Category Archives: Notes About God’s Grace

Savor

It has been a long week. This baby within me is growing, as is my physical discomfort. Contractions — the painful kind — started making their appearance on Wednesday, and and have returned sporadically since then. I’m achy. I’m tired but I can’t sleep. Insomnia + achiness does not a good night’s sleep make. Going to bed has become the most un-restful part of my day. I’m tired of not being able to carry my babies or snuggle close with them on my lap, as they have been asking me to. I can’t keep my house very clean, and caring for the physical and spiritual needs of my kids has become a challenge. I have been blessed with a lot of help and understanding from my wonderful family and husband, but still — I have been ready to move on to the next stage of all of this…focused on hoping that baby N will be here soon (that hope increased by the fact that my other two babies arrived a couple weeks early) so that I can once again be comfortable and feel like the mom I want to be….

…but then I’ve been reflecting on a conversation I had on Thursday morning with a new friend from my Bible Study Fellowship group. We were talking about how I was nearing the end of my pregnancy, and though I can’t remember her exact words, she made a comment to the effect of “Just think of how bittersweet it will be to finish this stage of things”. At first I thought she was talking about pregnancy itself, so I said “Yeah…I’m sure I’ll miss feeling the baby move, and all of that…”, but then she explained that she was talking not only about pregnancy itself, but about this stage of family. These are the last few weeks (days) when we will be a family of 4 — when my two kids will be the only two kids. Once the baby is born, things will forever be different — GOOD different, but different.

So…with that thought in my mind, I want to focus on savoring this time as best I can before things change. I am uncomfortable and I don’t know how I can possibly make it for 4 more weeks until my due date…but I pray that I don’t lose sight of the fact that there is so much to treasure and enjoy, even in this moment when it’s so easy to focus on what’s next.

And I’m pretty sure this is a life lesson I’ll need to remember even after this baby has arrived!

A Life Well Lived

This past Friday, a young man we know named Sam passed away in a car accident. Sam’s brother and sister-in-law are very good friends of ours, as are his cousins. Yesterday there was a memorial service for Sam, during which this amazing video was shown of his testimony…I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch this video and that you will be inspired, as I am, to take a look at your own life and where you are at in your relationship with God, and challenged to “let your light shine”.

Melting Chocolate, Facebook Defriending & Other Insecurity Issues

Tonight I went to LeeAnn Chin’s to pick up a little take-out goodness for the fam. As I was checking out, the cashier kindly handed me the plastic bag of food along with a small, covered clear plastic cup containing my son’s chocolate-covered fortune cookie. As I started to place the cookie-cup into the bag with the rest of the food, the cashier stopped me, saying “Ma’am, you might want to put that into your purse — the chocolate melts“.

Well, that makes no sense, I thought, then smiled and explained gently “Well, if the chocolate is going to melt, I think I’d rather have it in the bag with my food than have it melt in my purse! Hahahaha….”. I laughed kindly. Poor girl must be nervous and just not thinking clearly, I thought. The girl muttered some kind of affirmative comment and gave me a faint smile. I smiled back, wished her a good day, took my food and left.

As my husband and I later split our son’s chocolate covered cookie* (* don’t judge; he didn’t know it came with his meal! And he’s not into chocolate covered fortune cookies, anyway. Plus he got some Oreos.), I relayed the story to him.

“Isn’t it weird that the girl told me I should put the cookie in my purse because the chocolate melts?”, I wondered aloud,  “I mean, if the chocolate was going to melt, wouldn’t it be better for it to be in the bag with the food than in my purse?!”

My husband looked at me oddly. Lovingly, but oddly. “Well I’m sure she was thinking that the heat of the food would melt the chocolate…”.

I stopped and thought. Oh. Right.

“Hmm. That probably explains the odd smile she gave me when I said that to her.” I said quietly.

“You said that to her?!”

“Yep…here I was thinking that she said something stupid, when all along she surely knew that *I* was the one….ahhhh!”. I could barely bring myself to finish the sentence.

