Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Family Devos

Family Devo time with Daddy

sibling love

Listening to the Storybook Bible

Sophie squirming

tummy time

I'll have to post Chase's song later.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Some things I've chewed on

So, it has been a while since I have had any time to sit down and just think. And if you know me or have spent time with me, I may fool you that I appear like an extrovert; but I have a deep-seated need to be silent and just ponder. God has been teaching me a lot about myself lately. A lot of which I have struggled with accepting. The naked truth ain't pretty people!! And He is teaching me in all areas of life. Not just in this stage of being a mommy, though most of my days are filled with the "why do I spend more time disciplining my 2 year old than enjoying him?" question.

Here are some things I've been chewing on:

I am notoriously guilty of ignoring the roses. Smell them? I don't even know they are there? And if I saw them, that'd take like 3 precious minutes I could be using to enjoy some silence without children screaming!!! And then I read a cliche quote that actually hit home: "Learn to pause or nothing worthwhile will catch up to you." - Doug King (no idea who that is, but that describes my inability to find my "off" button. I am so concerned about the future that I have trouble enjoying the moment. If only I could be that Proverbs 31 woman. Ya know? The wife who smiles at the future!)

More things in life are both/and than either/or. I find it easier to see life as black and white but often it is way more complex than that. For instance, I am my kids' biggest advocate and yet sometimes their biggest stumbling block to growth. I seek to find my identity in things of this world daily while knowing that my citizenship is in heaven. I am made perfect in Christ yet I am being sanctified daily. I am both sinner and saint.

I have a love/hate relationship with my dog. :)

I spend so much time in survival mode that I don't know how to really live.

I have immense difficulty forgiving. Just ask my husband. I could use the excuse that my friends may not perceive me as unforgiving.. but that is b/c I am much more of a people-pleaser towards them.

I require of Chase what I myself cannot do. Obeying regardless of one's feelings. Showing love and acting on it even when you feel threatened or hurt. Praying even when you don't feel like it and you'd rather stomp your way out of the room. I'm great at detaching my mind from action and just mindlessly engaging in cleaning, diaper-changing, dog-grooming, meal preparation and laundry. In fact, I pride myself at this. (It's called multi-tasking, right moms?) But when it comes to relational or real heart matters, I find it incredibly hard to simply act in love and forgiveness and then trust that God will soften my feelings to match. The world tells you that acting against your feelings is an abomination of self- it is the ultimate breech of integrity. And yet the Bible tells us that the heart is deceitful and desires to please itself; but we are to act in obedience and trust God to supply the feelings. It tells us that true integrity is having your heart and your actions reflect His goodness. We aren't mere behaviorists, unconcerned with the heart. But we also don't esteem the heart as the end-all truth. Just because our heart "tells us" to do something doesn't mean it is absolute truth. For that matter, any evil thing could be justified.

The more repulsed I am at my 2 year old's disobedience, the more I realize that it's nothing but a reflection of my own disobedience towards God; perhaps mine is a little more socially acceptable and a little more civilized (We'll take complaining and nagging any day over throwing toys near a baby and tantrums in the parking lot.)

I have trouble remembering that things exist for me- NOT the other way around. Meaning the carpet exists in our play room to catch my kids' crumbs, not that my kids and I exist to preserve the carpet. Things are meant to be used, borrowed, shared. Not esteemed, tightly-grasped, and put on shelves hidden from guests. I may be frugal, but I too have "sold out" to materialism.

Less desires = more enjoyment. No I'm not a Buddhist, nor an ascetic, though I do steer towards minimalism (well... the American version-- if that even exists?!) I spend more time arranging things and expending effort on satisfying my desires than actually enjoying anything. Don't know what I mean? Like getting the kids down for a nap and then finding a book and a beverage and a quick snack and then the dog barks b/c I'm sitting on the porch. So I bring her outside (b/c her barking may wake the kids) and decide I want the computer and by the time I get that out I have to use the restroom. I use it in one minute flat and then quickly head back to the porch. Then I hear one baby cry. I can't leave the computer out so I bring that in, go and get the crying baby in hopes that she hasn't waken up her brother and carry the bouncy seat out. I rearrange the dog's leash on the porch so she doesn't harass the baby. Strap the baby in (don't forget the bib or she'll spit up and that'll be another 10 min. for an outfit change) I leave the door open while the dog is on one side and baby is one the other. I run in and get the computer with baby in full view so no one steals her. Yeah who actually has time to eat a snack or drink a beverage or even an extra arm to hold the book that you chose to read after all that b/c the baby decides she doesn't wanna be in the bouncy but wants to be held. (I should aim to expect interruptions and do nothing but birdwatching while being a mom of 2.) So I resort to just sitting there, baby in one arm and computer within reach (only effective to make me see it and feel guilty for all the emails I'm ignoring but knowing I can't type and hold a squirming baby at the same time). Even then I am getting eaten by mosquitoes. It takes me 10 more minutes to get everything in, in reverse order of course.

I am a martyr mommy. I fall into passive-aggressiveness where I do a task but later use it as what my husband calls "coins in the bucket." I use it as stored up good in case I need a defense of why I do something bad. You mean, my having the house sparkling clean and having food on the table amidst screaming children doesn't make up for my wanting to pull my hair out at all the noise and my quickness to get angry at anyone who gets in my way?! I am horrible at keeping no record of wrongs.

