Your Response Matters

fenderFascinating photo, right? But stop & take a minute to read this post despite the ugly photograph.

This is a picture of a crack in my fender above my front tire on the drivers side.

Earlier this week I was driving home after dinner with a dear friend when an idiot decided to sideswipe my car on the interstate because he was about to miss his exit. Instead of slowing down to go behind me, he speeds up to try to pass me on the left to go in front of me but fails & hits me! Going 65 mph. The idiot didn’t slow down or pull over & sped off barely making his exit. This could have been a horrible accident but thankfully all Benny {my truck} suffered was a few scratches.

All this to say, so many things that happen to us are beyond our control. I was just driving along & wham.

What matters is how we respond.

My initial response of yelling in anger (even though he couldn’t hear me) & honking my horn was understandably justified. I didn’t want to crash! And if I’m completely honest, I wanted to chase him down {scenes from Bond movies quickly flashed thru my mind!!!} but I was way past the exit & who am I kidding? I probably would have caused an accident myself trying to chase him down!

I didn’t pull over to see if Benny was okay because she was driving fine & she wasn’t making any crazy noises. The only thing I could do was drive home.

I pulled into my driveway & the anger I felt for the last 10 minutes was quickly washed away with gratitude. I was so grateful to be in my driveway & not stuck in what could have been a crashed up Benny on the interstate. I walked in my house overwhelmed with gratefulness & relief as I hugged my husband & kissed my kids goodnight.

Home is where everything comes back into focus.

When something happens beyond your control, just take a deep breath & drive home.

Quiet

winter trees plane trails

“Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life…to work with your hands.” 1 Thessalonians 4:11

Make.

Lead.

Quiet.

Work.

Serve.

Help.

traffic light frost

“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10

That’s our family goal for 2015.

To be QUIET.

You’re laughing, I’m sure. A family of 6, quiet? Kids, quiet? Greg, quiet?

This isn’t about volume. This is about the heart.

We are taking steps to examine how we can purposely be quiet on so many different levels.

Finances.

Family.

Church.

Marriage.

Friendships.

{just to name a few}

morning

Last year was loud & full of Whoas. We aren’t naive to think that the Whoas will stop. They will continue.

We will take what we learned last year & when the loud Whoas come, we will be able to respond with a quiet heart.

narnia on logan

The One Place That Has Taken Me the Longest to Call Home

the truth about home

I had a revelation as I was driving to the grocery store earlier this week thinking about my 3rd born. His 10th birthday was a few days ago and we moved to Lemont when I was 8 months pregnant with him. That means we have lived in Lemont for 8 years {I know what you’re thinking, that my math is off. We moved away for 2 years but we still owned the house so it all adds up to 10 in the end}.

8 years in one place. That’s a record for me. 42 years old & I’ve never lived anywhere longer than 5 years – until now.

If you would ask me today, “Where are you from?” my answer would include a pause, followed by a smile and “Well, it’s a long story but I live in Lemont, Illinois now.” After 8 years, you would think that I would call Lemont home, right?

My entire life has been in a place of transition. From birth until today, I have moved 23 times. Half of those moves happened before I got married & the rest have been with my adventurous husband. Looking at my past, it’s no wonder that it has taken me a while to call Lemont home, even though I have lived here the longest that I have ever lived anywhere!

When I pulled into the grocery store parking lot I immediately grabbed my phone to text Greg & shared with him my revelation. I had to apologize to him because it has taken me too long time to call Lemont home. I felt guilty and selfish.

I spent the next 3o minutes filling up my grocery cart, lost in my thoughts for a while. As I was driving home, the guilt & selfishness slowly melted away as I realized this truth: Lemont isn’t home.

Home isn’t about the name of a town. Home isn’t about your mailing address. Home is about the people.

Every time we have moved, Greg & I have always said “it’s not about the place, it’s about the people.” Everywhere we have lived, we have met some incredible people. People that we now call family. Lemont is the same.

You put in roots where you are planted. Some places require a little more work to prepare the ground for the seeds that will be sowed. Sometimes you have to clear out the weeds first.

Moving back to Lemont after being away for 2 years has had it’s challenges. Friendships we had before weren’t the same. We were not embraced by some and that was hard. More for me than for Greg. For the first time in the three years we’ve been back, I finally realized that I needed to let that go.

Thankfully, God didn’t wait for me to get my act together before bringing new people into our lives & giving us a renewed sense to embrace the ones that stuck by us.

Want to know the bigger truth?

I hope that our home, whether it’s Lemont or the place that will be #24, will be a small glimpse of the place that I will gladly call home one day – Heaven.

home haven

 

What I Learned in 2014 ~ It’s OK

its ok

A year ago this week, I heard some life changing news. Sometimes, life changing news can be a good thing. This was not one of those times. The reality is that life as we knew it would never be the same. Life changing news has a way of doing that. Good or bad, you know life will never be the same.

The Whoa’s of life will continue. I cannot change that. Maybe I don’t want that to change. What I needed to learn this year {and for the rest of my years} was when the Whoa’s of life come, when all I want to do is scream, “This is not OK!” – I have to put my trust in something bigger than me. Someone who understands the big picture. Someone who reminds me everyday, if I just listen, that it will be OK.

Looking back at 2014, here are a few things that fit in the category of “It’s OK”:

clear_the_funk_1It’s ok to admit when you need help to fight a funk.

 

inconvenienceIt’s ok to choose the inconvenience.

 

when_words_fail_listenIt’s ok to be quiet.

 

idhtbptbb_1It’s more than ok to be a dream cheerleader.

 

hashtag whoaIt’s ok to do something you never thought you would do when surrounded by a bunch of strangers.

 

embarrassed2It’s ok to share your embarrassing moments.

Wonder what 2015 will bring?

Link up with Emily and share what you’ve learned in 2014!

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