Tag Archives: values

He never stops giving

I was resting in bed tonight, head spinning with excitement knowing that our newly decorated tree and Christmas-a-fied house was on the other side of the bedroom door.

Finally I could stand it no more so I returned to the living room, opened all the windows, and now I sit facing the glow of tiny white lights while the rustle of palm leaves outside competes with the symphony of crickets (and a few guest appearances by the odd frog).

Gosh, I love this time of year.

Cliche? I don’t care. I love it. I so, so love it.

Today was a storm of a million emotions. Amidst the merriment of the holidays and the buzz that I get from the decorating kick-off, there’s so much going on in our little world right now that’s vying for headspace. Most of it good, but some uncomfortable.

At one point this afternoon I sat down for a few moments scrolling quickly through emails that I knew I’d not be responding to until later. But curious, I read a few anyway.

The first one I opened had some disappointing news. Understandable, and yet disappointing, deflating.

The second one was from a stranger. A woman who belongs to a people I’ve fallen in love with (PNG) who now lives in a place that I once called my own (USA).

We’ve been writing back and forth this last week and I teared up a few days ago when she told me her family thanked God for me and my family around their Thanksgiving table last week.

I don’t know her. But she knows Him.

And then today her email – the second email I opened – contained news so sweet and so personal and so unexpected I couldn’t control those big, hot tears, from rolling quickly down my cheeks.

You see, He is faithful. He really is so faithful.

And sometimes you think everything’s just fine and then grace comes in a million forms and you realize how much you really did need it after all.

I had grace in many different forms this week – friends arriving at my doorstep to mow our lawn and clean my floors, another bringing us dinner one night, another offering childcare, and now another (who’s face I can only imagine, and voice I do not know) with an offer so simple and lovely it makes me close my eyes and shake my head and whisper, “What did I do to deserve this kindness from a stranger? From anyone?”.

But it’s not a matter of “deserving” anything at all. I receive because they give. And they give because they want to. And they want to because they also know what it is to receive.

Because He never stops giving.

And that’s it – the way I want to start December and the preparation of my heart to celebrate – really celebrate Christ’s birth: I want to see Him around me, recognize Him as he weaves worlds together, hear Him through the noise, and breathe deeply of His of goodness.

I want to receive Him, all over again.

Thank you, dear grace-givers, for helping me to see Jesus. You represent Him so well.

STOP.

 

Q for you: How has someone’s kindness been grace in your life lately? 

 

Love,
A

p.s. Forgot to use the timer tonight. Definitely blew the five minutes… probably doubled it, but who knows, who cares.

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The “perfect” holiday season

Thanksgiving is in a few days and I’m officially excited for Christmas.

Around here that means higher electricity bills (hello, AC!) and less clothes. It means more sweat and more swimming. It means uglier hair and more beautiful evening walks.

Every year we long for our holidays to be “the best ever” and it’s easy to make ourselves crazy with wanting our homes and tables and gifts and trees to look like something out of Martha Stewart. (And don’t get me wrong, I love prettiness all around.)

But I refuse to pursue “pretty” at the expense of “perfect”.

Because perfect holidays don’t come looking like a magazine spread.

Perfect holidays come when there is enough time and space and energy to enjoy the ones we love.

Sometimes that comes with a gorgeous party spread laid out around a pinterest-worthy centerpiece and other times that comes with a backyard BBQ and impromptu game of cricket while dining on picnic wear.

Either way, perfect is achievable. As long as we have the right idea of perfect. 

 

Q for you: Do you stress about having the “perfect” holidays?

 

Love,
A

 


Do you have rules for yourself that you sometimes wish you didn’t?

Recently I found a stack of thank you cards that I never finished. Some are from Levi’s birthday (January). THe others are from Christmas.

Can I just say how devastating this is?

I have a personal value that gifts should always be acknowledged by a thank you card. It’s something I try to always do.

For both of these occasions I printed out cute cards that I made myself. (Put a little effort into it already, you know?)

I have my lists of who needs to be thanked.

And then they got buried under the mounds of other stuff in that one cubby hole in my office shelves that I avoid that’s full of things to be filed and paperwork to sort out…

and never saw the light of day again until… later.

Much later.

Now we are looking at three and four months late.

What do I do?

Chalk it up as a thank you fail and move on?

Of write the cards with a “better late than never” mentality? (Almost more embarassing, I think?)

Would people be blessed to receive a thank you this far down the track? Or is that just weird.

I’m seriously considering moving on… but then there’s this thing. This thing I have about doing them.

Ugh.

Does this happen to anyone else? Do you have “rules” for yourself that you sometimes wish you didn’t but that you also don’t want to give up because you think they;re important? (And was that a long, non-sensical sentence, or what?)

Help me.

STOP.

 

Q for you: What’s one of your personal “things” that you just have to do… but sometimes with you didn’t?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


Selfishness, make haste!

While skyping with Ryan tonight he told Levi “two more sleeps” until he comes home. I corrected him saying it was actually three sleeps since Levi will be in bed hours before Ryan flies in at 10:40pm on Sunday night.

