It seems as though God has been sending me messages in 2 recurring themes. One is "Make Me central in your life--not first--central, all encompassing." The second: "Be still and know that I am God". The second theme is what I decided to write about today.
It has come to my attention that we live in not only a fast-paced society but in fact, a super-fast paced society. Carl told me yesterday about an altercation he witnessed in the drive-thru at McDonalds. This McDonalds has 2 drive-thru lanes. I, personally, haven't quite figured out the protocol for these new double drive-thru lanes. Fortunately, I haven't been to one when the lanes were both busy. Apparently, the conflict Carl witnessed occurred when there were 3 cars waiting in one single line and a car bypassed the cars waiting in the single line and proceeded to the open drive-thru order stand. The man in the car behind Carl got out of his car and walked to the woman's window pointing his finger at her and yelling at her to go to the back of the line. The woman fought back and put an end to the altercation by telling the man what he could go off and do to himself. To make it worse, the man had the word "Coach" on the back of his shirt and had his young daughter in the front seat witnessing the entire confrontation.
Not a pretty picture, I know. So, this is not about the 2 lane drive-thru etiquette, because I'm sure that could be argued all day. We live in such a fast paced society that now our fast food restaurants have doubled their lanes and if we have to wait in a doubled fast food lane it's such an inconvenience. If it's not a doubled lane then it's someone on the curb taking your order so you don't have to wait to get to the menu board to order and then the employees can your food even faster. What's going on?!?!? Why are we in such a hurry?
I don't know the answer. Many of us have kids with many activities. I'm a Frisco mom who is somewhat anti-after school activities and my kids are still busy! Some activities I can opt out of but 75% of them are school-related activities that my middle school kids are involved with and those can't be taken out of our schedule. Let's face it. If we're always rushing to be somewhere running around like chickens with our heads cut-off, our kids will be the same way. I honestly don't believe that's what God wants for me or my family. I'm telling you, He's been speaking to me. So I've been thinking....how do I slow the pace down? I don't think it's going to happen overnight but I do think it's absolutely necessary. So I'll attempt this challenge the way that's best for me--baby steps. First step--don't over schedule. That's where I'm starting. I have 6 calendars to keep track of and manage and I must be intentional in not overscheduling any of us. Second step--allow some white space. I need to be sure there are pockets of white space in our weeks so that we can have some down time to chill out and just be together. It's when we're together for chunks of time that those memories are made. Case in point, the sound of our miniature dachshund, Dixie, crunching on croutons under the table last night at dinner sent us all into laughter.
I'm not sure what the next steps will be but for me 2 steps are in the category of baby steps for me. I'll start there and let you know how it goes. I think another item I'll look into while I institute those baby steps will be double drive-thru lane protocol. ;-) So how about you? Is our fast-paced society having an effect on you and yours? Are you fed up enough to make some changes?
Saturday, September 10, 2011
Long time, no blog, I know. Life got busy there for a while and now my family and I have settled into our school routine. We were so sad when summer came to an end.
Life has thrown me some curves this past month and some of them have been painful. Why is parenting so hard and painful sometimes? For those of you who don't know, my oldest child is almost 13 and then I have an 11 year old, 9 year old and 8 year old. So, can you guess which child is throwing me the curves? I won't reveal who it is but if you're a parent with children these ages, I'm sure you can guess.
I've often said this in conversations with others and I'll say it now. God has used parenting to help me understand how much He loves me and how much it hurts Him when I don't obey Him. I can't tell you how many times I've been in the middle of lecturing one of my children and I can hear Him whispering to me, "That's exactly what I've been trying to communicate to you, precious Julie." Parenting is so humbling!
In some recent events I've come to realize how much truth there is to the fact that the training of our kids can't be done at school, church, or through any other institution other than within the walls of our home. Negative influences are everywhere and it's impossible to shelter our kids from them all.
One of the nuggets I learned in my Bible study this summer was that we are living in enemy territory. If we are followers of Christ we are literally walking around in this world with targets on our foreheads. If that's true for me why didn't I realize it's true for my kids who profess to be Christ followers? They, too, are walking around with little targets on their foreheads and the arrows are flying through the air in the hallways at school, on the playground, in the locker room, in the youth group, on the Internet, in the media, etc....
So part of me wants to crawl into fetal position on my bed and pull the covers over my head and then there is the part of me that cries out and says, "So do you really believe what you read in your Bible or what? Do you truly believe in a God who can move mountains and has already won the war? Do you really think He's giving up on your kids?"
And that's when God places that little mirror in front of me and says, "Julie, just like you wouldn't let any of your children give up on doing their best at school, or in their sport, or with their responsibilities, you can't give up on the task I've given you to train your children diligently, Biblically, and counter-culturally. I know it's hard. I know you won't get the most popular mom award and that some of your training may seem weird to even some of your Christian friends. Don't worry about all that. You stay close to me and take the time to hear my instructions and follow them and don't give up the fight."
After hearing those words, I take a big breath, shrug off the anxiety and control. that will only paralyze me. and remember, My God is big enough! There is nothing He can't do!!!!!
Posted by Julie C at 12:48 AM
Saturday, July 9, 2011
Ok, so I have a little confession to make...I am a craft addict. I get excited anytime I enter Hobby Lobby, Michaels, or JoAnns. I've been know to "browse" for hours. Of course those hours often result in a large purchase of many "small" items. I can't help myself. Oh, and the justification--"I'm saving money because it's cheaper for me to make gifts and home decor rather than to purchase it already made." The items you see in this picture are just a representation of all the projects I have waiting for me in my studio.
Can anyone out there relate? So it made me start realizing that it's all about immediate gratification. Here I am trying to teach my kids to not expect to get what they want immediately and I'm guilty of the same offense. If I'm going to be effective in training them to be patient and content with their circumstances, it must start with me.
As a result, I've decided to buckle down and complete the projects I have on hand rather than add to the pile that's collecting dust. Am I hesitant? Yes. Is it possible? Yes. Do I have the self-control to follow through? Only with God's help.
I know there are larger problems in the world, but this is the challenge I'm accepting today. To get to the simple life it takes baby steps.
Posted by Julie C at 8:20 PM
Saturday, July 2, 2011
I've contemplated the thought of having a blog for a couple of years now and I've finally decided to go for it. Those who know me know I always have something to say so I thought, why not get it out on the World Wide Web?
Today is a momentous day because my husband and I did something we never thought we'd do: we bought a minivan! Yes, it's still surreal as I type it out. Of course, it's a miracle we haven't purchased one before today since we are a family of 6. Nevertheless, it is quite momentous.
So why did we shun the minivan for so long? Well, it's the stigma, you know? However, I believe I've reached a point in my life where practicality and the comfort of my children sitting in the third row take precedence over any stigma I may fear. Bottom line: I'm a stay-at-home mom. I'm saying it loud and proud and now my vehicle is saying it loud for me as well.
I'm happy to say I'm content with who I am and what my life entails for me in this season I'm in. The Bible study I'm participating in right now has helped me embrace where I am in life and what God's purpose is for me at this time. I also believe another purpose He has for me is to help other women do the same.
So here we go. My first post on my first blog. I look forward to many more.
Posted by Julie C at 8:57 PM