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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A Year in Review

It's 5 a.m. and I'm on the road. If you had asked me where I would be at this time last New Year's Eve, this would not have crossed my mind. This is life, down to one 10 year old car, back in the workforce, unexpected pregnancy, unexpected miscarriage, and trusting God for every dollar to make ends meet.

We often don't see our pride in self sufficiency. It's a sneaky little sin that is hard to perceive as evil in a land that was built on hard work and self reliance.
This year God loved me so much that He took out the mirror to show me more of my own weakness.

The best part about God is that He doesn't pull out the mirror and then proceed to laugh and deride you.
No, instead He tenderly picks up the pieces of the card house you perceived as a mansion. He then begins to replace it with solid truth. He begins to build something that will last far beyond this momentary affliction, far beyond these earthly materials we hold so dear.

I've spend a lot of time lamenting 2014 and praying it would soon be over. As I survey the trodden terrain of the year past, I am gripped with the reality that I am loved. I am so loved by a Father that will not leave me in my sin. I am loved by a Father who desires to bring eternity out of the dusty caverns of my soul and to the forefront of my heart.
I am loved by the Creator of the universe, and that is enough.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The "M" Word Part 1.

I was 20 years old standing in the bathroom staring in utter disbelief at the two pink lines glaring back at me.
How could this happen? I had life so carefully planned. I was 20 for goodness sakes, in the middle of college and working at Starbucks. This was not the life I had planned. I knew it could have been worse. I was married so I didn't have to wonder who the father was or worry about telling a boyfriend who would possibly bolt, but in that moment it didn't matter. All I knew was that MY plans had been thrown drastically off course. I didn't hate kids. I just wasn't in a hurry to have any, and I was never one to go gaga over babies.
I saw myself as a college graduate with a great career, a house, and lots of travel. Kids could come later...much much later.

As I tried to process all that those pink lines meant my husband was the exact opposite. He was over the moon happy and quickly went to work making new plans for our life as a family. I couldn't understand his enthusiasm. This was not part of the plan. How could he so quickly shift gears and start a new plan?
We butted heads often at my lack of enthusiasm.  One night in my own frustration I remember stating something along the lines of wishing this never had happened. He was so hurt he replied, "Maybe you're right."

In that moment my own words broke something in me. The realization that my child was growing inside of me and I was wishing him or her away. I can't say it was instantaneous, but slowly something in my heart began to change. The heart of a mother was born in me that day. It wasn't me or my nature, but God was doing something deep in my soul. Slowly I began to love that child fiercely. It was a love I had never known, but I knew it was transforming everything I had known for the rest of my life.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Looking back. Moving Forward

Today we will write the last lines of the last chapter for the 2013-2014 homeschool year.
You would think that with three years under my belt I would be more sure of myself. I end the year with gratefulness and much fear and trembling. The weight of the responsibility God has put upon me to educate my children is sometimes quite heavy. Of course I swiftly realize this heaviness is my own doing, and I quickly repent and let Jesus carry the load.
I will say we have come to a place that I cannot imagine doing anything else. I have seen God knit our family together in an even closer way. We are daily forced to look in the mirror and realize that to work together we must give up pride and selfishness.

We chose homeschooling because we first and foremost felt the great responsibility to provide our children's educational foundation. I also personally had a distaste for the test mills our schools have become. I desired my children to truly learn and to love it, not to  merely cram for a test they would soon forget. I wanted to celebrate their individual personalities and strengths.
Fast forward three years in and I often find myself preoccupied with what my children know. Worrying that they might not measure up to other kids. I was slowly becoming an apologist for our homeschooling ways to strangers who question our decisions in public.
Then it hit me. Am I doing this all so my kids will be indistinguishable in a crowd? Are our core values to work so hard in orde please men?

I fell into the trap. I lost vision of this whole thing called education. Of course I set standards for my children. I want to see them flourish and excel, but not so they can prove to some stranger they're not one of those "weird," homeschooled kids. I desire that they have intelligence tempered with character, love for people that softens selfish ambition, and wisdom that permeates every decision they will face as they grow and leave this home. Most importantly I pray that they are pleasing to God. I cannot force these things. I cannot build robots after my own will. What I will strive to do is be the greenhouse for their little souls by allowing the sunshine in. This is not hiding them from the world, but providing a safe place to grow and be nurtured until my little one's are ready to put roots down in that big, wide world.

Today we celebrate all that has been accomplished. I am so proud of my children. They put up with me and that says a lot! They have worked hard. We have laughed and cried. We've worked through a lot of junk. We haven't arrived, but we are on our way. Now we enter the reward in this season of rest, and prepare our hearts for the new year to come.

Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better 
Colossians 1:10