Thursday, April 16, 2015

More Books....

"It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you'll be when you can't help it."  Oscar Wilde
This is a GREAT book on marriage, except it's not really about marriage.  "Jesus was right. We have it all backwards.  The way to have a great marriage is by not focusing on marriage."
Intriguing?  Before you judge it, read the book.  If we don't get the #1 thing right, all the marriage advice in the world won't help anyways.
(Side note:  Our 19 year old bought this read for herself, and I gave it to our 18 year old for Easter. When you have a good read, pass it on to your kids!)

Speaking of passing a good book along to your kids...I read this last year.  Twice.  Clearest, most basic teaching I've ever read on the Holy Spirit.  Stirs so much awe, thankfulness, and reverence on the inside.  This year, I decided to go through it chapter by chapter with my 8th grader.  Parents, do this.

So often, I talk to women who are depressed, discouraged, lonely and frankly...bored.  A lot of the time, a heavy dose of self focus is the blame.  That's not judgmental, we all find ourselves there from time to time.  This book focuses on the AIDS epidemic in Africa and Shayne's involvement in advocating for a sick, hurting people -- all while dragging small children in tow.  Very powerful.  A great read for anyone looking for inspiration to DO something -- anything.

Warning:  Strong, opinionated author.  And, if you are easily offended, you'll miss out on a fantastic read.   She makes some strong statements -- and as long as you can take what's for you, and leave the rest -- you'll get a lot from it.  The chapter on Intercession and Prophetic Decrees is something I wished I written myself.

Well, frankly, I underlined the entire thing.  Enough said.

I just LOVE their books.  I've read at least 7 of them.  They are light hearted and fun.  And, my life is so serious, sometimes I need a dose of light hearted and fun.
Next on the docet....
Finishing up this powerful read......
And starting this.....
Would love to hear what you are pouring over these days?

Thursday, April 2, 2015

My 2 Year Gastric ByPass Surgerversary and Other More Important Things on My Mind

The past 90 days have been crazy full stupid full insanely full  unusually full, but our calendar isn't to blame.  It's been full of "other" stuff.  The stuff that comes up that's not on your calendar.  Ya know, real life.  People, please tell me someone else knows what I'm talking about?

Awards we could have actually won in the last 3 months....

The "We Got This Far Without Killing Each Other" Award.

The "If There Was Candy Within 10 Feet of Me, I Ate It" Award.

The, "We Yell At Each Other Too Much, LOTS of Forgiveness Going on Around Here" Award.

The, "We're Living on the Least Amount of Sleep Possible" Award.

The, "I Listen to 80's Rock at Very High Volumes When I'm Stressed" Award.

The, "I Don't Know Where the Kids Are, But We're Going on a Date Any How" Award.

Life NOT on my calendar the past 3 weeks...

- My business got an unexpected phone call that our building had been sold.  Must be vacated in 30 days.  Huh?

- Next day, took a trip to Tulsa with 3 oldest kids.  Determined not to think about business.  Tell myself to be all present.  Maybe the man on the street corner would want to buy my business for $1.  I ask B to get out of the car and ask him.

- Niece comes to town for Spring Break.  Spends 2 weeks going back and forth from the Springs to Denver to confirm a genetic disorder SO RARE she'll never met another person who has it.  Say what?

- Realize Spring Break will be our last chance to see Elizabeth before she spends a month in India.  The last time?  I felt ok about this, until another well meaning mom says, "This is the hardest trip the kids take.  Seriously hard.  They come back so exhausted".  Hmmmmmmmmm, I contemplate if I should worry.

- Vocal Chord Dysfunction.  Well, it's a real thing and I guess we've ignored it long enough.  And since Elizabeth is tired of her vocal chords cutting off her breathing, we finally found a professor who specialized and treats it at the University of Tulsa.  I suppose it would be good for Elizabeth to be able to breath in India.  Yea, she agrees that would be good.

