Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Calm After the Storm I have to confess - I love big events - weddings, graduations, baby showers, and any kind of big party you can imagine. I love the planning, the coordination, the gifts, the outfits, the mental planning, the build up, and the event itself. I love doing something different and "once in a lifetime" every once in awhile. What is hard to deal with is the calm after the storm. I can't help but be a little sad once it is all over - even if the event was not centered around me - even if I was just someone in attendance. It seems that all of that planning should yield a bigger return. It is as if the event should live on just a little bit longer - a little piece each day until it fades away. I have recently discovered that Kayla is the same way. Of course at 3 1/2 she can just cry those sad feelings away. I on the other hand can't get away with that. Furthermore, I need to help her stay up, help her cheer up, help her look to the next, fun thing. There are always memories and pictures and new, fun clothes to wear again, but somehow things aren't the same in this eerie calm. Over the years I've learned how to live in the moment a little bit more, but the only way to get through this deafening calm is to look forward. Or maybe it is simpler than that - I can lose myself in the daily joys around me - Zachary's toothy grin, Kayla's infectious laugh, Jerry's icy blue eyes. Yes, that is where I can live - in the calm before the next storm.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Divine Peace Peace - everyone talks about it - few know how to practice it - including whole nations. So many of us are seeking this peace - peace and quiet, peaceful sleep, peace at home, peace at work. How do we get that peace? Where do we search, what method do we use to achieve peace in this mile-a-minute life? I feel most peaceful when I'm listening to music - mostly Christian music, but not always. A song moves me as waves of music wash over my soul. This is the only way to describe it. It is typically not singing that affects me, but a guitar rhythm usually - a sound that speaks to my spirit directly - almost transcending thought. I can't help but close my eyes and move to the music embracing that divine peace. As a whole we don't take time to be still, to meditate on what God has done for us - to listen to his voice. Find your space, your time, your music to allow God to speak to you in a supernatural way.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Still Awake I'm still awake I am many nights about this time. It seems that the normal times that others subscribe to do not fit my lifestyle - or maybe there is something else going on. I have small children as many of you know and when they are finally at peace and asleep I feel as though I can have that bit of fun in the evening that is impossible to do when they are awake. The dilemma is that I lose track of time or just frankly ignore it. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I'm an obnoxious night owl - to the irrational degree. Only because I think I can get away with it - until morning when the first kid wakes up. I guess I could rationalize that I don't want to be one of those people who has literally "slept half of their life away." But maybe I'm just doing too good of a job here. If I figured out on average how many hours of sleep I get a night since the kids were born it would probably be about 5 hours a night. I'm amazed at times that I can still function, but apparently I've adapted. Bottom line, I'm still awake tonight and I don't know how much longer it will be. Anyone out there identify?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

More Than Enough I think it is human nature to go through periods of perceived inadequacy. Maybe there is always a sense of that in your life at all times. Maybe the situations or events change, but there is that element of disconcerting instability - the question that lingers in the background, "do they know that I have no idea what I'm doing?" I seem to get on the merry-go-round of inadequacy that rotates every few days. It usually starts with a bad encounter with one of the kids making me doubt if I am a good mother. Next, something happens at work to make me question why I am in the position I'm in. Lastly it just becomes almost dumb luck - I can't seem to do the dishes without breaking things. The dinner I'm attempting just doesn't quite turn out right. (Side note - I'll never forget the dinner I made that Kayla took one look at and started crying. It is funny to think of that now!) A line in a song reminds me that this doubt, fear, anxiety about the roles we play in life are all lies. "We are who we are and it's more than enough." Let me say it again, "more than enough." We've been equipped by God for these relationships and roles that we play and he has provided us with more than enough to be successful as long as we rely on him for all things. It reminds me that I daily have to take the burdens off my back and virtually hand them to God or I can't make it. Before you sleep tonight, make a list of the burdens that plague your mind in one column. In the other column dare to spell out what God says about those burdens. Spend time in prayer handing those things to God. God's peace is waiting - don't put it off.

Monday, March 09, 2009

A Simple Revelation I fancy myself a baker. I love to bake just about anything, but I love and adore baking (and eating) cookies of all kinds. My favorite is classic chocolate chip cookies. My ccc's are slightly crispy and chewy but never crunchy or hard. I have a few secret techniques I use (passed down from my Mom) and have been making said cookies since I can remember. My basic recipe is from the Toll House morsel package (plus the secret techniques I just mentioned). I was reviewing the usual list of ingredients and steps when it dawned on me that I have never - I mean not even once - cooked these cookies at the right temperature. I have always cooked them at 350 degrees and the recipe calls for 375 degrees. I was pretty floored by this simple revelation. How could I have done it wrong the whole time? Have I ever used the right temperature? I don't really know, but I do know that I have never seen the numbers 375 jump off the page as they did today. I couldn't help but take this revelation further - how many other things do I think I know and believe, but don't really have it right? Have I really done the homework I should to ensure that I have all the facts and am making decisions based on those facts? I've been smacked with the constant search and review of the facts the last few weeks. Just when I think I know what is going on with a given situation and maybe have even reacted badly (in my mind, thankfully not towards other people involved) I realized that I needed to review the situation further, check all my bases, make sure the temperature was correct and set it accordingly. Thank God I've done this - life could be much harder than it is right now if I had not. The next time you think you know and have evaluated a situation, ask yourself - do I really know the facts? Have I analyzed this from every angle? Take the time to check into things further - you may be surprised by the simple or even the complex revelation you encounter.