The Eye of God

The Eye of God

I write for my sanity.

You thought I wrote just because I loved you.

I do.

I really do.

But writing also helps keep me sane.

You see, by writing I have a built in excuse to go to a coffee shop every week and write.

My husband is a business guy, I call him the Human Calculator, because, we’ll he is.  It is freaky how well he can calculate numbers and percentages in his head when it comes to money. And because he’s a bottom line kinda of guy, in his mind – paying for coffee every week is a business expense -which means I can get away with it.  (Take notes ladies, this is how it’s done.)

So that’s part one of my self induced therapy plan – self-medicate, ie, drink coffee.

But the other part is to write about how I feel and how I’m processing the world, because . . . lean in. . .  I’m a stuffer.

 

Yeah, you heard me.  I stuff my emotions.

Which is why blogging is a such a great outlet.

At the heart of blogging is connection.

It’s all about letting another person into your world, the way you think and what you feel.

Because of this, bloggers are awesome people.

 

But right now I hate blogging.

And I kind of hate being a blogger.

And I definitely don’t feel awesome.

 

Because it means that I’m one of those people who processes her world by writing about it.

 

 

I’m a stuffer who writes about the stuff I don’t really want to write about because I figure if I put my stuff out there, I won’t be as much of a stuffer anymore. – Say that 10 times fast.

Here’s what my stuffy side doesn’t want to say tonight.

 

God’s not done healing me.

 

I actually thought he was.

I thought I had finally moved past all of my childhood issues and was on the cusp of something big. . . like the promised land of adulthood.

But I don’t think he got my memo.

 

Actually it’s the opposite.

It’s like he saved one of the biggest bombshells for last.

 

And here it is: Because of growing up in a home with a schizophrenic mother and living in a constant state of childhood trauma – I have  ummm — cough — tendencies.

 

What?

 

I said, I have — cough — tendencies.

 

Alright, fine.

 

I HAVE CODEPENDENT TENDENCIES.

There, I said it.

 

Maybe not a shocker for you, but it is for me.

 

And now I’m going from a season where I thought I was finished with all of this inner healing stuff to my-dreams-are-feeling-a-bit-like-sand-slipping-through-my-fingers-all-because-I don’t-know-how-to-not-be-overly-responsible-and-just-trust-God-when-it-comes-to-other-people’s-emotions.

Grrrrr me.

 

Here’s the crazy part, I knew he was up to something.

I was playing the piano one afternoon and just spending time with him, when God shows me this picture of a giant eye.  It reminded me of the nebula in the photo above.  Not intimidating or scary, but I was very aware that my heart was being searched.

And since then, I haven’t heard God say anything about it.

But I’m pretty sure that this discovery of codependent tendencies is tied to that day.

 

God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one is impervious to God’s Word. We can’t get away from it—no matter what.

Hebrews 4:12-13 (The Message)

 

Okay seriously, I didn’t even know I had codependency issues until like 2 months ago.  And it’s not like I want to keep them or anything but man, I wish that God would snap his fingers and make it just go away.

Open a can of miracle, right here, right now.

Because I am one bewildered girl right now.  Lez just be honest.  I did not realize I was as messed up as he is showing me I am.

 

My friends and family, however, are not as shocked.

 

To make matters worse, this has not been a fast moving kind of revelation.  This is more like a slow as molasses revelation.  As in, every day I’m going to show you what is going on and how it is affecting you and the people you love.

 

Ouch.

This really sucks.

 

But I don’t want to stay this way.

I really do want to change.

 

Repentance at its core is being willing to go through the process of being changed.

 

Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—let’s not let it slip through our fingers. We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.

Hebrews 4:14-16 (The Message)

 

Okay, Jesus, so healing is what you’re offering me in this season.

I’ll take that mercy.

I’ll accept that help.

 

Photo Credit: “Helix Nebula” by WikiImages, permissions through C.C. by 2.0

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Rules of the Playground

Photo Credit: Sarah Reck

Photo Credit: Sarah Reck

I’m not a mommy blogger type.

Not that there’s anything wrong with it.

It’s just not me.

That said, I love to read really good, funny mom blogs.

