Category Archives: Life Lessons
We enter the empty courtyard on a brisk Sunday morning. The sky, a cloudless azure, is a stark and beautiful backdrop to the towering stone spires and turrets hovering above.
We are stopped in our tracks by the beauty. The stature. The solitude. The silence.
How about yourself? Have you ever felt the tensions rising, temper shortening in your own heart? Have you ever put yourself in a time out?
Join me at The Better Mom today as I talk about what we can do When MOM Needs A Time Out.
If you’ve just clicked over from a The Better Mom, I want to welcome you! If you were in my living room, I’d hand you a nice, hot cuppa and fresh-baked biscuit. Feel free to make yourself at home and have a look around!
I shuffled into the kitchen to fulfill my daughter’s request for cereal.
I had been up for awhile, but its safe to say I wasn’t fully awake yet. I grabbed the plastic pink bowl and set it on the counter. I saw two crusted bits of food on the edge. Meh, I can scrape that off, no bother, I thought to myself. After gathering the other necessary items, I returned to the bowl on the counter. My eyes had adjusted further to the dim light of the kitchen (and my senses stirred awake by the fresh aroma of coffee brewing) and stopped cold in my tracks.
Not only were there two crusted pieces of food on the edge of the bowl, but the whole inside of the bowl was crusted as well! I have no idea how I didn’t see it before, but there was no denying it now. No amount of fingernail-scraping would make that bowl suitable to eat from – it needed to be completely washed, and washed well.
Isn’t that how it is with our own hearts; our souls? We look at ourselves and think we’re pretty good. Sure, there are a couple of things here or there we need to work on – things that need cleaning up. We’ll be the first to admit we’re not perfect, but we’re not as bad as we could be – especially when compared to the dirty dishes still in the sink.
In the dim morning light of our lives, we take a look at ourselves and from what we can see, we can fulfill our intended functions without problem.
But once our spiritual eyes adjust to the light of the Gospel, suddenly a myriad of muck and grime are exposed. Seemingly out of nowhere, issues that have been caked on through life, trials, heat and struggle are blatantly clear – whereas before, in the dim light of our own understanding we were perfectly clean.
Just as with that pink plastic bowl, it’s tempting to toss it back into the cupboard and let someone else deal with it. After all, I have more important, more pressing matters to deal with. But the next time a bowl is needed, that crusted nasty is still going to be there needing to be dealt with.
Its the same with our personal spiritual nasty. Its so tempting to just toss it to the back of the shelf and let our future selves deal with the dirty work. But the only true remedy is to be completely washed.
To allow the cleansing waters of the Holy Spirit wash over us and do the hard – sometimes painful – work of removing the gunk, grime and stubborn stains from our hearts. To immerse ourselves in the warm, healing Word of God. To fill our hearts with the Living Water and let it soak; let it soften the muck until it washes away easily.
So, how’s your bowl looking today? Do you need to take some time out and let your heart soak?
Thank you to Amanda at Life. Edited. for introducing me to this amazing, inspiring quote!
As the helicopter containing my husband took off and hovered just feet off the ground – awaiting final clearance for take-off – tears stung my eyes. This day was something I had been planning for almost six months; something I never thought we could afford. But when a big-ticket item we had been budgeting for fell through, I saw the chance and I took it! I surprised my husband with a helicopter lesson for our thirteenth wedding anniversary.
The tears were partly tears of joy, so excited to be a part of my husband getting to do something he’s dreamed of his whole life; part of it tears of gratitude as I came to a stark and joyful realization…
In our 13 years of marriage, we have made a LOT of mistakes – done a lot of things wrong. But we have done one thing consistently right:
We have been about the business of making each other’s dreams come true.
It all began on our honeymoon when he made sure we were in the right place at the right time so I could pet a bottle nose dolphin – something I’d wanted to do my whole life. It was one of my dreams; silly to some, but not to him – because it was my dream.
I have always wanted to have children, for as long as I can remember. My husband has fulfilled that dream times three!
He has always dreamed of soaring above the clouds – something which terrifies the living tar out of me! So early in our marriage when he wanted to take steps to earn his private pilot’s license, my gut reaction was to say ‘no.’ I wanted him safe with me… on the ground. However, I realized that supporting and empowering him to follow his dreams has little or nothing to do with me or my own preferences. So, with much fear and trembling, I supported him the whole way. He just glowed after each lesson, and I had a deep satisfaction and joy knowing I had a small part in that.
I love to write. It feeds my soul. Yet it is not always easy to find the time, energy and quiet that writing good quality content needs. He sacrifices time he could be tackling projects or working, or time he could be resting, to spend time with the kiddos so I can write on a regular basis.
I couldn’t begin to list entirely the dreams we’ve helped one another achieve. Some are bigger than others – like going to the top of the Eiffel Tower. Others are smaller and more ongoing – you see his amazing photos on here all the time.
You don’t always have to spend big money or big time. Sometimes its the simple whispering of, “I believe in you,” in the dark of night that empowers them to embrace their dream and the day when the sun rises. Sometimes its arranging the household schedule to support the time needed in pursuit of her dream.
When you spoke those vows and became one, this mysterious thing happened: their hopes and dreams became your hopes and dreams, and vice versa. What pains him should pain you. What brings her joy should bring you joy. When one part of the body hurts, the whole body hurts with it, right? Alternately, when one part of the body rejoices, the whole body rejoices with it! So in a marriage we are harming ourselves just as much as our spouse when we choose to disregard or belittle the things that are meaningful to them. We don’t have to share those same interests for ourselves (I have no interest in learning to fly a helicopter or play sports on a regular basis), but if its a dream to them, we need to do everything in our power to support that. (Of course, I’m not talking about making irresponsible financial decisions or advocating support of anything illegal/immoral/unethical.)
When was the last time you asked your husband what his dreams are? Sometimes the stress of day to day life stifles our ability to dream – logic and reason take over and we decide “that could never happen“, so we give up dreaming, wishing, hoping. Maybe ask your wife, “If money and time were no object and you could do anything in the world, what would it be?” You might discover a dream that has been buried under years of responsibility, parenting, work, paying debts, infertility, etc. Causally ask him at the dinner table what is something he’s always wanted to do but just never has pursued? Communicate your dreams to one another. Perhaps even sit down and write out a bucket list together (a list of things you want to accomplish before you “kick the bucket”)! Then keep a copy of your spouse’s list so you can peek at it from time to time to see what else you can help them achieve.
So, today I ask you – What are your spouse’s dreams? What are those things still left on her bucket list? What has he always wanted to try, just once? What can you do today to support – and communicate your support – for your husband or wife’s dreams and goals?
Take the plunge and become a bucket list spouse!