Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I am NOT a tree.

I'm one of those people who are easily motivated. Not. Kidding. When I was younger, I'd watch a cereal commercial and suddenly be convinced that I NEEDED to go make myself a bowl of cereal... the chocolate kind... or Lucky Charms... or...  I better stop before I decide I need some of that sugary goodness.  Is it sad that I just drooled a little? (ADD...)

Anyway,  I'm not typically a hard sell. I can see an image like this one and think to myself-  "Yep! I'm getting back in the habit now! I AM going to work out and I AM going to follow through with this! THIS TIME I WILL NOT FAIL."  It really doesn't take much- it never has.

Getting motivated has never been my issue (seriously- just typing this while that image is sitting there is making me want to hit the treadmill)- it's the follow through that has really been my downfall. But I saw this quote today, "If you don't like how things are, change it! You're not a tree." ~Jim Rohn. 

 It sounds so simple- silly, even. It's almost too simple, right? Not really... I mean, the last time I checked, I wasn't a tree, so I CAN change, right?  My roots aren't forcing me to stay who I have always been.  There is, in fact, NOTHING holding me here- except me. So why don't I change? I'm filled with every good intention of changing. In fact, good intentions pretty much define me on any given day.  

I have good intentions of following through with that next diet and losing all of my weight. I have good intentions of getting my house cleaned and paying each of my bills or loans on time, every time.  I tell myself every day that I will go to bed early so I can wake up early, spend some really, truly, quiet, alone time with God and then shower, put on some make up so I don't scare the natives, and make a hot breakfast and lunches- All BEFORE the Hottie and kids even start to think about waking up.  (Yes, I am aware these expectations are a little unrealistic.)  And then each day, I have some thing that keeps me up until way too late and the Hottie and kids usually beat me out of bed, helping themselves to whatever cereal or cold breakfast choices can be found in the pantry. Then I am discouraged first thing in the morning and I think to myself "Fail. I guess I'll try again tomorrow."  

And the cycle continues. (Maybe I need therapy?)   :)

Anyway, I have the best intentions of making these amazing new year's resolutions and following through with them- each of them... and I never do (who does?)  I have these amazing intentions that I tell people about- like writing this book and starting this ministry, training to run a half marathon a few years back, becoming a speaker... all of these great dreams and intentions. And yet, here we are at the end of another year and I'm somehow disappointed in myself... again.

And for the record, I must say I sincerely DISLIKE New Year's resolutions. I love the idea of having a clean slate and starting over from scratch. (Don't we all?)  I like the idea of starting new- as if just because I was a screw up the year before, this year will somehow be different.  But why should 2012 be any different than 2011 or 2010 or the 30 years before that?  (Yes, math whiz, I'm 32.)  

I read this earlier today- "Give thanks for what you are now, and keep fighting for what you want to be tomorrow."  ~Fernanda Miramontes-Landeros  Huh.  She (I think this is a she) has a point.  What I am now is not all bad.  I'm not good at follow through, but I'm gifted in several areas, I'm passionate, and I'm occasionally funny.  I'm good at teaching, good at loving on people, and organized (in my mind, folks... not in my house).  For those parts of me, I am thankful.  I guess I will just keep fighting to become this person that I want so badly to be.  Not that my expectations are completely realistic (another growth area for me) but I know who I want to be and right now, I'd say I have quite a road to travel.  But I'll keep fighting.  I know I can't do it all on my own or in my own strength, but I know I am responsible for making the choice to change and taking the necessary steps to get there.

Within each of us is the capability to become the person God created us to be. He knew we'd all face struggles and He gave us the tools we'd need to overcome those struggles.  Time to tap into those tools and "man up" as the Hottie says.  Time to recognize I am NOT a tree, so I can change it... and I WILL.  I recognize that I'm feeling dangerously inspired at the moment, so I won't write out a long list of resolutions (yet).  Instead, I think I'll go have some cereal while I wrap myself in my new Snuggie and contemplate the new me I'd like to try to become in 2012.  

Still growing...  still learning to let go.  

