Sunday, August 29, 2010

To my Facebook Friend

I have a friend on Facebook who is cutting herself down more often than not. I wanted to post this on her wall, but I don't have the guts.....

Dear Friend,

I've been worried about you. It's Saturday night. I just stalked your wall. Of the 12 status updates you've made this weekend, 9 of them have been jamming on yourself. And not just the "I can't believe I did something dumb" type. Seriously, big time, ugliness. If someone was talking about me the way that you talk about yourself, I think I'd punch them in the nose. But it seems like you don't even care. I've seen these types of updates about yourself more often than not.

Do you really believe what you're writing about yourself? "Stupid...stupid...always screwing things up!" "Inadequate...perfect definition." and the worst...."Dear self, you have turned out to be a complete piece of junk. Good job." Really? Do you really believe that?

Don't get me wrong, I think as women, we all struggle with feelings of inadequacy sometimes, but when we do, there are better ways to deal with it than others. Sometimes, I use humor - it's always good to be able to laugh at yourself. Sometimes I talk to people who I know love me and will give it to me straight.

And lets talk about your friends for a minute. Looking at the comments people make back to you when you post this junk, you have true friends in your life. Friends who will pour the truth into your life. Friends who will say encouraging things. Friends who love you for who you are and aren't asking you to be anything other than that. These friends faithfully post encouragement to you, and love you in the middle of whatever you're going through.

Sometimes I wonder why do you post this junk? If you really believe it, it makes me sad. If you don't believe it, then I feel bad for your friends - you are manipulating them to make them say something nice to you. That's why I don't post to your statuses all the time...I don't appreciate being manipulated. In fact, I can't tell you the number of times that I've almost clicked "HIDE" next to your name. I just can't because inside, I think you are really hurting and you don't know what to do about it. If you need encouragement (because we all do sometimes), be honest about it. Say that your circumstances are making you feel badly. Your true friends will lift you up. When you attempt to manipulate people with your overly dramatic comments, you're only going to push the people who care about you away. And honestly, I've seen that pattern in your "real life" - not just your virtual Facebook life.

Ultimately, you need to know I love you. I still love you with your faults. If I get frustrated with how you deal with your disappointments, it's because I'm a just a human. But God will give you all the true love your searching for. He doesn't care how you've messed up. He offers forgiveness and life to the fullest (John 10:10)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Happy Birthday to Jennifer

Today, I have to say Happy Birthday to my dear friend Jennifer. She is a delightfully amazing individual, and a very charming, unassuming manner. She is amazingly talented, but if you tell her that, she'll just roll her eyes then sheepishly say thank you.

She has beautiful, spunky, fun kids. She's holding the baby in the picture above. Here's the oldest....

And this is her lovely middle child...Look at the eyes on that cutie!!!

Jen's kids are so fun and spunky because they are a direct reflection of her personality, (and her husband's too...I guess I have to give him a little credit....)

She is an amazing photographer. She took this picture of my family 2 years ago....

She also took this one.....

We call it our ninja family photo....

But back to Jen. These are the thing I love about her. She can turn nothing into something spectacular!! She loves hosting parties. At a shower she hosted recently, she covered board game boxes with craft paper, stacked them in a pyramid, and glued little decorations on Popsicle sticks and stuck them in through the box lids and used it as a cupcake stand. It looked spectacular!!!! If I would have done that, well, it would have looked like game boxes covered in craft paper and hot glue hot mess!!!

Her house looks like it came out of a decorators magazine. She has an eye for color and putting unusual things together to make a big statement. And she does it on a shoestring budget. I have a huge case of envy. I told her I want her to re-decorate my house, and the funny thing is, she said OK!

She's always willing to help, and somehow she finds time in the middle of raising 3 kids to help friends, throw parties, and celebrate life! **I'M SO JEALOUS**

I find myself being envious of the life and characteristics of other people a lot. Especially, the creative things that people do. But when I gush about how amazing I think Jennifer is, she just says something like, "It's no big deal."

Isn't that always the way though? We think the things that make us special are insignificant, and the things that make other people shine are especially sparkly in comparison. I think God has made us all uniquely talented for where we are, who God has put in our lives, and to bring Him glory. God has given Jennifer the ability to make things around her beautiful to teach her children that God loves and appreciates things of beauty. Her kids are going to see her make beautiful things and see the work she puts into them, and they will realize that God is the master Creator of this beautiful universe. There's no way something that beautiful could have just happened to be there. God designed it. Her children are going to see the special and unique things about people just the way their mama saw in our family that we love Jesus (the picture of the cross) and that we are just a little crazy (the ninja family photo). And they are going to celebrate life!


Monday, August 16, 2010

Schedule update

How's the schedule going? I'm glad you asked....NOT GOOD! I can't get up as early as I want. I have other things that get in the way of what I have put on the schedule....Is this even worth it? I'm going to try to get up early tomorrow and try to give it a go. I need the time and the focus and the order. Now more than ever.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I never thought....

I never thought I'd want to be more like my mother in law. Don't get me wrong, I love her dearly. But we have some major differences. Once, my husband went to a leadership summit and took a personality profile. He thought it was so cool that when he came home he had both me and his mother take it. We both discovered our personality types and chuckled at how accurate the results were. They described both of us to a t! The next part of the test discussed the how the pairing of different personality types resulted in different strengths or challenges. I skipped down and looked at my personality paired with my husband (and was not surprised by what I read. It was quite accurate). Then I skimmed down to find my personality paired with my Mother-in-law's. I was shocked. I didn't memorize it, but it went something like this....

