Sunday, February 21, 2010

You just can't reason with a wasp!

Before church a few weeks ago, as Jon and I got the kids into the car, this wasp came out of nowhere and got right in my face. Jon laughed as I shrieked and danced around trying to avoid it though it seemed bent on getting to me! I am absolutely terrified of anything with a stinger! I escaped into the drivers side door, since that was the closest open one, as I announced to Jon, "I guess I am driving today!" Jon was still chuckling to himself about my little panic attack and dance to get away from this tiny insect when he got into the car, and only laughed at me harder when I said, "That will teach me for wearing such a bright yellow shirt!". He explained to me, still humored by my ignorance, that wasps are territorial and they aren't attracted to bright colors as bees may be. Then we left for church and moved on with our day, though I still can't help but hurry to get in the car ever since for fear that wasp may come and find me again someday!
Now sometimes in my mind I can go off on crazy thought spirals, for some of the silliest things. And I often sit back and marvel at this wonderful, intricate and crazy world that God made, and all the creatures He put in it. So after my experience dealing with the wasp and having Jon explain to me that it is territorial, my thought process started getting out of hand again. I thought, Well so are we as humans, and we were here first, so the wasp needs to be the one to go! Doesn't she know that she's the one who built her nest on a human built structure??!! Now I am not crazy, and I didn't seriously expect the wasp to realize this and leave me alone for good, but it soon had me marveling at God's plan and creation.
As humans, we are the ONLY creatures capable of truly reasoning with our thoughts. Now some people may argue that dogs or chimps can, but truly their skills don't go beyond learned habits and instincts. Dogs just know after so long, if they sit when we say that word, they may get a treat. Dogs don't go on to think about if they really want one, or if they should save it for later because lunch time is approaching, or maybe not have it at all because they are watching their figure. God didn't give them the ability to think logically like we do, if He had, maybe they would've learned to only chase the mailman at the beginning of the month when the bills start pouring in! You just can't reason with dogs, wasps, or any other creature on this planet!
I don't know about you, but I find it so amazing to think God made us so unique among all His wonderous creations. I don't want to even venture a guess as to how many other species share this earth with us, but we alone have the ability to love and praise the Lord. We alone have the ability to even begin to fathom His work and His wonder. We alone have the opportunity to one day join Him in heaven. What an amazing God, and what an amazing world He has made for us!
And though I may not be able to reason with the occassional wasp who tries to defend herself and her home from me, I can appreciate the fact that at least I can truly understand this world, and know that God made every bit of it for a reason, even that tiny little wasp.
God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth"...God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. Genesis 1:27-28 & 31

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Introducing, Natalie, The Naive Jester

What personality and attitude my daughter, Natalie, has!! Sometimes a little too much when it comes to the latter of the two. Here are some of the those precious moments we look back on and laugh, as the term 'kids say the darnedest things' takes on a very personal note to me!
As we waited at the doctor's office when I was pregnant with Zachary, I covered myself very carefully with the sheet. The doctor, who incidentally goes to church with us, is going to be coming to check my cervix and as I was hoping this would be my last visit before I had my precious boy, I insisted Jon and Natalie come to the appointment with me to hear the baby's heartbeat, that symbol of the life inside of me, one last time before we would be very much aware of his presence in our lives! My doctor came in and soon was covertly checking my cervix under the sheet so that Natalie would not see anything. But apparently she is more perceptive then I give her credit for because out of her sweet little mouth at 3 years old, comes the concerned and curious phrase, "Doctor put fingers in Mommy's hoo-hoo?". Needless to say I turned bright red and was completely speechless myself!

As Easter approached we pulled out some of Natalie's past Easter baskets and some plastic eggs so she could brush up on her egg hunting skills in time for the Easter egg hunt with some friends we had planned for later that week. One day she brought her basket and some toys out to the living room and preceded to put her foot into the basket and then gently place random toys on top of her foot within the basket. I looked at her puzzled and dismissed her strange behavior, saying to her "You're a weirdo!". Without missing a beat, Natalie replied, "No, I'm not a weirdo! I am a genius!" I didn't even realize she knew what that word meant!!

As a family we approached the 'fork in the road' at the mall. Jon was to go one direction looking for something, and I wanted to check out some things in the opposite direction. I assumed Natalie would want to go with her Daddy, being the daddy's girl she is, then as we prepared to make the trade-off, I would take the stroller, and Zachary in it, from Jon and he would be taking Natalie who was holding my hand, and Natalie declares she wants to go with mommy! How sweet, its such a rare moment when she prefers mommy over daddy, unless of course Jon is punishing her, then she uselessly clings to me for sympathy (which of course she does NOT get!). And as Natalie and I head in the direction of tiny clothes and frilly dresses I ask her what made her so adamantly want to tag along with mommy, and her reply is, "Because you a lady, and girls have to stick together!" That explains it all!

As per our usual routine, Natalie rushes into the bathroom before lunch so that I can put her hair into a ponytail and pin back any stray hairs that may be searching for a sticky substance to bathe in. She gets up on her stool as she carefully chooses the color of ponytail we will be using today, and I stand behind her and begin to gather up her long locks. Looking up into the mirror, as if for the first time, she so elegantly announces in her own surprise "I am soooo pretty!" All I can do is chuckle to myself and agree, but of course I have known that for over 3 years.