- Discouraging news comes for our other daughter.  I mean, an answer to prayer, sure.  Just not the one mom wanted to hear.  Blah.


- There were 3 trips to DIA.

- Are Billy and I still married?  Billy who?  We plan a weekend away on the calendar.  Smart.

- Why does the hot tub say 105, when it's really 55?  Dang.

- Who broke the dishwasher?  Who broke the sink?  Who broke the..........

- Finally got a day off!  Wait.  Spoke too soon.  Son decided to break his arm.  5 hours at the ER.


So....where am I going with all this....

TODAY, I realized that it's my 2 year WLS anniversary.  2 years!  And 15 months of that in maintenance.  Crazy.

I realized it at Total Body Workout class.

I was laying on my back, on the step...holding my feet off the ground doing flys with 5 lb weights...looking at the ceiling...keeping beat with Kelly Clarkson blarring....

And I had the thought, "Shanna, you just walked in here as easy as pie.  You weren't scared.  You didn't have a single thought of 'I can't do it' or 'I wish I could do it'.  You ARE doing it." 

And, in that moment, I literally cried.  Right there on my back.  In a room full of strangers.  Because it still feels like a miracle to me.

I would tell you more of my thoughts about WLS and what it feels like to be 100 lbs healthier...but...there's all that "other" stuff that's been on my mind.

Today, I hear God saying to my tender, overly sensitive heart...

I will supply all your needs -

Shanna, what do you need?

Sometimes, it takes a while to get to the heart of what you really need, what you are REALLY asking God for.  Like when you write 1,000 sentences to get to that 1 sentence that expresses what you are REALLY trying to say.  (Then you are suppose to erase everything else.  I didn't do that here.  Sorry).

At the root...I want to hear God tell me that there's a greater meaning to my work than looking for a new store front, and signing a new lease.  That it's more than just teaching a few kids how to play an instrument.  I still need His reassurance that I am in the right place, doing the right thing.  That my life work matters.

You are where you are suppose to be -

I made career compromises in order to have a large family.  Truth be told, 20 years ago, I didn't have a single thought about what I wanted to do with a degree in Performance Music.  What I had vision for was raising the next generation of Christian leaders.  I KNEW God was calling me to do that to my core.  And, I still do.  I will die not having done everything on my bucket list, but I will also know that I spent my time doing what was most important to me. 

Even when it doesn't feel like it, I  am for you, not against you -

Yes.  Shanna, breathe that in for the millionth time, why don't ya? 

Speak life over your situations -

This is a hard one for me.  Especially when I want to voice my disappointment and fear.  But once I've made myself miserable enough, I decide to submit to the Holy Spirit's leading.  I WILL COMMAND MY SOUL TO BE STILL AND KNOW THAT HE IS GOD.


Rest in My presence -

If I'm honest, I've spent the better part of 20 years trying to figure out what exactly that means. 

Mostly because sitting in God's presence with my emotions doesn't feel restful to me. I end up saying, "Lord, what do you want me to DO?" 

I guess I'm not that great at resting.  So for now, I will consistently bring my heap of emotions into His presence.  And tell myself there - to be still.  And listen.  And, trust His peace to protect my heart.  And, well, adults, sometimes you just have to preach it to yourself.

This is my 2 Year Surgerversary...and this I know more deeply than ever...God holds my world in his hands as well as my life work - and regardless of what is happening or not happening He isn't taking it lightly.  He is my supply.  It is all His stage.  And like you, I want, I hope it all means something in the end.

In answer to the question, "What does the resurrection of Christ mean to you?", I say to a table of new friends today  RECUSE, HEALING AND FREEDOM.  I pray these things for my family every day as I walk my salvation out...that God would continue to recuse us, heal us, and set us free.  And, I'm so thankful that those things are as available to me today as they were when I first discovered them decades ago.  Grace.

If you are praying, searching, asking,'re in good company.  Keep going.