Tuesday, January 21, 2014

When I grow up...

None of my kids are perfect.
I'm very aware of this.
I do have favorites.
But it depends on the day...

Just the other day, though, I found myself thinking, "I want to be more like Judah when I grow up."
He has his faults. I don't want the dramatic side or the easily embarrassed side. I don't want to be a boy! I don't want to run around in my underwear all day. But I do want to experience life a little more through his lenses.

Judah sleeps the least. And I think it might be because he loves life so much and he's afraid he's going to miss something! He talks to himself. He yells. Sings to himself. Makes up stories. Talks in "Spanish." And he loves it. He loves himself! He gets upset when we tell him over and over how awesome he is! How awesome God made him! He gets upset because he says, "No, I already know that!"

He gets it. And he experiences life in a way I don't know if I ever fully have.

Judah is in awe of life. His excitement is bubbly and contagious and genuine. One example: we recently got a book from the library called Wink. Disclaimer: I am going to give away the ending...Judah was the first I read this book to after it came home. He was so into it the whole way through. And as we neared the end, and Wink was announced as The Nimble Ninja at the circus, Judah's love of life and people and his genuine excitement for Wink spilled out of his mouth as his exclaimed, "He still gets to be a ninja!!"

I want this filter. This excitement. And I want it genuine like his is.
And he does a stellar machine gun noise out of his mouth.

I want to be a little more like Judah when I grown up...

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

To learn or Not to Learn...That is the Question.

In my first 2 weeks of my year of "learning," I think most of it so far has been me opening up and taking a harder look inside myself. I'm reading some books, listening to some podcasts, learning things here and there...but by far it's the inside stuff...And something that matt shared with me this week went something like this, "the greatest learners have found ways to turn criticism into opportunities." So, that's my goal. Opportunity for change!

I wrote a lot down this past week, things I'm learning and such. But the one that struck me most at the time, and has had a hard time leaving my mind, is one that really brought out some strong emotions that I didn't know I had, or that I had never let BE. I'm not a "feeler." It's not a bad thing. Sometimes I think I should be. I know others who are. I just don't tend to enjoy dealing much with my feelings or emotions. But some of them came flooding to the surface last week.

The church that my husband and I recently moved from (after both of us being there more than a decade, and getting married there and having our kids start coming there in their first days of life...) opened up it's doors last week when the weather was bitterly cold and people needed a place to stay. It started for homeless but they also took in dozens of elderly one night too. More on that story. I began seeing posts and pictures from friends on facebook all about it. I was so excited for this. For the Body of Christ BEING the Body to those in need. For those getting a warm bed and loving service. For all that could come of the opportunity. I really enjoyed the posts. I don't get really excited about much. I'm just not that excitable. But I "liked" all the pictures and posts I could!

At first. Then I began to feel a little jealous, I think. I chalked it up to "Holy jealousy." That it was okay because I wanted to be doing what they were doing, but for God's glory. So, that makes it Holy, right? I wanted to be there. I wanted to be a part. I wished they had done stuff like that when we were there. They were changing, for the good, and they were impacting the community as a part of this change.

I think at this point it changed a little to frustration. At this point, this is a lot of emotion for me... Why couldn't I be there? Why didn't they do this before? Why now? Why were we so far away? Why did it bother me so much? I needed to stop looking at the pictures.

As I continued to wrestle with this, I began to ask myself even more questions. Do I just want to be there so bad because I know I can't? Does this help me feel better about myself? If I was there, would I be as involved as I think I want to be when I am so far away and I can't be? What would it really look like for me? Would I make excuses about having 3 small boys or being too busy or living too far away? If it bothered me so much, why wasn't I doing something like this on my own? Why didn't I find my own opportunities? Frankly, I was really hard on myself.

I want to be giving and serving and loving and caring and always put others before and above myself. But when it comes down to it, what am I doing to BE these things? Ultimately, to BE more like Christ. Am I starting with my family? My husband? My kids? Am I keeping my eyes open to see all the needs around me? And when I see them, do I make excuses and keep walking on, or do I stop to think about how I can be part of the solution?

So many thoughts and emotions and feelings and stuff that I didn't know I would feel by seeing some pictures on facebook. So, I'm open. To learn. About why God has allowed me to feel these emotions and about what He wants to change in me as a result.

It's only week 2...this could be a hard year!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

New Year Happenings

I wrote a post about my "word" for the year. I started this a few years back when I read about it on another blog. It seemed neat. I'm not one for fads, but now, it seems more like a fad. Like the "in" thing to do is to have "one word." This makes me not want to have my word. But, alas, I had already decided on it and written my post about it before I started seeing it all over the internet...

My word is LEARN. Shortly (like maybe minutes) after I wrote the post, my mom (from across the room on her computer) asked if I was going to keep track. Kind of like the "One Thousand Gifts" book that we had both read, writing it all down in a notebook. I was unsure I wanted to go this far...but decided in the end that it would be good for me. To keep track. To remember. To kind of give a voice to it and make it more real. So I'm keeping a little notebook. It's only been a week, but I'm on track and I think it is helping me evaluate things (including myself) better.

So, as my 2 loyal followers (my mom and my hubs) are on the edge of their seats waiting to know what I've learned thus far...here are just a few from my week. Some are things I learned from others and are way easy to share. Some are about how I am so messed up and they aren't as fun to share. But it's what I'm learning...

1. Don't miss the opportunity to do something good while waiting to do something great!

2. I am quick to raise my voice (mostly at my kids) and slow to show compassion and grace. But I am way better at this when I know others are watching.

3. I am good at finding, researching, pinning, etc. but I am pretty terrible at follow-through.

4. It is way easier to engage in a conversation with someone when I stop every thing else I am doing and hold eye contact (even as awkward as long eye contact feels for me).

5. I get more easily annoyed with one of my boys than the other two. Probably because he is most like me. And I keep realizing more ways he is like me. And it's teaching me more about me and about him. Now, for that compassion to kick in...

These are just a few. It's been a great week of learning. Of reading and listening and self-evaluating.