Tag Archive | patience

Staying in the Yard

“Remember, a dogs behavior is a reflection of your own.”

Those were the words of Caesar Milan this morning as I was watching The Dog Whisperer. I always joke that God gave me this dog to teach me patience. The more I interact with Cooper, I do think that God is showing me just how patient He was and continues to be with me.

Why can’t he just stay in the yard?

We have over an acre of land and half of that is fenced. The first dog we had (Muddy) was a rescue dog who had been badly abused before he came to us. He required a lot of TLC and after a few months he relaxed and was 100% at ease in our home with our family. He was so at ease that he had no desire to leave the yard. We could open up the double gate to drive the mower into the front yard and leave it open. He would just lay in the grass and enjoy the sun. He had absolutely no desire to roam or run.

Cooper, on the other hand, is a very different dog. He was a rescue as well- but, he joined our family at a young age. He grew up here and doesn’t know how good he has it. He loves to hunt rabbits …but, for some reason the rabbits in our fenced in yard are not good enough. A half acre of chain-link fencing is a lot! We tried to put bottom rails on the sections where he was escaping, but he would just find a new place so that wasn’t working. He is part beagle, so a shock collar and invisible fencing would not work. (We watched our neighbor and his beagle struggle with that for a few years. He would “yip” when he was shocked and then walk down the road…free as a bird.) It’s frustrating! Our yard is great. There are rabbits, lots of room to run and it’s safe.

I have come to view this on a personal level…from the perspective of a kid who grew up going to church and hearing about Jesus from a young age. Personally, growing up in God’s house, I didn’t really appreciate forgiveness in Christ. That’s hard to say out loud. I appreciate Jesus’ sacrifice infinitely more now and I am extremely uncomfortable when I an drifting. I am much more at peace when I am leaning into the Lord than when I am trying to do things on my own. It’s a daily course correction, but I love to rest in the protective area the Lord has laid out for me. But, in hindsight I can acknowledge that I had a shallow relationship with the Lord when I was young.

A relationship with God is not restrictive. He has laid out some hedges…fencing if you will….for protection. That’s where the Ten Commandments come in as well as any scripture that tells me to not be anxious, forgive as you’re forgiven, put on HIS armor and fight with spiritual weapons and not weapons of my own. God’s word is full of promises that I can claim and enjoy when I “stay in the yard”. When I stray and get outside of God’s will for me…that’s when I get myself into trouble. Don’t get me wrong-there can be trouble inside that fencing. We live in a fallen world, but the Lord gives me peace when I am with Him.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

As far as the dogs go…there have been times when possum or raccoon have entered the yard and scuffled with the dogs. Both times, the dog came in and stood next to my husband…growled…and pointed at the door until he went to investigate. Trouble came into the yard, but both dogs came to their authority right away because they knew where their protection came from.

 

Why couldn’t I just stay in the yard?

Sin will take you farther than you wanted to go, keep you longer that you wanted to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay. – Unknown

Every time I hear that quote, my only response is to shake my head and say “Amen”. It’s true. Don’t leave the yard.  Please, please -young Christian- don’t leave the yard.

On the flip side- our sweet little abused Muddy dog KNEW how good he had it. He had been rescued and given a new life. He had been chained up and beaten, but  when he came to us he was fed and loved. The gate was open and he was free to choose, but he knew what life outside of our home looked like and he never wanted to go anywhere else. If I am to draw anything positive from my life as a prodigal…it’s that. I don’t ever want to leave God’s presence and I pray that I don’t become apathetic or lackadaisical ever again.

Yes, God brought Cooper to our home to remind me how patient he was with me.

Lord, thank you for examples and pictures you place in my path to remind me of your presence and care for me. Thank you for patience, protection and forgiveness.

In Jesus’ precious name- Amen!

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Sour Power!

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I am a little apprehensive to brag about my kids. They’re not perfect…just as I am not perfect…and I don’t want to set them up for a great fall by placing them high up on a shelf or portraying them as such. But, there are times…the Lord blesses me through these kids and even gives a little affirmation that we’re doing alright at raising them. I am thankful for those moments.

