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365Expressions

Writing these "letters" has helped me to process life as a new mother, remain thankful, and come awake to the little moments that make this pretty challenging season simply wonderful.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Day 228...eucharisteo

Eucharisteo.  "He gave thanks..."  Looking at what you are given and choosing to see it as grace and give thanks.  "Choosing to fill with all that He freely gives and full live--with glory and grace and God"  A.V.

Tonight we danced and sang and read books and tumbled by the fire.  Ice cream and cookies.  Firelight and Christmas tunes.  But it was in the laughing faces that made me think..."thanks."

Little moments are treasures for my soul.

Dear Sadie.

"Best night ever!,"  Sadie.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Day 227...number our days

Kids are napping, all is right with the world.  Ha ha.

I have a moment, and I'm choosing to not do laundry, mop, read, or play on my iphone.  I choose to write.  Yea for me!

I have a feeling I should not have started out this letter project calling it a 365 day thing, expecting that I'd actually complete 365 letters to you!  What was I thinking?!  If anything, this should tell you I am quite an optimist.  It should also tell you that I am pretty tenacious to make it this far! AND, that I really like writing.

So many days have gone by that I simply have not been able to write.  When I look at the "number" of day I am on, I get discouraged because I know I should be much farther along and I think, Why did I think I could do this?  In hindsight, I wish I would have just said I'd write for a year's time, not write every day!  And then just write to you whenever I found the time.  1) I wouldn't feel like such a failure!  But 2) I probably wouldn't have gotten this far?  Maybe?  Who knows.  Maybe I should just accept my limits, and let this be a learning experience for me.  After all, life is one huge learning experiment, is it not?  Rather than set the bar high, set the learning curve high, right?!  That way we won't give ourselves such a hard time!

So I'm sitting here, tackling one more letter, loathing and loving at the same time (although the love is definitely winning out as usual!), and I think to myself, I could just take the numbered days out, that way when the big "1 year" deadline comes around, however many letters I have written will be enough!  But then, that wouldn't reflect truthfully this whole journey now, would it?  I want to be honest, even if it means sucking up my pride.  If I can't do it, oh well!  At least I tried!  And at most, I've learned a lot!  (and maybe you did too!?)

All these thoughts of days and numbers reminds me of something, "Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom" from Psalm 90:12.

I have always wondered what exactly this means, and why I should learn to number my days.  I guess I really shouldn't take those numbers off then, huh?  Maybe they can serve an even deeper purpose?

I don't know if my thinking is right, but I wonder if maybe God was reminding us to keep in mind that life is severely short.  And to make every day count.  And that when we do finally learn to number our days, we will find wisdom growing and ruling in our hearts as we live out each day.  I think that's safe to say!

So there.  I will keep the numbers, if for no other reason than to remind us to make.it.count.

Today I have been alive exactly 12,358 days.  It is so strange to think of this fact.  To think of my life in terms of days.  (How many more do I have left?  I hope for lots!!!  I want to live to watch you grow up and become a woman!  And Titus, a man!  And grow old with Daddy!  And hit the mission field once again!  And write a book!  And learn how to sew! (hey, anything is possible!)  I'm glad only God knows what my number is!  He won't tell me, but I know He wants me to live a life not wasteful or lackadaisical.  Perhaps if I did know my number, I might live out with extremity the things I am most passionate about...to make it all happen...to seek to know Him all the more, to follow my heart, and to make every present moment and every person matter!  I can't let knowing or not knowing determine my life.  But perhaps if I thought of my life in terms of days not years, I won't waste so many precious moments!  Ah...the light bulb is coming on now!

This could be what the psalmist was getting it.

Live as though I knew my number.  Live in terms of days.  Each is not for nothing.  
I may not know the total sum of them, but I can be certain of their worth.  

Life goes quickly.  Let's make it count.

Dear Sadie.

"Teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom." Psalm 90:12

(Want to find out how may days you've been alive?  Go to www.timeanddate.com/date/duration.html

