Sunday, January 12, 2014

Dear Keagan on Your 8th Birthday


Dear Keagan,

So this is you turning eight--how can that be? I blinked between three and now. You are a delight to my heart, and though I wish these months and years would somehow slow down, I look forward to the unfolding of each new adventure to come. Right now you love jets and planes and all things World War II. You are comically smart, and you are determined to fill your mind with every ounce of learning possible...as long as it's interesting! 

You have been through so much since your last birthday, more than a lot of boys your age. You are strong and brave, and your courage helps me to find my own. You are precious beyond words, and you are mine. 

Today when we were walking out of church, you did something that I know you will all too soon outgrow. You slipped her sweet hand in my own, and you don't know it, but you made my whole day light up!

Your dad and I love to give you surprises, as you surprise us so often with your bright spirit and tender heart. You were our first gift from God, and I pray that you will never wonder if I'm still enamored by you. Because I am.







Happy birthday, sweet Keagan!

Love, Mom
Peace of Christ to you,

Monday, January 6, 2014

small

This year I'm not making New Year's Resolutions. Really, I stopped doing that a few years ago. I'm a chronic failure at follow-through anyway! You won't see me signing up for a new gym membership in January because I know good and well that by February 4, I'll have already turned that "new leaf" back over!

Instead, I love the idea of just ONE WORD for the year. I began asking the Lord what my one word could be a few days ago. I had several in mind, mulling them over and testing how profound they sounded for my current life situations. TRUST made a lot of sense for me because last year (it's still weird to be saying that about 2013!) was a year that threatened to weaken my faith in God. It didn't. But it could have. Everything I feel led to work on in my writing is directly tied to this theme of trust as well. But I wasn't sure that's what God wanted me to declare as my word.

Sunday morning we took Matt's family with us to church to hear Pastor Craig's first message over "Small Things, Big Difference" and it clicked. My word is "small." This cracks me up a bit as well because it is multi-faceted. I spend a considerable amount of time wishing I were a highly esteemed career woman, where I had power and worth, where my decisions were applauded and instantly implemented. I'd wear cute business outfits and curl my hair and wear lipstick, too. Maybe I'd be a professional writer and go around speaking as well. But back here on earth...I really take care of three small people. They need constant shepherding and supervision, instruction and guidance. They like it when I take time with them in the small things, like snuggling on the couch and letting them crack the eggs for the muffins. Reading Bible stories, answering their three thousand questions for the day on why God made birds' bones hollow and how all that water stays in the ocean.

Every worthwhile thing I've ever done hasn't started out big, but small.  All my dreams and lofty ambitions cannot happen with a snapped finger; they are slowly accomplished through years of faithfulness, perseverance, and steadfastness. To have children who grow to love the Lord and serve Him with their lives requires me to read small bible stories today, to stay on top of the small things in their behavior that are easy to ignore or excuse away. Those small things will become big things one day, and I want those small things to grow into good big things. And the big dream about publishing and leading other women, well that, too, starts out small. Am I writing little bits every day? Do I take time and pour into other women's spiritual lives without a spot light and a stage? Small things.

My verse that I pray will keep me focused this year is Luke 16:10-- "One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much."

If I desire for God to give me great, BIG things one day, I must do the small things today, and I must do them well. I need consistency in the things that I don't like doing but know are needed.

Here's what this looks like for me:
1. Consistency in reading God's Word each day so my mind will be filled with the truth I will need for tomorrow.
2. Taking time to invest in the small moments with my children to prepare them for the big moments later.
3. Being faithful and persistent today with the gifts God has given me so that one day He may use them in a big way.

I pray that this year I will be faithful in the small things so that I may see big results, and maybe one day God will count me ready to oversee bigger things as well! How about you? What would your one word be for this year?
Peace of Christ to you,