Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Thief

   Some of you may be joining me on *this* blog for the first time.  I have a tendency to change up a bit from time to time...  and to try and follow where He leads.  That has landed me here, in my blogging journey.
   It's one of those mornings.  We haven't started school yet and its almost 9.  I am so far off schedule.  A few days ago, I wrote my blog post on my new morning schedule and routine.  Well- needless to say I haven't exactly been able to stick to it just yet.  I'm working on it.  I'm still up around 7, which probably seems late to some of you, but I'm trying to ease into a schedule closer to 6.  Today when I got up my youngest was two steps behind me, so I started the day out without my quiet time...  which is unfortunate, but okay.  One of the wonderful points that is in the Andy Taub book I've been talking about is that we need to be interruptable in the mornings, and be okay with it.  I'm interruptable.  My morning *started* before I was ready for it too, but that's okay.  I'm taking some time now to sit and share with you, and the elliptical can wait for when the kids are doing handwriting and worksheets.  I am interruptable today, and that's okay.
   My story I have to share with you is two-fold.  A dream and a reality.  First, my yesterday.

   Yesterday started out in a dead rush for some reason.  You know, some days you manage your schedule and some days it manages you.  Some days you give yourself and your family a little grace, and somedays you don't.  I think that's reality for a Mom.  It's not always going to go exactly the way that you want it to go, and you gotta learn to be okay with that.  Before the day even began I already felt behind.  After we got our footing however, it started to go a little better.  Far more calm.  We got a lot done in school before our afternoon walk, and came home to let my little one take a nap.  I couldn't resist the warm temperatures, since it was in the 50s last week and now we are in the 80s, I just had to let the older kids spend the afternoon in the backyard.  So as they played outside and the little one slept, I sat down for some computer time.
   Computer time is often refreshing for me.  I love reading and writing blogs.  I love looking up new recipes and information on essential oils on pinterest. I really enjoy and value my computer time!  But yesterday I misused it, and it spread like a disease over the rest of my day.
   My husband is applying for an internship as a youth pastor at a church in this area.  He's been for a couple of interviews, and although he hasn't gotten the job yet, just the fact that he's taking that step makes this journey into ministry even more real to me.  We have served in our home churches before, with friends and family..  but never on this scale.  Never as an actual job, in a big church, where we don't know anyone.  Even if he doesn't get this specific internship, that is what we are here for so I know that someday it will come.  It's made me realize just how nervous I really am.
   Stephen isn't nervous.  This seems seamless for him, it was what he was born to do.  I always felt like I should somehow be different, that I should be more outgoing, less nervous.  In church Sunday night though, pastor Stephen made a wonderful observance.  He was teaching about ministry families and how they work in the book of Titus.  He said that we must remember that when the going gets tough for the pastor, he can get really discouraged...  but then he can hear the call.  Then he mentioned that its a bit different for families, because whereas God will prepare each of us and he created us to be together in this, this was specifically the call of the Minister, and that he hears it differently than his family will.
   But I digress.
   I was nervous, so I reactivated my facebook to look up the church.  One thing led to another.. and before I knew it, I was lost in the world of facebook.  No matter, I wasn't doing anything else at the moment.
   After logging off, I could not shake the feeling of how rotten I was feeling.  Its always discouraging, when I leave social media, just how bad it makes me feel.  I've thought in the past that it was because of the normal reasons people dislike social media.  Time wasted.  Comparing your behind the scenes to the highlight reels of others.  None of that seemed to be true, but I still just felt rotten about my time spent.

