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The Mundane Morning and The Truth

There is a routine that happens during the fall/winter mornings at my house.
I confess, it’s pretty sad.

It begins with my alarm going off multiple times.
I set 4 different ones.
This is after my husband’s has already gone off.
And 99% of the time, I still don’t wake up until he comes to gently nudge me awake, encouraging me to get up before I am late again.

For the record – I am always late again.

In a rush I get up, get dressed, get my make up on, rush to prepare my lunch, check to make sure the manchild has everything he needs for school. Without fail, I always forget something.
My water. My coffee. My lunch bag. My phone. My breakfast shake.

Finally with everything in tow, our manchild calls out to his dad
“love you dad, hope you have a good day!”
My husband wishes him a good day at school and calls out “Love you too”.
Then I give my hubs a good-bye kiss and follow the manchild out the door.

Getting into the actual car becomes another whole ordeal.

Holding a water bottle, a coffee cup, a purse, a breakfast shake,
and a lunch bag proves to be too much.
Without a word, I hold out my coffee cup to the manchild
who takes it and places it in the cupholder.
Then he takes the water bottle while I twist and turn to set my bags in the back.
Most mornings he or my husband have already cranked the car, so it’s warm and defrosted.
On the rare morning they don’t, at this point my son and I scramble back out of the car to wipe and scrape off any snow or ice.

Once we are in and actually ready to take off,
he is in charge of making sure my coffee doesn’t spill.
He turns on the radio, I drink my breakfast down.
Then I’ll toss the empty shake cup down and reach my hand out, he hands me my coffee.
After a bit of coffee we may pray together about the day ahead, or just chit-chat.
Sometimes we sing along to the radio, or we laugh and poke fun
at each other about who made who late.
Some mornings one or the other or both of us are grumpy, maybe instead of “I love yous” we left the house with harsh words and criticism.
Those mornings we ride in silence until it’s time for him to get out of the car.
No matter what, he always turns down the radio as he gets out of the car,
I always say “love you, have a good day”.
And he says “love you too, bye”.

Last week, in the midst of one of these mornings
when we reached the point he was handing me my coffee,
after protecting it from spilling as we bumped over all the potholes on the dirt road,
it struck me.

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I’ll only be taking him to school for two and half more years.
A little less if he has a car to drive himself his senior year.

At the stop sign, as he was checking with his head turned away from me
calling out “nothings coming”, I just took the moment in.
The rushing. The hecticness. The frustration and the laughter at it.
The reality that these mornings are coming to their end, this season of our lives together
as parents and child is winding down.
I took a deep breath to steady my emotions and pulled onto the road.
In the quiet I said gently, “I’m going to miss these mornings with you kid.”

Because it’s true. I am.

I only have one biological child, this manchild of mine. My husband adopted him,
he’s our son growing into a young man.
I have a step-daughter who is already out in the adult world with her own son.
In a few years time my husband and I will enter into what people call “the empty nest”.

Which is a lie. 

That’s what the Lord has laid on my heart these last several months.
You see, my husband and I will not have an empty nest, because we are still here.
He and I, we are the ones who will be living in this nest of ours.
With a puppy, a kitty. And the fish if I can remember to feed them. (RIP greenie).

I was too young when I had my son. The teenage mother statistic.
The truth is, I’ve never been an adult without being a mom.
It’s terrifying to think about.
My entire “adult” life, every decision I made, every thing I did,
I had to consider this son of mine.
I didn’t do it perfectly by any means.
I have volumes I could share with you on all the wrong things a parent can do
because I’ve done it.
However, I did try my very best. I still do.

So as my son is preparing to step out into the adult world, in a way, I am too.
For the first time, I’ll be an adult without a child at home.
My husband and I will have a wide open future before us.
Which is why I think the Lord is telling me to start nesting.

Preparing the nest for the hubs and I. 

I remember nesting before my son was born.
It was instinctual. A God given instinct to prepare myself
and the space I had to bring this boy into the world.
Now I am nesting because my son is becoming an adult.
This is a God given instruction to my heart,
to prepare myself and the space I share with my husband
as we prepare to release this manchild into adulthood.

I don’t fully know what this will look like. I just know that it’s happening.
Writing helps me to process things, and this life transition is both painful and exciting.
My mother’s heart is sad and struggling with what life will look like
when the manchild is no longer in this nest.
My wife’s heart is excited about the future adventures with my husband,
the two of us having precious time together we’ve never had before.

I know I’m not alone in this life transition.

In the upcoming years I am praying the Lord will place women in my path who have gone down it before me, who can encourage me and lift me up.
I have women in my life who are going through it at the same time as I am,
and I am praying we will be an encouragement to one another.
All this so that ultimately, one day, I will be the woman who has gone through it
and can love on a younger sister facing it.

I guess that’s why I’m choosing to blog about this.
To tell the mother hearts out there, your nest is not empty, and you are not alone. 

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One Word 2016 – Good bye 2015

One Word 2016“The world is full of broken people. 
And I am one of them.” 

A few years ago I wrote a New Year’s Eve blog post with that statement as my opening line. This New Year’s Eve I found myself thinking of those exact words again.

