Get the Bubbles before They Pop

I’m waiting.

I know the chorus of angels is about to start.  A beam of light is about to fall upon my head.  And God, in a voice that sounds remarkably like James Earl Jones, is going to speak, providing wisdom and clarity to all my questions.

I’m tired of waiting.

Why am i waiting?

God does speak to me, pointing me towards millions of moments of opportunity.

When am I taking advantage of those?

e589c1a31919098d43e821050253f19cHow am I responding to each bubble of opportunity to show/be His love on earth?  To worship Him and His wonders?  To thank Him for His many blessings?

I may not hear the angels sing or find out how accurate my imaginings of God’s physical voice may be until my time here is complete.

But my time here is not complete.

“So, do your everyday and your ordinary.  Godliness is found and formed in those places.” (from Anything  by Jennie Allen)

I need to capture each bubble of opportunity before it pops.

-S

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Give Thanks

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in ALL circumstances”

1 Thessalonians 5:16

Attitude matters as much as behavior. I’ve been told this my entire life… “its not what you say, its how you say it.”

There are a few key people I’d like to shove this concept down their throat, nicely, and on repeat.

Truth is I need it for myself, just as much and maybe worse.

I understand the concept, I even understand how it applies to me. I’m still grappling with how to effectively apply it.

I’m apologizing a lot these days.

My inner snapdragon feels justified and then uncontrollable and then guilty.

Anger easily fills me up, I hate this, but it’s a truth.

I can easily write lists and lists in my gratitiude journal and I do, daily. And anger still seeps in and would fuel me entirely if I let it.

I could spew flames about 10 different situations while being grateful for 20 and run off the endorphins for miles…I’m not sure what that means about me.

Anger easily fuels me, then leaves me smoldering ashes to clean up…internally and externally.

give thanks“Give thanks in ALL circumstances”

God’s directive is pretty clear, so today I will give thanks not complaints. I will rejoice if it kills me…and I’ll work on tomorrow, tomorrow.

-J

Two Little Boys

I took this picture today.

imageOne of many. I’m a bit obsessed with capturing my children on cheap camera film (i.e. my phone)…although I’m seriously considering a Polaroid for a year project…I digress.
I took this picture and it’s all that is right in the world.

And I can’t help but place it next to another more popular image. All that is wrong in the world. A little boy washed ashore. And it’s not about politics, more about self reflection.child-s-body-washed-ashore-in-turkey

Two little boys. Worlds apart more than just physically. I can’t help but think of all the little boys not washed ashore,  but not upside down in carefree bliss.

Not making small stick forts in front yards. Not wrapped in a mothers safe embrace. Not reassured “you’s ok” as many times as necessary.

Because “you’s ok” isn’t their reality.

Lately, as I rock my babes to sleep I’ve been mourning those I can’t hold or even know. My heart is aching for this broken world, but mainly it’s affect on the little people.

And I don’t know where to start or what to do, but I know it’s more important than a budget. I know it’s more important than a tax break.

I don’t know where to start or what I can do, but I can’t rest until I figure out how. I can’t cozy into my small white bread, non-gluten, organic, cage free for the animal world…when little boys and girls are hurting.  Dying. Scared.

You’s ok shouldn’t be just for my kids. It should be an anthem for the world’s kids. Your kids and mine and every child in between.
image child-s-body-washed-ashore-in-turkey

Two little boys worlds apart shouldn’t be so different. Aren’t so different, except for one was born here and another there.

-J

Room

Ytumblr_lvfz7pPk131qc4rz2o1_500ou have made me incomplete so that you have room in me.  Room to fill my empty spaces.  Room to pull, push, and expand.  You have left room for reflection.

You have given me room to make decisions, room to fail, room to excel, room to make it to the next stumbling step, stronger than before.

You have given me room in my heart for compassion.  Room to learn to love more.  Room to love easily.  Room to forgive easily.  

You have allowed me to build room for you in my life.  More and more each year and yet it seems like there is never enough room for how much I want you and how much I need you.

You birthed me with permanent room for you in my soul.  A room that no one else can fill.  An empty room that reminds me that I’m not home.  My permanent room won’t come in this life.  That empty, gaping room is my continuous reminder of my connection to you, a servant soul to her God.  
Room – that is what I’m working on.  Getting rid of all the junk to increase the room for You in everything I do, everywhere I go, every breath I breathe.

-S

Faith as a Battle Cry

“Let it be according to Your will” Luke 1:38

Mary, never fathomed we’d have an similarities. She trusted God in a way I long to. A way I’m slowly striving towards, without the vain notion I’ll ever succeed.

