Category Archives: October 2015

Wolf

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wolf-963081_640Well, I’m not surprised, but the time has come for me to tell the story of ‘the Boy who Cried Wolf’ to my son. I’ve felt it coming for awhile now, actually. His crying out begs for me to come running at any time when he should be asleep. I have a soft heart and when I hear a certain cry, even though it seems manufactured to manipulate me, I fall prey. I can’t help it. My husband just laughs because he knows I’m being played!

As humorous as it can all be…..at times, I know that I need to nip his shenanigans in the bud. Why just yesterday, he woke up at 6AM crying in his bed. This is early for him; typically he sleeps in for a whole 30 additional minutes. If you’re like me, while 30 minutes isn’t that long, it can feel like a vacation when you’re trying to wake up, get something done, even sip a cup of coffee or take a quick shower.

“Squirrel!”

Ok…back to the crying part…yes, he was wailing in his bed. So, I dash in to discern what the problem was and he claims his throat hurts and he coughs a productive cough. I admit, I felt sorry for him, scooped him up, changed his britches and brought him into the dark living room where my husband and I were ‘hiding out’ (I’m not kidding…this consists of all lights out in the room so as not to illuminate his room from underneath his door!) enjoying some quiet moments before the day rushed in.

It wasn’t 5 minutes later that he was snuggled up with his Daddy on the couch before he changed his sad little tune and exclaimed with a tinge of demand, “Want to play with that toy!” My once melted heart quickly hardened as I admonished him for tricking me into rescuing him from his bedroom. We had been to our local Goodwill the morning before and found a steal-of-a-deal on a cash register toy he’s been asking for. This is what he was coveting as he lay in his Daddy’s arms. Ergghhhh! I wasn’t amused. I’d been had! My husband had his number; he always has his number when it comes to this sort of thing.

The next thing I knew, I found myself googling the beloved fable, The Boy Who Cried Wolf. Surely to goodness you’ve heard this delightful story. I know if I heard it once, I heard it a thousand times over the course of my childhood:

This Aesop’s fable concerns a shepherd boy who repeatedly tricks nearby villagers into thinking a wolf is attacking his flock. When one actually does appear and the boy again calls for help, the villagers believe that it is another false alarm and the sheep are eaten by the wolf. The moral stated at the end of the Greek version is, “this shows how liars are rewarded: even if they tell the truth, no one believes them”.

I got a good chuckle out of the flashback to my own childhood days when apparently, I, too, was “crying wolf”. Without a doubt, I plan to read this story to my Little sooner than later. How can moments like this not make your heart a little lighter? Fighting back a giggle (albeit a stifled one) to keep from waking him, of course!

 

 

Intentional

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Intentional

So, this is something I’m thinking about today: being intentional. If you are anything like me, you find your brain full of good intentions each and every day. Calling a friend just to check-in, writing a note, picking up a little “happy” for someone who needs cheering up, cooking or picking up a meal for someone who needs a break….these are all great ideas and oftentimes these thoughts are planted in our minds for a reason. I’m ashamed and embarrassed to admit that I have allowed my busyness to crowd out that still, small voice in my head. Yes, the person I am being prompted to serve in some way is missing out but I, too, am missing out on a blessing by helping or doing for someone else. Have you ever thought of it from that perspective?

Sure, we are all busy. I cannot think of anyone that isn’t busy with work, kids, housework, sickness, etc., etc. None of us are immune to busyness. The secret though is to be intentional. Have you ever been the recipient of someone doing something for you that was purposeful? I have and it is always just at the right time. Why? Because someone felt led to be selfless and think of someone else but rather than letting it stop there, they chose to act on it. Not only were their efforts a huge blessing to me but they in turn felt gladness in their heart for doing something for someone else. It’s a win-win!

One of my favorite ministries (I have several!) is Intentional Living with Dr. Randy Carlson. He has a radio broadcast as well as a website that offers wisdom on this very topic. It has inspired me for years to make the time to do those things that are important. Things that you feel the Lord leading you to do or His Holy Spirit impressing upon your heart to do. Things that really do count for something of eternal value. I know I want to be a part of that but I need to be conscious of it and in tune with God to discern what He may be asking of me. Sure, it is usually at the most inconvenient time to do something not already part of your schedule. But, once you evaluate what is most important, you’ll recognize that what the Lord is impressing on you to do is by far priority.

True, most times, things that we are intentional about, we place great value upon. Reading a book, hitting the grocery store, going to a class, heading to work, even watching our favorite TV show. We can rationalize that watching a favorite TV show is a mainstay in our schedule when what maybe we should be doing is baking cookies with our child for a friend who is sick. For me, I have to ask God for a change of my heart. We are all selfish by nature. We want whatever time for ourselves we can possibly eek out of our day. Nothing at all wrong with that, unless God is impressing upon you to do otherwise.

I can think of many opportunities I’ve missed out on and I’ve felt badly. Badly because an opportunity was missed. Time is often of the essence and if we’re not intentional about doing whatever it is we feel we need to do, we will miss out. My challenge for us both today is to lean in, tune in and discern what it is that you need to be intentional about today. Don’t let time slip through your hands. Be Intentional!

