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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Here She is... Mrs. Honesty

Do you have a passion? Hopefully, you are living in your passion. I think that is so important. My passion is speaking! I speak at women events, children events, and I speak for a national parenting organization! I love speaking! If I go too long between opportunities, I will hijack my family at the dinner table for a "quick" devotion that I just have to share! Now, as you can guess, speaking is a very seasonal situation. Most speakers I know have what I like to call a mommy job. Mommy jobs are jobs that let you stay at home with your kids, pursue your passion, and cover those little incidentals like food and the electric bill! I happen to have one of those mommy jobs. I work twice a week at my child's four day a week Mother's Day Out program. I really do love it. I can wear my fake jewelry, sing all 7 verses of The Wheels on the Bus (WITH HAND MOTIONS) and be dubbed the coolest by the coolest 4 year old children around! It is fun, but the end of the year is the best. Why you ask? Well at our particular school the parents host a big appreciation lunch. It is a time for great food, fun, prizes, presents, and the best of all... praise!
Everyone likes praise. Words are my passion. So, thanks for the lotion but give me some praise and my love tank will be full for months! Only this time... hmmmm I didn't know quite what to think!
I love those kids and I love the folks I work with so I was anticipating what would be said. I admit right off the bat that I didn't make it easy.Proverbs 16:31 says,"Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life." Apparently I have so much splendor, I cover it up once a month! So, that part of my identity was going to be hard for them to catch. Anyway, the big moment had arrived and our director stood before the vast group of women to pronounce the character trait that the Good Lord had laid on her heart for each of us throughout the year.
Now, our director loves the Lord and I say in all sincerity that I know she prayed over each character trait and verse. That is what made them so wonderful. She had some great ones, but with every trait and verse, one would wonder what theirs would be. One person had gentleness (see Ephesians 4:2), another had joy (1 Th 5:16), yet another had kindness (1 Cor. 13:4) and I am here to tell you everyone was a winner and you knew that she was right on the money! That was why I was so excited to hear my name called.
She said, "... and Debbie Bryan, you have the gift of (yes... yes... here it comes... try to look humble...) HONESTY! Uh... I smiled, but honestly speaking I wanted to yell out... LOOK AGAIN! Honesty is, at first glance, like being labeled nice personality at the beauty contest. At first glance it could almost be taken as, Oh yeah baby! I'll tell you what you NEED to hear! I do think of myself as an honest person, but there were so many other traits I would have desired to be chosen, but that is sort of the point isn't it? It was what she valued in me most this year.
She chose 1 Corinthians 13:6 as my verse which says,"Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth." In that little body of Christ at the M.D.O. this year that was what I had to give. She said, "Most teachers say one thing but really mean another. I don't have to worry about that with you Debbie. You say what you mean." I have been a director before and there is a lot of joy in knowing where you stand with someone. If you were at that luncheon, what would you hope someone would have said about you? I think it is not that I should have been surprised, but grateful. Grateful that someone saw something in me that as I was going along blessed them.
Job 10:8 "Your hands shaped me and made me."

Friday, April 23, 2010

All Dressed Up and Still Need to Mow!

Have you ever had one of those weeks where you thought it would be  easy, and it turned out to be one of your busiest weeks yet?! That was this week. My husband went to a Convention. I thought, "Awesome! A little house cleaning, a little yard work, my other stuff, and the kids... how hard could this be?" And lets face it ladies... a trip to Blockbuster for a chick flick after the kids went to sleep was at the top of my priority list! Now, we live on an acre lot. So mowing our yard is in all truth a good 3 to 4 hour event.

We have just gone through a horrible drought, and PRAISE GOD we had a lot of rain that has refilled our rivers and our yards are full of the green stuff we like to call grass! Okay, it is mainly weeds, but we like to call it grass. Within the past three weeks our backyard had grown so tall that I could not see our lab when she went outside! Oh yes our front was neatly mowed but all our backyard needed was a broken down truck and an old air conditioner to complete the look that had grown back there! Facing one major project for my third child (due on Tuesday), three meetings, one practice, one band concert, soccer, regular life events, and a trail of baby powder that started in my bedroom and went all the way to my kitchen via the three year old ... and it was only Monday; I decided Wednesday morning would be the best day to mow! Wednesday is my day off and Jeremy, the three year old, is in MDO!

Armed with my awesome plan to mow, I dropped Jeremy off. Then utilizing my studying skills from college, I decide to put off mowing for two hours and go to Ross and shop.It turns out the Bible is right... if you seek you really will find. Although I'm not so sure that sneakers and a book on CD was what God had in mind.
Finally, I began mowing and it was looking really great! One problem, I now had just an hour before I needed to shower, and pick up Jeremy  from as the start my afternoon schedule! So, I left the lawn and am happy to announce that I have the prettiest 3/4 mowed back lawn in all of San Marcos Texas!

Do you ever feel life is running you instead of the other way around especially at this time of the year? I feel like I breath in at the first of April and exhale sometime around June first. I've been reading a book by Christine Caine called, "Can I Have it All and Do It All,Please?" It turns out you can have it all as long as you don't mind imperfect. It seems God is now using people in spite of thier imperfections these days. To me that is one of the hardest things to accept. Life will not always look like a Martha Stewart table setting. Our 2.4 children will have projects due the next day, and you will find out that your husband was right all along... that duct tape really does work for every situation. It is so sweet when I have the time to do it just right, but I am finding it is equally as sweet when God carries me uphill, both ways, on the rough days and I can still praise Him and acknowledge who authored that day too. What is my advice for the especially rough weeks? RUN to your nearest quiet place, open God's word and REST in the only place that offers rest for that busy week!

"The Lord redeems His servants, and no one will be condemned who takes refuge in Him." Psalm 34:22

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Welcome to My Messy Home

Do you know what the sweetest thing about blogging is? I don't have to clean my house! I have four children. One of them is a preschooler. That means at any given moment there could be a Bat Man action figure lurking in a seat cushion, a Darth Vader cape and Light Saber covering the hallway, and various other sports items from the other children placed strategically by my front door next to the shoe collection that has amassed there! Since I have been a pastor's wife for almost 18 years and a mom for 14 of those years, I have learned a valuable lesson in my life. I've learned that if the criteria for someone to come by was having my house in perfect order, those who entered would be few and far between. Don't get me wrong, I like a clean house and I really try to keep it as clean as possible. It is just that my maid hasn't showed up for the past 17 years and I am beginning to think she is not coming! So that leaves me and my little band of Bryans to clean, work, do life stuff and minister in that very short 24 hour day.
So what do I do? Well, I tidy up my house and I tell folks that come over that just for them, I'm going to mess my house up a little. :) You see your house doesn't have to be perfect. I think people like it better that way. I think it makes you more real in their eyes. On the days that I need to talk with someone and I don't have time to pick up, I head toward the light... of the Starbucks Sign! To me it is important to connect and meet with either my friends or a person having a hard time, but not at the expense of my family or an aerobic turbo house cleaning that will leave me exhausted before I even say hello. Take time for family and friends because in the end those memories are so much sweeter than that pine smell coming from the bath room. One day my kids will be all grown and I will miss that smudgy little hand print, and my season of the perfectly clean house will have arrived! Till then, I'm just not going to stress it. I'm just going to do the best I can and focus on the relationships God is bringing my way.
"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven." Ecclesiastes 3:1