Facing Fear with a Thankful Heart

img_1041Overwhelmed is not even the word to described the feeling that came over me this morning! It was the first day of Classical Conversation (basically a homeschool co-op)! Lunches and backpacks were packed the day before, fingernails were painted, and outfits were ironed. I had us set up for success, or so I thought.

My oldest woke up with a headache for the third day in a row. No worries, I knew what to do. I quickly measured out her Motrin and prayed it worked! Ten minutes later she was up and ready to start her day, Thank God! Things were going well…two of the kids were finishing up their cereal and the other two were getting dressed. As we went to gather our things to leave, my oldest went down to the floor! The excruciating pain had come back to her head and this time she couldn’t open her eyes or walk. I ran to the cabinet to now measure out some Tylenol, again praying the medicine would work. Finally, we were able to get everyone to the car. The sky was blue and there was no traffic, which is always a miracle when driving around the Atlanta area!

We pulled into Church where we were to meet the group, ten minutes early at that! I prayed over the kids and their nerves before getting out of the car. Everyone was stoked that this day had finally come!

As we walked in the building there are women and kids everywhere! We followed one family down a hall, but we had no idea where each of the their classrooms were. With kids running around us everything started to spin! Right about the time I was going to ask for some help, I heard a bell! They were calling all of us to gather in a small hallway to listen to the announcements and upcoming events. As we stood there listening, my oldest started crying, I asked if her head was hurting.

“Just a little,” she said.

I asked her while looking at her sweet face, “Then why are you crying?”

“Because I don’t want to go to class, she replied as her voice cracked.”

Meanwhile as this conversation is going on, my four year old is wrapped around my leg, begging me to stay with him!

I felt helpless! There is only one of me and four of them!

img_1046The group dismissed in prayer and tutors started walking to their classrooms with their students behind them. They were naming the tutors so quickly I couldn’t catch who was a tutor and who was a parent. So again I stood there with all my little ones looking at me for guidance, and I was lost.
Thankfully, a mom saw my frantic face and offered to assist me. First we dropped off Kayla, next was Victoria. When we made it to Josiah’s room the parents and kids were already sitting down introducing themselves! Then here we come disrupting the tutor, walking in a few minutes late! I encouraged Josiah to take a seat so I could go talk to his sister, but he wouldn’t let go of me! He had a grip on me like an alligator on a hippo in the Savannah! So here we go again disrupting the class to leave. As I walked out with my leach, I calmly said, “it’s his first time in a classroom setting, please give us some grace.” With that I walked out grabbing my daughter’s hand and jetting straight to the bathroom!

img_1045

I couldn’t hold back the tears! I knew my daughter didn’t want to be in her class, but I wouldn’t allow fear to paralyze her. She needed to be strong! Even though I knew this, it didn’t make it easier on me, mama. You better believe I wanted to wrap her up and drive away from that church as fast as I could, but that wouldn’t help her to grow, it wouldn’t help her to face her fears.

Three seconds after entering my safe haven place, the bathroom, the director walked in! I had never met her in person, I had only spoke to her on the phone and through a few emails. She asked if I was okay. “No! I feel overwhelmed, I said.” As tears ran down my cheeks.

“I know I haven’t met you, but can I hug you, she asked?”

In which I replied, “yes!”

Let me tell you there is nothing better than a hug! The human touch is so powerful and healing!

After sharing with her a little in the bathroom, Alayna came out of the stall tearless! I encouraged her that she could do this.

We went to her class and tok a seat in the back of the room. She was able to warm up and relax at the same time. A few hours passed and it was snack time. I was able to motivate her to move her chair to the table with the rest of the kids. She finished the day strong, answering questions and participating in games with her classmates.

As for Josiah, he didn’t give a presentation like all the other kids, but he did listen and learned he must raise his hand if he wants to make a comment.

I cannot say it enough, God is stretching our family! We were so comfortable in our happy little lives that growth was a joke and dependence on him was pretty much nonexistent!

When we lift weights, we make small tears in our muscles which usually brings on pain and soreness, but after awhile our muscles heal and we become stronger. Our family is spiritually working out, we feel sore and we are experiencing pain at times, but I know God is also healing and strengthening us and for that, I AM THANKFUL!
img_1047

Advertisements

Happy Pl

IMG_1447

My heart smiles as I watch them run and play. In these moments I feel alive and peace rains down! No screaming, no attitudes, no tattle telling, just giggles and hair blowing in the wind. I store this picture in my heart, then when chaos erupts, I close my eyes and visualize our happy place.

The funny thing about this “happy place” is, the lack of growth. We rarely grow in times of peace, but rather in times of struggles. Friend, don’t rush to always be at your “happy place”, learn to grow and thrive in the chaos. Accept the chiseling, the chipping away of bad, that God is performing on your life and make a choice to persevere. It took over 15 years for Leonardo da Vinci to paint the Mona Lisa and he wasn’t even working with her heart or soul. We are God’s masterpiece, a continually work in progress, and the fire is what releases the impurities of our heart. When you feel the heat today, take a moment to exhale and know He’s creating His Mona Lisa or Sally Sue or Maria Gonzales (you get the point) in you.

Throw It Away

IMG_1397A youth leader once told me, many years ago, “tell me what your room looks like and I can tell you how your spiritual life is.” You have to know she was talking to a group of high school students, we all know high school students aren’t the cleanest bunch, but I personally think this can be true for adults too.

We have an abundance of “stuff” in our house, to the point it’s hard for us to focus and to manage our daily activities efficiently. I would love to purge our entire house in a day’s time, but that’s not possible. So, today we started with the school, gathering bags, and bags of trash (three little girls equals lots of random art work, did I say LOTS). We also, bagged items to give away. I dusted the fan, blinds, desks and the air vent. Taking this time to invest in our house and get things in order, brings clarity and productivity back into our home. The room looks amazing and my spirit is beaming inside.

Don’t allow that overwhelming feeling, like where do I even start, come over you as you look around your house. Take one room at a time, a day or even a week at a time.

The same goes for your spiritual walk. We allow “distractions” to sit on the shelves of our heart and negative thoughts to take over our minds, like dust and cobwebs, making everything filthy. It’s time to clean house, spiritually. We must spend time with God, purging the “stuff” of worthlessness out of our heart and mind. You know what I’m talking about…anything that speaks against God’s word…
I can’t forgive…THROW IT OUT!
I’m not good enough…THROW IT OUT!
My marriage will never change…THROW IT OUT!
I’ll never find a job…THROW IT OUT!

What are you waiting for, it’s time to clean house literally and spiritually.

“I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.”
~Phil. 4:13

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”
~Romans 8:37

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;”
~1 Corn. 6:19

More Than Happiness

20140928-201913.jpg“What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy?” -Gary Thomas

The truth is, marriage makes us confront our ugly that we may have ignored before. Just try to walk around the house with an attitude for a couple of days, or couple of hours in our house, it won’t last long without noticing. Our spouse challenges us in good and sometimes bad ways. Thankfully, we have God to lean on, in times of frustration, when the wrong buttons have been pushed.

We need to accept and remember from the moment we said “I do” you gave up “me” and replaced it with “us”. You quickly learn not everything you do is perfect and your opinions are not facts. Marriage is amusing, intriguing, and beautiful, but it’s design is greater than our happiness.

Marriage provides growth as an individual and as a Christian. It is a constant reminder of what commitment and covenant means. It also teaches us how to forgive time and time again, like our Heavenly Father forgives us.

Friend, the moment you think your marriage is all about “your” happiness, you’re in trouble.