   Phase two.  :)  The dream.
   When I woke up this morning it was strange for it to be warm, because I could still feel the coolness from my dream.  Don't you hate that, when a dream stirs up the seasons for you?  It was welcoming though, coming back into reality and shaking off the rotten feeling of a nightmare.
   I dreamed we were driving to my Moms.  It was winter, I remember the snowflakes hitting the window, and we were all silent.  It was apparently Christmas, but it was the strangest thing.  Our van was full of gifts, and I remember well even what was in each gift.  I had chosen the perfect gift for everyone in my family.  My Mom, my sister, nieces, aunts, uncles, cousins.  Each had a gift we had specifically chosen, carefully picked out, and were so excited about.  It was wrapped in pretty paper with the most perfect bow, but I couldn't shake the dark feeling that was so overcoming in the dream.  My children were silent.  Their faces were faces of sadness, full of hurt.  I remember exactly what their faces looked like, as I looked at them quietly.  You see, we had so many gifts, expensive, carefully chosen gifts.  But for some reason, I had neglected getting anything for my children.  Nothing.  Not even the smallest of gifts.
     I remember sitting in the van silently, thinking perhaps I could run into the dollar store in town and pick up something, anything to wrap up and give them.  But I knew that wasn't it.  I know my children, and I know they are grateful for what they have and if they knew we couldn't get them anything- they would sincerely understand.  What made them sad was that we had invested so much, so carefully in absolutely everyone around us, and left them out.  They weren't sad out of greed, or even want..  they were sad because they were forgotten- because we had given our best to everyone, and just sort of left them by the wayside.
   The moment my eyes opened, I realized it was my "Aha" moment, the one I've been waiting for, but couldn't put my finger on. The reason I have such issues with social media.
   I spend my time looking at other peoples profiles and status updates..  their memes, their videos..  all their things.  It leaves a running commentary in my mind- this person thinks that, the other believes this...  throughout the day these thoughts and images process again and again, like the subliminal messages said to be in movies.  Not intentionally, not even consciously most of the time- but throughout the day, these things disconnect me, mentally and emotionally from the ones who truthfully need my heart and mind far more than anybody on facebook does.
   I finally figured out why social media makes me feel so rotten.  Because I spent all my time investing all of my gifts in other people, so much sometimes that I don't have anything left for my children..  and what they do get is something that I scooped together in the last moments.
   The title of my blog is Intentional Mommy..  because that is what I want most to be.  There's no such thing as a perfect Mommy.  There's something to be said about a good Mommy, but I want to be intentional.  I want everything that I do to have purpose behind it in my life.  Every moment to be leading up to something more, something deeper and bigger than myself.  I feel like I am finally awake to my life, and it's a good feeling.
   I've spent a lot of time away from social media for different reasons.  This reason is different.  I'm not angry and I no longer believe social media is a decay.  In a different season of my life, when my children aren't at home, when they are older and need less of me- which will be a sad day indeed, then perhaps I can focus my attention on others.  I can give all those gifts willingly to lots of people through the cyber world.  Once upon a time I did believe it was dangerous..  but honestly, I feel that the biggest danger in social networking and smartphones is the same dangers that lurk everywhere..  the ones that long to steal our motherhood away while our children are still small, because once that's stolen, once they are grown, its more difficult to invest in them.
   Now- they need every ounce of me.  That is every bit as for me as it is for them.  Motherhood is my greatest ministry, firstly because it has changed me and molded me in so many ways I'm unchangable.  It has demanded more of me than I was ever willing to give, and taken me so far out of my comfort zone that I am afraid so much of the time.  It has taught me to have the heart of a servant, and to put myself behind someone else.  It has caused me to become the very best version of myself that I can possibly be..  and for that I'm so grateful.  Motherhood is also my legacy.  The things that I instill in these four people everyday will live so far beyond me that I can't even conceive.  The lives that they touch- the beautiful things they create- the way each one of them goes forward to change the world will be a reflection on the things I as a mother instilled in each of them, and will outlive me four fold.  As if I've lived five different lifetimes.
   My husbands greatest burden is that he does this ministry with all of his heart..  he fights distraction and discouragement everyday.  He works hard to pour every ounce of him into it.  That is what I am trying to do as a mother.  I don't always succeed, and I have more bad days than I would ever want to admit... but each day I have several intentional moments, and although at the end of the day I can't hold them up and look at each moment- get paid monetarily for them and have someone validate them..  each of those moments will add up to the momumentality of their lives, their ministries, their heart and soul...  and for that, I will be intentional, and thankful for the hard lessons God teaches me.
   For those dreams, for those moments..  and for the things that are normal to some, but a thief to me....  I'm thankful.  What is your thief?  The thing that seeks to harm your ministry?  Some sort of sin?  A job?  A person?  A friend?  What is it that is standing in your way of succeeding in your ministry?  And are you willing to ask to find it, no matter what its going to take to give it up?
   I'm praying you will.  :)

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." John 10:10

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