Sunday, February 24, 2013

It just takes one moment!

I really love how the Lord speaks to me through my kids.  Being a mom has helped me get a glimpse of just how the Father loves us.  Even though I can't even begin to imagine that His love for me is even greater than the love I have for my boys, I know that it is true. 
This has been a long, exhausting and emotional week.  We finished regular season basketball.  We have played many sports along the years and we have learned something each year.  This season made for some great moments as we watched kids who have played since they were in Peewees play their last Little Dribblers games before entering Jr. High.  The last game was a bit of a tear jerker for Bryan realizing that it would be the last time he coached Christian in any sport.  Even though we still have Bo, something just hit hard knowing that Christian is getting older and moving on to new adventures. 
I can talk about a lot of outstanding moments this season such as when Christian got the ball stolen from him by one of our former players who is half the size of Christian.  Even I had to give "Smiley" props for taking that ball with confidence.  I also loved watching Christian go against one of his really good friends and seeing the respect they had for each other on the court.  I liked getting the hug yesterday from one of our parents who said thank you for being a part of their lives the past two seasons.  I smiled when we went to eat with Bo at school and one of our players told his mom that he wanted to sit by Coach Bryan.  It was heart warming to see a kid who is a bit shy talk Coach Bryan's ear off at a game because they had developed a close relationship with him.  I was thankful for one of my fellow basketball moms coming to help me clean my son's bloody nose all while playing her team.
But there was a moment yesterday that took my breath away.  And I relived it again this morning when Christian asked me a question.  As we were getting our behinds handed to us in yesterday's championship game, I watched my puffy-eyed son lay his heart out on the court.  It wasn't his best game but it was all he had at that moment.  Seeing the defeat in his eyes and us being down by 20, Bryan pulled him off the court in the last minute of the game.  In that moment, I heard a crowd cheer for my son as he went to the bench and put his head in his lap and was brought to tears.  This morning Christian asked me if the crowd cheered because they were glad his team was going to lose.  My heart sank as I explained to him that in no way were they cheering for that reason.  I said "They were clapping for you because they believe in you."  I realized in that moment that I didn't need to say anything about him, he spoke for himself.
I saw God's love fill a room and fill my heart.  How many times do we want to win that trophy or have that moment of glory?  And sometimes it is in the times of defeat that we shine the most.  God doesn't love us based on our performance, He loves us because we were created in His image.  We are His children.  We are the "apple of His eye."  Sometimes we don't understand why things happen the way that they do.  We don't understand why we weren't 1st or why we have to deal with sickness or why we aren't in a certain place we want to be.  But God knows where we are at and He is the answer to all things.  He claps when no one else seems to.  He smiles when you think everyone else is frowning.  In those moments when you think every person and every circumstance is against you, just look up and accept the love that the Father has for you. 
I don't know if Christian will really grasp what that moment meant.  But that moment was bigger than a trophy.  (Don't tell Bryan I said that because he probably still wants the trophy)  God lifts us up even when we feel we are at our lowest point.   So thankful I have a Heavenly Father who I can always look up to!  I pray that today in whatever you are going through that you know that the Father loves you and cares for you.  He hears every prayer and He is present in every moment of your life.  Seek Him first always.  He will show you things that will knock your socks off and He will lift you higher than you could ever go on your own.

Wishing you many blessings!

 James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Thank You

Thank you.  These are two simple words in the English language but they can mean so much and are not used enough in my opinion.  This goes back to simple manners 101.  As a child I was taught to say please and thank you.  I remember when my kids were little I was always reminding them to say thank you when someone gave them a piece of candy.  I also remember refusing to let them have one when they were in one of their defiant moods and wouldn't say it.  I find it very disheartening that we don't say thank you enough.  I teach my boys to open doors for people at restaurants.  And though I teach them to never expect a thank you, I see how many people walk passed them and never acknowledge them.  We send our kids to school everyday and there are teachers there that teach them and care for them all day and though they are paid to do it don't get compensated for the extra stuff they do for them.  I have had teachers come to watch my kids play and they will never know how much that meant to me.  I am pretty sure I said thank you but I don't know if I did it enough.

I get my kids involved in sports and other extra curricular activities and I forget that it takes a lot of people to run such organizations.  There are those who believe that some people do those sorts of things for the recognition.  But I can tell you from experience, it would be easier to pick something else to do for recognition because running leagues and events is way too complicated if you are in it just looking for praise.  Most people will come and go and never say they appreciate you but you do it anyway.  Sow thankfulness and you will reap it as well.  As a small business owner, I know that it is important to tell your employees and customers thank you.  We could not make it if it were not for them.  Do employers tell their employees enough how thankful they are for them? In the same respect, do you tell your employer how thankful you are to work where you work and how thankful you are to have a job?

There are men and women who serve and fight for our freedom each and every day.  There are law enforcement officers and emergency personnel who are making sure we are safe.  I know I don't tell them enough how much I am grateful for their service and what they do for my family and community.  More than anyone, we probably take our own families for granted.  We see them usually every day and become complacent in our relationships with them.  I have a very helpful husband who works hard and takes care of me.  He needs to hear me say thank you more often than I probably do.  Plus my kids need to see that exemplified through our marriage.  My two boys need to hear how thankful I am that the Lord gave them to me and how proud I am to be their mother.  As parents, we can't say that enough.

Why have we let those two words slip by so easily?  Let them be part of your daily language.  The bible encourages us to be thankful.  You will be amazed at how much you will personally benefit from telling others thank you.  Sometimes it is the smallest things that have a huge impact on you but you need to take it a step further and say thank you to the person who made it all happen. 
I recently had my 35th birthday and I was very touched by some special friends of mine.  I got a card from my coworkers saying the sweetest things that made me tear up.  A good friend of mine made me a running shirt that displayed everything that is important to me in my life.  There was so much thought that went into that shirt. Another friend of mine put a personal play list together of every song I sing around the office and ones I like to dance to.  I feel so humbled by their thoughtfulness!

As cheesy as you may all think this is, I want to take time to write down a few things that I am thankful for.  I am thankful that I am saved and that God loves me and has a plan for me.  I am thankful for my amazing parents who think I am all that even when I am not.  I am thankful for friends who make me laugh, who love my kids, who tell me when I have pepper in my teeth, who defend me even when I am being big baby.  I am thankful for a job that is secure and one that has brought some special people into my life.  I am thankful for good health.  Despite being labeled as a lupus patient, I am labeled a child of the Most High!  I am thankful for the people who do the jobs no one else wants to do.  I am thankful for teachers, pastors, police officers, the military, construction workers,coaches, and child care givers.  I am thankful for a husband who tells me I am beautiful every day.  I am thankful for two boys who remind me that body noises are still funny and who remind me to have child-like faith. I am just thankful.  Boy I feel like it should be Thanksgiving!

I know there is not much depth to this post but this is what is on my heart.  I just want to remind everyone that being thankful can do your heart so good.  It will invade your spirit in a way that just makes you smile.  We can only complain so much.  There is much more to be thankful for.  Do not let two little words escape your vocabulary.  Those two little words can make the biggest difference.  Teach those words to your kids and shout them from the roof tops.

God Bless & THANK YOU for reading this post!

Hope

 Psalm 107:1"Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever." (NIV)