Our son and daughter started at a new school this year and they are both really excelling- socially and academically. They are so different from each other. For him, the academics come easy and the social part is hard and she is just the opposite. She is in first grade and is friends with most kids in most grades. It just comes easy for her. Various experiences at this school are pushing our son out of his shell (I think maybe I need to go to school there, too. Maybe it would help me out! ha ha)  and it’s exciting to watch him bloom and grow. One of those experiences was last month. He had his first Science Fair!

You may remember the Science Fair from the days of your youth. They each have to pick something to report on, experiment on, or demonstrate and then present what they’ve learned and how they did it. Sitting on this side of the project…I now have a new appreciation for what my parents must have gone through. It was PAINFUL! I had to balance encouragement, pushing him, not doing it for him, and not getting to the point of frustration that would result in discouragement. MERCY. It was the most difficult and most draining experience I have had with our son to date. I understand why many parents just knock their kid out of the way and do it for them. It would be so much easier. But, where would that leave him? Yep…I had a tremendous growth experience in this, too.

The project he chose was the “lemon battery”. If you’ve never seen it, Google it for sure because it’s pretty cool. The acid in the lemon reacts with the zinc in a nail. Add some copper wire and you get a current that generates a small amount of electricity. FUN! So he decided to measure the electricity output of one lemon, then two hooked together …and so on. Then, when he was all done, he used five lemons hooked together to light a small string of low voltage LED lights. As I said, the project itself was fun- but, the preparation and education that went into it was a challenge. I had to lead him to videos that would explain the process on a level that he understands and could explain to others. I didn’t want him to just speak words…I wanted him to understand. This is a challenge and concern that runs deep in me- especially in his young walk as a Christian. I pray that for my children all the time- I want them to know the Lord, not the answers.

He did GREAT! He cut everything out, made graphs and mounted each piece while  I was like the paparazzi- taking pictures from a distance yet trying to give (push) him some direction. This was his finished project:

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Part of this project involved tying the experiment or demonstration to a Biblical correlation. He had to look at the project -or a component of the project- and write a short essay on how it relates to God or His character, creation or a Biblical principle. Once again, I had to resist handing him a bunch of scripture references and telling him what I thought…BAAAHHHH!!! I thought I’d crawl out of my skin. There is so much that could be drawn from this little lemon experiment. In my silence- our son came up with something beautiful.

PRAYER.

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Thank you, Lord.

Prayer. While he was in the midst of this project I was having some minor health issues. Pride presses on me to keep those issues to myself. Other people have problems of their own and much bigger than mine-  I don’t want to bug them to pray for me. So I pray -and rarely ask others to pray for me. In this process, God began to work on me…yep, through a fourth grade science project. Pride has to go. Prayer is a powerful thing and God is clear about praying with others in Jesus’ name….there is power in the name of Jesus. He wants us to link up and pray together and for each other. Pride blocks me from fellowship and from God directly.

I feel like this is an abrupt end to this post…but, I think I need to just let it sit here. Ponder and pray.

Lemonade anyone?

More than I can handle (part 1)

One thing I hope you see as I write about daily life in this blog is that I am human. There is no perfection here, just a wife and mom seeking the Lord. I have ups and downs like any other and share with you how God “reels me in”…or in some cases, as I learn the hard way as I sit kicking and screaming.

Just last week, I wrote a blog on passing on blessings. I used a week of “me-time” to help others and count the blessings which were passed on to me. I wrote that on Wednesday…by Saturday morning, I was unraveled. The kids had come home from vacation and my in-laws were staying over. I was so glad to have the kids home and was looking forward to enjoying some time with them, but when I woke up Saturday morning my “to-do” kicked in. I got up, put on my work clothes and went to the gas station to get fuel for the mowers. Wrote out the list of things that I really wanted (at that moment each was a desperate need) and I set to work. The problem  is, everyone else was enjoying a leisurely pace. The in-laws were shoving off to continue their vacation adventure and hubby was hanging out with the kids…watching me spin my wheels. He came to me and asked me what was going on. In a bit of a frantic tone, I told him, “There is so much to do… and I should have gotten it done while the kids were gone…but I didn’t…and now I am behind…and I have to get it done…why did I wait? I should not have waited until they were back to do this!”

Just like that. All of those moments helping others and all of those blessings I had received were crushed by two hands of toil.

Better one handful with tranquility than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind.

