Saturday, April 28, 2012

Sweet Baby Kisses

Today has been a day like any other day...busy and full.  I love it too.  I do enjoy being busy in a balanced way.  I like having things planned and getting other things done in between those planned things.  It's when you add three terrifically whiny, sometimes erratic children in the mix that I start losing the delicate balance of juggling all the balls in the air.

By the kids' bedtime I'm usually pretty worn out physically and mentally, and it takes reaching down deep inside to get all those teeth brushed, PJs on and kids tucked in with that last mandatory book reading.  I mean, some nights, God love my kids, they get the book read through a yawning, monotone voice.  BUT I DO READ and I do try to do it with emphasis and emotion...most of the time.

Tonight I'm reading "the cupcake book" for the fiftieth time to my dear Lilly, and she's wallering all over me.  Does everyone know what Wallering is?  Spell check isn't recognizing, so it may be one of those made up words I've acquired.  Anyway, wallering means wriggling and climbing all over me.  You get the idea.  I'm trying to read as efficiently and quick as I can without rushing, and Lilly is literally sliding legs and arms around any inch of my body that she can...and kissing me all over.  She first reaches down and kisses my arm.  I roll my eyes and say "Thank you. I love you too." and keep reading.  Then she grabs my face and kisses me on the cheek so sweetly.  I sighed loudly and said "I love you toooooo, Lilly, but I'm reading here, so no more kisses."  Then I feel her bright eyes twinkling all over my face and out of my periphery I can see she's smiling VERY brightly, like she's enamored.  *Laughing*  I stopped reading and turned to look her straight in her eyes and she laughed out loud and hugged my arm super tight.  And simultaneously I felt my heart squeeze again (like it has recently, ya know) and inside my spirit I heard Him say "Remember the woman who kissed and wiped my feet so tenderly?  Wouldn't YOU want to kiss me and hug on me just like that? That's unhindered love. Do not push it away."  **melting**

So I put the book down, pulled her squarely on my lap, held my baby girl and smothered in her love.  It's moments like this that are the rewards of parenting.  They can so easily get lost in the rush and busyness.  I'm so glad the Lord speaks gently and I'm learning to listen more intently, even if it's in between the madness and whining. :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

He Sings to Me

Okay, so I realize that this is going to sound extremely corny, but there is a reasoning behind it.  Stick with me.  So when I hear love songs on the radio, especially ones like Bruno Mars and this new one from One Direction, I imagine that Jesus is singing the song about me.  *putting a bag over my head*  Yep.  I do.  It looks and sounds goofier now that I type it out.

Here is why I do this.  Jesus is safe to me.  I can imagine Him singing these lyrics to me and REALLY meaning them with NO intentions behind them except to bless me.  Up until I met my dear husband, all the men I ever dated or had relationships with hurt me.  None of them loved me perfectly, even my Dad and EVEN my dear husband.  None of us are perfectly loved (or love perfectly) like God intended us to be, although some of us are blessed with loved ones who really are over the moon for us and put us first.  I have been blessed with family and husband who does see me for who I am and love me amazingly well. Huge blessings to me!!  But so many of us are still imperfectly loved or not loved enough or sadly, not at all.  Some of us feel empty in that area, and well I know when I feel emptier than I should that Jesus is a safe source of love.  I don't have to perform to earn his love. He doesn't expect anything from me in return to give me his love and attention.  And to boot, HE WANTS TO LOVE ME!

So I Googled how Jesus adores me and the Scripture Zephaniah 3:17 popped up in the search.  Has anyone ever heard of Zephaniah?  Me either.  That must be one of the least referenced books in the Bible bc seriously, I was like...where the heck is ZEPHANIAH!?  So Zeph says:

17 The LORD your God is with you,
   the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
   in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
   but will rejoice over you with singing.” 

Kaboom!  He takes great delight in YOU and WILL REJOICE OVER YOU WITH SINGING!  See, I knew there was a reason I do this!  I don't hear Jesus singing over me while I sleep at night or while I'm scrubba-dubbing the dishes, but whenever a love song comes on the radio I sense Him deep within whispering to me "this is how I feel about YOU, Christy!  I love and adore you, and I am enraptured by how your hair flips and how your smile reminds me of my creation.  I delight in who you are JUST BECAUSE of who you are."  Seriously, who among us doesn't want to melt into THAT kind of love!?

Yesterday I found myself overwhelmed by life AGAIN.  Come on, it's a lot for MANY of us!  And so I was crying in my big blue van and praying from my heart..."Jesus, I just need a big huge hug.  I mean a real hug with arms around me and my head of your chest."  I didn't feel any arms or chest at the moment, but I did stop crying, wipe my face and move on with my evening.  Then today as I'm driving around in my big blue van running errands it was song after song after song of these lyrics about how the guy adores this girl and appreciates who she is just for who she is, and how he sees her even though she doesn't think she's seen.  And then my heart squeezed tight in my chest and I felt Him say "this is your hug, baby girl. This is how I feel about you and you never have to look anywhere else for the filling.  I rejoice over you in song."   No man or songwriter can contend with the poetic love of Christ, and I rejoice over Him that He loves me so fully.

Enjoy this song and next time you hear it or another love song, imagine Jesus singing to you. :)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Oh, Happy Day!

So, if you're on my Facebook you know that my family has been going through quite a bit. With the business being run from our home as of last June, our house has been busy and bustling away. But recently my dear husband has discovered that he has a very large kidney stone in one kidney (that had him wracked with unimaginable pain and vomiting for nearly a week ending in a several day hospital stay) and another about half the size in his other kidney. And then right after we get him semi-settled and pain-free my dear eldest daughter turned a wrong corner and is dealing with severe abdominal pains, vomiting and diarrhea. We tried to let it take it's course, thinking it might be a bug, but after a full week of resting and no relief, we went to the doctor. That began a battery of testing for her as well.

