Friday, May 21, 2010

"I took big gulps of Scripture, I'll be fine"

Homeschooling is different. The tendency to question one's self becomes a way of life. Prayer becomes vital. The "typical" becomes nonexistent. Assuming an "authority" is always right on many subjects disappears as thinking for ourselves takes over. Selfishness bit by bit, year by year becomes replaced by self-sacrifice in order for harmony to be found. Perfection is never reached, but contentment is.

Today was graduation day for us. Highschool man had to take a college entrance test to see if he qualified for the college program he chose. I was nervous. I admit my anxiety had more to do with how the results made me look. I have been waiting for this test simply to tell me whether I have taught him well enough over the last 12 years for him to continue in whatever field he chose. Again, I was nervous. He is an amazing person, but I have not been an amazing teacher.

So I sent him to bed early. Woke him early and placed a good breakfast in front of him, but he insisted he could not eat that early. After a not-so-well delivered speech about the importance of eating so a hungry stomach wouldn't distract during testing, I walked away...angry.

He left without another word and I was almost disappointed until I found the note he left. I have received many precious notes from some of the dearest people, but this one will stay with me always. It was written in his horrible manuscript he inherited from me. It simply said "I took big gulps of Scripture, I'll be fine".

So we all prayed for him and let go of the worries. He did very well. These years have been blessed by One who has plans for highschool man.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

life with a snake

I'm not actually referring to the slithering creature that has found a safe haven in our home. This time I'm talking about the woman my husband lives

Yesterday, I sat across the desk from someone who said they admired me because of the choices I've made. Aaaahhhhhhh, crushing blow...some people have no mercy! Ever have that happen...people saying kind words lifting you up when unfortunately you know too well the individual they are speaking of?

People say kind things sometimes--as difficult as it may be to swallow them when they are about you. I've been guilty of saying some kind words to people myself! I say them because there are people whose very existence I have benefited from because they minister to my children or they have shown love to me in one form or another. So I dare to say those sweet words to them...knowing, however, even as I say them how humbling it can be just to hear kind words about oneself because not one of us is actually good and we know it...hopefully. (I suppose it's those who really think those adjectives pertain to them that we should be worried about.)

So as the kind words came across the desk yesterday, there came another dose of humility. But not as great a dose as flooded me later that night when sitting on the couch with sweetman. We were discussing--okay, arguing--about some schooling issues...sore subject for me lately. I ended the conversation by pointing out some short comings on his part. Why is it when we say what we are really itching to say sometimes it feels so bad afterwards? So in one day I go from someone saying extremely kind words about me to me doing something to prove I'm not worthy of them. I really already knew I wasn't worthy of them...why did I have to prove it again?

Monday, May 17, 2010

i see the point of bedroom slippers...wish i had some

As I woke up at 3:00 A.M. (again), I dreaded the idea of walking into the living room from the bedroom. Usually I don't have this problem. I'm not generally afraid of the dark, but we still have not found the snake previously mentioned that is lost in our house. A few nights ago, we thought it was trapped in our library. Everyone went back to sleep that night, warily, with creepy crawlies in their mind. Two boys who had been camping out in the library decided they would sleep in their room the rest of the night instead...together on the top bunk. Teenage girl had been sleeping on the floor in her room for a couple of weeks, not because she has no bed (she has two: a trundle she usually sleeps in and a top bunk), but she's been trying to get herself in the habit of waking earlier so she can have quiet time first thing in the morning. She decided if she was less comfortable in her sleeping conditions, it would be easier to get up in the mornings. I wouldn't have thought of that, but it seems to have worked...until the snake. That night she went back to bed and opted for the top bunk. Good choice considering at 6:30 the next morning, we heard her alarm going off and her calling for help...the snake had found its way into her room. She's not sleeping on the floor anymore.
This missing snake is the reason for my hesitancy in leaving my bed in the middle of the night. Suddenly the probability of stepping on that creature in the dark didn't rule in my mind (I mean what are the odds), but just the possibility of such a thing reigned and paralyzed me for a while before I finally got up. Once I got up every shadow on the floor became a snake and I found myself counting how many steps till I could turn on a light without waking anyone. I was sure the snake was stalking me (mind you, it's only the size of a large shoe string) and when the cat pounced unexpectedly, adrenaline kicked in and I nearly hit the ceiling. Fear had a grip on me.
I keep thinking there must be a spiritual comparison in all this. Fear in the darkness, afraid of the unknown, wary of what's out there, nervous and lacking confidence...that's how I am when I get away from my strong tower. But when I walk in the light, assurance provides rest in my soul and I experience the sweetest peace, I see things more clearly, I am not fearful. I am thankful for the Light and the light tonight. I might even turn the light out and try to rest some more, but for the cat's sake, it had better not pounce anymore.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

