Archives for January 2013

Lessons From Behind The Wheel

My 15 year-old started driving with her “learners” permit last October.  Mind you, “learners” is not how she sees it (more like “knowers”). To her, driving was second nature, something for which she had been counting down the days, when she could be a little closer to the grown-up world.

Hannah driving, my new view from the back seat when we are driving with our family...notice proper 10 and 2 position!

Hannah driving, my new view from the back seat when we are driving with our family…notice proper 10 and 2 position!

To her credit, she has been a very good driver from the start…almost too good.  Complete stops at every stop sign, driving exactly the speed limit, following every driving rule….I found myself getting really annoyed.  Not only was it taking us longer to get everywhere, but my flaws as a driver were really starting to stand out.   Did I really not completely stop at stop signs?  Did I really always drive over the speed limit? Did I only use my blinker when I knew another car was nearby?  Was I really always in such a hurry? Not only was my conscience making this clear to me, my daughter had suddenly become an expert at my driving skills (or lack there of).  Just yesterday, as I hurried to drop kids off at acting class, she gave me a lecture (as I was driving) on my speed relative to the speed limit (let’s just say she is a very black and white rule-follower).  “Don’t worry about it, this is a road that it is OK to go a little fast” I replied as I checked the rearview mirror for signs of a police car.  Inside, I knew she was right.  I had been doing a poor job of being a good example to Hannah as a driver. Just because I “know” in my experience where I can cut a few corners, I need to do it the right way.  She is watching my every move, and deciding how that will play into how she drives once she has her license.

What else is she watching?  What example to her am I being in other areas of my life?  I hope better than my driving example.  As a Christian, I am held to a higher standard of behavior. I am accountable to the God I believe in, who He wants me to be, and the example I set for others–not just as a mom, but as a friend, as an employee, as a wife, etc.  I cannot blow off “the speed limit” of my behavior, just because I’m in a hurry, or hurt, or frustrated.  I need to live by the fruits of the Spirit, which God has so graciously given to me to know and to grow in:

But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS, and SELF-CONTROL.

Galatians 5:22

If I am not being an example of these things to my daughter, and all the other people I encounter in my day, well, I have some work to do.  And, I do.  But, I am trying (unlike I have been with my driving) to show my daughter that we can love the seemingly unloveable person on the corner begging for money, that joy can be found in my day regardless of my circumstances, that peace comes from trusting God’s great plan for my life, that patience is something to be tested, that kindness can be expressed in small acts of service, that goodness flows from a heart seeking God, that  faithfulness is a journey of trust in the unseen, that gentleness is an expression of a heart that is soft, and that  self-control comes after a great many failed attempts.

This has been a good reminder to me…I am being watched.

Notice my incorrect hand (not hands) position :)

Notice my incorrect one handed driving 🙂

 

Have a blessed day,

Amy

 

 

A Time For Everything

Written By Jen

This post has taken me awhile to write.  I am writing it to say I will be gracefully exiting our GraceFullHome blog.  My reason is fairly simple, it’s a season of movement in my life.  All the movement is keeping me out of the office and that’s where I write my blog posts, so I am finding myself in a predicament.  What am I doing moving about?  Time for myself, my family, my friends, my job and even time for God.  I am looking forward to the next adventure that God has for me as we move about.  I am not sure where we are going but I well know my guide.  I wanted to thank all of you for reading my posts.  I think I may have laughed out loud when Amy asked me to join her as English has always been one of my worst subjects.  I have NEVER had a good grade on a paper I have written.  Writing has always been a weakness of mine.  I was quite thankful she asked and I am thankful you all have endured my lack of eloquence and loose grammar.  I have enjoyed this journey together.  My interest in writing has grown.  The thing I will miss the most is my time brainstorming with Amy and my connections with all of you.  Thank You again for all your comments and conversations that have come from this time we shared on this blog!  Amy, will keep on rocking it here on Grace Full Home!  I will be reading along with the rest of you!

Thank YOU!

JEN

A Pound Of Light

Written By Amy

imagesCAWTLS68

They are still coming, commercials and advertisements about losing weight.  I actually like it, it inspires me, even if I’m not going to sign up for Jenny Craig this afternoon.  I can always improve my health, in fact I have started a new work out routine that I am really enjoying (to share in an upcoming post), and watching “The Biggest Loser” and seeing commercials about health reminds me of my goals of becoming a better physical me.

