Keep Calm and Wait a Little Longer

In 3 short days, I am going to be 19 years from my 18th birthday.  That’s right, I will be further from 18 than I am close to it, yikes!!!!  Don’t get me wrong, the past 19 years have been great!  Let’s see; I planned a wedding, got married, started a family, graduated from college, and became a nurse.  We also moved 4 times, bought a couple of cars, built a house, and changed churches.

I have seen people come into and walk out of my life.  Some of whom I have been happy to see go, and others I still grieve over.  How can 19 years sound like such a long time, but in reality go by so fast?

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IMG_9294It seems like just yesterday Clint was proposing!  We got married and bought our first home.  Then, all of a sudden, Jaden was taking his first steps and we were finding out that he was going to have a sister.  Then, a few months after Isabella was born, we got the surprise that has always been Olivia.  Now, Jaden is talking about drivers training, and the girls are starting to rethink this whole sharing a room thing!

This birthday just feels different.  Like I can’t possibly be that far from a time in my life that held so much possibility.  Mostly, because I still see such hope and possibility in front of me!  And, of course, suddenly 40 is really, REALLY close!

And time keeps flying, and we wait for the next milestone….

Sometimes, I feel like all I do is wait.  For a baby, to finish school and become a nurse, to get a job in the NICU, to be able to stay home with the kids, to be comfortable with where and who I am…waiting, waiting, and then more waiting.

I can be really impatient most times (okay, ALL the time), and that leads to me trying to fix things.  I try to get everything exactly HOW I think it should be, exactly WHEN I think it should be.  I get so frustrated realizing that there are some things completely out of my control!

EVERY.  SINGLE.  TIME.

Then, this really wise and handsome guy (who I get to call my husband), pointed out that without waiting it’s really hard to trust.

I always seem to forget there are situations where the only solution is waiting and trusting.  Waiting to see God come through; because He is enough.  Trusting He has my best interest in His heart; because His love never fails.

That His timing is perfect.

The thing is, when I take a step back and look at that list up there; that list full of waiting.  His hand is everywhere in that list.  During those times of waiting, those times that seemed so frustrating, the times that felt so quiet, where He seemed silent and almost indifferent to my waiting…to our waiting.  Those are the times that forced the most growth.  The times where all we could do was wait, those are the times we were forced to find refuge in Him.  Those are the times we learned to trust.

 That list up there is full of answered prayers.

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During these last 3 days of my 36th year (and hopefully from here on out),  I will choose happy because He ALWAYS comes through!  He is always showing me how trustworthy He is, even especially in the waiting.

 

 

 

 

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The Little, Yellow Spider We Call Tom

The summer has been all about relaxing and unscheduled days for this family.  I have tried my hardest to have as many days with no plans as possible.  The school year is full of days that have us splitting up to get to everything, and I want this summer to be remembered as the summer we spent as much time at home as a family as possible; I know that sounds completely boring to some, but hey it makes us happy!

One of the things I look most forward to every summer is seeing my daisies bloom.  I absolutely love it!  I can start to see them pop out of the ground in late spring.   They slowly start to get taller and taller during the early summer days, and then all of the sudden we have an explosion of white flowers with little yellow sunbursts all over the front and back yard.  Every season I feel like I have watched these little baby flowers grow and grow and then bring so much beauty to everything around them.  It’s the best!

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My Olivia shares my love for the daisies (actually, she loves any and ALL flowers; just like her Momma).  We usually spend part of the day watering, weeding, and just looking at the flowers.  Our favorite part is cutting some of the flowers or hydrangeas and bringing them inside!  I usually cut a bouquet for the kitchen table and she cuts one for the table in her room.

Last week, while we were doing this we noticed the tiniest, littlest, yellowest spider on the petals of one of the daisies.  Instead of being afraid (which is usually the case when either of us see spiders), we sat and stared at this little guy and thought he was not at all terrifying.  He was downright cute!  I felt a little “Horton Hears a Who”  like as we talked about what how lucky he must be to live on a daisy and wondered what his little yellow life was like everyday.  We decided to name him Thomas.  Tom for short.

