Archives for the month of: July, 2012

Remember I promised that we’d talk about all the exciting stuff going on in my life? Well, now’s as good a time as any right?

Except I really don’t want to talk about it.

I’m scared. Even when good things are happening I am afraid. Mostly of the unknown I guess.

In a nutshell…my dad who I haven’t seen in 5 years is coming to visit me in a few weeks. I mailed a letter to the son I gave up for adoption 19 years ago inviting him to contact me. I’m transitioning from being a stay at home mom to the salon manager in my husbands hair salon. And to top it all off, after a 7 month break from church ministry I’m considering a volunteer position in the youth group.

Two of the above things would probably freak most people out. The other two maybe not so much. All of the above are good things. Any of the above would be enough to stress me out…let alone all four happening at once.

I know I’m not the only one who experiences this kind of thing. We all get overwhelmed by the unknown sometimes. Our imaginations can run wild.

Fortunately we serve a faithful God. And this is what He says in the 13th verse of the 41st chapter of Isaiah,

For I am the Lord your God

who takes hold of your right hand

and says to you,

Do not fear; I will help you.

 

Oh how I needed to read those words today.

It reminded me of a time about 2 years ago when God answered one of the pleas of my heart. I was going through a rough time and kept thinking/praying, “If only I could feel God’s hand on my shoulder.” I was looking for some kind of assurance that He was there with me.

I don’t remember how many weeks I pondered this thought, asking for a physical touch from God.  But one Sunday as I quietly prayed this familiar prayer the lady sitting behind me in church  reached up out of the blue and put her hand on my shoulder.

I knew it was a direct answer to my prayer. I was so overwhelmed with God’s goodness and His extravagant love. Tears of gratitude fell down my face.

I later asked Debbie (the lady sitting behind me in church who I didn’t and still don’t know very well) why she had touched my shoulder and she said she didn’t know. It just seemed like something she should do.

I have never forgotten the feeling of God using Debbie’s hand to allow me to feel His touch, His presence.

But sometimes I need to be reminded to remember. Isaiah 41:13 was that reminder today.

We don’t serve some distant apathetic God. We serve an ever-present God who loves us. He hold’s our hand and says, “Do not fear, I will help you.”

In my life, change is coming. And that means that I am vulnerable. That means I must face the unknown.

This would typically be a great time for me to have a break down.

But instead I choose to rest in God’s love. I am waiting and I am trusting.

I’ll keep you updated.

I didn’t mean to take almost a month off from blogging. Really I didn’t. But between June 22 and July 11 I had some seriously exciting real life things happen and no time to write about them!

At first I was pretty stressed about the lack of writing. I want to write! For so many reasons I want to write.

One reason (though not the most compelling reason by far) is that I’ve been reading a lot about blogging. And one of the first rules of successful blogging is that you must blog consistently, publishing posts at regular intervals.

I kinda blew that one didn’t I?

I realized I’d blown it and then I realized something else…blogging is a rubber ball.

I’m not sure where it originated but I love the idea of imaging your work and your relationships, health and family as balls you’re always juggling.

The work ball is rubber. All the others are glass. If you drop the rubber ball it bounces back. Drop the others and they will be damaged, maybe even shattered.

The exciting stuff that was/is going on in my life are glass balls. I can’t wait to tell you about the things that are happening and the changes God is using to stretch and grow us. And I will, I’ll get there. I’ll make time.

But time is something you only have so much of.

I’m so glad that when I dropped the ball it was blogging…it was rubber.

I’ve missed writing and I’m glad to be back to it. But I’m also pleased that I’ve learned to take care of my family, my health and my relationships first.

My pastor recently shared a story about a little boy who asked his dad how much money he made at work. The father was frustrated by the question but answered, “I make $20 an hour.”

“Ok”, said the little boy. “Can I have $10?”

The dad didn’t appreciate this request and sent his son to bed. After about an hour he thought he had been a little harsh, so he went into the boy’s room and asked him if he was still awake.

“Yes”

The father sat down on his son’s bed and apologized for getting so upset and then handed him a $10 bill. His son immediately pulled a bunch of ones out from under his pillow. He counted the ones and added the ten and said, “Hey Dad, I finally have enough! I finally have $20. Can I buy an hour of your time?”

As my pastor finished this story I had tears in my eyes.

I remember how tough it was growing up without my dad around. I remember my mom working long nights and sleeping all day. She worked so hard to provide for us and to keep us safe.

It was often difficult for her to find one on one time for us. But when she did, we had a great time. Some of my best memories with my mom are us doing crafts together! She loved crafts and I loved doing something fun with her. It was a win-win situation.

Nothing says, “I love you” to a child the way spending time with them does.

Knowing this I thought I’d share a list of 25 fun things to do with your kids.

  1. Read a great book together. (Or listen to it in the car like we do.)
  2. Play board games.
  3. Paint together.
  4. Make bleach pen t-shirts.
  5. Volunteer your time together.
  6. Go for a walk around the block.
  7. Build something with Lego’s together. (My youngest and I recently built a city together.)
  8. Have a video game competition with them. (We love Wii Sports.)
  9. Buy a joke book and take turns reading the jokes out loud.
  10. Fill the driveway with sidewalk chalk art.
  11. Visit an art museum.
  12. Play charades.
  13. Have a water gun fight!
  14. Bake a cake or cookies together.
  15. Plant flowers indoors or out.
  16. Make paper bag puppets.
  17. Play hide and go-seek.
  18. Make fruit juice popsicles.
  19. Play the license plate game.
  20. Give each other a back scratch.
  21. Read the Bible together.
  22. Take a couple of goofy family photos. (Be sure to print and display them right away!)
  23. Cuddle.
  24. Draw on the windows with dry erase markers.
  25. Make a list of things your family is thankful for. (Take turns adding to the list.)

Whatever you choose remember, it’s not the specific activity, it’s our time that communicates love to our children.