Monthly Archives: October 2011

Day 30: Resting

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I can’t believe that it has almost been 31 days!

I have learned a lot about myself in the past month, I guess that was kind of the point… even if no one read my posts, for me to reflect on what God is teaching me. So, hopefully someone has gleaned something from my journey along the way.

Today I have boxes in my room, the hall, the den and the garage. I wanted to start a gradual packing process. I kept thinking about the boxes during church… this is normal for me. If things are out of place or incomplete I can’t concentrate. But, I came home… graded my papers and now I am going to write and NOT worry about the boxes. They aren’t in the way, they are in the corner and I have plenty of time to pack them.

Controlling the every day is just a symptom of the big picture: me trying to control the future.

I am letting the boxes sit… I can patiently wait until Dave has time to help me and until I can get into the kids rooms when they aren’t napping. I don’t have to do them today. While this is not good advice for a procrastinator, it is good advice for me.

I can be patient. I can wait on God. I don’t have to have the answers today. I don’t have to pack the boxes today. I can rest in Him today.

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Day 29: Releasing control…

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Today I made pancakes for breakfast. I like to clean as I go and maintain control over the kitchen.

Holland had different plans for me. She has started to want to “help” every time she sees me baking. I don’t want to be a mean mom so I let her touch the measuring cup as I pour the milk. But, what am I afraid of? Why don’t I just let her help!? Holland loves to be with me. She loves to think she is helping… why don’t I just give that to her.

I was convicted today as my daughter was sitting there begging me to help her bake. I have to release control… not only for me but for her. I can’t allow myself to be held back by fear of a messy kitchen.

What will I regret more in a few weeks, a month, a year… that I let her make a mess or that I stifled her creativity and our time together?

Update

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Dave did not get a placement right away… it is good and bad at the same time. I know he would love to go ahead and get the show on the road, but this will give us a bit more time to transition.

He will either be placed on December 1st or January 1st. (no later than those dates) and they always do the placements on the first of the month… at least that is what they told him. Who knows, it could change! I have decided that I am going to expect the unexpected.

So, we have at least another month, maybe two in the boro :). Which I am happy for… I will get to finish out the holidays here and Holland can leave preschool at the semester. It will be a good thing.

So… we are just waiting patiently!

Day 28: Release and trust

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My children are fearless bundles of energy. Hudson especially. He loves to go on the 5-9 year old playground equipment… in fact, he scoffs at the younger child equipment and hates the baby swing. He only wants to be in the big swing and go down the highest slide.

The other day we were at the park and he walked up to an opening and before I knew it one foot was going forward and he was letting himself drop. He looked at me and smiled. I ran as fast as I could and was able to catch him before he face planted from four feet up (which is REALLY high for my little man).

I was scared he was going to fall… but he didn’t seem to mind and it didn’t seem to phase him that he had just let himself freefall from more than three times his own height. He trusts me. He trusted that I would catch him even if he let himself freefall of the playground equipment.

When do I allow myself to freefall with God? Do I grasp onto the monkey bars, hold on to the rails and refuse to go down the slide just because I want to hang on to control of my life?

God has been teaching me about taking leaps of faith. Dave is about to finish up interim manager training and will either get an assignment or will come home and work until he gets an assignment.

We don’t know. We don’t know what is going to happen and that is scary. We could be moving next week or next month. Things are uncertain. But, in the uncertainty of this leap I know that God is there. He is faithful and He is trustworthy.

Day 27: Authenticity and control

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The other day I was at the park with a friend. We decided it was time to head home so we went to put our kids in our respective cars which were both parked on the street about twenty feet from one another. I went to put Hudson in the car first and out of the corner of my eye I saw Holland hovering around the trees at the edge of the park. Before I knew it she had her underwear and skirt around her ankles and was peeing basically on the side of the road. So, what did I do?

I stuck my head further inside the car and pretended that I didn’t see my daughter peeing. I could see my friend about to say something to me, so when I about thought Holland was done, I looked to my left and acted shocked and appauled that my daughter was peeing. My friend nodded in agreement and was happy that I had finally seen the horrid occurance ;).

