I don’t have all it takes, I don’t even have 1%

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Last night I was restlessly settling down to go to sleep.  So many things had happened during the day, nothing huge or life changing, but my head was aching from the weight of it all.  I told my husband that there were just so many things going on that I felt I was in a constant state of “flustered”.  It’s not a good feeling.

How do people do it?  How do women work full time, come home and have meaningful time with their babies, maintain their marriage, keep their home organized, shower, build their relationship with God, keep friendships, AND make 2-3 pots of coffee a day?!?  I’m at a complete loss.

So, while I was trying to make my brain turn off, something I had heard the day before kept coming back to me.  1% of your day is only 15 minutes.  What could you do for 15 minutes that could make your day better?

Well, considering the fact that since the move to our new house I found my bible under our bed, I thought that perhaps 15 minutes spent with God would really  make a difference each day (I know, ground breaking idea!)

BUT I DON’T HAVE 15 MINUTES!  From the moment I wake up I’m taking care of children, mine or other people’s.  I told God this, because that seemed the most reasonable thing to do.  “Lord, you’re gonna have to create the time for me, I will commit to spending that time with you, but you’re gonna have to create the time.”

Now I know that doing this was probably not the most respectful or reverent way to address the Creator of the UNIVERSE.  But let me tell you what happened next…

I fell asleep.

When I woke up, it was from an alarm clock and not my children.  I got dressed for work, made coffee.  AND MY CHILDREN WERE STILL SLEEPING.  Well okay, God, I’m thinking this is the time you’ve created!

I’m not sure what lesson there is to be learned here, or really how to end this post.  But my goodness, my God is GOOD.

As he says in Hosea:“I will call them ‘my people’ who are not my people;and I will call her ‘my loved one’ who is not my loved one,” and,“In the very place where it was said to them,‘You are not my people,’there they will be called ‘children of the living God.’ ” 

Romans 9: 25-26

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Unintentional is not Excusable

I’m white.

I grew up in a white family… white  culture.

Most of my friends growing up and now are white.

My husband is white.

I went to and go to a predominately white church.

I am telling you all this so that you understand my perspective.  I am absolutely not racist, or so I thought.  I have come to realize, unfortunately, my gut instincts and reactions are.

This week I was driving around a neighborhood I’m not familiar with.  This isn’t all that out of the ordinary, as I’m still adjusting to a new city.  My husband was helping some friends move into their new house, and I had two screaming children in the back seat who wanted to go home… and so we drove around the neighborhood for 30 minutes.  While driving I thought about how impressive it was that these friends were moving into such a rough neighborhood.  A place I had been told was not a safe place to live with kids.  I did not see a white person during my drive.  But what I did see were families sitting on front porches and kids playing basketball at a community center.  Obviously SO DANGEROUS (please read that as sarcasm).

While circling the neighborhood I chatted with my friend to help pass the time.  We talked about everyday things, and then our conversation turned to the events of last week.  Many of our friends had posted on Facebook or other outlets to express their own thoughts, and she asked me if I felt the need to post something as well.  Here is (another instance) where my ignorance came into play.  I told her no, I didn’t think I had anything to say and didn’t want to post just for the sake of posting (which I think is still a good idea… if you don’t have anything to say, then don’t.)  I praised the posts of friends who are cops, in career ministry, and African American, feeling that their posts meant more because they are a part of the community the events have effected.  Clearly, as I am not in those groups, I am not really effected and therefore should stay quiet.  It’s not good to get involved with political matters anyway….

And then this week, God smacked me in the face.  This isn’t politics.  This is HUMANITY.  Everyone is responsible.  I’m not saying everyone needs to write a blog post or express their views on social media, but we are all responsible to help make a change.  God showed me how my gut instincts (rough neighborhood solely because of the skin color of those who live there?!) (it’s not my battle?!) create an “us” and “them” idea in my head that I didn’t really think existed.  It allowed me to view myself as better.  My gut instincts were racist, and even though I didn’t intend it… THAT’S NOT OKAY.  It’s inexcusable.  So my job now is to apologize for my stupidity, ask God to make a change in me, and get to work on helping to change our country.

