Tuesday, August 27, 2013

My time is [NOT] my own

I spent the better part of today toting my baby to a doctor appointment then heading off to the social security office to request a new card for my newly adopted son, Cannon. And as everyone will tell you, waiting hours on end at a government run office is pure bliss. Heaven on Earth, really.

OK, so I lied. I have never met a single soul that enjoys crowded waiting rooms at the DMV, "comfortable" plastic chairs at the Social Security office, or rubbing shoulders with sweaty strangers at Jury Duty. Seriously, I grow impatient sitting in my living room trying to even CALL a government office! Thoughts of better ways to spend my day fill my mind, make me impatient, and (if I'm honest with myself) probably even a bit unpleasant!

Well, this got me to thinking of a book I recently read, The Screwtape Letters, by the insightful C.S. Lewis. In the book a Senior Demon by the name of Screwtape writes letters to his nephew (who is a junior tempter) with lessons on how to draw a man's heart away from God. He teaches his nephew the subtle art of temptation in the hopes of winning that soul from the "enemy" (God, in the case of the demons).

I bring up this book not to say that he workers at these offices are demon-like and provoking me to sin...but because there was one particular temptation technique from Screwtape which has been imprinted on my mind since I first read the book. One that I have to remind myself of frequently when I feel "my time" is being robbed from me and I become anxious...without further adieu, here is the excerpt:

"...He [humans] regards his time as his own and feels it is being stolen. You [Screwtape is addressing his nephew here, the junior tempter] must therefore zealously guard in his mind the curious assumption 'my time is my own'. Let him have the feeling that as he starts each day as the lawful possessor of twenty-four hours..."

I am so often blind and forget God's truth:

"Then God said, 'Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years'"
Genesis 1:14

Genesis 1:14 reminds me that GOD CREATED TIME. Time imposes no constraints over Him, for He is eternal. And if He is the literal keeper of time, why should I live each day as if I own the 24 hours set before me? What right have I to be upset when I feel "my time" is being wasted?

Another quote from the Demon Screwtape to his nephew:

"The man can neither make, nor retain, one moment of time; it all comes to him by pure gift; he might as well regard the sun and moon as his chattels. He is also, in theory, committed to a total service of the enemy; and if the enemy appeared to him in bodily form and demanded that total service for even one day, he would not refuse. He would greatly be relieved if that one day involved nothing harder than listening to the conversation of a foolish woman [or wait in line at the social security office, DMV, etc...] ; and he would be relieved almost to the pitch of disappointment if for one half-hour in that day the enemy said 'now you may go and amuse yourself'. Now if he thinks about his assumption for a moment, even he is bound to realize that he is actually in this situation every single day."

Every. Single. Day.

Each second of each day belongs to the Lord. I need to commit the use of my time to Him. Whether I am preparing dinner for my family or sitting at the DMV. My time is His.

I am (lastly) reminded of Mordecai's advice to Queen Esther:

"Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
Esther 4:14

Esther of course was in a position of much higher authority and power than most of us...or was she? We have orders from the Eternal King, orders to make disciples of all nations and spread the Good News with others.

 So perhaps my small talk with the man next to me at the Social Security office wasn't such a waste of time after all. Maybe my encouraging words of adoption to the mom in the doctor's office wasn't just "filler" during my waiting room stay. I hope the words and kindness I shared in these moments would somehow be pleasing to my King. And I pray that I am constantly reminded that my time is not my own, because perhaps I am here (or there, or anywhere for that matter) for "such a time as this"...

 Highly recommended reading (along with the Bible of course!)

Friday, August 9, 2013

So I started a Mommy group :)

God has laid this desire on my heart for some time now, but I have been putting it off thinking that the Lord would find someone better qualified for the job. I didn't feel like the right candidate to do this type of task. I don't know a ton of people and I have been sooo lazy lately (I sat for a minute trying to find a nicer word than "lazy", but let's just call it like it is...You all are friends, you understand). Well, turns out God was not trying to find someone more "qualified" because He has all the qualities necessary to accomplish the task- He just needed me to submit. So here I am, at His feet praying I don't make a fool of myself...but then again, it's not about me is it?