NO LONGER I (right?),

The Real Life Mom.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


THIS is exactly what I needed to help me refocus 3 days before Christmas.

Don't Miss It

"1 God, you are my God. 
       I search for you. 
    I thirst for you 
       like someone in a dry, empty land 
       where there is no water. 
 2 I have seen you in the Temple 
       and have seen your strength and glory.
 3 Because your love is better than life, 
       I will praise you.
 4 I will praise you as long as I live. 
       I will lift up my hands in prayer to your name.
 5 I will be content as if I had eaten the best foods. 
       My lips will sing, and my mouth will praise you. 

 6 I remember you while I'm lying in bed; 
       I think about you through the night. 
 7 You are my help. 
       Because of your protection, I sing.
 8 I stay close to you; 
       you support me with your right hand.

Psalm 63 

Or, as I heard it in a Jami Smith song:

"Oh, God, you are my God!  Earnestly I seek you!  My body longs for you, my soul thirsts for you.  In a dry and weary land, where there is no stream.  You extend your gracious hand and give life to me..."

People don't speak this way anymore- not most people, anyway.  You might hear language like this in an overly dramatic love story or in one of those awkward yogurt commercials "My body longs for you... oh chocolate goodness!"  But rarely will we hear people praying like this or even speaking OF God like this, let alone TO Him like this.   

Here we have David- in the desert of Judah- crying out in desperation for God. There aren't too many times I've cried out in desperation for God when I wasn't seeking His hand.  Here David is simply saying "God- it's YOU I want- all of YOU!"  Not God's hand... His heart.  

David's words made me blush a bit.  I mean- I've honestly thought this way about the hottie... (I'll spare you the details).  I've felt like my body longed  for water or for food... but not too often have I thought how my body was longing for God.  And it makes me a little sad, and really almost jealous of this wonderful relationship that David had with God.  I want that.  

I have spent much of my life seeking the favor of God or the hand of God and I want to be back in that place where I first fell in love with Him... where all I wanted was His love.  I know we've been through seasons of physical need and have been learning to trust Him as our provider.  He's proven Himself time and time again.  So I think it's time for us to continue to grow as we get to know Him.  Yes, we will always need and depend on His provision and His direction and guidance to get us through life, but I want to hunger and thirst for Him.  I want to know Him so intimately that the times when I am not alone with Him, my body longs for Him and my soul thirsts for Him...

As we continue to get closer to Christmas day, I've been visiting with the kids about Christmas, about the birth of Christ and why it's so important.  We've talked about Jesus coming to save us, but I want them to know and understand this as well.  It was never just about us being saved.  It was about God's love- coming down to earth.  He wanted to separate the great divide so that we could know Him here on earth and experience His great love in an active relationship with Him and to know Him intimately BEFORE we get to heaven.  Yes, He did come to save us, but to love us as well.  "For God so loved the world..."  He loved us.  In spite of our sin, He still loves us.  Even though we've gotten away from the meaning of the season.  Even though we've commercialized this day.  Even though we've been hand seekers, rather than heart seekers.

I cannot help but stand in awe of this love- this amazing love that He has for us- for me.  He knew I'd be one of the greatest screw ups to ever live.  He knew I'd lie, cheat, steal, and gossip.  He knew I'd lose my temper with my kids and be a glutton.  He knew I'd go through seasons of only seeking His hand... and still he loved me.  In spite of it all, HE. LOVED. ME. He pursued me.  He never, not for one moment, did not love me- or you, or any of us.  

I saw this morning that a world renowned pastor said on national television that the true meaning of Christmas was making memories with your family.  I'm not here to bash anyone, but dear pastor, you're way off base... and I hope you figure it out sooner rather than later, because dear friend- you are missing out.  The true meaning of Christmas is love.  God's love.   

And so, as I sip my cup of warm morning goodness, I thought I'd share my thoughts with you.  In the midst of memory making and holiday traditions, baking, shopping, lights, wrapping, and giving- don't miss it...  it is, after all, the reason for this season.

Still learning.  Still growing.  Still becoming

No longer I,

The Real Life Mom