Saturday, May 10, 2008

Something to Brag About

Old topic, nothing new.

My oldest is graduating from high school this year. Oh dear, now all of you will know that I am not young and svelte! Anything, but! Nevertheless, my son is one of these rare, mature young men ready to race after life with both hands open. Completely fearless, he trusts that God will take care of all his needs. And of course, he is right.

Why then, do I feel afraid? Not that the Lord won't do what He has promised, but that it might not look like I want it to look. It might not be flashy enough for all the other parents who know us. It might even look pretty ordinary.

What is so wrong with a regular life? Why are we always wanting to create an allusion? If he wants to go to an ordinary college, take a wife and have children where is the crime?

He's an intelligent young man with all doors open, but he wants to lead a quiet life, work with his hands and give back to others. How do you brag about that?

You don't. That's the point.

I went to a graduation ceremony last night for some of his peers. Judging by what was said, all of the graduates have shining, pristine futures ahead of them. But one brave mother got up in front of the crowd and shared the truth about her son.

"He worked hard, but he struggled," she said. The road to graduation has been hard.

Not difficult. Hard.

Then she said something wonderful. "He takes me for ice cream, his treat!"

Now, that is something to brag about.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Of All the Things to Get Rid Of

Wow! I went to a used book sale last night and found some of the most wonderful things. Of course, I am thrilled, but I began to look at the other side of the question. Why were these books discarded? Oh, I know, perhaps they came from estate sales or garage sales or perhaps the person has no need of this particular book any longer.


This book sale was comprised of relatively young people with children who had perhaps outgrown these books. Who am I to judge if someone wants to get rid of a piece of history or something that perhaps their own children might want to use with their future children? Yes, yes, we can't store everything, but...

Sometimes we forget in the moment that there will be more moments...future moments. I guess what I'm trying to say is that when we so easily discard those treasures from the past I believe we oftentimes discard our entire experience. Especially as women. We think that a chapter has closed on our lives and it has, but the things that we have learned, perhaps even from those no longer needed books will be needed. They are needed right now, by someone.

Even when we have finished that chapter or book in our lives we will still need to read and re-read it again. So will each generation following us.

Our Audacity

It continually amazes me how we can so easily forget while blogging or speaking into cyberspace that real people, people who can be offended, hurt, confused or verbally maimed by our writing are online, reading our blog.

Flesh and blood people, people we know, those that we love and care deeply about are reading.

What is writing about? Is it to simply air our grievances, vent our rage, express our opinion or is it something more? Words can cut with the intention to heal or to hurt. Words can educate with the intent to lift up or to criticize.

I am not gifted at writing by any means, but I value writing because I am an avid reader. I read everything, yes, including that proverbial cereal box. I simply cannot help myself. However, as a reader, I know that I am seeking solace, not condemnation, education, not sarcasm about my obvious ignorance, and genuine sincerity that I can relate to, not hidden hypocrisy that makes me feel as though only the favored live Godly problem-free lives.

Let us be so careful when we put "pen to paper" so to speak. Frail people with real needs may be reading.

Just my thoughts.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

He's Always On Time

I am usually on time. I can get to an appointment without too much scramble, but I certainly have days when nothing goes right and I am frustrated or even embarrassed by my lateness or forgetfulness. I was so blown away by the Lord yesterday. Change is coming to our family. We are opening our home for church in April. This is exciting, but change can be scary to others. Perhaps they don't understand what you feel the Lord is calling you to or perhaps having a vision outside the box just doesn't compute. Perhaps you, too, have experienced this reaction when you began to tell people that you were going to homeschool. I know I did. Anyway, when the pressure is on, sometimes I second guess my decision and begin to wonder if I really heard from the Lord. Yesterday, I got a devotional from a newletter group that I subscribe to and was totally amazed. The jist of the devotion was that sometimes, even if we have heard rightly from God, it will be questioned, judged, and even condemned by others. God is still on the throne. He is still in control. He will never leave or forsake us. He wants our ultimate best. Reading that devotion was wonderful. He is always on time!

I'm So Thankful

I know that everyone goes through times of testing, times of teaching, times of temptations. Why am I so surprised when they come to me? Perhaps in my secret heart of hearts I just don't expect to go through the things that everyone goes through. My life is so blessed (wonderful marriage, children trying to follow the Lord, God's financial provision, etc.) that sometimes it must seem to others that I live a charmed life. But, when the pain of fibromyalgia gets me down or my wonderful little girl struggles to communicate with others and I see the confusion on their faces, I realize that God is using dfferent things in each of our lives to shape us into His image, into the likeness of Christ and I am awed. Life is truly good. I am truly thankful.

When Everything Seems Too Hard

My father-in-law died on December 28. We had no assurance of salvation. This has been so difficult for us, but even more difficult for our children. Someone said the most amazing thing to us:
God has him in His hands. God is completely fair.

She's right. God does all things well. He never gets it wrong.
We are thankful.

Just When You Think You Have That Conquered

I lost my patience last night with my ds who struggles with an auditory and language processing issue. Worst of all, he was trying to read the Bible with me and understand truths that even many adults struggle with as well. I found myself just wanting the reading session to be over. I thought that I had finally reached a point where the Lord had given me the grace to deal with this. I suddenly realized that I was still far from the target. Oh, I kept my cool on the outside, but the sin is the same. How hurt he would have been if he could have seen my heart last night.
Oddly enough, he lost his patience with his three year old sister today. She was trying to do things for herself and had spilled milk and left the water nozzle on our water purifier running while attempting to get her own water. I found plenty of patience for her and was able to help him see that she was trying her best.
Perhaps the Lord was trying to help me see how infinitely patient He is with us all. We try our best, but sometimes we spill our milk, so to speak, and we just can't clean it up without help.

The Sandwich Generation

I am beginning to realize truly what it means to be a part of the "sandwich generation". For those of you who have not heard of this before, it means that you are "sandwiched" between your aging parents and your children that are still at home. My husband and I are now beginning to watch our parents die while trying to nurture three teenagers and a three-year-old. I got a call from my mother sharing about my father's fragile heart and under-functioning remaining kidney and, of course, I am terribly saddened by this news. We live around the block, so to speak, from my parents, and minutes from my husband's. It has been so wonderful for our children to have their grandparents be able to participate in their schooling and in their growing up and that will soon come to an end. I suddenly realized that the baton is being passed. I will soon be responsible to nurture the next generation and that is a beautiful, yet frightening proposition. I am so grateful to the Lord. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. I guess we are never really ready for that passing of the baton. I could never actively choose to grasp it in my hand and begin to run. Thank you, Lord, for making that kind of decision for me...

Has Anyone Seen My Purse?

Yes, I am the proverbial loser of the purse, keys, important pieces of paper, even after having read countless books about organization and home management. But, wonder of wonders, my children and my wonderful husband, and most importantly, my Lord, all still love me. They even help me search for my purse! I love to make useful things that my family can use, but what I really enjoy is good conversation with my loved ones just sharing what the Lord says about us personally and about His incredible creation, man. I am especially excited to read what others are sharing, because that is how I learn best, by listening to wiser women than myself. It will be wonderful to get to know some of you through this fascinating journey called homeschooling. Thank you for sharing with me.