Friday, January 23, 2015

Tomorrow Will Worry About Itself

It has been a while since I blogged about my kids. They are still top-notch priority around here, even if my mommy-voice is silent amidst the storm of grown-up issues.
But as my son begins his second semester of 7th grade, I cannot keep quiet much longer. There is just....soooo much.
Like, how many times have I thought to myself, "he is just like you were!" And internally groan, regretting that I passed on THAT DNA.
And how often do I hear myself say to him, "Don't talk to me like that!" And my mother seems to be here in spirit...and voice...and I think, "Aaaaah...this is how she felt when I was this age."

Twelve years ago, besides telling my husband "he's yours when he is twelve" out of fear of raising pre-teen boys, I seriously tricked myself into thinking it would be different. We would raise him differently than I was, speak different types of affirmation than I received, never do it the old way but parent the new, improved way.

So what happened?

Part of me feels guilt for the crappy way my husband and I handled this past year. Perhaps that stress tossed all my good intentions out the window, and for the need of survival, we just fell into a miserable pattern of bickering mama and grumpy teen. Did I push him into resenting me? Is my poor effort at keeping everything "peaceful" around here, revving up bitterness in my son?

Yeah, mama guilt is readily available when you have non-parenting-heat contributing to the fire.

But, like I have said before, this is a new year, and I am waving goodbye to all that garbage. And, even though my husband and I have a long ways to go in the figuring-it-out department, I can do something in the parenting department that I keep trying to do in my marriage...

Take it one day at a time.

There is something in me that wants to make a plan that works indefinitely and ends in success at a high school graduation where my son gives the speech and thanks his parents for a job well-done. Ha!
Thank you Hollywood for delusion.

This past year, I have felt the repercussions of such planning (ahem...dreaming)...: It sets you up for a very long and painful fall. Expectations are dashed, and you flounder around wondering how life can ever be the same. Um, life is never suppose to be the same. It is ever-changing. So, my new philosophy of taking it one day at a time seems to fit the bill for raising a pre-teen, too.

God said "Don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself."

Ain't that the truth?

I am casting off the mommy-guilt as best as I can. We might have a whole slue of bickering and arguing and ugly words behind us, but they have got to stay in the yesterday so we can work on the present. Tomorrow will be here before I know it, and I can't have anything holding me back!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Fury of the Wind

Began this 19 year journey here:

Matthew 14:22-27 - Directly after this Jesus insisted on his disciples' getting aboard their boat and going on ahead to the other side, while he himself sent the crowds home. And when he had sent them away he went up the hill-side quite alone, to pray. When it grew late he was there by himself while the boat was by now a long way from the shore at the mercy of the waves, for the wind was dead against them. In the small hours Jesus went out to them, walking on the water of the lake. When the disciples caught sight of him walking on the water they were terrified. "It's a ghost!" they said, and screamed with fear. But at once Jesus spoke to them. "It's all right! It's I myself, don't be afraid!" 
14:28 - "Lord, if it's really you," said Peter, "tell me to come to you on the water." 
14:29a - "Come on, then," replied Jesus. 
14:29b-33 - Peter stepped down from the boat and did walk on the water, making for Jesus. But when he saw the fury of the wind he panicked and began to sink, calling out, "Lord save me!" At once Jesus reached out his hand and caught him, saying, "You little-faith! What made you lose your nerve like that?" Then, when they were both aboard the boat, the wind dropped. The whole crew came and knelt down before Jesus, crying, "You are indeed the Son of God!"

Waiting for His hand...

