DO YOU HEAR ME?

Mack is growing into a young man. I remember wanting to freeze him as a 9 year old boy. He was so helpful and listened so well and loved me so very much and showed it unabashedly. I do NOT want to freeze 12 year old Mack. Nope. If 9 year old boys are precious and kind, 12 year old boys pretty much take every opportunity to reveal the opposite of that. I still love him with every fiber of my being—don’t misread me. But I am ok with the passing of time during this 12 year old year. 

I am often telling Mack things to do. And at first they start out sweet, but direct. “Hey, Mack. I need you to take those clothes to your room and put them away.”

(Much time passes and I notice they are still folded in the basket sitting in the living room.)

“Hey, Mack. You may not have understood me before, but I want you to get those clothes, take them to your room, put them in the drawers they belong in, and I want you to do it now.”

(It’s bedtime and we are shutting down the living room, turning off lights, straightening up, etc and I notice the basket of clothes still sitting there.)

“MACK. I was nice enough to collect your nasty, stinky clothes, take them upstairs and wash them, move them to the dryer, fold them and put them in the basket for you—-THE LEAST YOU CAN DO IS OBEY ME. I AM NOT YOUR MAID. I KNOW IT SEEMS LIKE THAT FROM TIME TO TIME, BUT I ASSURE YOU, I AM NOT YOUR SERVANT. SO GET YOUR BUTT IN HERE AND TAKE THESE CLOTHES TO YOUR ROOM. DO YOU HEAR ME?!?!?”

He then proceeds to act like I am a raving lunatic and asks me why I am yelling. He also says, “And by the way, I really don’t like when you ask, ‘Do you hear me?’ It makes me so irritated.”

I mean, this is hysterical to me. You don’t listen and obey me, but you have the audacity to tell me you are irritated by my, “Do you hear me?” Please, tell me more about what I do that irritates you. I would love to know.

In church during worship last Sunday I was aware of the many circumstances that make my life seem complicated, chaotic, out of control, too much to process and too much to handle here on earth. (I am a 9 enneagram, so I greatly value peace and calmness.) I closed my eyes and it was like I saw a line between earth and heaven. Crazy, chaotic, disorder down here on earth and then right across that line was calm and peace and stillness and order. His presence in any situation brings peace that passes understanding. I need His presence.

Sometimes in my life I find it hard to hear God’s voice. There are an abundance of distractions here on earth. Lots of things to do, people to talk to, lists to make, instagram stories to watch (insert eye roll). We need some quiet in our lives to hear from God. NOT because He can’t be heard in the middle of crazy and chaotic. He can. But the quiet helps us lean in and listen. Don’t you think? 

This morning I woke up and walked my tired self down the hallway and into the kitchen where coffee was hot and ready thanks to my awesome husband. I was sleepy. My muscles were sore, and I wanted to stay in bed. But not more than I wanted and needed to hear from God. I need His Word, His perspective, His presence, His peace. And I got it this morning.  I studied Hebrews 4:14-5:14 and was reminded that I can boldly approach His throne of grace and find grace and mercy to help me in my time of need.  And I had some needs. 

And God’s voice was so clear and firm and loving and comforting. He said, “Do not worry.” He said, “Remember my faithfulness to you over all of your life.” He offered this: “Rest in Me.” He reminded me to “Look at what you can’t see. I am always working. My thoughts are higher than your thoughts. My ways are higher than your ways. Trust Me.” I wrote what I heard down in my journal. 

And then, before I closed my journal and moved on into the day before me, it was like He said, “Do you hear me?”

Like I do with Mack when I am saying things but he is not acting on them—God was encouraging me to pause, take in these truths, believe them and put those beliefs into action.

Maybe you find yourself dull of hearing today. What are the truths God is speaking to your heart? Do you hear Him?

 In The Listening Life by Adam S. McHugh, he says, “In prayer we offer our ears and whole selves to God, in all of life’s contingencies, whether we’re in a quiet chapel or a noisy crowd. We do not have to fight for particular situations or seek out the perfect atmosphere for listening. Listening is not required for the spiritual aristocracy. Listening is about more than straining to hear voices; it’s about preparing the conditions of our hearts, cultivating an opennes inside us. In this way, listening is a posture, one of availability and surrender. We don’t control how or when God will speak, but we can control the acoutstics that receive the sound. We want to prepare an inner place that is open and hospitable to God’s voice. That inner place requires humility, patience, attentiveness and trust. We must have hearts already surrendered in ourder to recognize his voice when he calls.” (page 81,82)

Just as Mack has a responsibility to hear and receive what I, as his mom, say to him, I have a responsibility to hear and receive what God says to me. Is the soil of my heart soft and pliable and ready to receive the seed? Or is the soil filled with thorns that choke out His needed Word in my life? 

“Whoever has ears, let them hear.” Matthew 13:9

What song are you writing?

Inspiration comes in many different ways, through various types of people and at all sorts of times.

