Let Them Be Little

little

With a mile long to-do list and shoes in the hallway, I’m reminded to “let them be little”. My youngest has started coming into my room in the middle of the night, I used to try to take her back to her room, but the crying would get so loud that it would wake my oldest. So, now I lift her up into my bed and sometimes don’t even remember doing so. I wake up to a sideways, almost three year old most mornings. And, I’m ok with it. I have started to treasure it and realize how one day I’ll truly miss it. That last sentence brought tears to my eyes.

Little ones are exhausting. We don’t sleep as well after kids. Our houses aren’t nearly or consistently as clean as before kids. Our choices and priorities change. Our eyes and hearts are opened to new loves and new fears like we never experienced before kids. We relate to other parents. We also realize how little we CAN control in their lives and how desperately we need God’s guidance, direction, and protection.

Thank you, Lord, for the gift of these children you’ve blessed us with. We ask your blessings be poured out over them. Open their eyes and hearts to You. Surround them with people who will point them to You. Protect them from evil. Comfort and strengthen us parents as they make personal choices for their lives and spread their wings. Help us look to you when the sting of separation is too much to bare.

Thank You for the little one who comes to my bed at night and thank You for reminding me to let them be little. Time is precious.

Amen.

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To be Still…

still

Be still, and know that I am God. Psalms 46:10

This is my all time favorite verse. Maybe because I crave stillness so much. I don’t sit still well. If you’ve spent much time with me you’ve probably noticed. I’m the one in the church pew with my knee bouncing up and down for no apparent reason. If I’m not actually up and running around, my knee, nose, or ears are twitching. Even as I type this my foot is shaking. It’s like my body doesn’t know how to just be still. I’d LIKE to be able to sit still, it sounds really peaceful. I wonder if I ever get truly still even while I sleep?

I’m a single mother to two girls and I work full time. Needless to say, there is very little physical stillness to my days. Even on the days I don’t have my girls, I find myself busy doing things and running errands.  My personality is also very “go, go, go”. I really enjoy being active and social. But, I love the idea of stillness. Physical stillness evokes the characteristics of peace and calmness that we all crave so deeply.

When we can’t be physically still, can we be calm and at peace? Can we know that God is active right along side us? Can our souls be still amidst work, life, and kids? Can our hearts find peace when the storms rage and the questions bombard us? The answer is yes. Can we have a disagreement with a friend and be still? Yes.

Can we see 10 patients in one day, come home, make dinner, do homework, run baths, race to bed, and feel peace while doing so? Some days run smoother than others, but the answer is yes. Yes, because in those moments when we wonder “how am I supposed to do this?”, or “how do I fix this?”, or “I SURE could use some help around here!” He is there.

He calls us to “be still” because He knows our minds and bodies get weary. He’s aware of the pace and asks us to be still because He is in control. In a world where physical stillness is hard to come by, He asks us to be still and KNOW that He is GOD. Just be still…..

A Fresh Start!

spring

Spring has arrived along with a sense of newness.

We love new things. New clothes, new cars, new jobs, new relationships, new babies, new ideas. There’s just something about newness that gives us that fresh start feeling. Inevitably, the newness does wear off and we are left with the desire for something else that is new. I know I crave a fresh start everyday. A “do over” of sorts, especially when I lose my patience in mommy world or get anxious about the future.

The steadfast love of The Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are NEW every morning; great is your faithfulness.  Lamentations 3:22-23 (ESV)

God’s mercies are new every single morning. That’s a fresh start we can count on. The newness that returns day after day. We may take it for granted, but it’s a shame if we do because it’s a fresh start….everyday. Something to look forward to. Something to bring joy, relief, and peace. It’s the ultimate “do over”.

Let’s focus on blessings today. Blessings like a brand new healthy baby, a new friend, answered prayers, the love of family, and the encouragement from friends. Everything from quiet time with a hot cup of coffee in the morning to Abby’s smile and hearing Elle say “thank you mama” and “kisses” before bed are all such precious and personal blessings to me!  We each have our very own.

I am guilty of paying more attention to what I lack than what I have. I want a fresh start and forgiveness from that. I want to focus on what God graciously GIVES because He does and He LOVES to do so. Let’s all take the time to count our blessings and recognize His gifts.

Spring has definitely sprung in Texas so let’s all thank God for fresh flowers, fresh rain, fresh air, and fresh starts!

Guard Your Heart

heart

I have an interesting career. I look at people’s hearts all day using ultrasound. Just like any job, it can get monotonous after 14 years, but today I’m reminded of how interesting it really is. We check the heart function of every patient by assessing their ejection fraction. A heart’s normal ejection fraction is about 65%. When we come across a patient with a 5-10% ejection fraction, their heart is barely squeezing. Sometimes their heart function is so weak, I catch myself looking over to make sure they are still breathing even though I just walked with them from the lobby to my lab to run the test. It’s truly amazing that the body can still function with a heart that is barely squeezing. But, it happens, and our doctors treat it all the time.

