Laser Focus

laser-focus

The closer I get to Jesus, the less legalistic and judgmental I get. I think this is because the closer we get to Him, the more our own imperfections are highlighted. Not in a bad way, but in a way that helps us realize we need Him more than ever and how much we are all alike. Sinners searching.

Do not judge others, so that God will not judge you, for God will judge you in the same way you judge others, and he will apply to you the same rules you apply to others. Matthew 7:1-2 (GNT)

The closer I get to Jesus, although my own sinfulness is exposed, His love is amplified. He loves me anyway.

The closer I get to Jesus, the more I can empathize. Rather than seeing rebellion and hatefulness, I see the hurt behind it. I don’t necessarily engage or react like I used to (at least I try not to), but I do understand why it’s there. They are either trying to earn a love that is already there or they are not feeling the love that is already there. Both scenarios are sad. In these circumstances, remind yourself of His unwavering love and pray. Pray they will feel the Love they need. The Love we all need. The Love that is already there.

The closer I get to Jesus, the other “stuff” doesn’t seem to matter as much. A bad day at work is just that. A misunderstanding with a friend is an opportunity to grow. A temper tantrum thrown is an opportunity to practice patience. A tight month financially is an opportunity to trust. A critical comment is an opportunity to test my faith. A rejection is an opportunity to test my resolve. A mistake is an opportunity to show grace.

The closer I get to Jesus, the more thankful I get. It’s because of His love that any of us are here and it’s because of His love that we get to live with Him forever. It’s because of Jesus that I fight the fear to share. And, it’s because of Him, that I get to.

The closer we get to Jesus, the more He shines. My goal on this earth is to walk as closely as I can with my Jesus until that blessed day I get to look Him in the face….

Where is your focus? On the problem? The fight? The hardship? Focus on Jesus, take His hand, and don’t look down. Look full in His wonderful face. With laser focus on Him, the things of this earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace….

Advertisements

I Can’t Fix It!

fix it

I work in a highly technical field. Between our computers, ultrasound machines, and treadmills, technology is in full force all day. When any of these break, it throws a wrench in our entire schedule. It affects our current patient and subsequent patients. And….we can’t fix it! We are at the mercy of our repair guy, and most the time, he is at the mercy of the broken part. He has to figure out what part is the problem, order it, wait on it, and get it installed, before we are back to normal working conditions.

I feel so bad for the patients when this happens because they are coming in for a stress test to check their hearts which is usually more stressful emotionally than physically. They want to know if they have a problem. And here I am, apologizing that I can’t test them because something is broken and I don’t know when it will be fixed. Usually, they are understanding. I always appreciate that, but I’m still frustrated that I can’t fix it.

Today, my treadmill broke. My patient was so kind even though she really needed it done considering she has plans to go out of town tomorrow (of course). I was even more frustrated because I had called the repair guy the week before with the same issue, but it wasn’t resolved. She was so sweet and kept saying to me “bless your heart”. She knew I was irritated with the fact that it was still not working properly. I said to her “I’m so sorry. I can’t fix the problem, only report it.”

That statement made me think of prayer. Most of our problems we can’t fix. We may have contributed to them, been born into them, or been completely sideswiped by them. But, we can’t fix them….only report them. Once we report the problem, we’ll need strength while He locates the problem, humility while He corrects it (us), and patience while we wait.

One thing’s for sure, with God as our repair guy, we will come out stronger, wiser, and more loving. Because that’s what He does. He transforms us through the problems we report. Let’s not be afraid to report to the One who created us. He knows us best and loves us most.

Why the Wait?

waiting

We all want to hurry up and eat. The smells and ever increasing stomach growls can make waiting to eat excruciating. One of my daughter’s most common responses to what I want to make for dinner any given night is “how long is THAT gonna take?” Needless to say, I opt for quick dinners most nights with the little ones. Us grown-ups can act the same way with God when we have to wait, I know I do. Our mouths water, we sneak a bite, we open the oven to look, we ask how much longer?? Sitting down to our favorite foods is one of our favorite things on this earth. The bigger the feast, the more we slobber, anticipate, and……wait.

