Monday, March 17, 2014

Parenting One-liners

I think in sound bytes. My bumblebee brain is the type that always has multiple apps open. In my quest for the shalom of life, I've seen the value of rote one-liners to tuck away to use as both encouraging self-talk and purposeful parenting. A few dear millenial moms have asked me for a list of Cindy-isms, so here it goes.
[Caveat: I read somewhere :) that there is nothing new under the sun. These are certainly not all original to me, but I hope they will bless you.]

  • Make the most of every opportunity. 
  • Carpe Diem, in parenting little ones becomes Carpe Kairos - seize the moments, as the realities of the days sometimes are not what you want to hold on to; yet every day holds those serendipity, magical moments.                                        Glennon on the Momastery blog says it best in her blogpost: Don't Carpe Diem.

  • What was the highlight / lowlight of your day? 
  • What was the best / worst thing that happened to you today? 
    • Put on your spiritual glasses. Where did you see God at work today?
    • See a need and meet it.
    • Look for an opportunity to serve.
    • Be a blessing.
    • Scatter joy.
    • Walk with a purpose.
    • Delayed obedience is disobedience.
    • Partial obedience is disobedience.

    [opening the blinds with baby Samuel 
    in the  mornings] 
    "It's another beautiful day 
    to love and serve the Lord together.

    • Be a dream-giver.
    • Speak life-giving words.
    • Give quietly.
    • Give generously.
    • Travel light. Hold things loosely.

    [re: eternal perspective] In light of eternity…  10 years from now… 5 years from now…
    The _____ [house, golf, Bible study groups, tennis, clean clothes…] will still be there; the kids won't.
    This, too, shall pass. [Caveat: say this as an encouragement but be careful not to sing songs to a heavy heart by saying this as a way of minimizing someone's pain]

    • Live with nothing to prove, nothing to hide, nothing to lose. Ken Davis
    • We're all broken people in a broken world.
    • Everyone has a back-story. It's not always personal, even though I know it hurts.
    • Our value is already settled in Christ. We don't validate others or get our value from them, we affirm others and we like to be affirmed.

    Faith is the opposite of fear.
    Trust in the goodness of God. 
    Our Heavenly Father loves our children even more than we do.

    • Turn stubborn into steadfast.
    • Anger is a secondary emotion. Is there a fear you might have that we could talk about?
    • Help me understand….

    A young child's play IS their work.

    I see ______ in you. I wonder how God's going to use that to make the world a better place.

    It takes a team.
    [establish a family identity] We're ________'s. We don't [...quit, steal people's reputations by talking badly about them, settle for good if God has His best waiting for us, do things half-heartedly…] We do […support each other, consider the preciousness of those who come behind us, encourage others, our best…]

    • Spend your life with those who speak life into you. 
    • Comparison is the thief of joy.
    • Thankful hearts.
    • Life is an adventure.

    [marriage mantra] Date a week ~ honeymoon a year.
    Always make time to play together.
    Know why you believe what you believe.
    Remember your spiritual mile-markers.

    Mercy is not getting what we DO deserve. Grace is getting what we DON'T deserve.
    Satan is mighty but God is ALMIGHTY.
    Happiness is based on what happens; JOY is a gift - the indwelling presence of the Prince of Peace

    To train up a child in the way he should go you must first go that way yourself. {Pro. 22:6 paraphrase, Billy Sunday}
    Build them up according to their needs. 

    Some of my favorite random words:
    joy, lovely, cozy, retreat, adventure, delicate, delightful, 
    bittersweet, embrace, engage, risk, poise, composure, 
    lavish, compelled, winsome, gratitude, passion, invitation, celebrate, 
    My Life Verse

    My favorite quote
    Intentionally teaching a Biblical worldview is equipping our children with the truths to navigate this world with God's peace, joy, and promises. God is ever loving us, forgiving us, teaching us, restoring joy to us, redeeming our failures, reclaiming our surrendered ground. Family is hard work. Marriage can get in the way of romance. Our culture incubates cluttered lives. Delight in your child's discoveries. Keep laughing. Offer and accept forgiveness. Celebrate the things in your children that God celebrates. 

    Tuesday, December 17, 2013

    on the eve of a new knee

    Au revoir, half century old knee. As I prepare to meet my new knee tomorrow, I'm amazed thinking of all the journeys on which this old guy has taken me. The rose-colored glasses have dimmed and reality is what it is, but as I say goodbye to my old knee, I'm grateful for the adventures. Total knee replacement in the morning - thankfulness today. Tomorrow, I'm giving up for good any future career as a leg model, but this ole knee...

    This knee has lived carefree and played hard.
    late 50's wild thing

    This knee has rocked babies…

    Hiked mountains…

    Biked on many great adventures - dating bike rides, Colorado mountains, Golden Gate Bridge, tandem rides on our bicycle-built-for-two, French Alps, miles and miles on the Nashville Greenway…

    Played the pedal of many piano crescendos.

    This ole knee sat on Santa's knee > and has had many sit on it.

    This knee has climbed stairs and explored more museums than I can count.

