New Year Changes

best-leadership-blogs-2015What is it about January that brings such a demand for change? And not just because the year date changes over. I’ll admit I fell off of the bandwagon toward the end of last year. It’s the same excuse as anyone might have, “the holidays were crazy”, “there was just so much going on”, “I realized I am still a new mom and maybe I bit off more than I could chew”, or plain and simple “I’ve just been busy.”

But here I am! I am back! January New Year’s Resolution anyone? Yes, I have those. No, it’s not to blog more. Although, I do enjoy writing. I have a deeper challenge of purpose in doing so. The new year celebration came and went in a whirlwind. Actually, I think this may be the first time in my life (at least as an adult) that I did not stay awake until midnight. (It’s amazing what you are capable of when you are a new mom, or in my case, not capable of…keeping my eyes open past 9:30 or 10:00 pm.) Anyway, I did not take the time this year to start off a list of goals for 2019, like has been my routine for so many previous years. However, over the course of the last two weeks, I have dedicated to reading (a book I got for Christmas) and also devoting some thought to the skill of leadership. (Among other things like once again cutting out sugar, eating healthier, etc.)

Leadership has been strong on my heart as I realize every day the growing influence I now have on the tiny human that now uses my entire house as her playpen. Once upon a time I invested a lot of time and energy into the study of leadership, the practice of leadership and even my own library of books on leadership. Leadership is a skill that anyone can posses. It’s also a role that most everyone has. Yes. If there is one person that you are responsible for, you are a leader. So yes, stay at home mom, you may have one child or 10 children. You are a leader. Your child may be 1 day old, one week old, one year old or 20 years old. You are a leader. Or if you are a mom out in the work place, you lead there too. Whether you are the bottom of the corporate ladder or the CEO. You are a leader. My new year brought to me a self evaluation of my leadership and unfortunately, I realized I have not made any investment into its development in a very long time. My leadership got rusty. So part of the new year change I committed to for 2019 is to brush up on my leadership and grow in this area of my life.

I hope you will join me on this journey as I share with you what I learn and the areas I am challenged in.

Happy New Year, Mama! ❤

Finality In Loss

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI know it’s been some time since my last post; a month or so to be exact. Where does the time go? I am sharing today out of the experience of loss. It seems this year, more specifically this last month has been a season of loss. From the family pet (as shared previously), to a dear friend from an earlier chapter of my life, to most recently, my beloved grandma and last living grandparent.

My grandma passed from this life two weeks ago yesterday. My parents and I with my little one in tow, flew back west to San Francisco to spend her last few hours together and lay her to rest with my grandpa who died 9 years ago from cancer. As I sat rocking my baby girl in the spare room off the kitchen while listening to the hushed whispers of family gathering around Grandma’s hospice bed in the livingroom, my mind was flooded with so many cherished memories in that house and even in that room. I began to think about all the “never be” thoughts. And even as the funeral procession drove passed her house one final time later that week, I thought that as connected as that house makes me feel to my grandparents, the truth is grandma will never step foot in that house again. I was struck with the word “finality”. Why is death such a hard thing to deal with for us? Is it because it is so final? 

The more I thought about this, I came to the realization and the hope in this. We as humans in the physical realm only know time contraints, beginning and endings, and death. However, our spirit man/woman was created eternal. We have to calling to eternal life. God has put inside us the promise of eternal life in Him. (That is hard to wrap my head around.) I only understand beginnings and endings. Finality. But God is eternal. He always is, always has been and forever will be. He beckons us to be with Him in eternity. So I think that death creates this tension between our physical and our spiritual. It seems impossible to be so final and yet that is what our physical beings know. The truth is, it is not final (only here in the physical sense).

I realized something about myself through the process of “saying goodbye.” Maybe this is because I had a different relationship over the years with my grandparents than my cousins (who grew up in the same city/county as them). As I watched grandma take her final breath, my cousins each approached her bedside giving her a final kiss. Even at the funeral, various family members touched her hand and kissed her one last time before the casket was closed (again, a moment of finality). I stood off to the side personally. My dad came to me and asked if I had gotten a chance to get closer to her to see her one last time. I shook my head and said that I couldn’t. It’s not that I was freaked out or spooked by the idea of touching a dead body. I think it was more out of a realization that the body was now seperate from the spirit. And that body isn’t Grandma anymore. It looks like her, but the truth is, she is not here. She is in eternity already. And I trust that, when it is my turn to leave this world, I will see her again. I have this hope, that as Grandma put her faith in Christ, she will continue on in eternity with Him. And someday I will join up with her there.  So while my heart is saddened by what my flesh understands in finality, my spirit is encouraged by the promise of eternity.