The spider on the other hand did not seem at all thrilled to be plucked out of his domain.  He ran and hid under a petal (seriously, how cute is that?!)  I am sure his little spider mind was spinning.  He was away from the warm sun.  He was no longer seeing the even tinier bugs that I am sure were his diet.  And, of course he had two giant human staring at his tiny little spider self.  I am guessing this was not in his plans for the day.    I am guessing the view was pretty scary from behind the petals of that daisy.

This little guy was now totally dependent on us for his every need.

And it made me think about my reliance on God.

I go through my days doing it all on my own.  I spend a huge chunk of my time trying to figure out how to get my needs met and meet the needs of my family.  I find that more and more often my thoughts and prayers are spent trying to convince my God that the way I do it is the best.  My plans will keep everything in order.  My plans will make everyone, including me the happiest.  I know this sounds pretty selfish, but honestly isn’t this the way we usually go about our days?  Relying on ourselves instead of the one who holds the world in His hands.  Depending on what we can do in our own strength instead of letting go of our ideas and trying it His way.

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Today, I am finding happy in the little, yellow spider we named Tom.  He made me realize that even though it was not in his plans for the day, and even though he was afraid, and even though he was probably scrambling to find some kind of reason for this disruption, he was in a state of total reliance.  And that is where I want to be too!  With my heart in total surrender, and my life completely dependent on the One who knows whats best for me even when I’m hiding and struggling to make sense of things from behind the petals of a daisy.

 

 

Peaches

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Stubborn.  Seriously, my youngest has got to be the most stubborn girl I have ever encountered.  She has always done things her own way, including the way she decided to come into the world.  At eight weeks early, in the middle of the night, and so fast we have no pictures to prove she actually came out of me, she started out calling the shots!  Yesterday was no different in the life of my Olivia.

The school offers breakfast in the morning for the kids that come early because their parents have to leave for work.  Olivia rides the bus in the morning and always has breakfast at home.  Well, at least that’s what I thought.  I found out yesterday, after reading an email that said she was overdrawn in her school account (she also takes cold lunch, so there is no reason for her to even use her lunch account), that my dear, sweet, Livi has been eating TWO breakfasts! Not only has she been getting a double dose of the most important meal of the day, she is getting it by eating PEACHES!

Those of you who know my Olivia, know two things about her:

1. She prefers to eat poptarts

and

2. She REALLY prefers to eat poptarts

Imagine my surprise, when I questioned her about the debt at school, and she told me it was because she was eating peaches and milk in the morning!  Seriously?!!  It is a fight to get this girl to eat anything that is not her norm.  By the way her norm includes; green beans, mashed potatoes, NO meat, a few select cheeses, and you guessed it poptarts.  Most definitely, not peaches!  Sometimes, I wonder how she survives!

I am guessing she gets her stubbornness from me.  I have been known to dig my heels in and not give an inch on several occasions; just ask my husband!  I am sure if you checked with my parents you would find that I gave them some headaches while I was growing up too (only when it came to my diet of course).  But, I just could not get over the fact that she was eating peaches!  I was happy she had made a healthy choice (as healthy as school peaches can be anyway) but why didn’t she just ask me?  Was it because she thought I would say no?  Or did she think I couldn’t help her get what she wanted?  Whatever it was, she was sure she could handle this breakfast issue all on her own.

This all got me thinking about the numerous times that I try to take care of things on my own.  Whether it’s because I think God is too busy dealing with other issues, or there are situations where I think I am the best person equipped to handle the situation; I admit I can be that stubborn girl who thinks she knows best.

Don’t get me wrong, I think stubbornness is a great quality to have when channeled in the right way.  This inherent determination, that Livi seems to have, has gotten her through the very challenging times she has already had to face in her young life.  But without surrender stubbornness can be a dangerous and isolating little game.  That is the game changer!  Surrender doesn’t negate determination.  Surrender brings us closer to the One who can get us through to the other side of what we are trying to do on our own.

My little girl could have avoided some consequences if she had just come to me and asked for peaches!  But she didn’t and she got into a little bit of trouble (as I tried to suppress my laughter)!  Sometimes, it’s as easy as asking for something we want and other times it’s a lot more complicated.  Today, I am going to choose happy because I have a little girl and a big God who are helping me see that there is freedom in surrender!