Ecclesiastes 4:6

Selfishness.

Me, My, Mine.

I confess it folks. I had that thought, ” I should have not spent so much time doing other things for other people…I should have been home working on my own stuff.”

Hear that ugliness? (Sigh)

Hubby always has his white horse saddled up and at the ready. He asked me to prioritize my list so he could pick a task to knock out and we both set to work. At about three o’clock, I came to him and said, “Ok, I am out of my tree now. We can stop. Let’s pack it in and swim with the kids and have some fun.” I could see the relief on his face. I apologized for my insanity.

The rest of the afternoon was positively wonderful.

Then came the phone call….

My bro-in-law was in the ER again. He is an athletic, young 40’s dude and looks perfectly healthy. Looking at him you would not see the struggles that he has had and continues to have daily. He has had a few strokes and they have caused major lifestyle changes…among other things…and he has aphasia, which makes it hard to get the words in his head to come out of his mouth. Except when he is talking about God or God’s word. He may not be able to do the IT job he held before the strokes, but he is the recreation director at his church and pastors at a summer camp. I firmly believe that even in all of these health struggles he and his family have endured…that God’s plan is being hammered out in his life.

I thought she was going to tell me he had another stroke, but instead- he had a seizure. And then another in the ambulance. This is something that he has never had a history of and she told me that they were big ones. Within 20 minutes, our family was packed and we were in the car. Over the past four days, the ER and ICU doctors have been testing, re-testing…trying to get him straightened out. It may be a reaction to medicine and completely unrelated to his past history. It’s just one more thing. Please pray for my sister, bro-in-law and their kids.

Sunday evening, we packed up again and headed for home with two extra kids and our nephew’s new puppy in tow. And we’ve been here enjoying each other’s company ever since. Nothing like cousins and canines frolicking around the house!

Last night, I was telling my sister that having all of the kids and doggies here has been wonderful. I told her about my Saturday morning in my crazy-tree and shared with her just how ridiculous I feel now about that moment. All of the stuff on my list was just “stuff”. Helping her and these kids is so much more than that. God stepped on my coattails and re-centered me on Him and my purpose and direction under Him. What could be more important that fixing my kitchen sink, overflowing gutters, overgrown lawn, and sinkholes from the septic repair?

Well….everything.

Practical Peace

 

practical
  \ˈprak-ti-kəl\

: relating to what is real rather than to what is possible or imagined

: likely to succeed and reasonable to do or use

: appropriate or suited for actual use

 

 

 

I had to begin with that definition. “Relating to what is REAL rather than what is possible or imagined.” That is perfect. My son is what I call a “practical learner”…he has to touch the grill to see if it’s hot. He learns things in a very personal way. He doesn’t want to imagine. He doesn’t want a concept. He has to know in a practical manner that the matter in question is real. “Appropriate or suited for actual use”.

Let me tell you how God prepared me for this day. I woke up yesterday at 4am to a clamor and loud whining and howling noises coming from down the hall. It was our puppy. He is six months old and just had his appointment with destiny…well, maybe not destiny; but it was a doctor who neuters little rambunctious doggies like himself. His surgery went well, but the meds were causing him some intestinal distress. Without painting a disgusting portrait of the gruesome crime scene I encountered, I will tell you that the digestive pyrotechnics as a result of his pain meds were painfully obvious…on the wall, in his crate, on the floor…you get the picture. My morning began on my knees. Scrubbing. As the day wore on, I had a rendezvous with more poo and cleaner on a number of occasions. There was a torrential downpour yesterday, so while I was cleaning the pup had to be put out in the rain. He didn’t care for that one bit so he got into some garbage outside and happily peppered the lawn with little tiny pieces of shredded, wet cardboard box. After I cleaned the inside…I moved to the outside. In the pouring rain I talked to God.

“God, ‘hate’ is such a strong word…but I think I hate this dog today. Am I allowed to say that? I know he can’t help it but I really can’t stand him right now. God help me with this dog. Help me to not lose my cool.”

I went inside…soaking wet and cold. As I walked down the hall to change out of my wet clothes I smelled it. He had gone into our daughter’s room and done it again. (sigh) The first thing out of my mouth, “I hate this dog”.

