Let It Go, Mom.

katieoutfitIn going through “Throwback Thursday” photos on Facebook recently, I came across this one. Thinking about it again today, I realized I’ve contrived my own version of “Let It Go”. Mismatched, out-of-season clothes…is that kid happy, loved, fed, modest, and relatively clean? Let it go. On Sundays, I get to pick what she wears, but she does her own styling the rest of the week. If I’m worried about it, it’s because others may think I’m a bad mom for not color coordinating everything, making sure it is a fashionable ensemble. It doesn’t matter. A decade from now, she won’t remember what she wore. Neither will I. She needs to be a kid. 

ps This same principle applies to Pop Tarts for breakfast, school on the trampoline, homeschooling (or not), cloth diapers (or not), nursing your baby (or not), and a host of other things. Let other moms have the same latitude you need. Embrace and encourage your mom friends right where they are…because we all need that. Rest in what your own crazy normal looks like today, and help other moms who are wearily wielding their swords to find rest for their souls. It’s in Jesus, in His perfection. It’s not in trying to attain “perfect mom” status. That’s just plain exhausting.

Lay it all before God, and honor Him.

The Dash Movie

A great way to start a new week.  What will matter in the next seven days?  If you do not get to complete them, will you have anything of significance to show for the ones you lived through?  How are you fulfilling the dash between your birth date and the day that you enter eternity?  This is a powerful, thoughtful, beautiful message.  Click here.

For it matters now how much we own…

The cars,

The house,

The cash…

What matters is how we live and love,

And how we spend our dash.

Busy or Busybody?

I was reading a discussion recently that was speaking about the Christian’s responsibility in recognizing who our enemy is.  We have an adversary more cunning, vicious and diabolical than any political leader or terrorist could ever pretend to be.  He prowls “to and fro and up and down” seeking the weak, the defenseless, the unsuspecting.  He wields the tool of man’s pride against himself with expert skill, appealing to the intellect and encouraging the proliferation of humanism.  He beats down the faithful through the lure of his own animal instincts and appetites.  He severs family ties under the guise of financial security or through the drive to attain notoriety.  He is hideously creative and deceptive.  This is our enemy.  He understands the plan for his future demise…so we are fools not to believe that he is going to pull out all the noxious stops he can while he is still able.

Satan delights in confusion, and the preoccupation that believers have with superficialities and “us four and no more-isms” must incite wicked glee among the minions.  Somehow we need to wade our way through the distractions that detract from our mission, and determine what is worth fighting for (I think “fightin’ fundamentalists” spend an exorbitant amount of time in skirmishes that are not pleasing to our Lord and Captain) and advance the front lines.  The “Army of One” is what intimidates and thwarts the enemy.  I think this is what is meant by the hymnwriter:

Rouse, then, soldiers, rally round the banner,

Ready, steady, pass the word along;

Onward, forward, shout aloud Hosanna!

Christ is Captain of the mighty throng. (from “Sound the Battle Cry” by Wm F. Sherwin, 1869)

Our Captain has already overcome the world…everything about it.  We are waiting for the fullness of time, and while we wait we do not sit idly by; but we must occupy until He comes (Lk 19:13).  That means to “do business”–be active in what we know we are left upon this globe to do–preach the gospel, disciple, teach, “do justly, love mercy, walk humbly with thy God.”  That is enough to keep us all plenty busy.

Are you busy or a busybody (1 Tim 5:13)?  Oh, ladies, let’s not waste time.  The night is far spent and the day is at hand.  Make a difference in your family, your church, your neighborhood.  And keep an eye out for the enemy within (Rom 7:18).

Never Alone

j0433155“If chosen men had never been alone,
In deepest silence open-doored to God,
No greatness ever had been dreamed or done.”

As the mother of young children, I find I have very few solitary moments, unless I commit to them.  No area of the house is sacred, once the kiddiewinks are up.  Not even the restroom.  Been there?  Live there? 🙂

I have been thinking about this for some time.  I think much of the shallowness in our generation, in Christian literature, entertainment, music and otherwise, is due to this one point.  Folks need to be devoted to getting alone with God.  That is hard to do in our techno-saturated world.  We are not alone when we are accompanied by cell phones, pagers, Blackberries, ipods, car radios and tape/CD players (even DVD players) everywhere we go.  We are suffering for it, too.

I am a front porch kind of girl.  (Interestingly, have you noticed that modern architecture has largely reduced the front porch to a 6′ x 6′ concrete slab?)  Give me a swing, a great book or perhaps someone nice to chat with, and I am content.  I am very easy to entertain.  I am a great fan of quiet, and it is hard to find.   You can’t shop in peace. Folks don’t even go for walks anymore without being plugged into something or other.  Maybe that’s why I enjoy reading dead guys–their stuff is thoughtful–composed in a time that was devoid of these distractions.

Perhaps this is why the word “devotions” was coined.  When you are devoted to someone, you make up your mind that they take priority.  Convenience as nothing to do with it.  You sacrifice to be in their company, and to please them.  Your thoughts are occupied with that person, and your talk often is as well.  I like the word “devotion”–but because it has been watered down to mean “I spend four minutes scanning a devotional book, when I can squeeze it in,” I usually choose to call it “quiet time.”

Click here to read something significant I came across recently.  Wow, this is so true.  Covet to be alone with Him…we should be desperate for this.

Over Easy: Flossing and “Calvin & Hobbes”

j0337249I was inspired this morning while flossing my teeth.  I always feel victorious when I throw that frazzled length of waxed string in the wastebasket.  Why?  I detest flossing.  It slows me down.  It’s not fun (my teeth are tight).  Sometimes it hurts if I get impatient.  So, that little strand of Reach dental tape is a trophy to me–victory over self!

We don’t often like to do what’s healthy and right.  Cutting out sugar, caffeine, doughnuts, french fries.  Tying on the walking shoes when it is cold and drizzly out.  Dragging out the free weights when you’d rather be in bed.  Snapping on the seat belt.  Going the speed limit (*cough*).  Dusting, laundry, dishes–all those homey duties that are seemingly never done.  What about Bible study?

It’s getting awful quiet in here. 😉

Did you know that flossing gives you better breath?  It helps you to be nicer to be around.  So does your quiet time! 😀  It makes you immeasurably more amiable…just ask your family members, friends and colleagues.  You are much better company for God, too.

But there is evidence of an even greater benefit to flossing.  By adopting that little daily habit, you greatly offset the likelihood that you will develop gum disease.  Gum disease has direct connections to heart disease.  Flossing could literally save your life.

Okay, I’m not going to get all goofy and draw a gazillion parallels between these two morning habits; but I think you get the point, right?  The ramifications for your spiritual health as a result of regularly skipping your daily time in the Word are serious ones.

“Thy word [is] a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”  Ps. 119:105

One of my favorite “Calvin and Hobbes” strips is the one where Calvin tells his tiger friend that they need to be cooler.  He hands Hobbes a pair of Ray Bans.  Upon slipping them on, Hobbes puts his arms out in front of him, as if to prepare for groping his way through the day, and asks quizzically, “It’s cool to bump into things??” Calvin replies, “You don’t move.  You just hang around.”

It’s pretty obvious that if you want to see where you are going, and avoid bumps and bruises, you need some light.  So…grab that little white box with the spinny thing inside, flip the top open, give that string a yank, and snap off a suitable amount.  While you floss, you can listen to scripture on tape and do your heart good, two-fold.  You’ll thank me later. 🙂

And, if you need a flossing tutorial, click here.  That’s free.