Near greatness …

I want to be near greatness.  I want to sing with Taya Smith & Hillsong United & watch thousands worship Christ because, dang that girl can sing.  I want to be a part of a team that brings young girls out of the world of human trafficking. (Even though that would be scary).  I want to hang out with Bubba Watson‘s wife and swap adoption stories at The Masters.  I don’t really want to be a famous person.  That comes with it’s own set of problems.  I just want to be best friends with their greatness for a while.  Some of them get to see God working in their lives and others in big ways.  How cool is that?  Sure, there is a lot of ‘me’ in these things, but I really just want to be a part of God doing big, exciting things.  

Sometimes when I start something new, like a job, school or volunteering, it feels like this will be ‘the thing’, my big purpose.  I think this will be the place where God shines through me.  But for some reason I am always directed back to my roll at home as ‘just a mom’.  How many times have I said that when asked, “What do you do”?  (A question I hate, by the way).  I’m just a mom.  I stay home with my kids.  Why do I feel so inferior when I say this?  Sure they say something like being a mom is the most important job in the world.  Blah, blah, blah.  Bor-ing, right?  Well, actually, it’s never boring in our house.  But it does become a lot of the same chaos. There is a lot of deja-vous with many medical appointments, school visits, lots of messes being cleaned up, etc.  But what does cleaning the unmentionable (truly unmentionable) for the umpteenth time have to do with building the kingdom of God?  When do I get to be a part of something big?

I was sitting in church last weekend listening to the sermon and started thinking of these things.  (No, my mind wasn’t wandering.  Of course not.)  I was thinking of the parts of the Bible that list the lineage of everyone.  (If you go to my church and you remember the pastor mentioning this, I swear to you I thought of this before him.  I am sure he subliminally extracted it from my mind.  And no, I wasn’t writing this blog in my head during the sermon.  At least not all of it).  Whoops, wandering again.  My husband is probably thinking, ‘welcome to his nightmare’.  Anyhoo … the lineage … obviously these people are important.  They prove prophecy that Jesus had to come from The House of David.  Did they know they were a part of something bigger?  Or were they just living life.  Cleaning the messes from one day to the next.

So, I’m a mom in The House of McKeever.  I’ve heard it said that it isn’t what you do that will be important, but who you raise.  I’m raising three boys and it isn’t for the faint of heart.  But I do get to see God doing big things through them.  My oldest left for college this last year and it was a jolt in many ways.  But on the first day I saw God’s plan unfolding in his life.  He’s been lead to a ministry that is teaching him & building him up in Christ.  He has been able to join mission trips that have shared the love of Jesus to hurting people.  And he is studying to serve and teach kids with special needs. My middle son has special needs and every day it can be hard on him and us in a lot of ways, physically and mentally.  But he has a way of drawing people in so we can share the works of Jesus in his life.  And my youngest came to us through the foster system.  We were so fortunate to adopt him.  Yes, I am the oldest mom in the preschool group.  But I have an opportunity to share how God worked to bring us together.  And he is magnetic.  I can’t wait to see what God will do in him.

Sometimes the Bible doesn’t mention the moms of the Biblical greats.  But someone had to raise them, right?  So I suppose I am a part of God working in big and exciting ways.  It can be hard to see when I’m on my hands and knees cleaning the unmentionables.  But when I take a step back … there I see that I have been near greatness, God’s greatness, all the while.  

Bible verse I’m loving today: Psalm 77: 13-14


Sticks & Stones …

We all know the Sticks & Stones rhyme.  And we all know it’s hardly true.  There are ways to hurt people without ever touching them with your hands.  Words hurt.

Let me start by saying this: Many years ago I was in an abusive relationship.  There, I said it.  It’s taken me a looooong time to admit this to others.  In fact, besides my husband, this may be the first time most are hearing of it.  (Though you may have suspected.  The effects of abuse can be hard to hide).  It was verbal, mental, emotional and a couple times physical abuse.  It’s hard for me to admit because abuse, whatever the form, is extremely humiliating.  I’m not going into the details.  Maybe another day.  Or just ask me sometime & I will try to share my story with you.  But what I do want to get at is the words.  Out of all the things that happened in that four years, it’s the damaging, hurtful words that were said to me that have stuck with me the most.  

Why do words hurt & humiliate so much?  They are just words.  They have no power when taken out of context.  But when put into action … ouch.  Shouldn’t the person saying those spiteful things be the one humiliated?  For some reason, it doesn’t work that way.  And it doesn’t matter how much time has passed since the words were spoken, they still come back like it was yesterday.  Maybe it’s a date on the calendar or seeing someone from that time, somehow the words will seep back into my mind.  And there I am again, feeling degraded, embarrassed, humiliated.  And don’t get me started on when people say ‘Forgive & forget’, ‘God has forgotten it, you should too’, or ‘Leave it in the past’.  Obviously, these people have never been spoken to with such malice day in & day out.  Forgiving is one thing.  Forgetting is difficult.

