I had a great conversation with a few moms after I spoke at a MOPS meeting last Friday. And the things we talked about reminded me so much of the devotion I recorded for yesterday, I felt I needed to do a follow-up post to keep the conversation going.In addition to time alone with God, we moms most certainly need time alone with one another. And by time "alone" with one another, I mean - time with one another sans kiddos. We need time when we can just be women who share our hearts, our joys, AND our hurts so we know we are not alone in the things through which we're going. We need to be able to be real with one another. We need to listen and share, to support and encourage. And no matter how good we all are at multi-tasking, this level of intimacy can really only be accomplished when we are able to get away with friends. Throwing kids into the mix - even if they're happily occupied in the other room - significantly impedes a mom's ability to be fully present with other women. Thus impeding her ability to share deeply and support whole-heartedly. The problem - as I was hearing it Friday - is that, too often, moms just can't get away. *We talked about the feelings of guilt they have over leaving hubby alone to do bedtime, or dinner, or any number of things he is perfectly capable of doing alone. *We talked about too-busy schedules which prevent anyone from planning much of anything when it comes to getting together to just talk. *We talked about not realizing how important it really is for moms to take off the mom-hat just long enough to get re-fueled. So, if you fall into any one of the camps mentioned above: feeling guilty, being too busy, or not realizing the importance, may I implore you to hear me right now? *For "feeling guilty" and "too busy", I hereby give you permission to let go of your feelings of obligation. Please consider yourself FREE to get away and be REAL with your friends.*For "not realizing", I'm telling you now - it is important for you to have that time away, to deepen friendships and be encouraged. So often you feel like something isn't worthwhile if it doesn't directly benefit your family, I know. Trust me, friend, your time away will directly benefit your family. You will come back to them a better woman and a better mom. Here's to a world full of better moms!
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Monday, May 20, 2013
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
I've been working on a talk I'll be giving for a MOPS group this Friday. The talk is inspired by the devotion I wrote for the new NIV Mom's Devotional Bible, and has the same title: I Will NEVER be that Perfect!Thinking about how NOT perfect I am gave me the idea to create this post. Not that I need to prove my imperfection. But I thought it would be fun to display it. *wink*First, I'm sure you've seen the beautiful pictures of food
Friday, May 10, 2013
Unconditional love.Those are the last words I heard her speak. And those are the words I witnessed her living out every day. Gladys was my favorite at Edgewood. And when I say "favorite", I don't mean one of my favorites. I mean favorite. In every sense of the word. As in, there is no one more special to me at Edgewood than her. Last Friday morning, Gladys went to be with Jesus - where she'd been longing to be. I am so happy for her! And so sad for those of us who are still waiting. Because we will all miss her deeply. I remember the first time I talked with Gladys. It was my first glimpse at her life of unconditional love. I was eating lunch at Gladys' table shortly after I started working at Edgewood and asked about her family. When she told me about her son, I remember tears flowing down her cheeks as she recalled the time he said to her, "Mom, thanks for never giving up on me." I have often thought of that moment when I'm "in the middle" of something with my boys, and I listen to her encouragement. Don't give up on them. I remember the story she told about the time her granddaughter mentioned that she'd put her husband "in the doghouse". And with a passion all her own, Gladys said, "I told her, 'You go get him out of that doghouse. You should never put your husband there. You LOVE him!'" Gladys was married to her precious husband for 73 years. She knew what she was saying! And I will never forget the moments I, myself, was the recipient of Gladys' unconditional love. Somehow she always knew when I needed encouragement. I am certain it's because she listened to God so well! I could be having a rough day, or might be feeling discouraged about something, and then I'd see Gladys and her uncomparable smiling face. Without exception, she had an uplifting, heart-soothing word for me. I always left my interactions with Gladys feeling loved, encouraged, and precious. That's just the effect she had on people. So it makes perfect sense to me that when I visited Gladys in her dying days, the words she kept repeating were, "Unconditional love. Unconditional love. Unconditional love." Because that's what she experienced from God, and that's the way she lived.
Tuesday, May 07, 2013
It isn't quite time to "let go", but I think I need to start loosening my grip.There are just a few weeks left in Elizabeth's junior year of high school. Next year at this time we'll be in the midst of graduation plans. *yikes!* And soon after, my baby girl will be headed off to college, and then - if she's anything like me - she'll never really "live at home" again. *mix of excited-for-her-but-sad-for-me feelings in my tummy* So last Friday I came to a realization when Elizabeth told me about plans she'd made with friends. They were all going to meet at a local park and hang out for the evening. Ride bikes, play on the swings, talk - just doing things teenagers like to do. That was all fine with me, until she mentioned they were planning to meet about 5 or 5:30, and I said, "What about eating dinner?" Elizabeth said she would grab a snack "or something" before she left. And that's when my control issues flared. I immediately thought, You can't just grab something and go. You need to be here for dinner. We need to eat together as a family. Doesn't all the latest research point to how important it is for families to eat dinner together? We have to do things right. We must eat together. Because it's important to do what the researchers say is important, right? I mean, if I let her go hang out with her friends instead of staying home to eat with her family, I might be viewed as an unloving mom who doesn't care about the well-being of her daughter. Right? And I certainly don't want to be viewed that way. Because I do love my daughter. And I am concerned about her well-being. But then something happened. I asked myself, Why? Why do I think it would be better for Elizabeth to stay home and eat dinner with us, than for her to go spend time with her friends? Because I'm concerned about what other people would think of me? Because I'm afraid of letting her go??? That's when the reality hit me about her moving on in the near future. And I realized letting her go hang out with her friends didn't mean I was "letting her go", but that I was loosening my grip. My baby girl is growing up, and she will leave the nest one day. I realize I can't change that fact. And, honestly, I don't want to. Rather, I want my baby girl to grow into the young woman God has created her to be. To live for Him and honor Him as a mature, independent adult. So, with the knowledge that she would be back in a few short hours, I sent her off to be with her friends. And when she got home and told me about all the fun they'd had together, I was so glad I'd loosened my grip. She would have been totally bored if I'd made her stay home. *wink*
Monday, May 06, 2013
Monday, April 29, 2013
I received this text from a friend a few days ago:
Can you remind me that I don't suck because I yell when I lose my temper sometimes?I replied to her this way:
YOU ARE AWESOME, AND YOU ARE LOVED BY GOD. EVEN WHEN YOU LOSE YOUR TEMPER AND YELL.The same is true for you, my friend. My frustrated, tired, irritable, overwhelmed, trying-really-hard-to-get-it-right-friend. God - who is perfect in every way - loves you in every moment. Even when you blow it sometimes and do the things you really don't want to do. I am convinced HE looks on you with love and compassion in those moments, wanting for you to come to Him for the help and grace you need. His arms are open and His love is unending. Run to HIM!
So the Lord must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion. For the Lord is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for his help. O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. He will be gracious if you ask for help. He will surely respond to the sound of your cries. Isaiah 30:18-19 (NLT)