Friday, February 22, 2013

To Settle or Not To Settle, that is the question.....

Lately I have been thinking about the issue of settling.  The Lord has put this on my heart and revealed a real truth to me through my daughter.  First let me tell you a true story:

I was 17 when I met my first real boyfriend.  In my teen mind, he was so dreamy!  He was exactly what I thought I wanted and loved.  He had dark hair and green eyes, and that was my teen definition of handsome.  He was interested in me, and gave me lots of attention.  You see, at that time of my life I was home alone a lot.  I was constantly sick.  I had chronic strep throat, and that aggrevated my type one diabetes.  I was put on a program called Homebound.  Homebound was when a teacher would come to my house once a week, bring me school work and I was to complete it.  My parents would work all day, and I was just home.  This handsome 19 year old, was out of school, so he had plenty of time to call me.  The first few months were great.

Then that is when things changed.   I can't even tell you when they changed, but they changed.  He all of the sudden he had opinions about my friends.  He also had opinions about my hair, shoes, and clothes I wore.  He was a jealous guy.  It was a subtle transition from being my first love to being someone who controlled me.  I thought this is the way it was suppose to be, I thought this was as good as it gets.  He never hit me, he just loved me or at least that is what I told myself.

About three years into the relationship, I knew something wasn't right.  I could feel it, but could not quite put my finger on it.  I began to pray about it.  It took a year, but the Lord gave me the strength and courage to break up with him.  It was then that I began to realize what I had lost, and what he had controlled.  He continued to call me to try to get back together.  It took the following exchange for him to finally leave me alone.  I was home from college.  He came to my parents house, and we talked outside.  I got a glimpse of what could have been really bad situation.  He grabbed my arm, and pulled me very close to him, squeezing my arm, and threatened me, by saying, "I know your schedule.  I can come into your apratment and get you."  Then I am not sure this was the smartest move I ever made, but this was my response,"I dare you!  Come for me, I f''ing dare you, come for me, I will be waiting."  (Sorry, I was a foul mouth teen!)  At that point, he backed down, and I only had one call after that.  It was the, I am going to kill myself call.  He didn't kill himself, but it was finally over.

After the break up, I was lost.  I spent a lot of time asking myself, why and how this could have happen.   It was years later that a friend said something to me, that always stuck.  She said, "y'know, my mom always told me not to settle, to just wait until I got everything I wanted."  I realized I had settled.

There are so many reasons in life to settle.  I can think of many situations where I can say now that I settled.  I accepted what I thought was good enough.  Over the years he Lord continues to reveal problem areas in my life that I didn't see before.  The Holy Spirit continues to refine me.  The latest is,  I tend to settle.  I have always fancied myself incrediably confident and I tell myself, that some things just aren't that big of a deal.  That is just simply not always the truth!

You see here is where this whole thought meets my daughter.  I think to understand God's love, it helps to have kids.  It is at that point that you can start to fathom loving someone enough to die for them.  God has given me a beautiful daughter whom I treasure.  I find that I only want the very best for her.  This is exactly how God feels about  me, and all His children.  God gives us so many great scriptures about love, and His love for us.  This is one of my favorites, Isaiah 49:16 "See I have engraved you on the palms of my hands."  I love the imagery of always being at the palm of his hand.  There is nothing more comforting than the simple action of holding a hand.  God took the time to reassure us.  He took the time to write about His love for us, and to give us instruction.  The next logical question is why?  Well, because God wants the best for His children.  He wants us to strive to be holy, and sanctified unto Him.  GOD DOES NOT WANT US TO SETTLE FOR ANYTHING LESS!

Now I stand asking myself, what am I teaching my daughter?  Am I teaching her to settle for good enough?  or am I teaching her to reach for the very best?  I would say that in American now, we have an epidemic of settlers.  We strive for just enough.  Why work for the best, when we can get the minimum for free from our Government.  I think about my attitude and actions and wonder what have I taught my daughter about achievement?  What have I taught her to accept in the name of "keeping the peace," or "showing kindness and giving grace" with a disregard to what is best for her?  What exactly IS good enough?

I know this is a lot for one little blog, but my whole point is that we need to remember that the BEST is what God wants for his children.   The BEST is what I want for my child.  The BEST is also what God wants for me, and I should too.  There should be no sense of guilt for asking too much.  After all, God is the God of big miracles.  Just take a look around, there are miracles happening everyday all around you.  God is bigger than my little box, and better than good enough.

