Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Truth or a Lie?

  Some of you may remember a recent post from my husband about my son and his eating habits.  Nathan was going to the bathroom quite often during dinner one night.  Sean asked me if I thought he was alright and I jokingly asked Nathan if he was throwing out his dinner in the bathroom.  He quickly said No and we all laughed at the absurdity of the question.  Within minutes our precious first born came to us broken with tears in his eyes wondering how much trouble he would get in if he told the truth- confessing that yes, he was flushing his food down the toilet.  Of course we had to deal with the root of the problem- the lying but we also tried not to laugh too loudly at the situation.

  This reminds me a bit of myself.  I have never been too great of a liar. I usually told on myself whenever I did something wrong.  Call it obsessive compulsive but I just couldn't deal with the guilt of lying. My husband would probably tell you that I over do it on telling the truth- there are some things we should just let go, but I just can't do that. I am honest to the point that sometimes it is detrimental.

  I am honest with people. I say whatever is true even when it should be sugar coated. I firmly believe that sometimes people just need to learn how to handle the truth.  That the truth will set them free to do the right thing.  

  Don't worry, I am not just that way with others, I am that way with myself.  I am constantly analyzing everything. I can be self deprecating and negative as I focus on what needs to change.  I guess I think that focusing honestly on my problems helps me stay humble and focus on my weaknesses rather than my strengths. I think it keeps me grounded and aware of the need for Christ.   While this is true, through my reading and talking to dear friends I find that there may be a flaw in my thinking.  

  Although, there is some truth to my thought process there is also truth that contemplating the negative can be destructive.  I love this excerpt from Candace Cameron Bure's new book Reshaping It All- (it is long but worth reading- Candace says it better than I can)
     " The simple fact is that if these negative, destructive thoughts are growing in your heart, you will be as you think.  If you let those thoughts remain in your heart and accept them to be true, they will eventually blossom and form who you are.  If you wake up in the morning only to look in the mirror with disgust, you have already started out on the wrong foot...Be content with the woman you are today and the woman you'll be tomorrow.  You don't have to look back; just keep looking forward.  maybe you failed before---so what?  Failure from the past is not a reason to give up today; in fact it's the very reason you should press on and make it work this time.  Change what you can.  You hold the God-given power to do that, and the great news is that He doesn't expect you to do it alone.  What is it about helium balloons that light up a room so elegantly? Or that make children squeal with delight? Are they not the same as the ones we blow up at the kitchen table and let drift to the floor?  No, they aren't.  Nothing says, "It's a party!" like a grand bouquet of pink and white helium balloons.  What makes them different is that one floats and the other sinks.  It's that simple.  What we put into them makes all the difference in the world. We're hardly different.  We are set apart from the crowd by the things we fill our minds with.  "Whatever is pure, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable---if anything is excellent or praiseworthy---think about such things" Phil. 4:8.  These messages help us rise above our strongholds.  These thoughts bring us closer to the person God created us to be."

  As I write this I remember my dear Mimi listening to me bang on the piano and sing at the top of my lungs old songs she kept at her piano bench- "God is my Soul" or "Oh Give Me a Soapbox".  Whenever I finished playing, I would ask her how I did? Did I sound good?  And she would always reply with a smile, "yes, hunny, it was great!"  Everyone else probably wondered why she said it was good. It certainly was painful to listen too.  But she encouraged me through a little lie.  That lie gave me confidence and gave me a love for music that I used as I played my flute from fourth grade through college ( and yes my family had to hear the painful notes I played before I learned to play well).  It inspired me to give music a try!  It is not really a lie but an encouragement to keep on - it was an attitude that left negative thoughts far away and brought about confidence.  Had Mimi said it was terrible and asked me to stop playing, I probably would have lost confidence and never loved music. I would have missed out!

  So those of you that know me are probably pleased to hear that I am going to work on not being so negative!  I will still hold to the fact that we should boast about our weaknesses and sometimes there is a place for complete honesty, however, our thoughts should be lovely and admirable, praiseworthy, and pure. I think I had the pure and right part, but I need to work on thinking more positively!  

It will be fun to see what we can accomplish if we rise above our strongholds and allow God to work in us!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Peace in the midst of Chaos

  Music is a huge part of the Mills family life.  We all like music. I can't say that we all love the same genre of music but we seem to all enjoy singing loudly in the car.  Sean used to put the song "Chaos"by Mute Math on in the car and I remember hearing Nathan singing it at the top of his lungs- "Chaos!, Chaos!"  Little did I know that I would relate very much to this song in the next couple of years.

  I have always wanted to be the best at everything and if I couldn't be the best at it, I wouldn't try to accomplish it. I have had some rare moments where I have tried things out of my comfort zone thanks to my husband, but most of the time I stick to things I know well.  Lately, it seems God is trying to teach me that there is not a single area of my life where I am in control- He is in complete control.  This is apparent as I sit here typing this blog.  All around me is Chaos.  There are boxes on my floor; trash and keys and jackets and a hair brush as well as enough crumbs to feed people for a week are on the couch I am sitting on; dishes, lunch boxes, baby bottles, and mail are on my kitchen counter; wall hangings that should be on the wall are looking pretty turned upside down or sideways on the floor in our "fish room"; laundry is strung by the stairs with care; and of course children's music is competing with the noise of video games.  Everything is a mess!

  At this moment, even my career seems to be in chaos.  A job I thought I knew so well is proving to send me in several different directions at one time.  I am even teaching a Business Math class- those of you who know me, know this is out of my comfort zone!  God seems to be leading me in unknown places these days.   There are many things happening that just don't make sense.

 It all points me back to the chaotic moment of my father's illness and death. Everything that happened just didn't make sense.  Dad was a man of God that always found a way to impact other's lives and win people to a better relationship with the Lord, yet God chose to take his life at a young age.  I found and still find myself always asking God why He chose to take someone like this man at such a young age.

All I can say is something I remember my dad discussing with me, and that is that when things don't seem to make sense that is when God is really working to do something big in your life.  You have to find peace in the midst of it all and accept that since it doesn't make sense to us, God must be at work!  And his advice to find peace reminds me of another song- one of my father singing "I've got peace like a river" in the car at the top of his lungs. Like I said at the beginning, music is a big part of my life.  My dad's music reminds me to always try to find peace in the midst of my chaotic life and that is what I chose to do tonight.

What to expect...

As I get ready to start posting I just want to make a few promises to my readers:
1. I probably won't use big fancy words
2. I may not always make sense
3. You will definitely read what is on my mind
4. I am more serious than funny- can't help just a thinker by nature
5. I hope to be "real" 
6. I hope to make people realize that God can give peace in all situations
7.  You are promised an "earful"- I love to talk!