One thing I have noticed over the years is that my sickest patients also tend to be the most kind, gracious, and patient people. Not always, but most of the time. Maybe because they know they are sick, maybe because they are grateful for the healthcare, maybe because they have adjusted their priorities, or maybe because they’ve made peace with themselves and others. It’s very interesting to me that the people with the “broken” hearts that barely squeeze can touch our hearts and spirits in such a tender way. We listen and pay more attention when we see how poorly their hearts are functioning. Wouldn’t it be interesting if we could “see” how people’s hearts have been broken, betrayed, rejected, mended, or even revived in our daily lives? Maybe that’s why we pay more attention when we know what someone has been through and what their story is. Everyone has a story.

I can personally visualize a person’s heart function with my ultrasound machine any day. But, I can’t “see” what that heart has been through. Our hearts are physically and spiritually our most prized possessions and worthy of the utmost protection.

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23

I work with some extremely intelligent doctors who can treat your heart if it needs physical healing, but I know that God is the ultimate healer. He alone is the great physician and heart surgeon. Let Him hold and heal your heart. Trust Him when people come and go from your life (because they will) and remember that He’s not going anywhere (because He won’t). He created and designed our hearts, that alone makes them worthy of protection.

That’s a Lie!

whisper

The devil is a liar. He has always been a liar. He lied to Eve, he lied to Jesus, and he lies to us. In John 8:44, Jesus says this about the devil “when he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and a father of lies.” His lies are fuel for low self esteem, insecurity, and fear. If we can identify these lies and counter them with the truth, we are headed in the right direction. The devil’s lies put us in bondage. He strives to keep us there, but God’s truth will set us free. Here are a few of the lies the devil loves to literally pummel me with, maybe you can relate. Or maybe just putting them out there in black and white will remind me the next time he’s in my ear. He loves to do that.

  • Nobody cares what you have to say
  • It’s all your fault
  • If he didn’t want you, no one will
  • You’re a bad mom
  • You’re a burden
  • You are not worthy of real love

Ouch! I know they are hard to read, they are even harder to hear. I’m putting them out there, because I KNOW they are lies. Every single one of them are lies straight from the devil and I want you to know they are too. Don’t let him steal or destroy one more day of the abundant life God desires for you to live. Bring the lies to the light and watch the darkness disappear. Know that you aren’t alone. God knows the devil is a liar. He lied his way right out of Heaven.

When these or other lies are whispered in your ear just as they were to Eve, recognize them for what they are. They are NOT the truth, they are lies. Turn to God and ask Him who you are to him. Ask him how precious you are and remember that he DIED for you. Jesus’s life and death point us to the truth and the truth is that God would rather send his own son to die for us than to live without us for eternity. There are a few people on this earth that I would die for, but I can’t think of any that I would lay either of my children down for. That’s an unfathomable love. Remember THAT love when the lies come back….. because they will.

I can’t wait for heaven when the ultimate liar is silenced forever and we can live in the peace and splendor of God’s presence with zero shame, guilt, fear or lies. Now, that’s heaven!

One of THOSE Days…

anchor

This is all about when you’re having one of those days. One of those days when the tears come and you may not even know why. Those days when you find it hard to breathe and have lost your center. Those days when something or nothing may set you off. One of those days when you feel the need to lash out or hunker down and shut the world out. Just one of those days….

On those days when we feel like we are literally hanging on by a thread, prayers are bouncing off the ceiling, and don’t know where to turn for relief, just know you AREN’T alone. Reach out to a friend or take some time alone…..whatever your soul may need to rest. Pray and cry out if you need to. Visualize the thread you’re hanging on to and replace it in your mind’s eye with an anchor. Hold on to that anchor for dear life and when you can get a hold of it, take a seat. Sit in the rock solid bend of that anchor and let God hold you.

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm, and secure. Hebrews 6:19

I love to be known as happy and smiling all the time. His joy is truly a wonderful thing! But, today I had one of those days. Tonight, I will let Him rock me to sleep on His anchor. Tonight I will trust that He hears me even if it doesn’t feel like it. Tonight, I will remind you that you are not alone on those days. We have each other and like a very sweet friend reminded us a couple weeks ago in Bible study “we are all just walking each other home.” Let’s shower each other with grace, love, and understanding. Let’s celebrate the good times and comfort each other in the bad. Let’s remind each other that He loves us and that we love each other. Love is the hope that anchors our souls.