Monday, March 29, 2010

The Purpose of the Struggle

Does anyone know the origin or author of this famous story?

The story of the butterfly

A man found a cocoon of a butterfly.  One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to squeeze its body through the tiny hole. Then it stopped, as if it couldn't go further.

So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bits of cocoon. The butterfly emerged easily but it had a swollen body and shriveled wings.

The man continued to watch it, expecting that any minute the wings would enlarge and expand enough to support the body. Neither happened!

In fact the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around. It was never able to fly.

What the man in his kindness and haste did not understand: The restricting cocoon and the struggle required by the butterfly to get through the opening was a way of forcing the fluid from the body
into the wings so that it would be ready for flight once that was achieved. Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives.

Going through life with no obstacles would cripple us.
We will not be as strong as we could have been.
We would never fly.

Right now, I feel like my cocoon was just snipped.  But, I am trying to look at this way:  maybe it wasn't cut at all and it's just part of my sanctification process. I just need to grow stronger and struggle a little longer and allow myself to mature and be molded in the process.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

god sighting

the day welcomed me with this.  it's timeliness speaks to the loving touch of god's faithfulness in my life:

This is a time in your life when you must learn to let go: of loved ones, of possessions, of control.  In order to let go of something that is precious to you, you need to rest in My Presence, where you are complete.  Take time to bask in the Light of My Love.  As you relax more and more, your grasping hand gradually opens up, releasing your prized possession into My care.

You can feel secure, even in the midst of cataclysmic changes, through awareness of My continual Presence.  The One who never leaves you is the same One who never changes: I am the same yesterday, today, and forever. As you release more and more things into My care, remember that I never let go of your hand.  Herein lies your security, which no one and no circumstance can take from you.

p. 87 (March 24 devotion)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


it's dangerous.

at least I know it is for me.

i know anger is sometimes justified and healthy, but i don't think i know how to handle anger well.  it is not a comfortable emotion for me.

My quote for the day:  "There are times when anger is incorrectly associated with trivial matters.  And there are times when it may be associated with legitimate concerns, but is managed irresponsibly.  Balance is found when anger is linked to a reasonable issue and is communicated in a proper manner." The Anger Workbook p. 19

oooh.  communicated in a proper manner is what i need to try and do.

how do you handle it?

Friday, March 19, 2010


remember how refreshed and inspired i was?


everything i was ready to tackle these next couple years - gone.


what is god doing?  i am not sure i understand right now.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


what an awesome button.

whoever thought that up is a genius really.

i just got to hit the f5 button on my life.  for 4 days of renewal and rejuvenation and inspiration and encouragement.

what an amazing gift.

it included:

* facial & a massage (thank you someone anonymous out there for that treat!)
* sleep
* sun - seriously amazing summer weather!
* time to read
* time to swim, run, walk
* a little shopping (finally used last year b-day gift card for some cute new shoes, jeans, shirts!)
* time to just be a child of god with no responsibilities for anyone else
* food prepared and served to me almost every meal (no dishes to do - wow!!!)
* someone else making my bed and delivering clean towels to my room every day!!

i felt so pampered!  truly, it was an amazing gift of time.  oh yeah, it was a conference too...FULL of stuff to take in.  i was shoved up to the fire hydrant on everything children and family ministry related:

* workshops on family trends
* inspirational speakers at general sessions
* resources galore to peruse and consider
* time connecting with peers
* encouraging conversations
* brainstorming time
* reflection time
* lots to read, observe, learn, consider, take in

i am so thankful. for f5. for refresh. for renewal.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Distracted? Or Multi-tasking?

Multi-tasking is overrated.  You may think you're doing more, but really, you're just doing more things - less well.  I mean the more you stack on the pile, the more likely something is going to fall, right?!

I googled images of both words.  Funny thing.  Here is what I found.  Can you guess which one is distracted and which one is multi-tasking?

I know there is a ton of research out there right now confirming my suspicions:

“Multitasking is going to slow you down, increasing the chances of mistakes,” said David E. Meyer, a cognitive scientist and director of the Brain, Cognition and Action Laboratory at the University of Michigan. “Disruptions and interruptions are a bad deal from the standpoint of our ability to process information.”

