Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Less You, More God


Today I’m sounding off. I’ve been pretty silent in the last week. Life has been busy. December is always busy. Birthday parties to plan and throw, gifts to buy, gifts to wrap, gifts to give teachers, class parties to attend, work luncheons to contribute to and then there’s sleeping and eating, too. :) 

For me, December 14 has always been a special day. 12 years ago on that day I was sitting in the hospital during one of the biggest ice storms in the area. I spent most of my day gazing at my very first, sweet baby girl after several long hours of pain and finding out exactly what I was made of (strength). 

This year was a big year for her: middle school, school dances, a friend who’s a boy (*wink*), and her biggest sleepover in a while. It was big enough for me to take the day off from work, so I could prep the house, run to the store, and get things all set up for 6 tweens to take over. 

Mid-day, I happened to turn on the news and saw the reports out of Connecticut. At that moment I made a very set decision. I turned off the television and continued on about my day. 

“I can’t.” I said to myself. 

I could not spend the day listening to the reports,  details, and repetitive way reporters described it all. I had to be in the moment and present for my girl and her friends who would come through the door giggling and asking me to do their hair for the dance that night. “I couldn’t” because seeing those sweet precious faces only brought back my own memories of losing the special 6 year old boy in my life.

After the whirlwind of the tween party, we re-centered ourselves to go take our yearly family photos. I did not turn on the radio stations nor did I turn on the television. I stayed in the moment while we laughed and enjoyed our time together. I stayed in the moment as we had lunch together and as we all snuggled up for a nap which we all so desperately needed. 

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. He love endures forever.” ~Psalm 136: 1-26

The next day we were up early to go see Santa and have another meal together. I was present and grateful and full of thanks for each moment I’d been allowed to experience. I ran down the sidewalk with the kids, took them to the shops they pulled me into, and remembered that each moment, whether it’s what I expect or want is a gift. 

“Take your everyday, ordinary life - your sleeping, eating, going to work, and walking around life - and place it as an offering.” ~Romans 12:1-2

Sunday afternoon, when I finally had some time to sit I decided to scroll through Facebook and Twitter. 

BIG MISTAKE. 

People all over were voicing their opinions, their political stances, their fear, their doubt, their questions, reposting pictures, poems and articles. 

Maybe it’s just because I know tragedy. Maybe it’s because I saw my parents go through the painful process of losing their own child. Maybe it’s because of my own experience that I was so angry at how everyone the last week seemed to make the tragedy about them.

Everywhere I looked someone was talking about it, discussing it, debating it, or detailing the events. I guess that is human nature.  I guess it helps them cope. 

But ... I just ..... couldn’t. 

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve prayed for those families, that situation, and every single person affected by the event. I, purposefully, read the names of each sweet child & educator and prayed, specifically, for their families by name. 

 “Pray without ceasing.” ~1 Thessalonians 5:17

But I refuse to buy into everything the media throws out at me. I refuse to keep the television/radio on. I refuse to discuss it with my 7 year old just because everyone else might be and am thankful that her school didn’t decide to have discussion about it on Monday. If she asks, I always answer honestly with the least amount of details given. If she doesn’t, then who am I to take away her innocence and sense of security away? There’s enough of that going on in this world. 

I refuse to live in fear. I refuse to debate politics and gun control. I refuse to dwell on tragedy, or obsess over every article or story out there. I refuse to allow myself to be on “auto pilot”  and not take control of what I see or hear. Just because it is on or in front of me doesn’t mean my ears or eyes need to see it. 

“Be very careful, then how you live...” ~Ephesians 5:15

I’m not afraid to send my kids to school each day. I know down to my core that every single person caring for them would do everything humanly possible to keep them safe. I know that there is a hedge of protection around each of them and that no matter what happens, my God is in control, not me. 

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” ~Joshua 1:9

I, personally, know about living in fear. I, personally, know about questioning and doubting. I, also, personally know that it gets us nowhere

“I have told you these things so that in my you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

If we want the world to be a better place, it’s up to US to make it that sort of place. You job is to bless: 

Love more, hate less. 
Encourage more, criticize less. 
Give more, take less.
Do more, watch less. 
Pray more, complain less. 
Less YOU. More GOD. 

“Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.” ~ 1 Peter 3:8

xoxoxo
xoxo
xo
Tisha