What was really going on inside my head when I glanced to the left and saw Holland was on the edge of pulling her pants down:

“I really don’t want her to have an accident in the car seat and I want to go to the bank on the way home so it would be much easier if she just peed here. I will just stick my head inside the car so my friend doesn’t think that I am letting her pee on the side of the road. So, then it will be convenient and I won’t seem like a bad mom… yeah, that is a good idea.”

Why do we care what people think? We do… every day, we dress for others, we cater to others, we try and please others. We try and control how we are perceived. That is fine as long as we are being authentic. What happens when we aren’t though?? Was I being authentic?… not even close. I was trying to seem like I teach my child to use an indoor restroom when clearly that is not an expectation for the Taplin family :).

I am not a people pleaser… but, even me… the “I don’t care what others think” girl does care. I do care… I want people to like me, I want people to think I am worthy of their friendship, I want to be someone who is respected and liked back.

Authenticity in relationship is scary. It requires releasing control over our masks… over the facade of our best self and allowing others to see us for who we truly are.

Do you have people with whom you can be truly authentic?

Day 26: Releasing control in the future

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A couple of weeks ago Dave and I went to see the movie Corageous. It was an excellent movie… I would encourage you to go see it (just a side note). But, during the movie there is a theme that we are stewards of our families, of our children, of our relationships.

After the movie we had some really good conversation. Dave made the comment that he is not guaranteed any time with Holland or Hudson or me. God is in control.
This got me thinking about being a steward of what God has entrusted us. Being a steward of the time we have, the gifts He has given, the relationships we have…

We can’t be sure that we will be here tomorrow (not to be morbid at all) but it is true. God knows the number of our days… we do not. This life is but a breath. We can’t control how much time we have but we can be stewards of the gifts, relationships and time God has given.

1 Peter 4:9-11
9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Day 25: Releasing control with your future mate

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This post is written to a younger me… a me who was “waiting” for a spouse… but I wasn’t really waiting. I was manipulating situations so that I could be in control of relationships. I wanted a man who was a leader, of course, but I wanted to be in control of how the relationship progressed at the same time. In college I would put myself in situations to “bump” into guys I was interested in. I would manipulate shamelessly… ask any of my friends in college, it was kind of a joke.

My “type A” would not allow me to release control to let a guy take the lead. So, when I did end up dating I was disappointed with the lack of leadership in relationships… ummm, really; what did I expect?? I was trying to control things and then I was frustrated that I wasn’t dating guys who were leaders.

I think that with me contentment and control went hand in hand. I wasn’t content with who I was apart from having a guy to validate that (whether I was dating or just chasing). It wasn’t really until I ended a two year relationship after graduating college that I had to step back and take a serious look at who I was in Christ and allow myself to be content on my own.

If we aren’t willing to be secure in ourselves another person will never fill that void. It can only be filled through Christ and releasing those insecurities to Him.

So… after over a year of healing and realizing how I was sabotaging relationships I decided to change my strategy and release things to the Lord. If a guy wanted to pursue me, fine, if not, fine. God was in control, not me. My ways had not been working out too well :).

I started Denver Seminary and met Dave. I thought he was cute but other than that didn’t think much about him. After a few weeks of class he asked for my number and I was really excited. But, he didn’t call. This is where the old Dana wanted to step in. I could have manipulated some sort of situation to where I would “bump” into him. Or I could have tried to call him (this was before facebook and texting were popular). But I didn’t.

I realized that if I wanted to date a leader then I would need to let a guy lead. I would have to release that control to God and to him. I had to be content and secure in who I was. So, I decided that if he called, great and if not that was fine too.

Well… two weeks later he called. I still kept my attitude of what will be will be and I really think God blessed that. Dave stepped up as a leader and was intentional and purposeful in our relationship. I never had to question where we were or wonder about a DTR talk. He took the lead. I don’t think the old Dana would have been patient enough to wait for a man like that… but fortunately God did a lot of work on me and allowed me to meet Dave.

Where have you been trying to manipulate to get your way? Is there an area you need to release and just let God work? It may seem like controlling situations works in the short term, but long term it doesn’t… believe me… I tried over and over again.

God will bless our release to Him. Rest in who you are in Him; being confident in that is the most important thing in all of our relationships.

Oh yeah, Dave did end up marrying me and making me the most blessed woman in the world.