Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The ultimate Cubs fan

A few weeks ago I was driving home after dropping my husband off to catch a plane for a business trip. We had been discussing the Cubs. I realized that God is a lot like a Cubs fan. Cubs fans are used to being disappointed by performance. As a matter of fact, we really just expect to be let down. A lot. However, we still get excited when things look even a little promising. They don't even have to making all that great of plays for us to stand up and jump up and down with the thrill of watching them do what they are SUPPOSED to be doing. Let's face it- going to Wrigley and sitting in the sun and taking it all in is an uplifting experience. The wins are nice, but it is more about the community of the game. We are all there to hope for the best and keep on loving the whole package when we are disappointed. God does that. He wants the win, but He loves us in spite of our shortcomings. He just wants us to enjoy the community and to give it our best each day. He sees our potential as reality. It gets even better because He knows that in the end of it all, we have already won. He has given us the most important win. We get the honor of playing in the game that we cannot lose. We don't need to hit the grand slams. We just have to show up and do what we were created to do. Our whole journey on earth is to become a little more like God each day. We will never attain perfection on this earth, but it is ok. We are redeemed beings. Our purpose here is to enjoy the game- to support one another in our joys and sorrows. We are called to bear each other's burdens and celebrate successes. We are allowed to jump up and down with one another just because we are doing what God created us to do. God is watching my game and has my name on His jersey. He is watching your game with your name on his jersey. He is cheering us every step of the way and shouting "There goes my champion!". He is our biggest fan, and he will never get tired of seeing our potential. He knows what we are capable of accomplishing, and he is waiting to see it happen. He doesn't ever say "Wait 'til next year". He already knows all that we will do in this life and he loves us for all that we are. That is a comforting feeling, and one that is far better than a world series win.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Father's Day

It is an amazing day today. We went to church last night. This morning I got up at 5 and started walking with Jodi at 5:30. We finished 11 miles before 9. Jim was able to sleep until 8. He wants to spend the day working on the deck. Sounds good to me! I want to get things organized!! The sun is shining and I just feel like today will be a great day. I am so blessed that God has made Jim into the father he is. He is so great with the girls and truly enjoys being a daddy. It is a great way to look at how God feels about each of us. He loves us completely and wants only the best for us. He smiles when He sees us. He loves it when we run to Him shouting "Daddy, Daddy" and cling to His legs. He wants to protect us from all harm, but knows there are some lessons that must be learned on our own. He gets frustrated when we make the same mistakes over and over and expect different results, but His love is never diminished. It is perfect and true. There is nothing He will not do for us, and unlike our earthly father, he has the power to do it all. He gave it all to us on a beautiful cross, and showed us how to truly love. No wonder it is a beautiful day!!!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

life vs. living

Why is it that life gets in the way of living? There is so much I want to do , and yet I let the daily stuff take up my time and cloud my vision. I love to write, and yet if I spent all the time I wanted to doing that, I would be overcome with guilt. I have been praying for quite some time for God to help me to surrender, and He is answering in many many ways. Some of them painful, but I am getting exactly what I requested. My entire life is cluttered- my mind, my schedule, my house. My kids were in Galena with my parents and I was able to spend 10 hours just uncluttering 4 rooms in my house. 10 hours for 4 rooms!!! It was crazy. Of course I chose the 4 easiest rooms as well. It was liberating, and now I want to do the rest of the house, but it is daunting. I don't even know where to start. I want to purge it all. I want my house to be clutter free. It is almost as if I can get my house in order then I would be encouraged to get my life in order as well. As overwhelming as getting the house done will be, getting my life in order will be much more time consuming, and much more work. That will be a never ending process. I know that God is with me every step of the way, and will be doing most of the work in my heart. I also know that as much as I want to surrender it all to Him, I will be fighting it. I am a stubborn German Irish Lutheran. I don't like change. Being complacent is easy. There is no work required. Surrendering means I need to acknowledge that which is "ugly" in me. It means I have to admit I am not perfect. It means I know that if I am not stepping toward God, then I am stepping away from Him, even if I am standing still. If I am not running into His arms, I am not making progress. How can I choose to do anything but run to Him if I want to teach my children anything at all? I want my children to see me embracing God all of the time. I want it to be undeniable in my life. I want my children to know that they are not perfect, but they are loved. There is no greater love than Christ, and I am so thankful that He walks with me and gently shows me how to surrender my brokenness piece by piece until it is whole. I want to live that journey. I don't want to get stuck in life and forget how to live.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day

