selfishness and pictures of our day

Rich made it home safe, sound, and exhausted last night at about 7:30, needless to say, he fell asleep on the couch; poor guy.  He was gone since Monday and  had to do a lot of driving around New Jersey and New York.  He’s at work today and I cannot wait until he gets home for dinner, perhaps we can have a normalish family night?  No place to go, simply just spend time with each other and the children?  Seriously sounds like bliss.

It’s even hotter today….but my cold is getting better.  Now it’s Ethan’s turn to be sick.  We left him home with David for company and I took Jacob, Grace, Caleb, Seth, and Sarah to the Thursday morning Bible study with our pastor, Gary.  We meet at the commons (park) with no bathroom and unfortunately shortly after we arrived, Sarah told me several times she had to go p**p, so I had to actually leave 10 minutes after we got there, drive away to find a bathroom, and then go back.  Ugh.  I was stressed out but it was all worth it.  Isn’t it wonderful to meet with other Christians?  Brothers and sisters, FAMILY, to talk about Scripture?  The thing about this study is that we do go off on rabbit trails and it’s okay.  There is no pressure to get the worksheet done at a certain pace.  I confess, it took me some time to get used to the style, but I can see how it can be beneficial, as well, as the rabbit trails force me to THINK about my beliefs and opinions and I can practice articulating them.  I’ve been saved since I was six and have always regularly attended church, but there is still so much to learn.  The Bible is a never ending interesting topic.

I’m convicted this morning about my heart-attitudes and selfishness.  Wow, “oh wretched man that I am, who can deliver me from this body of death”  PRAISE GOD and His Son, Jesus Christ!  Isn’t it wonderful that we HAVE HOPE.  Christ CAN (and did!) deliver me/us from our worst failures, He not only saves, but he redeems.  How in the world does He do it?  It’s hard to be patient with myself.  I get so short with the children, I feel sorry for myself, I think too much of myself.  I’m tired!  Instead of just resting in Him and forgetting my self.  Life IS good, and Heaven will be wonderful.

I have a problem with social interactions, I almost always come away kicking myself for ‘saying this’ or ‘feeling that’, and it’s my perfectionism and pride!  *confessions*  Oh Father,  help! 

I’m resting in Him and trusting that the people who associate with me will love me in spite of all my faults.  In fact, they don’t even notice them.  And if they do, they don’t care, really!  Why do I fixate on them???

I read this in a C.S. Lewis devotional this morning:

“There must be a real giving up of the self.  You must throw it away ‘blindly’ so to speak.  Christ will indeed give you a real personality:  but you must not go to Him for the sake of that.  As long as your own personality is what you are bothering about you are not going to Him at all.  The very first step is to try to forget about the self altogether.  Your real, new self will not come as long as you are looking for it.  It will come when you are looking for Him….even in social life, you will never make a good impression on other people until you stop thinking about what sort of impression you are making.  Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original:  whereas if you simply tell the truth (without caring two pence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.  Give up yourself and your will find your real self.”

Such good stuff!  So much to mentally chew!  (meditate on)  Once again, I am eternally grateful for my salvation and that there is no condemnation for those who love Christ; only hope, glorious and free.

I have pictures to share today….I am mostly excited about the dragonflies and butterfly.  But the children had so much fun in the pond yesterday and I have some pictures of them, too.  Such happy and sweet faces.  I think I’ll go swimming today after naptime!

“Male Widow Skimmer” dragonfly
As adults, dragonflies live for a few weeks or months at most.

I don’t know the name of this dragonfly but I LOVE it’s color and the beauty of the shimmering wings.  So delicate.

 I went to hang up the clothes yesterday and found this creature hiding in a clothespin!

This lovely little dragonfly landed on my daughter’s fingers.

Grace and I sat and watched the little ones swim.  They were so cute as they climbed up the dock together.

A lot of fun can be had with an old bucket.

Ethan (in red) and Jacob (in blue) mowed the yard so nicely yesterday.  We are so thankful for our hard working sons.

Sarah Joy loves staying on the edge of the pond, “swimming”.

a bird in the pines

Sherlock, our orange kitten

Grace and her big book, not a dictionary, not a Bible,  but the complete Sherlock Holmes stories.
(Yes, she named the orange kitten.)

David and Caleb were practicing their handstands in the water.

Grace and I amused ourselves by petting and scratching Parker’s shedding coat for him…….

There are little fish swimming around in the cooler…..(seth and sarah were looking at them)

back in her favorite swimming spot

Grace was fully clothed but couldn’t resist getting into a splashing fight with her brothers.

She taught Seth and Sarah to stand on her shoulders.  They had such fun!

This picture took a lot of patience; I stood and waited the hot sun for a long time until this butterfly opened it’s wings.  Isn’t it gorgeous?  I love the browns and oranges, and the beautiful pattern.  Even the tips of the antennae are lovely.

When we went to Bible study this morning, we had to leave Ethan and David home alone.  When I returned, I found this picture on my camera.  They made homemade waffles from scratch and defrosted strawberries from the freezer, to eat on top!  Don’t they look delicious!  It makes my heart happy to think about the brothers cooking, and then taking a picture of their finished project.  I’m so thankful for the relationship between Ethan and David, they get along so well and tend to do a lot together.  In fact, they are currently out trying to find enough wild berries for some muffins.  The blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries are ripe!

“Look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in.”  C.S. Lewis

PS.  One of my favorite books for myself and the children to look through in “nature study” is The Secret Lives of Backyard Bugs.  It was written by a brother and sister.  I love that!

25 thoughts on “selfishness and pictures of our day

  1. hi shanda…….love the c.s.lewis quote, the pond photos, brothers making waffles, everything! thanks for sharing, friend.

