Friday, March 6, 2015

Progression of Perspective . . .

Tuesday, started like most days for me full of challenges with a cute little 3 year old.  She wakes up smiling and giving nose kisses and wanting to 'hug me momma' which always makes me (the not so morning person) actually like mornings! ((some of y'all reading this will know it had to be an act of God for that to happen!!! LOL))

At three we have learned how to negotiate, manipulate and propagate our own wills! We demand to be different! We demand to not fall to authority! We demand that our voice be heard over and above all else! We demand that our needs be met right away!

We demand, We demand, We demand ... at 3 we demand!

The wonderful exploratory life of three, when we want to explore our world in our own time and our own pace lingering where we want and by passing what we want.  See when you are three years old, the world around you is wonderful, exciting and another adventure is waiting around every corner!  It's when you are becoming more and more aware of the world and people around you.  Your personality is constantly changing and forming into the adult you will one day be ... but in the mean time you have choices to make and toys to play with and paper to cut and glue to lick and markers to test on fabric.   You need to have everything 5 seconds before you could even form the words to tell your mom what your need actually was/is.  You have to be heard there is absolutely no such thing as patience ... that is after all a personality trait of someone with self-control and for sure that is reserved for someone old, like maybe 10 or something. ;-) No 3 year old should ever be expected to do pick up anything unless it was their idea to begin with! right?! right!!! The wonderful world of three.

Sweets and I had a few difference of opinions from how many bites of a high sugary cereal and banana did equate to an actual breakfast ... to explaining how you will loose every tooth in your head if you don't brush your teeth, like Poppy.  ((Sorry Poppy, but I needed an illustration and since you provide her with one every time she sees you ... well, I get to 'explain' it! lol ))

After a long weekend of Poppy or nana or any family that loves spoiling and loving on her it takes Sweets a few days to iron back out to her normal three year old self, which is still challenging but less whiny. 

I am by no means complaining I am simply trying to give you a visual ... perspective if you will. 

As president and CEO of our corporation there are a lot of things on my mind early in the morning:

~Transportation Authority (aka driving Sweets to preschool, myself to appts & errands)
~Waste Management (Tuesday is trash pick-up)
~Purchasing Agent (did I remember to get the milk yesterday?)
~Fashion Coordinator (Sweets needs a light jacket for the spring)
~Personal Chef (what's for supper?)
~Personal Trainer (I really need my walk/exercise today!!!)
~Canine Trainer (the dog needs a walk)
~Personal Banker (did I finish this month's budget)
~Medical Provider & Health Insurance Consultant (does that rash really need to be treated by a dr or   Benadryl cream)
~Counselor/Psychiatrist (friend having a life crisis needs to talk on phone ASAP)
~Grounds Keeper (doesn't really need a description)

I am sure I left a few of the many duties/jobs that I actually have, again I am really trying to help you as a reader get a visual perspective of this day.  So that you will truly understand why I did not have time for a flat flat flat flat did I say flat tire 1/4 mile from preschool this morning?!

I have to admit by the time I realized that the tire was flat and my vehicle wasn't drivable I had tried so desperately to ignore the light and sound of the flapping tire ...   because again, it was not on my schedule for today, notice that Auto Engineering was not a job title on my resume'!

I was already anxious because we were as usual running a few minutes behind (my) schedule.  I called the Hubs, then roadside assistance, then gramps.  Gramps came to the rescue and took Sweets to school safely and by the time he got back to me the tire was already being changed by a very nice gentleman in a wrecker service! There was a 3 inch piece of steel in the tire which Sears happily replaced on our warranty and I was home just over 2 hours later than planned.  All in all not too bad with the timing that is ... but then again it's all about perspective!

However, I was so frazzled in my mind not outwardly but in my mind I couldn't shake the chaos.  I was flustered, frazzled and could not focus on my task list for more than what felt like five seconds. I couldn't remember all the things I wanted to do that morning while Sweets was at preschool.  I couldn't even find my list much less check things off it. UGH!   Then it hit me ... I hadn't lost my temper, I didn't yell, I didn't cuss at anyone I just rolled with it.  What? Who was this person? I wondered if my body had been invaded by aliens at this point !?!?

This is not normal for me. 

My normal would have been to yell at someone, hold someone accountable for my day being disrupted.  My normal would have been to still be angry and to have called no less than 5 people to complain about my morning ... but I didn't.  I was out of sorts when I got home because I had forgotten what I was going to do ... but I did not show that outwardly at all. 

