Tuesday, October 25, 2016

KINDa A Hard One

Kindness!!! Well, my whole blog post that I wrote, and spent a long time on I might add, was erased by one of my children. Breathe in, 2, 3, 4........ breathe out! Oh Jesus help me to be kind. Argggghh!

This morning Pastor Tim Giannosa spoke on Kindness and it was many good things: funny, inspiring and especially for me, CONVICTING!!! Anyone else?

I am a verbal processor which basically means I have zero filter, things fly from my mouth, some good, some negative and some hurtful. For me it is easy to be kind to others, unless you live with me then, well, the verbal diarrhea flows and flows. Oh how I wish I could take back so very many hurtful things I have said to my husband and my children. My husband gets all my moody attitude and my girls have heard many unkind tones come out of me. Oh yes, I can go back and apologize but words stick, how you treat someone sticks. Pastor Tim shared about how his hatred grew as his step-father's words stuck with him. I also remember horrible things my mother said to me, or about me, and our relationship is highly damaged, to the point where there isn't much of one at all now.

The good news is I am not alone in this struggle. You are not alone too. We can't do this in our own will, or by our own strength. He uses these struggles to grow and strengthen us.
There were 4 main points that Pastor Tim shared about. I will attempt to give a synopsis of here...

'All Amazing acts of Kindness will have....

1. Patience.
Kindness is rarely developed, or fine tuned, in the good times. It is easy to be kind when things are going well. On hard days it is really easy to be a jerk. Kindness will be developed and tested during the boiling points of frustration, especially during those times of people failing you again and again and yet again. In these moments, we can take from the Spirit what He has given us. Love is Patient.

2. Sacrifice.
You need to Sacrifice something to be kind. It doesn't cost a lot to change someones life but it does take sacrifice. Some sort of sacrifice. Will you sacrifice your time, your money, your resources.

3. Words.
Focus on your words. The tongue has the power of life and death. Proverbs 31:26 says, "she opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of Kindness." Jesus is the Word. Guard your words and be extra careful with what you say in the hard moments.

4. Forgiveness.
Ephesians 4:32 says, "And be Kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you."
Forgive others in the same way God forgave you. Bestow grace upon people. Hold nothing against another person.'

Ladies, it was so easy to hear this message and allow lies to come into my head  "I am a bad mother a bad wife a bad friend". But these things are just not true. We need to forgive ourselves for things we have done and ask God to help us to be more kind. He will! We can do all things through Him! I love how Pastor Tim gave us practical ways we can practice being kind. With the Holy Spirit on our side there is nothing to stop us!


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Motherhood with the Awe & Wonder

Psalm 19:1 “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”

Heavens and Skies filled with glory? I can’t seem to lift my head above the piles of laundry scattering my floor to even see the sky!

Wonder in the motherhood. 

Wonder if my stomach will ever not spill over the front of my pants.  Wonder if my kids will develop stomach cancer from all the Mcdonalds they eat.  Wonder if I’m reading books with them enough.  Wonder if I’ve bathed them this week.

It is so easy, so very, very easy to lose sight of the wonder and awe of God when your living minute by minute with your little tribe, burdened with the stresses of this world. 

You may think, “I don’t have time today for a glorious trek into God’s beautiful creation! I have to nurse the baby, clean the ring from my toilets and figure out what the heck I’m going to feed my hard working husband for dinner! Wait, where did my toddler go……”

But take heart dear mom, God’s wonder and awe are right at your fingertips! You may not be able to load the family into the minivan for a spiritual journey through the forest, but you can look deep into the eyes of your sweet babes and see God’s true wonder in the intricate design of their little blue eyes.

I grew up with a mother who truly new how to appreciate God’s wonder and awe in every moment.   Mom, I apologize now for all the times I rolled my eyes.  We’d be out and about, and without warning she’d GASP, causing all of us to wonder who died or where was the snake.  She’d then exclaim “Guys! Look at this flower! God is amazing!”  (Next time you see her, ask what her mantel magic is :) )

Now that I am no longer an angsty teenager with rolling eyes, I appreciate how she notices the smallest beauty or magical moment, especially now as a mother of young children.  It has made me realize that I don’t have to trek very far to be surrounded by God’s glory, to be a part of the beautiful creation that is all around us.

Watching my children on their hands and knees, noses to the ground following a roly poly across the sidewalk.

Feeling the patch of cool damp grass between my toes on warm day. 

Those horrible fires we’ve been having in California, have made some pretty spectacular sunsets.

The smell of the fresh cup of coffee I hold as a lifeline as my littles and I  watch the sun come up.

Our amazing mentor moms can attest to the fact that one day in the not so distant future, we will have all the time in the world for soaking in the beauty and majesty God has created, but until then, I pray that we can stop and literally smell the roses, take a stroll around the block hunting for fall leaves,  look deep into the souls of our children with awe, and bask in the early morning sunlight with hot coffee in our hands. 

And after writing this, I looked up from my spot on the porch to witness my own little wonder moment of seeing my three sweet babes all playing alongside each other, beautifully working together….nevermind that it only lasted for 5 minutes.  It was wonderful just the same!

- Mallory