Aug 262015
 

By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.  John 13:35

It was a typical summer morning.  Dishes in the sink.  Doing some breakfast improvising due to no milk and no oatmeal.  Asking then re asking the kiddo’s to get dressed and clean up last nights fort.  And trying to do and say it all without feeling or sounding like the Wicked Witch from the West.  (“Love is not easily angered….love is not easily angered….love is not easily angered….”) Being on time without being unkind to your family sometimes seems like the impossible feat in our household.

We made it.  To the car.  Late, but moving in a forward motion.  At this point many would skip the Dutch Bros coffee run, but this was the part of the morning which was not a negotiation.  It was a necessity if you will, anyone with me?  We pulled into the drive through and the cheery barista took our order.  The girls yelled from the backseat, “Can we please get a steamer Mom?”  Feeling giving I gave in to their request.  As I continued with our order my youngest daughter rolled down her window to get a closer look at things.  The cheery barista didn’t miss a beat, said “Hi girls!  What are you going to do today?”  My youngest daughter (the spokesperson/designated representative for the sister’s) gave not only our plans for the park play date, but also both girls’ soccer practice times, soccer team names, and soccer team shirt colors.  The cheery barista listened intently, smiled and responded with an excited, “Wow!  So great!  So fun!”

As we pulled away from the drive through with drinks in hand my oldest daughter asked, “Why are these people so nice, Mom?”  I thought about her question for a moment, and said, “Well, they must like making people feel special.”  I followed it up by asking her if she liked it when they were so friendly (this is my introverted child in which I was unsure as to if the friendliness would be unappealing).  She replied, “Yes, I like it a lot when they smile and talk to me.”

I so agreed with my oldest daughter.  Dutch Bros had some serious “pros”.  There has not been one time (and we go atleast once a week) in which I didn’t drive away from Dutch Bros feeling loved, cared for, and with a smile on my face (and this is not just because I love their Creme de Mint Decaf Mochas).  Every employee smiles.  Every employee is somehow a master of conversation.  Every employee makes you somehow feel like you are “the best thing sense sliced bread” for that 3 minute interaction at their window.

As I pondered the “Dutch Bros Pros”, I couldn’t help but evaluate how I measured up in the “niceness towards others” category.  My “Wicked Witch of the West” attitude/verbal commands earlier this morning were definitely not a shining moment of kindness.  The scripture above, By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another, was my next brain thought.  Shouldn’t people be leaving our church on Sunday mornings with the very same question my daughter asked as we drove away from Dutch Bros, “Why are these people so nice?”  Shouldn’t my kids, husband, co-worker’s, friend’s and stranger’s walk away from interactions with me thinking, “Why is she so nice?”

Because the love of Jesus in me and in you should make a difference.  Other’s should questions why we care about them so much.  Why we listen without judgement.  Why we give of ourselves and our resources with no strings attached.  Why we have genuine interest in our questions to them.  Why our words speak life, encouragement, and kindness always.  Why we rely on the Holy Spirit to turn the “Wicked Witch of the West” morning attitudes into “Glinda, the Good Witch of the South” marked by patience and love.  Other’s should be able to tell we are believer’s by the care, concern and love we give.  It’s time for the church and for ourselves to take on the “Dutch Bros Pros” relationship strategy and be.  known.  by.  love.

How can you change your morning routine to better reflect the love of Jesus to your family?

What times of the day or specific activities make you more prone to quick, harsh words?

In what way can you facilitate a “Dutch Bros Pros” welcoming, caring, nice environment for people who walk into your church?

Think and act on the saying, “if you don’t have something nice to say don’t say it at all”.

 

 

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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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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Feb 112013
 

A COUPLE WEEKS AGO I HAD A TEARY MOTHER MOMENT.  I have teary mother moments often, (especially during February craziness, which I wrote on last week) but this one enveloped tears of joy versus pain

After finishing our usual 30 minute clean up from breakfast, I round the girls up to get ready for the day.

Our morning routine in a nutshell: 

  • Teeth brushing- Includes the ABC song and many promptings that Mommy needs to brush as well.
  • Hair fixing-Using the special Dora brush, I endure screams of, “I don’t want you to brush my hair” and calmly reply with multiple responses of, “We must brush our hair or there will be larger tangles.  Mommy will be very gentle.  Please don’t move your head or it will take longer to finish.”
  • Getting dressed-Includes the changing of sweet 2 year old Sadie’s poopy diaper, while I role-play multiple barn yard animals.  I call to Lucy in the other room to see if she has put on her underwear.  I respond to her “Mom, is it a short sleeve or a long sleeve day?” question.
  • The laundry event-I lift up each girl to help them put every piece of clothing in the wash.  I often have to separate the girls as they struggle to keep their hands to themselves.

Knowing this morning would encompass all of the above battles and additional unexpected ones, I took a deep breath in.  Then out.

Sadie grabbed my leg and said, “Hold me Mama.”  I pulled her up to put her on my hip (I recognized my baby is gettingheavier) and we started up the 2 flights of stairs.

Then it happened.

Sadie turned to face me, laid her head on my shoulder and squeezed my neck with all her strength.  I pulled back due to her extreme closeness and I realized there was no way she was letting go.

I continued to fight her for a couple more steps and then gave in.  It is at this place of surrendering my strength and will that I experienced the necessity of the relentless hug.

Relentless hug defined:  Persistent, insistent, unyielding embrace.

A smile came to my face, tears to my eyes, and a weight was released from my mind, body and spirit as Sadie continued her death grip around me.  I was caught up.  In her arms.  And every other agenda item for the day took a back seat.

I was caught up in the goodness of God to give me Sadie as a daughter.  I was caught up in the grace of God to allow me to stop my everyday chaos.  To focus on her loving embrace.  To be thankful and present in the moment. 

And then it was as if Sadie’s tiny hands were transformed into the large, strong hands of Jesus. This brought fresh tears to my eyes.  To rest in my Daddy’s arms, is to know everything is going to be ok.  Loved.  Comforted.  Content.

Just like I resisted Sadie’s hug at first, I also resist Jesus’ arms of love during my day.  I resist and say,

I got this.

I’ll just have another cup of coffee and be fine.

I am too busy to look to You.

Jesus is extending a virtual, relentless hug to you right now.  Stop resisting.  Only close your eyes and release your burdens to Him.  Now take in His perfect embrace.

“He tends His flock like a shepherd:  He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart…”  Isaiah 40:11

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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