Thursday, March 20, 2014

Love Your Now

(Today is the Third Thursday of the month. Time for the Hearts at Home Home Blog Hop! This month's topic: Love Your Now. Head over to Jill's blog to see what other women have to say on the topic.)
“This too shall pass…”

“If I can just hang on long enough…”

“It won’t last forever…”

“Seasons come and seasons go…”

“To everything there is a season…”

I’m holding my breath until we get through this phase. Searching for a light at the end of the tunnel, I try to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Once we reach this finish line, I believe we’ll find some rest. There has to be better things on the other side. Until, of course, the other side reveals it is just another season with its own trials and temptations waiting to happen.

It’s the holding pattern we’ve been living in. Work has made it next to impossible to plan anything social in our lives. I like to look at the week in front of us and know what to expect. Unfortunately, the deadlines my husband has been under at work leaves me uncertain of not only our long term future but the very next moment as well. Will he be home for dinner? Will I have help transporting the kids to activities? What are the chances he will have to be in another state tomorrow? How can we continue to live life like this?

Some of my friends flip to the ending of a book first to know if it is worth their time to read its entirety. I can’t imagine doing that until a season of life has me wanting to fast forward to the end. If I can just see the finish line… If I only knew the course and the distance left in front of me… I can usually pace myself to finish the race if I know what I’m up against.

The other night I spent some time alone with my grandparents. He sits in a wheelchair, his body crippled by age and disease. Unable to get his arm to respond to his brain’s command, I watch it slowly fall through the arm of the chair. She sits by his side. Noticing his arm fall, she holds his disfigured hand and tucks it under his lap blanket so it will stay where it should. More times than I can count, she informs me “He is 90-years-old now.” We just celebrated his birthday so I know. “He’s the only one who has made it to that age.” My heart aches as I watch these pillars of my life fade away. His body fails him. Her mind wrestles with her world. All he wants is to have his body strong and able again. She wants to tell her stories without struggle to remember. I want to have an easy relationship with my grandparents where they know me fully. But all our wanting is just that.

I’ve been wishing away seasons for 36 years now. Praying God will give us the strength to get through. Sometimes it feels like that is all we can do. Pray and cling on for dear hope. It’s just that I realize we can’t ever count on tomorrow. Death can steal tomorrow early like it did with my dad. Moments like those knock at my heart’s door. When a phone call from a doctor leaves us wondering if tomorrow will be… all we want is yesterday back.

It’s not a good mental place to always be wishing for the good ol’ days. And racing towards tomorrow leaves us missing the moments we should be embracing today. We were never promised to see the course route ahead of time. God just told us to run the race well. 

If I live until I am 90, will I be able to be content with the race I’ve run? I don’t want to live in a world of regrets. It’s time to embrace today. Give thanks for the gifts each moment brings. When I understand that the season I’m wishing away is shaping the future me, maybe I can stop and appreciate the molding process. An artist working is still beautiful even before the final product is revealed. There is much to appreciate along the race course besides the finish line itself.

It’s time for me to love my now. I’m called to live in the present. One thing is for certain. Even if today feels like more than I can handle… through it all, I have God by my side. He sees the future and I can trust that He is faithful to complete the work He began in me.

I can celebrate the way my 5-year-old shares every thought in her head especially because I wish my 11-year-old would tell me more. When my 8-year-old puts a silly mustache on her face to greet us in the morning, I hope I will remember to cherish the moments that will soon fade away. There is a certain gratitude for the self-sufficiency my pre-teen has when my preschooler still asks for help to wipe. (Just as I typed this I realized she hasn’t asked for this in quite a few days!) Although my husband is working many exhausting hours, God has provided gift after gift through this season. Our eyes need to be open to the gifts of today. We are far from ever being in want and abundance is something to be thankful for even when the daily tasks at hand overwhelm me. Yes, this is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it!

How do you find ways to love your now?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Have you bought No More Perfect Kids yet?

NMPK Cover with Chapman name Guess what??? It's time!

I've been telling you about the No More Perfect Kids book and encouraging you to wait to get it until Bonus Week and it's finally here! Hearts at Home, Celebrate Kids, Inc, and Moody Publishers have put together an incredible package of parenting tools for anyone who buys the book during Bonus Week!

Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the bestselling book The Five Love Languages, says, "Few things in life are more satisfying than succeeding as a parent. No More Perfect Kids will help you do just that!"

If you pick up the No More Perfect Kids book (e-book or hard copy from any brick and mortar store or online retailer) anytime between March 13 - 23, 2014, you will be eligible to receive over $100 in free resources!

Here's how it works: 1) Buy the No More Perfect Kids book between March 13 and March 23 2) Scan or take a picture of the receipt 3) email a copy of your receipt to 4)Within 24 hours your will receipt a reply with a link and password to unlock you free resources!
So what is included in the bonus offers? It's over $100 of incredible parenting resources!

Here's what you'll get:

4 Printables:
* You're Special Poster
* I Corinthians 13 for Parents Poster
* Compliments and Corrections Booklet by Dr. Kathy Koch
* Conversation Starters for Parents and Grandparents Booklet by Dr. Kathy Koch

4 Hearts at Home Audio Workshops:
* When You Feel Like Screaming--Sue Heimer,
* Getting Inside the Head of Your Kid--Shaunti Feldhahn
* Raising Grateful Kids--Marianne Miller
* Real Ways to Connect with Your Kids--Kathi Lipp

3 E-Books:* A Perfect Pet for Peyton by Gary Chapman,
* How Am I Smart? by Kathy Koch
* The 10 Commandments of Parenting by Dr. Ed Young

You'll also want to check out where you'll find free videos to accompany the No More Perfect Kids book and other great resources!

HAH logo 4 approvalWhat a wonderful opportunity this is to get some great parenting resources at an incredible price! Tell your friends, your moms group, and any other parent who would benefit from this wonderful opportunity!