She blindly accepted God’s plan. Maybe she complained and contemplated, and journaled and was frustrated with His plan. However, she still said yes. She still mustered up all the exhausted mom strength she had and walked as a woman of God.

Through the pain, the trials, the disbelief, the hurt, the unjust.

Saying yes to God, feeling his nudge ,and answering does not mean the path will be easy or just. It almost guarantees sacrifice and confusion in my opinion.

It means we trust our Father. It means learning to rest in His comfort when chaos and confusion are making a wake.

faith as a battle cryIt means being clothed in Holy Armor because a faith yes (whether big or small) is a battle cry to the enemy.

I’m a fighter, a warrior (often battling myself). I guess I stepped into the arena…foolishly naïve, but ready and willing. And that’s really all God requires…my heart to be ready and willing. He will take care of the rest. He is my gracious and merciful commander.

Now if I could just remember that instead of relying on my own killer instincts.

-J

Lest We Forget

As I’m writing this, yesterday was September 11. A day I’ll always remember. I was in middle school, sitting confused, wondering why some classes got to watch tv and we didn’t.

And then we did too.

I remember seeing the second plane hit. I remember thinking it wasn’t that big a deal.

photo 3.PNGAnd then it was.

We’re America.  We get things done and are safe.

And then we weren’t.

I remember watching the news that evening and getting extra long hugs and seeing extra long hugs on screen. However, I never anticipated that those hugs would turn back into self promoting, self seeking. Fear.

Maybe I didn’t pay much attention, or maybe I was just naive or maybe I was just selfish. But too often I hear fear when people speak. It’s hidden behind racist jokes, or police brutality (to and from), sexism, and fiscal confusion, the list goes on.

We aren’t a country united anymore. We were, for a short period of time, when danger was visible in a skyline.

When the ashes were still being wiped away.

We like to say ‘we’ll never forget’ and listen to saddening speeches and mourn for those lost. And that’s all good.

photo 2.PNGBut what about the fear being harbored, the hate growing bitter towards anyone or anything that threatens our cushy seat. When did we become apathetic towards evil, as long as it is on a distant shore?

Lest we forget that it could be us? It has been us before!

September 11 was a day filled with evil and pain and destruction for America, and part of remembrance for me is not forgetting that America isn’t a stand alone entity.

photo 1.PNGWe are all united on this planet, and while we have rebuilt and are forgetting what the danger felt like while still holding dear to ones lost…others are still crouching in fear, watching loved ones be lost. Trying to escape the evil that made a mark on us 14 years ago.

And the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing.

So get out there, a post on Facebook isn’t enough. Make your mark on the world  and make it a good one, in remembrance of evil, but with hope for the future.

-J

Grace Wasn’t Easy, It Was Free

This week has been one for the books…

My body

My emotions

My hormones

My reactions

My babes

We were all thrown off track when an unexpected whirlwind of unkind words spoken in anger were directed towards me…and they hurt.

My gut reaction was to remove myself and my babes out of the toxic environment (and into the always open arms of Mimi and Papa).

My second reaction was anger, closely followed by resentment laced with revenge.

This feeling of “they’ll soon find out who they’re messing with” only began to dissipate as I sat on the couch for our confrontation…and sat still.

grace wasnt easyBut what struck me as odd (or at least odd for me) was as I sat there trying to focus the only reoccurring thoughts I had were on how I could change. How I could grow, what could my take away be? How could I give more even though I wanted to take it all back?

It came down to two simple choices, which I still struggle with some days: love or hate.

And we could (I did) dissect it and list 100 reasons and options and scenarios, but at the end of the day I am responsible for my actions and teaching my babes love or hate. Joy or bitterness.

And I can’t force that choice on anyone, I can model it though.

I’m a strike back kind of gal, but maybe living with Shauna is wearing off on me more than I know.

Maybe God is doing deeper soul work than I had fathomed or intended, and the yeses are a painful slap in the face.

And maybe it’s both because the loudest phrase in my head is “kill ‘em with kindness”

grace isnt easyAnd so I’m digging deeper than I thought I had in me. I’m searching my hurt for compassion. I’m searching the ugly for reflections of sincerity and truth.

And this doesn’t mean accountability is gone or toxicity will be tolerated.

It does mean love will triumph and I, and my home, will be defined by God’s grace and continual hard faith yeses.

Grace was not given easy, it was given freely.

And so I try. I fail frequently, but I try.

-J