Saturday, September 26, 2015

What are You Singing?

The JOY of the Lord is my strength. Neh. 8:10  
That's the first verse that my kids memorized.

I was feeling like a pretty cruddy mom that day. (Sweet, eh?) Honestly, I was so far from being a picture of joy.  I remember it vividly.  I had firmly planted the white-picket-fence house and parent duo that went with parenting in my head. That was how it was supposed to be, and I was missing the boat hard and heavy.

The only part of that equation that I had was a house.  The fence was broken, the Dad didn't live here anymore, and I wasn't that cookie-baking, "the sky is blue, the birds are chirping, oh what a beautiful day" mom that I thought I would be.

The only thing I started early that day was handing myself a (self-created) "You're-Clearly-A-Terrible-Mother" card.  I was carrying it with a degree of excellence that was unmeasured, I'm sure.

So, I did the only thing I could think of that made sense in the moment.  I grabbed a book that I bought on vacation once.  It was a kid's book of bible verses and stories.  I knew Jesus was the equalizer to all things, so surely He could make this moment on our journey a bit more joy-filled.  The kids were fine, but I NEEDED the joy button pressed... twice.

And press it, He did!  We even made up a little song so that my youngest would remember it.

This verse and that moment continue to go on repeat in our home, years and years later- complete with song.

I think God intentionally allowed that 
so that they could know that JOY is attainable. We were created to bring joy to God himself and to bring others to the very Source of our joy.  

Also, I believe He allowed that so that they could recognize the power of words.

God doesn't dance around what He promises us. When He says something "is", well, you can take it to the bank.  It's a thing.

He says I have joy from Him, and that very JOY will serve as my strength.  He gifted my kids with the same.  He will gift YOUR HEART with the same.  He will.

We must choose it, though.

Today I'm choosing it by stepping away from work and into the heart of working in my home.  I'm stepping away and claiming the JOY that is here.  I'm reminding myself that I'm just the fun, wacky, and wonderful Mama that He created me to be, and that white picket fences would get muddy in all that fun. We just don't need one of those right now, but it's precious, sweet times when I get to visit Suzy's white picket fence across the street and sip tea with her in the peace of quiet moments.

And it's just okay. She's okay.  I'm okay.  My fence is okay.  Her fence is okay.

In fact, it's MORE than okay.  It's joy and strength for THIS journey.  The one He called ME to.  The song He called ME to sing.

So, what song are you singing today, friends?  Take a peek at Nehemiah 8:10 and claim it.  There is a song there JUST FOR YOU.

Copyright © 2015 by Christie Aitken.
All rights reserved.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

4 Brothers

Tonight my little guy requested a brother.

Yeah. Let that sink in a for a second. It took me a minute, too. Adoption one day? Totally on my radar. Baby in my tummy? Um.... NOT on my radar. I did every month of my pregnancies with both my boys a nice shade of green. I'm about to hit a milestone birthday, and let's just say that I'm not 25 or anything.  I love it when some of you ladies are rockin' the new born game at 45 and stuff like that, but ... just for today, my hands are a little full.

We are so seriously ALL GOOD on the parent-kid ratio around here.  :)  Single and special needs parenting just kind of solidifies my case a bit further.
Anyway, my 7 year old announced from his bubble bath tonight that he wants me to "go ahead and get a baby" in my tummy "so we can have a brother." 

I reminded him that at our house we'd need a Daddy for a baby (just how we roll), and that Mommy was not married - so this couldn't really happen.

He drops the subject for a moment, and then he says, "How can we get 4 brothers?"
{{Breathe, reel it in, and redirect, Mama}}

Just as I thought the coast was clear, mumbling something about the fact that he already has brothers, he suggested a spouse for me.  

Are you ready for this? Because I wasn't. (Well, I wasn't ready for ANY of this, but ... I digress.)

His suggestion was ELVIS.  
 "The one only Elvis, Mommy." Because Elvis "kissed all the girls."

Further, "Elvis" was in the camp talent show a few weeks ago, and he had some really good songs.

A few minutes later, I broke the news that "the King" passed away a while back.  "The one only Elvis" is dead.

