Sunday, April 27, 2014

It's 3 a.m. I must be..... a Mommy. :)

It's 3 a.m.  Do you know where your kids are?

Remember that ad from the late 80's or so?

Well, it's 3 a.m. here and I DO know where my kids are, because those beautiful little souls are crashed out right beside me in beautiful "we camped out in the den tonight" fashion.

Cool thing?  My mom knew where we were at 3 a.m., too.

Know why?  Because even in the days of proms and parties, she was there with us.

She was knee-deep involved in my life.

My mom packed junior high students in her full sized conversion van and made it "cool" to go hang out at Krispy Kreme and do late night jumping on the trampoline at our house.

She chaperoned high school dances.  She hosted after parties in our home.

As my circle of friends and acquaintances expanded, she took up car keys when needed (not too many times, but I do recall a few) and played the role of "Mama A" to many of my friends.

She had "come to Jesus meetings" with kids in need on a regular basis. :)

Many of my friends will tell you today that their lives turned out dramatically different because my Mama chose to be real with them.

My mom was involved.  She was a single parent for my junior and senior years in high school, and she was involved.

She was invested in not only my life, but the lives of my peers.

She welcomed kids with open arms ... and that's why they all just loved her.

She still does that today.

No pretenses.  Just love.

I believe with everything in me that God will equip me to fulfill that kind of role in the lives of my boys.

I believe that when I can't be there - because there's just not enough me to go around- that He will bridge the gap and parent is more than I could ever hope for or imagine.

I believe that He will do all of the above and teach me to parent from a place of grace, hope, joy, and peace.

I believe that He will teach me to parent in the truth of His word all while reminding my kids that God IS fun... and that they never have to seek fun outside of the protection of His love... because the Ultimate Party is always here with Him.

I see God providing Godly leaders in the paths of my boys.  Men and women who speak life over them and look for their best instead of their weaknesses...

I see God safeguarding their path from the words of those who don't yet know God's grace and allowing me and their mentors to direct them to only Godly leadership.

I see God giving them intuitive wisdom and discernment that is straight from the Holy Spirit himself, so that they know the will of God and how to walk in it.

May they recognize red flags when they see them and promptly run to Jesus for redirection.

May they always know that that bigger the mess, the quicker I want them to run to Jesus and to me.

Praising God in advance that He will allow me to raise these boys up in a way that I always know where they are at 3 a.m. and that, like my mom, I'm knee deep involved in their lives.

My job is to raise them up in Him... and it's my FAVORITE job.  I can't imagine it any other way., 2014 
Twitter: @ChristieAitken 
Google+: +Christie Aitken 

Monday, April 21, 2014

How Do You Do It?

"I don't know how you do it."

I hear that a lot.

My neighbor said it to me yesterday.  Except, her version of it was, "How can you go to school and do all of that?"...

See, it was Easter yesterday and I had a midterm that had to be done on Easter weekend.  (I know! I know!)  In the land of all things single parenting and non-traditional student , you get a babysitter when you can.  Those hours immediately after Easter lunch & egg hunt cuddled up next to Easter dinner & evening bunny movies are THE window.  (Amazing grandparents don't hurt, either!)

So, kids are dropped off and I'm in the testing zone.  I've prayed.  I've applied my Young Living essential oils for focus and calm.  I've prayed again.  I have all my supplies lined up.

I'm ready.   I click start on the online, timed, 50 questions in 60 minutes test.  (No stress there.  Right?)

And then... KNOCK! KNOCK! KNOCK!

Someone has died.  I just knew it.   That could be the only reason that someone is knocking on my door in the middle of a timed midterm. Clearly, there has been a death in the family.

So, I run to the door to see my precious neighbors.

No one is dead.  They simply came by to deliver a beautiful Easter gift because they are awesome.  I tossed out some unintelligible rambling about "testing with a timer" and "already started" and "kids are gone" and "I gotta go, but thank you!" ..... ((slammed door shut and RANNNNNNN for the computer)).

The look in their eyes said that they didn't get it.... and I felt awful.

I finished the test and immediately went over to apologize and thank them for the lovely gift, and to explain a bit... and that's when the question came.

I knew the right answer to how I do all that I do.   It's GOD, through and through.

Honestly, though, the first thing that came to mind when asked, "How do you do all of that and go to school?" was, "Not very well some days."

Today was a tough day as I sat in the middle of "not very well."

Because, see, that's the truth of the matter.

On my own, I DO NOT do this thing called my life very well.  On my own, I botch it up 10 ways to Sunday.

On my own,  I hurt feelings.  Left to my own devices, I struggle with the most simple things.

Without Jesus driving, I am black and white thinking run amuck and I forget that there is beauty in His rainbow and the shades of gray in the shadows.

If I stop to look too hard at HOW I do single parenting, a career, my passions, ministry, and more, I forget the WHO.

It's not HOW I do it, honestly.  That's what today brought me to.