I'd love to sit and write all about my goals and vision for this group...but I I think I will just copy and paste the e-mail I just sent out to our friends whom have joined thus far (mind you- I am not copying and pasting out of laziness, this is purely a strategy of efficiency as I am in the rare and coveted "golden hour" of when both boys are napping and I can actually shower!) So here it is:

Hi Friends!

First and foremost- Thank you for joining this group! I know all of your schedules are different (Some of you work full time, many of you have munchkins who are in school already, and most of us live in different cities!). I understand this will greatly affect the events you are able to attend-no worries! This group is not meant to add stress to your life (I don't want to add "one more thing to do" to your busy schedule!), but I think it is important for moms to gather together and encourage one another in good works:

"24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching." (Hebrews 10:24-25)

I am blessed to be a stay at home mom, but sometimes I "stay at home" a little too much! By the time Matt gets home I am exhausted and shove the responsibility of the kids on him. I was doing this way more often than I would like to admit. One thing I noticed though was when I got out of the house and enjoyed the company of other moms, my days went exceedingly better! That being said, it's usually a struggle to get anywhere on time and squeeze in my shower before noon (but when I do it is well worth it!) I am encouraged and refreshed hearing your stories and advice. I am comforted to hear your harrowing tales of potty training messes, or sweet encouragement of dealing with temper tantrums. You all "spur me on toward love and good deeds :)

I hope this group will allow us to make those get togethers easier to plan. I hope it will allow us to get to know more mommies in our same positions. And mostly, I hope it will continue to transform us into the image of Christ as we allow Him to work through us as wives, mommies, and friends.

 In closing I ask that you please pray (for our own fellowship with our Father, for one another, and for glorifying Him through this outreach.)

[end italics :)]

I am excited for what God has planned here and look forward to updating the blog more often :)
Thanks for reading friends!

(I know, that is quite an abrupt ending to this post, but the "golden hour" is waning and I need to take advantage of it before it's gone!)

Link to group: http://www.meetup.com/Munchkins_and_moms/

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Ephesians 3:20

I previously wrote how Ephesians 3:20 spoke to my heart at a women's retreat two years ago. That was just a few months before my precious son Cannon was being brought into this world. Just a few months away from God giving me the desires of my heart. We had been praying for a child for several years and our miracle came through many tears, but in God's perfect timing and glory! Little did I know God still wanted to go above and beyond even that miracle...

I haven't posted here for so long and now it's time for the update: God gave us a second son! Our second miracle did not come from my body, he is once again coming from the foster adoption system in California. He was a HUGE SURPRISE to us! We were getting ready for a big move to North Dakota (where Matt had been living and working for the past 9 months away from us) when I got a phone call. I was just out poppin' some tags (I am a thrifting addict) when I got a call from our social worker asking if we would be willing to take a 3 day old infant, the biological, 100% blood brother of our son Cannon, I nearly dropped the phone! I called Matt and we both jumped at the offer to have another baby! We arranged for him to come home and made sure it would be OK for us to move out of state with him (as the move was set to happen in just a few weeks). Everything was OK'd and our son Hunter came home.

Just a couple days after Hunter was home I received devastating news--the  social workers had made a mistake and our new son Hunter would not be able to move out of state with us. They informed me they would be coming to remove him from our home the next day. I couldn't believe it. I sobbed uncontrollably. Matt was still in North Dakota and did his best to stay strong for us, but we were both heartbroken. That night as I slept with Hunter on my chest, Matt called and told me we weren't going to give him up. He chose to quit his job in ND and move back home to keep our family together. In May Matt came home for good, we are so blessed to have our family whole again!

God is so good and I am so thankful He is the one who knows all our ways. He knows how to draw us closer to Him, and the gifts He has planned for us go exceedingly, abundantly, above all I can imagine. HE IS GOOD!