Ryan then suggested that he might just wake Levi up to say hello when he gets in.

Immediately I chided, “oh no you won’t! I haven’t slept in two weeks!” (Camping being the week before. And truthfully, I haven’t really slept in six weeks. Or six months. But whatever, not the point.)

It didn’t occur to me until after I hung up that my response was incredibly selfish.

We’re now finishing day six of being on our own and I’m swinging between feeling like supermom and feeling very “alone” and a little sorry for myself. (My response was driven from that second extreme, obviously.)

In many ways it’s not been an easy week at all. (No need for me to launch into details here. You can imagine.)

But in many ways it’s been fun. For the most part, I’ve made the most of it and put in a little effort to do some special things with the boys as I’ve drastically toned down my to-do lists.

Of course, it’s also been tiring. (Very.)

And sleep (the lack and longing of it) often occupies my mind these days.

So that’s why I immediately thoguht of myself when Ryan suggested waking Levi up for a late-night ‘hello’ upon his arrival.

Justified? Maybe.

Selfish? Yeah. Completely.

Ryan’s also been separated from us for six days and misses us like crazy.

I’ll be up anyway (picking him up from the airport) so what’s it to me if he wakes up Levi? Seriously Adriel, sometimes you’re just selfish for no other reason than you’re vision is short-sighted. Like navel-gazing short-sided.

Even if Ryan doesn’t “want” to wake Levi when he gets home on Sunday night… I will make sure it happens. For his sake mostly, and for Levi’s. (Levi is easy to get resettled these days anyway.) But also for mine.

Selfishness, make haste. You are SO unattractive.

STOP.

Q for you: When is the last time you said something without thinking it through and then later realized you were being completely selfish?

Love,
A

p.s. Went over time today. Again.

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited.
Adriel also writes (using spell check) on motherhood and parenting on The Mommyhood Memos.


Changing my mind

I’m a very decisive person.

it’s not hard for me to make up my mind.

And usually, I stick with it.

I’m an instinctual decision-maker, rarely weighing things up very much.

“going wit h my gut” has always worked well for me. (Mostly.)

Even though I’m decisive, doesn’t mean I’m unwaivering.

I do change my mind. But if my mind is to be changed, there has to be a really good reason. Generally I don’t fluff around with my stance on things.

But lately I’ve been really challenged in my thinking in one area.

I don’t even know where to pinpoint the source of my challenge…

Something I’ve read? A conversation I’ve had?

Not really.

I’ts more internal, more intuitive.

I think it’s God.

So I’m trying to “weigh” my views, my opinions, my take on this one area.

(I’m being vague, aren’t I? I know.)

But this one’s different, it’s bigger. I can’t just blab about it until I’m sure. (Or at least more sure.)

(And this blog is a bit of a blab.)

Interesting place to be in… changing my mind on something that’s important to me. Like, really important.

But I’m ok with that. I have to be.

The moment I’m absolutely closed to chaning my mind about something is probably the same moment that I’ve lost all shred of humility.

(We don’t want to go there, now do we?)

So I think I’m changing my mind…

But I’m not sure yet.

STOP.

 

Q for you: Have you ever changed your mind on a “big” issue, a value issue?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five is a blog by Adriel Booker. | Five minutes a day, unedited. | 2012 All rights reserved. | Adriel also writes on parenting and motherhood at The Mommyhood Memos.


The one about fishing and photography

Lately many of my friends have been dealing with divorce – their parents divorcing or their own divorces.

I was talking about this with a firend of mine, who said that she thought one of the major reasons is a lack of shared interest between them.

It, of course, made me think about my own marriage.

Ryan likes fishing, kyaking, buiding things, computers and gadgets, cooking, gardening, and sports.

I like reading, writing, decorating, shopping, sunbathing, music, politics, and photography.

We actually have very few similar interests outside of movies and travel and camping and beach-going. And to be honest, we like it this way – we like having things that are our “own”, and we encourage each other to invest time into our personal hobbies and interests, even though we don’t necessarily enjoy most of them together.

But even though we don’t have all that many shared interests, what we do have is shared values.

We’ve never once had an argument that comes down to a value issue and I believe that is one of the reasons our marriage is so strong and so healthy.

Sure, we are flawed. We sometimes get negligent and say things we don’t mean. We sometimes offend. We sometimes act selfishly.

But ultimately we’re on the same page about the issues that really matters.

Maybe someday I’ll take up fishing or Ryan will take up photography, but for now I just enjoy the fact that he can make me dinner and build me a bookshelf… And he enjoys the fact that I can make our home look beautiful and write nice letters to our grandmothers.

It’s working for us. It’s working for us well.

STOP.

 

Q for you: Do you think couples needs more shared interests than individual interests or visa-versa? Why?

Love,
A

p.s. I totally blew this one with the time limit, but here’s the good news: tomorrow is a new day and I will try again.

 

 

Click Clink Five is a blog by Adriel Booker. | Five minutes a day, unedited. | 2012 All rights reserved. | Adriel also writes on parenting and motherhood at The Mommyhood Memos.