Broken

We live in a broken world. The evidence of the shattered pieces lay all around us. Poverty. Hunger. Abuse. Hate. Disease. Disaster.

It’s not meant to be this way. We all know it. We all feel it somewhere deep inside of ourselves. Something sweet and soft and true tells us that we don’t belong here in the shambles… we can’t LIVE like that.

So how to live?

I’ll tell you what my kids are teaching me about that.

With the beauty, innocence, and pure joy of youth, comes a brilliant, shiny, luminous light. If we nurture that light, if we give it room to grow, and let it shine as far and as wide as it has will to travel… the cracks and broken pieces become less hideous.

As my kids navigate the world that they have been born into, they have occasionally stumbled across broken pieces. They have not once turned away. They have not once been too busy. They have not once judged the wounded. But every time… EVERY SINGLE TIME… they have asked how they can help. They are inherently doing what they were created to do… to shine their light where brokenness has made darkness.

I have a favorite song by Sidewalk Prophets called “Live Like That.” The words nudge me often these days…

Sometimes I think
What will people say of me
When I’m only just a memory
When I’m home where my soul belongs

Was I love
When no one else would show up
Was I Jesus to the least of those
Was my worship more than just a song

I want to live like that
And give it all I have
So that everything I say and do
Points to You

It goes on… so beautiful. The meaning and melody. But it gets me thinking every time… am I living like that? Am I shining my light?

Well, I made a decision that in 2013 I would not hide my light. I would go wherever I felt nudged to go and I would go with the greatest childlike gusto I could muster.

As has often been the case in the past 7 years, my children are leading the way.

Some of you might know that our family has begun to raise funds for kids cancer at the impassioned pleas of our little lights… they saw a broken piece and determined that there MUST be a way to put it together. This year, for the first time, CT and JJ learned about cancer and what it can do to people. They cried when they found out that even little kids could be struck with the disease and worse yet, that they sometimes didn’t get better. And then… they immediately said, “well, how do you help kids that are sick with cancer?” And just like that, the darkness cleared a little.

For the past few months, we have been on a journey together. We are hearing stories of hope and healing. Stories of loss and grief. Stories that will remain with our family for the rest of our lives. We are thankful for all that this process is doing in our family, and we are thankful to all those that are passionately joining with us in raising awareness. Even more, we are inspired by those little warriors that are fighting the battle of their lives, and their families beside them.

So, if you see me around… and you ask me if I’m nervous about losing my hair… well, these days, you might just get a lost look. It stopped being about my hair a long time ago, and it started being about living like THAT.

It’s easy sometimes to get stuck in the brokenness. To wallow there and let it break you right along with it. We are choosing not to wallow. We are choosing do something about it. To love. To care. To take notice and create action. We are choosing to help in the only way we could think of helping.

I wonder… if you looked around… what broken pieces could you fix?

Ask your kids… they’ll have some good ideas.

If you would like more information about what our family is doing to help with programs for kids with cancer and their families, please visit our website at:

https://secure.csfm.com/kidscancer/shaveyourlidforakid/home/profile.php?participant_id=139276281351309955&tstamp=1358485219

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” Matt 25:35-36

Advertisements

Begin with the End in Mind

 

We love the elementary school that our kids are a part of. One of the great programs at the school is the “Leader in Me” curriculum developed based on Sean Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Happy Kids.”

Students participate in classroom discussions and other activities focused on taking charge of their own lives and other 7 Habits principles. In other words, our 5-year-old  and 7-year-old come home reminding us to be “proactive,” to “think win-win,” and to “synergize” among other things. Comments like, “mom, that was not a win-win with dad… you need to do more problem solving” and “that’s not how you get things done mom, we need to put first things first…” have become somewhat common place around here. So, be it subliminal kid-messaging, or my subconscious gathering in all of this information and running amok with it, as the New Year has approached, and others have begun their “resolution” lists for 2013, I have had some stirrings to do the same.

Now, I am not a resolution kind of girl. I don’t do well with, “beginning today I will…” (insert pie-in-the-sky, highly unreasonable ultimatum that I will not uphold past next Tuesday). However, I think that “goals” are a good idea… but have found that in my stay-at-home life, I have gotten out of the habit of setting time-based, reasonable, achievable goals for myself and my family. BUUUT… it is a new year, so why not give it a shot?! I think this is a perfect year to get back in the swing of goal setting. And AHA! This is also a very proactive thing to do… goal setting is “Beginning with the End in Mind.” My, my… my kids will be so proud of me.” (insert impish grin).

Goal setting is an odd thing, if you ask me… or rather, why (or how?) it works at all! I find it puzzling and intriguing… some sort of cosmic energy thing, perhaps? Some sort of magical ideas into action voodoo going on? Maybe. But, I think a more probable reason that goal setting (as a clearly thought out, and written down process) “works” is that it forces us to  honestly think about what we want. In the fast-paced society we live in, how often do most people get to just sit and reflect? How often to you take the time to think about where you are now and where you would like to be in a week, a month, a year, 10 years? My guess is that many of you would answer like me…  the days turn into weeks, the weeks turn in to months, the months turn in to years… and before you know it, you have not stepped in the direction you had hoped to go, because you forgot you were even trying to get there.

So, here’s how my list is shaping up. I have been asking myself questions about my relationship with God this year, with His creation, and with the multitude of people who cross my path. I have been asking myself questions about the kind of mother and wife I wish to be and how I might give more time to all these things. My goals arise from these questions. I have decided on creating a specific spiritual goal, mothering goal, health goal, and relationship goal. These are personal things, specific to my life, and I am certain you will have goals in areas that are personal and specific to you.

I have found this goal setting process to be so very positive. It has given me a sense of power and purpose in creating the kind of life I want for myself and my family. It has given my prayer life purpose, and forced me to focus my attention to those areas of my life that truly matter.

And now, I suppose the proof is in the pudding. Good goals are measurable and achievable, they don’t fall away like a “New Year’s Resolution” might. So, my first mini-goal… not to forget my goals!! I think I might tape them up somewhere… until I’m sure I”m on track!

Wish me luck… and good luck to you in 2013! I hope you are able to set yourself some goals. Give yourself a chance to reach higher than you ever thought you  could. One thing is certain… you won’t make it if you don’t try 😉

Happy New Year!!