Mother's Day reflection

I don't like Mother's Day. Don't get me wrong, I am not against taking time to tell those who are important to us how much they mean. My struggle has more to do with what one should do on days like this when the person to be honored carries very little emotional weight. I have tried for years to honor my mom because she did the best she could, but some 15 years ago she stopped being a mom to me. It was even before that when I had already had moved out of the house that I missed my mom. The "momminess" that a young adult, new mother could benefit from really didn't come. I missed out and so have my children.

I am envious of those who go on and on about how awesome their moms are, how wonderful their relationship is and the wonderful impact their moms have made. I wonder briefly what I may have done wrong that kept my mom and I from such wonderfulness. Sometimes I am angry at the way things are because I wonder what it would be like to have a mom to call and laugh with, to share crazy kid stories, to ask advice from, to really believe she cared about me, my life and my family. It took many years to accept her for who she is, to forgive her for not being who I wanted her to be and to choose to love her despite it all. This love though is a love of choice not of warm fuzzy memories and connectedness. Love after all is not a feeling.

So, here's the deal. I want to learn from those around me. I want to learn from those who succeed and from those who are lacking. I want to glean all the lessons from their lives so I can choose more wisely. I choose to be grateful for my mom because I have learned much from her. I have learned that she sacrificed much at the tender age of 16 to be a mom. I learned that she sacrificed her young adult life raising three girls and being married to a man she struggled to live with. I realize that she put aside a career, her dreams, her whims to parent. While over time, I believe these things wore on her and became obligation, she stuck with it for the three of us ...the best she could. While I don't yet understand much of our relationship, I am today who I am in part to her choices. This part of my life experience that helps me to better understand the phrase where God says he desires mercy (love), not sacrifice. I am grateful for the sacrifices my mom made, grateful for the love that was shown, but in the end, I too prefer mercy(love) over sacrifice that comes from obligation. How can I translate this lesson into how I view my relationship with God? It will be something to work toward in learning to love better, out of passion, desire and choice rather than obligation or sacrifice. I want to love God so I can in turn love others well.

Breaking family strongholds can be difficult. Watching the relationship with my grandmother with her mom as I child, I saw emotional disconnect. This is similar to what I witnesse between my grandmother and my mom. For my daughter, she likely sees the same between my mom and I. What can I do different. How can I set an example of how to emotionally connect to my daughter and stay connected. It seems from my perspective that much of the emotional disconnect is rooted in either self preservation or selfishness. Either way, self is way to important.


The Spectacular

Today is a new day...yesterday was new as well, but what was accomplished? Today is new and it occurred to me to today during a conversation over coffee that there are a lot of small things that can be accomplished each day. Roger Staubach said, "Spectacular achievements are always preceded by unspectacular preparation." It the small things that in and of themselves are really unspectacular and often carry great life lessons. It occurred to me today that all these small things -the small life lessons are what equal the unspectacular preparation for the spectacular achievements to come.

I think that too often we come to the conclusion that spectacular achievements should be huge, incredible events that come with lots of pomp and circumstance...the truth is often the spectacular achievements are not realized to be spectacular because the trumpets don't blare to sound the end of preparation and the beginning of some kind of celebration. What makes something spectacular? What makes is impressive or sensational? Is it the same as beauty? Is the state of being spectacular found in the eye of the beholder? Is it relative?

I ask this because I look around my life today and reflect on all that I have experienced, the good, the bad and the ugly, I wonder what the preparation has been for? When will the spectacular arrive. I see glimpses of it, I know I am called by God to do spectacular things for the Kingdom of God - things that are beyond all reason and beyond my ability...I wonder when will it happen? Again, in the conversation over coffee, I was reminded that the spectacular is happening each day simultaneously with the preparation. The spectacular results are insignificant to most. Most would not care how things unfold in the lives of the 6 people living in this house. Just because others don't care doesn't make the reality less impressive and at the same time - the times of unspectacular preparation more important for even more spectacular events in the future.



It has been some time since I blogged here. Well, a lot has changed in the past year in the life of the Wellman household and God has been at the forefront of all of it. (Or at least I hope we have allowed him that position)

Upward finished last season well and on a positive note. Plans were quickly being made for next year. After Upward finished it was onto things like Easter, Block Party, VBS and camps. It was somewhere in the midst of the hectic and craziness that God saved me from myself and my misguided focus. Sometimes I think we confuse things and then justify them well. I began to refocus my energy toward my relationship with God and my family. Somehow ministry creeped in above these and then jumbled things up. I began to have more peace than I had ever experienced.

Then came change. Hmm, God began speaking to me in the quiet times (Funny how you hear him clearer when you make time for being quiet - even if they are short times) All that I could describe it was as a stirring. God was stirring the waters. I had heard it said, but wasn't exactly sure what it meant until I experienced it. I am still not confident of the final result of this stirring, but I know it's in process.

I think I am learning a lot about myself in this time of change and stirring. I find myself run into default mode - which I hate. I spent many years developing this default mode and undoing it is not so easy. For me default is to make everyone happy and do all that needs to be done all in my own time and strength. It is frankly exhausting. I have been praying Psalm 46:1 for a few months now. This reminds me that God is my refuge and strength and my ever present help in times of need.

So - if everything stayed the same we'd always be what we've always been right? so with change comes the opportunity to make things different. But is that my job or God's? God's of course - so as God brings the change and continues what He has going in the waters of my life, I will choose to lean on him for strength, run to him for refuge and count of him for his help in my times of need.

I do need to remember though not to mix up what's really important or who I do what for!

