trying to enjoy your pancakes.

I never get tired of telling you how proud I am of you. You are an example for many to follow.... Including me. Your heart is so sweet. You gain the respect of others so easily. I have had the most awesome privilege this year of observing you interact with teachers and fellow class mates. I never worried about that too much, but at the same time, I had no idea how many hearts you would melt. Every student, teacher and parent had nothing but GREAT things to say about the person that you are. The thing that makes me so proud is this...

The person that you are is the person that God created you to be. You have never tried to change that. You have never wanted to be anything different. So many other young people your age are trying to do that continuously. They even take it into adult hood. They aren't happy people usually, and it shows. You see the gifts that you have and you just build upon them. People notice that and they admire it. There are many reasons that I could list of why I'm so proud to be your mom, but THIS is the reason that is at the top of my list.

I have enjoyed watching your guitar skills improve this year, and your love of music in general has definitely been sparked. The musician in me LOVES this and I am grateful that we have that in common. I have also loved watching you play baseball again this season. You set goals for yourself and you achieved them. Everyone says that you are fun to watch during the games because you are so serious about it. I tell them that this game is fun, but to you, it is a serious matter. I inform them that you've been strategizing this game since you were two years old holding that little Fisher Price chunky bat!

This year, as you face even more of life's ups and downs (yes, it seems to increase the older you get) I pray that you will continue to stand firm in who you are and your faith in The One who made you so perfectly. I will also pray that you will keep on being that light in a world that has so much darkness. I love you, Lucas. On this day thirteen years ago I couldn't take my eyes off of you. You were so beautiful. Today, I feel even more the same.



Sunday, June 13, 2010

Someone Pushed The "Mute" Button!

I have spent the last two days with no voice. It was slowly going starting on Friday. Saturday morning I woke up and had very little... THEN, we went to Luke's baseball game and he hit a GRAND SLAM....

VOILA! No voice left now....

I'm pretty sure I have laryngitis. I have never had it before, but I "researched" it on the internet, and it sure sounds like it. It's frustrating, not having a voice and being a wife and mom of three boys. I'm sure most of you can imagine. Oh, and I think the worst is having dogs with no voice. I have tried my best just to avoid the dogs these past few days. They DON'T listen for my sweet little whisper the same way my boys do. They take FULL advantage instead.

Anyhow, going to church tonight was unique (without a voice to speak or sing), and I thought it would be a big bummer. Truthfully though, it turned out to be a blessing. I discovered that when you cannot talk, you listen better. I heard everything differently tonight. The songs we sang we have sung a hundred times before, but tonight... I listened to them differently than I ever have before. They were like lullabies. I closed my eyes and lifted my head. I just listened and I sung the words through my soul! It was awesome!! Our message was awesome too. I think I even heard the message differently than I would have with a voice. I know that sounds crazy, but I know that I've heard before that when one sense is weakened, (not to say that your voice IS actually a sense, I guess) the others are heightened. It all makes such sense to me now. It was a huge blessing for me to hear things tonight... without a voice.

I'm praying that my voice will be back tomorrow. I don't think I want to attempt any days without a voice AND a husband. Tonight I ate soup from the "Get Well Mug" that the boys and I made last year at the pottery place. It has a really good record of success.... Well, the mug AND the many prayers that my boys are saying for their Mama. Yes... they DO miss my voice. It's been strangely quiet. I really didn't know the amount of noise I make around here I guess. :0)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Woodpeckers & Water Balloons

Today, the boys are on a mission.

But before I inform you of their mission, I should warn you...

This post contains graphic scenes if you are an animal lover. We love animals too, thus the name zoointhehills... BUT we have limits. Limits such as pesky little birds making swiss cheese of our house!

Today, the boys are on a mission to send a message to all of the woodpeckers in our neighborhood. THIS HOUSE IS OFF LIMITS!!!! They are armed, birds. They have bee-bee guns and water balloons. They WILL harm you!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Process

I was inspired to write this morning... by my deck plants.

I have a hydrangea bush in a large container on my deck in front of a big floor to ceiling window. I also have a small lavender plant in a tin pot not too far from the hydrangea. You can see both plants from this large window.

This morning I was folding laundry on my couch and I was praising God for another gorgeous day of sunshine. It's finally here... the sun and the warmth. As I was gazing out the window, I saw these two plants and I immediately started wondering WHEN they would finally bloom! They have both had buds on them for awhile now, and in the past, they have already been in bloom by this time of year. I looked out the window again and tried to imagine them with their beautiful purple and blue flowers and the fragrance that enters my screen door. Then, I was hit hard with this thought...

When they bloom, the bees come. They torment us as we pass by going to and from our front door. Another thing... when they bloom, it will be beautiful, but then their blooms dry up and I have to wait another year for them to come back again. Do you see where I'm going with this?

Sometimes I find myself rushing the process. I get so excited about what's to come, that I fail to truly enjoy where I am already at. In every stage of life, there is beauty and then there are things that torment me, or make me long for more of what used to be... all at the same time. Even still, I catch myself wanting to move on to the next stage. Not because I dis-like where I'm at, or because I can't find the beauty in where I'm at now.... BUT because I look to the future with excitement and anticipation! What will life be like in 5 years? What will the boys look like? What will they be doing? Will J and I still love doing the same things we do now? I picture them in my head and I see such miracles. I see boys who love life and how perfect they are RIGHT NOW. I see a husband who puts his family first in everything he does and always makes sure we are more than taken care of. I wouldn't want him to be any different than he is at this very moment.

My hydrangea and lavender plants reminded me this morning not to rush the process. They are perfect just as they are right now. They are a daily reminder of all that is yet to come, but they remain beautiful even today, without their flowers and swarming bees. One of these mornings I will look out there and see purple or blue and I will smile then too. I will smile because of their pretty flowers, but I'll also smile because I will know that they won't last... but that's okay. It's part of the process.