Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Spinning Wheels

Yesterday was another absolutely gorgeous fall day, so I was outside with my precious little girl Kellah.  She's really into riding her bicycle right now, so she was going up and down our sidewalk as I soaked up the glorious sun and read a few pages in Erwin McManus's book Seizing Your Divine Moment.

As I was challenged to "face my fears and look straight into the eyes of opportunity," I happened to glance up to see Kellah go off the sidewalk into the grass.  Her bike was stuck.  She kept pedaling, but certainly wasn't going anywhere.  Her wheels were spinning.  She kept at it for a bit, determined that she was going to move.

I didn't have my phone on me and couldn't snap a picture of Kellah with HER bike,
but thought this picture represented the idea well.
I was just about to suggest she get OFF the bike, move it back on the sidewalk, get back on, and THEN start pedaling again.

I knew there was NO chance she was going to get anywhere if she didn't change something.  Her bike was half on the grass and half on the sidewalk.  It was going to have to be physically MOVED before it would take her anywhere.

Thankfully, my little girl realized this on her own.
And MUCH to my surprise, she did NOT come running to me for help.
She did NOT whine or complain.
She simply problem-solved.
She got off the bike, pulled it back onto the sidewalk, remounted, and continued on her way home.
I was so proud of her.

From a different day, but again, the picture captures the idea!
Such a little thing.
And yet HUGE.

First, she did NOT whine.
Second, she figured it out on HER OWN.
Third, those 27 seconds (or however long it was) helped teach me a life lesson.

How often does the same thing happen to you and me?
How many times do we get "stuck?"
And we keep trying to go, but nothing is working.
We can pedal our hearts out, but we're not going anywhere.
There's no way.
UNLESS, we do something different.
UNLESS, we get OFF the bike and move it.
UNLESS, we change our situation.
UNLESS, we are willing to admit we have a problem.
UNLESS, we are ready to take a new approach.

Then, and only then, can we get on our way.
Then, and only then, can we head towards our destination once more.
Then, and only then, can we reach our goals and fulfill our dreams.

BUT, all far too often, we stay stuck.
We spin our wheels.
Determined that if we pedal harder or faster we will somehow move.

It's useless.
And frankly, ridiculous.

As I was reading McManus's insight, "and the courage we often need to engage our greatest challenge can be found only in the middle of engaging that challenge..." this little incident with Kellah took place.

What perfect timing!
God was showing me what this looks like in real life, through my 3.5 year old and her bike.

Oh that I would do what my little girl did - get off my stuck bike, MOVE IT, and then get back on so I CAN be on my way to the dreams God has for me.

What about you?
Feel like you're spinning your wheels?

Why not STOP?
How about you get off your bike too?
Try something new.
Go a different way.
And THEN get on with your journey towards those goals and dreams you have.
Or better yet, let God lead you to the dreams HE has for you!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The BIG in the Little

What do Patricia Polacco, dinosaur magnets, and a LightBright Build-A-Bear have in common?

At first glance, absolutely NOTHING.
BUT, if you are me, then they mean God cares about the little details of my life.

Let me explain...

Yesterday, was Coralyn's 6th birthday.  We had a special breakfast then dropped her off at school.  With nothing on the schedule until we came back to school to eat lunch with her, I had some free time to spend with Kellah and Kyiah.  They chose to go to the library.  I wanted to check out some books on dinosaurs since our homeschool curriculum has us focusing on the letter D and uses the foundation "D is for dinosaurs" for the week.  We got some books, enjoyed storytime, and still had a little bit of time before we needed to leave to pick up the sushi for Coralyn's birthday lunch.  The library always has 3 or 4 tables with fun activities for the kiddos to do - coloring, blocks, I Spy bottles, puzzles, magnets, and more.  Yesterday, they had replaced the letter magnets with DINOSAUR magnets.  And they had a basket of toy dinosaurs at one of the tables too.  Concidence?  I think not.  God KNEW we would be learning about dinosaurs this week and arranged for those "little" things to be in place at just the right time.  He truly cares about EVERY detail of our lives.

The girls played with the dinosaur magnets and toy dinosaurs and before long it was time for us to leave.  We got sushi, had lunch with Coralyn, and came back home.

As soon as Lawrence and Coralyn pulled in from school, we headed out the door to celebrate more.  Coralyn chose to eat at Red Robin before heading to Zona Rosa to pick out her Build-A-Bear, a birthday tradition we started on her first birthday.  We enjoyed too many fries and then made our way to the store.  We had already scouted out which Build-A-Bear Coralyn wanted.  She had her heart set on a bear that lit up and glowed in the dark.  According to her, she has "ALWAYS" wanted a stuffed animal like that.  So it was decided she could get it for her birthday.  We walk into the store, make a beeline for the animals, and Coralyn picked up the LightBright Bear.  It was the LAST one.  I'm not sure what she would have done if it hadn't been there.  Cried.  Been devastated and inconsolable.  BUT, thankfully, there was ONE more LightBright Bear.  JUST FOR HER.  Concidence?  I think not.  God KNEW when we would be at the store and saved one last bear just for my precious little girl.  He truly cares about EVERY detail of our lives.

We stopped by the play area before heading home, and Coralyn made sure Penelope (what she named her LightBright Bear) had the time of her life and felt ALL her love.  Before too long, we needed to get going so the girls could get ready for bed.

On the way home, I was commenting to Lawrence how amazing it was that God had worked out those "little" things today.  He then went on to share how God had done something similar at school for him.  All week actually.  For Reading, he'd been highlighting different skills and techniques his 3rd graders needed to use when they were reading in groups and independently.  He explained how they were using a Patricia Polacco book for their unit.  Each day God had the pages he was reading be PERFECT examples for the skill/technique he was teaching.  On the day they were visualizing, the story had a character mention something tasting like honey.  They were able to picture the taste and stickyness and feel and more of the honey.  On the day they were getting clues from the illustrations about the mood of the characters, there were pictures of the characters grimacing and shuddering and throwing their hands up in frustration.  He went on to share a few other examples that I can't seem to get my pregnant mind to remember at the moment.  Again, though, it was totally obvious that GOD had arranged everything to work out the way it had.  He truly cares about EVERY detail of our lives.

I don't know what is going on in YOUR life right now.
I don't know what events are taking place.
I don't know what situations you are going through at the moment.

What I do know is this:
God cares.
God is at work.
He is making sure every detail - no matter how small - is perfectly aligned and happening at the exact right time.
He is putting all the pieces together.
He is weaving the threads to create a BEAUTIFUL tapestry.

It may LOOK - or feel - like an absolute mess right now.
I assure you He is NOT finished.
I promise you He will continue the work He has begun.
And I gurantee you when He's done, your jaw will be on the floor.
Your breath taken away.
Your mind blown.

So, remember this God's beloved: He cares about EVERY detail of YOUR life.
Look for Him to be at work in the "little" things.
And then share that with us.
I would LOVE to hear what He's up to!