It’s been more than a year since I found a moment to share the words of my heart through this forum; unbelievable to think that a year has past already! I remember being a teenager and thinking my life would NEVER really start. Now, many years later, my life has indeed started and is in fact passing so quickly. I have a teenager who is sprouting like a weed and three more following closely in his footsteps. LIFE IS BUSY! It’s the kind of busy that is amazingly rewarding but also keeps you from stopping to smell the roses without purposeful steps.
I’VE BEEN BUSY…
It has been a few weeks since I’ve touched the pages of this blog. I could say it’s because I’ve been busy and that would be true to a degree…I’ve been busy reacquainting myself with my children after a very long year of being tied up with studies, I’ve been busy galavanting through the natural beauty of the province I live in, I’ve been busy reconnecting with friends whom get neglected when the chaos of school and extra-curricular takes priority, I’ve been busy, busy, busy.
OR PERHAPS I HAVEN’T HAD MUCH TO SAY.
I love blogging. I love journalling. It gives me a chance to look back and see where I’ve been, how my journey has unfolded and perhaps give me insight into where I’m headed. But there are times that life goes quiet. I contemplated an update about how life was going in our home earlier in the summer but it seemed a bit silly to spend time sitting in front of a blank screen and imagine some important words to share when really life has been pretty average.
AVERAGE BUT AWESOME!
Okay “average” makes it sound like we’ve done nothing and that’s not entirely true. James and I navigated an across the world trip for 12 days that was amazingly successful and enjoyed that opportunity immensely. Our children survived and even more than enjoyed their time with both sets of grandparents. We’ve done some pretty cool small trips with our kids this summer. I took the kids to Whistler at for a few days with friends and we enjoyed the sights of a magnificent piece of nature that I haven’t seen in 13 years. The six of us also headed to Seattle for a day and night for a Mariners game and to stay in a hotel. It was only one night but our kids were ecstatic to have our attention for 48 hours and the thrill of a hotel with a pool never seems to lose its appeal. We did the PNE for a day and I took the kids back to Whistler with my parents to experience the peaks of those beautiful mountains. We stayed in “our own backyard”, so to speak, and enjoyed all it had to offer.
We’ve also spent a great deal of time with family, cousins and friends just basking in the glorious weather and the joy of being spontaneous! Sleepovers, BBQs, bowling, swimming, etc. have been incredibly fabulous.
As our summer has drawn to a close we’ve faced some serious uncertainty! Many families on our side of the Coast are in the same boat. The usual anticipation, anxiety, and excitement has turned to a seemingly endless summer. While my kids are not really upset by the whole situation, I feel the wearing on them and the need of return to routine. We’re trying to make the best of a situation that appears to have no end. A return to the routine of extra-curricular activities, the addition of a few “educational” endeavors at home and the hope that school will return to regular session VERY soon.
As we get back to some of the normal things we do I’m hoping to add a few more thoughts to my blog! Share some of the joys of parenting, marriage and eventually joys of my new journey of teaching.
“Should Girls Be Highly Educated“…There are rarely things that get me super heated I feel the need to respond with such tenacity but this was the title of a blog post I came across on Facebook today and felt physically ill as I read it. Perhaps in reading her commentary I misinterpreted her points but honestly being in the place I’m in at the moment, it felt like a punch in the gut. I will NEVER underestimate the value of the time I’ve had at home with my children as a mother. I know being able to stay at home with my babies was a blessing many mothers are not afforded for a variety of reasons and some by choice. What I found so hard to swallow was the mindset this viewpoint portrays. Being thinly veiled as a “biblical” principle with a few select verses to support her argument I found it, quite frankly, incredibly arrogant to presume that the role for all women, of all time is to be keeper of the home, family and her husband. Below are some of the snippets I found particularly “intriguing” and while I tried to be fair in grabbing things that may have provided equal evidence to her argument it all seemed equally distasteful…
“I’m always surprised to discover these questions typically come from college graduates; teachers, nurses, and others turned homemakers. They have exchanged their diploma for their MRS degree, believing (as I do) that the most important place for a mother is in the home. In the face of cultural opposition, they see the value of a homemaker and understand her importance in light of Scripture….
How many unhappy marriages, broken homes, miserable, desperate wives, and rebellious children will it take before we admit that intentionally preparing our daughter to be keepers of the home is not just “a nice idea,” but a necessary one?…
I will probably write this post multiple times in my life…in fact I found its sister on the pages of my blog from two and half years ago when the letting go was merely beginning. The fact of the matter is that life really is about letting go many times over. We find things, people, events, moments and we reach out to grasp them. We hold them close for a time and then realize it’s time to let go, then we repeat the cycle again with something new and fresh. I find myself in a season of letting go and it’s really not a bad thing, in fact in so many ways it’s been very freeing. If I were to spend time analyzing it I could say it may be the years of maturity or perhaps the realization that I can’t control everything anyway, or even better, things just being pried from my tight grip. Regardless of the circumstance I’m glad I am in a place to experience this immense burden being lifted.
The truth is, that part of my personality has always been to maintain, organize, control (if you will) the situation. My brothers liked to refer to me as the “mother hen” or “bossy pants”, both of which I’ll freely admit to being. My husband teasingly refers to me as his “little planner/organizer”, again both things that I can see as glaringly obvious tendencies. I do think that all of these qualities have their place, they’re all part of my talents and abilities and what makes me who I am, but they can also be part of my weakness. They cause me to hold on too tight, to forget that part of our life journey is to let things go and move ahead. Over the years, I think there are a few areas I’ve held on a little too tightly, my family, both immediate and extended, my friendships, money, reputation, just to name a few. But the last few months I’ve felt my perspective shift a bit. While you may be expecting an amazing experience that led to some great epiphany, the truth is that my eyes are just opening.