    It has taken me to meet animals.

    After wiping out on my last mogul run of my skiing life, this knee continued to bend down to make snow angels and to play with angel grands.

    Even as it began it's slow motion descent, this knee has taken me to many cafes, shops, and favorite spots.

    This knee has stooped down to see life as a munchkin and has served me well sitting criss-cross-applesauce over the years.

    Cheers, knee! Thanks for the memories. 
    Now to make tons more memories, sharing new adventures with a brand new knee!

     "Then will the lame leap like a deer." Isaiah 35:6

    Monday, November 4, 2013

    Judging a Life by its Book Title

    Bought another book today [actually 3 copies of never know...]. In looking at my pile of fractionally read tomes, I began to think how these many titles in our house really can tell a story. It is definitely NOT advisable to 'judge a book by its cover', but these titles tend to ID a bit of me. My life today in book titles:

    Each morning I hear

    Jesus Calling, but I am so easily distracted. There are

    Counterfeit Gods filling my mind: busyness, cinnamon rolls, c-o-f-f-e-e... I get distracted by the least little things - Bumblebee brain thoughts like

    Why Mosquitos Buzz in People's Ears, how many calories in a smoothie, why do all my plants die, how far is Burundi, how fun is Michigan Avenue,

    What Would Audrey Do?, straight hair or curly today, how do I truly live the Proverbs 31 life, how does God answer prayers?? Which brings me back to

                                                           A Hunger for God. I begin to think of

    One Thousand Gifts that He has mercifully placed in my life. I desire to live in a continual state of gratitude and eternal eyesight, to realize

    How Full is Your Bucket, and to be a

    Dreamgiver for so many others. The more women I do life with, the more I realize there is a desperate need for

    The Allure of Hope. Girls need each other. Girls need an empathetic heart to connect to. I adore / love / respect my husband forever-and-a-day, but I have to admit, sometimes trying to have an engaged conversation is like

    Waking the Dead :). I need to break the code of man-speak:

    Yup, Nope, Maybe. The precious women in my life know the time to listen, time to share, time to redirect, time to laugh, time to cry, time to distract... and occasionally to present solutions. They

    Don't Sing Songs to a Heavy Heart, and they are Dreamgivers with the

    Someday of life. But I want to know

    The Way of the Wild Heart as well. I love that we are different - ying/yang, big picture/detail, impulsive/planner, extra whipped cream/just 2 pistachios, stop-and-smell-the-roses/do-we-really-need-more-roses... Just when I feel like

    Resolving Everyday Conflict is too wearisome, the refiner's fire softens an edge in me. I am reminded

    Just in Case You Ever Wonder ~ I remember how dearly loved I am just because. I want to embrace

    The Gift of Being Yourself. To know the treasures I have in my personality, temperament, passions, and to help others realize theirs. Not to be

    The 100 People Who Changed the World or because

    When People are Big and God is Small, but because God loves us, created us, delights in us, desires at great cost to be with us forever. Now THAT truth can truly lead to

    The Contented Soul. Next time I get frustrated with all the manmade rules in life, such as

    You Can't Take a Balloon into the Metropolitan Museum, your house needs to be just so to have people over, you should look like ..., you are loved more when you..., your value is tied to.... Next time I get sidetracked, I'll remember that my value is as an image-bearer, my life is a gift, the

    Cost of Discipleship is worth it all! Jump in! Embrace - serve - love - give God my little lunch and see what miracles He can make of it.

    Next stop, movie titles ?!? It's a Wonderful Life; Gravity; Bounce; Happy Feet; Funny Face; Planes, Trains and Automobiles; Princess Bride...

    What book or movie titles help identify YOU today?

    Sunday, September 29, 2013

    Waiting ... One Day More

    Waiting is exhausting. I'd like to learn to wait well. This morning I was waiting for a table for brunch with our daughter who is waiting for her baby, due yesterday, to enter this big wide wonderful world. I'm waiting for God to provide the "yes" to jobs for two precious  friends. Other friends are waiting to sell their house. We've known what it is like to wait for biopsy results. As the mother of 3, I've spent countless hours waiting at the doctor's office, after being escorted from the big waiting room to the examining room, which ends up really just being a miniature waiting room with more tired magazines. 
    I'm still waiting to develop patience, or the art of concealing my impatience.
    Waiting on sweltering summer days for fall, on brisk fall days for the first snow, on snowy days for the school closing reports, on grey days for sunshine ...
    Waiting for a trip to arrive, then the long-awaited day arrives: waiting in the security line, waiting for boarding, waiting for the flight to take off, then waiting for the fasten seat belt sign to go off so you can use your electronics to pass the time while you wait to arrive at your destination. Arriving at the vacation spot from which you plan to sit around and do nothing. Hmm.  