Monday, January 12, 2015

A Purpose of His Own

My husband and I had a debate this morning. And he was arguing the fact that many believing folk tell non-believing folk that they don't know how they can live without a purpose. This really gets under non-believers' skin. Non-believers embrace a purpose every day. The thing is, just because they don't have a divinely-inspired purpose, doesn't mean that they don't have a Divinely-planned purpose.  They choose to embrace the more explainable, tangible one. The human-limited one. Because really, God can orchestrate man regardless of their knowledge of it.
He's God.
Yeah, that's about it.
Here's an analogy to describe it. This man found his purpose. But it was his own limited mind that assigned it. What greater things he could have done if he chose to seek the One who could offer the man purpose viewed from His perch above?
There was a man who believed that there was no such need for a boss or authority or a guide. He could seek his purpose alone with no goals list, objectives, or rules.
He was smart enough.
He found an empty office at an unnamed building with no particular person to direct or guide him, and he took a seat at the desk.
While he sat there, without guidance or goals, he began to make up his own. He worked hard and diligently. He discovered his purpose, self-imposed as it was, and began to produce good from the office he had chosen for himself.
At the end of the long, productive day, he walked out of the office and ran into a business man at the corner.
"Who are you?" The business man asked.
"I am Joe. I work here."
"You do?"
"Yes. I found that office and I have worked hard and long all day."
"But who hired you?"
"What is your job title?"
"I don't need one. I have worked diligently and found my purpose." And Joe took the business man to his office and showed him spreadsheet upon spreadsheet. "See. I have solved all these problems and deserve to be paid."
"But we don't do this type of work here. You've wasted your time."
"What?" Joe was upset.
"If you would have found the boss, he would have given you the work that needed to be done. You've done work that is good, but it is reserved for the suite next door. They are experts. What a shame for you."
"So I wasted all my time?"
"I suppose. But, the boss would have given you something grander than spreadsheets. His assignments are indescribable."
And Joe's spreadsheets fell to the floor. They didn't look as impressive as he thought. His self-imposed purpose paled in comparison to what the man mentioned of the boss's assigned one. And Joe left the office, leaving behind work that had a purpose, on his scale. And he told himself that was enough, because he could not believe there was a greater purpose for his work. He was the only one who knew his capability, and nobody could change him.
So he left the building and began to search for a new empty desk at a different unnamed building with out a boss or a guide, except himself.
All the while, the boss tucked away a Purposeful work plan for the man who might walk in the doors and ask to join His company.

Monday, January 5, 2015

How I Found Peace in His Mystery

I sit here and wonder what has changed.
Why is peace an actual feeling I find after a year of turmoil and regret?
How do I manage to enjoy life, when just last month it seemed too much to bear?

What in the world has changed?

I can't really tell for sure. But I think...and I might just eat my words at the next go round of blogging...because I am a foot-eater...many, many times.

But..for now, I think my peace has been found because my perspective has changed. And I am not talking about a one-moment time. I am talking about that ol' school analogy of the Refiner's Fire. I have peace because I have finally realized just how big God is...and how much GRACE He truly has...not just for me the believer, but for those who don't even believe.

Yep. You can say I am wrong, that I am being a weenie in the evangelical world. But, if there is one thing living with an atheist has taught me, it's the dangers of preaching my own darn agenda. Ugh. There are three things I used to do that push non-believers further and further away from Truth:

1. In the past, I have said that I know what God's saying. Um...that is just not okay. I have a sliver of a glimpse at who God is and what He says He does, but in my every day circumstances I think it's safe to say, "Perhaps" and "Maybe" and "I wonder"...because putting words in the mouth of God is just...dangerous.

It's risking the salvation of those around me...those who I might just be there to help along the path called faith.

When I say "I know" or "God said this to me" (and I didn't hear Him but I just "think") I put God in a very constricting box that can be reasoned away from existence, that can be considered luny to the every day non-believer.

It's giving God a bad rap...even if the intentions are pure.

2. I treated the Bible as a science book. It's a very very important's my only firm foundation in God's heart and His ways...but now, I truly believe it was never meant to explain the intricacy of creation nor to be something we sift through to distinguish God's perfect timing in our present. God is SOOOO much bigger than the words man is inspired by. And absolutely, the inspiration is from God, but I don't think it could ever explain away the amazing mystery of God. I truly believe that the intricacy of scientific discovery is a gift from God to lead his creation in their curiosity...but we will never know all of it. That's the beauty of it, really. A longing to discover, and a Provider who will lead us and gift us the knowledge as He feels is best.

3. I used to disregard the magnitude of God. I'd minimize Him to be my best friend and my genie. I expected blessings because of my belief, and I considered EVERYTHING materialistic, healthy, and life-giving a blessing from God. What of curses? What of those who have dying babies and dying wives and bankruptcy? Is God not there for those people? Something that I find disturbing is when people equate earthly blessings with faithfulness and obedience. I think that God is so much deeper than the material. Could a blessing not be the character born from trials? Could a blessing not be the broken spirit crying for God because her husband has turned his back on faith? Isn't the shaping of the heart the most coveted blessing? I fear it is not in this world of "I give, so I must receive." And the rich atheistic billionaires out there say, "Ha. What is blessing if I have it all?" They scoff at our God and think they've proven His nonexistence.

I truly apologize if I've stepped on toes. But I am truly honest when I find that I can only point the source of my peace to really stepping away from "knowing it all" and embracing the fact that "I'll never know it all" and God's Grace truly is without bounds.

Prayer. I need it. And I need to remind myself every day Who God is and What He Has Done For Me...but not in the house, the kids, the life...but in my heart. In my complete brokenness knowing I am not worth any of it...except through His Grace.

And by His Grace, I am a treasure. I am loved.

Happy 2015!