Excuses

Sunday mornings at my house are not exactly what the Lord intends a Sunday morning to be. We are slow moving on Sundays. The busy week has finally caught up with us and we all  like to take some time and chill. And then, just like that, time as gotten away from us and the race to get ready for church begins.

Then it’s time for the excuses.

Me: “Brady get up”   Brady: “I’m just too tired”

Me: ” Eli find your shoes” Eli: “Why do I need shoes for church?”

And finally my favorite from this morning…

Me: “Brady brush your teeth”  Brady: “Can’t. Have gum in my mouth already.”

There’s always an excuse with  my little ones. Whether it’s Sunday mornings or weekday mornings or Sunday nights or weekday nights. They always have a reason for why they simply can’t do something.

And I can be the exact same way.

I hate exercising. I don’t want to do it. Ever. And trust me, I will come up with all sorts of excuses to not do it. I have too many other things on my plate. I need my rest. I don’t feel well. Any old excuse will do.

But you know what the funny thing is? When I do manage to exercise (and I have been pretty on the ball with it lately) I feel so much better. I have more energy and I don’t drag through my day. It’s worth every minute.

Lately, I’ve been coming up with all sorts of excuses for my time with God too. I need to sleep in longer, have too much going on, have to get the boy’s things together. I always seem to turn my mornings into Martha moments, scurrying around, worrying about the things of this world.  I can come up with a million different reasons for not sitting down with Him.

And just like with exercising, when I do manage to start my mornings with my Lord, when I become a Mary and not a Martha, I always feel so much better.

We all come up with excuses to spend time away from God. We are running a million miles an hour on a treadmill that won’t stop. Whether it’s with our children, our jobs, housework, or all of the above (and then some) we all have loaded plates.

But regardless of how busy we feel, we should always make time for Him.  He should be on the forefront of our minds when we rise each morning.

Think about the excuses you make for your time away from Him. Are other things really more important than God? Then the one who created us and blessed us with these lives that we have?

Nope. He outdoes everything else on my To Do List.

It’s time for Him to have the number one spot.

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Roller Skating

Psalm 145:14  The LORD upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.

Eli and I went roller skating yesterday. It was my niece Angelina’s 10th birthday and that’s how she wanted to celebrate her day. So after a lunch at Friendly’s (woohoo patty melt), we all headed over to Chester’s favorite skating spot.

Now I am not a master of many things, (unless you count being an excellent Netflix watcher, a relatively fast typer, and a fairly good reader) but I can skate. I’m not winning any races, but I can go pretty fast on a pair of skates without looking like a complete hot mess. And I was doing my thing yesterday at good old Chester Skateland. In fact it was all good until the Hokey Pokey. I got just a little too cocky and spun around way too fast. I didn’t fall, but I came pretty close to biting the dust for sure.

Most of the time we sail through life on our skates. We go through our days, our routines, our lives, dodging and weaving problems and pitfalls without falling. We may narrowly miss tripping over a leg from a sprawled out kid in front of us, or stumble going around a turn too fast, but we still remain up; still remain standing.

But then there are those times when we do fall. We trip and fall flat on our faces, completely taken aback.  Or someone holding onto us drags us down onto the rock hard floor alongside them.

Or we cause our own crashes, not paying attention to the warning signs up ahead. We get arrogant and try and take a turn way too fast, not realizing that we aren’t ready for that move quite yet.

My five year old nephew Andrew can’t skate at all. As soon as he stands up on a pair of skates he falls flat on his face. It’s a constant struggle for him to get around the rink. He needs lots of help and constant support.

Sometimes we are like Andrew too. When we can’t get up at all. When life just keeps knocking us down over and over again. Or we get completely and utterly blindsided and think there is no way we will ever be able to stand up on our own again.

It’s in those moments after I have taken a pretty bad hit or stumble, those moments when I feel most alone, that I remember I am not on own. I don’t have to do it by myself because God is always right there beside me. He is there when I am sailing fast around those corners confidently, without a fear in sight.

And He was there when I had the wind completely knocked out of me, unable to even move because the pain hurt so much.

