Sunday, March 28, 2010

Expiration Date

Warning... this is a long one... and probably a little raw!
As far back as I can remember, I have loved kids. I loved holding babies, playing mom, being the caretaker, and of course being in charge. I was reminded again last night of how I use to wrangle all the little ones in our "community group" growing up. At birthday parties I would take charge, telling everyone where to go and what to do. At church, I literally was in the nursery as many Sundays as they would let me be. I just loved to take care of everyone, but especially the little ones.
I always thought I would be a mom. I don't think I had totally planned out timing. But I think, like many other girls, thought I would find Mr. Right and have the perfect 2.5 kids. (I don't think I thought the kids would be perfect, but the picture of course :) ) I can say I was pretty obsessed though. Being married and having kids was definitely what took up a lot of my brain power. I would ask the questions and have the thoughts... "Will I marry this one?" or "I know I just met him, but could he be 'the one?" And then the longer it didn't happen, these were the questions that began to take over... "Is something wrong with me?" "Have I somehow 'messed up' God's plan for my life?" "Have I missed Mr. Right?" "If I don't hurry up and get content with being single, then God won't let me get married." "Maybe I should never have let 'that one' go!"
Then I began to look at life differently. I didn't just look for the man that fit me best so that I could get married. I no longer just assumed that marriage and kids were what the Lord had for me. I began looking to Him for His plan for me. What did He have for me? Were a husband and 2.5 kids what would bring Him the most glory and make me more like Christ? I can't tell you that I never struggle any more with the questions above. At times the enemy still wants me to believe that I have control over those things. I know in one sense I could have the control. I could go out there and find me a man. But I know that is not really what I want... what I want is to run hard after the things God has planned for me and to trust Him with EVERYTHING.
Now to this week... and the title, that up to this point makes no sense!
I was having a conversation with some friends and this question arose, "When is it too late to have kids?" The main gist of the conversation... "How old is too old?" One of the first ages thrown out is an age I have already passed. I felt my insides turn. I felt my heart start to get defensive. I did jump in and assure them that it was "much older" than that. Well not really, I just added 5 years to what they said. But then the statement hit that was a little harder for me to take... "our eggs do start to rot." (Just a quick note: I absolutely know that no one there was meaning any of this to hurt me or to be insensitive to me. The conversation had nothing to do with me.)
The egg comment got me a little deeper. 95% of the time. I am completely content with my life. I love what I get to do (and I don't just mean job), who I get to do it with, and believe and trust that God loves me and that His plan is best. And most of the time I realize that I do not "think" I am 36. I do at times stop and think about where I am in life. Single, with no relationship in sight. Not a mom, having processed if adoption is a good answer for me, and at this point believing the Lord has not guided me there. But, I realize that "the eggs do in fact have an expiration date."
Now, I don't know what that date is. I don't know that the answer is never. But I do at times have a sadness in me realizing that it might not be part of my story. As I mentioned earlier I was with the families that I grew up with tonight. Most of the kids now have their own kids. It was weird to see the shift. It was a little tough. (And side note: I was also sad for my parents, because they are now the only ones that aren't grandparents. Sad knowing they may never get to be.)
But here's the truth on all of it. God is in control. I am smack in the middle of the plan that He has for me. A plan that is good and will bring Him the most glory and will bring me what is best. I want what He has for me. I am fretful for the path He has chosen. I know that if I had a family of my own, the life I have lived up to this point would have looked dramatically different. And I really can't imagine that.
I'm not sure the desire is ever going to go away. I still would love to meet a man that I want to spend my life pursuing the Lord and His work with. I would love to have little lives to poor into. And at times I do grieve the dream of those things. But more than I love the dream... I love God and want what He has for me. (And I really don't say that to tie a bow on it and give the right answer, my heart believes it.)
So... expiration date or not... I am going to keep loving on the peeps He does bring and trusting Him with the eggs that haven't hatched yet.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