For some people 2015 was a spectacular year full of accomplishments, wonder, and memories to cherish for the rest of their lives. For others, it was nothing more and nothing less than another year gone by.
And for the rest of us, there were beautiful moments we hold closely guarded in our hearts, and moments that nearly broke our hearts and left them shattered.Read More »

Prayer Running and Living Room Worship

 

2 Corinthians 12 9Sometimes I have these amazing “God Moments” and I debate sharing them. I never want to sound like I’m aiming spotlights at myself and saying “Check me out!” because I am seriously so not worthy of any spotlight.

I feel compelled to share tonight because I want to give God all the Glory.
I pray He will use my experience tonight to comfort and encourage someone else, because I know I am not alone.

I’ve faced some trials recently that have been very discouraging to my spirit.
Honestly, I’m “in the trials” now.
I’m not writing this from the other side saying “I made it through”. I write it while still walking through the storm that changes from drizzle to downpour to roaring thunder to drizzle again.
It’s a season of pruning for me in so many ways and honestly, for anyone who has been through a season of pruning or is going through it now, you know what I mean when I say it can be very painful at times.Read More »

WellnessUp: The Serious Question You Need to Ask

This health journey for me isn’t anything new. Let’s face it, I’ve done “Weigh-In Wednesdays” and “Wellness Wednesdays” and “Stand In Front Of The Mirror Eating Ice Cream Wednesdays“.  I joined Facebook groups focused on food and exercise. And while I have participated in and LOVE challenge groups, my challenge is ultimately me.

Just me.

Last year, something snapped. That snapping bleed into this year, and as I find myself coming out more and more on the other side of it, I realize that my overall Wellness is truly important.  My picture of Wellness incorporates so very many things. So many things that trying to even classify them or organize them in and of itself can become overwhelming.Read More »

Feminine Appeal: GET THIS BOOK WOMEN

HerReadingHave you ever read a book and find yourself telling people, “I seriously recommend THIS book“? A book you go back to, re-read, and use as a tool to check your clarity and intention?

Be prepared.
Because this book review is about THAT kind of book.

The book is Feminine Appeal: Seven Virtues of a Godly Wife and Mother by Carolyn Mahaney.

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The title alone had me intrigued.

The foreword is written by Nancy Leigh DeMoss, and while I’m not always a fan of name dropping, I’m dropping this one because I typically skip over the foreword and jump straight to the meat of a book. Seeing DeMoss take the time to write the foreword however slowed me down. It got me pumped. It got me thinking about what it means to be a woman. So don’t skip the foreword. It’s a great start to the journey you are about to take with this one.Read More »

WIW: Seek and Ye Shall Find

It’s been one week since I’ve refocused my health journey. I think whenever we step out and make a new commitment to something, we leave ourselves wide open for everything that can go wrong to go wrong. The question is do we keep adjusting the strings of our life to get that beautiful sound of victory, or in frustration do we twist too tightly and hear the “boing” of another string broken? I guess it’s time to Weigh In….

Weigh In Wednesday

Faith

I’ve spent a little time each day praying the Lord to speak truth to me about my health, my idols, where I’m being deceived on my quest for a healthier lifestyle, and truth about other areas of my life which are lacking discipline. I also spent this week going back to the Made To Crave study and very slowly and prayerfully reading through the introduction.Read More »

When People Call God “Daddy”

Limitless Life Photo CoverFrom Orphan to Adopted.

As I started this chapter, in the back of my mind I was already assuming “this won’t really apply much to me”. Then I came across the story Pastor Gray shares of a person who left him an anonymous comment that he shouldn’t call God “daddy” because it hurts people.

Pausing for a moment, I must share I have often felt my insides tighten when I hear people refer to God as their “daddy”. I know God is my “Father”, and I have no hesitations calling Him my “Father” – but daddy? It bothers me. I find myself on guard. I think it must be disrespectful. It must be unworthy of who He truly is. How can we take our God who is Holy and Sacred and then dare to bring him down to a level of “daddy”?

Part of Pastor Gray’s response to this anonymous person was the following;

In the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) as well as in the apostle Paul’s letters, Jesus and Paul both use the Aramaic word Abba to describe God the Father. The Word Abba is equivalent to the English word daddy or papaAbba is a term that paints a picture of the intimacy that God the Father desires with His children. Abba paints the picture of a tenderhearted, love-filled father reaching down to pick up and hug his child.

I was prickled. Prickled because according to this response, to call God “Abba” or “daddy” is an extremely intimate moment between He as the Father and I as His child. I was prickled because I don’t call God “daddy”.
Then I cried.
I cried because I wondered why don’t I call Him “daddy”? What was I missing here?

So – no offense to Pastor Gray – I needed to look into this a bit deeper.

I discovered the number of times God is called Father far outweighs the number of times He is called “Abba”.
There are only three places in the New Testament where God is specifically called Abba: Mark 14:36, Romans 8:15, and Galatians 4:6.
The rest of the time the word Father is used, and often is used as Father in heaven: Matthew 5:45 (and throughout Matthew), Mark 11:25, and Luke 11:13.