The reminder that things can be great and amazing without my firm grip has occurred daily. As I’ve stepped back and opened my hands I’ve seen the great joy that comes with acknowledging that I control little and that there is One who oversees all. Here’s a few, that over the last few weeks have brought me to a place of peace…
An evening with friends, that I could have spent stressing over the budget, or lack thereof. I could have agonized over appetizers or not, steak or salad, a glass of wine with my meal or abstain, dessert or just have something sweet at home but instead I turned to my dear husband and told him to pay the bill and keep it far from my sight. The reward of just enjoying myself was immense. No knot in my stomach wondering how on earth we were going to pay for this.
A dinner with family that I walked into with the soul purpose of enjoying what EVERYONE had to offer. No worries about what may or may not unfold, no apologies for how I handled my children, no desire or need to discuss dos and don’ts, just pure and simple being together.
A last minute dinner with my husband and a co-worker that resulted in leaving our oldest home to baby-sit and for the first time put his sisters to bed. Then to be rewarded by coming home at exactly bedtime, for said little girls, and find both of them peacefully sleeping in bed.
A work event, glitches here and there, but trusting those whom I’ve asked to help and releasing my expectation in exchange for knowledge that what will be, will be.
A spontaneous jaunt to the mall with all four of my kids. Usually a place I avoid, but their desperate plea to shop broke my barriers. A few well placed words and a “letting go” of my usual need to corral and ensure they appear to be the most well-behaved children in the entire universe left me with the amazing opportunity to watch them “grow up” right before my eyes. It was as if they physically sensed my grip loosening and with that realization came the ability for them to finally take that moment to show me just how incredibly great they CAN be.
So many opportunities to experience the peace and joy that comes from recognizing that my need to have it all together generally makes a situation chaotic. When I choose to let go, I give room to experience the bigger picture that my Creator has designed and the ability for others to journey alongside me in the most fulfilling, uplifting way.
I really didn’t have anything particular on my mind but the thought that it’s been awhile since I posted anything on my blog! At the moment I’m sitting at my desk at work contemplating a few ideas I have and wondering if any of them will fly. I’m curious to know if any of the children I work with are grasping the word God has for them…I’m thankful for the people in the church who care enough to share their time with these kids each Sunday morning…I’m glad for friends in my personal life who hold me accountable and allow me to share my heart with them…I’m hoping to hear God’s voice in the midst of all these thoughts and remain quiet enough to distinguish it from the rest of the “chatter” in my brain.
I’ve been reading 1 Samuel! Not everyday, as I probably should, but consistently. I am awed at God…I am inspired by the reality of Samuel’s experience in hearing his Father…I admire David’s graciousness to Saul and his trust in God’s provision…I wish I could just BE, more like them rather than constantly trying to think up new ways to change my habits to emulate them.
I had a moment of truth last night with my oldest. We’ve been reading a christian novel written for kids by Frank Peretti. It’s a mystery and in the end it turns out that there was “evil” at work. An ancient vault was about to be unlocked releasing demons…I know, you might wonder why on earth I would be reading a book like that to my nine-year-old. In truth, I didn’t actually prescreen the book I just assumed that a novel by Frank Peretti would be acceptable material for him to read, especially if it was written for kids. In fact, it created a unique opportunity for me to share with Sam some of the basic beliefs of my faith. The word demons appeared and I realized he’d likely never understood the worD before so I asked him? He was baffled so I began to explain to him how God uses angels as part of His protection over us but that Satan has “warriors” as well that cannot hurt those who are under God’s protection but they will try. He understood but asked me not to use the word demons as it was a “gross” word (funny how without knowing the meaning of the word he instinctively knew it was a word that just doesn’t sit right). Then he paused and asked if they were real. My initial response was to try to downplay the power Satan has but I realized that God had opened a door for me to share the reality of our world and the strength of His power with a child who is getting old enough to understand it. Truthfully, I wanted to pretend he was but a little boy, not grown enough to grasp the depths of faith and young enough to protect from the reality of our harsh world but in recent days God has challenged me to begin letting go and allowing my son to grow up. This was a moment of faith for me as I trusted that God would protect Sam’s mind and heart from the deep fear that Satan has often whispered in my ear at the thought of his power. It was a moment to share with my child that God is greater than anything. It was a moment to live what I’ve been contemplating in listening to one of my new favorite songs by Chris August, Starry Night:
I’m giving my life to the only one who makes the Moon reflect the sun.
Every Starry Night, that was His design.
I’m giving my life to the only son, who was and is and yet to come
Let the praises ring, ’cause he is everything
‘Cause he is everything
God is everything. He is our Creator, our ABBA Father, who has given us life. We often marvel at the creations of man, the architectural genius of human hands, but rarely do we take time to recognize that what we live in has been created with nothing more than a word. He can create and He can destroy. Most important in this situation was not downplaying the power Satan holds in this world but creating the understanding that God has destroyed the stronghold Satan is allowed in our lives. That we merely speak His name, that a word from our lips can bring the power of Heaven and Earth to our hearts.
Like I said, so many thoughts clutter my mind! I am trying to sift through and keep my mind clear for the sound of my Beloved’s voice.