This afternoon, I was driving and listening to The Habit podcast that The Rabbit Room had recommended on Instagram. The guest was Heidi Johnson, who wrote Choosing Love that I bought my girls for Christmas. Heidi mentioned Adorning the Dark, a book by Andrew Peterson, which I read not too long ago and, as a result, was greatly encouraged to make beautiful things in this broken world. Well, Heidi mentions that Andrew acknowledges his wife, Jamie, with absolutely beautiful and inspiring words in his latest book. She shares the words, and then I went home and found them for myself. 

“Finally, my deepest thanks go to Jamie, whose unflagging affection has given me courage for twenty-five years now. She’d never claim to be an artist, but she’s one of the most creative people I know. Her song is our family.”

HER SONG IS OUR FAMILY. 

Well, stick a fork in me. 

What a beautiful sentiment. 

HER SONG IS OUR FAMILY. 

As someone who loves to write and even senses there is purpose behind my love for writing—though I am not sure exactly what that is supposed to look like—it can feel like if I am not actively writing, contributing to other websites, making plans for a book, etc, then I am not being creative and using my gifts. And that couldn’t be further from the truth.

How I love and respect Josh, how I love and train and encourage the kids, the ways I make a home, the ways I welcome people here can be a song I sing to God.

MY SONG IS MY FAMILY. 

May the Lord give me the energy, the discernment, the overflowing joy, and a deep sense of purpose as I create a song here in my home with the people I love so dearly—all for His great glory. May that song be taken with us as we leave this home and go out into this broken world that desperately needs to come in contact with beautiful things that point to Jesus.

Lift up your feet!

I am well into Exodus at this point in my Old Testament reading, but I cannot move on to write about Exodus until I record my thoughts on Genesis 29:1. It’s simple. It’s basic. But it is beautiful.

“Then Jacob went on his journey, and came to the land of the sons of the east.”

In the margin of my bible, the reference section gives another translation on the first little bit of this verse, and I love it.

It could read: “Then Jacob lifted up his feet…”

I’ve had seasons where lifting up my feet seemed impossible because of a heavy heart. I have had seasons of real sadness that seemed to linger. I would have to give myself a pep talk to put my feet on the floor and get out of bed! Just these last two weeks I felt a temptation to focus on the heavy things in life, the unknown things that threaten to weigh me down and derail me. I even wrote in my journal, “I sense a deep sadness close by and wanting to settle in. It’s 5:30am—a little early for attacks, it seems.” It would have been easier to not move forward…go back to bed even! But I didn’t. I got up, putting one foot in front of the other and did the day. And I have sensed the Lord with me in real ways this week. He’s sent others to encourage me. He’s given me perspective. He’s given me endurance. He’s given me patience. He’s given me what I need for each step I take. He’s carried my burdens—He promises to do that, you know.

I don’t know what is weighing you down today, but I know that God is the One who helps us lift up our feet and take the next steps into our day. They may seem insignificant—steps up to the laundry room to wash clothes. Steps through the grocery store to buy food. Steps around the block to pray and clear your mind. Steps over to give a hug to someone. Steps of obedience even when you aren’t sure where you’re going to end up. All these steps add up to a life walking hand in hand with the Lord, a steady trail of faithfulness as we lift up our feet and walk with our Creator. 

Don’t miss where He wants your feet to take you today. 

For me, my feet are taking me upstairs to the laundry room. Happy stepping. God is with you!

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19 YEARS

It’s been 19 years since I dropped my middle name like a bad habit and slid my maiden name in it’s place—like a good southern girl— and proudly became Mrs. Kristy R. Dorminy. (Hoke was my middle name…so southern tradition or not, it had to go!)

Josh and I are both 42 years old. Our kids are almost all teenagers. He is usually quite busy with his job. I am usually driving our kids this way and that and doing laundry or cooking. It’s a busy season of marriage, and we need reminders to think of each other. I don’t actually forget Josh, and he doesn’t forget he has a wife. I am talking about truly putting yourself in your spouse’s shoes. Truly trying to understand each other’s stresses and joys, challenges and victories. Thinking about his day and all that it entails.

When he walks through the door in the evening, am I at all aware of the load he has carried all day? Is it because I am painfully aware of my own load so much that I don’t have time to consider his? One may think these are elementary teachings of marriage. But I know I need to be reminded to turn towards Josh. Enter his world. Understand him as best as I can in order to love him well and meet him where he is….even, or maybe especially, after 19 years of marriage.

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I am super grateful for a husband like Josh. He is so good for me! I think we make a great team, and I hope we get to play this life out together for many, many more years. Happy 19th, Joshua Lee.

Lessons from Leon

I heard about Leon and how he could work miracles as it relates to teaching someone how to drive. And we were desperate. The first six hours when someone else was teaching her went well, but the times she was driving the car with Josh in the passenger seat were not going so well. The day they drove into the driveway and only he got out, I knew I needed to intervene.  She sat in the car, frustrated and emotional. He went inside, quiet and aware he wasn’t very good at this.