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Day 226...Naptime

Trying to put you guys to bed when I, myself, was tired was an absolute nightmare today. It was nap time and I could barely keep my eyes open. You, on the other hand, were having the opposite problem. Titus was being wild. Now that you are sharing a room, you have a bit of trouble relaxing when he is thrashing about, giggling, and getting in and out of bed. Deciding I'd deal with him in a moment, I went to you and tried to calm you down. "I can't sleep! It's too hard! My eyes won't stay closed!" I laughed inside. Gently I corrected you, for I knew how tired you were, even more than you could realize. "Just relax, Baby," I said. "I know you can do it." Still in the protesting mode, you took a minute, but under my calm but confident instruction, you succumbed to the tiredness, and after just a couple of minutes of caressing your long blonde hair down your back, you were gone.
I was reminded tonight just how easy it is to be like this with God. In my stubbornness I say, "I can't do this, it's too hard!" And all the while its my own will fighting and me becoming distracted by all of the commotion around me. Yet all He is wanting me to do is close my eyes and trust His voice telling me, "You can. Just rest in Me. I am right here with you." And with the comfort of knowing He is with me, and the peace that passes understanding, I "fall asleep." In this sense, by sleep I mean really letting go of needing to control things, and let go of the need to see how everything is going to work itself out. Closing your eyes can be scary, just like trusting is frightening. You don't know what's ahead. You are trusting your Tour Guide. But then when you do, you can take a deep breath and enjoy. Because He really is a good Father and has a perfect plan for you if You'll surrender to Him.

Dear Sadie

Friday, November 16, 2012

Day 225...I'm right with you

So much of what I write to you is a "note to self." That is to say, I am relearning things about life, God, motherhood, children, over and over again, until the day I die.

One of those things I actually enjoy being reminded of on a frequent basis is the super importance of being present. I know I must have talked to you a bunch of times about it already, but I still have it in me to learn. And so I must say it again. One of the primary gifts of live we can give to others is our very present selves. No distractions, no cluttered mind of pressing needs, no discontentment, just pure love that says, "nothing else matters but you right here right now." And this gift, especially when invested in our children, is priceless. This kind of selfless love never goes wasted. You can never spend quality time paying attention to one of your kids and then say, "man I wish I folded that laundry instead!" If you do, you missed out, and so did your child. Because you can't help but feel the effects of being present in a moment where you've given of yourself. It resonates in your soul and in your spirit and the moment reminds you why you exist. What you are here for. You are here for the now. To love the person God sets before you with all you got. That is why the greatest commandment we can never forget: "love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength." Experience is everything. If someone ever tells you that the experience of God is not that important, then they are speaking from a tasteless faith. It is impossible to truly know God and walk away from Him saying experience is unimportant. It is the presence of God that drives and motivates us to walk with Him daily, just as He intended in the very beginning, walking with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day. To be one with Him is intimate knowledge. And so we must, as imitators who bear the very nature of God, be present, real, in-the-moment, substantial, authentic friends who listen, who touch, who see, who feel, who deeply care what another needs. To not be content to turn a dead ear or look the other way. Especially as parents. It's what we are here for. To give you two our love, attention, and devotion to meet you where are. It's so easy to tune people out, especially children. But I have to choose moment by moment, am I going to wish my life away, or stay stuck, or surround myself with distractions so I don't ever do the hard stuff? I have to choose to be present, as hard as it is sometimes, and this simple selfless act will not be gratifying immediately always, but it is where life genuinely happens.

Dear Sadie

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Day 224...back burner

As I sit down and reflect on what to write today, I'm struck by the fact that I do so much reflection throughout the day, yet I sit down at the end of the day blank.  It is funny cause most of my day I reflect and pray, but it's survival mode I live in, hour-by hour.  I wish I had a more forward-thinking goal than, "just get me through dinnertime."

On the back-burner is orphans and widows in a faraway land.  That children's book I've been dreaming about.  On today's burner is a pot of mac and cheese with a side of prayer, playing, cleaning, hugs and kisses.

Dear Sadie.

"Lord, You have assigned my my portion and my cup; You have made my lot secure."  Psalm 16:5

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Day 223...expecting

Tonight I had an eye-opener at the "deep end..." A prayer and worship gathering.

Mundane into memories...that is His desire for me.

So much of my every day life feels limited and mundane, but tonight I was reminded by my sweet Daddy that I have more to believe Him for than I even give Him credit for. I limit Him when I keep the focus on me. I keep the possibilities of heaven to earth opportunities when I stop expecting Him. And I haven't been expecting. I have become comfortable in the mundane, and I am done. Today, I declare, I will not be content with less than God absolutely ruining me for all other gods. Especially unbelief.

He is absolutely enough. And He is going to blow my mind.

Dear Sadie.



Friday, November 2, 2012

Day 222...stay-at-home mom

There are fewer things that will test your pride and performance-driven life like the unseen life of the stay-at-home mother.

If there's a lack of humility, you'll soon discover it.
If there's a need to be seen or rewarded, you'll know.

There will be challenges of all kinds for this unique time in your life. And if it's something you choose, staying at home, be ready for it to rock your world.
It won't be without troubles, but it also won't be without His blessing and Hand. Thank Him for that!

Dear Sadie

Day 221...self-less

There is nothing that feels more right than loving with abandon. Living with less to do about yourself, and more to do about others. This season is about that for me. I'm so grateful that The Lord is simplifying things for me. I sure need it.

Dear Sadie