Saturday, December 25, 2010

Perfect Christmas

Tonight I think I should blog; this is a day I want to remember. Not because it was over-the-top exciting, and not because I got any superly cool presents (although I do like my new Magic Mouse I am using as I write this!). Today was amazing instead because of how much I enjoyed the small things. The things that matter...

Bri and I slept in a bit while the kids opened stockings downstairs. When we came down, there was Lindsay, our dear "daughter" home between ministry assignments, playing a new game with the girls while the boys tried out a new video game. Christmas had arrived and they were so excited! The day was spent playing, assembling, mediating, baking, and keeping things to a manageable chaos. In all honesty, it wasn't perfect, but it was life with the ones I love and there was much joy. At times when I would come close to losing my patience with another demanding, hopped-up-on-sugar-and-presents child, I told myself that I would just let it happen and not try to control every moment. And so I didn't. On one of the most hectic and energy-sucking days of the year, there were very few cross words that came out of my mouth.

It is hard to know why things are changing. Surely a part of the reason is the ages of the kids: almost 11, 8, 6, and almost is becoming more manageable and fun. Maybe another part is now having my own life separate from home. Working has given me life I have not known as a mother and helps me appreciate so much more the time I have with my children. Perhaps I am simply realizing the brevity of life, that we don't have an unlimited store of Christmas days or any other days for that matter. I have come to see that all of life is a gift--every heartbeat, every laugh, every memory. There are no guarantees and I am so thankful for every moment. Whatever the reasons, things are different now than they have been in years past.

Today my heart was also more tuned to the gift of Christ. As we finished the advent calendar we talked about how there is nothing we need so much as Jesus, and that if we have him and nothing else, we have enough. In the future I want to build more service and giving into this day to continue to reinforce this message and to be living more as Jesus did. We have so much more than we need, and I pray that we will all care less and less about the "stuff" of Christmas.

Not an earth-shattering post, I know, and I don't even care if anyone reads it. I just had to write about this day so I can remember the Christmas that I was more focused on Christ, more grateful to be with my family, and less cranky than ever before. Finally, a small thank-you note to my Savior who came out of the endless universe he had fashioned with his own breath into a tiny planet to breathe the same air as I. A small and hopeless sinner I am, yet his love and grace have redeemed me and set me free. Praise you, Jesus Christ! There is no one like you.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Conversation With Jay

First let me just say: I am done working at Affinity Plus!!! I can't tell you the feeling of not having any more plates spinning above my head, just waiting to drop. I will miss the people I worked with and the members who were so incredible, but not the stress. I am so excited to have a more normal life, with time to cook, time to exercise, time to come home and eat dinner and talk with my family.

Closing the branch tonight was a NIGHTMARE. I was there until 7:58pm, finishing up everything I could, trying to get the vault to balance, and finding creative places for coin bags that got left out of the main vault (oops!). My phone had rung once to my knowledge, and I knew Brian was probably wondering if I was still alive. But I didn't think they were outside in the parking lot. Until I finally walked outside. There were Bri and the kids waiting for me to take me out to celebrate at Leann Chins. What a great surprise!

After dinner Jay asked if he could hop in the car with me to talk about some things that were troubling him. Absolutely! I love it when he shares the deep stuff! Over the next 20 minutes we talked mostly about how to know what God's direction for us is and I was in awe of some of the things that kid said...

"Sometimes I wonder if God is speaking to me."

"So God doesn't care so much about 'what' we do but 'how' we do it?"

"I can look to you and dad for direction because God has put you in charge to show me what to do." (wish I'd gotten that on tape for use in a couple of years!)

"Now I know what I need to do: be shaped more and more to grow into a man who will follow God."

At a couple of points my mouth was hanging open after what he had just said--I was not putting these words in his mouth--he was coming up with this out of his own heart! I told him he has always had a sensitivity toward spiritual and theological things (I have a picture of the Trinity drawn by Jay at age 3). What a joy to sit and process with him such mysteries as the will of God, how to make decisions, and the creation of the world! I don't have all the answers, which makes me nervous sometimes. But in my heart I know it's the journeying together that will give him a firm foundation, not the black-and-white and all-too-easy answers. I pray that he will continue to wrestle with these things with us, because there is nothing better!

Thank you, Jesus, for my remarkable Jaydon Fuller! Won't it be fun to watch him grow up together?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Better Start Blogging Again

It's been a year now since I blogged. Lots of life has happened. Is anyone out there still blogging?