Living not striving…

Random thoughts and daily adventures in my life

A whole lotta NO’s… March 30, 2011

Filed under: Random stuff — erikaivory @ 3:43 am
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You know those parenting days where you feel like you end up saying NO way more than you get to say YES?  Today was one of those days with my sweet 5 year old.  He is such an amazing bundle of energy and enthusiasm but everything he decided to do today ended with me saying an emphatic, “NO!!”

Mommy had to say no to:

-cutting branches of flowers off the neighbors azalea bushes,

-running with big, sharp kitchen scissors,

-using the same scissors to cut down vines to make lassoes to set up traps across the kitchen door for burglars,

-climbing up high in the garage to examine Daddy’s bb gun,

-using broken pieces of a chair as a mallet for making traps,

-throwing a baby snake that was found in the grass into the fan of the air conditioning unit to watch it get chopped into tiny bits,

-uncovering bricks in the pine straw where the snake was found, while barefooted to be bug killers.

They were legitimate no’s because of safety issues and time issues, but as the hours passed and the answers continued to be no I could see his little spirit wilting.

I started searching for ways to say YES to my precious little man but was having a hard time finding opportunities.  For some reason everything Eli wanted to do today was beyond the boundaries of safety and reason for a 5 year old.  Somehow that didn’t matter to his little brain and body though and he was so disappointed in the day and in Mommy.

I was really struggling.  I wanted to make him smile and lift his sweet little downcast spirit.  We made a special trip to Lucas Park to find trees he could climb, but then he had to go to the bathroom…no REALLY go to the bathroom (yes, I let him pee on the tree but then we had other issues).  So we had to leave the park after 5 minutes which added to his majorly disappointing day.

I know tomorrow will be better, but in his childlike perception and grasp of time, he doesn’t.  He is fine, but went to bed hoping for a better day tomorrow.  It is hard for him to truly see past right now though.  It still makes me sad even putting it down here.  But if I had today to do over I still would choose to tell him no to those things he wanted to do.  They were dangerous and would not have ended well!!!  Out of my great love for him I COULD NOT let those things happen.  He doesn’t understand, but my no’s were truly for his best.  In the short term, but definitely in the long-term as well.

Again, the Lord has been using parenting to teach me some deeper truths.  Not always, but sometimes I get it:)  Have you ever been through, or maybe right now…you are in a season where you are hearing the Lord say a lot of big, fat NO’s.  Sometimes we get a run of “nuh-uhs”, “not nows” and “ain’t no ways” from the Lord.  It isn’t that hard hearing one of those answers to a request every now and again but when you hit a season of consistent no’s ….it just plain old stinks!!

Because what happens to me is I start to pout and internalize the rejection to my request and make it about ME.  The enemy has a lot of fun with this.  Instead of hearing the Lord say NO to what I was asking… I hear Him saying NO to me and the negativity seeps into the way I view Him and how I think He views me.  Just because He said “NO you can’t go on that vacation” that doesn’t mean He loves me any less.  Or just because He didn’t answer my prayer with a YES when I asked that my friends marriage be healed that doesn’t mean He is saying I have powerless prayers.

Does that make sense?  Cause it really hit me that my NO’s to Eli were spoken out of my great LOVE for him, and nothing less.

If I loved him less…I would have said YES!!  But he didn’t FEEL loved necessarily when I said NO.  This was big for me.  Just because God says no doesn’t mean I am out of his will …or that He doesn’t love me…or that He doesn’t hear me…or that I am wrong to ask…or he prefers someone else’s prayers over mine…

Those are all lies and untruths from the enemy.  My Father tells me NO when it is for my best and for His glory. And that’s what I want right?  I want Him to be glorified through my life.  And I want to learn to smile up at Him and say “yes, sir” whether He tells me NO or YES because I trust His heart and I trust His great love for me.  And really when I look at Scripture and take a step back to examine the bigger picture, my circumstances may in that season resound with some major NO’s but spiritually and eternally the YES’s are overwhelming. When I put my focus on that…I can only be filled with delight! And I’m not making this business up…look what I found:

2 Corinthians 1:20-22

Whatever God has promised gets stamped with the Yes of Jesus. In him, this is what we preach and pray, the great Amen, God’s Yes and our Yes together, gloriously evident. God affirms us, making us a sure thing in Christ, putting his Yes within us. By his Spirit he has stamped us with his eternal pledge—a sure beginning of what he is destined to complete.

