Deciding the Design

Today, I consider time.  The arrangement of when something will happen.  Time is also continued progress.  For it to be both, we have to be intentional and creative, and looking upward.  I find myself in the open space of figuring out what that looks like for me.  I’m in the patches rather than the whole quilt.  But since I already know you also aspire to be the Proverbs 31 woman, you know how important the patches are to completing the whole quilt.  There is so much joy in deciding on the design of the patches while God takes care of the progress.

What I am learning as a person: Leaning away from building the components of my life.  Leaning towards the presence of Christ.  In this miraculous transition, I am seeing more fully who I am and what my life can be about.  If I miss this birth in me, I think I miss living in the center of His will for my life – – which is not fully about the daily grind, but pursuing what makes my heart beat with pleasure for Him.

Verse:  Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts. Acts 2:46

Deep Thought:  I know so little.  But I am capable of so much with Him.  I want to be more intentional, but also a blank slate for Him to write on.  Churning in me is the connection between intention, God’s creativity and time.  My current journey is to work out the tension between my deliberate action and use of imagination towards the time God has given me.  It feels very right, potentially beautiful and worthwhile.

Quote: It’s a beautiful thing when passion and pay align, allowing you to do something you love and be well paid.  If this is your situation, thank God on your knees every day, because you are living the dream.  Very few people ever experience the perfect balance between passion and pay.  It is one of life’s rare and precious blessings.  Simplify by Bill Hybels (Chapter 4)

Book(s)/Blog(s)/People that Shape Me: Simplify by Bill Hybels because he is helping me grab hold of the time I have and guard it for the things to which He has called me and for purposes for which I have been created.  Yes!  – – sigh/breathe/relief – – there is freedom here.

Love Does by Bob Goff also has shaped me. If you are a parent, you really have to read Chapter 20, Ten-Year-Old Adventures and Chapter 10, The Interviews.  It will ignite you to be alive with your kids and to aspire to make everlasting memories with them.  Reading this book gives me something very high to aim for!

Consider reading this recent post from So Beloved.  She gave me peace as I opened my day today.

My Prayer to You: I pray that the bit I shared with you today will begin to set in as a patchwork quilt in your soul.  I pray that you will allow your thoughts to take you to the components of your life: your family, faith, work.  Your community.  Your qualities and desires.  God purposefully imbedded your uniqueness into your soul.  I pray that you would consider your time.  Allow God’s creativity to work out the hours of your day.  Your commitments.  Your priorities.  I pray that you would not miss living in the center of His promising will for your life.

Written by Sasha Katz

Happy Mother’s Day

By AbbyA

JMathis had to mention the Proverbs 31 woman, didn’t she?  I actually don’t mind her too much.  She works. Prov. 31:16, 24.  She’s involved in her community.  Prov. 31:20.  She has a maid. Prov. 31:15.  She’s sexy, dresses well and has great things to say.  Prov. 31:18 (her light doesn’t go out at night), 22, 26.  Not bad.  The praise of this woman is wrapped up in verse 30 – – Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the Lord will be praised.

Mmmm, well, I don’t think of myself as particularly charming.  Certainly smiley, but not chatty or nearly charismatic  enough to be charming.  But, beauty, that’s a bit more of a personal question.  What do you think about yourself?  Wherever your confidence falls on the 1-10 scale, we can all agree that IT IS PASSING.

I used to make light of my girlfriend’s passing birthdays.  She’s about four years older than I am.  I laughed as she carried on about turning 30.  I told her it didn’t matter when she turned 35.  Now that I am 35, I shut up really fast when she mused sarcastically about turning 40 this fall.  Ugh.  It is passing.

Sometimes I take my first a.m. look in the mirror and determine that I either have two black eyes or I am seriously aging.  I remember giving my best newborn advice to my pregnant best friend – – pull off brushing your teeth before your husband wakes up and you’ve done well.  I more recently have taken my mom’s advise – – after years of not wearing make-up – – once you turn 35, don’t leave home without it!