May God bless you and prune you in 2009


UPWARD - Mid Season

Well it is the end of January and UPWARD basketball is in full swing. Game week 4 is this Saturday and it has been a fun adventure. I am consistently amazed at the volunteers who have come to serve the children in this program. There have been some great stories from coaches, parents, and kids about how UPWARD has impacted them.

This program is bigger than us all - bigger because of the potential it has for reaching those who don't know Jesus personally, bigger because it crosses socio-economic lines, bigger because it allows all kids to play and succeed in something, bigger because it allows adults to again become involved in the lives of kids and be an active part of the body, bigger because our building is limited, but God is not. It will be through His grace, His plan, and His purpose, and His people that the Kingdom will be impacted. All the rest is details - mere details.


Can you believe that it is February already!!! Well, not today, but . . . but soon! Yikes!

The new virtue for this month is Kindness- showing others they are valuable by how you treat them. Who couldn’t use a little more kindness both in our action toward others as well as being treated kinder.

Galatians 5:22-23 -Kindness is a fruit of the Spirit – so as we grow in our relationship with Jesus and we allow him to transform us from the inside out, we will become more like Jesus – and yes, become kinder. The interesting thing I find about the Fruit of the Spirit is that we can often fake the Fruit for a period of time, but after a while our true selves come shining or blasting out. I suppose a good test in knowing if you are faking or growing is to check your motive and reflect on your history.

Why do you want to act the way that reflects the Fruit? If your reasons include, "it is nicer" or "people would like me better" or "I know I am wrong in how I act," than you are right, but your motive doesn't line up with Jesus. However, if your reason is more like, "I want to be more like Jesus" or"I want to honor God" than your moving in the right direction. If you fall in the first category keep probing your heart - why do you what people to like you better? Why do you want to be nicer? Why do you feel that you act wrong? If your true desire is to please and serve God rather people, than your wording could be off, but you motives still true. But, if you are more concerned with what others think, than you are faking. Those mere mortals won't save your soul! Only Jesus!!

The second way to tell if your behavior is a result of faking or the Fruit is to reflect on your history. Over time, do you feel as if you consistently have been kind, or patient, or gentle, shown self control, etc. Does it come more and more natural? or is it still forced? There isn't a magic formula to spiritual growth, yet when we continue to seek the Lord in all that we do, we grow. When we spend time with Him, we grow. When we spend more time caring about others, we grow.

So, my question to you is this, are you growing in your relationship with Jesus or have you gotten comfortable or lazy? It is a lifelong process and others will know who we follow by the Fruit of your actions.


The Golden Compass

Just a quick note - there will be more to come - PARENT ALERT!

The Golden Compass a movie marketed for kids but is it intended to steal their souls?
This movie hits screens in December heavily marketed as a family film in the tradition of Narnia, the author's intended message, however, is very different.
Before loading up the minivan and taking your family or chatting casually with your church kids about this latest release, take time to read some of the disturbing comments from the author himself. Philip Pullman is a self-acclaimed agnostic who says, "There is a God, but he is a lair and he's mortal." Although a watered down version of his books, the movie is still full of witches and daemons (pronounced demons) with adult themes that even MTV says, "This is no mere children's story….It's more for adults."

I have checked out the website for this movie - it is crazy what it is there - for example you can find your "daemon." And learn to work the compass - like fortune telling.

I have read that the movie is a watered down version of the first book that is intended to entice purchase of this book and the other two in the trilogy where each book gets worse in the depiction of God and anti-Christian views.

Check back soon - I will be doing further postings on this topic


In Kid’s Church this month we will be talking about uniqueness. I always love the opportunity to share with kids that they are unique, special individuals and that God has created for them his special unique purpose. My goal then is to tell them how they are unique. Helping the kids see how they are uniquely designed to impact the world for the Kingdom is not only a true honor, but also a blessing that refreshes my heart when the light goes on. We spend too much time comparing ourselves to others that we miss the chance to be who we are and do what we were designed to do.

It really goes beyond children though. Embracing our differences can be so challenging – even as adults, but at the same time it is very freeing. Knowing that the Creator of this Universe created me different than anyone else is so cool. Don't we as adults really want to know we are unique - special? It's not until we understand that we are unique and that being unique is a great - God designed thing - that we can embrace it and stop comparing ourselves to others or at least start comparing ourselves less. We do this comparing thing in all different ways and in different areas of our lives: money, possessions, knowledge, spouses, ability and even with spiritual gifts.

We have a drive to be different, but also to fit; to be a part of something and to make a difference. As a follower of Jesus, we are different, we do fit in, and we are a part of something. That something is so much bigger than we are. Because we are different, we can accomplish different parts of the bigger God plan than others can. That is cool. It is also reassuring that we do matter and we can make a difference and more than all that - God desires that of us.

There was a large portion of my life - some 10 - 12 years where I personally struggled with who I was and who I was "supposed" to be and who got to decide the answers. I didn't feel as if I really fit in. I was different than those around me. These are still true today, but now, I embrace it. God has created me in an awesome and unique way. I am learning about my personality, my leadership style, my gifts, talents and passions, basically how God has wired me. I am gripping these things as part of God's plan and purpose for my life. Don't get me wrong, I do understand that there are aspects that are not God perfected - okay lots of areas and I am growing (Ouch - this isn't comfortable) praise God, but I am willing to grow, to be who He created me to be and to embrace my uniqueness.

Today- I challenge you to look at those around you and speak into their lives how they are unique and do it without sarcasm. Encourage them in how their uniqueness is a blessing. And lastly pray that they will embrace this truth. I have prayed that for you.