Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Do you remember your dreams?

Do you remember your dreams?

No,  I don't mean the kind of dreams you have after binge watching The Strain and then trying to sleep . . . .
not that I would know anything about that.

I mean the kind of dreams you had when you were young and going to change the world.  The kind of dreams you had before life came along and took over; before you had lunches to pack, car pool to drive, work to get to, 8000 after school activities to chauffeur the kids to, laundry to fold, house to be cleaned, you get the picture.

I am starting to remember. . . It's like waking up and knowing you had a dream; things are familiar, you just can't pin it down.  I've at least begun to remember that a long time ago, I think, I had dreams.

This morning was our church's first MOPS meeting of the year.  And I watched as over fifty mommies wrestled to get their preschoolers, kindergartners and newborn babies into their classrooms. Then they took a deep breath, emotions brimming over the edges of their hearts, as they headed into the MOPS meeting.

Each mom carrying a different chaotic blend of emotions:
anxious to meet new friends
nervous they won't fit in
wondering if any other moms didn't get time to shower that morning
grateful for a hot breakfast they didn't have to cook
worried that their little one won't stop crying.
guilty for taking those two little hours, once every two weeks. to themselves
Some moms in tears from the sheer relief of not having anyone hanging on or demanding something from them.

I remember those days well  - you will survive, I promise, and MOPS can help!
My dreams during that season of life generally revolved around sleep: will they sleep, can I sleep? With the occasional dream of an uninterrupted adult conversation thrown in for good measure.

But now, in this season, I am beginning to ask God once again to reveal His dream for me.  Psalm 37:4 tells us to, "Take delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart".
 I want the desires of my heart to be HIS.  I want to pursue and be passionate about the dreams He has put before me.

 So I am asking Him daily, what is it today Lord?

And trying to be faithful.

While I am not always sure what the big picture looks like, Psalm 37 gives me a good place to start.

The first eight verses all begin with basic instructions:

Do not fret
Trust in the Lord and do good
Take delight in the Lord
Commit your way to the Lord
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him
Refrain from anger and turn from wrath

So while I wait for the hazy,distant dream to become a vivid desire of my heart, I know what God has laid before me for today.

A day to trust, love, and follow Him, waiting patiently, and knowing He has the future in His hands.

Do you remember your dreams?

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Middle

So my family has a new favorite TV show, The Middle.  I have enjoyed it for years but in the past few months the rest of the crew has gotten on board. So we have been binge watching The Middle almost every night (the eldest just started another episode while I type).
Yes, currently our DVR has over 30 episodes of the show either waiting to be watched, or re-watched . . .don't judge!

We are huge Patricia Heaton fans and really the show just cracks us up.  The Heck family is just dysfunctional enough to make you feel pretty good about yourselves, but close enough to reality for us to relate.

And I love it because, yes you guessed it, they're messy!  They forget things (birthdays, anniversaries, . . . sometimes children). They mess up, mix up and sometimes give up, but never on each other.

Instead they wrestle with the same cultural myths we so often judge our own lives by:
The Perfect Family
The Perfect House
The Perfect Job
The Perfect Kids

They, like the rest of us, drop the ball, get distracted by the little things, struggle to make ends meet, are plagued by the "what ifs" in life, and worry about what others think of them.  How often do we as families get caught up in that?
What if Johnny gets cut from the team?
How are we going to pay for that insurance bill?
Do we live on the right side of town, will they like us?
Do we spend out of our budget to keep up with our neighbors and friends?
Do we sacrifice peace for prestige?

Matthew 6:25- 34 pretty much lays out where God stands on these issues (my thoughts in itallics)

25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? 
Ugh no! and yet how much time do I spend worrying? There is a new app called Sleep Cycle. It charts your sleep habits, REM, etc and then tells you how much time each night you spend spend in each. It also tells you how much of your time is spent in bed. I have been using the app for 9 days and have currently spent the equivalent of 3 days in bed. This is depressing enough (especially since I am still exhausted) but I was wondering what would happen if I could chart how much of my time was spent worrying? I am pretty sure I DON'T want to know.
28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?  
Ouch, so little faith. I don't mean to be without faith. But if I am honest, when I am worrying, faith doesn't even factor into the equation. Because if faith was in the equation, then well, there wouldn't be a need to worry. God has always provided and He promises he always will. But I have to sacrifice my idea of perfect, for His.
31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God[a] above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

I am pretty sure the Hecks would agree with that; today's troubles are enough for today.
 So I will continue to enjoy watching them battle their everyday battles, ones I can relate to (sometimes too well).  But in my own life, when I am feeling defeated, overwhelmed, discouraged I am going to cling to His promise.  Seek Him first, live according to His priorities, and He will give us all that we need.

Gotta run - the family has started an episode without me!