Archive | attitude RSS feed for this section

Better than Mary Poppins

25 Jun

20120625-143721.jpg

She came to the door, arms laden with bags. “I have just a few more things in the car,” I heard her say as she turned and left. “I’ll be right back!” The children and I looked at each other wondering what this treasured friend was up to this time…

Returning, a little out of breath, like Mary Poppins, she began to pull things out of her abundant bags. “I was at the store,” she began, “and it occurred to me the kids might like some grilled cheese sandwiches. As I was picking up the cheese and bread, I felt the Lord directing me to meat and cheese instead. I really thought grilled cheese sounded better, but He kept prodding me to get meat and cheese. So, I just decided to get both… I know you make your own bread, but I bought some anyway, just for fun.”

As quickly as she had come, she was gone.

Her words slowing sifting through my mind…

“I felt the Lord directing me to get meat and cheese instead.”

How could she have known? She didn’t know. Only God knew…

The children stood looking at me. Did they remember their own conversation just yesterday, I wondered. Did they recall in their minds how they had dreamily spoke of meat and cheese sandwiches as they reluctantly ate peanut butter and jelly, again?

We ate our lunch with thankfulness and awe of our great and loving God.

That day left a permanent impression in my mind.

Not only does our Heavenly Father care about even the smallest of details in our lives, He speaks to us! He is there to lead and direct our steps, if we are willing to listen.

.

Advertisements

Learning to Fly with Confidence

21 Jun

20120621-151317.jpg

Watching these tiny little birds on our porch, I wondered what it must be like for them when they take their first flight.

I’m not sure why, but these last few days I have doubted my abilities in just about every area of my life. I have honestly felt like there is someone shouting in my mind, “Who do you think you are? You certainly aren’t a writer, why would anyone want to read what you have to say?… Start running again? ha, ha. You couldn’t do that. You’ve let too much time go by, besides that, your too old!… There is absolutely no way you are going to find time to home school this year. You simply have too many kettles in the fire!… Give up! Give up! Give up!”

Even though I know better than to listen to these self destructive thoughts, I admit they got my attention. I was listening to them and even beginning to believe them. In fact I was tempted to change my course in a few areas.

Not being the first time this has happened to me, I knew the first step I needed was to seek God and listen to Him for clarity in my mind. As the condemning comments continued, I chose to read and reread the scripture verses I have been focusing on. ( For more on learning to listen to God, click here.)

“Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need for endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.” Hebrews 10:35-36 (NASB)

“But my righteous one shall live by faith; and if he shrinks back, My soul takes no delight in him.” Hebrews 10:38 (NASB)

Yesterday I came across an article that my good friend, Shara, wrote called,  Marathon Training and Homeschooling.  No, I’m not interested in marathon training, but the principles were exactly what I needed to hear! 

“Whenever it comes up that I’ve run 2 half-marathons (not that this comes up much…HA!), the response I get from people who don’t run is, “I could never do that!!

I am here to tell you…you can!! Unless there is some REAL medical condition keeping people from running, a vast majority of the people who tell me they “never could”, in fact, very much could. They maybe couldn’t today, I couldn’t today:). But they could in 6 months (and usually much sooner). You start one step at a time and train. I started with a novice schedule. It assumed I could run 2 miles. If you can’t yet run 2 miles start with running one block. Then 2 tomorrow. You can, it just takes persistence and time.”

Shara’s, article isn’t just about running or homeschooling, it is about life! It reminded me that I need to trust God and act on what I know to be true.

Another woman I know has a blog she has kept up for many years called i am baker. Last night as I looked over some of her posts, I noticed how she declared who she was in her titles: i am baker, i am mommy, i am author, i am servant.

This morning, as I woke to the same lousy voice in my head, I remembered the declarations of i am baker. I chose to declare who I am, not who I’m not.

So, those are all good points, but it wasn’t until I physically acted on my beliefs, that I started to regain my confidence.

“For by Thee I can run upon a troop; and by my God I can leap over a wall.” (Psalm 18:29)

FYI: I conquered 2 miles early this morning! :)

Special thanks to my dear husband that always, always, always supports and loves me!

she looked up at me, stunned

8 Jun

20120608-152054.jpg

Sitting next to my eighth grade lab partner, we attempted to conquer the day’s assignment. The frog was placed before us.  Our job was to dissect the unlucky creature. How we had ended up as partners, I don’t remember. What I do know is that I was glad she got along with me. I had seen how she treated her enemies, and it wasn’t pretty.

During the course of our science experiment, we chatted together about our classes, people, likes and dislikes… I have no remembrance of what I may have said, but at one point she looked up at me stunned. “Becky, I have never heard you speak poorly of someone else before!”