We don’t have to rely on just ourselves to stand back up. We always have someone to help pick us up off of that cold, hard floor. To carry us even when we can’t move at all.

He’s there. When we are up and when we are down. When we are sailing and when we are crumbling.

Reminding us always that we are never alone.

Looking Both Ways

Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Eli never (and I mean never) looks both ways when he leaves our driveway on his bike. He flies off so fast that there is no time for pausing. No time to turn his head. Nope, he bulldozes straight ahead. His mind on other things and not worrying about his own safety.

I really hope he doesn’t get hit by a car. I don’t know how many times I can tell him that or how many different ways. He is headstrong. He is stubborn. And he thinks he’s invisible. He is about to be bikeless if he does it again. Although, I’m pretty sure he doesn’t look both ways when he’s walking or running out of our driveway either. Unfortunately, I can’t remove his legs.

How many times in our own lives do we forget to look both ways? How many times do we bulldoze straight ahead, without stopping to pause and reflect on what is truly best for us? And then, even when we do look both ways, what way do we usually end up choosing? Are we choosing the ways of this world? Or are we choosing the ways of our Lord?

We are headstrong. We are stubborn. We are selfish. Often times, the right way, the way God has planned for us, just looks too hard. We go ahead on our own path, or we look towards the world and decide to do it their way.

Matthew tells us to always seek God first. Not the other way and not our own way.

Stop bulldozing ahead in life without stopping to seek Him first.

Instead, take a moment to pause and look both ways, knowing that you will always choose the right way.

Because His way is always going to keep us safe.

 

 

 

 

A Love Without Numbers

1 Corinthians 13:13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

If I could measure my love for you in numbers, I would count hundreds of I love yous, thousands of snuggles, and millions of sleepy smiles.

If I could measure my love for you in time, I would count the seconds of your first steps, the minutes it took you to get off of your first school bus, and the hours we spend together and apart.

If I could measure my love for you in weight, I would use the weight on my heart as it breaks slowly, watching as you grow up.  I would use the heaviness you feel on your shoulders, as you change from my little boy to a young man.

I could never fully measure my love for you. It’s an impossible love. It’s fierce and it’s steadfast. It’s a love without numbers. A love without boundaries. A love unable to be counted. I hope you know how much love I hold for you. How much devotion I carry in my heart for you. Even as I tearfully and bravely watch you step out into this world.

And those steps keep getting bigger.

And I know one day they will keep going.

But the love will still be there. It will still be growing, as bold as ever, never stopping.

It will still be a love without numbers.

It will still be a love unable to be measured.

 

 

 

Chicken Casseroles

Romans 12:10 “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”

A precious friend brought me something today. Last night, while baking a casserole for her family, she decided to bake an extra one for my family too. She knows we are gearing up for back to school craziness and hoped that it would help ease at least one problem of what to eat for dinner.

Her kind gesture has sat on my heart all day. It resonated with my pastor’s sermon this morning as he spoke about how we, as Christians, have a duty to go out into this world and to just be kind.

I think many of us think of ourselves as kind people. We behave ourselves when driving, (most of the time), we aren’t in jail for assault, we smile, and we wave, and we take care of our families.

But it’s so hard to be thoughtful all of the time isn’t it? Especially when we get so caught up in our own lives and in our own busyness. We wake up thinking about ourselves and the tasks we have to accomplish that day, the places we have to be, the things we need to do for our children, for our husbands, for our households.

Imagine what this world would be like if we woke up each morning and asked ourselves what we could do for someone else? Someone that’s not a part of our family. Someone that might need a reminder that they are not alone in this crazy, crazy world.

And these thoughtful gestures don’t even have to be grandiose. They can simply be a small act of kindness. A thoughtful note or a little reminder to someone else that they are special too.

And that they are loved.

God loves us so much that He sacrificed His one and only son for each and every one of us. This same Son commanded us to love each other with that same kind of love.  To be devoted to one another and to put others before ourselves.

To love one another like God loves us.

Obey Him and watch how He blesses your obedience.

Remind someone tomorrow that she is not alone. Remind her that God’s love is everywhere and all around us.

It’s even in a chicken casserole.