Monday, March 26, 2012

Losing Grace!

You can let go now dear, we've made it back home....let go
LET GO, you're going to share that thing with me you know!! 

I know, pretty ironic that my next blog would be 'Losing Grace', right? Years and years ago, when I only had two children, I had a day care, 6 kids a day, 5 days a week, every week. "How do you do that?", so many would ask. "It's easy and it's fun", I would reply and although some days were more work than others for the most part it was fun. It was organized and scheduled so that everyone knew what to do. Then we moved. I had made a deal with God that if my husband were to make so much money I would stay home with my kids and just spend time with them. But when we got settled I was once again tempted to start another day care....until I had 5 kids in the house at one time for several hours. What happened.....I don't know, I just know that when it was over I knew that the grace to have a day care was gone! completely! Several times, because I had a bunch of preschool stuff, I tried to get back into it. However, just because you have the stuff, just because your qualified, just because you know how and you like to do it doesn't mean, for now, that it is what God wants you to do. So I waited. Last year I finally gave away my preschool boxes.....over 20 years later! I'm not really a hoarder....I was just waiting....just in case.

Back to the present. I have been home schooling my children for over 20 years but I feel like that grace is slipping. I have two boys left, next year will be their Senior more year. Surely you don't think God is asking me to stop one year before completion. I don't know, all I do know is that we aren't organized, we don't seem to have a schedule and I feel more like I'm in over my head than ever before. Maybe, I'm just tired.

Last week I finished my last Sunday School lesson and turned in my resignation. It was a Ladies SS Class. For a full month only one person was showing up and I'm not sure it wasn't out of sympathy. This week someone showed up who hadn't been there in six weeks....she didn't know where to go. Did I hear wrong? In a church of 400 you should have  more than 1 person....shouldn't you?

I need grace to hear you Lord, I need to recognize your voice above my emotions. I'm tired of the guessing games.  I need the grace to let go if that is your will for me. I need the motivation to act on something outside myself. We still have two more months to finish out this year, I need a schedule, they need a schedule. I can't seem to find the strength to insist that it be done my way or even on that letting go? I don't think so, that's just being lazy! Maybe I just need a shot of energy in the arm.
Galatians 6:9-10  And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

How Come I Get all the Grace?

Perfect hair do
Perfect stance
everything should go....perfectly, right?

Almost a year ago my son Daniel had open heart surgery. The whole incident was a tremendous God story. He was born with a vessel going straight through his heart. It should have been neatly laying on top. Fourteen year old Daniel has always been active but when he started basketball he was pushed beyond just being active and the sharp pain over the top of his heart made us take notice. Through it all God pushed us to take action, gave us wisdom, then gave us peace. We had the best doctors, the best hospital and there was never any doubt in my mind that Daniel was going to come through "fixed" and ready to go out and play some more basketball. I have been wrong before but I figured if God had sustained his life for this long, it was obviously for a purpose. He could have died, any day, running and jumping like any ordinary boy but God held him firm. He hurt his back at the beginning of basketball that year and wasn't able to go full speed the whole season. He bought a pair of running shoes that he was anxious to try out, they delayed the shipping almost a whole month...until after we had a diagnosis. God planned out every step along the way.
Chelsea a beautiful little 5 year old had a heart defect from birth also. She recently underwent open heart surgery. A week later she was fighting for her life in ICU because of complications. Many, many prayers went up for Chelsea asking for God's healing power.  God chose to give Chelsea the ultimate healing, Chelsea went to be with the Lord.  All up and down facebook are memories and pictures of sweet Chelsea. They had a Celebration of Life for her and released balloons. She was beautiful but today her family grieves. Do they have peace or are their minds churning with 'why" questions?  Did God also plan this out every step of the way? I know that God is still good and he was there.
Isaiah 55:11  So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
Sometimes I get it into my head that I deserved that. I didn't. You can't do anything good enough to deserve the love, acceptance or favor of God. King David was one of his favorites, but God took his first born son. Granite we all say, he deserved it because of his adultery with Basheeba. But don't we all "deserve it" for one sin or another? I mean it should be that anything good we get should come as a shock, not the other way around. Let's face it, how many of us can honestly say we are unselfish and totally devoted to God and his ways no matter what? I am constantly trying to understand and put some reason to God's grace and the way he doles it out.  Is he giving Chelsea's family enough grace and understanding to realize there are no guarantees and to graciously be grateful for the time they had with Chelsea. Will they be able to comfort others that lose children. What was the point?
Isaiah 55:9  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
I will probably not understand until I get to heaven, and even then maybe not. The more I try, the more confused I become. God's grace and mercy is amazing and I know that we ALL have more than we deserve. Sometimes I feel guilty because I seem to have an over abundance! If Daniel had died would I have been grateful for the years we got to have with him, or would I have turned into a bitter, angry woman. I can not say for sure, I don't think anyone knows until they have actually gone through it. Some have gone through a tremendous amount of pain and others seem to float along with only minor hurdles. But I can not judge what goes on inside, only God can. I can only leave it to him and trust his judgment. Thank-you God for your mercy and grace in my family, I am overwhelmed because of the blessing you have poured out on our family. Please be with Chelsea's family and provide them with mercy and grace enough to bring them comfort and peace.