I called Leon and got Ruby on his calendar. He showed up, Ruby got in the driver’s seat and didn’t come back home for two hours. They did this for three days in a row.

Josh was very interested in how it went. “Well, Ruby, how did it go?”

“It went really well,” she said confidently.

“Really? So you drove good? No problems?” Josh asked curiously, digging for more.

“Yes, I drove well. And there were no problems at all.”

Still unsatisfied with her answers, Josh continues, “What did he say? Did he tell you to STOP or did he remind you to put your blinker on? Did he have to tell you to speed up?”

“No, he just talked to me about other stuff.”

“Really???? He didn’t say anything about the way you go over speed bumps?” Josh asked.

“No, the only thing he ever did was move the steering wheel a little to the left because I was driving close to the shoulder of the road. That’s all.” Ruby said, more assured of herself than ever.

So when Sunday came around and Ruby was going to drive us to church, Josh announced, “Just call me Leon. I am going to be just like Leon. You’re going to drive, and I am going to relax in the passenger seat.”

Josh is a lot of wonderful things—kind, generous, funny, hard working, diligent, smart, handy, and more. But relaxed wouldn’t be on the list. In actuality, he would be rather intense. He has strong opinions, strong beliefs, and he isn’t afraid to stand up for what he believes. He also feels strongly about living, so his intensity ratcheded up a few notches when he sat in the passenger seat with Ruby. He couldn’t help but coach and train and raise his voice. It was not a good combination—innocent 15 year old girl with lots of emotions learning to drive with intense dad who speaks his mind bluntly.

So in a mid-life crisis of sorts, Josh is attempting to change his persona to Leon. He’s attempting to take everything with a grain of salt, letting things go, not coaching at every turn, & enjoying life with all it’s curve balls. He’s channeling his inner Leon in hopes that his intensity level decreases a bit. Of course, we love Josh just the way he is…..but we welcome “Leon” to make an appearance any time a situation calls for a laid back response. 

Fist bump to all the parents out there wishing we had a brake on the passenger side while we put our lives in the hands of our children. Reach down deep for your own inner Leon. I believe in you.

Old Testament 2020

This is the first of what I hope to be weekly posts about what the Lord is saying to me through His Word as I read through the Old Testament this year.

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When Mack was about two years old, the bedtime ritual was predictable. We would all tuck the girls in, and then Mack and I would run to his room and hide from Josh before he got to Mack’s room. We always hid in Mack’s closet. He would giggle. I would put my finger over my mouth, encouraging him to be quiet. We would hear Josh walk in and call our names. We would hear him ask, “Are you in the crib?” then, “Are you behind the curtains?” And on and on he would go searching for us.  Then, inevitably he would snatch the closet door open, and we would be found. And Mack would laugh hysterically and want to do it again. 

Of course, Josh always knew exactly where to find us. He was never truly looking for us in the crib or behind curtains. 

I am reading Genesis again, and I got to Genesis 3 when Adam and Eve sinned and hid among the trees of the garden with their shame and heaviness. God knew exactly where they were and why they were hiding among the trees.

I asked myself if I was hiding among the trees of anything in order to keep me out of God’s view or far enough away from hearing clearly from God? Am I distancing myself from Him knowingly or maybe unknowingly? Self-evaluation is a good thing. 

Or am I hiding in the Cross? Confident of His eyes upon me? Sure that He sees me and loves me? Aware that there’s nowhere else to be than with Him? Comforted that He alone satisfies?

G. Campbell Morgan says, “There is a Tree which will hide us, but that is the Tree where we find God in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself.”

I don’t want to hide behind my past victories or past failures. I don’t want to hide behind my position (or lack thereof) or finances—great or small. I don’t want to hide in a busy schedule. I don’t want to hide in my health. I don’t want to hide behind material possessions. I don’t want to hide behind or among anything or anyone. I want to be hidden in Christ alone. 

Colossians 3:3 “For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”

Psalm 32:7 “You are my hiding place. You preserve me from trouble. You surround me with songs of deliverance.”

Psalm 119:114 “You are my hiding place and my shield; I wait for Your Word.”

Psalm 27:5 “In the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; in the secret place of His tent He will hide me.”

Psalm 31:20 “You hide me in the secret place of Your presence from the conspiracies of man.”

Psalm 143:9 “Deliver me, O Lord, from my enemies; To You have I hidden.”

I hope you find Christ to be a perfect hiding place today. 

Homecoming 2020

The girls went to Homecoming this past weekend. They had a great time, and I am so glad they are able to do these fun things. It was new to all of us, but I think we did all the things right.

 

Ruby got ready at a friend’s house with a group of girls and then went to dinner with a larger group, which is why I didn’t get many photos of her beforehand.  Molly went with a nice young man we go to church with; they met up with some friends for pictures and then went to the dance. Overall, it was a great night for them!