Friday, March 11, 2011

What Ya Reading?

I was thinking about this throughout the week... as new year has come and gone, I've found myself drenched again in my many home-school curriculum books, childrens resources and a stack of personal reading choices to navigate through.  

I love to read and I love to listen to teaching series - anything on leadership, discipleship, parenting, education - anything!  I am usually guilty of reading about 5-6 books at a time..   But I usually don't recall the "meat" very well unless I focus on one at a time.  So I'm setting a goal - this one is right at the top - along with my health and fitness goals - to be a stronger, focused reader!

Usually you will find me navigating through 5th & 6th grade curriculum, learning about the Phoenicians,   landforms,  our solar system or The Bronze Bow.   I do a lot of reading - of course due to lesson planning for Daniel's day,  re-reading some of favorite parenting resources - Child Wise and other parenting resources such as Manners Matter by Hermine Hartley.  All of these are necessary resources as I navigate through my six year and my ten year old's journey.  As a leader, I need to be more intentional to embark into the quiet, focused time to enjoy and learn from a good read. 

The titles that are currently resting beside my bed, in my car and on my desk include;

Every Church Has A Culture, By Design or By Default - By Kevin Gerald 
Emotionally Healthy Church - By Peter Scazzero
Plan B - By Pete Wilson
Ancient Paths - By Craig Hill
Generation iY - By Tim Elmore

My goal - put two down (for now), pick up and finish 1.   Then, repeat!

Pick up a copy and let's finish a few together!  First on the list - Ancient Paths by Craig Hill.   

Off to grab a warm, comfy spot to read!  You gonna join in with me?

Next on the list - Plan B!    Get a copy and message me if you want to read along together!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Deal With It!

Time to share something fairly personal from this life.  This isn't an area that I'm usually very vulnerable with, but I know that the only way God can bring a complete healing to any area is when we admit and cry out.   That's true, but I'm not sure God would have been a proud Papa watching me thrown down my temper tantrum this week!  Taking the time to deal with stuff can be freeing and painful all in the same breath.
I've realized over the last few weeks, that I have had a hard time dealing with some disappointments.   Simple ones and deeper rooted rascals.   Simple ones like running out of a pantry item to complete that perfect meal I was making for my family - only to have a half baked right recipe,  not finding my favorite coconut milk in stock at the Harris Teeter and showing up to my daughters last cheering game of the season to find that it was scheduled an hour PRIOR to our arrival.  Yep... simple disappointments that shouldn't have rocked me with such intensity.
The second level experiences of disappointments for me have been deeply rooted for some time, (God is bringing this stuff all to the surface to finally make me DEAL WITH IT!)  Some have been disappointments from childhood that I was too timid to address within myself.  Some recent "hot topics" for me have been "fear of disappointing others", "not being good enough", "never measuring up".   Many were internal judgments hat had been attempting to jeopardize what God had created me to be.  I had even allowed my disappointments to take on the option of replacing authentic love, vulnerability and grace.   I'm thankful God has brought me to this place, this season - to deal with the the stuff.   Like a 3 year old having a time out - I'm here taking a moment to evaluate my behavior!
This week, I've been hit in the face with some health challenges.  You can't run from facing disappointments.  It's part of what we walk through in every area of our lives.  Part of my healing process is understanding why I expect what I expect from myself.  This week I've been faced with taking on, hitting full force -  my stuff.  I've been dually disappointed this week because this crazy health issue had show it's ugly head again - especially after I've done all that I've needed to do to avoid having this stuff show up again.   I was also equally frustrated that I didn't get to make a trip I wanted to take.   I may not have been in the Emergency Room screaming like the 3 year old in the next room at 3am, but internally I was!  I was indeed!    I was mad!   I don't like being out of the game.  I like being a part of life - every area!  I love living!  I don't like missing anything!  I love the people I get to do life with.  I love the God who has given so much for me!  
This week I need to let things be a little different around here.  I'm parked at home resting to fully recover.  God has surrounded our family with some incredible friends and family.  Those people have lavished us with incredible prayers, meals, calls and love.     They have been bringing the fun to me and loving me big through this challenging week.  God has been preparing this season for me to enjoy His grace on my life like never before.  For that... I'm not disappointed.  I'm honored.  I'm loved.  I'm thankful.
In addition to me overcoming my thirty-something temper tantrum, here's what else I've held on to this week; 
1.  God did not design us to walk alone.  The most important thing I've done to start walking in freedom in many areas of my life, was the thing I've been most terrified to do - to tell others about my struggle.   I'm learning that we find our way to freedom when we start being honest with others.
2.  We must allow God to use our external struggles to show us the wounded places in our lives.  My disappointment issues were only an external symptom to things going on deeper in me that I need to work on.  
3.  God can redeem our stuff.  Simple as that.    He can use this part of my story to encourage,   bring honor to Him and bring blessings to our live.
You can only hold on to one thing at a time - the promise of God or disappointment. - Bill Johnson
"Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart." - Winnie the Pooh