Monday, August 27, 2012

Mom on a Mission

Every night we say prayers at bedtime with the girls.  Sometimes we pray, sometimes they pray.  Sometimes we pray as a family, sometimes we divide up and pray.  One thing we are trying to teach our girls is that prayer is nothing but a conversation with your Heavenly Father.  You can talk to him like you talk to us or to your best friend.  No stilted or special language needed.  Just talk.  And goodness knows, they can do that.

Last night when Parker was praying with me, she went through our family's day for the next day (meaning, today.)  "Be with me and Maggie while we are at school, be with Daddy while he's a work and be with Mommy while she...while she...while she does whatever she does."  Huh.  Does she really not know what I do all day?  I think I made a Facebook status about this a while back with some smart remark about not doing "whatever I do" all day and let's just see what happens.  She has prayed that before and it made me giggle, so I guess that's her idea of my day.  I do something, but she really isn't sure what.

So, this morning while she and I were having a few quiet moments before she got on the bus, I told her what I would be doing today.  Here's a sampling of my list...

*Making lunches
*Making breakfasts
*Cleaning up the kitchen
*Teaching a class
*Going to the store
*Planning dinner and getting it started
*All other duties as assigned...and then it starts again.

Then after I thought about it, the Holy Spirit reminded me what I had read on my Jesus Calling App on my phone with blurry vision at 6:15 this morning.  "Spend time with me for the pure pleasure of being in My company.  I can brighten up the dullest of gray days; I can add sparkle to the routines of daily life.  You have to repeat so many tasks day after day. (sound familiar?)...The best remedy is to refocus your mind and heart on Me, your constant Companion.  

I went into the bathroom while Parker was brushing her teeth and said, "Hey, I thought of something else I'll be doing today.  Spending some time with God reading the Bible and praying."  She smiled.  All of a sudden, my monotonous day doing "whatever it is I do" became much more significant.  I get to spend a part of it having a conversation with my Heavenly Father, who also happens to be the Creator of the Universe and all things in it.  I can talk to Him about my struggles, my joys, my pains and tell Him how grateful I am for all the things He has done for me.  Giving me Eternal Life, for one.

So, what are you doing today?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Did I just say that?

Remember that little saying we all learned as kids?  Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.  Honestly, could that be farther from the truth?  One of the reasons I titled my blog this way is because I have this bad habit of speaking before I really take the time to think about my words.  You know, those moments when you wish you could physically grab the words and shove them back in your mouth.  Those moments when you want to open mouth, insert foot?  The moments when you ask yourself, "Did I just say that?"  You get the idea.

I notice it most when I am talking to my children.  They are such an easy target when I'm having a bad day, not feeling well or just don't want to be bothered.  I am convicted of this and feel like it's a lesson that God is constantly teaching me.  It's not a coincidence that the book of James in the New Testament compares the tongue to a fire (James 3:6) and full of deadly poison (James 3:8).  How many times have I had to referee an argument between my girls and had them open their Bibles to Ephesians 4:29 and read it to me.  "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."  Uh oh.  Maybe I need to open my own Bible and read it to myself.

I would imagine that if I took a Facebook survey and asked how many people remember specific words over the course of their lifetime that were hurtful and they never forgot, I'd have more comments than I could read.  Truth is...words hurt.  How many times have I been out shopping or at the grocery and overheard parents talking so ugly to their kids.  My first thought is, "Come on, give them a break.  They're just kids."  Then how many hours/minutes later am I doing the very same thing and the Holy Spirit gently says to me, "Come on, give them a break.  They're just kids."

Many times this week I have been overwhelmed by my love for my children.  Just watching them walk to school or wait for the bus or chew their food, I am reminded of what a gift they are.  Then I am reminded that my love for them, no matter how great it seems to me, is minuscule in comparison to the love that my Heavenly Father has for me.  Would I be willing to give up one of my kids for someone that loves me, or even worse hates me and doesn't care to get to know me?  I doubt it.  But God did.  And He never...thought...twice.  It was the only way He could be with His children, His beloved.

My prayer this week is that I would be more thoughtful with my words, not only to my children, but to everyone I meet.  You never know what someone else is going through and one smile or encouraging word may mean the world to them.  Will this habit go away overnight?  Most likely, no.  But the Lord knows my heart and He knows my desire and thankfully, with a repentant heart, his mercies are new every single morning.