My Parking Team Buddy

Louis Howard was a part of the parking team with me in the early days of Watermark. He is now celebrating with Jesus! He was such a sweet man, always ready to serve and love others. He truly exemplified running the race all the way to the end. My friend Sarah wrote about him on her blog. It's really great, go check it out.
Louis is the 2nd one from the left in the pic above.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

2 Surprise Guests Today

The first... a blanket of white for the beginning of Spring!
It was pretty cool to see how the snow blew sideways a lot of the night.
And 2nd... a guest from Matthew 21. Ok, probably not the one, but a distant relative for sure.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Spring Love

I love flowers!

I didn't use to. But after working at Dr. Delphiniums for a year, I love them. And I love taking pictures of them. And I love going to the Arboretum. I love going there and walking, reading, sitting, napping, people watching, and taking pics. I love blue skies and cool breezes.

OK, I love spring!

Here are a few highlights of the day today.

Questions for ShelfLife

I had not included questions in my post, so I added them this morning. Thought I would share here too.

1) What “rules” do you tend to run after instead of resting?

2) What keeps you from giving God time and space? (fear, business, unbelief, etc)

3) Are you able to be honest with God about what you don’t believe? Do you take those to Him so that He can transform your unbelief to belief?

4) Make a list of things that you worry about or try to control, then on the same page, make a list of truths you KNOW to be true about God. If you believe those truths, does your outlook on the first list change?

Continuing to run to the Lord with my questions, unbelief, and performance.
Man… rest is pretty amazing!


Here is the blog entry that posted this week on the ShelfLife blog.

I had a conversation this week with a friend and we were discussing all the things that happen to us when we get tired. Typically… we get emotional, we get irrational, we get irritable, we become more self focused and more often than not, unproductive. As I read through Chapter 11 discussing the difference between religion and the gospel, it hit me… Christ died that I may have “rest”!

Keller discusses the differences between living for a set of rules and living in the freedom of grace. When we lived to follow a set of rules we end up frustrated and tired. We realize that we really can’t ever do enough. We are driven by performance always finding out that someone is better. In running after the perfect performance of the rules we must be self dependent, fighting pride. Or on the flip side we find that we never measure up and shame and guilt come rushing in to be our companions. God NEVER intended our lives to be this way.

He was clear in His Word that Christ came that we might have life and have it abundantly. That truth has come to set us free, that we are saved by grace alone. We can’t earn it, change it, influence it… it just is. Grace allows us to live with confidence and dignity. It always drives us to humility realizing the cost to God and His Son and the amazing gift to us. It shows us what our worth is and while we don’t deserve it, it comes with great riches. It allows us to rest, to be filled up with what He created us for… HIS LOVE. And it is unfailing, never changing and pretty mind blowing.

I think a lot of people struggle because grace just doesn’t make sense. We want to be held accountable, be able to work for it, to not be in debt, especially to the God of the Universe. But then the tired routine sets in, we can’t ever do enough. So we find ourselves emotional, irrational, irritable, self focused, and unable to really live the life He intended for us. He wants us to come to Him, to take His yoke upon us, to experience the peace and joy of trusting Him. His plan is perfect, it is what we were created for.

When we really take the time to get to KNOW God, we are then drawn to BELIEVE Him. Not just believe in Him, but actually believe what He says, about who He is and who we are. Then we fall in LOVE with Him. Then and only then are we motivated to serve Him and love others. It takes time and space… time with Him and time in His word. And it means making space for Him, allowing Him to be the priority and allowing Him to change us.

Religion is exhausting! Grace is God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense! And those riches are unmatched by anything that we can make, produce, earn or work for. So this week, give God time and space, allow your heart to be fed on the truth of His grace and rest, be free, and experience life abundantly!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A little recon work...

A little over a week ago I was in Estes Park, CO! I love this place! Our church has taken a group from our body the last 9 years. We have skipped a few years, but happily are now back to every year. I have been greatly blessed to get to go on these trips every year we have gone, as part of our Kid's Crew.