I just read a blog by Sammy Rhodes where he wrote, “wounded people wound people”.  I think we have all been wounded in one way or another.  This would indicate that we will all go on to hurt someone, whether we mean to or not.  I know I’ve hurt people.  I probably go to the opposite extreme to not hurt with my words, so I hurt with my silence.  You know, “The Silent Treatment”.  I’m super good at it.  I can go on for quite sometime in silence.  The longer I remain silent the more I win, right?  What?!  What do I exactly win by hurting someone else with my silence?  I am hurting someone, period.

God has since blessed me with a husband that continually lifts me up with his words.  Daily he tells me I’m beautiful and he loves me.  I don’t know if he knows how much I have needed those lovely words, but God knew.  But even with his kind words, the harsh words of my past can still weasel their way back into my mind.  The only thing I know that works against my mind wandering to the hurt are the words of Christ.  But I can’t just read them every so often.  I have to be reminded of them just like my husband reminds me … daily.  I have to read the word of God over & over.  It needs to be ingrained in my mind so when the ugliness encroaches God’s word is there to hold it back.  

That is where I am reminded there is more power in the word of God than the words of man. 

Bible verse I’m loving today … Psalm 56:10-11.  

Lipstick Review #1

Here it is.  The much anticipated, oft requested (ok, just one request) … Lipstick Review.  If you are a guy I give you permission to stop reading right now.  But if you are a guy that wants to know the very real, daily struggles that we gals go through, please read on. 

Lipstick.  Yes, this is one of the many struggles we women have to endure.  It’s the price we must pay for looking presentable to the masses.  I’m guessing men have absolutely no idea how difficult it is to pick out a lipstick, let alone choose one that actually looks good on us.  I imagine they think it’s as simple as seeing a color we like, buy it, put it on.  Done.  I wish it was that easy!  I don’t have trouble with most other makeup.  I can pretty much tell if it will work on me or not.  But lipstick is a whole other ballgame.  Color is only one of the many choices when it comes to enhancing the lips.  There are stains, sticks, pencils, pigments, glosses, tints, matte, glossy and that’s just what’s in my makeup bag!  There are oodles of options that I have never even purchased … believe it or not.  For me, finding the right lipstick is a shot in the dark most of the time.  Since finding the right lipstick is so difficult (read: impossible), and I still haven’t found the perfect one, this is just the first of many lipstick reviews, I’m sure.

Today’s review is actually two lip thingies.  I bought them together because that’s how I saw them in the magazine.  And why get sucked into just one lipstick when you can get swayed by two? They are both from MAC Cosmetics. The home page for MAC should be enough to tell me these products really aren’t made for me.  Some of their make-up models have include Rihanna, Mary J. Blige and Lil’ Kim.  I know, just like me, right?!  But those things didn’t stop me.  I saw an advertisement in InStyle Magazine that completely sold me before I even saw them in real life. You see, I will buy almost anything that makes someone else look good in hopes that I will also look that good (or if Jennifer Anniston has used it). But we all know this almost never turns out the way planned.

The first lip product is the Lip Pencil in Vino. The second product is Lip Mix Lip Pigment in Burgundy.  Just look at that above picture.  Lovely, right?  The “trend” was a deep red stain, not an actual lipstick.  And, since I am still in search of the perfect red lip, I bought them.  In person, these colors are just as pretty as the picture.  But on my lips, well, not so much.  Maybe if I didn’t know me they would be nice.  But since I do know me, I just can’t pull off red lips.  I really want to be the kind of person that can pull off bold, red lips.  It’s never been me, so I don’t know why I thought this would be ‘The One’.  Enough about me & how I feel in the red lipstick.  On to the actual product …

The Pencil:  It is named Vino and that is a perfect description.  It looks like red wine.  I actually like the pencil the most.  It only takes a little line, then smudge it all over.  It creates a nice stain. That said, it looks like stain, but doesn’t last like stain.  It needs to be worn for a short period or reapplied after eating, drinking, or doing much of anything.

The Lip Pigment:  This is a perplexing product.  I really don’t know how it’s supposed to be used.  The picture in InStyle gave the impression it could be worn alone.  The website says it’s to be mixed to create the perfect lipstick.  Mixed in what, I don’t know.  It is difficult to get out of the tube & like a paste.  I wore it over the lip pencil.  Only the smallest amount is needed.  It is dark & alarming for a girl who normally likes her lipstick to match her lips.  Like I said before, maybe if I was someone else this would work better.

To conclude this review … This stuff would be nice if someone else was wearing it.  Someone who doesn’t mind reapplying difficult lip goo all day.  Someone who doesn’t eat or drink.  Someone who doesn’t like fading into the background where the people watching occurs.  Someone who isn’t me …

Bible verse I’m loving today:  1 Peter 3:3-4