  2. What nice pictures! I remember being little and being a “swimmer” like Grace!

    It is so much responsibility to keep your eyes on your kids, in social situations, you would probably need more eyes to be social..ha…and I remember thinking I needed another set of arms to grab at least 2 kids at once! I am sure people can see your goodness and friendliness even though you don't realized it…after all…it even shows in your writings.

    My youngest always had to go to a bathroom…and I remember a sister of mine when she was little being the same…

  3. I would like to get a waffle maker. Those look delish! We have those blue dragonflies here too. I also saw a bright yellow one the other day. I enjoy watching them almost as much as the hummingbirds. I'm glad you are all staying cool and hopefully you will all be healthy again soon.

  4. I've been feeling the same way. I, too, spend time rehashing what I said, or should have said. Sigh. I've been struggling lately, trying to find joy. Love all the pictures. I'm going o see if Powell's in Portland has that book!

  5. I loved what you shared about Bible study and all the ways God moves in your life. I too , have a problem with thinking too much of myself and being sensitive. When I start to think of what I should have said etc. , I know to start praying instead. God made us sensitive for His purposes, but we need to guard against the enemy. BTW, you all made us feel so welcome when we ware with you, and totally accepted 🙂
    I love all the sweet pictures of a summer day…dragonflies, swimming, butterfly, and food.
    Our David is eating french toast covered in fruit almost every day.

  6. That quote speaks straight to my heart!!!! I also enjoy seeing the relationship your family shares. Its very precious!!!! So glad you are updating again

  7. “You will never make a good impression on other people until you stop thinking about what sort of impression you are making.” Wow that cuts deep. I am like you, always second guessing myself and worrying over how I come across. Oh to be free of all of that, free to be the person Jesus wants me to be. I love your thoughts here. I miss Xanga and I miss you!! Life has been crazy and I feel blue about blogging, unsure of where to begin anew. I did paint you a picture the other day and made it into a card. Now to write you a letter and get it sent…. I'll try to catch up later. Love you. _-Luci in Alberta-

  8. Love, love, love the dragonfly pictures. They came out so wonderful! Isn't God good to give us such beauty in nature?

    I also love what you wrote: I have a problem with social interactions, I almost always come away kicking myself for 'saying this' or 'feeling that', and it's my perfectionism and pride!

    I never thought about it that way. So often I review and replay conversations in my head, always wishing I had said something different. Thank you for this challenging conviction!

    Have a blessed weekend with your sweetie home!

  9. What a wonderful post! This gave me so much to chew on that I read it last night and came back this morning for more. God spoke to me through your post as I too am selfish and overly sensitive. I must continue to look to Jesus, to be fully connected to Him at all times, not just when I need something. Thanks for this post!
    PS~ Love the pictures of the kids but those of the dragonfly and butterfly are amazing. Lynn

  10. Loved this post and so relate your your feelings of “perfectionism and pride”. Thank you so much for sharing the quote from C.S. Lewis, it was right on target.

  11. Jenny, thank you so much for continuing to take the time to say hi on the blog. I am always encouraged by you! I am glad you felt welcome here, because you truly were. You all felt like family. Love you.

  12. Dear Luci! I will be looking forward to your mail! I know how you feel about starting anew with blogging, I felt that same way at first. You have so much to offer with your writings and I hope when things settle down you can share again. Thank you so much for finding me at the new place! Hugs!

  13. Pray for me and I will pray for you! There is so much freedom from self in our relationship with Christ, through Him we get our hope and salvation. Hugs to you, Lynn! Glad you liked the pictures!

  14. I have an equal amount of hate and love for those 'moments' of self realization of my ugliness in all it's glory. The Lord does it so gently, but the impact is so great. I loved reading the quote of C.S. Lewis. It's something I've been dealing with in my middle age years with my own personality, and I've found it to be so true. (Haven't mastered it yet!)

    I never would have suspected that you had issues with social interaction. I do too. 😦 I'm so thankful for this post. I've been reading and watching videos about Introverts lately. Dr. Seuess was an Introvert, and it was said that he hated to meet the children who so wanted to meet him, because he feared that they would expect him to be this larger than life figure behind all of his larger than life books, and that they would be disappointed when they met him. In real life, he was introverted and shy, but you wouldn't know it by his writing. I have often feared the same thing since I write so much better and more expressively than I am in person.

    That's probably slightly on a rabbit trail. 😉

    Anyway, I think you are one of the most rich, creative, interesting people I have met. You have a wonderful personality. It's my prayer that both of us will be free someday to just be who we are and to be so secure in the Lord's love for us that we can overlook our own faults and just 'be'. Be who He made us to be.

    Bud always tells me that God uses everything in us…the good and the bad for His purpose…that He knew what we were going to say or do before we said it or did it, and it was for a reason (either for our sake, to 'clean up' and do better next time, or to work something in someone else's life that we couldn't fathom would happen from our gaff). That comforts me a lot…because there is really nothing you can do after the fact.

    I am loving doing one of my favorite things this morning…having my morning coffee and catching up on your blogs, as I would a good book.

    I hope you have a wonderful and blessed day today! Much love to your and your fam!

  15. PS: I forgot to add that I always enjoy your photos so much! They are always so perfect. I have to just hope that people will catch the 'spirit' of my photos and get a vague idea of what I actually saw! LOL! 🙂

  16. easy to find our self-worth in “works” or think God loves us more or is pleased more with us according to our actions, etc. works = self-righteousness, self-focus = pride
    What a blessing to see how your family is growing, working and playing together! You all are a good example

  17. You've been on my computer screen all day. I've tried to comment a thousand times but kept getting distracted! Ha.

    I love what you wrote…love the CS Lewis quote….love seeing your sweet family. 🙂

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