Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Daddy

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.

I've never appreciated God as a father. I guess it's because my earthly father figures have skewed my perception of what a father is and should be. So my prayer for years now has been for God to show me how to view Him, how to relate to Him. I've become frustrated many times because I can't get past the brick wall that declares God to be a detatched, far-away spirit. But God answers prayer and His timing is so sweet.

I just realized that since I met the hubs about six years ago, God has been building a framework, piece by piece, for me to view Him by. You see, my husband is a man of God. Before him, I had never known, dated, or loved anyone like him. And now that he is a daddy, I'm learning and loving what a father should be. Always present, unconditionally loving, never put out or inconvenienced. God is a fierce protector and sets boundaries for us, yet also picks us back up when we fall because we ignore those boundaries. He helps us learn through every mistake.

Six years now...the answer to my prayer has been in the making. I never saw the process happening, but God has gracefully granted me the opportunity to see the result. What a revelation! Another step made in my walk with God. And when hubby helps Jonah to take his first steps, I'll be reminded of how God gently holds my hand and encourages me to step out in faith too.

So, my Father, who is in heaven, hallowed be your name.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Full of it

Trouble.

Life is full of it. When Jonah gets diarrhea on a lonely highway between Kinston and Richlands and fills his car seat with poop...I'm troubled. Now you can take "full of it" for whichever meaning amuses you more.

But why be surprised? In the book of John, Jesus said, "In this world you will have trouble." He didn't say you may have trouble. He said you will. So what do we do with that?

The Bible talks so much about joy. Joy everlasting, joy unspeakable, complete joy. So I refuse to believe that we are called to just barrel through this life, buffering ourselves and just making the most of it. Let's be joyful in spite of our circumstances. Let's make a decision to look past the circumstance right in front of our face, and search further out for the joy in God's purpose, His timing, His mysteriousness. There is an amazing potential for us to be a much happier people when we grab hold of our trouble, hand it over to God, and refuse to take it back. That last part being the challenge I think.

Look for things of beauty. Not just postcard landscapes of sunrises and close-ups of daffodils, but the feel of the windows rolled down and the heat on your feet. Smile at that. Your baby's unique laugh. Smile at that. The creamy texture of cheesecake. Smile at that. Heck, try not to smile at cheesecake...there's a challenge for you.

Let's have joy. And be full of it.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Giving Up My Apple Jacks

Having a baby just changes everything doesn't it? I mean, not everything. I haven't changed what kind of cereal I eat, but let's face it...the Apple Jacks are just bound to get in the way at some point. Well, technically I'm not eating much cereal these days since Jonah has an intolerance to lactose in the breast milk. So there ya have it. Having a baby changes everything.
 
I never thought I could tolerate so much change at once. But, just to beat a dead horse, things change, (including you!) when you have a baby. I was bound and determined that this would not happen to me. All of my friends speculated and pondered amongst themselves how things would be different once Jonah was born. This made me even more ambitious to keep things the same. I'll still be the same person. I will continue to lead my small group, hang out with the same crowd, keep the same hours, keep the house in order. I'll show them!
 
I mean, I was determined. Turns out that God was more determined. He has a way of breaking you down in a gentle way, yet not without pain. I fought until it came to tears. It hurt me every time I realized that the house would have to go another day in disarray. Every time I had to make a tough decision that affected other people (stepping down from small group leadership or making the decision to stop traveling to see family as often.) Every time the control freak in me wouldn't allow my husband to pack the diaper bag or pick out the baby's clothes for the day. I ended up being the one who was a little more broken. Even less in control than when I had set out on this perilous rebellion against God's will. Until finally it came to a head and I had no choice but to let go.
 
I am different. And I am proud of it. Different doesn't have to mean worse. Not for you or for others in relation to you. Isn't that freeing? That's what God's love did for me. It freed me from the bondage of perfectionism, approval addiction, and the need to control. He loves me too much to leave me the same. Don't get me wrong...I still struggle with these issues from time to time. But now instead of wallowing in them, I can acknowledge my slip, hand it over to Jesus and just keep on dancing down that aisle at Babies R Us.
 
So today, my house is untidy, Jonah's clothes don't exactly match (my doing, not my husband's), and I have more on my to-do list than I care to acknowledge. But, I've been changed. And I can embrace that.
 
Even if it means giving up my Apple Jacks.