Sunday, November 20, 2011

Bed time sweetness

Some of my favorite moments each day happen at bed time... I don't think much can top the feeling of Tommy's little arms wrapped around my neck as I sing him "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus there's just something about that name." Many times his husky little voice sings the name of "Jesus" right along with me. Often he interrupts the song by giving me a kiss right on the mouth. As I lay him down in his crib, he smiles up at me while I pray over him -- his eyes watching me intently until I am done. Then, he just rolls over - trusting the world is right. Some of Phoebe's most theological questions happen at bed time. "Mommy, does Jesus love Bubby? Mommy? Daddy? Me?" "Mommy, does Jesus like candy?" "Mommy, is Jesus done painting the baby in your belly?" I love watching her slowly getting to know her savior. I also love to pray with her. You never quite know who she will want to pray for ... and it is amazing when she does ask to pray for a friend or relative she hasn't brought up in a while - how timely the prayers are. I think the spirit whispers in Phoebe's ear. How humbling and magnificent all at the same time.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The most spiritual thing I do each day might be...

I have been realizing more and more lately that I am a control freak. I want my house to be immaculate because I like to control my surroundings. I want to make sure I have all my "to dos" checked off because it shows I controlled my actions. I want an orderly scheduled week to control how I spend my time. Is my house immaculate. NO. Is my to do list done. NO. Does my life ever stick to a schedule. NO. But oh how I work to make it so... Which brings me to the most spiritual thing I do each day might be ... REST! God is showing me little bit by little bit that to rest is to allow Him control. When I rest, I have to stop trying, working, doing, striving, plotting, prodding, pushing, grasping for control. Rest requires trusting that God knows what He is about. He does have my best interest at heart and it just might not be an immaculate house.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Knowing what I am about ...

Though I have always wanted to stay at home when my children were small, becoming a stay-at-home mom was a harder adjustment than I had bargained for. I went from having a job with and an outlined description, set goals, and a yearly review to a job with little definition besides "feed the kids, dress the kids, make sure the kids sleep." To function well, I need goals. I need parameters. I need a way to evaluate myself. One night over a much needed break at Starbucks, God prodded me - "Write your own job description." My first reaction was, "Oh God - that is just silly." Still the prodding - "No really write your own job description." So with His guidance, I did. May I say that He knew it would help set me free of my own unrealistic expectations of myself and the guilt that would come at the end of the day when I couldn't see concrete results besides the kids were still breathing. As a parent, many days hold few concrete results - a report turned in on time, a sales goal met. We shape little lives, that one day will live on without us. We sow seeds now that won't bear fruit until weeks, years, or decades later. But when we fall on the couch exhausted at night with the house a wreckage around us - it is so hard to remember that "Today I did my job well." So if you are interested here is my job description: Growing as a disciple and lover of Jesus. Loving and spurring my husband in Christ. Raising my kids to love God, love themselves, love each other, and love the world. Providing a refuge for my family in the craziness of ministry. Being healthy physically and emotionally. Inviting others to share life in Christ by creating community.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Two thoughts together?

As a mom of young children there are days where I can't seem to put two logical thoughts together let alone write a cohesive paragraph. When I blog, I want to have something profound or witty to say. Needless to say -- I haven't blogged recently. This pressure I put on myself is part and parcel of my habit of demanding myself to perform well -- always. But you know there are days this lady doesn't even get into the shower until 3 p.m. or later. Praise be to God who loves us not for what we do but for who we are. He rejoices most in us not when we turn in a perfect performance but when we delight in Him and just reach out for His embrace. I don't really care that Phoebe says roon instead of room or that she runs into wall after wall because she fails to look ahead. What I do care about is that she feels loved, secure, and wants to give her mommy hugs.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Heard around the Fuerst house

Chatter fills our house because of our Phoebe. She commentates on all she sees and does. It is a delight most of the time. I also think it is teaching Tommy a lot too. Some Phoebeisms ... "I love you all time." "That's my game...." In reference to doing something incredibly silly. "You nasty butt." From what I can this is a term of endearment to her brother. "Oh you are so silly!" "Come ON!" Said as a source of frustration to anything whether object or person. "Nasty McNasty" In reference to poopy diapers or sometimes her brother. All baby dolls are Cassie. "What's that kid doing?" Her constant question. "Kid" Every one is a kid no matter if they are 1 or 100. "Less you" instead of bless you. Words Tommy says ... Daddy Jet Shoe Right Back (we say that a lot round here) Cherrio Sit down (because he is constantly standing on things) Cup Uh oh

Monday, June 13, 2011

The gift of housework?

I just finished reading "The Quotidian Mysteries" by Kathleen Norris, thanks to the recommendation of a wise friend. Norris spoke many words I needed to hear.

She writes, "Like liturgy, the work of cleaning draws much of its meaning and value from repetition, from the fact that it is never completed, but set aside until the next day. Both liturgy and what is euphemistically termed domestic work also have an intense relation with the present moment, a kind of faith in the present that fosters hope and makes life seem possible in the day-to-day."

I rarely find hope in the never-ending cycles of laundry, dishes, and picking up after my children, do you? But Norris reminds me over and over in her little book that such acts should remind me that it is NOW that God is present. Just like laundry is never ending, so is the grace of my savior. He is as present as the detergent. He invites me to think on Him in such moments, and not zone out or begrudge the action.

Just as I must prepare meals everyday, so must I also find nourishment in the Triune God daily. The Father created our work. The Son experienced the daily grind. The Spirit wants to give us life through such actions - no matter how domestic.