"This is the hardest personality pair. Their weaknesses are magnified in each other. The free spirit of the first person is critically interpreted as laziness or irresponsibility in the second. The sense of concern in the second person is incorrectly percieved as criticism or judgment. For this personality pair to work together successfully they must both be consistently selfless, and desire for the relationship to work."

My mother in law is a very sweet, kind-hearted, hard working, cautious, super-organized woman, and I love her dearly. And indeed we do show each other a lot of grace to maintain a positive relationship with each other. I've always prided myself, however, in being a bit of a free spirit - no need to keep a tight schedule. I've never had to keep a calendar or a day timer. I've always amazed myself at how much I could get done with out having a formal plan. But recently, that philosophy hasn't been working for me. I feel like I'm always running around catching my tail. I hate that I can't do the things that I want to do because there are other things that must urgently be done. I've been feeling the same discontent and restlessness in my spiritual walk too. I don't know if you've ever heard this song, but it fits the way I feel. It's called Cry in My Heart by Starfield.

There's a cry in my heart for Your glory to fall,
For Your Presence to fill up my senses.
There's a yearning again,
A thirst for discipline,
And a hunger for things that are deeper.

Can You take me beyond? Can you carry me through?
If I opened my heart, could I go there with You?

For what do I have if I don't have you Jesus?
What in this life could mean any more?
You are my rock. You are my glory.
You are the lifter of my head, lifter of this head.

I've loved this song for a long time. I think most Christians can relate to the desire to draw close to God, but the phrase that's really caught my attention recently is "a thirst for discipline." Discipline. Most of the time my nose turns up and my lip curls when I say that word. I've not lived an overly disciplined life. No one would call me un-disciplined by any stretch of the imagination. But I know there are things in my life that I would say are important if you asked me that I rarely do because there are other "more pressing matters." And I'm tired of living like that. Let me give you an example. If you asked me if I thought prayer was important, I would surely say yes. But I could not tell you how much uninterrupted, thoughtful prayer time I've had in the past month (or probably year for that matter). If God didn't know better, I'm sure He thinks I have ADHD! It amazes me that in the song, the lyricist equates discipline with a deeper walk with Christ. My mother in law has a very disciplined habits in her spiritual life. By 6:30 am she's completely dressed for the day and has had her devotions and prayer time. Then she often has an extended time of Bible study after that. If you asked her, she could probably give you details down to the minute of what she does. She's told me before, but I'm not so good with details like that....don't fault me, it's just my personality shining through.

So guess what I've decided to do. I made a daily schedule. I've never had anything like this before. It tells me what to do and when to do it every 30 minutes of the day. Here's what it looks like.

It's a work in progress.....Never mind that the date on the top. I had to go all the way to February next year before I found a week on the calendar on the computer that didn't have any dates filled in so that I could print it out and write in my schedule plan. I've included Bible study, exercise, work and church times, picking up the kids from school, house cleaning tasks, and a time set aside to be crafty and creative. I don't know if you can tell, but it's all in pencil, and I've already changed a few things. I've set it up to start when the school starts, so that gives me a few weeks to ease into it and try the schedule out before I just jump into this more disciplined, organized way of life with two feet. I'm not sure how this is going to all work out, but hopefully it will result in a fuller, more satisfying life and a closer walk with God.

By the way, I'm scared to death to hit the "publish post" button, because once I do, everyone who reads this will know that I'm trying to be disciplined and with that comes accountablitity...another word that makes me want to turn up my nose a little. I just don't like having people tell me what to do. It's another quirk of my personality.....

Monday, August 2, 2010

A new start...

At a baby shower recently, a friend of mine suggested I start a blog and share my "unique point of view" with the rest of the world. I laughed when she suggested it - for a few reasons...First, I wondered if I really had a unique point of view. She seemed to think so, but I was dubious. Second, what my friend didn't know is that I already had a blog! I started it when I was working on the creative team for a digital scrapbook designer. At first it was a lot of fun - I was sharing about my favorite hobby - but then it really started feeling like work - like I was writing ad content about something I didn't really care that much about. I guess I can't say I didn't care about it. I truly enjoyed scrapbooking and getting to know other people who had the same interest in a hobby as I did. But the big difference was that it held a very high priority in their lives...higher than it should in mine. So I let my blogging days go...It consumed so much of my time and energy, and it didn't really fill the purpose God gave me in my life.

So time goes by....I started hanging out in Facebook land, and realized that connecting with people via the internet can be very addictive...(can I get an Amen from my FB friends?!) Although there are things about Facebook (and the internet in general) that are negative, I found one BIG positive - I could communicate hope and encouragement. About the same time I took a Spiritual gifts test and confirmed that my spiritual gift is teaching. To me that explains why I like to over-think stuff and explain everything to people. Ask my husband; it drives him crazy! God has also given me the passion to do creative things - take pictures, sing, be crafty, do nifty things with a computer - and I have a drive to share them.

So here I am with my blog. I can't guarantee that anything I write will be the most amazing or original thing you've ever seen on the internet. But I will guarantee, you'll hear my thoughts on life and what I've been reading in the Bible. You'll see some cute pictures and scrapbook layouts. You may see some crafty ideas you can try in your house. And you'll hear stories of my crazy family and what our life is like in ministry. Hope you're along for the ride....
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