Tuesday, October 22, 2013

who are you chasing?

I walked them to school on a crisp fall morning and knew there wouldn't be too many of these left. Mornings that left time for walking instead of driving, Mother Nature that begged us to come outside, and a boy who wanted to spend his minutes before school with his Mama instead of running off to be with friends.

 I look back and remember this day...the tiredness that was in my bones at that time and the weariness that was in my heart...and it slightly comes back to me. Like it is sitting on my shoulders again and I remember how hard it was just to stand up and keep moving. If I close my eyes I can go back there for just a moment. To throw clothes on and find a smile for them and keep moving. I had all I had asked for...I should feel joy. This stroll before school should feel...happy. Then why did I just feel like crying? So why was it so hard to find the joy in the moment?

I had married the man and had the house and the American dream of 2.5 kids...I had a new baby boy and I pushed him that early school morning and chased the idea of what a good mom was supposed to do. But I didn't feel good. I didn't feel mom worthy. I didn't feel Him holding my hand as I grasped theirs.

I don't know if it was the sun peeking out through the trees that line the school street or the wind kissing my face or the three boys filling the air with their God given voices that day... but it was His I heard over it all. I pushed and walked and looked...and there I saw them. My children. The ones I wanted to get dressed for and find that smile for and tell the world that I was overly joy filled to be right here with them. And then like a whisper His words filled my morning and I saw my kids for the first time in a way I had never really looked before...

Love Me more than them.

I was in the middle of my dream life and couldn't find the happy ever after that was supposed to follow... I was chasing them, loving them...not Him.

I was fighting to be my best for them. I was living to make them happy. I was running after a dream that was never going to come to life. Not the way I was doing it. Not the way He intended it.

I think it is easy, us mothers chasing the heart of our children...when really, we need to chase after the One who made them. Because He is the reason we find joy, receive grace, and we get to feel it when we're living for Him. Our children will never fill those hard to reach places the way only He can. We can be the best mom ever and still feel that brokenness that comes with ignoring His grace for our lives. Oh, don't get me wrong... I am still pushing strollers and holding crying babies and spending fall mornings with my bunch and pouring most of my  physical self into them. But I see them different now...I see Him before them. I try to chase His heart, instead of winning over my kids each day... And in doing so, I usually find I fill theirs much better after I've found Him first.

Today I sat and watched the snow come down over the October colors that filled my yard and I remembered that fall morning two years ago... I remembered that even though my hands would brush tears away and hold hands and feed mouths and hold on a little longer to one more story...these days are full of joy. Joy that shows up because I have started loving not only them in the way I care for them, but I love the One who brushes my tears away and holds my hand and fills my hunger and always holds me... just a little longer... Joy that can be found in the hard places when we're chasing Him before everyone and everything else.

Because He loved first, so we could love. And He lived first, so we can live. Look up before you kneel down today... and remember that He loves them more then you do, He loves you more then you let Him, and you can love from those hard to reach places if you can chase after His heart first.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

if we could only see past the storms

I drove by this remarkable tree the other day and was so caught by it's new beauty that I came back later just to snap it's glory reaching up to the skies again. This tree, in my town...on a busy street...where people drive by and walk by and run by and bike by...is a glimpse we probably all take for granted. This landmark tree has stood here for as long as I have been here. Carefully crafted tree trunk and once upon a time, large... stand the test of time branches sat on top of it. A few years ago a nasty wind brought the limbs tumbling down and I remember wondering if the home owners would save the trunk. Would see the beauty still rooted deep in the ground and give it a chance to be nurtured...and grow...and stand tall again. 

Often times it is what sits below the surface that decides if we stand or fall. The place our roots dig deep into, this is where we find strength...or we don't. 

It's what we don't see that makes a person stand tall, even amongst the strongest winds. And it is what we don't see that makes a person break. Because on the outside whether the biggest tree or just you, roots are planted some where...and storms come. And some will stay. And some will fall.


And as we walk a journey through the most beautiful days and we walk through some of our biggest storms, we must choose to be planted some place. Sometimes He asks us to let go, break free of something that was once beautiful...and start new. Be broken to be beautiful again.

It is hard to see such a beautiful thing fall down. It is hard to accept that something could be made better, if only we would open our hands to the strong winds passing and keep our roots in place while we let the best of us fall down. But as a tree loses a piece of it's beauty one by one, we too must let the old trickle off so something new can be started. 


 And sometimes it feels like the very best of us has been stripped away...and we linger a bit longer on what was... trying to pick up what we used to be, instead of seeing what we could be.

 You may have to plant a whole new tree. And trees take time. You may have to cut off what you think is the best part of those big beautiful branches. You may have to face the storm and let it break what needs to be broken...

Because if you don't give in to the pruning that comes with life, you will never see from here...

 See that no matter how big or small or beautiful or broken you are...

 That something wonderful can come from a little nurturing, from roots growing in the right places so that the thick trunks of life can still stand...and be beautiful again, even after the best pieces are taken. But remember, new beauty takes time to grow... and you just might look one day and see it is finally blooming again.