May 222015
 

In the lives all around us the self-driven, self-seeking, self-esteem wishing priorities are evident.  And somehow we must find a way to step of the “self train” and enter into something better, bigger and best.  Something I am finding to be even more challenging than normal in my current state.  “Oh my Jesus, please show me how to lean into this ‘Love is not self seeking’ challenge’.”

Seek.  First.  His.  Kingdom.  And ALL the rest (the future worries, present pain, past hurts, current frustrations, current unknowns) will.  be.  taken.  care.  of.

Self-seeking versus Kingdom seeking moment-#1-My mother-Based on my current state, I keep checking the month to make sure it’s not April and that this “self seeking” love characteristic was simply God’s way of playing an April fools joke on my sorry self.  Turns out, “no”.  No joke.  Just real world lessons for me.  Jesus style. So-this word “self”or “it’s all about me” should pretty much be plastered to my forehead so those unknowing souls can quickly get caught up to speed about my current bedrested, all day sickness, pregnant self. Talk about feeling self-ish, self-reliant, self-undone.  This is more than humbling.  I find it much more comfortable to be the giver rather than the receiver.  Taker of the meal to the needy family, rather than being the needy family.  One extending a prayer of healing for a sick friend rather than hearing another’s prayer for me.

But as I sit in the “receiving” state, my mom, gets the “love is selfless” award of the year (and truly should receive this award for each year of my life).  Let me give you some examples:  she forgets to get dressed until halfway through the day because she is tending to my cold wash rag, eating every hour and a half, massaging, grocery shopping, laundry, dishes, and two girls’ needs.  When we found out I was pregnant and that it fell over my husband’s work planned 3 week trip abroad with his college students, she put her entire life on hold.  For me.  She has lived in my house and taken care of my oh so many needs, and let go of hers.  My mom is currently clothed as a real life Saint at the moment.  Truly.  The selfless love of Jesus.  Pours out of her. Onto a needy soul like me.  And I am forever grateful.

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.  Phillipians 2:4

Who do you need to thank today for their selfless acts of giving to you?

 

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Sep 022014
 

“A time to kill and a time to heal; A time to tear down and a time to build up.A time to weep and a time to laugh; A time to mourn and a time to dance.A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.”  Ecclesiastes 3:3-5

Surreal.  Surprised.  Sad.  Is the state of my soul today.  It is my first.  Time I have gone down this road.  Realization this “new” is crashing down on me whether I like it or not.  Born baby girl going off to big girl Kindergarten.  And I am undone.”

“Firsts” have a way of beckoning us to the days of yesterday.  I remember all my baby girl’s “firsts”:

Seeing her tiny self for the first time and having a one track mind.  And actually yelling my one track mind to the nurses, husband, and mother, “She has dimples!”.

Cheering on her belly laying, giraffe chewing self to take a risk and roll.  Over.

Ever so carefully sliding my fingers out of her tiny ones and being filled with an immediate ecstatic body rush as her right foot takes a step.  Then her left.  Then her right again.  All on her own.

(And I am absolutely fighting back, no, streaming down tears as I write this-Kind of like when I watch ANY episode of “Little House on the Prairie” or truthfully any commercial involving a family playing together-I know, don’t judge me.  I have what I like to call, the “Gift of Tears”.)

No longer having her reliant on me for every meal (On the other hand, still reliant on me for every meal.  Just a change in presentation.)  Watching each hilarious expression for peas.  Pears.  Prunes.  The mess was every minute worth the entertainment of my bald, Bumbo sitting baby.

What I thought would be weeks of potty training turned out to be.  Well-weeks of potty training.  But oh how it made the joy so much sweeter when somewhere in the midst of my maxed patience for washing wet underwear, the rainbow stickers motivated her enough to care.  And using the toilet on a regular basis became our “new normal”.

Laughing at her silly love for words.  Said in different forms.  Combined with others to equal complete nonsense.  Which in turn equaled nonstop fun for the whole fam.

Realizing I had an “Art girl” when the only thing to stop her from crying every time I would leave her at Bible study was to mention they had Smelly Markers.  And remembering the humbling conversation when I said to a group of moms, “And yea, isn’t it so frustrating when you have to try and wipe off crayon from your walls?”  And the response from the 10 present was a blank stare of confusion.

Experiencing my heart beating outside of my chest.  As she went down a hill.  On a balance bike.  Going past the “speed limit”.  But she survived.  Learned.  And relied upon balancing rather than her feet for stability.

I could continue on about her petite feet, too long of a toothless grin, birthday themes of rainbows and love for gardens and smelling flowers, but then I would never be present in the moments of today.  It is helpful to remember all of my Lucy’s “firsts” because they were moments of intimacy, growth, and opportunities to overcome challenges.  At that time they were “new”.  Scary.  Unknown.  Change.  I wasn’t sure how I would ever thrive or feel comfortable.  But I was sure I so needed my heavenly Father.  I looked to Him for comfort, direction and wisdom.  And He didn’t let me down.  Not.  One.  Time.  And He won’t let me down.  Right.  Now.  Either.

Mourning an end to the day of “the known” is necessary to bring us into the sunrise of the new day.  But we cannot stay here. We must recognize one day is done and another is beginning right before our eyes.

Remembering too long turns into regretting the now.  Wishing it were then.  Sad it isn’t then.  Listening to Satan’s lies that “this new will never be as good as it was back then.”  And becoming discontent and depressed becomes the reality of life with this “first”.

As I venture into my current season of “firsts”-maneuvering as a Kindergarten mother, upcoming speaking opportunities at women’s retreats, and upping my mileage in training for this marathon, I plan to rely on my God.  Trusting His faithfulness and love to see me through today.  And I have complete confidence that whatever “first” we are currently wading through, He is right beside us.  With each.  First.  Step.

So may we embrace the “firsts” coming our way in this season.  And may today be a day of gratefulness.  For all the gifts and blessings from the Lord.  For every “bursting with love heart memories.”

Let us walk confidently and expectantly for the good that God has in store for us and our loved ones.  For today is a day to “Rejoice in the day the Lord has made” (Ps 118:24).

And this is my prayer:

Oh Father, would you go with my girl today.  Stay real close.  Hold her tightly when unkind words are said.  Give her laughter with other children.  Provide her with a good friend.  Help her to learn when is the time to sit quietly and listen and when is the time to let loose.  Give her opportunities to show your love and compassion and help to others.  Help her be a blessing in that classroom.  Allow for space to grow in the giftings you have given her.  May she remember you will help her when she is anxious, afraid, or hurt.  May she experience Your love and faithfulness in every difficult and fun activity.  May this day mark the beginning of a pattern.  Of doing life with You.  May you uphold her, surround her, love on her today.  As I have come to know you ever so gently do, when we step into a “first”.  Thank you.  For the work you have done in the past and the work you will continue to do.  In her.  And in me.

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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