Here is a hilarious (don't know if true, but hilarious none-the-less) image of one such "mistake" from this article on why multi-tasking is bad:

That explains my life to a tee right now.

I get so many distractions all day long that I am constantly trying to remember what I was just doing a moment ago before __________ happened or before ____________ called or before _________ email came in or before _________ stopped by.  That is at work.

Then, I come home and it's chaos all over!  What to tackle?  I have 5 minutes (I think).  So, I start something, but then someone needs something, the task is put aside and the forgotten about and I'm on to other things, then it's time for dinner, then dishes, the bath time, then bedtime, then whew!  I'm tired....wait....what's that over there?  Oh yeah, I was going to call the doctor about Maddy's glasses.  Once again, fail.  Not done.  Another week goes by and it's not done.  Now it's almost 10 and it must wait until tomorrow to try again.  When will I fit it into the day?

All I know is that I seem to be able to knock 2-3 things off my official "to do" list each day at work.  Now, maybe that's reasonable to some, but to me, it's absurd.  That should only take a couple hours - not all day!  Where is all that time going?

I am thinking of:
  • meetings starting late
  • forgetting a piece of paper and having to backtrack to get it
  • the phone interrupting meetings
  • the knock on the door interrupting another meeting
  • the side bar conversation in the middle of the meeting
  • the 5 people who showed up unexpectedly who needed 1/2 hour of time each
  • the real needs of real people around me that need prayer or encouragement
  • all the unnecessary emails and spam, even at work!  can't get rid of it.  Grrrrrrr
  • so much paperwork and clutter, it's just piling up and there's no time to tackle it
  • a frustrating database that freezes up my computer when try to send out an email
  • waiting for the internet another grrrrrrr when I just want it NOW!!
crazy life!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Bad food moments

I've been doing really good.  I'm choosing healthier foods at the store and therefore eating better at home too.

Then, it happened.


Bad.  Seriously.  Samoas.  Really bad.  The ingredient list should be illegal.  Especially from the Girl Scouts.  But, they're not, so they continue to sell them...and I continue to faithfully buy them because who can say no to those sweet faces?

I have no control.  None.  I can smell them just by seeing that purple box.  I taste them just by thinking about them and writing these words!  They call my name even at 7:30 in the morning.  They're gooey and crunchy and sweet and chocolatey all at the same time.  Their yummy goodness beckons me to eat "one more", just "one more", come on, "just one more won't hurt".  It's just awful!  I might as well just eat them all and get it over with!  :)

Want sympathy?

Where do you get it?

Sometimes, it seems you must keep your mouth shut!  You may have had a really bad day, but when your sweet spouse comes home and bends your ear with just how horrible his day was, you (of course, I mean me) just listen and realize your own day needs to suck it up and take care of itself.

I've realized that one "upmanship" doesn't work.  There are times I just need to be supportive and give my own problems, worries, frustrations, and life in general to God alone.  He promises to take care of me, that He has good plans for me, and that I just need to seek Him always.

I claim those promises daily.

So really, dear readers out there in cyberspace, where do you go for a sympathetic ear?  Who is your listening ear when you need it?  mom, friend, spouse, significant other?  Write me!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Nothing like

going in to check on your baby in her crib and being shocked!  At 6 months old, she normally sleeps on her tummy, but instead I find her on her side hugging her elephant, still in the perfect posture as if she had been giving him big kisses too!

I was so surprised that she was a) on her side, b) able to get the elephant, and c) sound asleep like that!

sweet times

Maddy running circles around the empty exersaucer in the middle of the living room.  Nalani is on my lap on the love seat and we're watching the runner do her laps.  Each time Maddy passes us, she stops for a kiss from Mom and Nalani squeals with delight.

Loved every moment!

She did it over and over and over and over and over and over....

Monday, March 1, 2010

do you remember the times?

so scary the photos that folks are finding of me and posting on facebook these days!  i think i'm going to have to scan a bunch of old pics myself and get back at them.  it'll be fun.  high school, junior high, even grade school.  fun times!  just to add to the mix, i'll put up some of my own bad hair memories.  haha.