Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Tantrums & Blessing - originally written 2/13/15

Everyday, I look around and see all of these people who don't seem to be struggling like I am.  I hear that others struggle, but where are they all.  Do they hide in their houses and not come out?  Am I really the only one?  I don't understand.  Why am I such a mess?  Why can't I handle my life?  Why am I not all put together like everyone else?  Wait a minute.....

These are the irrational thoughts in my mind.  I know they are irrational.  I don't understand the world, but I do know that there is absolutely no way I am the only one who feels this way.  There are so many struggling in the world, so much pain, so much hurt, so much abuse, so much addiction.  I am not the only one who feels this way. 

I do, however, sometimes feel like I'm the only one who is openly airing my dirty laundry.  I still go out into public with my screaming, tantruming three year old. I carry him out of church screaming and crying when he can't behave, then I have a massive hissy fit outside the car once he is safely buckled inside.  I yell, stamp my feet, almost punch my rear windshield (but resist), tear up papers, throw my keys on the ground.   Okay, my tantrum is over.  Time to go into the car and act cool with the kid.  (note to self:  I'll need to apologize to the unsuspecting mother who just witnessed my emotional outburst).

I'm such a mess....but a beautiful honest mess, trying to figure out this messy world one moment at a time. 

Another mother comes out to console me in the car.  Instead of feeling judged, I decide to accept her loving care and words of wisdom.  The three year old is still screaming in the car, while she assures me my other four kids are in good hands, I accept her loving hug.  She looks in the back of my car to my three year old.  He unleashes a death scream on her ears. She looks at him lovingly and says, "we love you, Liam."  Wow!  That floors me, she doesn't judge, she loves.  Then, she quietly says to me, "how about you ask him to calm down for two minutes, something he can be successful at, if he can do that, then come back into the gym and join us for the party." 

I do just as she says, it works!  I am so thankful for her, and to God for answering my quiet prayers to be rescued.  I go back inside and face the stares of all the other mothers and kids who witnessed the great and epic three year old tantrum. 

Once all the kids are taken care of, I sneak off to a far away corner, lament a little with my spouse via text messaging, and then I'm back to the game of motherhood.  Juggling kids, driving to and from destinations, cursing traffic and lights for making me later than I already planned on being, then rushing home for a "relaxing" family night.

Everyday is a roller coaster of emotions like this.   Some with more twists, turns, highs, and lows!

Everyday is a beautiful mess!  Thank goodness we have a great and loving God to get us through this tough world together.  

Friday, February 13, 2015

Focus - February 5th - Everyday I'm a Beautiful Mess

Focus - Everyday I'm a Beautiful Mess 

 I'd like to begin with a silent prayer that these words may become meaningful to you the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit! 

 I choose everyday to walk with Jesus. I have to give Him my "yes" everyday. Everyday, Jesus welcomes me back into this beautiful relationship and life He has prepared for me. Everyday, I fail to live perfectly as He would like, but everyday he welcomes me back into His loving arms. This is displayed in the first part of our lesson, The Lord is always present, ready to welcome the exiles back as soon as they are ready to open their hearts & mind to The Lord's great love. 

We are all beautifully and wonderfully created by God. He sees us always, not as we are on earth, but as we will be in heaven. In heaven, we will all be our gloried selves, beautiful and perfect. However, on earth we are a different kind of beautiful, we are a beautiful mess. At least I know I am!

On the outside, to some, I may seem put together, peaceful, laid back; able to take on all that this crazy life dishes out, but that is SO far from the truth. I am standing before you today to admit openly that I am a mess. A beautiful mess journeying to find out why and how God fashioned me the way I am. Just exactly what kind of a mess am I, let me gives you five examples.... 

1. I'm late, always always always late, typically at least 5-8 minutes late to any and all kinds of appointments. I over heard some people I was recently working with regularly referring to this as "Dwyer time." They said something to the effect of "are we really meeting at 3 o'clock or "Dwyer time" 3 o'clock. If I need to make it somewhere on time I have to pray or have someone else pray for me to arrive timely.  

2. Running behind is not just for time with me, it also applies to assignments. I often don't complete my cornerstone lessons, or any assignments "on time" as expected. I'm often doing my daily lessons for cornerstone doubled up on the last few days. Shhh, there have been times I have pulled an "all nighter" doing all six lessons in one night. I had a revelation about this one awhile ago....sometimes I need to allow myself to be off schedule, because that is just where God wants me. Sometimes, I need to hear God's message for day 3's lesson on day 5. He knows what I need everyday. Also, He sometimes needs me to come to cornerstone without everything all put together. He calls me to come even when my lessons aren't complete. I've decided on these days to just be humble and quiet and practice my listening skills. 

3. My house is a disaster at all times. With six kids running around, seven if you count my husband. We have toys everywhere, a continuous stream of dishes, non-stop meal preparation, not to mention 14-16 loads of laundry a week, and that is if no one pees on their bed, which seems to be happening a lot lately. I simply can't keep up, even with seven helpers running around. I have to look my surrounding and simply say, "what a beautiful mess". 

4. I can't be counted on for anything outside my family life these days, this is really difficult for me. I was recently told that I needed to only take on things that would allow for me to never be relied on. Inconsistency is the name of this game. I'm feeling awfully confused on this front. I have a desire to do useful tasks, but how can one do this if you can't be depended on. Praying on this one currently. Maybe another focus is on the horizon when God gives me some clue. 

5. I'm an emotional mess, nearly all areas of my life are undergoing purification and transformation. My younger niece is planning to head to college next fall, my teenage daughter has finally arrived at being a true teenager attitude and all, my two middle sons are as wild and crazy as ever, my three year old, Liam, is one of the strongest willed children in the world we go head to head almost daily in battles that if I've often wanted to video tape because they are so ridiculously amazing and later make me laugh at how worked up a child can get over something as silly as how full his cup is with milk, and Hazel just started walking. My prayer life is very active these days!!! My emotions are all over the place. I laugh, I cry, I get frustrated, I get angry, I even scream sometimes because it is so wild, crazy, and messy. Then, I usually end up somewhere by myself, praying asking God to take charge of my emotions. Again, all I can say is, "what a beautiful mess I am" 

So, how on earth am I surviving with this messy lifestyle. One thing and one thing alone transforms my mess into a beautiful mess.....God's loving grace and mercy on my soul. Everyday, I must realign myself to living my life in His loving, forgiving, transforming arms. Much like in our lesson today, I have to rely on the supernatural grace from God to get me through my daily trials.  

At the St Louis Marian conference a few weeks ago, I was listening to a bishop give a talk, he told a joke that really hit home for me. He said, "Do you know what makes a person Holy? They are poked full of holes!!! Then, he explained, it is hard to receive God's mercy if we are strong and built up, it is through our holes that we allow the flood of God's mercy within our souls. Rocks don't absorb much water, but sponges do! Now, I can proudly say I am Holy! I am weak, but He is strong.

How I survive is every morning, My Lord extends out his loving hand, and I accept it. He picks me up and leads me through my day. He welcomes me back everyday, no matter what I did the day before.  

I would like to close by reading an excerpt from Jesus Calling...

It is easy to touch up your outward appearance, to look as if you have it all together. Your attempts to look good can fool most people. But I see straight through you, into the depths of your being. There is no place for pretense in your relationship with Me. Rejoice in the relief of being fully understood. Talk with Me about your struggles and feelings of inadequacy. Little by little, I will transform your weaknesses into strengths. Remember that your relationship with Me is saturated in grace. Therefore, nothing that you do or don’t do can separate you from My Presence. (Jesus Calling....1/14) 

Thank you!