After dinner and bath time, we settled down in the basement for some family time. It had been pouring buckets all day long so I decided to wander over to the unfinished side of the basement to check on the sump pump. When I opened the door, I smelled it…it was subtle, but evident. I smelled sewage. I inspected the basement and came up empty. I was empty, too. I was so discouraged. After a whole day cleaning up after this dog this is NOT what I wanted to even imagine. Even on a perfect day, this is not what I wanted to imagine. I felt defeated. Worn. But, at that hour there was nothing that could be done.

This morning, I made the calls I needed to make to address the issue. A truly wonderful woman at church works for a company who deals with septic tanks and issues. The owner came out and looked into our problems (quite literally) and the news was grim. Our septic system is failing. We have watched year after year, neighbor after neighbor…as backhoes were digging and gravel was pouring. It would seem that the septic systems were not installed properly and the repercussions of faulty and haphazard work have been seen and felt throughout the neighborhood over the past ten years. It is what it is, right? I can’t change the fact that the builder didn’t do a good job. I can’t change the fact that the home was built facing the wrong direction according to the plans and that directly affects the way the septic functions. I can’t change the fact that our system is failing. My hands are tied.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Philippians 4:4-9

Practical Peace.

In years past, I would spend this evening awake. It would be a sleepless night filled with number crunching and Google searches. In spite of the magnitude of this situation…the cost involved…the inconvenience of short showers, limited laundry and paper plates…I am totally at peace. This peace is very real and not imagined. It’s not “mind over matter”. It’s not a concept for peace that is “appropriate and suited for actual use”. This is the real deal in motion…not in theory.

As I sit here typing this, I am still in awe. God has lead us through much worse and He never fails. So, tonight, I thank God for laying out this path for me. It may not be a desirable situation, but I can see God in it. And whatever I have learned or received or heard from Him, or seen in Him will be put into practice. The peace of God is with me.

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Blessings Blitz

For the past few days, I have been crabby. It has been an “entertaining” kind of crabby as my sarcasm is at an all time high…hubby called it “feisty”. Don’t get me wrong- I still laugh- even if it sounds closer to a villainous snicker than a joyful noise. I am annoyed and tired and behind in many tasks around this house this week. It is taking a toll.

The news annoys me…

Can you believe that a state politician was on the news last night saying that we need to de-criminalize pot so that when young kids get caught with it they don’t have an “unfair stigma” and blot on their record at a young age. “Unfair stigma”? For real? Last time I checked it was called a CONSEQUENCE…a direct response to a chosen action. Grrrrrrrr!

Facebook annoys me… Nothing specific. It always has.

A family close to ours is moving this week and I don’t like it.

My son’s birthday is this week and I am not prepared. And when did 8 years pass? That means I got older somewhere in there.

Oh wait, I went to the hair salon last night and I have COMPLETELY gray hair. I have not colored in 2 years and it now shows. (sigh) I DID get older. For real.

The laundry is sitting…the snow is finally gone and the yard needs help…the fence needs mended because the puppy keeps getting out…oh, the puppy.

The puppy is getting “fixed” next week and it can’t happen soon enough. He has become down right annoying in his hormonally challenged state. And he eats stink bugs! While it may be good in keeping the population in our home down…it stinks!

This morning I opened my Bible to 2 Corinthians to see a familiar scripture.

For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have.

2 Corinthians 8:12.

While it applies to generosity and giving…I think this morning it was a reminder from God to check my ‘tude at the door. I could flap my gums talking about the stuff that annoys me, or I could focus on what is good and wonderful in my world. Thanks is a gift. I can choose to give thanks according to what I have- or withhold thanks because of what I lack. (Or the common sense that the politicians lack…sorry. Couldn’t resist.) Giving is a choice…giving thanks is, too.

So I decided to start right here…right now…at the table where I sit and read every morning. It’s time for a blessings blitz. Just pictures. No more words. There is plenty to be thankful for. I am truly blessed.

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 (I love the way his hair sticks up. It results in a smile every time. )

Look around you! Is there breath in your lungs? Then you have something to be thankful for. Don’t forget to count your blessings and give thanks according to what you have…not according to what you lack.

