Tuesday, August 28, 2012

These Times Are Precious

Being a greenhorn parent that is trying to find my way without giving my child a one way ticket to the therapy chair can be daunting at times.  I know that God has given me the sense and intuition that I need to raise my child right, but I often get lost in feelings of frustration, fear, or failure. The endless ticker tape of questions run through my mind.... "Why won't he stop crying? What am I doing wrong? Is he breathing? Why doesn't he like squash? Did I really leave the house with only one diaper? Why is her child so calm? Am I a horrible parent? Dear God please help me survive this day!"

My journey as a parent has just begun, and I am already spending too much time worrying. I have forgotten to be present in the moment. Survival mode has kicked in; yet, I have come to realise that I need an attitude shift, or else I will miss out on the joy that comes from being a parent.

A friend once told me that she reminds herself daily "that these times are precious and they will never come again" when parenting becomes rough. I like this thought process. It takes the focus off of the negative and pushes it into the positive. Sure my son's diaper has just exploded all over him and me, but when I say to myself "these times are precious" it suddenly lightens my heart. I can see the humor in the situation and I can laugh at the moment. I have suddenly shifted from a negative feeling of frustration at huggies to laughter - I am truly living in the moment.

Life is so short, why should I waste those precious moments on worry, doubt, or frustration? I can't afford to! My son will never be this small, this innocent, this snuggly, or this completely dependent on me. All to soon he will be too big for my arms, too old for lullabies, and too grown for bedtime kisses. I could get lost in the sadness of these thoughts, but instead I choose to enjoy every minute that I have with him at the age he is right now. To stop myself from looking ahead, and rest in the joy of this second. Doing this helps me (and my son) find happiness. God wants me to enjoy the blessings that have been given to me...and my child is one of my greatest blessings! Whether I be covered in burp up or kisses, I have to embrace the moment and realise that I am blessed! So I have begun to choose to sink my toes into the sands of time, lay out my beach towel, and relax; because these times truly are precious.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Diggers Prayer

The other day I was out in my backyard digging to China (or so it seemed). The previous owner of our house had tried to make their backyard a tropical paradise, but a paradise it is not - at the moment. Therefore, I took on the feat of digging up the horrendous water reeds and multiple banana trees that clogged one corner of our yard.

After toiling in the humid heat of Houston on these particularly stubborn plants, I was exhausted, and no further than when I started an hour ago. At that moment a thought popped into my head ,that I should pray about this situation - why not, couldn't hurt right?

So shovel in hand and sweat pouring down my face I prayed, "God help me uproot this jungle that I am standing in!" Trusting that God would help me, I put my shovel back into the dirt and started to dig. To my amazement , 30 seconds later, the plant suddenly popped up effortessly; followed soon by the next plant and the next.

Leaning on my shovel after all tropical plant life had been cleared, I began to think. Sometimes in life we can have all the things or gifts we need to accomplish something ,and yet we fail. Why?

I had all the tools that I needed to dig up those plants - shovel (check), gloves (check), able body (check), legs (check), and some serious digging boots (check, check); but the thing that I was forgetting was to ask God to help me. He was standing there heavenly shovel in hand, ready but patiently waiting for me to turn to him for help.

Despite all the gifts, talents, or strengths that we have, they amount to nothing without the power of God behind them. We get so muleheaded sometimes that we forget that we can do nothing in our own strength.

There are many examples in the Bible that demonstrate this principle, the one that stands out in my mind is Joshua and the Walls of Jericho (Judges Chapter 6).
The Israelites and Joshua encircled the walls of Jericho for seven days under
the Lord's commandment - they marched around the city of Jericho carrying the
ark of the covenant for six days, and on the seventh the seven priests sounded a
rams horn and all shouted - and the walls came crumbling down.
Can you imagine how crazy the Israelites looked to the people of Jericho -what kind of siege was this? The people of Jericho failed to realize that with God's power a crickets song could crumble moutains. What a different story it would have been if Joshua had not asked for God's help, and tried to take Jericho in his own strength.

I challenge you to seek God's power in all things (big or small). He is more than qualified to ignite our gifts, talents, and strenghts into more than we could have ever dreamed them to be. After all, He made the wind sing, the oceans roar, the birds fly, the mountains grow, and our heart beat. I think He is able, don't you?