Monday, January 28, 2013

Constant, Sovereign and Good

For some reason, Blogger won't let me write under the video that I just posted. So.... In order to view the video, you will need to scroll down a bit and push play. You will also need to pause the music at the bottom of the page. After all of this confusion... I write.

I heard this song on the radio as I drove my boys to school today. I am not at the school teaching because I have one home sick with the flu. I immediately knew upon hearing it that I wanted to write about it when I got home. The song is such an awesome reminder of so many things!

For me, the song spoke to my heart about being an average 42 year old woman. I am married, I have three children. I live in a small town just outside of suburbia. On most days, life is pretty predictable. However, some days feel much different.

Most days, being a wife feels very sweet. I feel like it is what God made me to be. On other days, it feels a bit lonely and dry. It seems desert like.

Most days, being a mom is an absolute blessing. Again, I feel like it what God made me to be. Then... On other days, it feels like I am out in a deep wide ocean, bearing the waves that come at me while they threaten to drown me.

Every day though HE is constant. HE is sovereign. HE is GOOD!

He knows about those desert places. He knows each wave by name. Not for ANY moment does He forsake me, His precious child. He desires to hold my hand as I travel through each and every spot here on this earth. He wants to hold my hand through the average and predictable days just as much as the days that present themselves as much harder. Sometimes we lose glimpse of that fact.

I woke up this morning to a very average day, yet it doesn't feel average at all. From the start, I knew it would be more. As I drew my bath water and sat in a tub of hot water to warm me to the insides, I saw the most beautiful bright morning moon from between the slats of wooden blinds above the bathtub. I knew then that God wanted to show me things today. He got my attention with that very simple moment.

My eyes are on Him. I FEEL his constance. I am aware of His Sovereignty. I see His goodness.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Well Remembered Day

I remember it like it was yesterday.

As a little girl, I was told by my father to let him handle something with the adults. He instructed me to keep quiet... Not lie, just keep quiet. You see, we were attending a church camp for the week. After getting there, my father decided that we could not stay. There were reasons, but that I won't include in this story. In any case, Dad told my brother and I that IF we let him do the talking to the camp director, and we kept quiet, then we would leave the camp and he would take us to the zoo the next day since he felt badly about leaving camp early. What child doesn't want to stay at church camp? I wasn't happy about not staying.

We went to breakfast at the dining hall that morning, and then after breakfast our family stepped outside  with the Camp Director to break the news that we wouldn't stay. I stood there trying with all of my might not to open my big mouth and blurt out the reason why we were leaving.

Ugh.... It was too much for my little 10-ish year old brain to handle. I spilled the beans. Right there in front of my whole family, I stood there and let it all fly.

After my parents' initial shock, they escorted my brother and I to our family station wagon. We piled in, and started our two plus hour trek home... In utter silence. Not a word was spoken that whole way home. I REALLY do remember it all. It is my most vivid child hood memory. Perhaps because I really learned something that day.

We arrived home, and as we pulled into our driveway, the silence was broken. Dad said there would be no trip to the zoo after all. All of a sudden, not only did I have my own anger issues to deal with, but I was also faced with a VERY angry brother who blamed me for the whole thing. I guess I was the only one to blame though.

I sat in my room the entire day. I never came out. I kept expecting that at some time during the day, my father would come to my door and say something like, "Okay, I can see you have learned your lesson. We will go to the zoo now."

Problem was, the lesson could only be learned if my father kept his word, and that he did. There was no trip to the zoo.

We had a very similar experience in our house this past weekend. We were supposed to go skiing, but due to some behavioral issues from all three of the boys, we had to inform them that we would not be going. They were pretty upset to say the least. They all three went straight to their rooms where they wound up camping out and eventually fell asleep at a very early hour (like 6pm early). The scenario immediately reminded me of my own child hood story. I thought back, and I gained new perspective.

As much as it hurt me that day to have my trip to the zoo taken away... As much as it angered me and made me feel that life "just isn't fair"... It hurt my parents more. They were probably disappointed in me greatly and they more than likely wondered why I chose to make the wrong decision. Why did I choose disobedience? What had they done wrong that hadn't encouraged me to make to right decision?

I went to bed the other night with all of these questions racing through my mind. After much thought and prayer... I came to one realization. The Lord asks Himself these things constantly, and I am one of those who prompts these questions. I run off stomping my feet, thinking that things aren't fair, and He wonders, "Child, are you learning anything in this? Are you stopping and quieting yourself long enough to see where you made your mistakes?"

I learned a lesson that day thirty some odd years ago. It is a lesson that has stuck with me and remained strong in my mind. Strong enough for me to use even this past weekend with my own three children. It really stunk not being able to go skiing this weekend. It was a beautiful day, and I'm sure the conditions were near perfect, but were they?

The conditions needed some guidance and room for improvement. When we DO go (hopefully soon), we will go with a much deeper understanding of the purpose of discipline. We will ALL go with a much different mind set than what we would have had if we would have given in to bad behavior. Stories from the present, and stories of the past have a way of making me see clearer... With better perspective and understanding of who Jesus is and what He wants for me and for my family.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

From One Year to the Next

Here we are at the beginning of yet another year that will probably pass quicker than the last.

That seems to happen a lot.

I'm not sure what has happened, but I have been stricken with a HUGE case of writer's block for the past several months. There is still so much on my mind and heart, but putting it all to words has become difficult. Perhaps you noticed if you were so fortunate to receive one of out Christmas cards this year. Sorry...

I could blame the writer's block on the fact that I grade horrible writing all day now that I'm teaching language arts to 5th-8th graders. Is horrible writing contagious? They try, but most fail. Can you guess what one of my goals for 2013 is?

I could blame it on the fact that I just see more opportunity for living life in full swing, which means less time spent at the computer. Our family is growing faster, and I just cannot seem to stop them. I'm afraid to look down for fear that I will miss something. My eyes are focused upward and onward right along with all of them.

Or... I could just stop trying to place blame and get on with it. That is, welcoming another year full of wondering. Isn't it sweet when you get to a new place in life when wondering isn't a bad thing, but a magical thing? That is exactly how I feel at the beginning of this new year. I am excited about all that God is going to do through our lives and in our lives this year! There are many changes on the horizon.

At the top of the list is the fact that in a few short months we will have our first driving child birthed out of this home. Hmmm... I wonder what that will be like?

Second from the top of the list is that we will see another one of ours graduate from 8th grade and move into high school. As parents, there is much to wonder about when sending children into high school. I wonder what it will be like to have TWO of our boys going to high school together?

Over the past couple of years, home has been redefined in this home. We are home now, but where will home be on this day next year? We do not know, but God does. I can only wonder....

So we begin another year of wondering. At the end of 2013, I will no longer wonder about the things I wonder about today. Those questions will be answered for me, and I will move on to another whole new set of things to occupy my thoughts. I think that is what makes it magical... Not in a mystical way, but in a spiritual way. God is FULL of wonder. He wants to surprise us! Accepting that idea has been key to a changed heart in me. A changed heart, and a heart definitely more at peace.

Here's to looking upward and onward together... Continuing to be contently full of wonder.