Flag on the play! Life with Interference

Twelve years ago, hubby and I rescued a mutt. He had been beaten by his prior owner and abandoned when the guy was evicted. A friend had taken him in, but couldn’t keep him because they were already at capacity with pets. He quickly stole my heart. He came with a lot of baggage though. He was afraid of hubby, would flinch at the sight of a belt, was afraid to go outside, and cried constantly as he walked around the house. With some basic training, consistent expectations and LOTS of love…he is what I would consider the most perfect dog ever! I can count on him to listen and obey…I can count on him to lay down away from the dinner table when we eat…I can count on him to stop in his tracks if I drop the leash…I can count on a snuggle and a kiss and he knows with all confidence that he will be fed and treated well in our home.

A few weeks ago, we completed the process of adopting another mutt from a rescue. Hubby and I have done this before…it’s a cake walk. Right? There is one thing that we didn’t count on…KIDS. We didn’t have kids yet when we trained our older dog so there was no interference.

When I say, “Don’t approach his crate when he is in there.”

They hear, “Stick your fingers in and make goo-goo noises while squealing ‘he’s so cuuuute!”

When I say, “Don’t talk to him when we enter the house until after he is let out to potty.”

They hear, “Rush right in and say hello…get him all excited so he pees himself before he goes outside.”

He has had a number of accidents inside while they’re chasing him…they leave their stuff out and he’s a chewer…when they get up in the middle of the night- so does he (howling!)…they don’t respect his space. Let’s just say that I have experienced regret a time or two already during this experience.

I could go on…but, the flag has been thrown.

Interference!!

It was much easier to train a dog in a controlled/closed environment without all of this interference.

Unfortunately, our Christian walk can be the same way. It’s super easy to have faith and walk closely with the Lord in a “controlled environment” with Christian friends…during easy times…when all is well…and health is good…when you’re not challenged with interference. We salt our salt and light our light and then, BOOM! Trouble strikes and our knees buckle. (The truth is- buckled knees can be a good thing as long as you end up kneeling to pray.) Oh sure, it’s easy to forgive the man who cuts you off in traffic or the sales person who is rude. God calls us to be a reflection of Him…we are to mirror Jesus in our walk. So why is it that when there’s a flag on the play at home in our marriages or with our close friends- we find it so hard to forgive and forbear?  Bitterness, rage and slander creep in even though we know that the Bible tells us to get rid of that stuff and forgive as Christ forgave us (Ephesians 4:29-32).

“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that.

Luke 3:27-33

I know we are supposed for forgive…but, I can’t forgive THAT!

I know we are supposed to share…but, I don’t have enough right now!

I know we are supposed to love…but, that girl is testing my nerves and I’ve got no love for her right now.

We tend to “if” and “but”. God just hears excuses…excuses.

Faith in action…living God’s word.

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently in to the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it- he will be blessed in what he does.

James 1:22-25

Challenges strengthen us and draw us closer to the Lord.

Consider it a pure joy, by brothers whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

James 1:2-4

The going get’s tough and with hands in the air -we stop the play…flags flying…Interference! Instead, when these yellow flags are launched into the air signaling “interference” we should use them as markers to highlight the moment. I can think to myself, “Ok, this is the moment to put God’s word into practice. This is the moment that stands out as an opportunity for growth, blessing and a closer walk with God. This interference is an opportunity!” Welcome challenges and advance during trials- instead of sounding a retreat. Press forward.

I can tell you that our home has experienced some serious interference in the past and it resulted in more growth than I could ever express in a blog post. And it was NOT easy…it was very hard. Because it was very hard, the blessings and growth associated with those challenges were bountiful and beautiful.

As for the dog training? The kids are here to stay and so is the dog. We have to put into practice all of those training tools we used for the first dog, while taking into account the new challenges in life. We just have to learn to adapt and overcome…practice and persevere.

muddyCooper

One of those days

In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps

Proverbs 16:9

I will admit that this is something God is constantly trying to teach me.

Yesterday was just one of those days. I woke up later than I wanted to and the first words out of my mouth were, “I CANNOT sleep this late! This is not good.” I walked into the bathroom and stepped in pee. Sometimes I don’t know what that child aims for but I don’t think the bowl is his target. I cleaned up and went out to the kitchen. Hubby and son were already gone and I had only a limited time to get myself together to take the little one to preschool. I got her breakfast on the table and we ate. Then she chimed in, “Mom, I want you to play with me…..plaaaaaaaay with me!”. I responded in an all too familiar way, “Honey, I need to shower and get ready to leave…not right now.”.  Later, I shared with my hubby how tired of that response….”wait a minute”…”I need to finish”…”give me a second”…it’s really ridiculous how many times I say those phrases in a day. This has got to change.

