The Experience over the Dollar

Hayden eatingMe: Why does Daddy go to work? To get what?

Hayden: Pizza!

My sweet boys love their Friday pizza dinner when Daddy comes home. It’s so simple and yet one of our favorite family times. The boys actually eat saying “Mmm…yum yum” and Mommy and Daddy can get a couple of slices down before the chaos of “I’m done! Want to get down!” ensues.

I do still struggle with the value of the experience over the dollar, but I realize clearly now that all my children want is to be with me. To hold them tight and to make an array of silly faces or to let them play jump to Mommy, try on my shoes, and give me kisses.

I won’t be taking my boys to Disney land, a week at the beach, or on a flight anywhere soon (unless that elusive money tree in the backyard finally sprouts some green). Our backyard is an unlandscaped precipice and the basement is an unfinished collage of storage items. But that’s ok.

My Mommy job is to create a loving experience that shapes the two souls God has entrusted uniquely to me. It’s really quite amazing and simple. Children don’t care if you have a nice car, if you’re thin or attractive, or whether you vacation at the local park. Despite not providing all the shiny expensive things of the world, my boys are happy and love our home and family.

The key to living the experience is inextricably tied to the challenge of being in the present moment thankful for all you have just as it has been given to you.

Ecclesiastes 5:17: Here is what I see as good: It is appropriate to eat and drink and prosper from all the toil one toils at under the sun during the limited days of life God gives us; for this is our lot.

And you know what? I can embrace creative challenges like throwing up drywall sections in part of the basement so my kids can freely color all over the walls!

Live humbly, simply, and love generously. Tell the false gremlin voices of material comparison and worldly demands to shut it. Breathe deeply. Can you feel the peace in joyfully accepting the present moment? Rest, my dear friend, you ARE enough.

Waiting for Change

chrysalisThere are few things you can count on to stay the same. Even when you are feeling mature and in control, God works his slow transformation.

I used to despise the winter to the point that I moved to California after college in central Pennsylvania. Trudging through streets with 20ft high snow piles, I couldn’t stand the frigid cold that often spanned October through April.

I loved the heat but now after almost 3 years into motherhood, I’ve done a 180 to favor the fall and don’t mind the winter at all. I welcome it over summer as I happily say goodbye to endless sweat and bugs. I look forward to the first snowflakes and imagine God’s voice drifting down with the soft crystals saying, “Sometimes I come as quiet as the snow.”

Psalm 130:5-6: I wait for the Lord, my soul waits and I hope for his word. My soul looks for the Lord more than sentinels for daybreak.

There are other things God has touched for me. For so long I felt I was not doing enough, that the loneliness and menial labor required to provide for my kids and household were empty with little meaning. Every day I wanted to do and to be and to have more. I lived in a state of want and unrest. I really didn’t think things would ever change and felt like I no power in it. But He did.

God heard my prayers and saw my efforts to learn His word and slowly, very slowly, He changed my heart in subtle ways. I’m nowhere near the end of this journey and I’m not overflowing every moment with happy joy joy, but I feel full. For once I am not wanting.

Now I pray my desires match His; that I want what He dreams for me. My vocations are before me. I must make a choice, a daily conversion, and wait for the slow work of God like the patient farmer who plants his seeds.

Dear friend, the answer is not in seeking change from below or to be happy because of things in this world. God made you to be enough. If you are open, He will transform your life into what He wants it to be for your own good.

Romans 8:28: We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.

God is constantly, faithfully at work within you. Have hope. The landscape always changes in both physical circumstance and in the space in your heart that waits for change to emerge like the butterfly from the cocoon.

Missing the Little Things

HaydenBubbling with frustration over my boys and likely all of us being sick again, I want to get dramatic and cry and rant about how things just suck so much of the time. There are no fun weekend plans at our house. Heck we are lucky if no one has to go to the doctor in a single week. Many times I feel endlessly indentured to my two full-time mommy jobs: waitress and nurse.

As I pray my boys sleep peacefully this night, I listen to the strong wind outside and take a step back. Small, simple sparkles of joy rise up inside and a voice says, “Why are you missing the little things?”

How Ethan and Hayden have such sweet smiles and beautiful, long dark eye lashes. How Ethan said, “I love you so much mommy!” when he saw me coming down the stairs today. How funny Hayden is when he sleeps underneath his pillow or when he wakes and tells me he dreamt about chocolate. How still Ethan sits on my lap to watch a video…I can feel his heartbeat.

It’s so tough when the world happily goes on without us as we are stuck inside with illness or other troubles. But this too shall pass.

2 Corinthians 4: 17-18: For this momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to what is seen but to what is unseen; for what is seen is transitory, but what is unseen is eternal.

Find a beautiful moment or two and hold on tight, dear friend. All things have their season. In the meantime, you are blessed and loved.