The First Day of Preschool

“…in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me,

when as yet there was none of them.” 

Psalm 139:16

 

Today was Adella’s first day of preschool. 

She was excited!

I thought about how three years had passed by in a blur of life.

I thought about how I felt so blindsided by something I knew was coming.

I thought the thought that every parent thinks…

“I can’t believe that my baby is starting preschool!”

When I was taking her picture before we left Adella heard a bird chirping in the tree by our front door. 

Eyes wide with wonder, she pointed and shouted, “Mommy!  Daddy!  I want to hold that bird!

At the time, I thought it was sweet.

 But after the mommy and daddy pictures were taken…

…after we signed her in at preschool and let her play in the lobby…

…after we watched her line up with her class…

…I thought about how sweet that little chirping bird had been. 

I thought about the gospel hymn “His Eye Is On The Sparrow” and the verse that says

“Let not your heart be troubled,”
His tender word I hear,
And resting on His goodness,
I lose my doubts and fears;
Though by the path He leadeth
But one step I may see:
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

 I thought about how God is leading Adella’s little life. 

I thought about how God has every day of Adella’s life written before she had lived a single one.

I thought about how God’s takes note of each little sparrow and how much more attentive he is to Adella.

It was an overwhelmingly beautiful thought on an overwhelmingly beautiful day.

Advertisements

Resolution

“So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.” -2 Corinthians 4:16-18

I spend far too much time living in my circumstances.  I look around my life and I am consumed.  

to do:

make do

re-do

review

stick to

follow through

live up to

over do

I have to just get through.

I’m looking forward to 2012 being a year when I stop focusing on the whirlwind of daily life.

I’m looking forward to 2012 being a year when I live daily with eternal perspective. 

 

If you do not raise your eyes you will think that you are the highest point.  ~Antonio Porchia

9/11

Four coordinated attacks

Secret suicide pacts

Immeasurably tragic acts

Planes en route from Boston, Newark and Washington DC,

American Airlines 11, 77, 175, and United 93

transported hard working fathers, big sisters and little brothers, new mothers, acquaintences and lovers and so many others from their day to day routines to their obscene deaths.

I remember watching, as I am sure you do too, as the planes flew straight into the buildings. 

Watching Flight 77 printed on the tv screen under a shot of another building, another fire.

Hearing “Flight 77 left Dulles International Airport at 8:20am this morning” and feeling my stomach grow cold, feeling numbness enfold I ran to grab hold of a ticket.

I read the tiny black words on the paper and realized, without a doubt, Flight 77 would have been my route.

it would have been my way of coming home from visiting a friend,

my life’s inescapable end

Head in my hands, I thanked God for changing my plans.

Since then, I have spent each 9/11 anniversary wallowing in disillusion and confusion.

 But this year, I’ve arrived at a new conclusion.

After ten years of internal debate I’ve determined to stop looking at it as a great act of hate.

This year I’m not looking at the darkness. I’m focusing on the Light.

This year I’m not going to think about what people did wrong. I’m going to praise those who did right.

This year is all about how LOVE WON.

In the midst of pure, suffocating evil, LOVE WON.

Evil turned ordinary men into blind, hateful terrorists.
LOVE turned ordinary people into bold, brave, life-saving heroes.

Evil brought the victims rushing down cramped flights of stairs.
LOVE drove rescue workers up them.

Evil tore families apart.
LOVE surrounded those families with an entire nation willing to mend broken hearts.

Evil turned beams of steel into a tomb.
LOVE formed those broken beams into the shape of a cross
where grace derived from loss
pointing to the proof,
the undeniable truth
that in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loves us.
that neither death nor life,
angels nor demons,
neither the present nor the future,
height nor depth,
or any powers in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.
So instead of letting this be a tragic anniversary,
I choose to see it as a decade of victory,
reminding me that because of the sacrifice of His son
Love HAS WON…

Psalm 78: 1-7

O my people, listen to my instructions.  Open your ears to what I am saying, for I will speak to you in a parable.  I will teach you hidden lessons from our past—stories we have heard and known, stories our ancestors handed down to us.  We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about his power and his mighty wonders.  For he issued his laws to Jacob; he gave his instructions to Israel.  He commanded our ancestors to teach them to their children, so the next generation might know them— even the children not yet born—and they in turn will teach their own children.  So each generation should set its hope anew on God, not forgetting his glorious miracles and obeying his commands.  -Psalm 78:1-7

 

 

Sparking eyes, busy hands, curious minds plotting big plans.

Wiggly bodies and energetic feet settle down on a princess seat.

At this moment I am obsolete as they work on puzzles and listen to Sesame Street.

On this tuesday morning it is not yet ten and everything on the shelves

has been pulled off and strewn over the floor, once again.

Quietly, I stand at the sink, coffee cup in hand and think

about the potpourri of “Christian” toys…

A few yummy candies wrapped with a verse tucked inside a Jesus-fish coin purse.

Two BibleGirl backpacks serve as bowls for some sugar-free cross shaped fruit snacks.

Stacks and stacks of things to fill my kids hearts with everything the world lacks.

A plush David and Goliath complete with five little rocks,

Noah’s Zoo ABC building blocks, a pair of dove print cotton socks

and a hymn-music jewelry box.

Plastic “Fruit of the Spirit” to munch on strewn beside

the comic book version of the gospel according to John.

Moses action figure with a plastic ark and staff standing on top of

an empty bottle of Jonah bubbles for the bath.

CDs and DVDs of cartoons starring Bible reading veggies.

Lord, help me please to remember that I parent best from my knees and not

when I am providing gifts (even Christian ones) with every sweet little “please”.

An armor of God plastic suit.

Sure, it’s cute.

But I wonder if it might dilute and pollute the root of the Message

until it doesn’t compute.