Makes me feel less alone in the world when a fellow mom in the trenches of parenthood shares about how her child smeared diaper paste over every wall in the house, or how their child has been sharing meals with the family dog for the past month. . .from the same spoon, or how they might, just might pull all of their hair out if they have to hear the word “why?” ever again.

I, however, am not a mommy blogger.

Today though, I am crossing over.

Because I have a really good reason. . .

someone was mean to my kid.

So, instead of taking out my momma bear rage on the 5 year old that picked on my  kid, I’m putting it down here.

Here’s how it went down. . .

We like to go this open gym sometimes to burn off some energy on Friday mornings.

It’s fun, crazy and full of gymnastics equipment like trampolines, foam pits, rope swings, balance beams, and on and on.

So my oldest, heads to one of the areas that has a small foam pit encircled by an oversized foam mat.

There’s 2 boys there who refuse to let him in.

Like they own the foam pit.

Meanwhile, I’m sitting about 10 feet away watching this, slowly shifting my hands so that I’m sitting on them so that the other moms can’t see me curling and uncurling my fists.

I wanted to get up and say something, but part of me felt like I should just sit there for a minute and see how Dom handled it.

I was proud.

He handled it like a champ.

He talked to them for awhile as they blocked the entrance with their bodies.

Finally, he gave up and walked away to do something else.

Later, one of the same boys tried to take a foam block from Dom.

But he held his ground and nicely said, “No, this one is mine”.

And he walked away.

Bear with me, this is not me ranting about other people’s kids.

God knows I’m not qualified for that kind of blog.

But that pretty much sums up the altercation.

Not a huge deal. . .unless you’re a mom and it’s your kid.

As we were leaving, I pulled Dom aside and told him I was really proud of him that he didn’t pick a fight and instead walked away.  And then, I felt this prompting to use the opportunity to teach him about kindness,  because at home we’ve been talking about how kindness can change people and change situations.

And this must have been a God-prompting-me-type-of-thing, because my inner momma bear was still not happy with this punk kid that messed with my cub.

I asked Dom if he remembered our talk about kindness and how it can change things.

He nodded.

“Dom,this would be a great chance to give that block to that, ahem, ‘mean kid’ “(I couldn’t resist).  “You know, show him some kindness?” I said.

He said he wanted some time to think about it.

And in the end – Dom ended up choosing not to, which was fine.

I can’t force kindness and I wouldn’t want to.

Anymore than God wants to force us to show kindness to others.

But I felt the whisper of God across my heart and I had this lightbulb moment where I understood why God asks us to repay cruelty and meanness with kindness.

As I watched the boys treat Dom meanly, I knew he had 3 choices.

Be afraid

Be mean back

Or show kindness

And I knew that the fruit of being afraid was not good.

Can you say doormat?

Being mean back would make his behavior no better than theirs.

Kindness would preserve his integrity and help the situation.  Nothing else would have.

I won’t lie, it’s hard to choose kindness.

And I can only imagine how God must feel when someone is mean to his “cubs”.

You know, thoughts of lightning bolts and the ground swallowing people whole would probably do it.

It crossed my mind for a moment.

But  it wouldn’t fix anything.

We would never learn how to maintain the character that God has instilled in us.

We would never learn the measure of our own God given strength.

We would never learn how to change a situation for someone else’s benefit.

Which is why we can’t bring that weak stuff to the playground.

It is the kindness of God that brings us to repentance (change).

You didn’t think, did you, that just by pointing your finger at others you would distract God from seeing all your misdoings and from coming down on you hard? Or did you think that because he’s such a nice God, he’d let you off the hook? Better think this one through from the beginning. God is kind, but he’s not soft. In kindness he takes us firmly by the hand and leads us into a radical life-change.

Romans 2:3-4 (The Message)

Own It

Photo Credit: Victor Cruz by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Photo Credit: Victor Cruz by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

 

We don’t do change well.

It’s a season of building and that’s a good thing.

God’s pretty excited about that.

But I gotta be honest, he might be the only one.

My friends have had some rough days making the transition.

I’ve had some rough days too.

Because coming out of a season of dreaming with God is just plain, rough.

It’s rough believing that there is purpose in the mundane after God has taken your heart to some pretty amazing mountaintops. It’s rough believing that the daily grind does have a purpose.  And it’s rough believing that we are building towards those mountaintops with every minute that ticks by.