Waiting for something in our lives is no different. Patience is another fruit of the Spirit that does not come naturally to us, especially in our culture. We want it and we want it NOW. I feel God pressing on my heart and mind to remember that He is active while we wait. Waiting may seem like an idle waste of energy to us. I mean, what’s the hold up? We are all waiting on something….including Jesus’s blessed return to take us all home. I can’t wait! Well, we have to. What can we do while we wait? Trust, share, love, and ask for more patience.

Although we all want to hurry up and eat, waiting is like marinating. Marinating is where the good stuff happens and the food gets happy. If we shorten the marinade because of our impatience, the final product won’t be as delectable as it was intended to be. Remember that while we wait, there is a lot going on behind the scenes. We may feel idle, but God is anything but. There are family members to consider, hearts to soften, minds to strengthen, traditions to maintain or discontinue, generations to affect. These may all be factors in why we wait. He alone can handle all these variables.

Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer WAITS for the land to yield it’s valuable crop, patiently WAITING for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. James 5:7,8

Naturally, we want to rush, get, take, eat, and run with it. But, He asks us to wait. To wait for His timing does not mean to be idle. There are all kinds of things we can do while we wait. Go do them! Trust the Chef and don’t rush the marinade…the feast will be worth it.

What I’ve Learned From My Kids…

motherhood

Here are a few things I’ve learned from my kids thus far. My girls are only 8 & 3, so I know I have a lot more learning to do and milestones to reach….Even so, these lessons have been astounding and life altering.

  • I wasn’t as “ready” for kids as I thought I was (no one is)
  • Patience is NOT my greatest virtue
  • The sweetest sound to my ears is “I love you Mommy”
  • Picking the girls up after work and putting them to bed are two of my favorite times
  • Going to the main church service with kids is important but “feels” pointless while you’re there….keep going.
  • I learn how I want to be treated when I think about how I want them to be treated
  • Every child is different
  • There is no “perfect’ way to feed, sleep train, or discipline your child, although they are all necessary
  • A kid’s memory is surprisingly accurate
  • Daycare is expensive!
  • Kids will listen to, watch, and read a favorite song, movie, or book over and over and over and over and over and…
  • Parenting will drive you to your knees, and that’s a good thing.
  • You can’t control everything.
  • Parenting should keep us very humble.
  • I wouldn’t trade it for the world

My girls are lovers, fighters, givers, takers, whiners, gamers, laughers, criers, cuddlers, and the best part is that they are mine! (So that all makes sense). Let the love and lessons continue….

Raising Two Different People

sisters

My girls are almost exactly 5 years apart and just turned eight and three years old. The age difference is tough because they are into completely different things and, until now, couldn’t even carry on much of a conversation with each other. My oldest is extremely strong willed and my youngest is extremely sensitive. Competely different people! Just like so many other things in parenting, once you think you get it down, something changes.

I can relate more with my youngest’s personality. So, I “get” her actions and reactions more. But I’m also very aware of the struggles that come with heightened sensitivity and hope to build her courage, will, and sense of worth. My oldest appears to have no problem concerning self confidence, buy may need some sensitivity and gentleness training now and then. Lord, give me strength and patience.

I knew I had a strong willed child when my oldest was three.  I asked her numerous times to pick up her toys in the living room to no avail. I decided to get firm, surveyed what was on the floor, and told her that I would throw the ones she didn’t put away in the trash. She picked them up and threw them in the trash herself. She was THREE!!! What do you do with that? How on earth do I handle that strong will?? Lord, give me strength and patience.

My youngest is very sensitive. She’s a crier. Sometimes she still cries for absolutely no reason. It’s like it’s her native language….Lord, give me strength and patience.

Raising little ones doesn’t come with an instruction kit. The same discipline tactics may devastate one and not even faze the other. At least half the time I feel like I’m doing it wrong. But, I do LOVE my babies with all that I have. Their strong will and sensitivity are important parts of what make them who they are. It’s day in and day out, it’s hard, it’s humbling, it’s a daily lesson, it’s a precious gift. Lord, thank You for the strength and patience to raise two different people.