Saturday, December 8, 2012

My Heart.

A few days ago, all 4 kids piled in the car to run errands. We were driving down the street singing along with the CDs Doc made for us (because there isn't the selection of {contemporary} Christian music stations available here that we were used to back in the big city). There came a pause between songs and I heard Ladybug's little 4 year old voice from the seat behind me.
She said, to no one in particular, "When I grow up, I want a heart like Mommy's."
I said, "What made you think of saying that, Ladybug?"
She said, "I don't know. I was just thinking about it."

The next song started in and the conversation moved on to something else in the back. I drove on, kind of flattered, kind of convicted. I thought about my heart and hoped that the outpouring of the things in my heart are good. Jesus said, "The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks." (Luke 6:45 NIV84)

The natural question about all this is... how do our hearts become full of good or bad? If I want the outpouring of my heart to be good, how do I get good in there? Here's what I found from scripture...

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. (Proverbs 4:23)

So, we must take an active roll in guarding our hearts and trying to only letting good things in. But, what does that look like? It made me think of this verse in Philippians 4:8...

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

I guess my mom was right when she used to tell me, "Trash in, trash out."

Back to the music we were listening to...we generally listen to Christian music but I love music. I don't even like to label music as "Christian" or "secular". To me, music is music, but I've found that whatever I have been listening to the day before, is the song I wake up with in my head the next morning. I think we do not realize how much our heart is a sponge that soaks up all the things we expose ourselves to. The thing about that sponge of a heart is that once the pressures of the world close in and we get squeezed, that stuff comes back out of our mouths. If I am constantly listening to angry music, playing violent video games, watching violent movies and hanging out with angry people,  then I'm going to react in a more angry way than I might have otherwise acted. And the opposite is true. If I am soaking up positive good things, my reactions will be more positive.

Now, let me clarify...I love a good James Bond movie. I have been known to break out in a rap from the 90's when it comes on the radio and I don't think that playing Halo will make you kill people. What I am talking about is when you go about your day, you can surround yourself with positive things, people and experiences and what will come out of you will be more positive.

The goal in my life is to be like Jesus. So if that is my goal, it seems like I need to be the bouncer at the door of my heart and let all those true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy things in to the party in my heart!

I hope so much that what Ladybug meant when she said she wants a heart like mine, is that she recognizes Jesus in her Mommy.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Somethings I Wish I Knew Then {Medical Monday}

It's the FIRST Monday of the Month 
and you know what that means?

It's Medical Monday!

Doc and I met and dated the end of his 3rd and 4th year of medical school. By the time he asked me out, his toughest rotations were over {i.e. transplant surgery, etc.} He did well in med school, had doctors encouraging him to stay local and do his residency and was confident and happy. After we got engaged, we decided that it would be wise to consider moving away from our home town for a while to establish our own marriage and family. We ranked an out of town residency as first and an in-town residency as second. We ended up matching with the out of town one. He graduated from med school and we got married the next weekend. We went on our honeymoon and a week later moved 10 hours away from our families and friends. I had him and he had me and that was all we needed...or so I naively thought.

Which leads me to what I wish I had known...

I wish I had known that almost everyone in their first year of residency has doubts. Doubts about their abilities, their knowledge, their intuition. Everything is new. There is added responsibility. It is just a scary thing. I wish I knew that was coming. I saw my husband go from happy and confident to unsure and stressed. Our new marriage had a rough start to say the least. 

I wish I understood back then that there are seasons of life that you just have to walk through with the faith that you will come out stronger on the other end. The first few months of residency, the first six weeks after having a baby, the first few months of a new job. They are seasons. They will pass.

I wish I knew that my happiness was not wrapped up in his. He is not responsible for my joy. And more importantly...I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE for his happiness. I can do kind things for him and I should.  I can try to keep the house clean, the laundry done but ultimately, he has to decided to live focused on the good or the bad. I wish I knew that back then. I tried really hard and felt like a failure A LOT.

I wish I knew that the whole insecurity thing would reappear with his first real job. Not as bad as going into residency, mind you, but he had to walk through it. Confidence only comes with experience and familiarity. 

I wish he knew that he didn't have to compromise his limits to be a good doctor. I wish I knew to tell him that he was working too much, sacrificing too much time with the kids and that his identity was defined by more than the M.D. after his last name. Truth be told, I don't think he would have listened to me anyway. He came to those conclusions himself. It just took longer for him to understand the price he was paying. Doc is an amazing doctor. The danger in that is being drawn to that part of your life because it becomes easy. People love you for taking care of them. Usually, you can diagnose and fix whatever is ailing a patient. Your relationships at home are different. You can't write a prescription and fix your wife's loneliness. You can't do some surgery and fix your kid growing up without you. That is the hard part.

In those early days, I wish I knew that the blessing in all of that hard stuff, is that you value what you have to work for. He cherishes our family and the time he gets to spend being Daddy. He cherishes me and our relationship. {We like each other, too, which sounds silly, but the fact is, sometimes you can love someone very much without liking them or who you are when you are with them}. It is a good place to be, now. I wish I could go back and tell that myself, "Life will be hard, harder than you ever imagined, but you chose your spouse well. Pray for him. Get on your knees when you are frustrated and trust. Trust that God has a plan and one day, you will look back and understand that the blessings you are enjoying wouldn't be nearly as sweet without the hard work and sacrifice you have to walk through to get there. It will be worth it." 

James 1:2-5(NIV) 
 2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

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