Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Thankful Tuesday

It's Thankful Tuesday again! I think this could become a regular thing. I'm thankful:

  • for the two littlest ones playing upstairs for an hour with no incident (i.e. mischief or fighting).
  • for a new dining room going up next door at my friend's house. Evidence of the Lord's provision and his understanding of the desires of our hearts
  • for friends who are committed to praying for me and my family
  • for Gaby, Hope's new friend, who, "is super fun and the same color as me, mom! And has awesome hair." And for many more play dates to come.
  • for sweet muscles appearing on my arms and legs thanks to Crossfit and my friend, Ian Sturgeon
  • for my husband, who started researching calcium rich foods when the doctor told me my bones could use a little help
  • and for Isaiah 40, read in it's entirety in church on Sunday which reminded me of so many things, not the least of which was, "he gently leads those who have young." Thank goodness!
What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

On Homies and Homeschooling

Last year, two of my very best friends started homeschooling their kids. I tried to be supportive and very "you have to do whatever is best for you" on the outside. On the inside, though, I was panicking. What did this mean about me? If God called them to homeschool their kids, what did it mean about me that I didn't feel that calling? If they gave, as one of their reasons, a desire to spend more time with their kids, what did it mean about me that I chose to send mine to school every day? And the truth is that for a while there, I wanted them to send their kids to school so I didn't have to question my own decisions. (It's possible that at this point you might see how self-involved I can be. It's not pretty, people.)

In the end I learned a few things, though. First, there aren't decisions in life that shouldn't be questioned. I had to take a good long look at why I would choose to put my kids into public school and I found that knowing the reasons why gave me a greater sense of purpose. I'm not just picking up Hope from school anymore. I see her playground as a place to connect and interact with people who need Jesus. I'm trying to use every experience that Hope has with "worldly thinking" (and they are plentiful!) to teach her about Jesus' counter-cultural message. I'm talking to her about how important it is to know that each person she meets has value bestowed on them by God, regardless of how similar or different they are than us. And we're talking about seeing the beauty that God has placed in each person and how it tells us about Him. Each interaction we have at school, or regarding school is infused with an opportunity to glorify God. I'm not sure I really understood that before.

I've also learned how precious to God my desperate cries for protection and boldness and mercy are on behalf of my kids. He knows about letting a Son go into a world that would seek to trample on the truths he clung to. As my friend, Amy says, "It's no small thing to send your kids off to school." It takes some guts to send your most precious gifts off to interact with people who may or may not see all the beauty inside of them, who may or may not see all that is fragile, too. But, I am learning how to pray and, with knuckles sore from tightly clenching that which is not mine, open my hands and give them over time and time again to the God who created every part of who they are. I am grateful for this opportunity to remember that they are His.

And I've learned all of us are afraid we're making the wrong decisions. We all worry that our kids will be bruised and battered no matter what we choose. And we're probably right. Almost no one gets through childhood unscathed. But, no matter what we choose, we get to look into the eyes of these we call friends and tell them that God's grace is sufficient. That he can redeem it all and use it all to draw our children to himself. And that's all any of us really wants for our kids.

And being friends means that we want it for each other's kids, too. So we get the responsibility and the privilege of praying for each of these little people who are growing up with our own. We pray hard that they will each find their way to the arms of Jesus, and would follow him with everything they've got. And in a way that only scheming mothers are familiar with, we pray that they might get to enjoy the journey, together. Just like us.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Thankful Tuesday!

In the tradition of my friend, Micha, over at Mama Monk it's Thankful Tuesday. And I could use some thankfulness in my life. How bout you?

  • I'm thankful for fresh peaches, bought at a roadside stand yesterday, so good that half the box is gone this morning.

  • I'm thankful for cooler temperatures..the coming of fiery colored trees and fresh apples and bright orange pumpkins.

  • I'm thankful for impromtu family dance parties where the seven year old schools the rest of us in some fresh hip hop moves.

  • I'm thankful for a desire to write and the feeling that soon I will have something to say.

  • For weddings, and the reminder they are of my own vows and the beautiful life I have with my beloved.

  • I'm thankful for my four year old who counts, "1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7,8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 18, 19, 20", reminding me that she isn't quite grown up, even though the sight of her with a backpack on makes my melodramatic heart scream, "It's happening too fast!!!!"

  • I'm thankful for friends who call to remind me that parenting requires courage, heart, and lots of prayer. And that it does not have much use at all for the approval of others.

  • I'm thankful for an almost 2 year old who believes that every loud noise is a reason to bless someone. And I'm thankful that today, when she said, "Bless you, Mama!" God clearly said to me, "Yes. Bless you, Mama."
What about you? What are you thankful for?