when you miss...



Tonight was a “date night” for Jeffrey and me. On our way to putt-putt, he kept endlessly reminding me of how he was going to beat me! Those of you who have been following this blog know that I am the “competitive perfectionist”. Well, maybe I let go of that a little tonight.

For about 3 holes, I was focused on trying to get him to hold his club right, to stand on the right side (he hasn’t figured out that he’s not left-handed), and to TAKE HIS TIME!! After screaming “TAKE YOUR TIME” about 30 times, I finally decided to just let him play. Amazing how much more fun we both had when it didn’t matter how he hit the ball. I saw how precious it is to watch a 3-year-old just enjoy playing for fun… with Mommy. I mean, it won’t be long before we are deep into the competitive side of sports anyway, and then will I be missing these days?

I got lots of hugs and love tonight... but I also got a bonus... as usual, Jeffrey had one of his profound messages that always inspire me. He kept running to stand with me every time he finished putting… and one time, he looked at me and said, “Mommy, can I stand with you when you miss?” And of course, I responded with, “Yes, of course you can. You can always stand with me.” His response was simple and heartwarming... “Mommy, God stands with you when you miss, too.”

How in the world were we blessed with two such precious children? God is so good. Just remember the words of an innocent 3-year-old… God stands with you when you miss.

No wonder Jeffrey is becoming the inspiration for a lot of my writing…

www.growwhereyoureplanted.org

The Hard Is What Makes It Great



"It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The hard... is what makes it great!"
-Tom Hanks in A League of Their Own

One of my favorite quotes… one of my favorite actors… one of my favorite movies. If you are not as obsessed with baseball as I am, you may have missed “A League of Their Own.” It's Hollywood's version of the AAPGBL (All-American Girls Professional Baseball League), a women's baseball league set up during the war from the 1940s to the early 1950s. At one time in my life (about 12 years ago), I actually wanted to try out for the Colorado women’s professional baseball team. I know, crazy dream… one of many that I never chased after.

Some recent things in my world have gotten me thinking more about this quote, and my mind has gone back to times in my life when I have let the “hard” keep me from going after my dreams. One in particular was during my freshman year at ECU. During the first couple of weeks of the semester, I actually went to the first day of tryouts for the tennis team. There were 6 of us trying out for 1 spot, and instead of giving it my all, I quit after the first day. Chicken.

No more looking back. From this moment on, I cannot allow the "hard" of something to keep me from giving my all. My spiritual walk is a prime example of this. Satan has been after me all week. Sometimes, I feel like I just keep banging my head against the wall... 1 step forward, 2 steps back.

The same mistakes. The same selfish ambitions. The same self-consuming thoughts. The same pride.

Over and over again...

This cycle seems too "hard" to break. And in my OWN strength, it is.

God never told us that His way would be easy. He only told us that He would see us through. HE alone is our strength. HE alone is our creator and HE created each one of us with a purpose. If we are too afraid to go through the "hard", how can we really see His true purpose for our lives? This is a challenge to go forward... stop looking back... do what HE wants you to do, no matter how tough, no matter what it takes. The only way to true LIFE is to push on through the hard parts, letting HIM lead you! Don't be chicken!

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." - 2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)

"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!" - Ephesians 3:20-21 (NIV)

www.growwhereyoureplanted.org
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pride... the cheater



I've spent some time with King Uzziah tonight in the book of 2 Chronicles. What an incredible reminder of how pride can take over our lives! It's time to stop the "cheater" of pride before it destroys us! The following is an incredible poem by Beth Moore:

"My Name Is Pride"

My name is Pride. I am a cheater.

I cheat you of your God-given destiny…
because you demand your own way.
I cheat you of contentment…
because you “deserve better than this.”
I cheat you of knowledge…
because you already know it all.
I cheat you of healing…
because you are too full of you to forgive.
I cheat you of holiness…
because you refuse to admit when you are wrong.
I cheat you of vision…
because you’d rather look in the mirror than out a window.
I cheat you of genuine friendship…
because nobody’s going to know the real you.
I cheat you of love…
because real romance demands sacrifice.
I cheat you of greatness in heaven…
because you refuse to wash another’s feet on earth.
I cheat you of God’s glory…
because I convinced you to seek your own.
My name is Pride. I am a cheater.
You like me because you think I’m always looking out for you.
Untrue.
I’m looking to make a fool of you.
God has so much for you, I admit, but don’t worry…
If you stick with me you’ll never know.

But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, "GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE." - James 4:6 (NASB)

www.growwhereyoureplanted.org

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we fall down... we lay our "crafts"





Sometimes, our kids give us perspective-changing moments that make us realize just how smart they really are...

Jeffrey gave me one tonight.

We were on our way home from church, and he started singing "We Fall Down." He sang it like this, "We fall down, we lay our crafts at the feet of Jesus." Well, as you all know, I am quite the perfectionist, and one of my pet peeves is wrong lyrics. Interesting how a precious 3-year-old can change that.

After trying to correct him... oh... maybe 20 times (and listening to him tell me over and over again that he was right), I finally just let him sing it his way. The funny thing is... I started thinking about the word "crafts"... Hmm... we lay our crafts at the feet of Jesus? What CRAFTS have I been trying to "show off" to Jesus lately? What have I done in my own strength and then tried to convince Him that it was His idea? Wow... God speaks to us in so many different ways, and I believe He was talking to me tonight through our persistent, persuasive little Jeffrey.

After giving this some more thought throughout the night, I think I like Jeffrey's word better. I want to lay all of MY "crafts" at Jesus' feet.... let them go... let go of my own strength... and let HIM decide what "crafts" HE wants to accomplish through me.

(If you are reading this on Facebook, click on the link below to go to my blog and watch Jeffrey sing "We Fall Down"... his way.)

www.growwhereyoureplanted.org

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