Saturday, December 31, 2016

What I'm asking God for in 2017

I love new beginnings!  It's almost a new year, and you know what that means...a new planner! Have I mentioned I'm getting a new planner? And a new journal too...both filled with crisp, bright white blank pages just waiting for ideas and plans and goals and prayers to make their way from my mind and heart onto paper. I love writing, I love everything about it. I don't mind typing out my thoughts like I do on this blog, but there is something about holding paper in my hands, turning actual pages, and writing out my life and thoughts in my own handwriting on sheets of real paper spread out before me. I find it refreshing and inspiring.  I may have mentioned that my 2017 planner is on it's way (I ended up ordering a different one than the one I had last year and wrote about here).  I'm just a wee bit excited about it.

It's New Year's Eve and as I am sitting on the couch reclining next to my husband, half paying attention to the black & white movie he's watching, I am contemplating the new year.  I'm wondering what 2017 has in store for us and praying that it is mostly good things.  I know that if God allows trials into my life, that He will have a purpose in it, and I pray that I remember that when they come.  Even so, I am asking God to bless this year. For myself, my husband, and our kids.  Here is what I'm asking Him for, for all of us...

Deeper Faith
Unconditional Trust
Complete Surrender.

A new year means a chance to start over.  



And for me, this new year means resurrecting old passions that have gone stale, like writing, playing piano, photography, women's ministry, time with friends, believing for good things.  It is surprising to me that I have let these passions fall by the wayside, but what's even more surprising is that I haven't really even missed them.  But there is an emptiness that remains in their absence that is becoming obvious to me now and I'm beginning to long for them again. Especially the believing for good things.  I've gone kind of numb to that. Not cynical exactly, I just haven't been expecting good things to happen and I don't like that feeling.  That's not who I want to be, and it's certainly not who God wants me to be.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Romans 15:13

So, it's a great time for a new year to happen!  My hope is renewed and I just know that 2017 is going to be a great year because God is good,  my husband started blogging again, and my new planner will be here in a couple weeks! Cha!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

When your kids are hurting

It's hard.  To see them struggle.  Life is full of struggles, I know, and sometimes they are strung together one after another and one on top of the other even.  That's life...part of it anyway.  I know this, but it's so much easier to accept when it's my struggle...not theirs.  When it's theirs....hoooo, man that's hard.

My 47 year old mind has learned a thing or two.  Such as, don't look at your face in your car mirror on a sunny day.  No matter how tempting it is, don't do it.  All the facial hair and pores the size of won't be able to unsee that.  And also, I have learned that it is in life's struggles that we find growth.  We build strength and learn lessons and (hopefully) learn to turn to God when the things of this world fail us.  I know this, and I want my kids to know this too, but my mamma heart aches to see my babies hurting. Not just disappointed or sad or mad, but really, truly hurting.

That's hard.

I want to hold them and make it better.  Like I could when they were little.  I don't care how big they are, that is still what I want to do. My mamma heart wants so badly to help, to protect them...but not too much. They are teens and adults now and I know that they need to go through things, just as I have gone through things. I don't necessarily want to protect them from all their struggles, even if I could, because in doing so I would cheat them out of the opportunity to learn to fail and try again.  To face rejection and keep going. To be lost enough to look to our Savior to be led.

I've been in all of those places...I've failed, I've been rejected, I've been lost, I've looked in the mirror. Sometimes I handled it well and many times I didn't, but with each trip around those mountains I learned a little - even if what I learned was how NOT to handle things!  I know I can't protect my kids from struggles - I just want to protect them from the really bad ones. The ones that result in broken hearts, heavy burdens, and especially the ones that suck the hope out of them.  But even if I could protect them I don't think they would let me.  Sigh.  That's the thing.  All of my warning and (unsolicited) advice can't change a mind made up. It just ends up pushing away the very ones I am trying to hold close, and I really don't want to make that mistake.  You can only guide someone who is willing to be guided.

And so, it's hard. Parenting babies and toddlers and tweens was a breeze.  Seriously.  I didn't think so at the time, of course, but I see now that things were so much simpler.  I knew what to do (usually) and what I did helped (again, usually).  Now, I too often find myself feeling lost, feeling rejected, and feeling like a failure as a mom because, you know, if I had done things right they wouldn't be going down these paths and needing to learn these hard lessons.  Sigh.

Oh dear.  I thought I was writing about what my kids are going through and learning, but apparently I am writing about me. GAH!

Thunk (head hits table).

Ok fine.  I suppose I should figure out what it is I'm supposed to be learning here.  Maybe it's this...that it's time for me to stop holding on so tightly and let go just a little more. To trust God a lot more.  To stop feeling guilty that I have failed them somehow and that's why they are going through these hard things - and just be there. Even when they tell me to go away (ouch). To offer guidance and love and open arms.  To do what I can, what they will allow me to do, and what God leads me to do.

And wait.

And cover them in prayer.

And trust.

I guess this is another opportunity for me to fail, and try again. To face rejection, and keep going. To be lost enough in this whole "parenting kids who are going through hard things"  to look to my Savior...and let myself be led.