Saturday, April 22, 2017

Molly's 8 Year Old Faves





Food: Mac and Cheese
Color: Pink
TV Show: Mr. Young
Movie:  The New Beauty and the Beast Movie 

Book:  Matilda
Toy:  White Tiger Stuffed Animal 
Hobbies: Art, Piano, and Dance
Sport: Soccer
Favorite Princess: Ariel or Belle
Best Friend: "I have so many of them!" 
Video Game: Animal Crossing
Board Game: Allowance Game
Land Animals:  Tiger
Sea Animals: Dolphin 
Bird: Cockatoo 
Scripture Story: Daniel and the Lion's Den 
Song:  Eye of the Tiger 
When I grow up I want to be a artist and President 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Ryan's 10th Birthday Interview



Color: Purple
Books:  Rick Riordan Books 
Toys: Nerf Guns 

Best Friends: Kenny, Logan, Bastian, Josiah, Cora, Olive, Corbin, Charlie, Caleb,  Landon, Christian, Jared, Ian, and James T  
Video Games: Legends of Zelda Breath of the Wild 
Games: Dicecapades 
Animals: Wolf, seal, birds 
When I grow up I want to be on Broadway and in the Olympics 

TV Shows:   Mr. Young 
Movies: Harry Potter Series 
Foods: Pie, Honey Comb, Cheesy Casseroles
Musicals: Hamilton and Newsies  
Bible Story: Jesus teaching as a boy 
Hobbies: Dancing and Adventuring 

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Being Still

While updating the blog with pictures of our family activities from the past few months, I came across this photograph from October of Chad with his brother and our kids.  It captures the desire I have for my family this New Year, and is inspiration for my own personal goal.



I love everything about this unposed, spontaneous picture.  It comes after a single day of utter busyness and chaos that included three practices, two tournaments, a 5k, and two fall festivals. Although everyone has their shoes on to go hiking soon, no one is in a rush.  There is no schedule, no moms yelling "let's go guys." Unbelievably,  I am even sitting down, enjoying this moment I stumbled upon.  I am not in the background putting away those pesky sleeping bags in the corner or removing the two stray boa feathers from Molly's flamingo costume that are next to the football that the boys had just been tossing inside the house.  I am not rushing us all out the door so we can "hurry up and go have fun on our hike." Every single one of us is just enjoying the moment relaxing together, laughing together, BEING together.

 I remember there was a deep sense of peace in our home, of togetherness, of oneness.  The act of BEING together was enough.  More than enough.  It wasn't boring, it wasn't laziness, it wasn't inaction. Something is happening in this moment. It is beautiful, and I felt a strong desire to capture a picture of the stillness.

 I am intentionally trying to find more moments in life to just "Be Still" and have a relationship with the people around me.  To have an improved relationship with God.  I am honestly not very good at it.  The whole "Being Still" thing, the relationship thing.   Actually, that is an understatement.  If I am honest, I am terrible at it!   God has been gently and purposely showing me recently that I have always mistakenly felt the need to prove to God or my family or my friends that I loved them by showing it through actions.  I stay so busy next to people who are also busy, I often don't get to really KNOW them.  I try to somehow prove that which cannot be proven...my own worthiness.   I subconsciously hope that people will think it is worth being my friend, my family member, or worse that I am worthy of God's love, because I do so much.   I believed and taught my children for many years that "love was a verb" (the title of one of my favorite books) and I believed that the "verb-ier" I was, the more people would know I loved them.

I believed a lie that no one taught me, a lie that I didn't recognize I was following.  It is such a core part of my personality, my self, I didn't know it was there until now, and I do not know how long it has been there.  My friends, my family, my God; not one of them has asked me to prove through actions that I loved them.  To earn their love through my"worthiness."  This came from my own prideful imaginings that this was even a possibility.  But yet I try so hard to show them I love them, to not be a burden, to be a contributor.  I thought that by doing stuff for them I was showing my love for them.  I misunderstood the scriptures.  I misunderstood Christ's example.  Not understanding that only God is worthy.   It may sound cliche, but I was blind, but now I am beginning to see.  Things are still fuzzy, but gradually clearing each day.  

And while I am being so honest and vulnerable at the moment, let me share that sitting still has always been truly uncomfortable to me for some reason.  I don't like to observe.  I am compelled to do.   When there is a blank on my calendar, I feel a deep desire to fill it. I don't want to have a wasted moment.  I am a busybody. I am bored with inaction.  I thrive on achieving.  Those who have known me since childhood can attest that I have always been this way.  I need to fill silence, I talk too much.  I feel guilty when confronted with empty time. I am guilty of being judgmental of others who I perceive as time wasters.

Yet right now, I feel God's voice clearly calling me to "Be STILL.  To KNOW Him."  I have previously tried to be the best at following God's rules and commandments.  I believed if I was GOOD, God would know I loved Him and would reveal himself to me.   But the Bible teaches me that I need to "Be Still to Know God."  God wants me to have a true relationship with Him.  It is why He created me.  I truthfully don't know what this looks like, yet.  I am catching glimpses of it in moments of stillness.  I am beginning to recognize it when I see it in others.  I know there must be some sort of balance between the two, but I don't have all the answers yet.  I think perhaps it looks a little like this picture above.  Relaxed, unhurried moments of togetherness.  Moments I let the untidiness of life sit and just enjoy God and WORSHIP Him.  To just BE with Him.

I am committed this year and for as long as it takes to figure out what it means to "Be Still and Know God."  I want to figure out what this looks like in my own life, in the life of my family.  If love is truly a verb, I have decided that this year the verb is "to be."  I am praying for God to show me how to have real relationships with people.  How to have a real relationship with God.  To  learn to be able to sit still without feeling guilty or  anxious or lazy or unneeded.  But my mind argues with my heart. "How do I also get things accomplished?  I still have to be the mother of our home, the organizer, the cleaner of toilets. Who will plan class parties?  Who will create the events that bring our neighbors close together?  Who volunteers at the homeless shelter? Drives carpool?  Where is the balance? God tells us to love our neighbor and feed the poor. There is so much in the world to DO! and so few people who DO it!"   But at this season of my life, this step in our family's journey,  I want to quiet that screaming voice and learn to feel truly excited at the thoughts of an eternity of praising and worshiping God.  I want "Being Still" in God's presence to become the number one thing that I want and desire.

This concept is so new to me.  I previously believed, and heard many others say, that heaven would be so boring after the first ten minutes, if all we did was sit around and sing praises to God all day.   I want God to take my heart and my mind and change them, so that a year from now I can look back at this post with deeper understanding of what it means to "be still."  I feel a million miles away from understanding what this looks like in action.   I fear that I will swing way too far the other way, and stop doing anything at all and never leave the house.   I pray to find balance.

And even more importantly, I pray for true joy and happiness in the belief that praising God for eternity is overwhelmingly enough.  I pray that a relationship with Him where simply BEING with Him for eternity is the most beautiful goal and only earnest desire of my heart.  I hope to have a lot more of these moments with my family to reflect on.  Moments of unhurried togetherness.   And that these moments, like I captured in the picture above, with those friends and family members dearest to me, will cause me to yearn for an eternity of these moments with God, who created me to worship Him.   I pray that a relationship with God will BE enough and that my husband and children and I will KNOW him better tomorrow than we do today.