Tuesday, May 19, 2009

changes of light

I'm having a hard time dealing with the fact that I have a junior...well now a senior in high school, my first to graduate and move forward in life. But in addition to that, I have seen our son grow in a way that I have been astounded by in the past year. It's like when your child takes their first steps, without your help, or when you notice one day that they aren't the little boy/girl that you knew, they grow up right before your eyes and you wonder "where did the time go". I have been slowly, and I do mean ever so slowly, giving up things in my life to God. One thing that I have had trouble with in the past was money, one that I am having trouble with now is my children a very, very hard role to let go of. And I don't mean the throw your hands in the air "here God their yours" kind of giving up. I mean the humbling "Lord you have entrusted me with Your children, and I ask and look for your guidance to raise them. I give their lives and their directions over to Your Spirit and protection." Well, that is happening more and more in each of their lives, and right now I see that predominantly in our son, Kaleb. He is being baptized on Sunday, a step that he took right after he witnessed me and Lee's baptism in December. I think he was the first one to sign up that day. Wow what a change!! He didn't even have to think about it, it was like he immediately knew that he was suppose to be baptized once he know what it meant. He is changing in other ways too, ways that I think are not being changed yet those things are to a degree not the same as would expect. He is quick to forgive something that I never did and still have a hard time with; he is quick to say what he believes, even if the majority don't believe with him; and he is quick to correct and help guide his sisters, something that I never had the opportunity to do.
The Psalmist wrote "Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from Him." (Psalms 127:3) I have never read this verse, never been given it until this morning. Today it is something that I know now was meant for me 17 years ago. I am not and have not been a godly mother, wife or person. Kaleb is our first child and I have not raised him nor our girls in the way of God's direction. "Sons are a heritage from the Lord," wow what a statement, what a revelation.
This life Kaleb is living, I believe, is not due to any great parenting tip but God. It wasn't us who made him come up with becoming a Christian athlete, something Kaleb is working on this summer (mostly finding the group in our area), it isn't us who gets him to church (well ok so technically it is), and it definitely is not us who raise and stir the Holy Spirit up in him. Totally and wholly all of this is from and due to God's hand in his life.
He is striving away from us and and all the while I see clearly in him a heart of commitment, a life of change, and light beginning to shine. I don't know what it means to have received a "heritage" or a "reward" but I know and understand that, now more than ever, Kaleb is standing in that role. The role that God planned for him before his birth, the role that makes him our heritage.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Life- Drowning and Being Saved.

Wow! I'm not really sure where that title came from but I think it fits perfectly with what my life was, a drowning in the proces, and what it is becoming, a salvation project. I guess more than anything I am reminded of my life because of a story and a friend's current struggle. Without giving anything away, I can say that I feel compassion for her, I understand what she is going through because I too have been through the same thing. The personification of my life is not as it seems. I was told this weekend twice "you are tough". Even though I can deny that openly and truly know that I am not "tough", the personification that I present is the "tough exterior" life, the "suck it up and get up" person who can get through anything, or it seems that way.
The majority of my life, the part where I became this tough person, was spent drowning. I have no other way to explain it than that way, I was drowning. I didn't know it then but looking back now, I was. My life was filled with all the things that I wanted, done the way I wanted and there wasn't anyone in my life who was going to change me. Not my husband, not my family, not my children. I knew what I wanted and that is all there was going to be. I wanted the fairy tale marriage, I wanted the nice house with property and horse, I wanted no strife, I wanted perfection with no work...ah the good life. Well let's face facts here Theresa, that is definitely not what my life was like. When I didn't have the fairy tale, prince on a white horse, romance marriage, I started to struggle within my marriage. Doubting if Lee was "the right man for me". Wondering if there was something more and perfect. When things in and around my family was going the "right way", I pretended and fantasized about it being the right way and ignored those things that were happening. When I became a mom and realized that motherhood was more than I "bargained for", I went through my childrens childhood just being a provider not a mom. And my life became a fast moving river that was sucking me down and drowning me. And I struggled against that current looking for what I wanted. What I had planned out and expected, not what I was living. I was drowning in my own tears, that were becoming a river or anxiety, hatred, anger, frustration, discontent, you name I was it....drowning.
I don't believe I hit "rock bottom" but I was close. Things in my life were quickly falling apart and I was on the brink on falling apart with it. That's when the saving began, when I couldn't come up with any way to make what I wanted work anymore.
Isaiah was told plainly "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you." I was just recently given that passage. When I was so tired that I couldn't find a way to "search" out God.
I have a friend heading down the same path that I took and walked for 17 years, and I know what lays ahead of her. I know what is lurking around the next corner, what is lying in wait, and I want to run and tell her not to fall into the river, it's so very close and the path is being, even now, eroded away as she enters the beginning of the journey she is facing. And I want to encourage her to take those steps on that journey. She has something that I didn't have to start that journey, she already has God, I had to start the drowning process in order to find Him. The journey is not going to be easy, and from the inside looking out, it is going to look as though the waters are very deep. But no matter how much she may want to believe it, the rivers will not overflow her, they will be ebbed. I wish I could go to her and tell her to run toward the journey, the challenge and do not shrink away from it, the river is hoping, waiting for the first signs of doubt to come rushing in. And I would love to give her this piece of encouragement and hindsight. Being saved is the part of my life when I realized this: Marriage isn't a Cinderella story, a romance novel, or a girlie movie. Marriage is a cycle, a merging of two totally different lives being altered to become one. A changing of the guard so to speak, only this time one of you don't leave. You stand together, cover one another, protect one another, encourage and support one another and in the end you find that really in truly this man you are with isn't just some random person you had a small spark of love for but a man who was given to you. Given in a way that only God can give and then the fairy tale times drift away and love sets in. Children aren't here to be raised and their childhood goes quickly, like the changing seasons. I missed all of my kids' childhood, I wish I could go back and start all over with what I know now but I can't. Children are by far the best thing in an adult life, they are in our life to teach us to laugh and how to play again; because, believe it or not, we do forget how to play and really laugh.
Drowning in life is an option, it's something that I allowed to happen, something that I think in some part of us, we all allow it happen. And during that time, some of us-like me, become tough, but more likely than not - drowning becomes the end result. Being saved and being able to stand in the river and know that it is not going to overflow me, is a result of guidance and allowing God to work around me. I wish I would have ran into my journey instead of crawled, but for me I wouldn't have been saved, I would have just learned to run. For my friend, I believe she is being called to run, to trust, to stop looking at things around her and look ahead at what is already planned and know that she is able to stand along the river and in the river and not drown.