P & Q

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P & Q

Ahhhhh! How I dearly love it. I don’t get as much as I’d like but I do try to build it in to my schedule as much as possible. How about you? Are you running low in the P & Q department? Surely you know what I’m talking about. “P & Q”, short for peace & quiet. I’m enjoying a little of it right at this moment while my “Little” is otherwise engaged. He’s as happy as a clown and so is this Mama!!

Admittedly, I don’t take advantage of grabbing P & Q moments like I should. My husband is super great about offering me the time, but I always feel so torn. Torn because I’ve missed being with him all day and at the same time, I know it’d be good for me to get out and stroll the grocery store with a cup of coffee, if nothing else.  We all need to take breaks throughout our day. My standard break is during my son’s nap. If I’m not curled up myself for a little respite, then I’m reading a book or cooking supper or catching up on a TV program I’ve recorded.

Back when I was a working girl, I remember feeling guilty about taking breaks as well. Deadlines were breathing down my neck and I surely didn’t want to have to work late, so oftentimes, I lunched at my desk and kept on working. So not good! I found that the stress crept in more and more and it was no one’s fault but mine. My husband would even call during the day to check on me to see if I was taking a much-needed break; he knew I was desperate for a respite from the pressures of work.  A stroll around the building or a walk up and down the stairs, or even sitting outside in the car for some Vitamin D can do miracles for your psyche. Ironically, nowadays, I find myself encouraging my husband to take much-needed breaks during his crazy busy, schedule-driven work day.

While stress in the home is different, it is present nonetheless. It’s vitally important to take a break from the demands of your time and energy to just rest. It is okay to rest. I frequently hear Mom friends say there is no way they can rest; they have too much on their plate. I know I do! I also know I am a better Mom when I stop and take a break. I used to feel guilty for not accomplishing anything during this “free” time I had when my “to do” list was never ending. No longer do I feel this way! I found I’m more patient, at peace, and in a much better frame of mind if I take some time for me.

Once my son wakes from his nap, I’m on duty again. I feel refreshed and ready to take on toddler talk and toddler energy once again with much less frustration and irritability! I find that when my husband is home, after we’ve had our supper, many times, that is when I’ll work on my many chores such as laundry, cleaning, dishes, etc. At the same time, my husband is engaging with our son. It is their special time together to play outside, read a book, take a bath or ride their bicycles.

Lesson for the day: Don’t run yourself into the ground and deny yourself a much-needed break. Your husband and child(ren) will probably thank you for it!

What’s on your Plate?

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What’s on your Plate?

I’m not talking about your dinner plate, rather your mind and what you feed it. I’m not on my soapbox, or preaching for that matter either. I realize more and more how this verse my Mom drilled into mine and my sister’s heads all those years ago is more relative now than ever before.

Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart]. The things which you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things [in daily life], and the God [who is the source] of peace and well-being will be with you.” (Philippians 4:8-9, AMP)

I’m more aware of this truth since having a young mind in my home to mold. I am not implying we live in a bubble, rather that my son would have his mind grounded in the truth of God’s Word, where wisdom abounds. To teach and train him in the Word now prepares his mind and provides a strong foundation for the tough decisions he’ll make, friends he’ll choose to hang with, moral dilemmas, cultural differences, dating choices as well as marriage.

Although my son is only 3, I have started praying scripture, such as these, over him. It’s important to start praying for our children early as well as allowing them to see their parents in a posture and habit of prayer.

 “Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thine house, lest thou be a cursed thing like it: but thou shalt utterly detest it, and thou shalt utterly abhor it; for it is a cursed thing.” (Deuteronomy 7:26, KJV)

My son, accept my words and store up my commands. Turn your ear toward wisdom,
and stretch your mind toward understanding. Call out for insight, and cry aloud for understanding. Seek it like silver; search for it like hidden treasure. Then you will understand the fear of the Lord, and discover the knowledge of God. (Proverbs 2:1-5, CEB)

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23, NIV)

“Dear friend, do what I tell you; treasure my careful instructions. Do what I say and you’ll live well. My teaching is as precious as your eyesight—guard it! Write it out on the back of your hands; etch it on the chambers of your heart. Talk to Wisdom as to a sister. Treat Insight as your companion. They’ll be with you to fend off the Temptress— that smooth-talking, honey-tongued Seductress.” (Proverbs 7:1-5, MSG)

I won’t always be around for my son, nor will my husband. As parents, we are raising an adult. Sounds strange, doesn’t it? Not only will I not always be physically around my son when he’s making decisions that requires a strong foundation of his faith and belief system, but my husband and I won’t always be around, as in living. Our child will need to be grounded in the truth so that whether we’re here or not, he can lean on his heavenly Father. I know this all too well as my own Mom went to live in heaven when I was 23 years old. The training she did while she was with me prepared me for life long after she was gone.

What are some tangible things we can implement today to better prepare our children for tomorrow? Thankfully, we’re not alone in this endeavor, otherwise it would certainly be an overwhelming task! The Lord provides us with His Word to tackle any and every thing we can possibly encounter in this life. I am amazed how every time I’m reading His Word, the Holy Spirit makes it new, fresh and applicable in some new sense according to where I am in my life and what I’m facing. God’s Word is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword. Why wouldn’t it be our first choice to guide our every thought and decision?

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12, NIV)