Then I learned when Jesus is praying, many believe that when we read Father in heaven Jesus prays this with the implication of Abba.

I pulled out a Scofield Referenced Edition Bible (ironically loaned to me by my wonderful Father-in-law) and  looked up God (His Names) in the Subject Index.  Under “Father” all the scriptures mentioned above are listed together.
In other words, it doesn’t differentiate between Father in heaven and Abba, both point back to God as Father.

Then I came across this:

Is God ever addressed as “Friend” in Scripture? I wondered when I recalled the line of the song “As the Deer” by Martin Nystrom that goes, “You’re my Friend and you are my Brother, even though you are a King….” Several times Abraham is called “the friend of God” (2 Chronicles 20:7; James 2:23). Jesus calls the disciples “friends” (John 15:14-15). In mutual human friendships, at least, each party is free to call the other “friend.” It stands to reason, then, that God is our Friend, in the sense that a person might be said to be a “friend of the king” or a “friend of the president.” Certainly the metaphor is used in Scripture, but only one way, of us being God’s friends. No where is God addressed as “Friend” (except with heavy irony in Jeremiah 3:4). Perhaps that’s just accidental. But perhaps it is this way so that we might not presume on God’s friendship as a relationship between equals.

Perhaps this is the reason that Jesus taught us the friendship and love of God in a metaphor of a greater to a lesser, of a dear Father to a beloved son or daughter. Perhaps this is why Jesus taught us to call God “Abba.” ~Dr. Ralph F. Wilson

So what does this all mean?

To me, it means that I am a friend of God, and He is my Father. Why do I not call Him daddy sometimes when I pray to Him? Because instead of realizing that God IS the standard for “daddy” and is the perfect Holy daddy, I thought to call him daddy would be to bring Him down to a human standard of daddy. I know there are some adults in the world who still call their Father’s “daddy”, I’m not one of those adults. Earthly fathers and their children don’t always have intimate relationships. Many can have relationships, and even pretty good ones, just not intimate.

God is not an Earthly father. He is a Heavenly Father and He wants an intimate relationship with me.
Jesus wants me to have that intimate relationship with His Abba, through Him.

I remember the first time my son called my husband “dad”. He used the word tentatively, watching my husband out of the corner of his eye to see if he would be corrected or rebuked. His heart was not coming from a place of disrespect or mocking. He genuinely wanted to call this man “dad”. My husband smiled and answered his question. My husband never forced my son to call him dad, and never corrected him during those months when my son went back and forth between “dad” and “Jim”.
Now I can’t remember the last time my son called my husband “Jim”. My husband did adopt my son, and my son calls him “dad” without second guessing it or waiting for rebuke for using the word. He trusts that this man is his dad.

So I guess that is my big ah-ha moment. We are adopted children of God through the blood of His son Jesus Christ. Maybe for some of us, it just takes us a little longer to trust that we can, when we need to, humbly come before our Father and call Him “daddy”. He is our Father in Heaven. He is our Abba. Our Daddy.

And I am no longer prickly. 🙂

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A Homemade Advent Gift Calendar

This year after we pulled out our Christmas decorations, I realized something. Somewhere out there,
there is a box which contains
our Christmas Tree Skirt,
more hanging blue and white star lights,
and our Advent calendar.

A box that I apparently threw out over the summer during a basement cleaning frenzy.
(This is what happens when I watch too many episodes of “Hoarders”.)

Luckily I scored a beautiful and simple Christmas Tree skirt for $3,
and we really didn’t need anymore lights.

All that was left was the Advent Calendar.

So of course, I turned to Pinterest.
I browsed so many calendars they all started to become merged and blurry.
I knew I wanted to make one.
Knew it needed to be easy enough to make in four days
(yes, I waited until the last minute),
and knew I wanted it to be from my heart.

One morning while drinking coffee at the table and thinking back over the very many different ideas floating through my head,
this is what came to me.

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Now, a few things to go over.

1. I totally did not realize until AFTER I made my Advent Calendar, that they are only numbered from 1-24. Which is OK. I like the idea of having one final one to open Christmas Morning. I chose to have the Christmas Story of the birth of Christ included in my packages, so it will be nice to share that Christmas morning.

2. Do not spend all afternoon working on this, just to forget and leave out the opened Lego box for your son to find when he gets home from school.

3. Hug your son for agreeing to act surprised anyway.

There you have it!

I love it! I loved coloring clothes pins with my boy yesterday! I love seeing the cheerfulness of it hanging on the wall, and my son’s cheerfulness at having little packages to open every other day! (His step-sister doesn’t live with us, however, when she comes she will have the even numbers to catch us up!)

It was fun, and it was easy! I LOVE EASY!

Anyway, I hope everyone is having a lot of fun, filled with a lot of love this Christmas!
Do you have an Advent Calendar? Have you made one? Totally share if you have, I’d love to know/see other crafts! Or, if you use this for inspiration and come up with something completely different!

Either way, if you will recall from my earlier post, I LOVE CHRISTMAS!

And I love having an Advent Calendar to bring a little Christmas joy each day.

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