    Waiting, whether watchful or wistful or worrisome, is a big part of life. 
    Psalm 40:1 provides a better way of waiting. It's about the process more than the outcome.
    "I waited patiently for the Lord."
    “...when you trust the Lord God to give you the next step, when you wait in humility upon Him, *He* will open the doors or close them, and you'll get to rest and relax until He says, 'Go.”
    Chuck Swindoll, Moses: A Man of Selfless Dedication 
    I've long been waiting to become the person I thought I could be, the one I catch a glimpse of sometimes. I'm waiting to have the grace to release my dear husband once for all from my cords of expectation. I'm waiting to truly feel inside the forgiveness I think I've offered my offenders. I've waited for the storm to pass. I've waited for the clouds to clear. I've chosen to fret too many times over seasons of waiting... wishing...hoping...and if-only-ing
    “Waiting is an art that our impatient age has forgotten. It wants to break open the ripe fruit when it has hardly finished planting the shoot. But all too often the greedy eyes are only deceived; the fruit that seemed so precious is still green on the inside, and disrespected hands ungratefully toss aside what has so disappointed them.”
    Dietrich Bonhoeffer, God is in the Manger

    While I'm Waiting, by John Waller
    This song reminds me that God has a good, pleasing, and perfect plan for my life, for B3's birth date, for my friends' jobs, for growth... And it's not a Plan B plan. Where I am waiting, today, IS His plan. 

    Here are the lyrics:

    I’m waiting
    I’m waiting on You, Lord
    And I am hopeful
    I’m waiting on You, Lord
    Though it is painful
    But patiently, I will wait

    I will move ahead, bold and confident
    Taking every step in obedience
    While I’m waiting I will serve You
    While I’m waiting I will worship
    While I’m waiting I will not faint
    I’ll be running the race Even while I wait

    I’m waiting
    I’m waiting on You, Lord
    And I am peaceful
    I’m waiting on You, Lord
    Though it’s not easy
    But faithfully, I will wait
    Yes, I will wait

    While I'm waiting, I will worship:
    When the waiting brings frustration, praise feels like the furthest thing from our minds. But it's a great time to praise God; to consciously begin to list some thankfuls
    Frustrated, scared, sad, bored, the realities of the times are also a time to remind myself of some of the realities of the Lord. Remembering what we know to be true at the moment. 
    The brokenness of our world makes everything we do harder. Waiting is hard. Paul Tripp said it well:
    Waiting is hard for us because we tie our hearts to other glories. We so often are tempted to live and minister for the glory of human acceptance, of personal achievement, of power and position, of possessions and places, and of comfort and pleasure. So when God's glory requires that these things be withheld from us---things we look to for identity, meaning, and purpose---we find waiting a grueling, burdensome experience.
    While I'm waiting, I will serve you:
    Engage in community. Be vulnerable. Use the waiting moments to pour kindness into someone in our intimate circles of relationship: via text, phone call, prayer, thoughtfulness... Those are the big moments worth waiting for, found in the tiny waiting moments, conversations, hugs, meals, prayers of daily life. 

    There are those who wait and those who keep others waiting.
    Reach out to offer a kind word or countenance to those serving you who have no control over your waiting. Notice the people around you. Step outside and reach out to others. Remember, everyone has a back-story. Reactions often reflect more than the moment. I'm hoping to one day actually take my own advice that I would offer 3rd graders who came to me at recess with hurt feelings  - be thick-skinned, but tender-hearted. [Not "smile though your heart is aching" but more "I understand that it hurts. You're wise to come to a coach. I'll follow up. But remember everyone has a story. It may not be all about you".] 

    While I'm waiting, I will not faint:
    Speaking of seeking a coach, sometimes when we notice our waiting and patience skills are waning, and we are giving way to despair, it's wise to seek help. Have grace with yourself and have courage to not wait for despair to pass but seek wise counsel. Professionals can offer perspective and specific equipping tools, particularly when that for which we are waiting is out of our control. You have a soul worth tending, a body worth feeding, a dream worth sharing. You are Beloved. Made in the image of God. 

    Stop waiting for the special day and make today special. Daily life: The nuances and shades and secrets and intimations of love and friendship and marriage and parenting are action-packed and multicolored, if we know where to look.
    Normal, daily life ticking by on our streets and sidewalks, in our houses and apartments, in our beds and at our dinner tables, in our dreams and prayers and fights and secrets – this pedestrian life is the most precious thing any of us will ever experience.”  Shauna Niequist, Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life

    And in this dark, broken world, we await a new day when evil is no more. 
    Here is a Prayer for Waiting on the Lord and Not Fretting Evil, written by Scotty Smith.
    Prayer for Waiting, Gospel Coalition

    No news on the baby yet. Back to this morning's brunch, Elisabeth Elliot references a waiter with our waiting:

    It is on God that we should wait, as a waiter waits--not for but on the customer--alert, watchful, attentive, with no agenda of his own, ready to do whatever is wanted. 'My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.' (Ps. 62:5) In Him alone lie our security, our confidence, our trust. A spirit of restlessness and resistance can never wait, but one who believes he is loved with an everlasting love, and knows that underneath are the everlasting arms, will find strength and peace.”   Elisabeth Elliot, Quest for Love

    The baby will come soon. And there will be words in that newborn baby's soul that are waiting to be shared someday. Waiting.