Saturday, November 24, 2012

What I wish I could tell my pre-2007 self...

(This is a somewhat random post, kind of a mish-mash of thoughts I've been having today over the growth I've experienced as a person since I moved to the US.)

What I wish I could tell my pre-2007 self...

* There is grace. When you fall, ask for forgiveness. It's ok - you don't have to berate yourself over and over again because you made a mistake.

* You don't have to be someone you're not, just to make other people happy. God doesn't need your pretenses, or your hair to be perfect, or you to look like the perfect little Christian. He needs you - flaws and all. If he'd wanted perfection, He would never have chosen you.

* You don't know everything. And that's okay.

* Accept who you are. You spend far too much time trying to be like other people.

* There will always be people who will hurt you. And while that's hard to take, remember that you hurt people sometimes too. Forgive, and those hurts will fade and heal, and you'll be left with a friend instead of a bitter memory.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Joy Amidst Chaos

Some days it feels like my life is complete and utter chaos. At this very moment, on my couch there is a to-do list for the day, one coupon for something I'm not even going to buy, two remotes, my Bible, a devotional that is only half read for the day, more coupons I'm not going to use, a list for Thanksgiving, coupons I might use for Thanksgiving stuff, my glasses, a water bottle, and a discarded pacifier. (It sounds like a whole pile of stuff, but really, it's way better than it was before, I promise.) And then there's the things that are not physically on the couch, but are running through my mind - that calendar I need to contact Shutterfly account, moving truck to organize, things to pack, Bible study to read...and so the list could go on. It feels like there's one endless to do list that keeps spitting out of my printer and I can't keep up.

But...there's beauty in the chaos. The coupons mean I will get to celebrate Thanksgiving this year...which some may not get to do this year because they are too poor or don't have a home. My Bible shows me how blessed I am to be a child of the King, something I ought never to take for granted. My devotional book makes me sigh a huge sigh of relief that I am not alone, that many mothers have gone before me and have endured the very same struggles I am facing. The to-do list means I am alive and have a day in which I can serve my King and my family. The pacifier means my long-time dream has come true, and I am mama to one incredible little girl.

So, in spite of the chaos, I am blessed.

One of the things God has been reminding me lately is that joy is a choice. Some days the chaos doesn't make me feel joyful. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed, or stressed, or both...and the very last thing I feel like doing is raising my hands in worship to my King as I make my way through the day. Yet, I am called to rejoice always. Always doesn't simply mean when my day is going well, Selah takes super long naps, and my to-do list is all complete by the time my hubby comes home. Always means even on the days when Selah wants to be held all day, or my kitchen is a disaster, or my hair just will not cooperate. How do you find joy in the midst of disastrous days? By resting in God.

I was recently in a Christian bookstore while Caleb was away, and for whatever reason the upcoming *season* was weighing heavily on my mind. I was filled with fear and dread at a year without my husband - fear of whether he would be ok, fear for how I would cope, dread at how to fill those 365ish days all alone. As I browsed the store, I saw two things:

One: A picture of a soldier kneeling. It was hung way up high so I couldn't see everything it said, only these words: "I WILL PROTECT HIM". What an amazing comfort - exactly what I needed to hear.

Two: A super cute tea cup with the word "Joy" printed on the front. Upon picking it up, I found a little card (that came with it) tucked inside. It said "This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength." (Nehemiah 8:10) All I could think as I stared at the cup was how appropriate the words were for our upcoming season apart - a reminder that each day is not a day to grieve, but a day to serve. Not saying that it'll be easy, but if I choose to find my joy in the LORD, I will be strong enough to make it through.

My new tea cup
So, today, I am trying to choose joy. :)

*As a side note, welcome to my new blog! I am hoping that I can be consistent with maintaining it, but no promises.