Archive for April, 2012

Celebrating God’s Creativity

My children don’t particularly look like siblings. While there might be a few resembling features, they don’t look like my husband or me either. Likewise, their personalities are varied and unique. Even though they’re being raised in the same household with the same parents, they’re each very different from the next.

As I’ve reflected on their differences lately, my thoughts have moved. They’ve moved from quizzical (Why are they so different?) to awe (How cool it is that they’re so unique!) I’m reminded that God knits us together in His perfection. Do I dare accept and embrace every quirk and perceived flaw? I’m not there with myself, yet, but I love seeing my kids as a whole package instead of a set strengths and weaknesses. I’m embracing them fully… and what a beautiful picture it is of how God loves us.

As I was reflecting, I recalled some treasured gifts that each of my kids had given me. Each was when they were three years old. Each was chosen by themselves alone, no adult nudging or intervention. And each seems to represent the giver. To an outsider, these gifts may appear to be insignificant trinkets. To me, they’re prized possessions – mainly because of the giver, but also because of what each gift represents.

My older daughter proudly presented me with the bear pictured, carefully wrapped and tucked under the tree. I see her qualities of compassion, caring, and sensitivity when I look at it.

My next daughter playfully gave me this girl while beaming with love. She, too, is whimsical with her style of clothing, silly faces, and antics around our home.

Finally, my son chose this watering can. While he’s the youngest, I see a sense of practicality and functionality represented in his choice. But also, I see refreshment and life that comes from water.

While these little figurines don’t fully summarize my children’s beings, I find it interesting that there are associations. I’m also intrigued by the fact that they each chose a figurine. From all the things they could have chosen – lotions ,books, stuffed animals, toys, snacks, clothes, and the list continues – they each selected a small figure. (I’ve yet to determine what that means, but will continue to ponder.)

In the meantime, I’m celebrating their uniqueness. I’m celebrating the whole package and envisioning their potential and possibility in Christ. May I continue to grow in God’s perspective of who they are as I trust Him with their lives.

Isn’t that the challenge for us all? I pray that today, you’ll celebrate the differences of others and find acceptance, even excitement, that we’re all fearfully and wonderfully made.

Peace (with no explanation but a few ramblings)

After my daughter’s death, I wanted to preserve every thought and mention of her name.  I wanted nothing to taint my memory of her. 

I wanted to live in this house forever because trees had been given to us and planted in our yard in her memory.

I wanted the garden that was created with the funds donated in her memory to be peaceful and effortless to create and maintain.

I wanted perfection in the book I wrote that included her and my journey of faith.

Yet, my wants didn’t materialize. One of the trees in our yard died. Debate ensued over the placement of the garden.  And, the publication process left a lot to be desired and the current owner of the company is now in jail.  How’s that for keeping all things related to her pure?

So what does all this mean?

I have no idea really.  But I wish I did. I have analyzed, pondered, discussed, and speculated without really solving a thing.  Yet, I am at peace with it all. I have peace that God has a purpose and is using each of these events in my life for something positive.

None of the issues were really consequential in the grand scheme of things.  Well, maybe the book publishing stuff, but I certainly learned a heap of meaningful life lessons from my experience. That counts for something.  So maybe the other issues were about me needing to loosen my grip on my expectations.  The reality is that none of the concerns I had impacted how I think or feel about Ashlynn.  Those peripheral happening were irrelevant when it comes to my love for her. 

While I’m sure I’ll continue to try to make sense of it in some fashion, I know that God will use it for good in my life regardless of my understanding or lack thereof.  I trust Him with my circumstances.  I trust Him with my heart. And I’m thankful that He can make beauty from ashes.

May you find peace in your circumstances today as you trust in Him!

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

Waiting for the Resurrection

I feel unsettled.  It’s a gorgeous spring day, yet I’m reminded that it’s the day that bridged the crucifixion and the resurrection.  As I reflect, I try to imagine what Jesus’ friends and family must have been experiencing today.  He’d tried to assure them. Yet, they were filled with grief and anguish. Heartbroken. Devastated. Hopeless.

As I wrestled with these thoughts, I felt a desperate need to go out and plant flowers today – to brighten my yard and my spirits.  Perhaps the flowers bring comfort because they remind me of the new life that comes with the resurrection.  Perhaps it’s their cheerful colors and scents, knowing they’re a beautiful gift from the Creator.

Whatever the case, I’m grateful. Grateful for new life and new beginnings.  Grateful for the beauty that God can make of any circumstance or trial.  And grateful for the precious gift of Jesus.  May you accept His gift, celebrate His love and experience His transforming power in your life.

Happy Easter!

Embracing the Unexpected

My son, who doesn’t particularly like to color or draw, called to me and said, “Come see what I made with my markers!” With great anticipation, I hurried down the stairs to see what masterful piece of art he’d made.  I chuckled when I rounded the corner and saw his creation. 

It was indeed representative of how he thinks and creates, but not at all what I expected. I thought he’d used his markers in the traditional sense – to color something.

How often do we have preconceived ideas about things?  We have ideas of how God should answer our prayers or fix a problem.  We have ideas of how He should bless us and weave the details of our lives.  And yet, He’s so much bigger than anything we can dream or imagine. 

Are you asking God for something right now and waiting for His answer in your prescribed way?  I invite you to ask God to show you His creativity.   He’ll answer your prayer for certain.  So, why not have some fun with it and ask God to surprise with His response.  You may just experience an adventure along the way.