Wednesday, July 30, 2014


I did it again.

There I was, just minding my own business, seeing if there was anything interesting in the world of Facebook, and then it happened. An old high-school friend of mind posted a picture of the view from her new office. It was beautiful: a scene of the bay with the bridge crossing over, the cool colors of morning beginning to let go to the brilliance of day.  And I was jealous.

I immediately spun into a cycle of analyzing my mistakes and her successes, bemoaning my seeming inability in establishing a career, wanting to be happy for her and feeling disappointed in me.

This went on in my head longer than I care to admit.  And it is not the first time it has happened.  It rears its ugly head when I see my friends' success far surpass my own in one area or another.  

Coveting.  It is an ugly thing.

I see it in my boys, too.

Today, Zeke was happily playing "catch" (I use that term loosely; it's more like  a throw-the-ball-up-in-the-air-and-then-pick-it-up-off-the-ground-when-it-lands kind of game), when Noah proudly announced his entrance into the room with an "En garde!" and a thrust of his trusty shield.  In less than a second, Zeke completely forgot about the fun he was having and tried to pry the shield out of Noah's hands. A small wrestling match (which included yours truly), and screaming and crying followed (which did NOT include me, just to be clear). 

When I see it in my boys, it is ridiculous. Senseless. Ignorant. Selfish.

When I see it in me, and take the time to view it for what it actually is, it is ridiculous. Senseless. Ignorant. Selfish.

And it takes me back to my Rescuer.  The afternoon that I was caught up in where my friend was and I was not, he whispered into my heart: "You are here because I want you here, Christa.  I do not want you there."

His voice pulled me out of my internal spin and placed me back onto his pleasant path. The one that he has planned just for me.  And that's just where I want to be.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

"Saying Yes to something means that you're saying No to everything else."

This statement came across "my desk" multiple times this week, from multiple sources. Interesting how that happens, eh?

I suppose the opposite might also be true: "Saying No to something means that you're saying Yes to something else."

I say No often.  
"No, you may not have another vitamin." 
"No, you may not jump on the bed." 
"No! We don't use our hands to hit." 
"No, no screen time this morning." 
"No, I'm making dinner right now."

I sometimes get tired of hearing my own voice...

But I know that these No's are good and beneficial to my boys.  In fact, by saying them, I am saying Yes to something else.
"Yes, I care more about your long-term health than your short-term taste buds."
"Yes, I find it important that you learn boundaries."
"Yes, I desire that you use your abilities to help instead of hurt."
"Yes, I want to help your brain develop in a way that is pleasing to your Father."
"Yes, I am doing work that will benefit you."

How can I go about teaching them the purpose behind my No's? I am chuckling as I envision their reactions if I would try to rephrase all of my No's with my Yes's. Our household conversations would begin to sound like something out of a Dr. Seuss book.  But perhaps I can begin to rephrase a few, in the right moments, so as to give those boys a bigger picture of my love for them and my role as their mom.

Speaking of a bigger picture, God has been working this week to teach me a bit about his No's, and how they are really Yes's from his perspective. 
No, I don't want you to be selfish right now, but Yes, I want you to lean deeper on my selfless love.
No, I don't want you spending time on that, but Yes, I do want you to spend time with Me.
No, you won't get money for that, but Yes, you will get a greater reward.
No, you won't understand, but Yes, you will grow.

Understanding the purpose behind the No's makes them a little sweeter. 

Tell me No again, Lord. I'd love to see what your Yes is.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Messing Up

I mess up all the time.

I don't like to mess up. My husband will agree to the fact that an obsession for being right runs in my blood. And being right means doing it right.

And I feel as though I'm doing it all wrong some days.

Zeke, my strong, capable, smart, figure-it-out-myself almost-two year old, is the reason I mess up. Or at least as of late he has given me plenty of reasons to believe that I am messing up. Just in the last few days, he has pushed down babies, been way too loud, thrown a fit over not getting seconds on ice cream, done exactly what I tell him not to do immediately after I tell him, thrown a fit over needing to hold hands in the parking lot, and hit his brother (many times). I could probably go on, but it's not necessary, or pleasant.

I wonder why. Why does it seem like my parenting with my second boy is not as effective as with my first? Why do I have trouble reaching through to him? Why are there these behaviors that just seem to perpetuate, no matter what I do or say?

And in my heart, I know my biggest mess up. 

When I was a new mom, I was utterly dependent on God for guidance and wisdom. I didn't know what I was doing, and I knew I would mess it up, so I leaned on God, praying that he would work through me, that he would enable me to be a good parent for his son, Noah. 

It's hard to admit, but I've gotten a little cocky the second time around. It is still the desire of my heart that I would be a good parent for my boys, but I don't lean on God the way that I did, or know I should.

So, my little Zeke, forgive me. Just as you mess up in little ways every day, so do I. Tonight, I will begin anew my humble walk of being your mommy. And I'll stop trying to get it right on my own.

Thankfully, there is hope for us both in the loving and gracious arms of our Daddy.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
   and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6