When What You Have, Is Not Enough

Leaves

I could see the man struggling up ahead; battling the autumn wind as it blew the garbage can he was pulling, over in a fury. Tossing all of its contents out on the street, I watched from afar as the man ran around in a frenzy as the wind whisked everything in opposite directions, each piece seemingly on a mission of it’s own!  And just as he had steadied the garbage can long enough to fill it with each of the runaway scraps, almost instantaneously, another frigid gust of wind blew again, causing a wave of trash to spill onto the street once again!

Bad day…” is all he said as he walked by.

I smiled, because that’s all he had to say.

We’ve all been there. Working feverishly, when a gust of wind so massive and strong, leaves our efforts spilled out on the pavement. As the wind continues to blow, we grasp aimlessly at all that is whirling around us! And just when we have steadied ourselves, and nearly dusted off all the dirt from our clothes… Poof! Another gust blows it all right back in our face again!

Damn wind.

I dont know about you, but for me it’s been a ‘crayon on the walls – milk on the couch – hot pink stickers on the floors – earrings in the garbage – “look mommy, I colored my white sneakers with your red lipstick!”  kind of week! A week in which you find – you aren’t nearly as surprised as you should be – that you found a piece of uncooked pasta in your bed, and that you struggle to determine when it was that you last took a shower!

You know you’ve endured a week like this, when you are envious of even your own instagram pictures- portraits portraying the perfect little ‘tantrum-less’ family, bright blue skies, picturesque cityscapes, and more ‘glow’ and less ketchup on the faces of your children thanks to the lo-fi filter!

And although occurrences like these don’t make it a bad week, I think we could all agree it can definitely make it a windy one at best!

And just as I was settling into bed one night, weary, and bracing for another day of mayhem, this thought came to my mind…

Give thanks for what is NOT enough.

I thought back to a message I had heard years ago by Bishop T.D. Jakes on the feeding of the 5,000. A story that no doubt, the majority of us learned back in grade school thanks to a soft spoken sunday school teacher, wearing a gold cross around her neck, and manning the flannel graph board! (The lesson falling somewhere between putting your quarters in the plastic church steeple for offering, and getting star stickers for reciting your memory verse!)

In Matthew 14, Jesus spends the day with a large crowd of people. As it gets later, the people become hungry, and instead of turning them away and sending them home,  Jesus instructs the disciples to feed them.

Looking at what they had, the disciples questioned their ability to do this for obvious reasons…

“We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.

“Bring them here to me,” he said… taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves.

Taking the little they had to offer, Jesus gave thanks to God!

He gave thanks for what was not enough!

Surely there was no possible way that 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish would feed 20 people, let alone 5,000! But Jesus was thankful for it regardless.

Only after he gave thanks, did that which was NOT enough, become MORE than enough! And not only were they able to feed every one of the 5,000, but in the end, they even had some left over!

The truth is – if we were really honest – we would admit that we too desire for God to bless us with more than enough! And yet, so often we refuse to acknowledge what we already have!

We want a bigger house, a better paying job, a more exciting opportunity (and god only knows in my case, a better behaved toddler, Michelle Obama’s arms, and a bigger kitchen… ) but the fact of the matter is, we need to stop complaining about what we don’t have, and thank God for what we already do have! Even, when it is NOT enough!

treesThis last week I felt even more, God pressing me to admit when I am not enough – not enough as a mom, not enough as a wife, and not enough as a woman! The times when the winds are raging and I want to throw up my hands and give up. The days I don’t have enough patience… enough energy… enough time…. and not nearly enough paper towels! The days I want to light pinterest on fire and watch it burn, or curse out the friend on Facebook who insists on giving daily play backs on how ‘uhhhhmazing’ their workout was!

I could feel the Lord asking me to come to Him – the same way the disciples had – and bring to Him my feelings of inadequacy and unworthiness.

I love how Jesus responds in verse 18, when the disciples come to Him and admit that what they possess couldn’t possibly be enough. His response is simple, ‘Bring it to me’.