it is Mother's Day. Now that I am a mom of four I realize the irony in the day. I love my kids, and they do try and make the day special and they make great gifts. My husband asks me what I need for the day and is really an amazing man who loves me so much more than I deserve. Yet- the day never really ends up being all that great. It is my fault. I am the kind of person who needs to get things done. If I truly took the day off and let them pamper me, it would really just mean more work for me later. I think I need to redefine the day for myself so it is more fulfilling or something. The people who love me most want it to be special, and try so hard, and yet there is always so much to do, I can't just enjoy it. My house is a wreck- mainly because I spent a lot of time outside of it. On a day like today what I really want is some uninterrupted time to get things done. I want my kids to not bicker for the day. I want the gardens to be weed-free. I want the basement to look like a living space. I want all of the junk out of the house so it is no longer cluttered. I want a miracle. What I need to remember is that I have been given 5 miracles that I see each and every day. I have been given the gift of a husband who supports me in all that I do. I have been given 4 beautiful daughters, who at their core are really good human beings. I have been blessed beyond measure, and I don't need a special day to remind of that. Why God has chosen to be so gracious to me, I will never know. I certainly don't deserve it, and I so often take it for granted. I need to take this day and turn it around- I need to show them why I am so thankful to be a mom. I need to let them know that they bring me great joy. I need to let them know they are the reason I get up each morning thanking God for another day. It really isn't about me at all. It is about the ones who gave the reason to celebrate in the first place. Now that is a better way to think about the day.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

And then the rain

It was great while it lasted.... It is cold and rainy now. I am really ready for warm weather. I love living in the midwest. I love the change of seasons. I also love wearing shorts and not having to wear a coat. I do not love not knowing from one day to the next whether I need shorts or sweaters. Perhaps weather is God's way of keeping us from getting complacent. I just finished the book "I'm not wonder woman, but God made me wonderful" by Shelia Walsh. There is a lot of great stuff in there, but one of my favorite parts is when she writes that she wants her heart to be a place in which it pleases God to live. I want that as well. I want Him to search my heart and clear out all that is me and make room for all that is Him. I want to wake up each day resembling God a little bit more. I want me to fade and Him to shine. I want to shed my old self and continually journey toward perfection. It will be a life long path, and although that is very frustrating to my task oriented personality, I am begining to come to terms with it, and even welcome it. Knowing that I am not supposed to attain perfection in my lifetime is actually quite freeing. It does not give me permission to stop trying. I am commanded to aim for perfection. It is a worthy aim, and one I can only do through the grace of God. He does not expect us to go it alone, and He brings so many people into our lives to help us along the way. I have never felt as comfortable in my role in life as I have the last few years. I have been surrounded by people who genuinely love me my entire life, but I feel like I am at a point in my life where the people I interact with on a daily basis truly love me and hold me accountable. I want to be the person God designed me to be, and I have people who share that desire for themselves and for me as well. We are not perfect people, but the fact that we love each other in spite of our imperfections is meaningful. We are not related by blood- we don't have an obligation to love each other because we are "family", but in some ways it is so much more than that. We have chosen to walk down this path of life together, and the fact that we could walk away at any time, but choose not do, makes each step a little more sweet. Don't get me wrong, I love my family, and I am so grateful that I was born into a large, wacky group of people that I call aunt, uncle, cousin, sister, brother, mom, dad, in-laws, grandma, niece, and nephew, however, I feel that they HAVE to love me. It is what families do. But then, we are ALL part of the family of God, so maybe it is not so unusual that I love my friends as much as I do. They are my family in every sense of the word. We all work together to become who God intends us to be. It is a beautiful thing.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Hidden blessings

The sun is shining in Chicago today. It just makes me feel better. I left the house at 7:30 to run some errands and there were some dark clouds on the horizon. I started to resign myself that it was going to be yet another day that I would not get to walk. I decided that unless it was a torential downpour I was just going to suck it up. I sighed and did a quick "OK God, I am turning the day over to you. You know my plans for the day, but I trust you. I surrender it to you." I walked out of the grocery store to beautiful sunshine. It made me smile. How often does God do that for us? We think we have the plans all figured out, and that they are perfectly crafted. However, we are imperfect people, so our plans will always be flawed. I have found that the more I am able to surrender, the more blessings I see. I am sure the blessings were always right in front of me, but now I am more open to them. I can slowly let go of my idea of perfection and see glimpses of true perfection. It is an amazing thing. I am a work in progress, and I am FAR from having it all figured it, but it does bring great joy when I can see the purpose in pain, and can even welcome it. It is in those moments that I feel like I cam living up to at least part of my calling in this life, and I thank God for giving me that opportunity.