All this on top of coordinating every day life in the Baker household and juggling my other weekly responsibilities. This Momma was getting a little exhausted to say the least. After going to an overnight retreat that I spoke of in the last post I am so happy with how I've been handling all the juggling. It's no longer juggling and looking for others to say "Great job! Bravo! Encore!" It's now me juggling with a rested center, eyes looking up at the Creator and saying "Thank you, Father, for creating and growing me into this amazing wife and mother who can manage all of these things, and still have more than enough to give to each of my children and husband as they need me emotionally and spiritually." I realize now...I'm no longer striving to be that Proverbs 31 woman. I AM her. I'm not trying to look like her anymore. I look totally different on the outside and I have different loves, stressors, goals, desires, etc...but inside, she and I are made of the same strong stuff and we go to the very same unquenchable source that is Jesus and the Father.

This makes me very happy today. But you know what else makes this a happy day??? I get emails from our health provider that updates me with our account information (what we owe, etc.) and you KNOW they've been sending me emails daily, if not twice a day to update me. Each time I've looked and the amount we owe is higher than before, up unto $25,000+. Talk about DEFLATING!! Ugh. Well this morning I had an email from them and I expected the same thing, a higher amount or at least for it to say "your insurance has paid all that it will pay and this is what you owe. Your right arm and leg should cover a portion of it." Doesn't it feel that way? Especially when you are self-insured. But today, my friends. Today, it said "your insurance has paid nearly all of the amount and here is the fragment you owe." AHHHHHHH! BIG RELIEF! Thank you, Jesus! So I run in and tell my dear husband who comes in to check it out with his own eyes and I said "couldn't you cry!?" to which he says "I just prayed about this in the shower."

**beaming from ear to ear** Seriously, I ask you, how much more can a woman ask for!?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

God IS in the details

So many times I've heard people say "God is not in the details of my life. He sets life in motion and then gives me free will to make the choices I will make." I'm not one of those people who say that. I don't think I've ever really believed that, although admittedly I've questioned Him on it. "Dude, WHERE.ARE.YOU!? I'm floundering here." Thankfully I met Christ in a very vulnerable spot as a young person and he came to me as a friend, not taught to me as this overpowering, stand offish, can't be touched God.

I went to a leader's retreat this past weekend in the beautiful Hocking Hills and had a really fun time. I got a lot of great information about myself that really turned around my beliefs about who I am and how it affects my daily life. What was really cool though is what happened a few days after the retreat.

In the first exercise Chris asked us to take a walk for about 20 minutes out in the beauty of the hills, take some time to think about the lies we are believing about ourselves and then ask God to give us a symbol (a visual, tangible symbol) and bring it back if we find one. So I walked and I thought and I recorded the lies that I believed. Then I remembered "Oh yea, I need a symbol. Lord, what is my symbol? Can you give me something to take back to the group?" I'm looking and looking and then in my mind I thought of an eggshell. And quite honestly I'm like, HOW is an eggshell a symbol of the lies I believe? So I start mulling it over trying to make it fit, all the while still searching for this miracle egg that certainly would just happen in my path and OH how cool would THAT be! And, no. No egg. No nests. No broken eggshells of any kind. So I go back to the cabin and listen to a few people share what was revealed to them, but certainly kept my own to myself bc heck I couldn't even make sense of what I got, let alone articulate it to a whole group.

Then a few days later I was catching up on my Bible study "The Names of God" and it was the day for "Lord the Creator." The author talked about the intricacies and science behind snowflakes. Did you know it could snow for years and not two snowflakes would ever be the same!? Well, in one exercise Mary Kassian asked us to research one thing in nature that interested us and see how God spoke to us through that and immediately the egg popped back in my mind. Isn't God amazing? I forget from day to day what I have going on and am suppose to do but something from three days ago pops right in there. So a'Googling I go! An egg is QUITE amazing. Did you know it is completely hard but also completely porous? Yep - 17,000 (plus or minues) pores in it yet just inside the egg is a membrane the protects the embryo from any bacteria reaching it. SO cool.

Okay, so an egg is very very strong because of it's arched shape and yet so very fragile that a tiny little egg tooth and crack it from the inside. And immediately it made me think of my own heart. Eh? Why? Because I thought "Well, my heart has two arches, so my heart must be very strong! Isn't God so cool to make us a doubley strong heart with two arches!?" Ha ha, wait a second. Back to Google. I check the images for the actual image of a human heart. *stunned awe* It's NOT actually shaped like the heart we learn to draw in Preschool?? Are you kidding me? Heck no, peeps, it's actually shaped like...wait for it...AN EGG!! Ta-dah!! It's oval in shape and bigger at the top getting smaller to the bottom. Oh be still my heart. *tongue in cheek* No seriously, at this moment in the study I'm stopped and in awe of God. He gave me this picture of an egg three days prior and I'm trying to wrap it around the lies I believe to make it fit. Maybe it's a broken egg and I'm realizing how fragile I really am. Uh, no! No, no, no. God made our hearts STRONG and AMAZING and TOUGH to break. God wasn't pointing me to how frail, broken and breakable I am. He was showing me how strong and amazingly/THOUGHTFULLY designed I am. God IS in the details. He always has been. He watched us as we were forming in the womb (also egg shaped) and has not taken His eyes off of any of us. He knows the number of hairs on our heads, which for me is an ALL DAY task of keeping up bc you should SEE the amount of hair I shed!

All this to say...God shows up. He speaks. He listens. He meets us right where we ask Him in and He is definitely in every decision we make. Once again, I am in awe of HOW COOL our God is. :)