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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Strength

Sometimes, it's a moment, it's a second, it's a look, it's a feeling...
If you let yourself get lost in it, everything else is put into perspective.

Last night, I had that moment...

Rewind to earlier in the day. Awful. Swollen feet. Swollen legs. Excruciating back pain. If you've never had twins, it's hard to explain the extent of the discomfort, so I won't even try. Just believe me when I say my day was hard. That way I won't have to waste anymore of your time boring you with my tales of woe.

More importantly, though, it was Rick's birthday. I had left all of his birthday party planning until the last minute because over the weekend I hadn't been feeling well. So, there it was, end of my work day and I called Rick in tears. I didn't even think I could walk around the grocery because my cankles felt like they were going to explode. Rick said to come home to a back rub and foot spa and he would go pick up something for his birthday dinner. I actually considered it. We hung up the phone and I headed home relieved that he wouldn't be upset for a spoiled birthday.

But then I thought of something...

As Rick's Granny was so courageously battling lung cancer, she attended one of my baby showers for Gabriella. I remember it so vividly because she had just gone to a chemo treatment several days before. And there she was, finding the energy and the love to come and celebrate my and Rick's 1st child. She never complained. She was there with a joyful heart and I could tell it took everything she had to be there. If Granny, facing the most difficult challenge of her life, could do something for me, then surely, under my circumstances that pale in comparison, I could suck it up and give my husband the birthday dinner he deserved.
What an example of strength Granny was.

So, I made dinner. And a cake.

And I filmed our little family as we sang Happy Birthday.

I might add that I thought I was having contractions as we sang! Ha! I'm so appreciative that God gave Granny the strength to endure so many things. Seeing the way she used God is an example for me.

When you look at the strength of the amazing people around you and see how they're using God, it helps you figure out how to use Him in your own life.

I see God in the strength He gives to those who ask for it...
and the example they set for others.

Love,

Mary
video

Friday, January 13, 2012

No One Needs to Know

Are you the type of person that seeks recognition? When you do something nice for someone, do you tell others about it? When you go above and beyond the call of duty, do you want someone to acknowledge you?

After a conversation I had with a friend today, I was left feeling a bit frustrated. She and I were discussing how others in our profession are perceived. Some in a positive light, others not. Some warranted, some not. In my mind, I started to tally the list of things I do that I never get any credit for; the things that go unnoticed...unrecognized. In fact, as I started writing this post, I considered listing all of these things and then complaining about how under-appreciated I am.

But why?

Matthew 6 says,
"When you pray, don't be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I assure you, that is all the reward they will ever get. But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father secretly. Then your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you."

I think it's only human nature to want others to know what good things you're doing. It's a means of validation. Maybe deep down, you don't want others to think someone else is doing a better job.

Why beat around the bush? It's pride.

But just as Matthew warns against praying in public where everyone can see you, I think God feels the same way about the ways in which we're glorifying Him in our every day lives. We use our talents, our time, and our energy to glorify God, not to gain recognition for ourselves. No one needs to know...

except Him.

And that should always be enough.

So, the next time I give...

the next time I care...

the next time I do something to make a difference in someone's life...

the next time I go out of my way to help...

I'm not going to get upset because no one noticed.


I hope this weekend finds you using your talents and resources to glorify God in so many ways and telling absolutely no one about it!

After all, no one needs to know. Except Him...

Love,
Mary



Thursday, January 5, 2012

This is My Life!

Is this really my life? Has it all come down to this?! The events of this week have been crazy, absurd, and laughable. I've found myself in the middle of moments thinking this is my life.

And I love it.

Drum roll please...a week in the life of me...

Monday-School started back. After having 2 weeks off with my family, I was having a bit of separation anxiety and was a little emotionally fragile. Rick had agreed to put up all the Christmas decorations while I was at work. When I returned home, I was amazed at his progress. Every single thing had been put away and stored. Hmmm...too good to be true. As Rick started telling me about how he had organized our decorations, he described how he had put all of our Christmas ornaments at the bottom of a very large box. As in, there were lots of heavy things on top of the ornaments. Heavy things that, over the course of a year, could break all of our ornaments into tiny little pieces, rendering us ornament-less next Christmas. I cried. I'm not joking. The thought of an ornament-less Christmas made me weep. Like a baby. Rick consoled me, "I'll go fix it right now." Of course, he's too sweet to be like, "Look woman, you are crazy and you need to get over the way Christmas ornaments are packaged." Later, I felt so stupid for being so emotional over something so trivial. I kept apologizing for my lapse in emotional stability. Rick assured me it was okay.

However, the ornaments have since been placed in new, nicely packaged boxes.

Tuesday, Wednesday- Since I've been pregnant, I crave the weirdest things. This week: the smell of dish water and the dishwasher. On Tuesday and Wednesday, you could find me with my head perched right above the lemony fumes of cleanliness. Really. I told Rick I wanted to stick my head in the dishwater because I couldn't get enough of just how good it smelled and, although he laughed, I could tell he was a tad worried. I think he thinks I'm going insane so...

I didn't stick my head in the dish water. or the dishwasher for that matter.

But I really wanted to!

Middle of the night Wednesday- Can't sleep. No surprise there. Rick gets up with me. We talk. I eat the second half bag of Lay's this week. I might mention in the the middle of the night on Monday I ate another half bag. They're just so good! Anyways, I get in the most absurd laughing fit you've ever seen! I mean I'm laughing like a jolly old man who starts laughing so hard in the middle of his own joke that he never finishes it! I couldn't even get out a sound. I was just shaking and shaking. Rick kept jokingly asking, "Are you okay?" NO, I'm not okay!! I've got the hormones of three women inside me. It's not possible to be okay. So I laughed and laughed and laughed until, all of a sudden, I started to bawl my eyes out! The biggest tears you've ever seen! I told you I've been on an emotional roller coaster! The thing is, I wasn't sad or worried or upset. I couldn't help myself so I just cried...
and then laughed...
and then cried...
and then laughed...

and then fell fast asleep.

Thursday- We're watching some show called Dance Moms. Totally ridiculous, but sometimes you need a show that utilizes absolutely no brain cells. While we're watching, GG keeps shouting, "GG do it! GG do it!" Gabriella wanted to dance. So we cheer her on as she dances and spins around the living room. Then, she starts saying, "Ta-ta! Ta-ta!" Not knowing what she wants, Rick lets her show him what she's trying to tell us. Well, she leads Rick right up to our bedroom, points to a drawer, and when she comes back downstairs has on the most beautiful lacy black bra you've ever seen! HA! She continues to dance and dance and dance. I guess she saw the girls in their costumes and decided to find a costume of her own. After she dances and dances, she looks at Rick and says, "You wear ta-ta! You wear ta-ta!" Now Rick will do a lot of things for his dear daughter, but dance around in a woman's black lace bra is not one of them. Sorry GG! Not tonight! hehehe :)

See, I told you this week has been crazy and absurd and laughable.

I'm sure you think we are the most dysfunctional bunch of weirdos! I was actually about to try and defend us, but you know what...

we are.

And I love it.

I love that in one day I can laugh and cry and find such joy in the smell of a running dishwasher and eat a bag of Lays and watch my daughter dance around in a black lace bra that she calls a ta-ta.

God, I see You in all of the crazy details of my life.

Love,

Mary