Now in everyday life, to settle or not to settle?  I think I will strive for the what GOD wants for me, and remember what HIS promises are for me.

I Corinthians 2:9
“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”—
the things God has prepared for those who love him—

I read that and think, God wants what is best.  His best is bigger and far greater than my simple good enough, and He wants all this good for me, my family, and ALL His children!  I need to agree with God, and not settle for less.

This is my mindset, now let me hear yours!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

My funny valentine...a tragic bug story!

I have to tell this story, because you just CAN NOT make this stuff up.  This was how my valentines day started.  I woke up about 5:30am.  (Yes, that is AM.)  My daughter woke up before her alarm, came down and got in my bed.  I turned on a cartoon, while I went to get my shower.

I thought it felt chilly in the house.  I checked the thermostat and it read 64 degrees.  I proceeded to click on the heater just to get the chill out of the air.  I went and took my shower.  It was after the shower, that my morning became like a scene out of a movie.

I stood in front of the mirror, thinking, it is Valentine's day.  This is a sexy day, maybe I should have shaved my legs, when all of the sudden a BUG fell from the air vent!  I am in my towel and bug fell first in my hair, then on my shoulder as I began to yell.  There I am, ALL OF ME, flailing around the bathroom.  My towel flailing about as I try to make sure the BUG is off of me, and out of my hair.  I stand still, as I eye it on the floor, towel in hand.   At 5:45ish in the morning, my reflexes are slower.  I stand there looking for signs of life, towel in hand.  Then, I say to myself out loud, because talking to myself makes sense at this point.  "I need a shoe, I can't step on that thing with my bare foot!"  I run out of the bathroom, towel in hand, grab the nearest shoe, scream a little and mush the bug.

At this point, my daughter says, "Mommy, what's the matter?"  I mention the bug and she comes running.  She has to see the descimated bug on the floor.  Satisfied, that I had killed the bug beyond coming back to life she retreats to her cartoon, I stand there towel in hand.  I continue to twitch the twitch of the bug is still on me.  As I get dressed, I occasionally brush my hair and shoulder and shiver that, "EWE a bug was on me," shiver.

It occurs to me, that this is pretty funny.  I mean it is around 6am, and I am wide awake.  I have been assaulted by a bug and survived.  I should let my family know that I have survived.  So I text message my mother-in-law and husband.  This is what I got in response:

Mother-in-law:  LMBO

A few minutes pass and then there is this text:

Mother-in-law:  Still LMBO

Then this text comes across:

Husband: What kind of bug was it?

Now, I love that man, BUT REALLY?????  I could have been killed by this tiny bug.  I could have slipped on a wet floor and been laying there with a broken bone.  Need I mention, NAKED!   All I got was what kind of bug was it!  While the fairtales don't describe it this way, this is true love, I swear it is.  There is no one in the world that makes me happier, laugh harder, or madder than that man!  It makes me want to move his boots, so his morning routine will be thrown off!  (You know, the boots I trip over nearly every night!) 

Well, I survived my valentine morning and guess what was on my desk when I got to work:


I guess I will be able to change the world!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ode to Valentine's Day

Oh Valentines, the day of love, hugs.... and chocolate
Oh Valentines, you make me think of the things I love the most:

I love driving fast, rock music blaring on the radio.... and chocolate
I love the refreshing wind before a storm, the smell of rain..... and chocolate
I love the joyful sounds of kids laughing.... and chocolate
I love payday ( the day and the candy bar for that matter)...... and chocolate
I love BUNCO night, with its code language, roaring laughs..... and chocolate
I love the smell of a clean house I have NOT cleaned....and chocolate
I love the ache in my belly after a good laugh..... and chocolate
I love excitement of a holiday....and chocolate
I love a lazy Sunday afternoon.... and chocolate
I love a warm day at the ranch, bugs humming, cows mooing........ and chocolate
I love the idea of loosing weight, but then there is....... chocolate
Most importantly, I love my husband and daughter EVERY SECOND, of EVERY DAY..... and chocolate!

There are 365 days in a year.  How many days do I spend more time talking about the little irritations, rather than enjoying the things I love?  I think I am going to take this Valentine's and stretch it out.  I am going to take it past the greeting cards, and make the LOVE real.  I am going to step it up a bit.  I think instead of "buying the world a coke", lets make it real and buy it a bag of M&Ms!  One day, one bag.....CHANGE THE WORLD through chocolate.  Isn't that what Valentines day is really about?