Jesus didn’t turn them away for their lack of faith, or talk them into believing that what they had would suffice,

He only asked that they put the little they DID have, in His hands.

And so I told the Lord, that I wasn’t enough… I admitted that at times, I am painfully insecure, and described to Him my ongoing struggle to find my identity in this world. I told him, that too often my temper flails, and negativity gets the best of me. That I panic in a cluttered room, hate the playground, and can’t for the life of me master the sock bun!

I owned all of my shortcomings, and l chose in that moment to place them all in His hands.

But I didn’t stop there…

Although I don’t have it all, I thanked him for what I DO have! I have rockstar hair, and beautiful nail beds (yes, there is such a thing believe it or not! 🙂 ) I am thoughtful, and I am bold. I don’t sweat the small stuff, and I possess a faith in the Lord that is unshakeable. I have a gift with words, and am always, ALWAYS down to go t-peeing at any given moment! Not to mention, I can make a MEAN roast chicken!

After giving myself some much-deserved credit, I realized that the potential greatness in me – that the potential greatness in ALL of us – is  no different than the seemingly measly bread and fish that the disciples gave to Jesus!

But our God doesn’t see the mere amount we have to offer, He sees the potential for it to be used in a way that is far greater than we could have ever dreamed possible!

The truth is, If we desire to someday move from NOT having enough, to having MORE than enough, than we must first bring it all to Him – the fears that are looming, the money that is lacking, the joy that is missing, and the sanity that is dwindling – lay it at His feet, and thank Him…

Thank Him for what is not enough.

Krista Signature

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Step. Away. From. The. Mop.

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This week I welcomed my first house guests! 3 of them!

And for the sake of simple math;

3 guests + the 3 of us = 6 people

6 people in my 650 sq feet New York City Apartment!

6 people not including our mouse ‘friend’ Luca –Yes, I gave him a name… and no, a name doesn’t make me anymore excited to see him bolting into my kitchen in the middle of the night!

3 days, one bedroom, one bathroom, a pull-out couch and an air mattress! Praise Jesus!

As I prepared for my guests arrival, I couldn’t help but to think of how much my life had changed in just a year…

In my ‘past life’ I often enjoyed making extravagent themed meals – because a meal with a theme, is so obviously more enjoyable 😉 – and making wall art out of paper bags and poster board! I even noticed when Rachel started folding her bath towels differently, and went home to practice folding mine the same way!

I know some of you probably want to punch me in the face! I kind of want to punch me in the face too, when I say things like that, but ’tis the truth!

photo-3I started to cry at the thought of how my life had evolved from throwing exquisite 1st birthday parties – complete with intricately handmade party favors and melted ice cream cone cake pops – to transporting already-smushed hamburger buns for an hour long train ride from Manhattan to Yonkers, for a shotgun 2nd birthday barbeque in Ricky’s aunt’s neighbor’s backyard!

I recalled my previous guest room – the one I had designed straight out of a magazine, with crisp white linens, a dramatic gray wall, and a crystal chandelier overhead.

Only to then have my thoughts turn to our ‘new accommodations’, which consist of nothing more than a cracker-crumb laden pull-out couch that the mice feed under! 

I cringed.

Tossing in bed that night, I was overwhelmed with how little I had to offer my guests.

The next morning, I woke up in a frenzy; scrubbing the grout in my bathroom floors for an hour an half, rearranging my dishes, and doing anything I could to overcompensate for the fact that my new home is reminiscent to that of a tree house!

Hours later, and after I had exhausted myself, I sat breathless and weary… and even more, frustrated with the Lord.

In that moment, I couldn’t help but to feel that by God calling us to move here, that He had chosen to take something sacred from me; relocating us to a place where cooking is a near impossibility, and Pinterest is a taunting smack in the face!  It often feels like my back’s up against a wall of mediocrity – thanks to such a small living space, and an even smaller patience level!

With only had an hour till my guests arrived, I looked around, and was surprised to find that after scrubbing nearly every surface, and moving random pieces of furniture around, that my apartment looked almost exactly the way it had before! Only difference was the air smelled of ‘Autumn Sunset’ thanks to the scentsy pot that I had running on over drive!

