Friday, June 18, 2010

What an honor!

With Father’s Day this weekend, it’s making me think about my husband & I am so feeling the blessing of what he brings to our family.

He is such a good provider.
He takes pride in caring for us.
And we feel safe because we know that he will….ALWAYS….at any cost.

He loves us more than he ever thought he probably could love anyone.
And it shows.

It shows in how hard he works.
And in how hard he loves.

He is the dad that is out in the front yard jumping in the pile of leaves with our children.
He is the dad that gets in the kiddie pool with them & doesn’t care what the neighbors think.
He is the dad that reads his Bible to the boys at night.  They may not understand what he is reading yet but they know he is there with them.  And more importantly, God hears.

Whatever he promises to our daughter, he makes sure to deliver.
Even if it makes him late to an appointment.
If he tells her he will be there when she wakes up, you better believe he will be.

He will be the dad on the sidelines cheering the loudest.
He will be their biggest fan.
They will never have to question whether he will make it to a game or a recital or their most important event.  They will never feel that void.
He will be the one that they trust because he has shown them the love that they deserve.

He may be stern & quick to discipline.
Some may think he’s too strict.
But in his love, he is also teaching.
He is teaching respect & courtesy.  He is their example.
He is teaching them to love God.
He is teaching love by providing  love.

I see it not just in his actions.
I see it in how he looks at them.
His eyes light up when he sees them.
Every hug they give him is felt in his heart.
I have never seen him smile & laugh more than when he watches our children.
He enjoys the simplest moments.  The ones that a lot of parents overlook because they are too busy, too distracted, too disproportioned by what they think their kids want instead of really noticing what they do want.  A dad to play with, a dad that will sit & read to them, hug them, cuddle with them.  A dad that will be involved with them.

He is not a perfect dad.  He gets mad at them & is quick to anger sometimes.  He messes up.  He makes mistakes. 

But there is no doubt, when you see him with our kids that this is what he was created for!  And I honor him.  For being a great man & a fantastic example of unconditional & true love.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Going the distance

Prayer is the shortest distance between me & God.
In an instant, a pray is murmured.  And He is there.
And invitation is sent & He responds.
His rsvp is swift and it’s the only one that I really want.
He is the One that I want to show up.
Simply because I love gifts.  And He brings the best ones.
Wrapped in the most beautiful paper & tied gently with a bow on top.
He will step in & will not come empty handed.
I will throw my arms around Him as I would a friend that I have missed for way too long.  My heart will overflow with the abundance of His presence.
I will not need anything more at that moment.  Not a single thing.
He has come to celebrate with me.
He didn’t have to check his schedule….He didn’t have something planned with someone more fun or prosperous or important.
In fact, He was waiting on me to send Him the invitation. 
He had already cleared His calendar for that very day.  That moment in time, when all I seek is Him.
I sit in stillness.
Eyes closed.
Solitude surrounding me.
And I whisper the words ‘please be with me today’.
I wait. 
In silence. 
For His response. 
With an open heart & ears to hear.
With an anticipation like my children feel when all they want is for me to sit with them & read a book or watch a movie or play with them because they know how much I love them.  Because I bring them comfort.  And in my presence, they feel safe & secure.
That’s how I feel when I stretch my legs out & walk that very short distance between prayer & the promise that only He can bring.
No matter how tired or depleted we are, that distance is NEVER too long for us to jouney.  It is never too far for Him to travel.  He is there when we ask to meet Him.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Loving the season!

I love summer!
It makes my heart happy.
The smell of freshly mowed grass.
A big bite of sweet juicy watermelon.
Strawberries that smell as yummy as they taste.
The way a good barbeque permeates the entire neighborhood.
I love the sounds of summer fun.
Children screaming as they jump off the diving board into the cool refresing water on a really hot day.
Or the giggles that come from down the street as the kids play hide and seek.
I love that I lose count of how many pieces of corn on the cob I have eaten because it is so sweet & rare.  I appreciate it more because I know it’s only for a season.  Isn’t that the case with most things?
I love how the sun doesn’t bid a farewell until the day has been filled to the brim…..with laughter & fun & a good afternoon nap.
And that are days are full of that soft summer breeze that only a few months bring.
How it makes the leaves on the trees rustle together to make the best sound that saturates my house because yes…I can have all the windows open….finally.
I love the feel of flip flops between my toes & the way the grass feels on the balls of my feet as I chase my kids through the yard.
And who doesn’t love a good street market?  Where you feel like you’ve been transported to another country just for a little while.  To take in the culture.  The great food.  The music in the background as you browse your day away.
There is a happy relaxed spirit that summer brings.  Like there aren’t as many cares.  And even if there are, they don’t way you down as much. 
So today, my heart is happy.  And I love that.  And I am thankful. 

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Working on change

The other day, my mom sent me an article outlining why the toddler years are such a challenge when it comes to parenting.  Following is a list of traits that answer the question as to why.

1) Toddlers are stubborn.
2) They have no conscience.
3) They live by the following principle: If it is fun and it feels good, I want to do it.
4) They lack good judgment. They can’t anticipate how their behavior will get them into trouble or into a dangerous situation.
5) They’re filled with enthusiasm to explore the world.
6) They’re self-centered. They want what they want when they want it.
7) They have little tolerance for frustration.
8) They have very little self-control.

When I finished reviewing the list, I had to laugh.  This was not a list of traits that characterized my 3 kids.  This was ME.  On paper.   Right there.  #1 thru #8.  To-a-tee. 

Kind of embarrassing when you look at a list like that that should resemble the personality of a 3 year old & yet so eloquently mirrors your own.

But I need to admit it.  I am stubborn at times. 
I would argue the one about having no conscience though.
And sure, anything that is fun, I want to be a part of.  Who wouldn’t?

And yes, on several occasions, I have been known to be deficient in the good judgment department.  Mostly when it came to my choice of boyfriends really.  Occasionally, I have lacked judgment when I have allowed my mouth to move quicker than my brain.  When I have spoken words that I later came to regret.

I argue the point, constantly, with my husband that I am NOT high-maintenance.  I just want what I want.  I’m not the spa-going, weekly-pedicure-getting kind of HM.  I just want my extra lemon in my iced tea.  Or the sheets to be tucked tightly around the mattress.  I guess I am self-centered when it comes to certain things.  I wouldn’t be human if I wasn’t.  But it’s probably the one thing I need to work on the most.  (ok, it’s on my top 10 list)
And the one about having little self-control…..that one got me!  I love my ice cream & it loves me right back.  It hugs my hips daily, as a sign of affection.  And when it comes to shopping, well….if there was ever a treatment plan that I would need to admit myself to, it would be that one. 

I never got to the place in the article that suggested a resolution or gave examples of how to correct the behavior of my 3 children.  I was too self-centered in thinking the article was about me to read any farther. 

Maybe that’s why I love my children so much.  Because they are just like me.  The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, right?  So we’ll move through the list together.  Working on our not-so-lovable traits, one by one.  After all, it’s better to walk the journey with someone who understands you.  And from one stubborn, self-centered, enthusiastic soul to another…that makes the change a little less daunting.