Tuesday, February 25, 2014

On Cinnamon Toast and Parables.


I made cinnamon toast for breakfast this morning. Every time I make cinnamon toast I think of my dad and my grandpa. Growing up my grandpa would make cinnamon toast for my dad and his siblings. There were eight kids, but for whatever reason, my grandpa would always make ten pieces of toast. This presented a dilemma. Did you savor your piece of toast, or did you rush through it in hopes of getting one of the two extra pieces. We all know this story by heart because every time my mom made toast my dad would tell this story. And now, whenever one of us makes cinnamon toast we tell the story as well.

As I made toast this morning I thought back to our small group a few weeks ago. We are going through the book of Mark and as a group we were discussing the fact that Jesus taught in parables. We talked about the fact that he used every day items, things that his listeners would no doubt be familiar with, to get his point across. Farming, fishing, sheep, slaves, vineyards were all things that would have been part of the day to day life of his audience.

I am sure He did this for a number of reasons. If you are trying to teach knew knowledge it only makes sense to build on previous knowledge. I do not claim to be a Bible scholar and I hesitate to presume anything. But, as I look at the cinnamon toast on my plate and think back on the familiar family story, I can't help but wonder if that was part of the point. I think about the farmers that may have heard the parable of the sewer and wonder if any of them were ever able to plant their crops again with out thinking about that sermon.

Maybe I am off base, maybe not. But Jesus changed how people saw a lot of things... so why not change how they saw a seed?



Saturday, February 8, 2014

Each Season Has It's Joys



My sister-in-law have a phrase that we so very often repeat to each other, "Not every season is joyful but every season has joyful moments." or, "Not every season is easy, but there are still good moments in those seasons."

If I were to be honest, this week has been one of the less joyful seasons. In fact, depending on when you asked me, I might even classify it as down right hard. Tacy has been sick and from there we have fallen one by one.

Josh and I were hit earlier in the week and by last night we were all down for the count. I spent the night last night sleeping on the sofa waking up every 45 minutes to tend to my 6 year old or 6 month old and then was woken for the day around 6:30 by my 4 year old.

Today has been a muddle of sick kiddos, pizza for lunch, crazy amounts of NetFlix, canceling weekend plans, and unsuccessfully getting my kids to nap.

But, in the midst of this hard week there have been glimpses of joy. Sweet reminders of love and light. My brother and his family living with us is so often a fresh breeze on these hard days. Someone else close by who understands the exhaustion that comes with those early years of parenting. Someone to swap kids with because, for whatever reason, another person's  kids can be cute even when yours are on your last nerve. A third opinion on fevers and flues. A bottle of of Motrin when you are out. A hug when the kids haven't napped, and you haven't showered, and the husband won't be home for hours. Even better, some one to watch the kids so you can get that shower!

I know that the season of being a multi-family home is coming to a close soon. I know the time is coming for us to all have our own spaces back. When the times comes it will be a happy positive day full of God's provision. I know this can't last forever and, while I will be thrilled for them when God gives them their own home, I will miss the sweet, daily reminders that each season has it's joys.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

When What We Ask For Is Harder Than We Expected.





We are getting ready to leave a friend’s house. She begs for a drinking. She is “sooooooo thirsty” she says. “PLEASE?!” she begs. Just one drink. She is given a bottle of juice. She climbs into the car and promptly drops the lid. For the next 15 minutes I listen to her complain….
She has to cover the top with her hand so it won’t spill and her hand hurts.
Her hands are cold.
She is tired.
She doesn’t want to hold it any more.
Please can’t I hold it for her?
And I shake my hand and stifle a sigh of exhaustion before it hits me that she and I are the same.
How often does it happen? I fixate on something. “Please, dear God,” I pray, “Please! This, THIS would make me happy.” Convinced I know what’s best I badger and beg till it is given to me…. Only to be surprised that there is no magic cure. That the gift I so desperately begged for is not an easy answer, but something that takes work.
Marriages
Children
Friends
Dream Jobs
Dream homes
All come with strings attached. All come with work and sacrifice and commitment.
How surprised we are to realize that happiness takes effort.
How reluctant we often are to do the hard things.
How many times have I been a four year old little girl, crying over the juice I begged for.
May I be willing
To do the work.
To get my hands dirty. 
To make the sacrifices.
Happiness takes effort and big dreams don't come easily.
May I be willing to accept that. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Space



I am trying to write a post about the word Josh and I choose for our family in 2014, but frankly it's just laughable.

My girls are talking, singing, cutting, writing, coloring as they work on Valentine's. I am desperately trying to focus on writing but my attention is pulled away every so often to spell names of family and friends.

Our table is covered in papers, boxes of valentine's, napkins left over from last night's Superbowl get together, cups of cold hot chocolate, my lap top, homework assignments ect.

My brain is cluttered and distacted trying to do two many things at once and over whelemed my the visual chaos around me.

And I laugh.... because our word of 2014 is SPACE. And some days, some moments, I feel like that is the farthest thing from our lives. I feel like we are stretched to the max in every way possible and space of any kind is pretty far fetched goal. But that's exactly WHY it is our word this year. Because it is something we so desperately need and something that that is seriously lacking. We have filled our lives with the clutter of "busy" and no longer have Space for what God is doing.

A day or two after we chose the word Space our pastor preached on Acts 2. As we listened to that message we realized that we had found our family verse for the year. (Something we hadn't even been looking for.)

Acts 2:42
And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.

THIS! This is what we wanted Space for! In so many ways it captures what we want our lives to be.

Space in our home so that it feels like a heaven. Free of junk and stuff that add mental or physical clutter.

Space in our schedule, to spend time in God's word, to rest, to have people over, to help out when others are in need, to pray, to listen.

Space in my mind to think, to breath, to write, to be creative.

Space in our finances to help others and make memories with our family.

Space for whatever God brings.