Experiencing the adjustment from the miraculous into a season of sowing is maybe one of the most awkward changes for the human heart.

But this is the season that separates the spiritual babies from the grown-ups. . . or at least the teenagers.
God is taking us from doing for us to helping us do for ourselves.

We get to own it.

That’s why he’s so excited.
We are growing.
And I can understand that, sort of.

I’ve been teaching my kids to pick up their toys. . . I did say, sort of.

This is no small thing in our house.

Stepping on Legos in the middle of the night is like – like, well, it’s horrible okay.  I’ve got no analogies.  It’s just like stepping on a Lego in the middle of the night sounds.  Painful.

So really in my world, this is kind of a big deal.
And when they pick up their toys on their own initiative, it’s exciting for me. Maybe not so thrilling for them, but they are learning, they are getting it.

Makes me want to do a touch-down dance.

They, however, think picking up toys is boring and haven’t quite figured out that the word “mom” and “maid” are not synonymous in any language.

Side note: If I’m wrong, and some isolated tribe somewhere in the world has a word that means both, please don’t correct me.

Seriously.

Neither my kids or I need to know that. . .ever.

NOBODY. ANYWHERE. NEEDS. TO. KNOW. THAT. EVER.

But the point is, that my kids are moving from having me pick up their toys to  a place of learning to pick up their own toys.

Guess what, we are too.

We are growing.

This is where faithfulness is key.

Don’t lose your grip on Love and Loyalty.
    Tie them around your neck; carve their initials on your heart.

Proverbs 3:3 (The Message)

Make that fruit of the spirit your bestest buddy.

And I know that faithfulness/loyalty is like the apple as far as fruits of the spirit go.

You know, it’s like the everyday fruit.  Kinda boring because it’s there all the time.

Oh look, there’s an apple.  There’s another one.  And another.  And another.

It’s not exciting like the kiwi or pineapple.

I wonder if it ever gets jealous.

But faithfulness is that everyday fruit that nobody really misses until it’s not there.

I mean really, what would the world be like without apples?

What would life be like without faithfulness?

That steady resolve to show up and do your best day in and day out.

What if nobody showed up for work unless they felt like it?

What if parents were only parents when it was convenient?

What if. . . ?

There is no growing and no touch-down dance without faithfulness.

So hang in there.

Keep doing what you’re doing.

And practice your victory dance in your free time.

It’ll come in handy someday.

 

 

 

 

I Heart Trees

I have a collection of black and white prints of trees in my hallway.  It started with a lone tree against a foggy background as a gift from my friend Beth – a reminder to have faith on the “foggy days”.  Days when you can’t see your way forward.  After 13 years and some green from my wallet, my one tree has grown and I now have a forest lining my hall.

I like trees.  Trees are pretty chill.  They don’t take themselves too seriously.  They know how to just be.  I’ve never see a tree beating itself up for not growing up faster or comparing itself to the other trees.  Like I said, trees are just chill, except the ones on The Wizard of Oz – those trees were beyond creepy.  Normal, non-apple throwing trees don’t complain when it’s time to change their wardrobe from vibrant green to a dying orange.  They don’t stress when they feel the winter winds blow on their limbs.  Instead they shimmer and dance when the rains come.  They sway when the wind blows and they thrive – not in spite of change but because of it.

Trees are smarter than us.

Humans on the other hand freak out about things we cannot change.  Things that are out of our control to change.  We stress, we fear, we bite our nails, we complain, and we drag our feet.  I’ve never seen a tree bite it’s nails.  I think trees understand something we don’t.  Seasons are inevitable.  Life is a revolving door of change and instead of fighting it they gracefully embrace it knowing that they grow because of the change.

Paul says it this way. . .

1 Corinthians 3:6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God brought the increase.

Paul was writing to the Corinthians who were arguing over who should get the credit – Paul or Apollos.  Humans are so concerned about which one of us should get the credit when really, it’s God who causes growth.

What if we lived like this?  Trusting God to bring results instead of freaking out, wondering if we’ve done everything perfectly enough to be worthy of a promotion, an interview, or someone’s attention.  Trusting that even though life changes, God is faithful to bring about our increase when it’s the right season.  So even though you might be leafless right now and feeling pretty exposed keep your chin up –  your leaves will come back around again.

And you’ll be bushier than ever.