Sunday, March 27, 2016

What Captivates Me About Christianity

Do you know what captivates me about Christianity?
 
The Creator of the Universe could have just told us His message. But He didn’t. Instead, He showed us. God revealed himself to us through His son who lived in a way that changed this world. Jesus entered into the human experience and modeled how to love big, be generous, lavish forgiveness, live in faith, cultivate humility, see beauty, make an impact, find joy and peace, and commune worshipfully with God. Then He freed us on the cross. On the third day, He conquered sin and death. And we don’t have to walk one second on this earth without the companionship and infinite love of our Savior. That sweet grace we get to celebrate today.
 
Happy Easter!
 
 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

What I Told My Son About Girls

“What did you do today at recess?” I asked my eight-year-old son. 

“Played girl-chase-boy…”  - he paused before continuing -  “…except a girl never chased me.” My son looked down at his feet, shrugged his shoulders and muttered, “So I went off and did something else.”

My heart quivered, then dropped to the floor.

Collecting myself, I responded, “That’s okay. You don’t need girls to chase you. Instead, look around and notice the girls sitting on the side. The wallflowers. Notice the girl who’s taking it all in. She’s observing and learning and when she decides to make her move, she’s going to change the world. Or see the girl whose acts of kindness go unnoticed. The one who’s a friend to everyone. Or the girl who enjoys the simple things in life, her joyfulness makes the ordinary extraordinary. See the studious girl, whose knowledge makes great conversation. Or the girl who’s hilarious, she just has to get to know you before she shares her sense of humor. There are so many beautiful, amazing girls out there who are not chasing the boys. They should be noticed. So be the type of boy who notices. Be someone who really gets to know people and appreciates them for who they are. No, son, you don’t need lots of girls chasing you. Not when there are so many gems sitting on the sidelines.”

Okay, that’s not what I actually told him because he’s eight. And cooties still exist. But when we replay this type of conversation in a few years and girls DO matter, I know what I'm going to say.

Friday, March 4, 2016

One Way to Tame Negative, Self-Doubting Thoughts

You can’t believe everything your head tells you.
 
I often have to remind myself of this.
 
Like, the other day. I will spare you all the details, but the bottom line is I shared a parenting decision I made with a good friend and in the conversation, she mentioned she would not take that route.
 
This was not a right or wrong type of decision rather a personal preference thing, so there was no need for worry or anxiety or especially self-doubt. But, annoyingly I later found myself fretting over and questioning my original decision. I HATE THAT.
 
I told myself…
Just get over the conversation. But, I couldn’t.
Let go of your negative thoughts. But, I clung to them anyway.
They are just feelings. Don’t let feelings run the show. But, they were running the show.
 
Self-doubt kept hanging around and messing with my head as if she was entitled to be there.
 
Jesus, stay near, because I don’t have time for needless worry. How do I push past these thoughts?
 
The word TRUTH popped into my head. My heart felt, surround self-doubt’s lies with TRUTH.  
 
Okay.
 
I’m going to try that.
 
I started with truth #1: My thoughts spun the conversation into negative. I replayed our exchange. My friend didn’t say she thought I made a poor choice. Nor did she give me the impression she thought she was a better mom. She wasn’t even critical; she was just participating in our discussion by sharing her thoughts. MY BRAIN twisted her conversational words into judgmental words.
 
On to truth #2: God made everyone different ON PURPOSE. He knows all of our choices and decisions are going to be different and He WANTS IT THAT WAY. Our uniqueness makes life rich and full. So, this decision I initially felt good about is probably because God intentionally gave me peace over it. Because I'm suppose to follow His path for my life, not His path for other peoples’ lives.
 
And I finished with truth #3: God promises to give us wisdom. When we ask for it, He doesn’t withhold it (Proverbs 2). God breathes His voice, His direction, His wisdom into our thoughts. So, all of us are capable of making best choices. Combine that promise with hindsight from our previous wise decisions and let that give us confidence that this thought out, intentional decision is also a solid choice.  
 
THAT is what I think scripture means when it says to put on the armor of God. To take a lie floating around in our head and surround it with His truths – armor – that blocks the lie from going anywhere near our hearts.  
 
Because, we have all been there. Needless self-doubt has messed with every single one of us. And no, it’s not about everyone agreeing with us. Nor does it mean we lack confidence. Instead, we all experience self-doubt because it’s a part of the human experience. It’s a result of life’s PRESSURE. Even when we say, I’m not going to feel pressure to do it all well and be everything for every one. (Because we shouldn’t.) Still, the pressure is OUT THERE.
 
But, ladies, we don’t have time for this nonsense. We don’t have time for negative thoughts. So when those moments come, let’s choose truth. And armor.
 
Then, onward friends.