Some of you may have already heard these little antidotes from me other times, but be on the lookout for more from Natalie, the Naive Jester. She is always coming up with more innocent yet hilarious comments to put a smile on my face and hopefully on yours as well!
What funny and cute things have your children said that made you laugh or turn red with embarressment?

Friday, February 19, 2010

Tears: Repent or Regret?

As one bible study I have been enjoying comes to an end, I find myself anxious and excited for a new one. This time it is just me, so I decide to do a more in depth one through 2 of my favorite books, Ruth & Esther. The study is one of 3 in a series for women, and the title is "Pathway to God's Plan". Now I am not a believer in coincidences, I know for sure God has put this book into my lap for a reason because now on day 3 I am already finding so many truths that have their perfect timing in when I need to hear them! I guess this means I am already on my pathway to God's plan.
Today the truth I have found that spoke to me is on tears. I have shed many tears over my life. Even in elementary through junior high school, I was a crier, and I often got made fun of for it. By high school I had learned to be a bit more in control of my emotions, but to this day I still am a very emotional person, which really means, I cry, A LOT! I have come to appreciate it as part of a gift of compassion God has bestowed on me. But I have never thought much about what the tears actually mean until now.
There of tears of joy, when you are so full of happiness it can't help but be spilled out! And tears of sympathy, one I am particularly susceptible to, it is a fact, if someone else is crying within 50 feet of me, no matter the reason, I will end up shedding some tears! Of course we can't forget the tears of sorrow, often these happen when your heart is weighed down by grief over losing someone or some tragic accident has occured, these are the tears we long to never have spilled but are the most unavoidable of all. And then there are two more types of tears to be named.
The first are tears of regret. We regret making that decision to abort a baby, or that one night stand. Maybe we regret not going to church when we know God was calling us there, or saying hurtful words to our family; taking the wheel when we know we have had too much to drink, we regret. Many of our sins fall into this catergory. We often cry tears of regret over mistakes, major and minor. Tears of regret can also seek an audience, they long for sympathy from others, as well as to stew in their own self-pity, knowing nothing is going to change. Tears of regret reflect back on our pasts but don't make any move towards a change.
Next are the tears of repentence. These are the tears that don't look back. These are the tears that say, I know I have made mistakes in the past, we have all sinned, but I want to change and look toward the future. I want to turn away from those mistakes and look toward God. You shed these tears in your heart, no actor can ever win an award for these tears portrayed on screen or off, because they cannot be faked or forced. These tears are between you and God, they are a symbol that you want to change your heart and life. And you can't fool God, He knows what is in your heart. He knows which tears are of regret and which are of genuine repentance.
What tears do you cry today? Are you crying true tears of repent to the Lord or just the tears of regret to yourself? We need to remember to always check our hearts, are we being genuine with God, because He knows when we honestly desire a God-centered change, or when we are hoping for self-centered sympathy.

For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death. 2 Corinthians 7:10

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 Corinthians 5:17

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Why Worry?

As I go about my house, tidying up some before my husband gets home, in a rush of panic Natalie hurries to my side. "Mommy, Mommy, the temperature is not on!!"- translated from 4 year old speak that means something along the lines of, "Mommy, Mommy, the thermostat's light turned off!!", at least I think thats what had her concerned! I assume that because I had just been over to it and adjusted the temperature in the room, which turns the backlight on for a few seconds as I change it. And not for the first time by any means I assure Natalie she doesn't need to worry about anything because Mommy is in control of the situation. And off to her room she goes, her world at peace again. In my own world a light bulb had been turned on.
I never cease to be amazed at the things parenthood has taught me about my own relationship with the Lord. If you really know me well, you should know I am a worrier! I worry about everything, I daydream out a number of assorted scenarios in which things could go wrong for any little action that I might take or any illness or ailment that may befall me or any of my family. I have to constantly remind myself that God is in control of my life and I shouldn't worry. But that worry bug still pokes its ugly head up every time one of the kids gets a fever, or Jon is even 10 minutes late getting home from work. But now as I sit here, I have been given a glimpse of what God is thinking every time I let worry wreck havoc in my heart.
As I assured Natalie in her panic that everything was fine because I would take care of her, as I have often reminded her of in the past in similiar situations, I realized that is exactly what God is constantly trying to get through to me! Luckily He has much more patience then I do!! I can get so exasperated sometimes by Natalie's constant concerns and worries over the tiniest things, and I think to myself, Doesn't she know by now that I will take care of her?!! That I would do everything in my own power to keep her safe and healthy and cared for? What an eye opener to think that is the same thing God is looking down on us and thinking about us! Shouldn't we know God will take care of us? He has blessed and enriched my life in so many ways when I have let Him take control, even in the trials He has only ever held me closer when I cried out to Him. And if I think to myself Natalie should feel safe because I would do everything in my power to keep her safe, then I should not fear anything, because God says the same thing to me!! God, who is ALL powerful, has been telling me for a long time that exact thought. Crystal, I am the ALL powerful God who created you, and everything around you. Everything you have, is because of Me. All the blessing in your life come from Me. I will always take care of you, you have NOTHING to worry about with Me in control of your life!!
How amazing to have the all powerful God in control of my life! What could I possibly have to worry about if I truly trust in Him?

For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they donot toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!....But seek first His kingdon and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6: 25-30, 33-34