So to apologize, I am sorry for ever believing that I was better than anyone else.  I am sorry for stereotyping.  I am sorry for excusing inaction with the thought that “this just isn’t my fight.”  I am sorry for ever thinking that the hashtag #alllivesmatter was an appropriate response to this horrible situation (this article from Relevant Magazine expresses so well why we need to stop using it.  Please go read it.)

As far as getting to work to help change, I have two little boys who will one day be white men.  I don’t want their gut reactions to be like mine were.  I want them to be able to celebrate differences and use their white, male privilege to advocate for the marginalized.  To not take advantage of, or ever for one moment believe they are entitled to feel superior to, anyone else.  I need to instill this in them.  I need to teach them and raise them in this way, and pray that God works in them to firmly plant this in their hearts.  (Another good article here about talking with our children)

And I need to get my own brain and heart in check.  I need to allow myself to be more understanding of the perspectives of others.  I need to begin to really love others, because that is all I am called by Christ to do: love others.

“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”

Everyday I Give My Kids Away

Dear little one, your little legs are curled up and you have the tiniest ear listening to my heart.  I’m sitting here imagining your future.  What will life be like for you?  Will you be a musician, firefighter, engineer, astronaut, the president?  It’s so much fun thinking of who you will become, especially in these moments when you are so little that really anything is possible.  The whole world is in front of you.

When you get  bit older you’ll be able to tell me what you want to be when you grow up.  And my hope is to give you the encouragement to not give up and become all that you were created to be.  My prayer, however, is that no matter what the future holds you will choose to glorify God with everything you do.


 

Mamas, I think this is probably the hardest thing about parenting.  Trusting that God loves our kids more than we do.

Almost 2 years ago a friend died after a 9 month battle with cancer.  He was 28 years old.

At his funeral, someone read a tribute from his mom.  She said, “It took 9 months to bring you into the world, and 9 months to take you home.”

This has stuck with me ever since.  When we watch our bellies grow, hold our new little babies, and spend countless hours rocking them to sleep… we let our minds imagine just what the future will be like.  How will our precious, perfect baby impact the world they will live in.

We probably do no imagine that our babies will suffer greatly and die before they turn 30.  But really, we don’t know.  We don’t know how God will use our babies.  I know this sounds morbid, and that’s not the point… stick with me.

While my friend battled for his life, he discovered an opportunity to share the Savior with the world.  He shared about God and glorified His name throughout the process with blogging, creating videos to encourage others, talking with his nurses and fellow patients, and standing firm in the belief that while his flesh may lose this battle, God had already won the war.

That’s what I want for my boys.  Certainly not that they get cancer and leave this world at a young age.  But there will inescapably be suffering.  Everyone suffers through something.  My hope and prayer is to prepare them.  To teach them to glorify God in their actions and words.  To help build such a solid foundation for them that when times get tough they don’t fall further than their knees.

If I were to be in charge of the future, my boys would never feel pain.  My instinct is to protect them at all costs.  Because I love them.

But God loves them more.  And He loved them first.

Everyday, I have to give them away.  “This is the day the Lord has made.”  Not me.  The Lord.  And He will ultimately move in my kids’ lives in a way that brings them closer to him.  Really, there is no other joy than that.  While my idea of a future would bring them less pain here on earth, God’s is to bring them no pain for eternity.


 

Little one, my prayer for you is that you give glory to God in all that you do.  That you don’t become disheartened when the world shows its true colors to you.  When times get tough, and they will dear one, that you look to heaven for your strength and comfort.  That “home” for you is much more than here on earth, but in our Father’s arms.

-My prayer for you, When times get tough, and they will dear one...That you will look to heaven for your strength and comfort-