Tuesday, September 08, 2009

First Day

Today was our first official day of the new school year. I always have this wonderful idea in my head that it will go well, that the kids will embrace the day, that all the knowledge that I'm trying to impart into their cute little heads will be accepted and that they will be so happy to be learnin'.

That NEVER happens. In fact, it's quite the contrary. I'm usually fighting to round them up. I'm usually fighting to get them to admit that their school books even exist. I'm usually watching them put their heads down on the table in great dismay exclaiming loudly that they know enough to live.

Today was no different and I, being the seasoned homeschooling mother that I am prepared myself ahead of time and guess what??? They didn't let me down. They fulfilled my every expectation! Ryan played dodge em' like he usually does avoiding all and any parent that might get him to actually sit down for five minutes. Grace gasps loudly at every subject that was brought up like she is just so shocked that we have more to do. Aaron grumbled because he couldn't get his letter 'A' just right so we have to start over again and again, and Brad did his usual keep your head down, don't make eye contact with the teacher and look like you are learnin' something and you won't get noticed.

So I guess I would definitely say that today was one of great success! The kids may have not got much out of their lessons today but I sure did! I need a tee shirt that says...'I survived my first day of school!' On the back it should say...'It was a little iffy in the morning but then, lunch happened....

Monday, September 07, 2009

Holding On

I knew that moving would be difficult. It's never easy moving in with relatives or other people for that matter. You have different views on life, you make different choices and you live differently. Those differences are sometimes unacceptable to and even offensive to others. The road to living has many good choices, they are not all wrong. Sometimes we are not willing to allow people to be who they are and simply love them but instead, stand in judgment and criticism hanging on to our own rightness.

This is one of the most difficult circumstances that I've ever had to endure. We are very much hurting and feeling that attacks are coming from all different directions. My flesh does not want to embrace this, it wants to run as far and as fast as I can. However, God has made it clear to us that we are to hang tight and stand in His Grace. This is not simply something we are living in the flesh but in the spiritual realm as well. The answers that apply to life's situation, don't necessarily apply to this one. God's plan is different and it's contrary to what the world tells us.

God calls us to love and to pray when we feel we are in the midst of persecution (Matthew 5:44). It's easy to read that verse and agree with it; but, what happens when you are placed in a situation that you cannot get away from, a place where you don't want to cut off relationships, a place where it's evident and words have indicated that you are unacceptable. I know that in my human flesh that I cannot accomplish what God asks of me. I don't want to return good for hurt. I don't want to love and to pray for those whose words hurt me. My flesh wants this to end, to find another place to live so that my children can sleep well, a place where there is no tension, a place of rest. Instead, God has asked me to stay until He is done with us here.

That is agony. It is pure agony to give up what you want and to let God be God. It has to do with our will and our selfishness; it has to do with our pride and our desire to be right. I have to keep surrendering it to God and to keep asking Him constantly to give me HIS love to share. My love is broken and it's insufficient but His love is complete. He promises to give us what we need to accomplish the task before us. We may not necessarily know what that task is, but He knows. I have to trust and I have to hang on to Him and His word as if my life depended on it to get through to the other side.

It is easy to hold onto all the harsh words, to be offended and to lash out but God wants us to make a choice to let go of all that baggage. I've been guilty on many occasions of holding onto bitterness and anger, to hold onto those offenses but all it's done is hurt me. It's made my heart heavy and my sleep interrupted. Holding onto bitterness, anger and offenses rip health and wholeness from you. I believe that many of our health problems are stemmed from anger, bitterness and unforgiveness. I have examples of in my own life of people who have chosen to live a life of peace, like my dear Grandpa and then, people who have chosen a life of grudges. It ages you physically.

So what do I want? My number one desire is to be in the center of God's will no matter how difficult the circumstances are. I want to be able to love and forgive easily. I do not want to hold onto offenses and hurts. God has given me the opportunity to let go off those and to ask forgiveness. The most important moments are when God gives us the opportunities to right the wrongs and we actually seize those moments. His desire is for our obedience and He is so pleased when we are. It gives him lives He can bless and use.

I am so very weak and feel often times that God doesn't have much to use in me. I can't even trust myself to keep my mouth shut or to say the right things, words that are of love and not anger. So I humbly ask God to forgive me and to show me the way He wants me to go again and again. I'm so thankful for God's grace and His mercy because without it....I'm just a wretched sinner.