Monthly Archives: September 2012

The Master Planner

O Lord, you are my God;
  I will exalt you and praise your name,
 for in perfect faithfulness
 you have done marvelous things,
 things planned long ago. (Psalm 25:1)

I am a planner. You will rarely find me without my trusty little companion which I dote over, painstakingly planning the days and weeks ahead like a master chess player strategizing each move in a championship game.

It’s no surprise then when I see my day unravel, like a stray ball of yarn discovered and enjoyed by a playful kitten, I get a bit miffed.  This is one of the reasons it brings me great comfort and peace to remember that my God is the one who is The Master Planner.

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If we are just one, we can break

A few years ago, when my kids and I were out driving and had time in the car, I decided it would be good to review some safety rules with them.

It had been a while since I’d done this and I wanted to talk to them about what to do in different situations.

When I’d done this before, I’d usually ask them a question like, “What would you do if a stranger asked you to go with him or her?” and after they’d answer, we’d talk about it.

This time, as I began talking to them about the importance of sticking together in crowded places like the movie theater or the mall, my daughter chimed in from the back seat…

“Yeah, because if we are just one, we can really break, but if we’re together, it’s not so easy.”

Exactly.

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Say Cheese! (Cropping Mommy Guilt Out of the Picture)

My CameraPictures never lie.

I don’t know who first said that, but I have plenty of pictures tucked away of early motherhood that fail to reveal the whole truth.

Looking back at photos snapped when my three girls were teeny-tiny, I see picture after picture of me smiling. Happiness etched on my face – like being a mom was just the easiest thing ever.  They do not show the depression. They do not show the pressure I felt to get everything right. You cannot see the mommy guilt standing by my side in any of them. But it’s there. My constant companion.

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The Language of Worship

“En nombre de Padre, de Hijo, y de espiritu santo.”

The waters stirred as the dark haired gentleman followed the pastor into the baptismal pool. The pastor introduced himself and this gentleman to the congregation. Hundreds of eyes rested on these two as they readied to represent Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. “This man comes to us tonight to be baptized.” Those were the last words I understood.

The pastor then spoke beautiful Spanish as fluid as the water in which he stood. The words were engaging but made no sense to me. I followed as closely as possible listening for chunks of words I understood comparing them to the words I knew and expected at a baptism.

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You’re Already Enough

She spends fifteen minutes on her makeup, adding a bit of eyeshadow here, curling those eyelashes one more time. Her hair just isn’t laying right, as she checks the back for the fifth time with her handheld mirror. Maybe a turtleneck would work better with her hair down, or maybe she should just wear it up and out of the way today. She frets. She frowns. She feels paralyzed in this place of not-pretty-enough.

Across town, another woman is cleaning. Baseboards, windowsills, walls, doorknobs. She sees some spots on the window that she must have missed the day before. She sighs and reaches for the Windex and paper towels.

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OH WOW!

With dish in hand he stands in front of the cupboard. In a toddler voice he says, “M and M . . . M and M.”

As the magical bag appears his eyes open wide, and through a smile that covers his face he exclaims, “OH WOW!

My daughter blames me. It’s okay. We blame my Gram for my love of chocolate. I’ve decided it’s a Gram’s job. 🙂

Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. 

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Maybe all we really need…

It is so easy to look at our lives and only see what we are lacking.  Maybe it is money.  Maybe it is a lack-luster marriage.  Maybe it is opportunity in career or ministry.  Maybe it is friendship.  Maybe it is a family.

For me, though it seems trite, it was just about chicken tonight… or my lack of chicken.  My thoughts went something like this:  This curry dinner would taste so much better with chicken in it… I sure wish we had the money to run and pick up chicken so we wouldn’t only be eating veggies and rice… We just don’t have enough money to get the things we need when we need them.

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Spending Time with Him

One of my most remembered time management lessons came from my 7th grade homeroom teacher, Mr. Mariani.

He always told us that if we waste our 10-minute homeroom period, twice a day, we were wasting 20 minutes a day—time that could be spent on homework or studying. By the end of the school week, we would waste one hour and 40 minutes. I don’t remember exactly, but I imagine he calculated it out further—he was also my math teacher for two years.

Now, I’m pretty sure I didn’t view talking with my friends for 10 minutes as a waste of time, but somehow, the lesson stayed with me all these years.

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