Romans 9:14-16  What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy..

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Killing Two Birds With One Stone

Don't Panic, I'm not dead yet.
I just need a little loving kindness and I'll be back to normal!

It came out of no where. Well, actually a secret arsenal had been building up. I had no idea it even existed!! Joshua called, and ask if he could stay a third night with his friends. Red flags went up and I knew he shouldn't but I said yes anyway, because I couldn't think of a good reason to say no. He did have school work to do the next day but he assured me he had gotten enough sleep the night before. Before I got through with the phone call, however, I had to ask the usual motherhood questions. Where are you, who are you with, etc.... It was not so much the questions as it was the way I was asking them.... after each answer I would say...sooooo you've just gotten out of the movies. Sooooo your with Tyler and John. Sooooo and on and on it went. Each time the "sooooo" said "I'm really not believing you." 
My daughter, Melody, who always has an opinion, is overly honest and sometimes excessively negative was listening to the conversation. First mistake:  I ask after I got off  the phone what she was thinking. "I wouldn't want to come home either." she boldly replied. I went off, not a little bit, a lot of bit, a wicked witch of the west bit, I can't remember the last time I acted that bad bit!  It could have been the nonchalant way she said it like she was a know it all and had already raised her children. More likely though it was and is my raw feelings towards my own judgment of my progress with my relationship with Joshua. I really believe that I am making progress. It is slow but it is progress!  
The next day I paid again for wanting to be a "yes mom" and not wanting to rock the boat. In fact I almost capsized it completely! Monday after Joshua got home he slept until 1. Although he had gotten enough sleep the Saturday night, obviously Sunday night was a different story. I ask him to do three things that day, finish your school work(1 subject he was behind in) take out the trash and clean your bathroom.  By 6:00 he said (not asked) he was going into town with his dad, just for a couple of hours. I said no, but he said the paper was done, and he would clean the bathroom when he got back home it would only take 15 minutes... 6:30, I discover the paper is not finished....only part of it. 9:00 the paper is finished, 11:00 PM the bathroom is still not finished, threats, reminders, etc ensue...I go to bed (3 different times) lacking any peace, in fact their isn't any peace in the whole house.    
I apologized to Miranda, she was right, and if I were honest I wouldn't come home either. But whether she will be that honest with me again remains to be seen. The worst part is that I DID ask her for her opinion. Joshua had not told the "whole" truth..there were others with them, girls to be exact, not a good trust builder. Not that they were doing anything wrong, but it's just the idea; Can I trust you, when it looks like you're hiding something? Yes, he got the bathroom clean and he didn't get grounded for his procrastination.  
So where do I go from here, Which way is up. Well for one thing I should have trusted my instincts and just said no, enough is enough, come home. I also should have stuck to my no the next day on staying home and finishing the three things I asked him to do for the day. Thirdly, setting consequences for the procrastination was fine but emotionally pounding them into the ground was unnecessary and did not change the circumstances or help anyone. I was more frustrated with myself than anyone else. Overall it was the feeling of being shanghaied or swindled.  I'm sure you could throw a little pride into the mix too, but it was no one's fault but my own. The manipulation process takes two people, the manipulator and the one that allows themselves to be manipulated. I let my guard down.  I still have authority, I still have some control. I am in the process of releasing control over to God but transitions are messy and nothing is concrete. The whole process will probably be several years down the road or when he is financially independent of us. Until then how will I know when to let him make decisions or when to be a yes mom or a no mom. Again I say, it's messy. I will have to stay alert and close to God, and listen and at the same time continue practicing love and showing kindness towards him. Relationships could have died this night, but God's grace will prevail.

Colossians 3:12-13  Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

1 Peter 5:8  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: