Friday, May 23, 2014


This song is playing in the background as I write.  Music is powerful.  Feel free to listen along as you read :) (Hopefully the link works, you may have to copy and paste the link - Mandi Mapes - "Where you are").

Perspective - a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view

Today I realized that I needed a change in perspective.  I have felt a little overwhelmed, a bit selfish, and have fallen into looking at my life as half empty instead of half full.  It feels terrible to admit such a thing bc I have so much to be thankful for.

God has pressed on my heart today that I need to change my attitude and start looking at things with a new lens.  The lens He has given me.  

In my heart I complain about the amount of laundry I have to do and then I see a blog post from a mom that just lost her 5 year old boy to cancer.  She would give anything to do his laundry just one more time.  Piles of laundry means that I have healthy and active kids.  Dirty clothes means a day well spent.  A day riding bikes, picking flowers, playing basketball, eating ice-cream, and enjoying life.  Lord please help me as I do the laundry to have an attitude that feels blessed to have six healthy children.  It is a privilege to serve my family in this way. 

In my heart I grumble when my husband is late coming home from work.  Then I see a post about a husband that is home bc he has lost his job.  A husband in the Army that is gone for 9 months.  A post from a single mom that is doing everything on her own (I was there at one time).  My husband being late means that he is working hard to provide for a family of eight.  He is paying the bills and allowing me to be at home with our kids.  He doesn't want to be late.  He wants to be home too.  The pressures of work and providing means he may be late on occasion.  Lord, help me to thank my husband for the way he provides for our family.  Help me to be the first to welcome him home, to wrap my arms around his neck, and make his return home a happy one.  When I feel stressed bc he is late help me to remember in that moment how hard he works for our family and how blessed I am to have this life with him.

In my heart I get frustrated with the noise level, the mess, the constant scream of "Mommy!!!!".  Then I see an email from a friend.  She has just been diagnosed with cancer.  Unsure of how much time she has left.  She wants all the noise she can soak in.  She begs God to give her more time to hear the words "Mommy!!" and suddenly the mess is beautiful.  She sees the life lived around her as beautiful.  Lord, when I see a mess in the house remind me that I am healthy and able to clean it up.  Remind me that it means I have kids that are loving life and living it to the fullest.  Help me to hear the noise and cherish it.  One day the noise will be gone and I will long for it.  

In my heart I think that six kids can be too much.  Some days I think about how much I could love just one kid.  I could give them all my attention, they would be dressed perfectly, clean as a whistle, and eat beautiful meals every night.  I could talk to them for hours and give them all my attention.  Then I am reminded of friends that only have one child because they weren't able to have more than one.  They long for what I have.  I then think of each of my kids and how each one makes this family whole.  They each have beautiful amazing personalities and taking even one of those personalities out of the mix would mess the whole thing up.  They may not get all of my attention but they have all of my heart.  They may not eat amazing meals (with six kids we eat a lot of tacos, spaghetti, hot dogs, and other things that can be made in mass) but we are eating together and the kids don't care.  I have given up trying to dress them in cute outfits.  Jeans is dressing up these days.  The boys live in basketball shorts and t-shirts.  Some of the time I comb their hair and some of the time they just go as they are.  Some days they get a bath - some days they don't.  Lord, when I feel overwhelmed with six kids remind me that they don't care about gourmet meals, being clean, having their hair combed, or wearing fancy clothes.  Remind me that I used to do these things to make other people happy.  Encourage me to embrace eating hot dogs and hugging dirty kids.  Help me to see basketball shorts as cool and baths every day as over rated.  Remind me that the kids just want my love and attention and a little goes a long way.  

In my heart I hate dealing with ex-spouses, split families, and all that goes along with divorce.  Some days I want it to just be me, Brian and the kids.  God, when I start to feel sorry for myself bc of the pains that come along with a split family remind me of all the blessings that came because of it.  Not because you wanted divorce but because you loved me enough to bless me through it.  Remind me that you blessed me with a wonderful husband and four boys that I love dearly.  Remind me of how far we have come with our exes.  Help me to embrace the time that Brian and I have alone and not to feel guilty that I am missing part of their lives (remind me this is out of my control).  Help me to pour out love to our ex spouses and to always remember that they are your children too.  This isn't all about me.  Help me to be gracious and kind.  Help my thoughts be positive and give me the strength to fight off complaining and frustration in my mind.  Most of all remind me of the grace you have shown me throughout this process.  Love is key.

In my heart I am not enough.  I tell myself that I am not enough.  I don't clean my house good enough, I don't spend enough time with my kids, I am not organized enough, I don't take care of my husband the way I should, I don't make enough time to read my bible, I can't get everything done the way I feel I should.  Lord, when I feel overwhelmed and feel I am failing remind me that I am enough.  You have given me everything I need to get through each day.  Gently remind me to stop putting things on myself that have not been given to me.  Help me to be content with the person you have created me to be.  Remind me that I don't need to do it all and that most things can wait.  Help me to enjoy life and not get caught up in "to-do" lists.  Especially remind me that my family feels loved when I am happy and content not when I am stressed about not getting everything done.

Lord please change my perspective.  Give me the strength and faith to see past the things of this world.  Help me to see my life as beautiful.  My story is absolutely beautiful.  Every broken part of my life fits right into your finished puzzle of grace.  You round out the rough edges and fit every piece together.  The pieces alone can look out of place, rough, and incomplete but with your hand of grace on my life every piece fits perfectly together to make a beautiful and completed masterpiece.

Don't let me take one more day for granted.  Help me soak up the sun, allow myself to get dirty, and help me to see imperfect people as perfect in your eyes.  Lord, give me the strength to stand out from the rest, give up on being the perfect mom and wife, and allow myself to be perfectly yours.  In being perfectly yours I will be the perfect mom and wife for my family.  Not in the way the world measures but in the way that you measure.  

Thank you God for slowly changing my perspective.  I love you!!!

17 Now, the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, he gives freedom. 18 And all of us have had that veil removed so that we can be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord. And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him and reflect his glory even more.  ~2 Corinthians 3:17-18