Making a list.

I’m doing a little research, and I’d love your help.

The topic is obedience. Don’t shy away from that word, because I know some of us sort of cringe when we hear it. Doing what someone else tells me to? We are adults for goodness sakes. But obedience to the Lord is a key facet of following Him, we all know that. And we also know there are so many reasons why we don’t do it.  It’s hard and complicated and has the potential to put us in awkward situations!

I’m making a list of all the reasons why we don’t obey the Lord. I’ve had some help from Priscilla Shirer, she shared some answers that her followers shared on Twitter. I thought they were pretty good! But I would also like to add to the list. So, could you do me a favor and read over her list? And if you have anything to add, leave a comment! I’d so appreciate it!

  1. Fear
  2. Pride
  3. Laziness
  4. Stubbornness
  5. Peer Pressure
  6. Lack of trust in God
  7. How do I begin?
  8. I’m too unsure
  9. Impatient with God’s timing
  10. Too busy
  11. I might be hearing Him wrong
  12. Previous disappointment
  13. Doubt that I’ll like His response/what He asks of me
  14. Procrastination

 

 

 

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Back to school.

Those words haven’t meant much to me, since it’s only just this year that my oldest has gone off to Kindergarten. It actually feels a lot like last year, since she did Pre-K. But last year, my friends, was nothing like this year.

I know back to school is about, well, kids going back to school. But it’s also about the teachers and parents too! Mine is fairly independent she hardly turned back around to kiss me goodbye. So since it didn’t seem traumatizing for her, I am left thinking about how it feels for the mamas. Because when you are a new mom, to a new school, with it’s rules (both written and unwritten) it’s overwhelming.  I am usually not a very anxious person, but that first week last year just about did me in. I didn’t know where to park, (rather what to do when there were not spots left even though I showed up 15 minutes), I somehow couldn’t keep track of which day was regular uniform and which was PE (and a free color day mixed in there) so my daughter came to school wearing the wrong thing the first four days of class. She of course didn’t even notice, but I actually cried hot and angry tears that fourth day. I also didn’t know if I was allowed to let my other two littler children play on the school playground before school started, because some siblings were and others were not. And regarding packing a lunch, I somehow managed to botch that one too. I didn’t know that recess was actually pretty short, and here I was packing her a 3 course lunch for the day. I finally figured it out when my daughter begged me to not pack so much food because she didn’t have time to eat and play. Yes, she had been missing both recesses every day because she thought she had to eat everything in her lunch. Fail!

But this year was different. And because my head wasn’t stuck up my butt worrying about myself, my daughter, and what on earth was going on, I could actually look up and see what was going on around me.

And it was beautiful.

It was sort of like people watching at the airport, with the long hugs, teary faces, and a little bit of confusion all mixed in. Note: I am in the Pre-K and K section, hence the more abundance of tears. I saw one couple run and take cover behind a tree when they dropped of their little one, close enough to hear if their kid was okay, but most certainly to hide. Another mom I know was putting her 3rd child in Kindergarten, the last one to leave the house, and what a sweet and emotional time for them both. One little girl was crying, just crying and crying and everyone passed her parents with sincere looks of understanding. And of course lots of chatting (both awkward and not as much) catching up with familiar faces you didn’t see over the summer.

And slowly, every single parent got back into their car and left. Some to continue with the regular rhythm of work, others to return to an empty house which hasn’t been empty of little people in the morning time in years and years. Others loitered, probably unsure what to do with this new found freedom. Freedom that as parents we find ourselves feeling simultaneously giddy, sad, apprehensive, and overwhelmed. We don’t know if we want to do a jig all the way back to the car, or cry our eyeballs out. Such a strange feelings this first week of school brings.

So I took some advice of a dear friend, and whispered in my daughter’s ear. I encouraged her to be brave and kind. And to look for someone who might be having a rough day, someone new, someone perhaps a little scared. I remind her to be a sweet friend. And as I told her those things, and kissed her sweet face and sent her into Kindergarten, I couldn’t help but about myself. How I should do the same, walk into my day looking at the moms around me dealing with the same back to school drop off cocktail of emotions, and be kind to them. And tell myself to brave as well. Because going back to school is hard- and amazing- for every student, parent, (and teacher!!) the world over.

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One is silver and the other is gold.

Does anyone wanna talk about the day after the fun? The days following a super awesome vacation? Or the non-stop family togetherness and spoiling? Because those days, those are the days that feel, so, ordinary. Usually it’s a welcomed feeling, a deep satisfaction that comes from sleeping in your own bed, on your own pillow. There is something delicious about being in your own space after traveling.

The mounds of laundry are done, the house is cleaned and aired out from being cooped up, and the pantry is re-stocked. We’ve been back to normal in our own home  for a few weeks now, and it’s feels delightfully calm. Quiet. Normal.

But maybe a little too quiet.

We miss our cousins. Our Grandma’s. Our Aunts and Uncles. Our dear friends. Going back for a visit is good for our relationships, our hearts, in order to stay connected across the miles. But it’s also hard because we see a glimpse of the life we’re not living next to them. Sure, it’s a life that we chose, but that doesn’t mean we enjoy every aspect of it. People who have moved away from everything familiar understand this tension. Some have moved for a job, others are chasing a dream, or pursuing career goals, or simply trying out a new adventure.

But the feelings are usually the same. It’s complicated, multi-layered. Some weeks and months, if I’m being completely honest,  it’s kinda nice to live without any family obligations, birthday parties every weekend, get togethers that fill up the calendar. But it’s also those same gatherings, being held without us, that sometimes make my heart ache. It’s probably because we actually like our family, and being with them usually reminds us how incredible that fact is. You put a lot of people together that you didn’t particularly choose, and add in their spouses and children and that creates a gaggle of people you’re kinda of stuck with for life.

I’m pretty thankful for the people I’m stuck with. They are really great.

And the people that aren’t our family, well gosh they are kinda stellar too. Life has scattered us and them, and we find ourselves far from many of those gems. But they are still gems, and they still radiate and sparkle, and attract others to themselves. And even though we move away from the special people in our lives, or they move away from us, two amazing things can happen. We can stay in touch. And we can meet new people, who can become our people. Not to replace our old people, obviously they are never replaceable, but more so because having face to face relationships is really important.

But all of that isn’t easy. It’s a lot of work. It requires effort, and time, and energy. And sometimes, we don’t have any of those things. Sometimes life is just so, full, that mustering up what is needed to keep old relationships alive and start new ones is just too daunting.

But today, on this day, I’d like to encourage you (and myself!) to keep at it. Relationships are always worth it. People are always worth it. Making new friends, and keeping the old? Always worth it. For “one is silver and the other is gold” said a kind and wise woman, who taught me that song in Kindergarten. And man, she was right.