Friday, October 28, 2011


This past week has been a huge lesson in patience for me. I guess, I could say that about every week if I was truly honest. But this week especially, I feel like God imparted some much needed wisdom on my heart -- hard truths coupled with a freeing comfort that I can't quite put into words yet.

I hate the fact that I need more patience. Every time I lose my patience, I'm so disappointed in myself. I'm especially upset if I lose my patience with my girls. Now, sure, they are absolutely the primary vehicles with which God gives me opportunities to learn patience (*translation: they can drive me insane sometimes*), but they are my precious daughters. I want to have the utmost patience with them above all. 

But something that Beth Moore said about patience really hit me hard the other day, and I've carried it with me since. She explained that one reason most people don't have patience (with others) is because the people that try our patience bring out the worst in us, and we don't want to see the worst in us (even though we know it's there). We want to be happy with ourselves; we don't want to confront what it is in us that needs to change.

Wow, that is SO me! It is the exact reason that I lose my patience with my girls, but also with everyone else. I hate the fact that I'm not perfect, that I still need to work on things, that I'm sometimes prideful, judgmental, selfish, etc. And when another person comes along and does something to really drive me nuts, I lash out (usually internally, but I still do it). How dare they come along and show me how terrible I can be?! How dare Elizabeth spill her drink AGAIN and show me how much of a control freak I can be about being the "perfect parent?!" How dare Stephen get home late and show me how unhealthily co-dependent I can be on him?! How dare that person cut me off in traffic and show me how selfish I am about my time?! And the list goes on.

Understanding this cut me to the core. The truth about myself hurt at first because I was finally forced to look at myself in the mirror and admit that I'm way not as awesome as I pridefully believed myself to be. But then, miraculously, I felt more free than I have felt in a long time. Maybe it's because I had been so desperately trying to hide the truth from myself (which is a tiring and useless waste of effort). Maybe it's because knowing why I lose my patience will help me to learn from daily frustrations and change and grow as a person. Maybe it's because I was able to set the others in my life free from the ridiculous expectations I had been wrongly placing on them. It's probably all of the above.

I think what really brought me to my knees, though, was another thought that Beth Moore shared on the subject -- Could it be that the very people that frustrate us the most, are the exact people God places in our lives to force us to face our ugliness and get rid of it? Could it be that He loves us enough to drive us just crazy enough to change us and make us complete, lacking in nothing?

Remembering that God cares about me enough to keep working on me, to keep changing me, to keep helping me become who He knows I can be... that freed my heart in ways I just can't describe.

So with my new found freedom, I'm going to face myself more honestly, and continue on this crazy journey that I'm on, thankful that God has not given up on changing me into the person He wants me to be. :)

And just for fun, here are a couple of "outtakes" from the other day when I was doing a little photo shoot of the girls. They really are a blessing even if they do drive me nuts sometimes! ha!

Love to you all!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Brandon Prizer

Wow, I can't believe that we are already in the month of October. Time has flown by! I know it's been a while since my last post, but life literally ran away from me the past month. I'll try to be better about posting this month.

Anyway, what got me writing today was a little email in my inbox this morning. I have gmail, and the calendar for it is cool because it will send you email reminders of events, birthdays, etc. Well, although I didn't need it, I got a reminder that this month is my cousin, Brandon's birthday.

Brandon is my youngest cousin on my mom's side of the family. If you know anything about me, you know that I am extremely close to my mom's side of the family. We were all blessed to live within 10min of each other for my whole life, and because of the crazy lives of my parents and Uncle and Aunt (and because they all like each other), it happened that my brother and I spent a ton of time with our cousins -- more than most people, I would bet. When we were very young, especially, it felt like we were always together. Gran and Grandad watched the 5 of us on nights too numerous to even begin to count, and we spent every holiday, birthday, etc. together. It felt as if we were siblings (except better because we didn't fight as much).

I can't even begin to express what a significant blessing it was for me. There just aren't eloquent (and big enough) words to describe the bond that the 5 of us share. Our relationship is something sweet and special, and it shaped so many things about who I am as a person now. Emilee is practically my sister, and probably one of my best friends in the entire world, and Blake is one of the most inspiring people I know.

But today, I'm thinking about Brandon. He's in college now, and I'm so proud of what he has accomplished so far. But whenever I think of Brandon I'm always brought back to our play time together when we were little. Every once in a while, for differing reasons, Emilee would have to be gone, and it'd be just me and the boys, and since (at the time) Ryan thought I was his yucky big sister, and Blake thought I was just a boring older kid, I would find myself sans a playmate. But I could always count on Brandon to play with me. It didn't matter to him that I was older, or a girl that liked to play with Barbies, he was always willing to spend time with me.

It meant more to me than I could express, and I was just so happy to hang with him. One of my fondest memories of those times was a day when, after we had spent time together, I told my mom how much fun I had with Brandon, and how happy I was that he was willing to play with me. Without skipping a beat, my mom simply said, "Well, that's because he likes you." -- not "he's your cousin," or "he just likes to play," not even "well, he loves you," but "he likes you."

Let me tell you, that is a memory I will cherish forever. I mean, think about it: of course your family loves you (or should love you). They are your family! That's what families do! But for your family to like you?! This concept blew my little elementary school aged mind! I will never forget the joy I felt by being liked by my cousin, Brandon.

I'm happy to say that the years together only tightened our little bond of 5. We all like each other and enjoy each others' company now, and are happy to admit it. But every October, when Brandon's birthday comes around, I think about how different my life would have been if Brandon hadn't been there to simply like me.

It still blows my mind to think about it. So this month, as with every October, I'm unbelievably thankful for Brandon.