School Daze and New Beginnings!

Cecelia
Cecelia

 

Cooper and Chase
Cooper and Chase

This. I blinked and here they are, all ready for school and eager for what’s ahead. Preschool, First grade and Fourth grade.  As I searched through the incredibly unorganized photo files on my computer to post these pictures, I found stuff like this hanging around.

August 2013 hugger

My sweet girl Cecelia in her Christmas dress! AH! She melts me...
My sweet girl Cecelia in her Christmas dress! AH! She melts me…

1197 1230

All he wants for Christmas!
All he wants for Christmas!

1177

Chase's FAVORITE thing to do is cuddle with his sister. It's so adorable
Chase’s FAVORITE thing to do is cuddle with his sister. It’s so adorable
This is what Cecelia did....
This is what Cecelia did….

Oh…be still my heart! I treasure these little people. They are a delight to my heart. I love that I get to be their Mom and watch them grow. I love seeing their little personalities develop and it makes me want to dance and sing to see the lovely people they are becoming. I pray that as I send them out a little at a time in these school days ahead of us, that they feel celebrated for who they are. I pray that they feel blessed to go and grow. I pray they feel the swelling pride I have for them. Because they are beautiful creatures.

And if I feel this way about my little babies (who are clearly not so little) then it stirs my soul to think about how God feels about me.

I have NO idea what’s ahead for me personally and I’m working on being satisfied with that mystery as I enter this new stage of life where my children are at school and I’m….what am I?  I’m working on not “proving” myself as a woman to the world because I do not have to do that! I am both enough and not too much to Jesus. My life feels so connected to their lives. That quote about how having children is like having your heart walk around outside your body, that’s so true. I have three pieces of my heart hanging out in this world!

My future is so entwined with theirs that I am feeling all sorts of sweeping emotions and I am daring to dream about what this looks like for me.

These are exciting times and it is with joy that I send them out and accomplish my list of things to do today.

Heavy Laden

The weight of the evils in this world feels so heavy to me lately. I can’t seem to decipher if it’s me (is this an age thing?), if it’s the world becoming increasingly more dark and twisted, or just the constant, streaming barrage of information, media and opinion presented to me via Facebook news feeds, my local evening news and my email inbox.

I want to stick my head in the sand and silence it all. I want to take Facebook off my phone, cancel my account, stop responding to email and I want to close my door. I want to close myself and my little family off from the rest of the world and make all that information stop, cease, desist.

In my head, I know that this will not keep evil out of my life. It has a way of rearing it’s ugly head no matter how we try to deny it. It is there and it will come to where I am in one way or another. So I try to stay informed and I fight the gut-wrenching sense of overwhelming hatred spewed across my eyes each day. I try to stay engaged, yet my heart simply melts.

If I hug my children tight and tell them how VITAL it is to be different in all we do, will it be enough? “Don’t go that way my babies.” I want to create a home that is safe and uplifting because this world is not. I want our home to be a haven of rest, peace, love, joy and protection so that my babies grow up and do likewise. Because when I look out my door, it is much harder to experience the environment we try to create behind closed doors.

Today in my life, I am engrossed in helping my 10-year old boy become more responsible in his education (i.e. do your homework!). I’m concerned with teaching him how to remember his work as he begins to transition from child to pre-teen. His world is broadening and more is being asked of him. I am concentrated on helping him transition to a new place in life knowing he is loved, backed and supported in this place we call home.

Today in my life, I am trying to reach a 6-year old boy who is lacking in self-confidence as he learns to read. He’s afraid and confused and trying to feel through all his emotions that block his learning and speak lies to him about his true abilities. I’m concentrated on teaching him self-control. I am teaching him that our emotions are indicators and should not reign supreme. That our mind needs to inform and speak truth to our hearts and that our hearts can come around once they are led down the right path.

Today in my life, I am holding the precious and tender heart of a little girl. She wants me to see her and celebrate her, she wants me to let her show me how big she is and all the things she can do by herself. She wants me to dance and sing with her and see the joy that she feels all around her. I am concentrated on helping her to obey me and trust me because I know how to give her healthy boundaries that enable her to be the best little person she can be.

I really wanted to stick my head in the sand today because reading the news hurt so much. The city I live in is wrestling with hate and greed, hunger and loss. Friends here in my city and across the country are watching loved ones-dear ones-wrestle for life itself in hospitals and care facilities. Marriages are stressed and stretched and it feels like too much.

So I have a decision to make. How do I respond?

I remind myself that my heart cannot reign supreme. That God is in control and I can grieve and pray and think about how to respond best. I remind myself that all of life is loved by it’s creator, Jesus, and that He alone is in control and desires good. That He has not left any of us without hope. I take a fresh look at my healthy boundaries and I remind myself that joy and beauty are still all around me. That it is mine to obey and trust in the One who has placed me in this place, in this town, at this time and I embrace how He made me.

I can’t single-handedly stop violence, end poverty, uphold justice or heal death and disease. But I know Jesus can. He’s done it in my life and I am living proof of His good work.

Micah 6:8 struck me last night as I was driving home thinking about what it means to wait on God.

“No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good,
    and this is what he requires of you:
to do what is right, to love mercy,
    and to walk humbly with your God.”

I can’t do it all but I can do this. I can speak into the things God has granted me opportunity and community to speak into and to live within. This softened and encouraged my heart and it strengthened my soul and I can only hope it will renew something within you too today.