When I go through days without clarity of thought, I feel like my life has less significance.

There is only so much screaming my nerves can take!!! How would you feel if your "bosses" screamed at you all day long? What if they called you up in the middle of the night and demanded you put in overtime when you had asked for time off and told you it would be unpaid time? ( I know, I know. That's what I signed up for when I became a parent. Good thing that there are smiles and laughter mixed in there! Or I might just put in my notice! hehe)

I thought marriage was a teeter-totter. That when when one spouse is exhausted and down, the other comes to balance you out. That you take turns lifting each other up. (Like this weekend hubby is allowed to go camping with the guys and next weekend I'll go out and he'll take the kiddos.)But as parents, you'll find that you both are in need of respite at the same time. You feel like you need a break from your kids all day while your husband will also need a break to not feel the burden of provision and working. And the more you demand that he help you, the more stressed he will feel. But the more you devote yourselves to kids 24/7 with no time for hubby and no time for friends or for anything personal, the more you start to wonder who you are and feel taken for granted.

Our spouse's commitments are our commitments too. Don't overcommit your self and do all you can to discourage your spouse from doing the same. If they choose to fill their plate or you selfishly choose to fill yours, the sacrifice will be made by the whole family!

I've learned that being told "don't worry about it" or "just do it later" is not the same as helping me do a task. Saying cliches such as these completely ignores implications and even encourages procrastination and laziness, while offering help with a task takes true humility and servitude. When I hear these phrases, they annoy me to all ends. It's like telling someone in debt to just wait on paying bills. Ignore them and they might go away. Doesn't it take much more character to help someone with their burden then try and sweep it under the rug? After all, won't waiting just imply that there will be more dishes waiting for you to do when you wake up , or more debt accumulated, or that leaving laundry in the dryer will require you another hour of ironing that you could have avoided if you would have just efficiently taken the laundry out at the buzzer?!

Horizontal comparison can tempt our heart to sin: guilt (I"'ll never be as good as..."), envy ("My life would be better if I just had..."), lust ("I must have what they have and at any cost!"), anxiety ("what will others think of me if I....?), you name it. But vertical comparison (man to God) should lead us to humble ourselves and at the same time strive to be like Him! ("For every look at yourself, take ten looks to Christ."- Robert Murray McCheyne. I'd say the same for every time we take looks at others.)

I assent to the Five Solas.
I unfortunately, too often, assent to the sixth as well: "sola boot strappa."

Continuing in sin can often be a wrong view of forgiveness. When forgiveness seems beyond our grasp, we don't aim for it. We ask ourselves "What's the point?" and go on sinning.

Forgiveness is painful. It forces us to see our sin, admit that we have erred and seek reconciliation knowing that the person who harmed us may do so again. It leaves the justice up to God rather than seeking to settle the score ourselves. It requires us to lay down all the "but I's..." and "well, you deserved..." and just say my pride and feelings are don't matter. Admitting we are wrong implies weakness. This world preaches self-protection. (Just watch The Apprentice! The guy who comes out on top never admits any weakness in him and is the quickest to point the blame at the "weakest link" to eliminate any competition.) The world will tell you that God helps those who help themselves. (This is NOT in the Bible, by the way!) There couldn't be anything further from the truth. God lifts up those who humble themselves (Mat 23:12, Luke 14:11, Ps 149:4, Pr 3:34). He humiliates the proud and gives strength to those who admit their weakness and need for Him. He doesn't call Christians to be doormats. He calls us to be servants, admitting our faults and our need for Him and then to move on in strength because our foundation is built upon a ROCK!

Jesus struck the perfect balance in everything. My pendulum swings back and forth from extreme to extreme on a daily basis. Example: 9:00 am "uber-disciplined/joyful Krisha sets out to do laundry, shower, feed baby #2, dress baby #1, put baby #2 back down for nap, feed dog, toss pile of diapers by the door to be ready for morning meeting. 9:05 am Baby #1 screams waking baby #2, baby #2 demands feeding=no shower for mommy and the laundry? Ha! The heck with that! I'll be lucky to make it to the meeting 30 minutes late!!

I am a living example of how a Christian can be such a failure in the world's eyes and still have great value in the Lord. I DON'T do it all. I don't work a full-time job, host a position of authority, have a portfolio of impressive credentials, and have pancakes ready every morning. I don't sew my own curtains and make my kids' clothing. I don't attempt to try a new recipe every day. I don't have perfect kids either. They don't have perfect manners and don't always reflect what we've taught them. I don't have a hobby or talent that adds to my worth. I can't say "at least I'm a runner" or "I teach dance in my free time." I can't say "my husband just adores me." Don't get me wrong, my man LOVES me! But there are moments where we both struggle to even get along. And I certainly don't have money, a buff body, cool clothes, or anything else to envy. But I do have Jesus Christ and He is the only one who can give me worth, value, and meaning in this life. When health and wealth and charm and status fade away, only virtue remains. And that is of God.

okay... going back to chew on some more while my kids are nappin.'