The assurance that although we can't do anything to earn God's favor, he Loves, Protects, and Forgives us in spite of ourselves.
Letting you make mistakes and be hurt and trust that you will always know, I am a safe place to come to in those times.
"Trusting in the Lord with all my heart. . ."
Remembering we are all a work in progress. A slow, painful, and beautiful progress.
Making it about God's glory and purpose in your life, my life, our lives.
God in His great mercy does not leave us to our own end. He is always teaching, stripping us down, and building us back up. Sometimes the lessons come easily. Sometimes we aren't surprised by the road he takes us down. But sometimes the lessons turn your world upside down, throwing you around like the waves of the angry ocean. You see clearly how deep you are in the ocean of yourself, drowning in your sin. In these times, it will be easy to feel hopeless, dead. But we do have a hope. A hope that comes, not our ourselves or anything we can do, but all from the sacrifice of Jesus, our Savior.
Here is our truth,
"The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came in to the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the ONLY God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen."
I am your mom. I carried you for 9 months. I gave birth to you. I nursed you, rocked you, sang to you. I hold you when you are sick. Give you medicine, rub your back, and tell you everything is going to be ok. I listen to you when you are sad, scared, and silly.
I want to give you everything, but everything is not what you need. I want to make your life easy, but an easy life isn't doing you or the world any favors. I want to let you skate by, because if I'm honest, it's easier for me to NOT ask you for your best.
I love that you have a nurturing heart that is such a surprise in your personality.
I love that you have a real life hero that you look at with stars in your eyes.
I love your laugh and all the ways you make us all smile.
I love your selfless heart, always thinking of your family and friends before yourself.
I love your love of organization and order.
I love you, all.
I am so lucky to see all these things in you all, everyday.
Not only am I your mom. . .
I am your teacher.
These two role are hard to distinguish for me. I know now, they are hard for you to distinguish too. I am sorry this is confusing. I'm sorry that because I'm your teacher, some days, I don't want to be your mom. I'm sorry that because I'm your teacher, you take my "teaching" as disappointment. I am sorry that sometimes, because I'm your mom, I talk to you in ways a teacher NEVER would.
Although there are things I am sorry for, there are many more I am THANKFUL for. I am thankful that I get to teach you to read, write, add. I am thankful that I get to be apart of your "ah-ha" moments. I am thankful that I get to watch you teach each other, not just school lessons, but life lessons as well. I am thankful that daddy is the "principle" of our school and encourages and challenges us all. I am thankful that I get to see the VAST differences in all of you. From the way you learn, to the way you communicate, to the way you love. I get to be a part of it everyday. I am so blessed.
My children, we are blessed. Blessed beyond anything we deserve. Blessed to be each other's lives, all day. I know, sometimes it doesn't feel like a blessing. Oh, but it is. I thank God for the time I have with you because I know it is short. Too short. So in this short time I pray that as your mom and teacher I will honor God in raising, teaching, and guiding you. I pray that "we, being rooted and established love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filledto the measure of all the fullness of God." Because, beyond your education in reading, writing, and arithmetic, knowing Christ is the most important knowledge you will obtain in your lifetime.
I was glad I had my sunglasses on. My welled up tears were hidden from view. There's no question what the tears were in response to. In part, they were for my daughter, who opened up her heart with such raw truth and the words that poured out made me feel angry and protective. The other part was in understanding all too well how she was feeling.
I know exactly the feeling she had when she tried to include herself into a group (clique) of girls, only to be ignored. The word she used was sad, but lets be honest, that's not a strong enough word. I know exactly how she feels when she asks another girl about her weekend, only to be given a short nod and a face turned away. The words she used were, left-out. But again, we all know that the feelings are so much stronger than the words can describe.
We've all been treated badly by other girls. I know many women who still find self-worth in making other people feel bad about themselves. That's another blog for another day.
"Love your neighbor as yourself" has never been so clearly illustrated as it was that day. As we talked through her feelings, her reactions, and how she can pray, I was so proud of her. She is strong and beautiful. We both know that this won't be that last time it happens. More importantly, she is more aware of her own "mean" streak. As I type, she is uniting the neighborhood girls, who normally have a hard time with one girl or another. I can't help but think that she is really thinking about her words and actions because of the impact of our conversation yesterday. Growing pains are hard. With my girls I am hoping that with each trial and painful friendship experience I can help them to see how they can be better friends.
Here are a couple of the life lessons that were reinforced yesterday:
*Treat others the way you want to be treated.
*You can't change/control other people, you can only change/control your reaction.
*People WILL hurt you. It is important to confront in love, forgive, and move on.
*You WILL hurt people. You are responsible to be humble and teachable when trying to reconcile with them.
*Pray for those who hurt you.
I am so proud of you Olivia Joy. You truly are a strong and loyal friend. I am so thankful that you are letting me know you and aren't afraid of your feelings or of growing up. This isn't going to be easy. Be patient with me as I stumble through this parenting role. May we both rest in the arms of Jesus through the good and bad.
Camp Crisp 2012 has officially started today! For the past week we have been compiling lists of jobs, writing ideas, and research ideas for the kids to keep their bodies and brains active this summer. Amidst the pool days, park days, and beach days we will have many days at home when boredom WILL set in. This is our family attempt at staying busy and having fun all at the same time.
Here are the kids charts for the next 4 weeks. Each time they complete an activity, they will put that letter in the day it was done. For each activity they complete they get $.25. We plan on teaching them about saving and tithing through this too.
Here are the 6 activities that they can complete each day. Read, Write, Physical Activity, Practice, Home, and Extra. We have extensive lists of suggestions for Writing, Jobs around the house, and research ideas as an Extra activity.
Hopefully, this will be the first of many blogs recording our Camp Crisp adventure. Here we go!
One sings with passion while the other stands emitting an energy of annoyance. One in my arms while the other wiggles from seat to seat. One stands, trying to follow the crowd, all the while fighting the true desire to sit and draw pictures.
I stand, sing, raise my hands, close my eyes, always keeping an eye on the five wiggly worms around me. I glance around at the joy and praise coming from others. I look down at my five, wondering, "What are they thinking? What did I think when I was a child? Why is this one so angry? Why is that one NOT singing? Is the passion going to last?"
I pray some more.
Oh Lord, these souls that are here, let them not be lost. These words, may they penetrate these hearts. May they have 10,000 Reasons to sing Your praise. May they praise You, What a Savior. May they have their Happy Day, when Jesus washed their sins away. May they run into the arms of Jesus and may He always be enough.