Friday, May 25, 2012

Believe, Be, Live

Don't just do all the things you say you believe in. BE, LIVE what you say. Otherwise it's a LIE. 

As I walked to my office this morning, I passed a co-worker that I adore. She is such an example, but as a teacher right now she is stressed.

She was saying good morning and then explaining to me why her eye was watering. She had her first win during her tennis season and at some point injured her eye. Then, she said something that made me stop in my tracks. 

I #love those moments. I live for those moments. 

She said in regards to her tennis season, "I thought my tie was my win." 

You may be living in love, gratitude, joy, and surrender. You may already feel abundantly blessed, but then one day you are enlightened and in awe that God has something even greater in store - a win.

It's hard for us to wrap our minds around the fact that God DOES have something better for us. At times we feel undeserving and maybe even guilty for having more. 

Or we may be down on ourselves or our circumstances and just when we think God has given us all we need we wake up and BAM! There's the real win. 

Sometimes what looks like our worst moment really is a victory! 

We have to be and live what we say we believe. We can read, write or say one thing and live something completely different. We can pass on wisdom and advice to others, but in order to be a true leader we have to be what we believe. 

We cannot say we will walk in faith if our words are a living contradiction to our lives and we choose to worry about everything instead of faithfully giving it to God. 

We cannot say "We dislike drama." and the first chance we get create drama for those around us. 

We cannot say we "We want loyal friends." if we are not willing to be a loyal friend. 

We cannot say "We are a loving person." if we are sending out hate and prejudice each day of our lives. 

I want you to look in the mirror right now. Go. Look. Is that person staring back at you doing their best to live what they believe? 

How can you expect God to give you more if you aren't willing to give up more of yourself and your ego? 

Be, live what you say you believe. That's  when God is able to show you a REAL win. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

She is Loved

"She has written on her heart, words that cover up the scars. A perfect imperfection, she is a story to be told." 

"She is strong enough to stand, fearless because of where she's been. She's learned but not forgotten. She is believing in a dream of love that's possible to reach. Nothing's gonna stop her now." 

"She is YOU and you are loved. The story's been re-written and YOU ARE LOVED." 

~You are Loved performed by @whitneycraft 
Photo by @christinecaine

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

His Love

It's hard to sometimes believe that we lived such similar lives before meeting. I often ponder on how we got through our hard times. Then, I remember. 

The only way that we were able to press on and keep moving was with God. 

People might think I'm a "fruit loop" but because I've witnessed God's presence like never before, I know  to my core that HE is the only way we are both solidly standing here today. 

I first knew he was a man of God after the first couple of phone conversations. He never came out and said so and I never came out and asked. There was an essence of his beliefs in everything he said. 

Immediately, I knew through his love that it was unconditional, it was abundant, it was honest and he loved me despite all my previous scars. It's hard to admit that it's a love I have never felt before and I know it is unique and magnificent. There were times that it brought me to tears and fall to my knees. That kind of love only comes from a man with a heart for God. 

It reminded me so much that THIS is the way God loves us- HE is all in. He will take us. Broken, insecure, imperfect, angry, bitter, lonely, scared, embarrassed - he will take us and all that we bring to the table. 

From the beginning we both admitted our shortcomings and both realized we weren't perfect and that was ok. 

Our conversations were full, deep, thought-provoking, fun, and for once we both felt that we had met our match. He complimented me in ways no one else could and I to him. As the days, months, and years flowed, I realized this love was something that I believed in and hoped for many, many years before as an 11 year old girl. That girl was watching complete chaos unfold around her as she sat at a piano and played through all of her insecurities. 

I pray daily for each of my children to see this love, be grateful for this love, and to wait for the appointed time when God's love brings this kind of love into their lives. 

His love is such a treasure. He reminds me to be grateful, forgiving, loving, and present. It's not possible for him to know how much I respect him and want to make him proud in everything I do and say. 

"There are no words" to explain such a feeling as this. I love you, J. Happy Anniversary!  

Sunday, May 20, 2012

"Go That Way!"

J: "I'm surprised we don't fight more." (as he pulls into a parking spot)
T: "Why's that?" 
J: " Because we are both leaders and have a direction in mind and it's usually never the same." 
T: "Well, it's because we are good at being a team and realize to lead we sometimes have to follow." 

This conversation happened today as we pulled into a restaurant for lunch and to celebrate our anniversary. 

It's true we do not fight. We do discuss a lot and most of the time either one of us sees the other perspective. We don't always agree, but our relationship has always had a silent understanding of surrender. Sometimes I wanna go one way and sometimes we end up going down a completely different road. 

Our two year old toddler is a backseat driver. (He is! Why are you laughing?) As we drive around in my little "peanut car"  (nicknamed by hubby), our two year old often says "Look, Mama!" He usually is pointing to one of the following: tractor, truck, motorcycle, airplane, semi, firetruck, ambulance, train, or police car. If he sees that it's gone in a different direction, he starts whining "Go THAT way, mama!" As he points the opposite way we are going, I try to explain that we cannot always follow behind. He just doesn't get it. I, mean, he IS two. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

To My Children

You  won't be blown away by these words right now. Your little ears, your little eyes, your teen mind - they aren't ready for these words. 

