Cuddled up on the couch with my two youngest children on each side of me, and a blanket draped across our laps, we finally finished a novel we had slowly been reading through.
Empty containers once filled with popcorn and half drank cups of hot chocolate with shrunken marshmallows sat on the worn wooden table before us, alongside the thick-paged children’s novel.
Moments before my boy and girl urged me, “read on mommy, keep going.” …And now here we were another book done, the last words fresh in our minds, but discontent spread across each of their young faces.
They both agreed they didn’t like how the story had ended. They didn’t think it was fair that over the many times this book had excitedly left them in suspense as we’d finish a chapter and wait a day or two to start the next—the ending had now done the same, but this time left them unsettled instead of satisfied.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Matthew 5:6
“I can’t believe you use to be wild, you don’t seem like the type”…….That’s the typical statement I hear after sharing my testimony (my story of coming to faith). And it humbles me, it’s a sure-sign indicator that I must be doing something right these days! Whew!!!
Recently I’ve been mentally preparing to give my testimony to a group of high school teenage girls from my church.
When my sweet friend and also fellow youth leader asked if I’d share my story with these girls I wish I could say my first thought was, ‘this is the group that meets at a coffee shop for bible study every Saturday morning… there’s going to be an abundance of flavored creamer for a little bit of coffee…why, YES I’ll speak for you gals!’ BUT that’s far-fetched from my initial reaction…it was more so, ‘you want me to do what???, these girls are going to reject me, what do I include and what do I somewhat sugar-coat???, where do I start and how much needs to be said?’…
There’s a reason I volunteer to help with the jr. high youth group (only)—they’re fun, crazy, and most impressionable…but the high school group I’m not real familiar with and I’ve somewhat distanced myself, not because I don’t care for them but more so because when I was that age I was (regretfully) a mess of a girl, so perhaps I feel somewhat unable to connect with a majority of them…
I recently finished teaching my little home-schooled boy a lesson in his history book regarding the Revolutionary War (1775-1781). Many battles took place during those years as our country fought the British in effort to gain independence from them.
It wasn’t until 1781 that victory came to the American people with the help of the French soldiers at Yorktown, Virginia when the British were trapped, and their General, Charles Cornwallis, agreed to surrender.
Imagine the excitement the Americans must have felt at that moment. The Declaration of Independence had been signed years prior and now the long and no doubt tiresome war would finally cease.
I think my son (if he would have lived during those years) would have humbly and nobly signed a 57th signature to that very important document. He’s also mentioned he would have fought right beside those brave Colonists, which comes as no surprise since he can often be spotted mimicking a combination of victory and defeat while acting out a war scene between an assortment of Lego action figures.
As we studied this chapter on early American history my little “historian” thoroughly soaked it all in, which prompted me to take the discussion a bit further by challenging him on the topic of ‘surrender.’
While exploring the broad areas of surrender my boy voluntarily commented how a combination of Legos and electronics consumes much of his free-time and how he may need to consider “surrendering” some of that to something of more value and worthwhile.
He walked over to my “temporary” desk while I substitute taught and the words abruptly and nonchalantly spilled from his mouth, “my dad just recently died.”
Taken aback, I looked up from the top of my glasses and the pile of papers I’d been sorting to place a face to the small voice that had just offered me such matter-of-fact information. A young boy of about ten years old with light-colored hair, freckles, and a fair skin tone stood just feet away from me.
My mind quickly searched for words of comfort to give and with concern shown on my face the normal cliché consoling-phrase jumped its way out, “I’m really sorry.” …and I really meant it, but as I offered those overused words, my heart felt unsatisfied and desired to extend on the moment.
For years now I’ve worked at a nursing home where I doll-up ladies and trim men’s hair one day out of the week. Most of these men and women will complete their last years of life here so it gives me such an opportunity to analyze my outlook on life as I build relationships with this elderly generation and learn about and from their lives.
I’ll always remember one of my ladies who had her hair “fixed” weekly by me, she always seemed to be in a positive state of mind…until I’d seat her in the salon chair…anyone with a “cosmetology degree” knows that with that degree comes more than just hair— somewhere hidden in that name must include: counselor.
I love this time of year—from the cool, crisp days, to the layers of crunchy fall-colored leaves scattered across hibernating front lawns.
With Thanksgiving and Christmas plans under way and a love of baking in the kitchen with my two girls, the aroma of cinnamon and nutmeg spices never grows old and seems to create the perfect mixture. I longingly look forward to the autumn season weeks before it arrives.
My husband enjoys it for other reasons…the fall season for him means camouflage hunting attire, the ideal rifle of choice, and a deer permit with high hopes of filling a tag with a trophy buck.
But it also proves to be a busy time of year for our family. It can be easy for us to become distracted from the routine of everyday life as we tend to shuffle in a few extra plans for the holidays and if I’m not careful that alone can complicate our lives. Continue reading “Autumn Update: REST”
One of my favorite things about God is His ideal timing…
God’s Word always provides the answer to our problems; we just have to be willing to go there.
I’m perpetually guilty of getting caught up in the crazy-business of life and losing focus on the things that really matter. Attempting to search for the bottom of a to-do-list just to realize the rest of my calendar is filled with activities, deadlines and appointments, sometimes just doesn’t settle well with me. Raising children, planning meals, a demanding job…the list goes on― these are things that keep my husband and I and most other grown-ups on the go. Let’s face it, sometimes “adult-ing” is tough… in the heat of the moment we often forget to breathe and allow God to direct our steps.
So far homeschooling my son this school year has proved to be somewhat stressful and difficult…second grade started and my boy has brought to the table not only his school books, but an exasperating attitude nearly every day.
Recently I sternly but rationally discussed with him the possibility of maybe focusing a little more, in light of finishing Math in an hour’s time, rather than three hours. And it’s not that he struggles with the work or expectations, he’s perfectly capable, he’s just preoccupied with other interests and therefore it distracts him from the matter at hand.
Needless to say the conversation didn’t appeal well to him and it left me feeling helpless and as a result I slowly walked away from the table and plopped down on the sofa and sighed, most likely dramatically. Continue reading “Lego-building vs. God”