Monday, February 22, 2010

A Wild Man's Heart

My second born son is a wild, wild man. There is not much he is afraid of, or unwilling to try. ( This also makes him NOT AT ALL LIKE HIS MOTHER!)
He's passionate about everything, whether he loves something completely or dislikes something completely. There is no gray with this child!
He has two volumes, loud and extra loud.
He loves with his whole heart whether it is his Momma and Daddy, baby sister or Jesus. We are still working on the loving the big brother with the whole heart, although I must say we're making progress. (Of course, now that I typed that to share with the world, they will break out into WW3 this afternoon!)

This past weekend, J, had a birthday party for one of his buddies. Excitement was in the air, present was wrapped and hair was slicked back-for at least of few minutes.

Lecture on behavior; given, reviewed and given again.

We arrived and I was allowed to kiss him goodbye( in public no less!), told the birthday boys momma I'd be back at the given time and that I'd be praying for her, and also that she could sit on J if needed.

We were at a mall so the other two kiddos an I made our way around and as the time for pick up approached, headed to the store that was attached to the party room.
The party room has glass walls that look into the store.

I stood there looking at J, having fun with his friends, volume level set between loud and extra loud. Smiling and laughing, seemingly enjoying himself.

When I picked him up he very sweetly told his buddy thanks for the invite and the bday boys momma thank you too. Smiling, carrying his treasure he received from the party.

But, as we walked about 5 feet away, he said 'Momma can I tell you something in your ear?' Well, of course that immediately got my attention as I looked down to say yes and those big brown eyes were filling with tears.
'Oh, what is it Baby?'
'Can I tell you in your ear?'
So, I bent down as my wild man was trying so desperately not to let the tears spill.
'Momma, I got embarrassed.' *sniff, sniff*
'You got embarrassed? What happened?' * trying to not go into Mother Lion mode-who dared embarrass my child!!

He proceeded to tell me a story, which calmed the Mother lion. Basically, I think, because of his wild man ways someone did something to him that I am sure they thought he would find funny and that he could take. I am sure they meant no harm, but my wild man experienced an emotion he isn't so familiar with, he was embarrassed.
So, we talked, hugged and found the chocolate store. Everyone smiling again.

As I was thinking about this over the weekend, I began thinking about the people in my life that I think are one way that very well may be feeling something quite different on the inside.
I got to thinking about when God sent Samuel to anoint a new king for Israel and Samuel asked if He was sure it was to be the youngest son, a Shepard boy. God said, Don't worry about Samuel, you see the outside, I see the heart. (Angie paraphrase)

And, I began to wonder; How many times have I done that? How many times have I either sold someone short on what they were able to do, or the opposite, that 'Oh, they can handle that, they're tough'.
I don't know how many times, but I'm sure it's been more than I'd care to think!

Lord, help see others the way you see them! Help me not presume they are one way, because of how they act in another. Help me look past the outside and see the heart. It will require more work on my part, because it's so much easier to make an assumption then look deep within to someones heart.
Give me your eyes to see!
And, thank you for seeing my heart and loving every part of me!
Thursday, February 18, 2010

He's just a lousy, you know what. . . .

I have tried desperately to keep this blog from having anything to do with politics. Which if you know me at all, you KNOW how hard that has been! I've got some opinions and convictions which I hold very dearly.
But, this is a place where I've tried to put Jesus and things He's shows me everyday above the fray of politics. But this one has pushed me over the edge- and you might just be surprised at why.

My inbox is often filled with political cartoons, petitions, news items, etc.
Some I laugh at, some infuriate me!

We received one of the later kind the other day.
It was a picture of the President with his feet up on the Resolute Desk.
The email proceeded to call him an ugly slur, well actually his mother an ugly slur and he was just her by product if you know what I mean.
To be precise they didn't use the 'B' word technically, just the initials.

I just don't think that's ok. Why do we think we must make our point with this kind of over the line talk? Please, keep in mind that I received this from good, Bible believing, heart in the right place people. But, when did we decided that it was ok to use the same tactics as the world?
I realize these people don't like the President and don't agree with him on anything.
I don't agree either. I'm about as conservative a person politically as they come.
But, can we not make our point without the use of expletives and demeaning words?

This really isn't a political post. It's more the rambling thoughts of a mom who is so tired of, at every turn having to guard her eyes and mind against assaults. It is one thing if the assaults are coming from the world, it's another when they are coming from inside the church.

Our greatest calling is to be salt and light. How can we do those things when we have become so calloused to the sin around us that we act exactly like the things we are to be lighting and flavoring?

I am sure I am the greatest offender in this area! My heart is dark with sin and I certainly don't want to be judgemental.
God help this be a reminder to me, to check everything through the lens of 'Does this please you?'
And, even when I have a point to make that my greatest thought would be 'Can others see Jesus in me through this?'