In a lunch time chat with God in my car in a puddle of good ole' tears with my bible in my lap, it wasn't about how I could pull this off better.  It was the full blown realization that I can't.

Do you ever have those times when you are so overwhelmed by your own life that you just kind of toss up your hands and say, "God, you may have picked the wrong girl."

Well, if you do, you're in good company.  Today was my day for that.

The difference, though... I know He didn't pick the wrong girl.  The devil would LOVE for the story to end at the pity party... BUT GOD. :)

((Y'all get ready... here comes some TRUTH!))

He picked EXACTLY the right woman for this life.

Just like Esther, He chose me for a moment such as this... because He knew I couldn't do it without Him and He knew I'd follow His lead like she did.

He reminded me today that I'm the APPLE of His eye.  He just adores me... and if every person I loved on this planet were gone, He would still be there just loving me all day long... because that's what He does... and HE LOVES HIS JOB!  He chose it just because of me!

He reminded me that I get to rest in His care.  You see, it's okay to reserve a lunch hour just to go cry with my Daddy for no reason whatsoever.  I don't have to know why and He doesn't mind the babbling.  He counts every tear.  He holds onto every word.

So, is this all about me?  Nah.  It's bigger than that.

It's about each of us walking in seasons and knowing they won't last forever, but that God will.

It's about accepting the feelings we have without letting them control us.

It's about remembering that God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow... even when we feel 10 Degrees of Wacky. :)

It's about remembering that we can press restart at ANY point in our day and begin again.

My All in All is God Almighty.  He's on call 24 - 7 and He'll listen to every word as if it's the first word I've ever spoken, all while keeping track of the hairs on my head and the desires of my heart.

I went into lunch today a hot mess and left with this message.  "You're beautiful."

Only God, friends.  Only God.

That is the REST of the story.  That's how I do it.  A relationship with the only Him that will ever complete me.

Resting in His love tonight.  I hope that you do, too., 2014 
Twitter: @ChristieAitken 
Google+: +Christie Aitken 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

This Family

I see eternity's roster changing because this family was breathed into existence by God Almighty and will fearlessly share His truth.

I see a family so content and peace-filled that other families are drawn to them because they want what they have... and that this family is so certain "what they have" is Jesus that they share the same with bold confidence and love.

I see a  mother who is empowered by God's own hand... who confidently and loving leads in seasons where she is the sole provider because of the leadership of her SOUL Provider.

I see a woman who will be able to seamlessly move through seasons because she already leans into the Ultimate Husband in her home and knows that she never walks alone, even when the world deems her "single."

I see diagnoses only being for a season in this family as God weaves the most beautiful testimony of His ability to heal where man speaks only impossibilities.

I see expanded territory rising up that will overflow into the lives of others and beautifully impact everything they touch.

I see God continuing to rise up wisdom and discernment in this family along with the character to handle the expansion to come.

I see the songs of the heart of this mother making their way far beyond the confines of her mind and heart and into the hands of lives that need them.  I see God providing that way and her simply walking in it... doing what He already created her to do.

I see a family where God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things and serve in extraordinary ways.  

I see God raising up a family of world changers in a home where the world says stats should reign.  I see a home where the only One that reigns is God Almighty.

I see a family that fluently speaks the language of hope and grace and JOYFULLY welcomes others into that fold.

I see a family with a thirst for God's word that they know cannot be quenched by the world, but ONLY by the word of God.  

I see a family that dives into His word accordingly and a family that relaxes into His love and provision, waiting for the hand of God to move while doing only the footwork that He gives them.   

I see a family devoted to prayer and completely dependent on the Holy Spirit.
I see a woman who sets an example of working in her God-gifts and callings to allow God to change the world around her.  I see her children soaking up that influence and aspiring to the same, while shaking off generational chains that are not theirs to carry.

I see a family where living for God is no longer an obligation; it's a heart felt desire that starts with the head of the household and pours into and subsequently absorbed by every member of this home.

I see the members of this household continually taking steps in their spiritual journey, reaching new heights in every part of their lives.

I see beauty from ashes and unimaginable giving from a place that used to speak poverty.  I see seeds planted that have Romans 8:28 roots and the harvest from that planting being full, beautiful, and going on to replicate the same in others.

I see a family full of people who are growing in God and discovering that God wants to use them to make a difference...

Where every person is experiencing the fulfillment that only God can give and they KNOW that He is the author and finisher of their faith.

I see a family that is reachable and transparent with healthy boundaries in place always. 

I see a family that does not judge, compete, or compare, but looks to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit for their worth.

This family knows at the end of every day that anything good in their lives is not a result of their own hands, but that of God himself, and they never work harder to accomplish what only He can do.  

I see a family that is so knee deep in the love of God that Jesus is made famous with every breath they take and that the legacy they leave simply whispers "Jesus" on the grace filled path they've walked., 2014 
Twitter: @ChristieAitken 
Google+: +Christie Aitken