inspiredness TM

Copyright 2013


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God of Wonders

Here in Colorado it is blazing hot, literally. Mountains, forests, homes are on fire. People are being forced out of their homes, memories are burning. I wake up with the smell of fire in my nose, the kids are coughing in their rooms. The street outside our house has a faint brown haze over it. And to think we aren’t even that close to the fires! What must those people who live at the base of the mountain feel like? Are their lungs burning? Kids ready for summer and running through the sprinklers stop, shade their eyes from the sun and watch as their surroundings are ablaze. It’s a scary time here in Colorado.

Rain drops have fallen only a few times in the last few weeks and most times they have evaporated before hitting the ground. Our grass is crunchy underfoot, dust under the swing set. It’s too hot to go outside, yet at our house it is too hot to stay inside as well. At lunch time it’s on average 90 degrees…inside, and about 100 degrees outside. About 10 years ago I would’ve packed up my things and headed to a cool library, bookshop or the pool at my former health club not returning to my house until after dark. These days, with 4 little kids I’m wracking my brain trying to figure out ways to keep them cool. I’m constantly worrying about whether they’re getting enough water, whether the littlest one is smothering in her bed during her nap. Images flood my head of walking into her room to find that her breath has left her hot little body. I can’t do this to my kids!

We have been spending a lot of time (and a lot of gas money!) in the car trying to stay cool. Driving and sitting, staying cool. We’ve been blessed by wonderful friends inviting us to their cool houses, acquaintances inviting us to their child’s birthday party at the local jumpy castle place. All the while my God-loving husband prays that someone takes mercy on us and invites us over while he is away at work for 48 hours at a time. His prayers are answered and that mom from the jumpy castle place walks up to me, gives me a card with her phone number and address and asks us to come over anytime! Praise God!

After all the driving, the heat, grouchy kids fighting from the minute they wake up I have no energy left in my brain or my body to do much. Yesterday, I resolved to keep all the kids down in our basement and stay home all day, even if it killed me! But something (God) told me to do otherwise and I called the mom from the jumpy castle place. Not wanting to burden her with taking care of my children at her house I packed up as much food as I could find and headed over to her place. She was amused at everything I brought…seems pretty normal to me! Then as I was changing the littlest one’s diaper on the floor of her family room she sat down and told me she had something for me.

A bit confused and taken aback I listened as she explained. She and her husband left the jumpy castle place after her only daughter’s 5th birthday…and they prayed for our family. They prayed that God’s will be done. She then handed me a gift card for $600 to Home Depot…for a swamp cooler! I looked at her, stunned, speechless and began bawling my eyes out! The minute I began to thank her she said, “Please don’t thank me, thank God…this is His will.”

Praise the Lord! He answers prayers according to His will. I have prayed many times for specific things only to be disappointed when my prayers weren’t answered accordingly. Those specific things weren’t in God’s will, however, and sometimes I later have learned why…and other times I am still wondering why. This is just one of many “wake up calls” that I have received from the Lord…He is listening, He does love me, He will take care of me and His will be done!

The mountains above the Colorado Air Force Academy on fire.

And to all those in Colorado Springs and elsewhere I am praying for you.

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Walk with Him Wednesdays: Sacrifice

“The next 3 weeks, as we walk with Him towards Easter, might we consider: The Practice of Sacrifice. We look forward to your thoughts, stories, ideas….”~Ann Voskamp

I thought I knew what ‘sacrifice’ meant when I became a mother. I filled my head with the idea that if I hadn’t taken a shower for three {or more} days that was sacrifice. If I fed my children before I even attempted to feed myself that was sacrifice. If I cleaned, cooked, played, read book after book before I thought of taking a break {and sometimes this meant just using the bathroom}…these were sacrifices.

Yes, it’s true…these are all sacrifices of sorts. But really in all these “sacrifices” I’ve sacrificed myself and led myself down a very rough road. A road that took me to the depths of depression, thoughts of suicide, feelings of hopelessness. I thought I could do it all…be “super mom.” And when I finally wore myself down to the very earth that I could no longer stand on, all the pretending I had done…pretending to have it all together…gave way and left me vulnerable.

Vulnerable is not a spot I like to be in. Being in this place means I have to trust…I’m not sure I inherently possess this…trust. I did it for a moment though, this trust thing. I trusted God…that He would take care of me through the people who were taking care of me. It took going to those ugly depths to trust Him.

I’m not as deep as I was almost exactly two years ago. I’m not crying every minute of the day. I’m not thinking of locking myself and my kids in the garage with the car running. I’m not afraid to leave the house, afraid that someone will see the ugly marks of depression on my soul. Praise the Lord for this!

But…do I truly know what sacrifice is?


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Encourage

Can you see him? That’s my boy!

In the short 3 years he has been on this earth he has made quite an impact on our hearts, challenged our parenting to the max, given quite a few laughs. Recently we have been challenged in was that we never thought were possible. Our little man is healthy in many regards but there are things popping up that are causing some concern in our minds. What does it feel like to be out of sorts when your toy trains aren’t all facing the same direction? How frustrating is it when you know that you can’t wear the same color every day? What is the fear that you feel when the automatic-flushing toilet finally flushes? These may seem like small things to you and me but to him it can ruin his whole day (and mine)!

His world is brighter when he’s able to feel everything. The biting cold of a bowl of snow. The warmth of mama’s face. The sometimes bumpy, sometimes smooth texture of one of his favorites objects…a basketball. He loves to spin, jump, run, play. He’s a 3-year-old boy, afterall!

All we can is encourage him. Encourage him to feel, encourage him to laugh, encourage him to express his frustrations. It feels good to be encouraged, right?

As a mama I often feel like I have no clue what I’m doing. Why did God entrust me with the lives of these little people? Sometimes I feel so incompetent, I can barely take care of myself much less four little humans! I have to admit, though, it brightens my day when the stranger at the grocery store stops to tell me I’m doing a good job…even though three out of four kids are screaming at the top of their lungs! It makes me feel like I might be cut out for this “job” when my husband comes up to me at the end of a hard day and gives me a huge hug. That’s all that’s needed sometimes…a little encouragement!