I pondered, what if my perspective has been changed? Then I was like ... no way! not me! ((this is a real conversation in my head ... just me and me talking to each other! lol ))

There is absolutely no reason under the sun why I should not have lost my composure today other than the Lord. 

Tuesday, was the morning I needed to affirm that yes, though I sin and fall short every day I am saved by an astounding grace and unbelievable mercy.  That a living God has loved me so much that he continually runs interference in my life to save me from myself over and over and over again. 

That His word is true in Jeremiah 29:13, I do indeed find Him when I seek him wholeheartedly. I am perfectly imperfect and He loves me anyway.  I do not spend as much time in His word as I could or should but he is still doing a work in my heart shaping and molding it to look more and more like Jesus everyday.  I still have those times in life where I will be stagnant and those times where I will grow spiritually by leaps and bounds.  He is not finished with me yet.

He is simply changing my perspective on life and about life.  The things that use to upset me just don't anymore.  Now, I am concerned about things that I use to not care about. 

 Sin is always at my door sometimes I reject it and sometimes I invite it in for a while.  I forget and loose my perspective with the busyness of life and raising a preschooler.  My perspective becomes more Hope focused not God focused.

 I forget that I am perfectly and wonderfully made in the image of my very own creator.  Who with his own hands formed man yet spoke everything else in to existence. 

I forget that I am in desperate need of a savior and that I cannot save myself or others.

That flat flat flat tire this morning with a whiny three year old and a task list that would keep me busy for at least three months without sleep could have been a recipe for a tsunami of an emotional disaster for me.  It truly could have left my daughter, father in law and anyone else in my path emotionally scared by my words ... BUT GOD. 

I am in awe of His never stopping, never changing always and forever love for me. He has shown me that I am not who I use to be but I am on the road to being who he created me to be. He has changed my perspective of my life and the world around me.  I can say with all honesty that this is not always the case ... but for a moment it was.  A flat tire was exactly what I needed!

Always a work in progress ...

The AWE of God . . .

 I lost my 'awe' of God. 

I grew up in a church environment all of my life, but I never ever remembering having and 'awe' of God.  I knew who He was or at least the way he was explained to us in Sunday school.  I knew that we were supposed to live a life that was pleasing to Him.  I was not struck with amazement at Him, His word, this world, I did not appreciate nor even know that I was supposed to count every single breath as a blessing a gift from Him.  His holiness and the reverence that it demands was not really taught to us.  There was a great focus on the Holy Spirit (aka Holy Ghost) in the particular church I grew up in ... but even in that teaching it wasn't about being in 'awe' of God.

About 9 years ago I had a major life crisis.  To say that the Lord put me flat on my face and on my knees to Him would be an understatement.  It was one of those times in your life that you cry out to Him for mercy because the storm of life is so overwhelming you can hardly breathe ... you feel the very air being sucked out of your lungs.  You pray to a God you think you know to either stop the tormenting emotions or take your life, you are that desperate for a change.

You cannot see Him or hear Him because the noise and chaos of the turmoil in your life whether by your own doing or as the consequences of another persons actions is so loud that it absolutely drowns out everything the entire world around you, to the point that you can only hear your own heartache. 

You can feel your soul being tormented ... it was one of those storms in life.

We have all had one and if you haven't you will.  The hard ones, the ones that you can't even form words really to talk about because no one would understand.  The times in life that you can easily be judged by other believers who would ((in a loving way of course)) know the exact scripture to quote you and how you need to apply to your life, then all would be well again.

That might have worked for someone else, but not for me.  You see I thought I knew God and for all intents and purposes I did know the basics.  I knew there was a God that created all of creation and sent His son to die for me but I did not have an awe of him ... I was not struck with the beauty of the world around me.  I was not smitten by the mercy of a Holy God who, out of His love for me sent his son to be tortured and to hang on a tree all for me.

I can almost remember the exact date that I dropped to my knees and all I could do was sob uncontrollably no words came out of my mouth.  I begged God to show up in my circumstances and take it from me, I was done.

He showed up.

The Lord has restored and is continuing to mend a broken mind and heart. 

I began to have an 'awe' of Him because He had absolutely no reason to reach down and save me. NONE. 

He had absolutely no cause to redeem me.

There was absolutely nothing good in or about me.

I was a pathetic heap of sin.  The crisis itself wasn't one event or one person, it was a lifetime of consequences.  It was like a parasite that started as a microorganism that turned into a full blown mutant cell and devoured itself and everything around it.   

