Monday, July 28, 2014

Fit

I have very clear memories of climbing up in my dad's lap when I was little. He'd sit down in his big recliner and tap his leg, motioning for me to join him. We'd read a book or watch an old western. I felt safe and secure, sometimes falling asleep. 

Have you ever looked around and pondered where exactly you fit in the great big, crazy world? Maybe you think you look different than everybody else - too different; maybe you've done things you're not proud of and you think nobody understands; maybe you're like me and have a story you're still working your way through. 

(Throwin' it way back, y'all. Me and my pop circa 1988.)

I threw a doozy of a pity party the other day. Describing incidents that other people had on their plates. Venting to Micah and wanting him to fix it without actually fixing it. I said something like, "I want to sweat the small stuff. I want to worry about what these people worry about. I want to be on the other side of whatever 'this' is." 

After venting to Micah, I figured it was only necessary to give God an equal earful. "I just want to fit somewhere."

Then I had this very clear picture of God holding out His hand, pointing right in the middle; "You fit right here." I felt safe and secure and fell asleep.  

I don't have it all figured out, but I've come a long way. I don't always understand, but I'm not sure I need to. You can't know it all and still have faith. 

It's simple. It's not about me. As much as I want to fit here, it really only matters that I fit there. You fit there too, ya know. Maybe you're like me and used to get caught up in judgment and stepping as lightly as possible so you don't piss off God. This whole "Jesus loves you but only when you follow these 500 simple steps," when the truth is that Jesus loves you. Period. No if's, and's, but's or when's. 

He just does. 


Friday, July 18, 2014

What If

Monday nights look a lot different for me now than they did a few months ago. God answered a huge prayer for me and gathered a group of women that don't mind the nitty-gritty part of life. I call it my therapy, but it's really just friends doing life together. For me, it's one thing to write things down. It's a whole 'nother ballgame to say it out loud. We're following THIS book. Finding the beauty in the everyday. Picking up pieces to make them look as beautiful as we want them to. Dude. This Ann girl's got a way with words.

We've talked about fears. As mom's, we've got a lot of them. When you have a baby, something flips a switch in your heart and you realize that the well-being of this chickadee is in your hands. You worry about the what-if's and do your best to keep them as safe, healthy and happy as possible.

But sometimes your what-if's become your reality...

Sometimes you stumble through life instead of run. Sometimes you hold your baby and wonder why God gave you this one. Sometime's worry leaves you paralyzed.

You know what Jesus said about worrying?

Don't.

Philippians 4:6-7

"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."

Notice it doesn't say, "Hey girl, you can worry about your kids and your marriage and your finances if you want. It'll really help the situation."

"Don't worry about anything."

Just tell Jesus about it. And thank Him.

Phew. Tall order, huh?

Facing your biggest fears, your deepest worries, your what-if's is the scariest part of life, don't you think?

What if something happened to Micah? What if something happens to my kids? What if I can't raise them?

Those were mine.

I used to worry about things daily. Then I lived them. And that's when God got to take over. That's when He had to take over. I can't do this alone.

Do I still worry sometimes? Dumb question. I'm not super-woman. But I do think that's why Jesus used the analogy of taking up your cross daily and following Him. (Luke 9:23) Being a Christian isn't just a prayer you pray. It's putting on that t-shirt daily. Giving God your what-if's daily. Letting go and learning something new daily.

What-if's are okay. Everybody got 'em. It's not so much what they are that matters...
It's what you do with them.

Happy Friday.




Pics taken via instagram. Follow me @ambertwebb. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Reins

I've had several people remark about what I said on the last post.

I've been married almost eight years, most of which have been spent nestled in what seems like the never ending valley. I'm used to the dark. I'm stupidly comfortable here. I said I wouldn't trade it. I told you I wouldn't change anything.

That's hard to swallow, huh?

You're right. It's a heck of a claim. How could I say that? How can I possibly look back at everything we've been through and tell you I wouldn't change it?

Don't misunderstand me here.

I wouldn't have chosen this. I didn't dream about Sandbox demons, having children with special chromosomes, an empty pantry or life changing quicker than Micah's stick shift. You've seen me mourn and ask questions and be angry.

But I see the outcome. I've learned what's important in life. I've learned over and over and over not to take life for granted. I've learned what it means to love Jesus and how Jesus loves me. I've learned what family means. I understand the difference between friends and acquaintances with nice things to say.

I know I have a lot more to learn. I know Jesus isn't through teaching me, molding me, making me exacting what He's called me to be.

Do I think I could've learned all that without the never ending valley? Me, in my finite mind and prideful heart would scream, "Hell yes I could have!" But that's what trust and faith and handing God the reins means. Letting go of life all together. Crawling up in the arms of a loving Savior and letting Him use whatever it is you've got for His very own glory.

Everybody's got a story. Everybody can look back over life and go, "Couldn't we have gotten here another way? Couldn't I have lived my whole life without that?"

You think so.

You think you could have.

You, in your finite mind and prideful heart would scream, "Hell yes I could have!"

It's time to let go of the reins, friends.

I dare you.


Friday, July 4, 2014

Birthdays


Yesterday marked one year since our little Miss came into the world. Bright eyes, bushy tailed, head full of dark hair. I remember that moment like it was actually yesterday. I'll be real: I checked palms, looked close for almond eyes. Not because I was afraid. Just 'cause I didn't want to be blindsided this time. 

Those first few days weren't quite as uneventful as I had wanted them to be, but I stumbled home to settle into our family of four. We were happy. She was as beautiful as I had pictured. Her brother was (and is) obsessed with his little friend, smothering her with hugs and kisses.


Sometimes I wish I could go back to those first days. Pre-blindside, totally naive and engulfed in the goodness that is a newborn baby. Sometimes I wish I could erase all the valley's, all the mess and tears and hard days.

But then I remember how good it feels to climb the mountain after the valley. How beautiful the view can be when you've been so far down that you've gotten used to the darkness.

I look at my children and feel blessed to love them as much as I do. I remind myself that very few people have the opportunity to experience what we will. And remember that, even though I probably wouldn't have chosen the valley's on my own, I don't think I'd trade them.

Alexis is a joy. Her curls are still intact, her brother still smother's her with love, she dances and sings and loves on him right back. My emotional pendulum still swings somewhere between, "Everything's great" and "I'm a mess" but we're making our way up that dad-gum mountain. I can see a sliver of the view and I'm fairly certain there's a rainbow. I'll let you know when it's all I see.



Happy Birthday, Miss Priss! Here's to many, many more. 
I love you.