Just sharing my heart today ❤

My Ask Is Broken

Let’s talk about faith. I recently joined a lifegroup at church and we are studying this topic. We are reading through Ever Increasing Faith by Smith Wigglesworth. I will be honest, I consider myself a decently diverse reader. However, I am struggling a bit with this man’s writing as well as his passion, fervency and all out pentecostal zeal of faith. That is probably because I tend to be much more cautious in my faith steps. (I recognize I am a work in progress. LOL!)

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you.”   -Matthew 7:7  NKJV 

This scripture has been almost a haunting in my life for several years. You see, to most people, I would assume this would be like a coupon for something free. The easy ticket. Or maybe I just make it way more complicated in my over-analytical brain than it needs to be. I have never been one to quickly ask for anything. Call it my own stubborn self-reliant pride, but I try to do everything myself first. And ask only if it is absolutely necessary.

But my journey to motherhood started here. My tiny mustard seed faith granule was in a simple “ask.” Not so simple for me. Long story short, we had been trying to start a family since we got married. I assumed it would happen quite quickly. And let’s face it, we are not getting any younger. But after a year and a half of negative pregnancy tests, I was extremely discouraged. I mean, I tried everything in my own power (i.e. change of diet, exercise, essential oils, every tip and trick on pinterest, etc…) It. Was. Not. Happening. And to be completely honest, I wasn’t exactly at a place spiritually where I felt close to God or worthy of asking Him for anything. (Not that that is relavant.) One day we were driving and talking. My husband asked me if I had prayed for a baby, if I had asked God. Candidly, I answered no. My admition of that alone pierced my own heart with conviction. But the pride held on tight. The following week I was sitting in the office of a friend in dispair that another month had come and proved that we had not conceived. I shared my heart and brokeness with her. She said, “You have to ask. You have to speak the words in faith, the desire of your heart. Ask God for a baby.” So in a sobbing and trembling voice, I finally asked. I prayed aloud in that office and asked God for the desire in my heart. I can’t even say that in that moment I believed He would do it. I just felt the relief from the pride that had held my heart captive. I think my real step of faith and belief came one month later, to the day (I believe).

My husband and I had run to Walmart one evening. He had to get razors and I had to get some feminine hygiene products knowing it would routinely be needed in the next few days. I told him I would go get what I needed, while he went the next isle over to get what he needed. As I turned down the isle I stopped in front of the pregnancy tests first. I thought for a second, contemplating the if. (I think this was my faith opportunity. I believe it with all my heart.) My husband came and joined me saying he thought I needed other items. He joked and asked if there was something I needed to tell him. I smiled and as I grabbed the pink box, said “Actually, I think I am going to get this instead. As a step of faith. So we will see.” I did not purchase what I had intended to that night. And a week later, I used that pink boxed test and it proved POSITIVE!

Obviously, now 18 months later, I have a beautiful 9 month old baby girl. I would say the rest is history, but really that was a monumental experience in my relationship with God.  And I believe a catalyst for my journey drawing closer to Him. I don’t know if my “ask” is fixed, but I do know that it took a lot for me to ask. And just a tiny step of faith proved huge in the reaping. One of the things that Wigglesworth talks about in his book is “imperfect faith.” I had to sit back and chew on this one for a minute. How do we aquire perfect faith? He goes on to talk about having intimacy with Christ builds a perfect faith. That love draws us into perfect faith. I also believe that when we feel distant from Him, our imperfect faith can draw us closer to Him. Because any faith at all requires laying down our pride. It’s in the baby steps. And they crazy amazing this is, each step we take grows our faith. I don’t think it will be as hard for me to ask the next time around. However, I am challenged by the notion that I don’t have to wait for the next time I desire a child, to ask of Him. What are things in my life that I should be asking Him for now, that I am not? I can only discover this by seeking His heart. And then asking in faith out of that love relationship with Him.

So that’s it. This is me. A midlife mom, working out her faith.