Yet, in the pit of despair He reached His hand down and pulled me out (Psalm 40) without any reason other than He loved me.  No one with breath in them could have saved me ... not my parents, not my husband, not my sister ... no friends.  Only the Lord could reach to the depths of my soul where the pain and sin had held me for so long and pull me up and out back amongst the living; and he did.

It wasn't an immediate change, it was a gradual.  Eventually days weeks later I became aware of a love I had never ever truly known.  I became aware of His prescense in my life.  I became familiar with a God I only thought I knew.  I was in awe of a God who could, would and did save me. 

I absolutely was not worth the air I was breathing.  ((I am not saying that for sympathy, I am simply recognizing my inability to have pulled myself together from where I was)).

I was in awe and completely consumed with this transforming grace and mercy that had been bestowed on me.  I couldn't and still can't believe He has revealed himself to me and given me life.  I remember being baptized in 2009 and the few days following the smile on my face was bigger than the day I got married.  I had never experienced anything like it and prayed reverently not to loose the feeling and awesomeness of the situation.  But I did, I did loose it.  Actually, I didn't loose it I tossed it by the wayside.

I realized that I had lost my 'awe' of the Lord this past Thanksgiving.  I allowed life and circumstances to consume my emotions not Him.

Since then, I have prayed and asked the Lord to restore or give it back or something ... just help me find my 'awe' of Him again ...

I kept thinking that it would be this big aha moment, but it wasn't and it isn't going to be.

Instead He gives me small moments, tiny seconds in life that He whispers to me and says this ... this is me loving you ... this is me saving you ... this is me redeeming you ... this is me restoring to you what was lost/taken ... this is me Hope, the "I am" loving you.

I have had a few awe moments recently.  I have to share these things, these moments ... because I want to be real and genuine with my faith.  

The first was when I was dressing Izzy up as a princess for a birthday party she was invited too.  We took the time for hair, lip gloss, the perfect dress, shoes, gloves, crown and a white cape!  When she was ready she said "momma can I twirl?" No mother would ever nor could ever say no to that ... so I said "Yes, of course you can sweets and go show daddy."  She choose to stay in the room with me for a 'first glance' .... When she grabbed her dress on both sides and twirled,  it was as if we were in a movie in slow motion.  I truly saw her twirl up to a girl in a prom dress and a lady in a white gown about to walk the aisle and back to this precious belle of the ball.  The air was sucked out of the room... there was a lump in my throat tears in my eyes and my heart was beating so loud it sounded like drums. My heart ached and leapt for joy all at the same time ... it was the day she was born all over again.  One foot in heaven rejoicing at the awesome and wonderful gift that she was yet one foot in hell at the grief that had to come in order for her to be mine.  ((that's another story on a much early blog post in 2011 or 2012)) She is so beautiful yet will be gone and on her own in the blink of an eye.

 The Lord gave me a glimpse of Him, there is no reason I should be her mom but I am, because of Him.  He orchestrated my life in a way that she was my daughter ... through pain and turmoil and what felt like an endless grief ... I am her momma.  Me, I am it.  He bestowed the greatest privilege on me when he put her in my arms.  I fell to me knees in awe of Him.  Who else would love me that much?

There have been other times as well too many to document here.  Except for today, I have to write about today.  There are no words really to describe the magic.  It was a snow day, a day that she didn't have to go to preschool we just stayed home and played and ate and went outside in the snow.

However, there were times today that she would say 'momma' I replied with yes, 'I love you momma' and blow me a kiss.  There were other times when I was the recipient of instruction on what her babies and her 'friends' needed, for the record yes I did meet the demands.  There were moments that I caught a side glimpse of her and my breath stopped at her beauty and innocence of the world around her.

How could I not be in awe of a holy God, who continues to grab me out of deep dark emotional turmoil.  How could I not be in awe of a God who showers me with love through a precious daughter and friends and family.  How could I not be in awe of a God who opens the eyes of my heart and reveals His word to me so that I may understand it and teach it to her. 

How can I not stay in awe of the Lord every second of every day for the rest of my life? Because if I were to die this moment He has been better to me than I ever deserved and has shown me more grace and mercy than any human would ever be capable of ...

I realized that my awe of Him is a choice.  I can burden my mind with the things of this world or I can focus my mind on Him, His word and stand in awe of a holy God who deserves nothing less than my wholehearted worship with every task on hand and every breath I take.
I don't think we will ever truly stand in AWE of Him until our bodies fail us this side of heaven and we bow down at His feet unworthy to be called His and unworthy to worship Him in heaven for all eternity. 
For now though, I will revel in the moments He gives me and be in AWE of just how much He loves me.