After I shuttled her to preschool, I came home and began preparing a meal for a family in need. I needed to have that done at a predetermined time so it couldn’t wait. I put Shine FM on the tablet and was determined….I was not going to let Satan steal this day from me and I was going to enjoy every step. And I did. With the meal packaged up and in the fridge, I set to stripping the beds. The kids and hubby have all taken turns being under the weather this past week, so it was time to begin the disinfecting process. I had barely gotten this task underway when it was time to go pick up my daughter. On my way out the door, I realized that I had let the washer fill with soap in it, but never added the sheets and didn’t close the lid. (The lid part was a blessing! That means that the cycle didn’t continue. whew.)

On the way back from preschool, I received a call from a friend in need. Her pet had been ill and this would be the day her family would have to say “goodbye”. Uggh. We have had our dog for 11 years, so my heart hurt for her and what lie ahead. Pets are like children…they exude the unconditional love that we are supposed to show toward others. They are another reminder- an example from the Lord- of how we are supposed to act. So she dropped her kids off for a bit for some playtime. It was a sad occasion, but a good time for some play and relaxation. When she returned, I hopped back in the car to deliver the meal and pick up my son from school.

When we returned from school, we were eagerly anticipating the arrival of some friends. My son has been missing some of his friends from his prior school so this visit was one that was long awaited….and awaited….we waited. Just then I got a text from the child’s mother saying that she forgot. And the tears began. He misses his friends and I had to console him. (I will tell you what a blessing it was that the other mother was honest…that she forgot. Though it was disappointing, It’s refreshing to know that I am not the only one who does that.)

Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21

Just then, I got an email from hubby asking for help. He needed a Thanksgiving activity and craft for the boys group he teaches on Wednesday night. So I set to work on the internet. A group of 15-20 boys ages 7-12 is a tough group to keep focused and on task; so it had to be engaging, but fluid. I came up with a word scramble and sword drill, coupled with turkey feathers, things that we are thankful for and a turkey to pin them on. Which left me with just 30 minutes to prepare supper, eat and head to church. Once more, I took a deep breath and moved forward.

There was an unexpected gem mined from this mountain-of-a-day as well. Earlier, I had received an email from our son’s choir director asking if he’d be interested in playing the role of a shepherd in the production this year. My son is shy and would rather not be in front of people (just like his mom) and definitely does not like to be the focus of attention. Last session he was really struggling with choir so we permitted him to take some time off. This session we didn’t give him a choice and asked him to just do his best. And he has! He has a spectacular voice and he has really enjoyed himself. When I explained to him that it was an honor to be asked to be a shepherd, he surprisingly jumped at the opportunity. He went in to choir last night and accepted the role with fervor. Then just before bed, he said to me, “Mom, do you think we could be early to choir practice next week?” WOW. What a change! He went from being pushed through the door of the choir room like a cat to water- to asking to be there early so he could practice his part. God is GOOD!

What did my day look like? Let’s see…If I focus on my plans- it fell flat. If I focus on God’s plans for me- it was BLESSED! I was able to help a family, a friend, play with kids and snuggle a baby, be a helper to my hubby which he then used to bless young boys at church, and was able to wipe tears and give hugs and encouragement. Though my head was spinning at times- I never lost my temper, I never lost my joy, I just kept pace with each moment and really enjoyed this day.

 Let me tell you- there are lots of those days in this mommy’s life. I had a list of things that I wanted to accomplish and very few of those things were seen through to completion. However, when I lay down in bed last night reflecting on the day- I was able to smile. Scattered in and among the plans I had made for myself- God placed HIS plans for me and some other little gems, too. Some days don’t go as expected or planned. But, I assure you…THIS is the day that the Lord has made. Yup, this one right here with all of the interruptions, tears, mistakes and last minute changes. That’s right, this one- the same one that left my head spinning at times.

This is the day that the Lord has made and I am SO glad for it.(Psalm 11:24)