Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Moms and Sons

My son Matt. I can no longer call him my boy. Dang it, he's grown into a full fledged man, beard and all. Matt and I are A LOT alike. He gets in the car everyday after work and is ready to talk about anything and everything that his on his mind. The boy is certainly not afraid of confrontation. Apple...tree...yeah, I know the saying. Anyhow, yesterday he gets in the car and begins to share his cell phone plans. He doesn't have one yet and so he is deciding which plan he wants. Well, I failed the test miserably. I just slammed him verbally about how ridiculous his plan is. I mean, I FAILED BIG TIME. Well, last night as I was talking with a young mom it came to me exactly what I should be doing with Matt. I should pray on the way to get him and then be fully prepared to not react to anything he says. When I got home last night I asked his forgiveness for responding so strongly and so poorly to him and in his sweet way he quickly forgave this momma, even though I seem to commit the same sins toward him over and over again. Soooo, today when I picked him up I was prepared. He got in the car and as we were pulling out of the parking area he starts to tell me a story from work and I said,
"Matt, wait a minute, can you tell me about cell phones again."
And Matt said, "I don't want to talk about cell phones."
I said, "Please, please tell me again about cell phones."
He said, "Why?"
I said, "I've been practicing...pleeeease tell me again about cell phones."
So Matt proceeded to tell me his plans for a cell phone with a big smile on his face, and I responded correctly with a calm, "oh, what does Dad have to say about this? And well, whatever you and Dad decide to do is fine with me." Then Matt looked at me very seriously and said, "What have you done with my mom?"
I share that story because that is the deal in life. Often we can make mistakes, offend those we love, hurt them and handle it totally wrong and yet as long as we are willing to admit how poorly we handled it the first time our loved ones will give us a "do-over". I am so thankful that when I try to argue with God about how "right" I am in a situation He patiently and gently(most times)tells me where I went wrong and He gives me opportunity to stop right then and make things right, with Him and the one I've wronged. God has used Matt in so many ways in my life. At this time he is using Matt to teach me to "be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry because man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires" (James 1:19-20) I memorized this verse years God is using my precious son to plant these seeds in my life again that I might reap a harvest of righteousness and right relationships with those around me. I am so thankful for my "man-boy" and I love him so much. God is faithful and He will work all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes. Blessings and peace to you all!

Monday, July 16, 2007

More Summer Fun and Ponderings

More Summer Fun

Well, here are a few photos from our Fun Thursdays at our friend's house. Her hospitality has been a blessing as I run from one place to another to drop off kids at work, dance and then pick others up at intervals throughout the day. We have made some fun memories and have become her new adopted daughters' "good friends". Thank you so much J.R. for the sweet times.
Life continues to move ahead. My ponderings are not always positive, so if you are looking for a super mom's guide to successful parenting, STOP READING NOW! This mom is plagued with self doubt....learned that term yesterday from my pastor as he did a prayer exercise with us. Now, let me say that I am not looking for anyone to build me up...honestly. Jesus does that for me. I am just a mom who is being honest about her struggles at this time in her life. Self-doubt. I wake up almost nightly plagued, albeit by the enemy, but none the less, plagued with self-doubt about what has occurred with my children that day. Most of which has to do with things I've said or done that are less than righteous. This parenting thing has changed me from a carefree, fun-loving otter, into an intense, worrisome old woman....I am definitely doing something wrong. The fruit in my life as a parent is not at all what I dreamt it would be all those years ago. BUT, God is not done with me yet. I am currently reading, Mark Buchanan's "The Rest of God" restoring your soul by restoring SABBATH. I must confess that I bought this book a while back (by the way I highly recommend anything this guy has written-easy to read and very thought provoking)but, I didn't really get into it. What is so funny about that is that often my prayer requests to my small group revolves around learning to I should have been reading this book all along! Anyhow, I picked it up last week sometime and determined to work my way through it. God is so sweet. This book is all about trusting in God's sovereignty and resting in His goodness and finding Him everywhere. Really and truly just what I needed for my soul. On most days I find myself longing for Heaven for very selfish reasons really. I am just weary of getting it wrong and I long to be done with this life having done as little damage as possible to those I love. Pretty self focused, huh? But true. Well, today in this book I read the chapter on Stopping to Number Our Days Aright. Good stuff. It's about being fully awake and how Jesus was purposeful but not driven. Driven people tend to forget their purpose. His life was full of interruptions and side roads. He was completely present and always paying attention to everything around Him. He always made room for "interruptions". Here was a line worth quoting, "The span between life as we intend it and life as we receive it is vast. Our true purpose is worked out in that gap. It is fashioned in the crucible of interruptions." Life is meant to be lived without being intense and though we are running out of time....we have all the time we need to live exactly what God intends for us. I can relax. I can trust God with all that is important to me. I can trust Him with my 20 year old...I can let go. I can trust Him with my dear son who loves Him. I can trust Him with my 11 year old who rarely says the words "I'm sorry". I can trust Him with my 2 little ones....I CAN TRUST HIM!!! My intensity is revealing my lack of trust plain and simple. If I can trust then I can enjoy my kids. I can relax. I can rest. They are really good kids. Somehow in my "stuff" that becomes not enough. I worry and fret and fuss and criticize. See...that is what I can't seem to get over. My heart breaks and I live in the sadness of my mistakes...which doesn't help anything. Today I will enjoy my kids...I will see God in them....I will make time for surprise interruptions...divine by nature. Not at all will I be able to accomplish this miracle in my own strength, but the strength of the One who loves me and by His grace at work in me. One final quote from Buchanan "Most of us live afraid that we are almost out of time. But, you and I, we're heirs of eternity. We're not short of days. We just need to number them aright." God Bless you and rest today in the goodness of God. You are loved. You are loved. You are loved.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

July 4th 2007

Click on photo to see more of our 4th!
Happy 4th of July....we had a wonderful day. All but Matthew were present. We spent the day swimming with friends, thanks to their wonderful hospitality and then enjoying fireworks in the evening. I am blessed to live in America and to have such a wonderful family. Just gotta keep counting those blessings....God Bless you!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Ellie Stands Alone!

Today Eliana Joy stood alone....I said with enthusiasm "ta da!" We did it over and over again. It was so fun to watch her be thrilled with herself. It won't be long now and she will be walking. It is sorta sad really...her independence begins. Soon she won't need me to get around anymore. Well, if I don't stop thinking about this I'll just end up depressed. See, I like being in charge. I like making all the decisions for my kids. I like dressing them, telling them when to go to bed, scheduling their days, organizing their lives. As they move into independence the battles begin. That's because I must give up total control. As a mom with children ranging from 1 to 20 years old, I have been through this struggle before. It is right. It is a good struggle to go through. It is just as God ordained it, but it is not fun. Being a person who struggles in a huge way with disaproval, letting my children grow up, discover who they are, wear their hair how they want, date the people they choose, listen to their own music and any number of other things is the hardest work I've ever had to do, but I am so thankful to be able to do it. My relationship with my Lord has grown so much through it. He has always been in control, but I've had to surrender to it and recognize His control. I have had to turn to Him again and again as the author and perfecter of my children's faith. I have learned to turn a worry into a prayer over and over again. I am learning to enter into the rest that my Abba offers me at a moment's notice. Stopping, remembering Who is in charge, and finding rest for my soul. With rest comes peace...and don't we all long for that? God Bless you and may you find His rest this week.