So, for me, charm is irrelevant, beauty IS passing, but a woman who fears the Lord . . . The fearing the Lord concept is, I think, perfect.  But the language doesn’t translate very well.  To me, the fear concept is my acknowledgement that I am very small and broken and He is very big and whole.  Even when I fail, the rocks cry out in praise of Him. Luke 19:40.   That is a creation that fears the Lord.  I can do the same.

That leaves us with praise from Him.  I will tell you that this is recent find for me.  I have spent a whole lot of time feeling partially unworthy and inadequate. Not the kind that causes you to hide under a turtle shell, but the kind that holds you back from really receiving the love of the Lord.  Now, because God is so good, He used my faulty feelings about myself to bring me squarely face to face with Him.  And in my inadequacy and failures and independent choices, He makes sweet, pink lemonade.  And then He really bursts my heart by giving me the credit for becoming more like Him.  He gives me praise.

AbbyA and Her Proverbs 31 Mom

That’s where I am going to leave you this Mother’s Day weekend.  Receive your praise.  I bet this weekend you are going to get some handmade cards, maybe flowers, sweetie-pie kisses.  You may even feel the Holy Spirit reminding you how faithful you have been with your little ones and how He is so pleased with you.   Drink it in.  Don’t wait as long as I did to see how much He loves you and how little He cares about your human failures.   Belt it out in praise of Him; He’s right back atcha!

Welcome to Key West

By JMathis

One of my favorite all-time memories is spending New Year’s weekend in Key West. As a good Christian girl, I know I’m not supposed to admit to loving all that hedonism and mayhem, but man, was that a fun weekend. Picture the love-child between Mardi Gras and watching the ball drop in Times Square. Yep, that’s New Year’s Eve in Key West…except the crystal ball is a big ‘ol conch shell the size of Cuba (or, a big red stiletto heel down the street), and all the freezing people in ski jackets are actually drag queens. You throw inhibitions out the window, and bam, you get knocked up.

Oh, whoops. I guess that was just me.

What happens in Key West, stays in Key West, I guess.

Um, except it didn’t. Nine months later, there was a BABY in my house—a real, live baby! And, guess what? That baby stayed over three months later for New Year’s Eve. And, the New Year’s Eve after that. And, the New Year’s Eve after that. And, the New Year’s Eve after that.

You get my drift, don’t you? I will never, ever, ever have a New Year’s Eve like I did in Key West that weekend. In fact, until this kid is 16, I think I can pretty much kiss New Year’s Eves goodbye. That’s the one night even babysitters go out, for crying out loud!

A Proverbs 31 wife would probably say, “Who cares, you ninny? Who needs to waste away (or get wasted) on New Year’s Eve? It just gives me more time to select wool and flax, make clothing and bedspreads for my children, prepare meals for the week, feed the poor and sell hand-made scarves to merchants for a profit…all in one night!” Yay, Proverbs 31 wife. You go, girl.

Me, on the other hand, I still mourn for all of the New Year’s Eves I will never know, will never meet and will never experience.

I know. Childish, right?

But, guess what? That’s okay. It’s okay to grieve a little, ladies, for parenthood truly is the first time one becomes an adult. Next to accepting Christ, it’s the single biggest adjustment you will make in your life. For many years, you followed one path as ‘footloose and fancy free’ as you could be, and with one screech of the record, like Bindu said, you become a mom. Your life is changed in one fell swoop.

When Paul said in I Corinthians 13:11 to put away childish things, he didn’t promise it would be easy. In fact, in Philippians 2:12, he told us to continue to work at our salvation with fear and trembling. In the same way you don’t become a model Christian overnight, you’re not going to become a model parent overnight. In the same way you might not love everything about being a Christian, you may not love everything about being a parent.

We always hear that the second we follow Christ, poof, we instantly become new creatures. While the Bible tells us that we indeed do, it often takes a lifetime for us to realize this fact. It’s the same thing with motherhood. Poof. One day, you instantly become a parent. For better or for worse, it often takes a lifetime for us to realize this fact.

Doesn’t make you any less of a Christian, or any less of a mom.

And, that’s okay.

After all, we are not perfect. We’re redeemed.