Now that right there is some good news!! We are  “a sure thing in Christ” with “his Yes within us.” “A sure beginning of what he is destined to complete.”  I can handle some NO’s when I have that YES to hold onto:)  How about you?


Trusting… March 25, 2011

Filed under: Deep thoughts — erikaivory @ 2:46 am
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I like to plan ahead…at least consider the future.  Apparently my boys can be the same way.  We often have conversations that are entirely centered on themes for their next birthday parties.  One week after their birthday they are already planning for next year.  While fixing dinner tonight Eli and Haig were having a very “heated” conversation about their upcoming birthday plans…in December and January.  I tried to assure them that they have always had fun birthday celebrations so they can calm down and not worry about their next birthday parties.  I tried to help them realize that there are many, many days between now and their birthdays and that they can trust that their mommy loves them and I will make sure that they have a terrific party.  Yes, we will have an amazing cake. Yes, we will invite their friends.  Yes, they can pick the theme and yes, they can even have it at a special place if possible. I will make sure all of the details work together for their best and their delight.

Will I let Haig have a pool party in January if he wants?  No….because it would be too cold and he would be miserable…even though he thinks he would LOVE that.  Will I buy Eli a pirate pinata today for his party in December?  No…because I know that in two more months he will not be “into” pirates anymore:)  I kinda giggled as we were having this conversation, and then the Lord whispered to me..

“You know you do that, too.”

“You worry about things that are beyond your control instead of trusting that I am in control.  You fret and try to figure things out that are way out in the future.  You waste time and energy planning and concocting scenarios instead of resting and trusting in my love.  Have I ever failed you?”

No, of course not Lord!

“So why don’t you trust me instead of worrying?  Rest in my faithfulness and the truth that I give good gifts and I want what is best for you.  Trust my heart. The same way that you will indeed do what is best for your boys and find ways to please and delight them…understand that I feel the same way about you.  I know what you need in this hour just as much as I know what you will need this summer, next winter and every season for the rest of your life.  I know what makes you smile, what will cause growth in you and what you will need as you face each new circumstance.  Please try to stop figuring it all out and simply trust my heart for you. I’ve got this.  Really.”

Yeah, You’ve got this. Point taken.

Philippians 4:6-8

6-7Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

8-9Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.


Battling voices March 9, 2011

Filed under: Deep thoughts — erikaivory @ 3:29 am

So I admit that I am a little crazy but just maybe I am not the only one that once in awhile has a conversation inside her head…goes something like this:

“I am so tired…fat…overwhelmed…frustrated…on and on and on…” STOP IT!!  STOP IT RIGHT NOW!!!

I can either let the negative thoughts continue, grab the bag of M&Ms and the scenario does not end pretty…

or stop myself.

Today thankfully I stopped myself and chose my perspective.  I allowed the Truth that I know to speak louder than the internal voice that was speaking lies.  Yes, I did indeed “feel” all those things…fat, overwhelmed and frustrated.  But my feelings aren’t Truth.  They are real but they do not stand up in court.  They change with the wind and with circumstance.  I cannot base my decisions or how I view the world and my circumstances on my feelings.  If I do I will be in big trouble.  Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”

I stop, take a deep breath and reframe my circumstance and what I am feeling with Truth.  Not “little t” truth but “big T” Truth.  God’s Word.  What does God say about this?  And that is why I need to be in His Word so each time I am having this internal battle I don’t have to pull up to get me through.  When I am consistently reading His Truth and hiding it in my heart through memorization and meditation…it’s amazing how the Holy Spirit uses what I have just recently read to get me through the battle that day.

Perfect example…as I stopped in my tracks when I felt myself going down the “woe is me” road today the Holy Spirit brought this verse to mind.  I memorized it years and years ago and wear it on one of my favorite shirts.  It sifted through my thoughts to the forefront and helped me do battle and beat back those negative, despairing, damaging thoughts.  Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Truth puts it all back in the right perspective.  So I just needed that reminder.  How about you?