Friday, March 13, 2009

2 Year Old Tendancies

Lately life feels like a roller coater. I know I am stressed when life feels to be flying by. Today I realized, as I watched my 2 year old throw a huge temper tantrum that I was indeed doing the same thing. I'd go from moments of pure bliss, loving life, being very thankful, to moments of panic. Grace does that too, although her tantrums are much more noticable. She'll be happy as can be, playing, laughing, cooperating and then all of a sudden she's defensive, angry, and sometimes lets it all out with a tantrum crying, kicking and screaming. I guess this is humanity! Sunday's message at church really hit home for me in that respect. I always feel that there's something wrong with me, that I need fixing...reality...I do need fixing but not the type that I can do alone. I need Jesus' fixing and to accept that I am human and won't be perfect, I will make mistakes, I will throw those tantrums. By God's grace I'll make it through, and face the day. Maybe I'll even learn a little about myself. Those tantrum moments are not avoidable (certainly my response to these situations I do have some control over ;) sin in this world is everywhere.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Self Soother!

There are 2 schools of thought when it comes to soothing a baby...those parents who soothe their children and those who believe the child should learn to self soothe. We've been the parents to soothe our children, but are always happy when our child surprises us and learns on their own to self soothe (meaning without coersion). I haven't really thought about my own self soothing practises...but a book I am reading called "Bold Love" and also my 7 Days of Goodness has shown me that infact I self soothe...maybe a little too much! (Baby soothing is not the topic here, but I do find it an interesting subject in itself!)

The methods I use to self soothe aren't wrong in themselves, Dan Allender refers to them as "legitimate but ineffective". These (what have now become rituals for me, like coffee, phone calls, etc) actions are not wrong per say, but it's the reason I lean on them. I lean on these activities for comfort, for freedom from my reality when it is God who I should lean on and seek to fill me up. Because I don't want to "struggle with God". Dan Allender writes "...finding life through soothing the soul rather than from struggling with God."

What to do? When I feel those moments that I need...comfort, mercy, freedom, love, peace, joy, contentment, some sort of completion...I need to seek out God first. The coffee can come later as a pleasure rather than meeting a need that only God can meet. As I see it, if we fill our deepest longings with trivial, even immoral rituals we won't work through the problem of the situation. We'll just become 'addicts'. Now that I am aware I am going to experiment with this theory and seek and struggle with God first. Then enjoy my coffee, or chocolate, as pure goodness (gifts in themselves) and not a soul soother!

Another quote from Allender: "If God will not act on my (or others') behalf, then I will step in to make up for His lack." Whoa! That's me! I am a fixer. I really need to let God be God. This one I am going to have to think about a lot more. Your thoughts?

I really like this quote from Bold Love too...
"We are to live with the ongoing cycle of anticipation/sorrow. If we 'admit' our deep desire is not fully met, then we can embrace the reality of a sojourner who has not yet found rest and peace. It is not 'abnormal' to be empty, sad, and lonely at the deepest place in our souls that was fashioned for eternity - to be dissatisfied with the empty provisions of this world, sad over the destruction of beauty, lonely for the companionship of lost friendships. It is not only not abnormal, but wrong to be otherwise." pg 142.

Ah ha! I am normal. I think all too often we forget this reality in which we live and then seek to make all things 'right'. But reality is they will not all be right until our union with God. Sigh. This is such good news! Now I can 'live' with that feeling/longing inside me,this thorn in the flesh. I can hunger after God and seek him, but it won't be completely full until Heaven (thank goodness for glimpses to keep us hopeful!)

Allender quotes Fredrick Buechner from "The Magnificent Defeat": "The birth of righteousness and love in this stern world is always a virgin birth. It is never men nor the nations of men not all the power and wisdom of men that bring it forth but always God." Lord birth in me love and righteousness.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

A Breath of Fresh Air

Last Friday I went skiing with some new friends. I wavered about going, mainly because I really don't like the cold. But I went, dressing as warmly as I could (minus the warm wool socks I packed but fell out of my bag). I was so glad that I went. Not only did I meet some great ladies and got to know others better, I wasn't really all that cold! The fresh air revived something inside of me. I felt alive! So Saturday again I ventured outside for a walk with the family and some friends. It's finally March and spring is in sight.

Grace has really been enjoying playing in the snow. Yesterday she discovered her shovel and pail and started constructing castles. Her construction process consisted of filling her pail, dumping it, and then refilling it, repeat many many times! Today she even took her shovel and pail to the farmer's market! This evening the 3 of us girls ventured outside. Joy loved laying in the snow. I think the fresh air was good for her. Grace continued making her castles. It was fun...until it was time to come indoors, Grace wasn't done playing yet. Eventually the tears stopped. Here are some pics of my happy little snow angels.

Thanks Claire for posting that inspiring video. It gave me a renewed desire to blog. I was thinking, 'why?', but it's the beauty of a story told between friends that is a pure gift. May my story be a gift to someone out there in some way or another!