But the bible doesn’t focus much on the physical me, instead, God’s word is almost entirely focused on the spiritual me.  The spiritual me is directly related to the physical me, however. When I am healthy and not overly-focused on my weight or aches and pains, I can focus on being a light to others.

Have you been distracted by your physical self?  It is so easy to do in our culture.  We become so inwardly focused and entirely distracted if we don’t look the way we want. We wake up happy and ready to take on the day, only to be emotionally dislodged by the numbers on the scale.  When I was in college I struggled with an eating disorder.   I was completely and utterly distracted by the emotional and physical food battles I was having.  That internal war kept me from focusing on others, on being completely present and open to hearing God’s whisper in my ear about how he wanted me to be a light for him.  That was over twenty years ago, and I have since learned how to have a healthy relationship with food.  But there are still times that I get frustrated about how my clothes fit, or the new wrinkles appearing on my 41-year-old face.  It is during those times that I try to shift my focus to God.  Knowing that my body will weaken as it ages, but the power of being a light for Jesus in world can only grow stronger.

light

“You are a light of the world  A city on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.  Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”  Matthew 5:14-16

God asks us to share the love he has put in our hearts.  He wants to shine out of us, into the world that we touch each day…our friends, neighbors, at work, and even in line at the grocery store.  Let’s not hide our lamp under a bowl because we are too distracted with ourselves. If we are balanced and healthy (not perfect!) with our physical selves, our spiritual selves can be the strongest, brightest part of us.  Let’s tip the scales with pounds of light!

Death is Not Dying

Written By Amy

Today our family will attend a funeral of a mom in our neighborhood.  She leaves behind a husband and three children, the oldest 12, the youngest 5.  Cancer overtook her body in the last six months, and it has been hard to imagine what their family has been through during that time.

Kris was loved by many.  It was hard to find a spot to sign up for a meal to bring, there were so many that wanted to.  She has been showered with love and kindness the last several months.  I knew her because our kids have been friends over the last several years; we have stood at the bus stop together, and chatted about life at indoor soccer games.  She was one of the most gentle spirited, kind women I knew.  Our children have been heavily hit by the loss of their friend’s mom.  It will be a difficult day saying goodbye.

We have been praying that her family, especially her kids, would be comforted by God.  That they would feel his loving, strong arms around her during this heart wrenching time.   God is with those who have suffered great loss:

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted”  Matthew 5:4

A couple of years ago I watched an amazing video of another woman named Rachel suffering from cancer, about the same age as Kris, leaving behind children, who somehow was able to speak in front of a large group about the lessons learned from her life….just two months before she died.  It is powerful, and it made me think of Kris and all the wisdom she would have been able to share.

Here is the website for Rachel’s video, where you can watch and hear her story: http://deathisnotdying.com/.  Please take some time to watch it, it will change you.

 

 

Kris King

kris

kris 2

Balloon Release in Honor of Kris

We will miss you Kris!

Amy

 

If you get the chance… PLAY

Written By Jen

My kids have had some opportunities that have been exciting lately.  These opportunities include auditions, competitions and standing in front of a lot of people as they watch how you perform on the spot.  It’s exciting, but it can also bring anxiety, nervousness and even an urge to drop out instead of giving it a try.  The question, what if I fail?  I think when we have the fear to quit, it helps to go down that road, what if you do fail?  What’s the WORST thing that could happen?  I have found, it’s usually not that bad.  Enjoy the game!  Play, because it’s fun to play the game.  If you don’t win… At least you got to play!  Do you remember all the second, third or fourth place people in games?  What about the last place.  I don’t.  PLAY.  It’s fun!  To ease some nerves my kids and were singing, “ain’t no rock, gonna cry in my place.  As long as I am alive I’ll glorify HIS HOLY name.”  Of course we made up words to fit the situation and  laughed.  It helped to bring much-needed perspective to the moment.  Win or lose, 1st place or 6th place, as long as I am alive I’ll glorify His holy name!  That, takes the pressure off and allows us to enjoy doing our best, having fun, win or lose.  PLAY.

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