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Friday, January 17, 2014

Over used, stressed, and put out?

(a moment of peace while N is learning to be gentle with Grayson)                  (a moment of chaos while holding Grayson)

There is always going to be something asking for your attention, time, money, thoughts, help, etc.

Question is, where is my heart when I feel like I am giving giving giving, and not receiving much of anything in return?  

Heart Check 1.  Matthew 6:1-4 talks about giving as to receive a reward from God and not from the praise of man.  So there goes seeking a pat on the back :P.  And fact is God is patting me on the back like a parent does when a child does something right- and that's all I need!  Getting to be in a relationship with Him IS my reward.

Heart Check 2. Galatians 6:9-10 " Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers."
The Bible has so many places like this where God is trying to encourage us to keep going!  This is the kind of verse worth memorizing so that when I am exhausted and have a headache I can remind myself why I am doing it.  It's so easy to get weary sometimes and want to make excuses to be impatient, lazy, or feel entitled to just give up - but that's exactly the opposite of what God calls us to do!

Heart Check 3. The lyrics to Ginny Owens "I am nothing" are so sobering to me.  We do all these things, but if we don't love....if we aren't joyfully doing them for Christ, they're meaningless.  How many times do we expect a listening ear back when we've listened to someone through their vent/struggles?  How many times do we tell ourselves we deserve things?  I am so glad Jesus didn't have that attitude. "You know what, I have been healing people all day, so I think I am going to sit and listen to a bunch of people praise me for my awesomeness and eat ice cream."  Yikes!

(Fishing attempt, only minutes later though, he was bottom-soaked from sitting in cold wetlands....sheesh)
So next time I feel like Nathaniel has taken ALL of my energy or I have done too much in a short period of time -I hope to think more of these 3 "Heart Checks."  And maybe learn to slow down a little too ;)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Dealing with the In-laws

The holidays are over and, if you're like me, you spent them with a bunch of family.  To make things a little smoother among my side's currently 25-person roster, it was decided to rotate the holidays between spouse families.  This year - Thanksgiving day and Christmas Eve with my side of the family and Christmas day with my husband's side.  Next year, we flip the order. However, this formula always gets a little bit more complicated than the set plan.  Something always happens where it ends up being half days with each side of the family all week.

Maybe splitting holiday commitments sounds familiar to you?  It's hard to please all family, especially when the families are not very far from one another.  In our case, both my side of the family and my husband's live within 30 minutes of each other.  Now, add in whatever drama that is unique to your family (and we have some too), and suddenly it feels like someone put you on top of a spinner. 

Don't get me wrong, I love both sides of my families and even like them :).  But it is hard not to be biased toward my biological side.  Especially considering the fact that you have had however many more years of holidays and experiences (good and bad) than what you married into.  So how do you make sure that both sides feel you don't hate/ aren't avoiding them?  You can't! Fully at least. 
What has worked from my experience...
1. Make trip plans known and clear
2. Spend quality time with both sides if quantity isn't an option
3. Do not put it all on you if it doesn't work out.  It happens, spending quality time with every single person is like getting a straight flush in poker.  And some people would rather sit around in quantity time anyway!

Also, don't forgot Genesis 2:24 - "That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh."  Being married and having a family of our own eliminates the "ok, you can go back to doing your own thang when we are doing this or that."  Gatherings will become complicated as the family grows, but you still have to take care of your own family.  David and I make sure that even in all of the hustle and bustle of spending time with family because it allows us to make sure our relationship and family is healthy - which provides us with the opportunity to truly enjoy our time with family.