About 5 years ago I became obsessed with these bears that we drive by each time we are there. Here is a pic of the one I really like... I talked and talked about them, but a couple of friends (no names to be named), kinda thought I was nuts. I secretly had hoped that it might just show up in my office one day, but that has not happened. So I decided before this last trip that this was the year.

We arrive in EP... got our caramel apple. Must include pic, another EP fav! We head to the YMCA and we are making the turn off the main road and the guys asked me if we had passed the bear place. I had been messing with my phone on my new twitter account (@suzpeeps) and sending the above pic to all of my peeps who love them as much as me and miss the store.

So we decide to look for them when we head back into town for dinner. Upon heading into town we don't see it. It is dark so I just assume we missed it. After dinner we drive really slow looking for the store... we find the building and my heart sinks!!! They have closed down. We look in the windows and nothing. The whole place is empty.

Insert comment from Ryan, "As Beau says, 'God is sovereign!'" I'm not so ready to believe that God doesn't want me to have one of these beautiful creatures in my office! SO....

The next morning we stop at the store and the recon work begins. We find phone numbers next to the cash register. Convinced these are probably former employees, we finagle around a little and are able to write them down. So I call... After 3 different disconnected numbers, Helen answers her phone and tells me she knows all of the information for the man who makes these bears. She takes down my info and says she will call me back. She DOES! I now have all the info I need for the chainsaw sculptor. So hopefully by the end of the summer, one of these bears will grace my office! YIPEE!

Thank you to Kyle, Ryan, Helen, Mom and all my other friends who supported me in the recon work for this dream, whether in presence or heart!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Not Chance...

In regards to fireflies...
"An animal can't just all-of-a-sudden decide it wants to make light grow out of its butt. Animals don't make light, God does. So the next time your mind is telling you that God slipped up and might have made one giant mistake when it comes to you, remember the firefly's butt!"
-from Chasing Fireflies by Charles Martin

Sent from "no tellin' where!"

A few quotes from a new book...

"They are all hat and no cattle!"
"He couldn't pour pee out of a boot if the instructions were on the heel."
"They ate supper before they said grace."
"Once you've been dead, everything else is gravy."

Sent from "no tellin' where!"

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

My Grandparents

I leave tomorrow to head to Colorado for 5 days. Everyone's first response is... oh fun, are you skiing? Thankfully, no, as I don't like to ski. :) I will spend the first 24 hours in Estes Park doing "research" for our trip in June. Then I pick my mom up at the airport and we will head to my grandparents farm. They live to the east, where it is really flat!
My grandparents aren't doing very well. My grandma has Alzheimer's and her health is failing. It will be hard to see her, knowing that my grandma is already gone. While her body is here, she is not with us anymore. My grandpa's health is also deteriorating. I am thankful that I will get to see him and will wonder when I drive away if this is the last time.
I have a TON of amazing memories with my grandparents. We use to spend weeks at a time in the summer with them. They lived on a farm in Kansas. We rode horses, we bailed hay, we play croquet and whiffle ball. We swam in the creeks, ate jello at every meal, and made sugar cookies together. We also chased little pigs, and rode on the tractor. We chopped thistles and roasted weenies on huge bonfires. We also went to quite a few VBS's. We also got the spend a lot of Christmas' with them. Some of the best times were when it snowed and got really cold. We would go sledding down the hill and across the frozen pond.
My grandma and grandpa would spend a bunch of time with us... riding horses, reading to us, and just being great grandparents. It breaks my heart to see them dying. I know it is part of life and I want them to be able to go quickly and without a lot of pain.
I hope I can love on them, serve them and bring them a little joy in the next few days. If you think about it, please pray for our time together. I know I will shed a ton of tears, heck I'm crying just typing all this out!
God thank you for Warren and Helen Schmidt who loved me and shared You with me when I was growing up! I will miss them!