But one day, they will be. 

Forever, I will LOVE every gift you ever give to me. Above anything I ever receive your love will be the most cherished gift. The first time I looked into your eyes you healed me with that love and every time I look at you now I'm reminded of the privilege I've been given to be your mom. 

Homemade picture frames, hand-printed cards, funny hats with duct tape flowers, poems straight from your little heart  - they will always be a treasure to me. They will always remind me of the love you put into every single one of them and how proud you were to present it to me! 

There are also some things that you give me that are priceless when compared to a gift card, pedicure, or another expensive gift. When I see you giving these things I have never been so proud of you. 

HONOR: Honoring me will teach you how to honor yourself and your GOD. Honor and respect teaches you discipline in your actions and your thoughts. Honor will freeze your ego and agenda dead in it's tracks and will remind you that it's not all about you. 

GRATITUDE: Gratitude for what you have now will teach you that if you take care of the things you have now, you'll be trusted with more. Gratitude will teach you that it's not about the STUFF but more about the way you handled or treated the stuff. Gratitude to me and your GOD no matter what you posses or are going through teaches you to preserver though ALL things. 

LOVE: I want to teach you to LOVE. I want you to love yourself, love your parents, love your neighbors, your friends, your teachers, your peers, your mentors, your work, and your GOD. Above all else LOVE can change lives, decisions, and outlook. 

HUMILITY: Life, trials, struggles, change - it's NOT always about YOU. BE mindful that ALL of your actions and choices will affect someone else and you'll be responsible no matter the outcome. By teaching you humility, you learn to be humble in everything you do and in turn you will be able to see other perspectives rather than just your own. GOD is with you through ALL and that should be the most humbling lesson of all. 

GRACE: As your parents, I want to teach you the same grade that I've been shown throughout my life. Everyone deserves a second chance to prove themselves. Forgiveness is a gift to the forgiving and the forgiven. Every day that you wake up, remember that GOD'S GRACE has given you another day to get it right and to pass on that same grace to others. 

FAITH: I hope to teach you to clinging to faith in ALL circumstances. "Faith like a mustard seed . . . " is stepping out when no one else does or stepping up when no one else will. Faith means trust and at times trust cannot be seen nor heard. Faith in GOD can pull you out of a valley and set you atop the highest of mountains in a matter of moments. Faith in yourself, your dreams and your GOD is a must and I hope I've taught you to never waiver in your doubts. Faith is knowing GOD will always do what's best for you. ALWAYS. 

These lessons are my legacy to pass on to you. My hope is that you will live by them every day of your life. 


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Perception (is hardly ever) Reality

I love the photo here -->

It's reeks of truth, doesn't it? 

Hindsight is 20/20. We often build ourselves up to a grandiose idea of what something will be (like parenting) and then the harsh reality (of no sleep and parents who've not showered) hits. 

This process holds true for much of our lives, relationships, daily encounters, friendships, and work relationships. Nothing ever turns out exactly as we envision or hope. The sooner we stop believing it will the better we will deal with the reality of the situation. 

Perception vs. Reality.

The past few weeks have, personally, taught me something about this and I'm sure God has a reason for it continually popping up here and there. 

What we see or hear isn't always the truth. We have to be careful of what we perceive and make sure that we are not making more out of the situation than should be made. Most of our 'problems' are created in our minds because we are swayed from the reality of the circumstances and allow our own perceptions to be our "truth."

We may believe that we are great friends with someone and find out that our thought of that friendship is much different that what our friend really thinks. 

We may believe that a relationship means more than it really does for the other person. 

Perhaps we think that just because someone has already achieved the same dream we have, that we should quit. 

Maybe we tell ourself that we are barely making ends meet so there is NO WAY we can give to anyone but ourselves right now. 

It's always hard to see the reality if we are standing inside of the chaos. 

For the past few weeks, our church has been in a series called "The Voice." The voice we are listening to is a very important part of which we choose to believe: the reality or our perception. It can make or break how you respond or react next. 

This morning our pastor talked of Matthew 14: 22-33

Jesus told the disciples to get into the boat. The boat is far out into the sea, the wind blowing around them. Imagine being a disciple and wondering why Jesus would put you in the middle of a storm? 

He sees the "sea" you're in at this very moment. The waves might be churning and the wind gusting all around you. He may seem distant, but be confident that he is purposefully distant from you in order to teach you. Distant doesn't mean he's left you alone. Again, don't let that voice win over your thoughts. 

He's waiting for you to "walk out into the sea" and trust Him. Don't look down at your feet because you WILL start to sink exactly as Peter did. Instead, look straight ahead at the reality you know, full of faith, and step up. 

Wherever you are standing now, right here, be confident that He is standing at your next level waiting for you to walk.