My precious little man looked at me and said, "Well, HOW do you know that?  How do you know?"

I've got nothin', y'all.  He wins.  :)

Except for the brother part.  I win.  End. Of. Story. 

Copyright © 2015 by Christie Aitken.
All rights reserved.

Knock Their Socks Off

It's a good day to wake up and change lives for the better.

That's for all of us.  Why? We all have something to bring. We do!

How do we do it? In the very spaces God has placed us, we just dive in. The office cubicle. The CEO chair.  The nonprofit service role. The delivery truck. The front desk. The garbage truck. The kitchen. The home.

We dive into the current sphere of influence we have been given and just love folks.

We celebrate others in their God-given spaces.

We pour into others as God provides the opportunity.

We remember that the table is a big one and all are invited.

We stand ready and waiting to pull up a chair for the next guy or gal.
We remember the reason we have a chair to begin with and we make His name great every step along the way.

Today's that chance. Tomorrow, too.

One day at a time.

Now get out there and knock their socks off with God's love and a message of hope that is contagious.

Copyright © 2015 by Christie Aitken.
All rights reserved.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Be The Joy

Walking with Jesus doesn't always make sense in the natural. 

It means that we take the high road when others don't. It means that we turn the other cheek when we have a right to more. It means we praise when it's the last thing we feel, but we know that He is worthy and far greater than our circumstance. It means that we walk by faith knowing that His plan is greater than the immediate gratification around us that says we need to see things go our way - no matter how noble, right, or loving that way might be. It means looking to eternal gain instead of the celebration on this side of heaven, but praying with expectancy for the things that God has promised to bring to pass here. Believing that He can and that His plan is greater whether we understand it or not. Because He says that we will see the goodness of the Lord on this side of heaven. 

He says that His plan is for good and not for harm. God sent his son to ensure that this world did not serve as our barometer for life. That successes here don't define us and that "failures" here don't demean us. That our only gauge for joy is his strength and it's not remotely impacted by the reactions, responses, or lack thereof from the world.

"The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever." Isaiah 40:8. 

A promise. To me. To you. To our kids. 

Tell your story of God's goodness. Boldly and unapologetically. 

Shout God's goodness when the world isn't being so kind. 

Believe for a lifting up that only comes from the King himself. 

You are royalty. A kid of the Most High King. Know that He sees you. Keep your eyes on Him and the rest falls into place. 

There will be a day when all of the hurts will be no more... and that is our reward. 

For today? Keep fighting the good fight. Keep celebrating. Be the joy. It shines Jesus and it matters.
Copyright © 2015 by Christie Aitken.

All rights reserved.

Refills Needed

Bus stop. Quiet time. Not gonna lie. I feel tired, and I don't want to feel that way. But God's big enough for tired. So I tell Him anyway.
And then we talk about His strength and how I can have His. That everything He has is mine, too. Because I'm His girl.
I still forget sometimes that it's an open offer. Not this one time invite to be His daughter and be considered royalty, but a daily crown that I get to wear on top of a head where He has counted every curl.
We forget, but He does not.
So remember. And go to the One who loves you most today for your refills instead of the world. He never runs out.

Copyright © 2015 by Christie Aitken.
All rights reserved.

Covenant Friends

Waiting for the bus in the quiet of today and am struck by the words "covenant friends." Prayed with a beautiful soul last night. She's one of mine.
In Samuel 18 the bible describes it as "And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself."
Covenant friends love you like they love themselves. Such a beautiful quality. Uniquely loving like Jesus loves.
They stand with, affirm, lovingly hold you accountable, pray with you, are honest, available and more.
It's a small circle friends. Never intended to be filled by just anyone. Carefully select who speaks into your life- because words matter. Willingly speak life into those that God allows you to reach.
Will you get hurt as you pour out? Maybe. But the One we serve did, too. So pour out anyway.
The covenant friends in your life will lift you up and pour back into you. His truth. His love. His grace. His word.
It's always worth it. 🙏


Copyright © 2015 by Christie Aitken.
All rights reserved.