Very recently we (at Lifesong) were challenged to Invest...time, resources, gifts, talents, love, compassion - whatever we could to love God by loving others. The result of this challenge was different for everyone, but for me, I was really challenged, and convicted, that I was not investing in my kids' lives as intentionally as I should be. Sure, I'm home with them a lot - that's what my life's calling is, but I had not been giving it my all. During Christmas, this really seemed to stay with me. What could I do to show each of my girls - individually - that I want to spend time with them...that I want to get to know the "girls of God" that they are. I get so stressed sometimes trying to find alone time with each of the girls, so this year, after NOT over-thinking it, I decided to gift the girls with 12 months of alone time with Mom. Dad even jumped in on the fun with his on ideas, too. We each decided to come up with an idea per month that we could take our daughters - by themselves - on fun days. Some of the things we came up with are things we actually have managed to stay consistent in doing with them, but for me, it was the being intentional aspect of things that made this matter the most. Knowing that on a designated day each month of the year the girls and I would have our day together is so exciting to me. Today, Avery and I have made plans for our first month's activity together. She chose the "Dinner and a Movie with Mom" certificate I gave her. Over the next year, I'll post pics of our time together so I can have a record of it. I'm excited, and my prayer is that we'll reach December 2010 with loads and loads of brand new memories...and a LOT of laughs! How have you been intentionally investing in others?
"Be today who you want to be tomorrow" were the words I started off my day reading. For a procrastinator, with very good intentions, these words penetrated my heart and brought me challenge, but more so, relief! When you live with the mindset a lot of the time that, "Tomorrow, I'll get it right," you sell yourself short on living each day to the fullest, so that tomorrow will just become "More of the same, please!" In these last few months, I have felt that I am realizing more and more what this means. For me, it's meant to finally stop doing what others expect, but do what God has created me to do. He's made me like I am. You have to come to terms that not all will like you, or give you the benefit of the doubt in this life. Thing is, I really don't like everyone either. (Thanks to a new friend for making this a little clearer for me on a cold December day in a Starbucks!) Personalities and paths are different for us. I may not be on the same road you're on at the moment, or you may have a less than "go get 'em" personality that is different from me. Either way, I gotta be me! This scares me a bit. It scares me because, typically, God has to put me in front of people to be bold most of the time, which often gives others the false illusion that I crave attention and want to be the focus. Here's a little secret...
"I hate it!"
I cannot stand to be the one that has to be in front of others, to have my life looked at because my husband is a pastor and well...your life is GONNA be looked at whether you like it or not, to sometimes have God ask you to say the unpopular thing in order to lead people to something, or Someone, greater. I may over think this from time to time, but coming to terms that God has called me to a life of not doing what is popular most of the time, will make me the woman of God I desire to be tomorrow. I kick, scream, cry a lot of the time back at God because I get trapped in the, "But I just want to be like others" trap. I focus too much in desiring to be liked by others, and waste countless hours trying to determine just why is it that some don't like me. Truth is, deep down, I probably don't care. I must become all that God wants me to be....not what others want me to be. The last Bible study I didrocked my world about this. I really believe that most of the time you don't like me, or I don't like you (figuratively speaking) is because we have no clue what is going on in each other's lives. We don't know where each other is coming from (birthplace, path, trials, victories) - what you are currently facing in life. I look back to some of the most hurtful times in my life and remember some nasty things I have said to people just because I was hurting. That's life, and it happens, and it is what we leave others with in impression of us. That's not wrong. It happens. Even in the midst of being nasty sometimes, we can still "Be today what (we) want to be tomorrow." God's given us each a path to grow from and gain experience from. It's, again, a relief! For me, it's embracing the knowing - the knowing that God has a plan for my life.
"I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for."(Jeremiah 29:11, The Message)
That verse gives me hope that when I give up control, I become free to be what God has intended me to be all along. I hope that you are encouraged today to stop putting off what God may be asking of you, which is just to embrace the woman, or man, that He wanted you to be all along. He doesn't make mistakes. He doesn't make us all the same. He does, however, make all things beautiful in His time.
2010! Wow! It's crazy to think about, but it's here! We hope that you have enjoyed an AMAZING New Year with your family and friends, and that you are armed with lots of resolutions to fulfill. I used to be so anti-resolutions, but really, if you're not making goals for yourself in life, you are living with zero challenge to become all God desires you to be. Go out and make a resolution. You don't need to make a ton. Make one and stick to it! I'm excited over things that God has put on my heart and hope to leave 2010 behind me much differently than I entered it...with a better ME!
We have enjoyed the last days of 2009 spending time together and celebrating Christmas with family and having a new 10 yr old in the crib! Bailey celebrated her birthday with some of her 4th grade girlfriends by having a bonfire and s'mores, cookie cake, and hot chocolate! Can you say H-Y-P-E-R!!! They had such a great time, though. We are so incredibly proud of Bailey and the young lady she is becoming. She fills our home with her sweet laugh, artsy personality and her love for others. She is such a blessing to us!We have enjoyed seeing our families over the holidays. Our time with them is few and far between with our weekends being full, but when we have the chance to see them, it's always a blessing. We hope that this year is filled with much love, laughter and joy! Take time to do for others and make sure your friends and family know you love them! Happy 2010!