In Your Language

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Things won't ever be the same.

Jimmy Evans has a sermon that he says that it is more likely for someone to change for the good or bad over a 5 year period. Not to say that we are destined to make shifts to the extreme, but shifts none the less.

I believe that due to my adoption, I have a weird concept of time. I feel it so viscerally. I have an attachment to time- the here and now. I want this moment to last forever. I guess the emotional part of me knows that things will never be the same. I rarely take for granted a moment in time- especially with you. =)

I remember when I was in my last trimester in the pregnancy with Gabriel. I felt such anxiousness about my relationships with my children. I wanted our relationships to be awesome before our lives would be changed forever. I kept thinking-- "This is the last month that it will be just Jasmin and Alexander and Me... just the four of us."

Every time we'd fight, I'd think "is this how you want to remember our last months as just us? Are you satisfied with our relationship as it is now because once the baby comes we won't have as much time to work on it?" I was doubly insulted that it didn't affect them like it did me.

I don't want to have regrets. I don't want to leave anything unsaid. I don't want people to question how I feel about them. Perhaps I do too much "intentionally." I am particularly high strung in that way. I'm extremely intense and have a hard time just relaxing and having fun. I'm always "on."

I think back three months ago when I was in labor with my baby boy. I feel sad that I don't remember it very much any more. I guess that's why I love to write... so I can always revisit those treasured times. Just the same way I keep my college text books. I feel like the past is still alive- but I must pursue it. When I write, it is a way of honoring the present- the past of our future.

This is why I think I've been writing about my life for as long as I can remember. I remember writing letters to my biological mother on the chance I could actually send them to her. (I was able to send them to her- for good or for bad.)  Writing makes pathways in our brains that help us learn and help us understand who we are as people. I think that is why I hated that my mother told me I was a bad writer... it meant so much more to me than just writing... it was about how I think, understand, experience life, how I remember events...

Anyways, my point is that writing gives us access to the times we could easily forget and take for granted. In a time where Alzheimer's disease is so rampant- I hope we learn to appreciate our trials as much as our successes. In the end, when we forget all of that, it is as though the fabric of time as been incinerated; the fabric being our experiences.

Things won't ever be the same as when I was the poorest with my husband... we had a lot of good meaningful times together... we were the most creative in that time. Now that we are the wealthiest we have been together, we seem to lack ideas for how to spend our time.  Even if we lost everything all over again, it won't be the same.

Things won't ever be the same as when we were at his brother's wedding. The one picture that comes to mind- we are standing arm in arm and laughing and someone caught that moment in an unstaged snapshot. He looked so handsome. I worked my booty off to wear a size zero dress from Express. It felt as if it were OUR wedding... that's how awesome that moment felt.

Later that night, we went to the piano bar on the premises and I sang Gershwin's "Someone to watch over me" which reminded me of the fateful night I watched "Mr. Holland's Opus." That movie had me so wrapped up in "the moment" of the screen. Well, that night at the bar I sang that song. It felt great. Funny enough, it happened to be the favorite song of one of the customers departed mother. And that night was her mother's birthday. I have to say it was so magical, that I couldn't even tell it was happening. What I remember is not how well I sang it, but the amazing way that I brought her mother's favorite song to life on no other day but her birthday!

I could don that dress again... I could go back to that particular piano bar... but it still wouldn't be the same. The magic was in "the moment." I'm glad that I've done my best to change for the best as my circumstances are always shifting. What ways have you changed... stayed the same?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Curious Ways

It is usually in those things that we (including me) take things for granted are the same things that are God's answers to our prayers and provision in our lives. It's not that there is no proof of his work in our lives; it's our denial of them that gets in the way of our faith or precludes our conversion to Christianity.

I think it takes extreme stripping of all our possessions, relationships, idols, creature comforts for us to truly notice the things that God freely does in our lives for the good. The discipline of building our relationship with God is to be able to have SOME possessions, Godly relationships and no idols AND be able to notice what he does. Imagine God being the "woman" in the marriage "If I ask you to do X then it doesn't mean as much." The real appreciation God feels is when we can see the things without him having to club us in the head. He desires to respond to our unspoken desires (as long as they are part of his will and purpose for us in life). It is not his responsibility to point out  proof of himself... the same way I don't have to prove  I exist.

The best way I can understand God's desiring to make our dreams (his dreams which are much grander than we could ever think up for ourselves) come true is of a parental desire. We would not create an intricate one of a kind piece of art just to tear it apart. He gives to us the same way our parents gave to us intuiting what we need and what is good for our future. Parents know what their children need whether or not the children request for those things or whether they even know what they need. Parents don't always pay attention to their children's wants unless those wants are good for them.

My latest testament to God's working in my life came in such a subtle and involuntary shift in my life. Many parents would try to orchestrate their children being on the same school schedule; but I did not have that luxury. For four more years, my son will go to school an hour before my daughter and he will return 45 minutes before she returns. Many people would beleaguer their need to wake up earlier; I admit that I wasn't so happy about that detail.

With the backdrop of the overlapping schedules, I was given a twice daily opportunity to enjoy my kids virtually one on one (not including the baby).  God primed my heart to make the most of the times with my kids to feed our relationship and ENJOY one another. God also knew that I needed that one on one time as I do much better in that situation than when they are demanding of me at the same time... combined with the rivalry. Now- it is as if our relationships have transformed and they also get along better with each other. They also get the bonus of feeling special. I tell my daughter she cannot come down stairs until my son has left; I protect my time with him.