An email seems so trivial doesn't it, yet from the trivial the giants grow.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010

18 and counting. . . .

The Hubs and I celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary on Monday.
18 years that have flown by so quickly, that I feel like I've blinked and the years were gone. How does that happen? Days that can seem to drag by but years that are suddenly gone?

We were such babies when we were married. I had just turned 20 when this handsome Airman came and stole my heart. Our first date was on Aug. 31 and we were engaged on Sept. 13th. Yes, of the same year.
Sounds romantic doesn't it?? And in so many ways it was!
We were to young and stupid to be scared senseless!

A boy who had come from a background of dysfunction and alcoholism and a girl who didn't think she might just disappoint but that at her core was a disappointment.( I have no idea where that come from either. Great parents who loved each other, grew up in the church and loving Jesus. But, I have always struggled with that emotion. Did not really gain any victory in that area until my late 20's early 30's.)

So, with all the baggage the two of us set out on this journey of life together.
I could lie and say it's been all sunshine and roses. Romance every night and that we never argue. But, that would totally be a lie.
But, the true part - that part that is laid open and bare would say that it hasn't always been easy, but it's always been worth it!
The hubs and I have dealt with the loss of dear loved ones, infertility, military deployments, financial struggles, children with some serious medical issues and some pretty deep wounds of childhood which often leads a person to some pits of sin.
In the midst of all that, I can truly say that the good has out weighed the bad, that the happy has been more than the sad. And that I cannot imagine walking through this life journey with any one other than the Hubs!
God grace has been so real and evident. He has loved us where we were and carried us through some significant storms. But, through the storms of life, He has been there!

When people ask us, how we do it ( because sadly 18 years is a long time these days) I can only say, the same as everyone else-By the grace of God.
God created the first family, knew the conflicts that would arise, yet out of all the scenarios He could chosen, He picked a man and a women to show us His great plan of love and redemption. Knowing the pain they would cause and the conflict that would arise, He still chose the family to weave His story through.

So, Thank you, Honey for being the kind of man a women can respect and love. The kind of man who can have a tea party with his girl one day and take his boys fishing the other. Thank you, for helping me unpack baggage you didn't even realize I was carrying! For loving Jesus before the rest of us! For thinking that I can do anything I set my mind too, and never holding me back! For flowers on ordinary days, for music to sing along too and for babies that have you to call daddy! After Jesus, you are the love of my life and I cannot wait to see what the next 18 years bring!! Your kiss still gives me butterflies and I am so thankful you've chosen to love me!

And, thank you Lord, for bringing us together. For being the glue that was sticking us together when our flesh would have just walked away. For grace in the hard times. And beauty in the faces of our babies. I see your handiwork in each corner of my life and I'll never be able to say Thank You enough!
Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Middle School Mamma

Last night the Christian school our kiddos attended had it's quarterly 'Society' meeting. ( I realize the word Society sounds like we belong to some secret cult, but really it's not the case. We are basically a parent run/operated school, instead of a church run Christian school. OK Now that we've gotten that out of the way. . )
And the BIG NEWS is that, for next year the incoming 6th graders will be apart of the Middle school. So, C will be a middle school er next year.
To say that I AM NOT PREPARED for this, would perhaps be, the UNDERSTATEMENT of the year!
Middle school has so many negative connotations for me. Might be from the baggage I carry from an AWFUL 7th grade and only slightly better 8th grade experience. I don't know, you think?
So, hearing this news last night, sent me into a tail spin for about an hour or so.
I mean, we are talking about my firstborn here, or as we like to refer to him, 'Our practice child'. This is a road unpaved for us. This road involves some levels of maturity yet to be obtained in our household -if you know what I mean.
Not that we didn't know this was coming. We just thought we had another year to prepare for the BIG MOVE from elementary to middle school.
But, as my sense of overwhelming panic subsided ( no, I'm not OVER DRAMATIC at all!!) this thought kept running through my head and the still small voice, that I am often so guilty of drowning out with my big loud worries, was saying:" Don't you know, I've already prepared the way for C? Believe me when I say, I love him more than you can imagine. Do you not know by now that I have only the best laid out for him. And haven't I brought you through so much more than this? Do you believe what I've told you or not? Give your worries to me, after all, I am actually the One who can do something about them."
Stopped me in my tracks. I gave C, back to Jesus along time ago. He's 11, but it took us 6 years to be blessed to be called his parents. Six years of me telling Jesus, like Hannah of the Old Testament. "Give me son and I will give him back to you." So, you see, C was given back long ago. Of course, that doesn't mean I don't try and snatch him back often!! Like last night when I was struck with the dreaded words 'Middle School'.

So, as I am learning over and over, the giving all of our kiddos back to Jesus is a daily process (sometimes hourly). I am also reminded once again that our Heavenly Father knows EXACTLY what it is like to give a son away.
Who better could love and care for my children?