All that work, and nothing to show for it!

I realized then, it was something in me that needed to change!

I recalled the story of Mary and Martha; two sisters who invited Jesus into their home.

The bible says Martha was distracted with serving; probably scrambling to pick up the shoes that the kids left scattered on the floor, fluffing pillows on the couch in a fury, and looking up a quick pinterest recipe to ‘wow’ her unexpected guest! Maybe even fretting when she didn’t have the right ingredients, wishing she would have picked up some fresh flowers on the way home, and anxiously wondering if the little she had to offer Him was enough -just as I had done the night before!

Her sister Mary -who seemed to not have a worry in the world – chose to instead, sit at the feet of Jesus and listen intently to him as he spoke.

Jesus then called Martha to his side…

” Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

I could feel the Lord asking me in that moment, to do the same-

to be like Mary and not Martha…

Martha in the bible, and even more, not like Martha- flipping- Stewart!

You see, Martha’s primary focus was on RESPONSIBILITIES while Mary’s priority was RELATIONSHIPS!

Martha thought about what she could DO for her guest, while Mary wanted to savor the moment she was blessed to SHARE with them!

Oh, how I need that reminder at times!

In 2 Timothy 1:16  another example of true hospitality can be found when the apostle Paul describes a home that graciously took him in.

Paul writes these words,

“May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for they often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains”

By the sound of it, this family wasn’t appreciated simply because they made homemade pot roast, and provided 400 thread count sheets and a clean towel every day!

The family of Onesiphorus stood out to Paul above all others, because ‘In the heat of his affliction and persecution, they were like a fan in hot weather; cooling and reviving his spirit.’

They didn’t care about the baggage Paul carried – the chains he wore – and the mistakes he made! They showed love to him regardless, and openly welcomed him into their home.

I realized then, that biblical hospitality has less to do with what you can do for someone, and a whole lot more about what you can give of yourself!

No matter what our living situation is we can always offer a listening ear, an encouraging word, or an open mind!  Always!

And so I put the mop and clorox wipes away…

I worked hard to be present, and to refrain from demanding that the shoes be put in the closet.

I chose to stock the fridge with take-home pizzas, and premade conveniences – that the ‘former me’ would have scoffed at – but continuously reminded myself that this weekends guests were getting my attention, not just my efforts! 

There were times when I struggled to find my sense of humor- like the one flippin’ time I attempted to turn the oven on and the fire alarm went off!

And other times, where I had to adamantly choose to let go of hurt and past offenses –the chains we had been wearing– and instead choose not to hold a grudge.

In the end we would all share a surprisingly wonderful birthday weekend together – even with the smushed hamburger buns, store bought cake, and sleepless nights on the pull-out couch!

And the Lord taught me a lesson I can only pray I will have the courage to live out…

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To choose today, to be present above all else!

To do less, but savor more!

Step away from the mop, and say yes to staying in our pajamas!

To quit checking emails, and get on the floor and play with our children.

Let the dishes sit in the sink and instead, eat double stuf Oreos with our husbands!

And maybe even spontaneously invite someone over… for take out!

Truly seek to refresh others,

And don’t be so surprised when you too, find the refreshment your soul has been longing for!

Krista Signature

Though Much is Taken, Much Abides

imageLet’s see if you can relate to the week I just had-

My family has had an ongoing cash reward for whoever finds the missing sippy cup, that was filled with milk, and got misplaced 3 weeks ago…

and this week we found it!

Although I wouldn’t categorize what we found as looking like ‘milk’ anymore – or tasting like milk for that matter – by the look of my daughter’s face when she took a swig! – Praise Jesus.

I also got in my first ‘NYC style argument’ with my husband, and am now fully aware of the problems it poses; because when you are exceedingly annoyed with nearly everyone in existence, and you live in a 650 sq ft apartment in Manhattan, and your daughter is sleeping in your one and only bedroom, and your husband is watching sports in the living room…

the only place left to retreat is the bathroom….

and the only place to sit in the bathroom, is the toilet!

Definitely not my most glamorous exit-in-a-fit-of-rage-to-prove-my-point scenario!

But I probably deserved it since my newfound New York attitude had me out of character and spitting off attitude that had me groveling endlessly the next day.

Then my sunglasses broke!

And my daughter woke up an hour early every. single. day.

Screaming!

I also got so lost in Central Park that even google maps couldn’t pinpoint the trail that I was on, and I broke my dining room table chair when I sat down to eat dinner  (which I don’t have to tell you is upsetting for more reason than one!)

And after a long night of having nightmares of mice. ..specifically mice getting their back legs stuck in the sticky traps I layed out and dragging their bodies still attached to the traps, by their front paws, squealing as they make their way towards my bedroom… The next morning, I sit down groggy and disoriented, my morning cup of coffee in one hand, and flipping through the latest Martha Stewart magazine with the other.

I pore over her promising tips on which grain will help lure your “ideal bird” to come eat of the $40 bird house you have in your spacious back yard that you had landscaped to look like a Japanese Garden. And continue reading, to consider her recipe for ‘Pork with Pears and Parsnips’ that she vows will make all your dinner party guests swoon…

Really Martha?

I don’t even know what a Parsnip is.

And I secretly kind of want to punch you in your face!

So after a long week of being taunted by Martha, trapped in the bathroom, and pleading endlessly with my daughter to STEP. AWAY. FROM. THE. MILK CUP!!!!!  Naturally, the only thing that would suffice in reversing the trauma of this past week – other than therapy, of course – would be to dim the lights, and take a candle lit, lavender scented bubble bath where finally, I can be alone with my thoughts!

Oh to dream…

because our bathtub is broke!

Sigh. Only in New York City….

I doubt it’s any surprise to all of you who have been reading these past few months- but since starting this blog and writing out my thoughts each week, I have truly realized how despicably human I am! It seems like every week I am in desperate need of an attitude adjustment – a ‘Come to Jesus Moment’ if you will!

So after a week like that, I did what I thought would put me in my place, and I opened up my bible.

I read about Noah, and how out of obedience to God he built an ark…

I read about Abraham, and how even after he reached the land God had promised him, that ‘he was like a foreigner, living in tents’ -and I laughed, because boy can I ever relate to that now that I live in NYC!

But believe it or not, it was once I closed my bible and instead, got on Facebook, that the Lord truly spoke to my discontent and weary heart!

And I can thank my friend Christina for that!

Christina and I have been friends for a little over 3 years. And in the short time that I have known her, she has been the picture of  immeasurable strength and courage! A true example of what it looks like to possess true happiness;  the kind that isn’t dependent on outside forces.

Christina is a dear friend to me, and yet I have only met her face to face twice.

It’s complicated, but I think Christina’s words to me best describe our friendship:

I know we’ve hardly ever met, but something about you and your husband is special to me, I don’t know how to describe it. Sometimes people are put in our lives at just the right time.

You and Ricky reminded me what it was to be young and in love, and inspired me with your posts, just when I needed a boost. So it always seemed like a friendship.

In our mere 3 year Facebook friendship, she was one of the very first people to ‘like’ our ultrasound picture the day we announced that we were expecting a baby. And still to this day, I can remember the heartfelt message she sent the day we brought our precious little baby girl home with us from the hospital – no doubt reminiscing herself, of the day when she did the same with each of her own children.

Even when my husband and I humorously bickered back and forth, or posted borderline cruel pictures of each other on Facebook, she seemed to instantly get our sense of humor and was always sure to intergect her playfulness and wisdom – which of course, always pointed towards me being right!

She was always so genuinely happy for us, and I couldn’t understand it. I almost felt unworthy of the overwhelming kindness she never failed to flood us with!

Still to this day, she is one of the only strong friendships I’ve had on Facebook, with someone I’ve nearly never got to spend time with in person!

But like Christina said, “Sometimes people are put in our lives just at the right time.”

That was proven, when throughout my father in-law’s battle with cancer her constant presence was there; leaving encouraging messages of high hopes and support, and offering an understanding few others could give…

because she too, was in the fight of her life!

We watched as she battled stage four breast cancer, and as the fiery red curls that had once cascaded down her back, fell out…

But she was never anything less than captivatingly!

We read her vulnerable posts expressing the immense physical pain she was under…

But she stayed courageously hopeful!

There were times when she was candid, and raw; vocally standing up to the cancer that kept knocking her down…

But her graciousness and compassion never wavered!

There were small victories, where we all rooted enthusiastically for her from the sidelines,

And there was heartbreaking lows, that had us in tears on the other end of the computer screen.

imageAfter an extensive battle, it was decided that all treatment would stop and that she would enter hospice.

Once again, she would take us all by surprise, when – the day the heartbreaking plan was announced – she changed her Facebook profile picture to one similar to this;

Life is good.

And there it remains still to this day!

Looking back on her posts, I read one from January 1, 2013

I’m feeling pretty good today, on and off,  the best I’ve been for awhile.

I got to witness some great acts of love and holiday spirit. I live for those, you know…

A good and happy day where I can type, are few and farther now, so I celebrate them.

Thank you all for the happiness and love and great visits and chats. Thanks, so many thanks.

6 days later Christina passed away.

As I almost ‘studied’ her last facebook status, I was overwhelmed with shame -imagining the magnitude of the pain she had suffered over the course of those last two years-

Her ability to describe a “good and happy day” as one where she can merely type!

Embarrassed, I thought back to the last few days of this week, where upon my husband returning home from work, I could barely muster up the words to describe my day as anything more than “difficult”

Why, because my living room floor is an endless sea of books and toys?

Or because as a stay at home mom, my lack of reasons to get out of my pajamas and put on makeup in the morning, often leaves me to question my worth?

Or the fact that I am up to my neck in errands that need to be run, behavior issues that need to be handled, and baths that need to be given – and re-given when fuchsia frosting is found, and my daughter looks like a real life ‘Pinkalicious’!  

Not to mention the looming responsibility of making a ‘homemade meal’ that by society’s standard should be prepared with love (and preferably organic with no GMO’S), and conveniently being pulled from the oven at the exact moment my husband walks through the front door- Inconvenient for me however, because this is also around the time that I’m nearly at my wits-end and about .04 of a tantrum away from having one myself!

Christina reminded me however, that no matter how real these feelings can be at times, one thing is certain- I don’t know ‘difficult’!

My heart sank, as I realized that if SHE was able to speak out of such sincere gratitude when she was facing ultimately, the greatest loss – her life! – Then what on god’s green earth was MY excuse?

This week, Christina taught me a valuable lesson that both Noah and Abraham combined couldn’t have breathed into these lifeless lungs!

I need to celebrate life!

Celebrate till my last breath the way Christina did!

Celebrate that fact that even the dingiest apartment can be made ‘homey’ with vanilla scented candles, early morning giggles under the covers, and freshly baked bread on the stove.

And that the husband I may feel like doesn’t see eye to eye with me every second of every day, is still the only man on the face of this planet that can give me butterflies!

Celebrate that even on the most tiring of days, with my daughter cuddled up in my arms, all the tantrums, timeouts, and snotty noses, melt away in the name of snuggles and bedtime stories.

imageEven when my frustration mounts, and the endless people and pandemonium of NYC gets to be too much, I can celebrate the beauty of it from across the river, allowing just enough space to fall in love with it all over again!

Christina is right,  it’s most definitely ‘a good and happy day’ !

Life is good.

And we’ve been waiting way too long to celebrate it!

Though much is taken, much abides;

And though we are not now that strength which in old days

Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;

One equal temper of heroic hearts,

Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

-Alfred Tennyson, as posted by Christina’s husband throughout her battle with cancer.

Krista Signature

The Lord Hast Made Me, And He Dost Know

image It seems like ages ago, when as an acne faced 18 year old girl, I stood before my graduating class in heels that had me wobbling up to the stage, to open up our Baccalaureate ceremony.

“Well, here we are…” I said nervously, pausing just long enough to question why I’d volunteered to speak infront of so many of my peers in the first place.

I continued, “Most of us have spent countless times sitting next to each other, either as good friends or fellow classmates. While others of us are sitting next to each other for the very first time. But together, there is one thing we have in common- we have all shared many memories over the years.

Maybe you remember Elementary school, where your popularity was determined not by your social status or amazing good looks and charm, but by whether you got to sit in the back of the bus and by which boy you had chasing you around at recess pulling your hair… We know who you are! “I said eyeing the culprits who were sitting among us.

“Luckily in Middle School, the boys came up with a less excrusciatingly painful way of showing their affection. How could we forget the ‘Do you like me? check yes or no’ love letters that were usually thrown at our heads in the form of paper airplanes!

Yet before we knew it, we were walking the crowded halls of high school, where it’s not unlikely that some of the wisest things you learned were things you read scribbled on the bathroom stall.

These were the years where we made the grade, broke a record, found love -or were just lucky enough to find a prom date!”

I spoke with certainty as I closed, “But as the day gets closer to graduation, who knows what memories we have yet to experience in this next stage of our lives? In Jeremiah 29:11 the Lord says, For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 

We have been given a future in Christ, and by following the will of God we are not only going to hit the target, but the bulls eye!

(I’m sure when I said that last sentence, I thought it sounded waaaaaay cooler than it actually did!)

So as your fellow classmate and friend, I would like to encourage you to remember this… God is there for you and always will be no matter what the future holds!
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I look back on that speech often, and smile to myself as I picture an awkward girl standing before her peers, firmly believing what She thought God’s plan’s was for her – when in reality, she had no idea!

I was going to go to bible college in Florida for a year, and then transfer to a university in Washington State to get a master’s degree in teaching.

I wasn’t going to get married until I was in my late twenties…

and as a lifelong pastors kid, my only major requirement was that he NOT be a pastor!

(haha… it’s humorous, really!)

Once the marriage license was signed at age 20, and I found myself hitched to a man who was equally as passionate about me as he was being a pastor someday, the plans I had for my life evolved once again…

I wanted 3 kids all by the time I was 30 and no more than two years a part.

I wanted a Red Porsche SUV,

and a kitchen table that could fit 8 people comfortably for a dinner party.

Its laughable, because look at me now: Married young, and to a flippin’ pastor!

Master degree-less,

and no doubt, in over my head with only one kid!

And thanks to my new life in Crazy town USA -aka Manhattan- I am without a car, and with little room for even the smallest of gatherings in the 650 sq feet apartment my family calls home!

It’s obvious really…

I need to stop telling God what to do!

Just like in the Story of the Two Monks:

“I need oil,” said an ancient monk, so he planted an olive sapling.

“Lord,” he prayed, “it needs rain that its tender roots may drink and swell. Send gentle showers.” And the Lord sent gentle showers.

“Lord,” prayed the monk, “my tree needs sun. Send sun, I pray thee.” And the sun shone, gilding the dripping clouds.

“Now frost, my Lord, to brace its tissues,” cried the monk. And behold, the little tree stood sparkling with frost, but at evening it died.

Then the monk sought the cell of a brother monk, and told his strange experience.

“I, too, planted a little tree,” he said, “and see! It thrives well!  But I entrust my tree to its God. He who made it knows better what it needs than a man like me.

I laid no condition. I fixed not ways or means. ‘Lord, send what it needs,’ I prayed, ‘storm or sunshine, wind, rain, or frost. Thou hast made it and Thou dost know.’ “

~Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow~

So often our prayers consist of us telling God what we need – pleading with him even- like we know better than He does!

I have experienced a lot of this during my last 5 months in New York City- where in a moment of overwhelming emotion, I cry out in a panic,

“No!! don’t let THAT happen God!”

“Haven’t I sacrificed enough?”

“Why can’t My life be more like so-and-so’s?”

“This is not how my life was supposed to turn out!”

And the truth is, as an 18 year old girl, this wasn’t how I envisioned my life turning out!

Not even in the slightest.

But in Proverbs 3:5-6 it says,

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.”

I need to be reminded that all seasons of life -the storms, sunshine, wind, rain, and frost- all serve a unique purpose.

And that if I seek the Lord above all else, and still find the path leading me in an entirely different direction than what I had originally planned, its not only ok -but it’s divine!

Even more, maybe it’s what I needed to thrive!

We need to be less interested in getting our way, and more interested in fulfilling the Lord’s will for our life!

And while I don’t know exactly where my place is, in this brutally large city that He has led me to…

Or why he chose a person like me, who admittedly was perfectly content living a comfortable life in suburbia.

I do know I need to entrust each and every day of my life to it’s maker! And to pray less for merely just what I want, and more for what only He could possibly know that I need!

The Lord hast made me, and He dost know!

Father if you are willing, take this cup from me.

Yet not my will, but yours be done.
-Jesus

Krista Signature

 

So You Think God Is Wrong?

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My eyes open to the sound of my toddler stirring in her bed. I close my eyes again and picture her stretching her limbs to get ready for the day. Oh no you don’t!  I fling the weight of the covers off of myself and hastily make for the door.  Over piles of laundry – against any obstacle – I make my way around the bed. I stop suddenly when in sight of her crib, and at the risk of her seeing me, I army crawl my way along the cold wood floors towards my only chance of even the slightest motivation for the day- my coffee!

It’s funny because I have never been much of a coffee drinker.

I made it through college, and worked for years at schools – where it could be argued that coffee was more key to survival than air itself! I even made it though my daughter’s first year of life without ever having as much as a sip of the good stuff!

So why do you ask, have I finally given in to the madness?

Toddlerhood.

It’s kicking my butt and it’s not letting up, no matter how loud I plead “Mercy!”

The plus side of my daughter’s new developmental stage however, is that we have been able to immerse her into an abundance of worship music lately. (I like how when I say that it makes me sound suuuuuper spiritual, when in reality it’s just proven to be the best way to drown out the tantrums!) It’s genius really – allowing you to be both in a constant state of worship while encouraging you to lower your escalating heart rate as your child screams bloody murder in the background!

And so it’s no surprise that after a week full of ‘the need for worship music’ (if you get my drift) that I found myself bolting for the kitchen every morning – in hopes of even just a mere 15 minutes – where, with coffee in hand, I could be alone in my thoughts.

With each sip, my thoughts would turn to daydreams….

Daydreaming back to the days when I had the time to do my hair and when the wind, or incoming subway, wasn’t always threatening to mess it up…

Relishing in the happiest of memories I shared with all of my pumps – who are now uniformly lined up in my closet with no hopes of ever being worn again…

Then after a few moments on Facebook – and after seeing all the beautiful babies being born – I would then begin mourning the baby my daughter wasn’t anymore.

Wishing for a laundry basket full of little onesies in every color of the rainbow, and the feeling of having a sleeping baby nuzzled in my neck, legs curled up under their bums… For a moment, I even missed the newborn cry (but it didn’t take long for me to come to my senses about that one!)

I swear though, while enjoying my coffee just a day later, my daydreams would be about the exact opposite!

Looking forward to the day that with a little more age, my daughter would be more self sufficient!

When maybe she could help me clean up or at least carry her weight (like literally, and preferably down the subway steps!)

My heart ached also at the reality that I might never experience having another child. Not because we wouldn’t love to, but because our new life in Manhattan doesn’t allow for that… comfortably.

My thoughts then wandered to whether Gia would be socially dysfunctional due to her future solitude as an only child… I then chuckled to myself knowing that according to a large amount of American moms she already will be – considering my decision to get an epidural AND to not breastfeed her as a baby! Which makes me smile because ‘realistically’ then, I have nothing to lose!

As I continued to sip my coffee, I casually flipped through a book and came across this poem which silenced my daydreaming completely.

It was spring, but it was summer I wanted; the warm days and the great outdoors.

It was summer but it was fall I wanted; the colorful leaves and the cool dry air.

It was fall but it was winter I wanted; the beautiful snow and the joy of the holiday season.