This is my mindset, now let me hear yours!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Play ground conversations; the definition of marriage?

Because I can't get these things off my mind, I thought maybe writing about them, would give me some peace.  My heart aches over some of these circumstances........

I have never worked in a school before.  I have always been in the business world.  As far as work goes, it has always been customer service, or keeping an eye on how much production we have or don't have, and will sales be good or slow this month.  When I stepped out in faith and took a second part-time job at a school, I did not realize the things I would hear or see.   I believe kids deal with more than we did growing up BUT I had no idea the extent of how life for a child really has changed.

It was a little over a week ago that I had this conversation with my daughter.  She is five.  "Mommy, can a girl marry a girl?"  Me: "Why are you asking?"  Daughter: "Well, so-and-so asked so-and-so if a girl could marry another girl, and then so-and-so said you go to hell for that."  In my head I am having a moment of sheer panic.  I stood there, and thought, " Why are Kindergarteners having this discussion?  Why do they even know anything about gay marriage?"  My answer to her was simple and rooted in God's truth.  "Well, honey, God designed marriage for 1 man and 1 woman.  Marriage is something that happens when you get much older, and when the time is right God will show you who the right man is for you."

This conversation bothered me, because, I thought kids hear these things, worry and take it in, and then what?  I know that this is a controversial subject.  I know that some of you will read this and think of me as a hater because I define marriage as between 1 man and 1 woman.  I will say this then move on:  I believe that the Bible is God's Holy word.  In believing that, I believe he is clear on his opposition to this behavior, but I also believe that this sin is no different than any other sin.  The sin in my life is only different not any better.

Fast forward, one week, and our playground conversations have changed,  This time, it is two little girls.  They are upset because, one has asked about the other's mother.  Both girls do not have their moms.  Each of them have a different story, but still the same the mere mention of the word "mom" brings heartache to them both, and squabble on the playground.  I stand there, thinking to myself these poor babies, how can they function with such loss and confusion?  After it was settled, I spoke to each of them individually, to encourage them,  Right or wrong, this is what I said,"  God did not intend for you not to have your mom, he wanted you to have a wonderful mom, but in the absence of your mom, he will give you everything you need.  It may be found in your grandma, your aunt, your cousins, or your teachers, but he will give you all the love you need, because you are so loved by him."

I have also had to answer questions like, what happens if my dad gets shot?  This was asked after the news of an impending deployment came. My answer for this was given to me ahead of time, in the form of their weekly memorization verses.  Joshua 1:9  "Have I not commanded you?  Do not be afraid, nor dismayed because the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."  This is the same for deployed daddies, God is with them wherever they go. 

While I have had many silly conversations, I am astounded by what the kids of today hear, know and deal with.  My only conclusion is this we need to spend more time with our kids,  We need to teach them about God's unfailing love.  We need to be the example by which they set their standard.  There are so many children who build their ideas of right and wrong from television shows.  They take a little from here and there, and then build their own version of a moral compass.  The Bible says that we are to be the light.  It is in fact a very dark world out there and if our kids are going to learn to be the light, we must shine, and we must shine even brighter than ever before.  I heard an evangelist say in a sermon once, that we live in a critical time, because the signs are so clear that the end is near.  He proceeded to say it was no coincidence that God had selected us to live in such a time.  While the idea of the end, use to be a very scary subject for me, it is no longer.  I was inspired by this sermon, as that I was chosen to shine light at such a time as this.  I can't help but think of Esther 4: 14b
"And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”

It is a hard world out there.  We spend a lot of time earning money to give our kids the best of everything, but are we giving them the best of us?  Our world needs more love.  As I write this , I think it needs more forgiveness, but then I cringe thinking of the things I have a hard time forgiving.  There is a reason the Bible says, faith, hope, and love but the greatest of these is love.  If you LOVE with a true heart, love will keep you from wanting to hurt some one.  That is a good way to start shining the light, LOVE ONE ANOTHER. 

As you go through this week, I hope you will think about the world our kids live in.  I pray that you will be motivated to change it, and I suggest you start with more love.  Give your family time, try loving even when you are too tired.

This is my mindset, now let me hear yours.