I want my girls to see beyond the stuff, not that it is bad it’s just extra fluff

and it is certainly not enough to teach and reach their little hearts.

No matter how smart they still need purposeful instruction about

the awesomeness of creation, the beauty of earth’s foundation

and man’s divine formation immediately followed by a spiritual confrontation

full of evil temptation disguised as a harmless conversation.

Humanity’s response to the altercation caused God devastation

and in His plan created a complication:

the realization of separation, condemnation and eternal damnation.

That is why the world became a location for a corrupt civilization

suffering from spiritual starvation and soul sedation.

Finally, a divine adaptation:

a Savior who endured humiliation and execution with the final chapter revealing a plan of ressurection, glorification and our sanctification to bring about a holy reconciliation ending in eternal celebration.

I take my job as mother seriously because I know

knowing Jesus doesn’t happen mysteriously.

It’s my responsibility to pass on the Message while they are under my wing and

bring understanding of not only right and wrong but also knowledge of how to know

Jesus and have a relationship with him that is life long.

And that is not going to happen if the extent of my strategy is just to fling

every single Jesus thing I can find at my girls

and hope something sticks…hope something clicks.

It’s about living my life in a transparent way

Putting my spiritual peaks and valleys on display

So one day my girls will say,

“I want a faith that is authentic and true,

Mommy, I want to know Jesus like you do.”

 

Genesis 1:27

“God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”  Genesis 1:27


 Almighty, Advocate, Abba, Amen

Bread Of Life, Beginning

Consuming Fire within

He is the Desired of Nations and My Deliverer

I serve an Eternal God who also my Heavenly Father

The Lord is Faithful and True,

He’s a Friend of the Sinner

My Guide, God Almighty, who speaks in a whisper

The Holy One is my Hope and the High Priest Forever

He’s the only one who can say He is the “I Am”

He’s the Lion of Judah.  He’s the sacrificial Lamb

JEHOVAH-SHAMMAH:

He is God who is present

JEHOVAH-RAPHA:

He is God who heals one hundred percent

JEHOVAH-JIREH:

He is God who provides in every event

Jesus, Jealous, the ultimate Judge

King of Kings

Lawgiver, Leader, Light of the World, Love

Messiah, Man of sorrows who was acquainted with grief

A Nazarene whose purpose extends beyond a religious belief

Alpha, Omega, Only Begotten Son

Prince of Peace, Potter, the Purifying One

He is Qualified and

Righteous, a Redeemer and Rabbi

He’s my Savior, my Shepherd, He’s the Son of the Most High

A Teacher, the Truth, thereby being the One Who Would Die

Understand me please when I say that He is a

Very Real and Very Present help in my trouble as I

Work through the lies that wage war on my heart.  Which is why I

eXalt Him.  From the bottom of my being I exclaim that He is extraordinary.

 I yield my warped view of myself to you and

Zealously zero in on the zillions of ways

I’m made in the image of the Ancient of Days.

 

My Story

I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior in January 1995.

I was baptized on my birthday in August 1995.

Looking back it seems laughable that I thought I understood the ideas of sacrifice, servitude, forgiveness and commitment…and God must have known that I didn’t really understand those concepts but he accepted my acceptance…beautiful.

It was not until 1997 that I found my identity in Jesus.  I was fifteen and a sophomore at an incredible performing arts high school in Los Angeles.  One very rainy winter morning I climbed onto the 7 o’clock Metrolink without even knowing how to get to my classes once I got off at the Cal State LA station.  I found my way, not only to my classes on that first day but also my way to a closer relationship with Jesus.  Undoubtably there was something about being so incredibly far out of my comfort zone that caused me to cling to God.  While I was in church two, sometimes three times a week and while I spent my time with Christians who challenged me, I know the main reason that my relationship with God flourished was because I was constantly reading my Bible.

So, it should not have come as a surprise when I let my life get filled up with adulthood obligations that steadily ate into my quiet, still moments with God that I began to feel the sad, dry, staleness of being distant from God.  As post-high school life progressed I became hopelessly tangled up in the unique snare of American culture: the snare of doing.   Over the past ten (or so) years I occupied myself with things to do, goals to accomplish, tasks to complete…items to check off my life’s list.  These were deceptive little occupiers of my time because they didn’t ever appear to be things that could hurt me or anyone else.  In fact, they were good things and God-honoring ways of spending my time: going to college, attending and hosting small groups, working my way through school, participating in an arts ministry, graduating with my BA, planning a wedding and getting married, spending quality time with my spouse, landing a position as a teacher, clearing my credential, investing in the lives of my students through advising extracurricular activities, having children of my own and pouring myself into their lives…you get the idea.  But, as I look back I can easily see that too many “good” things to do created a bad attitude, a hard heart and a sad soul within me.  I barely recognized myself but I kept using phrases like “I just need to get through this” and “If I can survive just survive these next few weeks” and “It wont be like this forever”.  I kept focusing on accomplishing the immediate task.  I ignored almost everything else in my life.  To be really honest,  it wasn’t just my relationship with Jesus that suffered during those years…every relationship I had was impacted.  At the time, I didn’t realize what I was doing…I was too busy pressing the “pedal to the metal” and rushing to get things done so I could start living.  I think I thought that I could pause people and pause relationships while I rushed through college and career and then pick up where I left off.  How foolish.

Relatively recently I’ve been forced to slow down.  Way down.  I can so clearly see how God has moved His hand in my physical health as well as within my husband and girls to (almost) force me into a season of refocusing.  During this time of taking inventory of my life I feel a real conviction to get back into my Bible reading and transparently account for what I am learning…and that is my intention for this blog.

Honestly, I am scared to put myself “out there” without the familiar barriers that I’m comfortable hiding behind…but here it goes…