To Love or Not to Love ~

This week had been a difficult one for me.  I was fighting to get time to myself throughout it.  It was a fight because everytime I did something for me I got push back from something or someone.  The lowest point was when our dog, Molly ate an entire raw hide bone in 20 mins!!!  We had to take her to the vet, have them give her medicine that made her throw up.  Thankfully the bone came out and she was saved.  I was searching for something to satisfy me through tv, food, sugar, caffeine, sleep; nothing was meeting my need.  Finally, I took the time I had been using up doing all of the stuff listed above, to sit quietly in the darkness of my room and talk to God; my friend.  I told Him everything I was going through.  I’m still learning how to hear from Him, but it seemed like He suggested that I stop chasing after things that don’t last; only clutter my mind and body, and spend time being quiet; reading His Word again.

So this morning, I left my phone off, I didn’t turn on the tv, I took my Bible and journal outside, and sat in our backyard.  I asked Him what I should read and was directed to 1 Corinthians 13.  I rolled my eyes because I had read and practically memorized that chapter.  What could I possibly get out of reading it again?  It must have been my thoughts directing the answer to my question. However, I decided to do it anyway.

1 Corinthians 13 “…Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails…”

I then wrote out which ones I was struggling with:

* Doesn’t envy others accomplishments (like on Facebook or Twitter)

* Doesn’t brag or boast about my successes (like on Facebook or Twitter)

* Doesn’t think highly of myself

* Doesn’t talk down to others (like my children and husband)

* Is not selfish (especially at home)

* Doesn’t get angry easily  (at home with the kids)

After, I read 1 Corinthians 14:1 “Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy.”

“Follow the way of love.”  That is where I was going wrong this week; I wasn’t following the way of love.  I was deferring to my own selfish desires.  Lastly, I read 1 Corinthians 13 again, but replaced the word “love” with the word “Jesus.”

“…Jesus is patient, Jesus is kind.  He does not envy, He does not boast, He is not proud.  He is not rude, He is not self-seeking, He is not easily angered, He keeps no record of wrongs.  Jesus does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth.  He always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Jesus never fails…”

The result to my week of frustration?  I need to follow Jesus!  In order for me to change my behavior and be truly satisfied, I need to follow in Jesus’ footsteps.  That is the only way I will be able to show this kind of love to others.  What a lesson.  Food for the soul.

Thank you Holy Spirit for directing me to this chapter in the bible.  I really needed to read it again.  And thank you for reminding me whose I am and who I need to follow.  I somehow forgot this week.

Here is a clip of a message from my friend, Krissy Nelson.  She talks about whose we are.  It is a wonderful reminder.

Love,

Lara~

www.laramarriott.com & itunes

The Everyday ~

I am 35, almost 36 and find myself racing mentally and physically every day.  My day starts either at 4:30am when I wake up and can’t go back to sleep or 6:30am when my kids start shuffling in their room and our puppy Molly begins to whine in her crate.  Physically and mentally I am not functioning well, but the demands out way my need for a slow wake up period so off I go to face the every day.  I get the kids ready, I get myself ready, I feed and potty our puppy, I take the kids to school, I run errands, I walk the dog, I clean, I work, I walk the dog, I eat lunch or brunch, maybe take a short nap, shower, pick up the kids, work on their homework, clean, make dinner, have dinner, walk the dog, clean, teach lessons, put kids to bed…By the time the evening rolls around I can barely form a logical thought or sentence.  My eyes are droopy, I am snacking on something and not sure what to do next.  I do this routine pretty much every day.  Sometimes it feels like I am a hamster on it’s exercise wheel that can’t get off.

Now, I observed something very interesting a few days back that made the wheels in my head turn faster. lol.  During my nonstop day, I saw an older couple that lives on our street walking slowly side by side at the neighborhood park.  At the same time as my rushed life’s everyday routine, they were slow, taking it all in.  They actually do their walking routine three times a day everyday. They also walk their grand kids to and from school.  I rush around each day feeling like I am pursuing my purpose in life or something.  They move slowly through each day at peace.  Do I have more of a purpose then they do?

After that moment, I actually had the chance later in the week to talk to their daughter about them.  She told me they came overseas, dropped everything where they were living, to come and stay with their family and help raise their children while they, the parents, worked.  This elderly couple put their lives on hold to serve their children and grandchildren.  They do not work, they are in a foreign country where they do not speak the language, they are bound by the routines of the school aged children and yet when I see them walking they are peaceful, thoughtful, together, and loving.

I don’t know about you, but I want to be like that!!!  I want to know how to slow way down and be okay with who I am and my purpose; every day.  How do they do it?  I really want to know.  They reminded me there is still much value and honor in taking a slower pace.

Even though to the every day observer, they might appear to have boring lives, but in actuality they carry much more honor and dignity then many of us do in a lifetime.  I am in awe of them.  They have helped me stare at the leaves on the trees just a little bit longer, stop to smell all of the roses on my walk with Molly each day, snuggle with my kids at inopportune times, and kiss my husband and smile at least once during my every day.

Thank you God for teaching me a lesson through your people.

Lara~

www.laramarriott.com & itunes

What’s New Whoa Whoa Whoa ~

Ha ha! Do you ever get stumped when someone you haven’t seen in a while says, “What’s New?” or “How have you been?” I do all the time it seems. Just this morning a mom friend asked me and my mind went blank. I know I have been busy. I know I haven’t had a lot of down time, but what have I been filling it with? Oh yeah, I have a puppy. And her immediate response was “OH, yeah.”

Puppies, babies, new jobs, new whatevers, always jerk us out of our comfort zones and shake us up a bit. I love our puppy, Molly, but that girl has really taken me through the ringer. She does sleep through the night thanks to her previous owner’s kindness, but just this morning we had five potty episodes, three poops and two of them inside. How do I potty train this little one when she is so random?!? lol. We are starting to get into a routine and hopefully she will grow out of this puppy stage and make her place in our family.

Because my world has been shaken up a bit by our new addition, I’ve been flittering from one thing to the next, doing a little bit here and a little bit there, but not really finishing anything. I am finally getting back to doing my devotions every morning before everyone gets up. It is still very difficult, but I hear from God much clearer and receive more direction for each day. God is helping me figure out what should take priority and what should be put aside for the time being.

I work four jobs right now; mom/wife, piano/voice teacher, crochet/designer, and worship leader. Craaaaaazy! I really believe God wants me to focus on serving others with my music so that comes before the crochet business. I’ve squished my lessons into just a couple of days which has helped and have been mindful to not put anything more on my plate. This is very tough to do, since I don’t like saying no and the “need” doesn’t end. I am on my bed with my blanket and even though I am working right now on the computer, I am at least resting and not filling every minute with my rushed “to dos.”

God wants me and you to stop and listen throughout each day. One way for me that I love is looking up or out the window. Whenever I am lost in my thoughts I tend to look down. Do you? So when I consciously look up I get out of my mind and see creation, feel the breeze, hear the birds, feel the sun. It breaks up the grind. Let’s do that today; me and you. Let’s find 5 things to be thankful for and say them out loud. k? = )

Mine are:

1) My laundry is almost at a managed state lol!

2) The sun is shining outside

3) I am hungry and have food and water in our fridge to choose from

4) My IPod with lots of great music to listen to

5) My husband scheduled a date for this weekend. Yippey!!

Okay your turn…What’s yours?

Blessings,

Lara~

www.laramarriott.com & itunes