God, like my children, doesn't want to compete for my adoration. He is the only one that still looks out for me as an adult because I am his child. I still get to be a child in his eyes and get the benefit of unlimited re-dos when I make mistakes (just like children get to make many mistakes in their youth).

Maybe the reason God works in many mysterious ways is so that we will be continually surprised and delighted by his perfect love for us; and so we can continually expand our concept of Him and his limitless power in our lives. Yes, dare I say it, we have an AWESOME God!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Choosing silence...

 Photo Credit:

The spiritual suggestion in my walk with the Lord recently took my tongue by ransom. He showed me that words are my weakness (leads to sin or downfall) and that I must downsize my daily commentary. This came most evident to me when in a situation I would have just gone through the motions of "let's talk it out"; then having it progress to more misunderstanding or defensiveness; as a long journey to coming back to copacetic. The Lord moved me to hold my tongue and deal with it inside myself and with Him.

There was nothing to take back. There was no foot in mouth. There was no bringing up "dirty laundry." There was no at odds conversation to add to the at odds event. And the "air" settled a lot more readily than if I had done the usual talking. It didn't take long for me to see that the root of the scenario was that one or more of us were tired, hungry, or bothered by other things that just happened to be triggered by that particular interaction.

I felt a huge sigh of relief. There was one less nail in my relational coffin. I felt one more neuron closer to spiritual wisdom. It felt so unnatural to me- that I knew I was doing the right thing. I felt obedient to something other than my self. I felt like I sowed a seed of trust and grace by omitting well-meaning words in favor of growing positive relational energy. I made something positive out of something that could have been more tense.

The knowledge that we all come from histories that have many dysfunctional relational behaviors, we must lean toward the healthy unknown rather than make excuses for our iniquities. I have never seen my parents have a "good fight" or witnessed either of them having "good conflict resolution" skills. Sometimes just knowing that what we are used to is not good (to put it nicely) calls us to reach, dare I say- seek, the unknown.

I feel (as the Bible says not to sin in my anger), that my anger can be turned into something healthy if I deal with it within myself and between me and God. As long as my anger is followed by loving service (also the call of God), then I should be a peace with my anger and I will learn to trust my ability to deal with upsetting things in a healthy way. It is God's higher plan to shift potentially hazardous relational situations toward win-win prospects.

I am determined to be successful in my relationships by being teachable to the Wise One, my God. I am so thankful that I don't have to learn on my own.

Blessings to all God's people...

[Originally Posted: 8/27/13. Edited: 4/7/14]

Friday, August 2, 2013

Another reason to go Organic

Can I just say: 

Organic = God Engineered AND GMO = Scientifically Engineered

God wins... AGAIN! LOL

Thursday, August 1, 2013

When a little is plenty...

For my family, we are trudging through a government inflicted furlough. We are going to have to live off less. Period.

This is a test of faith, or at least of thankfulness for the present for unbelievers. Looking back, we cling to the relative "opulence" we became accustomed to. Looking forward, we predict that things can only get worse. But- if we look at the present and take stock, take inventory, perhaps we'd be able to see how abundant our lives are without the more of the future.

We are lucky that we don't have outstanding unsecured debt. Our four vehicles are paid off. We have money in the checking and savings accounts. We have "so" much that we can't qualify for Social Security benefits for our child. Heck, we were poorer and we couldn't qualify for food stamps. Yay us! (I'm not judging other's situations- just speaking about myself).

I have things I own (cars, electronics, etc) that I can sell if need be. I have some skills that I can earn money. I have things I can do that are free that I enjoy more than things that we pay money for (and gives me remorse later). But more than that- I have FAITH in God, my true provider. He has given me an abundant portions of his provisions throughout my life whether or not I recognized the fact. But I recognize it now.

Don't let the lies of the world steer your thoughts and fears. The world tells us "That is not enough." "Why did they get more?" "That's all?" "What's in it for me?" But what about asking "What can I give and donate?" And dare we give when we are lacking? That is unheard of on our Earth. We only get to hear and see what "they" want us to see unless we seek it out and investigate.

And really, I'd dare you to invite God to be your "provider" in these lean times; heck, even during times of plenty. And more than that, ask him to give you the wisdom and self control to steward what you have so that you can be satisfied longer. If it can last... make it last. If you have extra... give it away with a generous heart. I might even go as far as daring you to get rid of more stuff during lean times. Get to know what real life offers; give your spiritual life room to thrive. Find more balance. See value in areas that the world won't reveal to you.

I was blessed to have a wonderful relationship (not perfect) with my current family years ago when we were trying to "make it" financially. Those are the times I miss. We spent so much time together and did quality inexpensive things. We were more connected then than we have been since. It was a blessing; though many people would not be able to see that. Now that we have more income- we have less time to enjoy each other and more to worry about. If your "yoke" is the amount of your possessions- how heavy do you want it? I know people who pick up trash and want to keep it. Can you juggle all of that and know your Creator (God, if you believe in him)?

Don't be frightened. Little is plenty and less is more. I'd venture to say that it's time to unload rather than download. You are loved, provided for and protected from above...

Here I am Again

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