It was now winter but it was spring I wanted; the warmth and the blossoming of nature.

I was a child but it was adulthood that I wanted; the freedom and the respect.

I was twenty but it was thirty I wanted; to be mature and sophisticated.

I was middle-aged but it was twenty I wanted; the youth and the free spirit.

I was retired but it was middle-age that I wanted; the presence of mind without limitations.

My life was over but I never got what I wanted.

This poem spoke loud and clear to me.

I mean we all live this way, right? I know I do! I was doing so in the exact moment that I came across it!

We could even continue the poem on to say…

I wanted a fresh start in a new city, but now I miss my friends.
I wanted a job promotion, but now I am working too hard.
I was engaged but then I wanted to be married.
I was married, but I wanted to be a parent.
I wanted to get pregnant 3 months ago, but…
I was a parent of one child, but I wanted another…and another.
I had a family, but now I just want some peace and quiet – even better, a hot date!

I realized that what I had originally entertained as ‘harmless daydreaming’ was not that at all… My heart was directly in the center of a raging battle of discontentment!

I had restlessly been longing for something else, something better – only further proving that my daughter wasn’t enough just the way she is.

Even worse, proving that God – who in all His mighty power was able to create the heavens and the Earth – was somehow wrong in the way He designed my life!

I knew in my heart that I didn’t believe that to be true…

I thought back to Psalm 18:30, which is a verse that has been penned countless times on the palm of my hand in an attempt to get me through some of my most difficult days. Its profoundness lies also in its simplicity.

 God’s way is perfect…

The word ‘perfect’ is undeniable!

And because of it, we can rest in the truth that when God calls you somewhere, or to do something, that you are in His PERFECT plan for your life!

Still, I found myself perplexed as I pondered this verse over and over in my head…

If I know I am within God’s perfect plan for my life, why does my heart still feel so restless, even unhappy at times?

I decided to take a look at that verse more closely.

I was surprised to find that over the years, there was a part I had missed entirely!

God’s way is perfect….He is a shield for all those who take refuge in Him.

The key to finding contentment in our current circumstances is as much about believing that God’s plan for our lives is perfect in its entirety, just as much as it is knowing that the Lord is available to be our greatest source of comfort – a place where our hearts can find what they so desperately need to be made whole again!

He can be… that is, “For all those who take refuge in Him”

This verse requires action. And it is our choice where – or whom – we find our refuge.

I pictured myself earlier that morning…
Realizing then that I needed to choose to run to Him – in that same desperate way at times – and throw myself at the foot of the cross, and not just the coffee pot.

Our hearts have failed in an attempt to find refuge in many other things as well. As women we have looked for it in our significant other – or lack thereof – falsely believing that true contentment will be found when someone “puts a ring on it” if you will…

In boredom, we have turned to Facebook, but then are surprised when our discontentment escalates as we begin comparing our happiness and successes to that of our friends…

On Pinterest, we have made ourselves believe that a bigger house, a vacation to go zip-lining in the Swiss Alps, making our own laundry detergent, or incorporating the’ Victoria Secret Angels work out’ is going to bring greater significance to our lives…

We could have the perfect career, have gotten married to someone far out of our league, had a family, bought the house and have all the pictures hung, and yet even still, we will be restless and longing for more!

The truth is, I have no doubt that even when I am in the ‘sweet spot’ of God’s perfect plan for my life, that even then the Lord will keep me a little less fulfilled than I would most desire – whether in my marriage, in my confidence as a parent, and in any life circumstance that comes my way – Always withholding a little of what I believe I so desperately need at the time, in an attempt to keep me in a constant awareness of my ultimate need for Him, and only Him!

As I leave you today, I would ask you to search your heart for what it is that you have aimlessly attempted to take refuge in? What is it that has hindered you from embracing the perfect way God has laid out for you?

I pray that God would help us to savor the season of life we find ourselves in – even if they are chalk full of tantrums and chaos- laden mornings!

I can promise you this: Living God’s way doesn’t always mean you will get whatever you want…
But I can assure you that you will indeed, always have everything that you need!

Krista Signature