Normally, this wouldn’t bother me. Not that this bothers me that much, but…well, it’s just kind of irking me, because…you see, I tend to say silly little things like this a lot. A. LOT. I’m not always what you would call the sharpest tool in the shed. I don’t talk a whole lot, but when I do talk I find that silly/awkward/ignorant things tend to come out of my mouth, and I get alot of those “faint smile” kinds of looks like the girl at LeeAnn Chin’s gave me……….

Hi, my name is N, and I’ve got some insecurity issues. 🙂

Just a few. OK, a lot. If insecurities were plants, I could open up a greenhouse full of them. Lots of different kinds, in all kinds of varieties, with all kinds of roots (the largest of which is pride). I’ve had them as long as I can remember…but guess what. I’m discovering I’m not the only one! Case in point:

A few days ago I discovered that I had been (gasp) defriended by a couple of people on Facebook. They didn’t delete their accounts — they defriended me. People I KNOW. In REAL LIFE! Truly, it didn’t bother me that much. OK, a little. OK, probably a tiny bit more than it should…but not THAT much. Really. People have reasons they defriend people…totally their right to…whatever. Still — it piqued my curiosity, and in one of those “posting status updates without thinking” moments, I posted a little status, wondering if this kind of thing makes anyone else self-conscious. Oh my goodness — I got quite a little response! Replies to the status and a message or two. Turns out other women have noticed this kind of thing — felt a little burned by it — some have been more than a little hurt by it.

Insecurity runs rampant, doesn’t it? It comes in many forms and can be debilitating in so many ways.

How timely that this book just came out. I first saw the title alone a few weeks ago, and immediately decided I would read it! 🙂 I’m in the middle of it now, and so far, it is wonderful. It is hitting the nail right on the head for me right now — even in some unexpected ways. It’s not about falling victim to insecurity — it’s about turning to the Lord for help in kicking it squarely in the tail. Adios. Anyway, if you are a woman feeling ruled by your insecurities, I’d check it out. You can read more about it here.

Anyone else battling this stuff? What has helped you wave bye-bye to your insecurities?

Taste & See

“There is a difference between believing that God is holy and gracious, and having a new sense on the heart of the loveliness and beauty of that holiness and grace. The difference between believing that God is gracious and tasting that God is gracious is as different as having a rational belief that honey is sweet and having the actual sense of its sweetness.”

— Jonathan Edwards, “A Divine and Supernatural Light”

I recently read this quote in Timothy Keller’s The Prodigal God, and it really spoke to me. Intellectual belief comes pretty easy to me, but I want to be someone who, in addition to believing, really “tastes” God’s goodness and graciousness, even in the mundane of day-to-day life!

The Love of a Little Child

It’s almost 2 pm. I’m kind of frazzled. I’m kind of gross. I think I may have quickly run a brush through my hair this morning. Absolutely no make-up is on my face. I don’t think I’ve brushed my teeth all day (can’t remember).

And you know what? My kids don’t care. It’s been a day full of snuggles and hugs and kisses and fun. I woke up feeling discouraged by the many sad circumstances I keep hearing about around me, and God used my kids to encourage me today through their sheer sweetness. They love me no matter how gross I am. Not that there aren’t other people who love me no matter how gross I am — my wonderful husband chief among them — but there is something special about the unconditional love of a little child. There’s an innocence about it that exists in no other human relationship I can think of. They really don’t care. They don’t even notice! They’re not even thinking “Hmmm, mommy’s gross but I will choose to love her anyway.” No, they are completely oblivious to my grossness. It’s not even on their radar. I’m their mommy, and that’s reason enough for them to love me and hug me and snuggle with me.

I think there is much I can learn about the love of my Father — and therefore how to love others — from the love of my kids.

How Could I Ask for More?

One of my favorite songs…enjoy, and Happy Thanksgiving!

Inspiring