Saturday, March 28, 2009

Happy 3rd birthday, Lily Pat!


I wanted to jot down just a few of the special things about you that make me smile.
I love... 
  • seeing you pop into our bedroom each morning, bright-eyed, carrying your Dora blanket, sippy cup, and at least 3 stuffed animals
  • the fact that you love everything pink
  • the way you correct me while I'm telling a made-up story
  • when you ask for one more hug and kiss at bedtime
  • hearing you sing Annie in the car for the thousandth time
  • how you make Lukey-boy laugh harder than anyone else
  • that dresses are the only form of clothing you'll wear at this point
  • the way we cuddle on the couch watching Nemo
  • when you pull your chair up next to the counter so you can help me in the kitchen
  • your concern for your little brother when he's crying
  • when you bring him toys to try and cheer him up
  • the quirky way you sit on the coffee table
  • that you use the soap dispenser as your microphone
  • when you surprise Daddy when he gets home from work
  • hearing you talk about being a princess
  • your inquisitive nature
  • when you randomly tell me you love me
  • your belly laugh when Daddy tickles you
  • that you got your mama's sweet tooth
  • chasing you up and down the sidewalk
  • how easily you make new friends
  • holding your hand
I love you, sweet Lily. Being your mom is one of the greatest joys of my life. Happy Birthday.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

leader

Recently I was faced again with a reality that I guess I've known my whole life but have always had trouble accepting: I am not a born leader. I'm just not. Now, sure, I've always prided myself in being the type who leads by example, or maybe the silent leader. I'm competent and capable (in most things) ;) But as far as being in charge of others, or taking the reigns, I typically shy away from that. Partly because of 'fear of man'- I guess I'm afraid that others will be analyzing the way I'm doing things and wishing I'd do it their way. (I know this because I'm married to one of those analyzers). And partly because I don't want to be held responsible if "whatever it is" tanks. I like the idea of being the leader but don't feel that I'm particularly gifted to do that. I'd much rather be given a task and run with it than have to oversee or manage the whole shebang. So why can't I be Ok with that? Why can't I be content in my role? Why do I still want to be something I'm not? 

I know we're all created in God's image yet wired differently. I married one of those natural born leaders, and I rejoice in how God uses him in my life and in others' lives. So why can't I rest in the fact that He will use my "wirings" in His perfect way too? It's kind of like it says in 1 Corinthians 12: "For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body, that would not make it any less part of the body....But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose." And I would be the first one to speak up to the foot and say - "Hey, your role is important too! Don't you see that you are designed specifically for a purpose?" Yet I can't seem to swallow that as it relates to me. For some reason I don't feel like it's good enough to be part of the team. For some reason I feel like the preferred spot is the one of the leader. Hmmm. I'm sure that if I followed this trail long enough it'd lead me straight to pride. ;) 

My friend Andrea and I were talking about this over our weekly lunch date, and she later wrote me this response in an email. It was really encouraging and something I needed to be reminded of:

Hey Nat…
I was reading Exodus 4 this morning and it reminded me of our conversation yesterday about how you struggle with wanting to be a leader, but that’s not really where you feel gifted. It was good because it reminded me to pray for you..but I thought I would send this particular verse to you and hopefully it will encourage you. This chapter is about when the Lord called Moses to lead the Egyptians and Moses is trying to talk his way out of speaking because he doesn’t feel adequate. And then in verse 11 and 12 it says, “Then the Lord said to him, ‘Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.’” So, it made me think about how the Lord can really make us however he wants…so although He may not have made you a leader, He can still speak through you to lead…but if He doesn’t ever call you to be in charge or lead anything at any point, He still is calling you to be who He created you to be and He will use that gifting to His glory. It’s just kind of cool that we honestly don’t have to worry about leading or not leading because either way the Lord is going to use us, even though sometimes it doesn’t really look like we want it to. 


Good word. And if I'm really honest, what am I concerned with here in being the leader? His glory or mine? My prayer continues to be that I will be secure in who I am in Christ. That I will be content in who He has made me and then be able to be rejoice in the giftings of others as well (rather than compare myself- why is that such a common theme in my heart? ugh.) Thankfully, He has promised to continue this work in me. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Annie

I'm a stay at home mom. I love it. Before that I was an elementary music teacher. I loved that too. Well, most of it. But if you'd have asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up, I probably would have said something more along the lines of "starring on Broadway!" Yes, although the reality of that life does not appeal to me in the least now, as a kid I liked the idea of singing and dancing for a living. Or maybe it was just that I wanted real life to be more like a musical! Come on, haven't you wished at least once that everybody would burst into the same choreography in the grocery store? Or we could just belt out a melody whenever we felt it coming on? 

I love and always have loved a good musical. Phantom. Les Mis (my favorite). Miss Saigon. The Music Man. West Side Story. Guys and Dolls. My Fair Lady. And the one that got me hooked: Annie. I remember going to see it at Fair Park in Dallas Summer Musicals with Weezie (a family friend.) I wore my Annie dress and carried my Annie doll. And I knew every word to every song. Still do. :)  So it's been especially fun for me now that Lily has taken to Annie the same way I did. We've been watching it pretty much everyday (sometimes more than once) and listening to it in the car too! Lily is singing along, and it's so cute to hear her make up her own words when she doesn't quite understand what's being said! She even uses the soap dispenser in her bathroom as her microphone! The other day she was singing "Tomorrow" and instead of "clears away the cobwebs and the sorrow" she sang her own version, "There's a wave that's coming here tomorrow". Josh and I just laugh. Her favorite song in the car is "Hard Knock Life." She's pretty good at that one also, but she insists on yelling it rather than singing. And Josh is picking it up too. Next time you see him, ask him to bust out a little Annie. 

The other night I put Lily to bed and assumed she was asleep until I heard her belting "Tomorrow" from behind her closed doors. She kept singing the same phrase for probably 20 minutes so Josh and I finally got out the video camera to document this unusual occasion. I'm not kidding she kept going for so long that I finally went in there with the night vision on to see what she was doing. And she was just lying in her bed singing away. This is the first bit of video I got- I'm just standing right outside her doors filming. I'm trying to get her to sing on camera for me but so far she hasn't wanted to cooperate. We'll see! 
video