Birthday Countdown Part 2
August 30, 2013
Part 2 of My Birthday Countdown…What I have learned this year (and week!)
August 17: (#8) I love being able to combine work and family time. A princess party for an author’s book and a 3.5 year old princess equals a fun (even if exhausting) day. And to think, when I accepted this job 6 years ago, I had no idea I’d be blessed to raise my own little princess. Thankful for God’s amazing hand (and writing of the script!)
August 18: (#9) Whoa…pace yourself, girl. It was a nice day in Chicago…perfect weather. After church, I immediately started to wonder: what will we get into today? My answer: Whatever it is, it has to be outside. Park, nap, pool, hairwashing…makes for a full day. I’m tired. Work may be my chance to rest this week, says every working mother. I didn’t know it would take this much energy to hang with a child; God bless parents, please! And help us learn to pace ourselves.
August 19: (#10) During my morning walk, listening to the newly download Tye Tribbett’s lyrics: If he did it before, He’ll do it again…same God right now, same God back then.” I broke down. Slumped over in praise and honor and glory and grief (amazing how all those emotions can come at the same time). I was enjoying my time with God that morning…and then it dawned on me that it would have been Mom and Dad’s 52nd wedding anniversary. I thanked God that two people could come together and stay together (til death parted them), raise 3 children, teach us how to put God first, show us that they were not perfect–but that they tried hard to follow God’s will; our parents sacrificed, they trusted in God, they desired more for their kids so they pushed us and pushed us and loved us. Oh, I’m truly blessed by the union of Manual and Ernestine Washington on August 19, 1961. Wow, God was with them then and God is with us now as we navigate through life and work to love and honor and cherish our mates. I pray my brother, sister and I can always rely on the model we were blessed to see firsthand: to trusting in God to be the best parents and mates that we can be…and I pray that if you haven’t had that model, I pray God can show you the way (like he did for my mom and dad!)
August 20: (#11) It is sometime easy to complain about what isn’t right in life…I won’t even start. But, it is, in my opinion, our task to remind ourselves of all that is right. I once heard this referred to as “changing the radio station within your mind.” When you start to focus on the negative, the bad, the violence, the sickness, the lack, etc., change your channel and focus on what is good in your life: for me today—the five minutes of peace while watching TV with my child, the meeting with co-workers that was fun and did get one thing accomplished, traffic that wasn’t as bad as it can be, a mate who makes dinner (thank God!), etc. While this isn’t a prescription to ignore the things we are called to fix in this world, it is a reminder to focus our minds on those things we need to be grateful for!
August 21: I made Kayla’s lunch early for her Thursday picnic. I do think I was just as excited as she was. There are just some fun things about motherhood—things to make me downright giddy. And then there are other things to make me wonder how in the world we can possibly do it all. But, God is teaching me this day and this year to operate through His strength. Pray about everything. And somehow, someway, the still small voice reminds me: “that’s not important” or “do you really need to do that right now.” I’m working on listening more!
August 22: The picnic that was planned at Kayla’s school was canceled. I was sad to see the rain right about the time the little tots were supposed to be at the park, but when I showed up at the school, the teacher said, “we spread out a blanket on the floor and had a picnic inside.” And again, another reminder to focus on what we do have: blankets! Indoors! Creative teachers! And sweet little ones who are happy when you just mix it up a bit. No outside for them this day, but smiles and laughter and giggles as they sat on a blanket. Oh, God give us the heart of these sweet children to appreciate those special little things in life!
August 23: As I paid off some long-running credit card debt today, I wrote: Praise God on each bill. I was just so thankful for reaching some of our financial goals. Our spreadsheet for the past 3 years or so has been tight! I had written at the top of the spreadsheet, a few words of encouragement and our goals. And today, I got to check off just a few more of those goals. Thank you Lord. I continue to Praise God in the midst of reaching these goals…and learning the lessons of delayed gratification, saving, and planning…even at 43, I still have to learn these lessons (or be reminded of them!) And I’m thankful for a mate who is in agreement about debt reduction. We’re getting there, by the grace of God. I was also reminded of the day my mom sent the last bill for the mortgage on our home. She praised God that day. I vividly remember the grateful look on her face; I was too little to probably know the full story (had she missed a few payments? Been in danger of missing them? Certainly she and my father had tight budgets while raising 3 kids, but somehow, someway, through faithful steps, they paid off their mortgage.) I’m thankful for being able to witness this at a young age. Through rough times, dry seasons, and seasons of making goals, God is faithful. Today, I am thankful.