At this point, I was stunned.

First of all, I was amazed that she would have even noticed or cared. After I processed her comment, I was ashamed that I had been guilty of the accusation!

This fellow student, who was known for treating others harshly, left a lasting impression in my mind.

The words we speak are powerful, possible of tearing down or building up. As a family, our goal is to always speak well of each other. Even when criticism is necessary, it should be given in love, never spoken of behind another’s back.

A family is a great place to begin the process of learning to treat each other with respect. What a delight to hear a wife carrying on about her wonderful husband or a brother speaking highly of his sister. It takes making a deliberate effort to change our habits – to relearn, but it is worth the effort as harsh words should never be allowed!

Since that day in the science lab, I wish I could say I have never made the same mistake again. Unfortunately I have, but I am thankful my “friend” took notice and confronted me. Because of her, I guard my words more closely.

K.I.S.S.

5 Jun

20120605-135828.jpg

The plumber just left informing me that, although he would be fixing our plumbing issues, he had to go through the proper channels. This time he was going to be sure it was done right. He didn’t know what day, but he would be back. In the meantime, we will patiently wait – looking forward to the day the nice plumber man comes back and the septic is no longer backed up into the bathtub!

Life is so full of the unexpected. At least, my life is! How often do I make plans to find they need to change – again, and again.

I used to be a pretty big planner, disappointed when I couldn’t achieve everything I had set out to do. The words of my father-in-law frequently still ring in my ears, “Becky, remember the KISS rule: Keep it simple, Stupid!”

With a large family, our lives being pretty full, flexibility is essential. To keep it simple, I daily try to focus on the most essential things in my life:

1. Take time to honor God, focusing on His will rather than my own.

2. Take time to nurture my relationship with my husband, letting him know he has my love and attention.

3. Take time to nurture my children – through a kiss on a wound, a tickle attack, a phone call, a listening ear, freshly made chocolate chip cookies…

4. Take time to encourage others as the opportunities arise.

When life gets so busy that I fail at these things, I can hear my father-in-law’s voice reminding me to “Keep it simple, Stupid!”

mercy triumphs over judgement

1 Jun

20120601-145101.jpg

Listening to an audio version of a book while I scrubbed my bathroom, I was struck by these words, “mercy triumphs over judgement.” I played the section again… “mercy triumphs over judgment.”

The thought has lingered in my mind as I have gone through the day. How does that play out in our marriage? How about in our relationships with our children?

Judgement always drives a wedge between, killing intimacy – showing a lack of understanding, a lack of forgiveness, a desire to withdraw.

Mercy, unmerited favor, reveals an unconditional love – strengthening a transparent, secure relationship where honesty is encouraged.

May our household be filled with mercy!

mercy triumphs over judgement (James 2:13)

trusting enough to let go

29 May

20120530-060025.jpg

In closing, I drew a butterfly next to my signature.  The letter was off, off to my love in Brazil.   He would be back in a few months,  what felt like a lifetime.  Our insatiable desire was to be together, yet too young to be married.  Somehow, through the distance – our love had only grown.

20120530-060110.jpg

Watching our grown children arrive home to visit, one by one (or two by two), I remember the mixture of emotions as they moved away.  The heart wrenching pain was combined with a joyful anticipation for their future.

20120530-060121.jpg

A butterfly lands on my 5 year old’s hand. Her brother explains, “Just enjoy it while it is here, if you try to hang on to tightly, it will die. Give it some room to fly and it may even come back to you!”

The joy comes in fully trusting God while watching the flight.

The richness keeps increasing, the love continues to grow.

My second podcast with Shara: Respecting Your Husband

26 May

Sitting here in the waiting room of the dentist office (with my new ipad in hand – of course), I have the luxury of reading, thinking, writing, and reflecting. Part of the process of deliberately encouraging others in marriage and family life is how it causes me to reflect on my own life.

How did I do this morning in sending off my hubby with kind words? Did I take time to encourage him? Did I focus on his strengths or pick apart his weaknesses? Did I take time to draw him close or drive a wedge between us?

A month ago I had the privilege of doing another podcast with my friend, Shara. The last interview was on the adventure of going from 5 – 14 children. This time, as you might guess, it was on marriage. The focus is on my journey of learning to treat my husband with respect and how that continues to affect the rest of our family. Shara has some great insights as she also endeavors to continue building on the strong foundation she and her husband have laid for a healthy marriage and family.

As a result of a few technical difficulties, like my Internet speed for one, the sound is a little soft. Be prepared to have a quiet place to listen.

Please take a moment to visit Notes at Naptime … with Shara and be encouraged!

http://blogging-mama.com/family/respecting-your-husband-podcast-with-becky/</

20120526-063058.jpg