"there's a snake in my boot"

Okay, in our case there's a snake in our library and that has me wide awake at 3:00 in the morning. Actually I might have been wide awake anyway considering I woke up at 2:00 A.M. because I couldn't sleep. It was then as I walked through the living room and approached the threshold of the library that I noticed our cat playing with something...something that appeared to be playing back or fighting for survival. So what do you do when you discover a snake in the house in the middle of the night? Well, if I were as courageous as my mom I would have thrown something on top of it and smashed it quick or in my mom's case captured it live and put it in an aquarium for the kids to be amazed by, but I'm not so courageous. I jumped on a chair and screamed for Sweetman and highschool man and woke everyone else up too because how dare they sleep with a snake in the house. Of course, while I insisted they turn the library upside down and slaughter the slithery creature the snake must have found himself a cozy spot to rest because he's nowhere to be found. Our solution? Lock the cat in the library with the snake and hopefully we will wake in the morning to a healthy cat resting next to the snake's carcass.

Every once in a while, I hear the cat scratching away at something and I feel no sympathy for the invader.

Snakes have been everywhere lately. I know Debbie at Deb's Everyday has had encounters with the little creatures lately too. One of my little guys dreamed about a king cobra on the same night I dreamed about some sort of viper (and I never credit any of those dreams with Sigmund Freud's twisted thinking) and another one of my little guys spotted a scarlet king snake at our back door the other day, very pretty, but still a snake. My mom has caught two corn snakes recently, yes, she caught them. She wanted the kids to see them...she's a very impressive woman. The creatures are just all over.

I really do enjoy nature, but not in my library.

For tonight, I think my daughter might have given up on sleeping on the floor, my little guys have decided to leave their Friday night slumber/movie hangout spot--the library, and everyone else is sleeping in portions of the house closed off to the library with towels blocking the doorways. But I am not sleeping, instead I keep hoping to hear more fuss from the cat, some sign of struggle for life and victory on the cat's part. How can the rest of them sleep with a snake in the house?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

saved through childbearing

I Timothy 2:15--"Yet she will be saved through childbearing--if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control."

I have known of this verse since I became a mom over eighteen years ago and I've felt its impact in my life since then.

Before motherhood, I actually didn't anticipate motherhood. I planned on a career that would take me far from everything I had ever known. I wanted to go into an abyss of solitude and work in some field that could keep me from relationships with anyone...sounds so dark and creepy to realize that's what I longed for once.

But even though I had no desire for family, when I saw mothers, I was in awe. Even in my childless state, I thought there was some mysterious phenomenon about being a mother. I didn't realize that the mystery was not in being a mom, but in the benefits being a mom offers.

He has a way of setting detours when we have given our lives to Him, detours that lead us to places we rebellious ones don't want to go by choice. So somehow I married and had children. I know I say this so flippantly as though it just happened without much choice on my part, but that is where a great miracle in my life happened. He arranged things in my life that I'm certain I did not have the insight to plan. My great blessing, my anchor...being mom.

I look back often and understand where the path of solitude and withdrawal leads...that was the path I thought I wanted. The path of a loner, leading me to isolation, although eventually it would have included probably many destructive relationships sought after out of desperation for some connection.

How amazing that that was not my course, after all. Instead motherhood. Something grand I did not deserve. The opportunity to have the most precious of all things in my hands to shape and innocent little life, a handful of them now!

It has kept me.

When little ones you know belong to Him are walking behind you, following your steps, you are more careful to avoid dangerous places lest you lead them there.

I am no longer awed by motherhood as a mysterious phenomenon. Better than that, it is obviously a great opportunity He offered me. An opportunity to be anchored by adhering to the demands being "mom" places on me. The demands are not providing meals, cleaning their clothes, running errands for them. The demands are keeping my heart set on Him so I live following Him so they will be directed to their ultimate hope.

I have struggled with living this way because I am still rebellious sometimes, lately more than before. But I see His goodness in this plan whether I stay the course or fall into a pit, I see His plan in motherhood. Motherhood has saved me from much.

Monday, May 3, 2010

a heart being primed

Life has taken some strange turns lately. I have not been so vigilant about guarding my heart, taking thoughts captive, thinking on good and true things which, of course, means the mom in this family has been wavering, not so steady and the family feels the repercussions.

The surprising thing is His faithfulness throughout. I guess I'm not so much surprised as amazed. I know His word says He is faithful, but when experiencing it in the midst of my own wavering, it has left me most grateful and amazed and provided me with an awareness of how truly undeserving I am.

His faithfulness is most seen as I have watched little arrows in my midst being wooed by Him. The older two responding to Him in very personal ways, having quiet time on their own, minds becoming curious about lives of those who gave all for Christ, in short-growing in their faith. The middle one seeing more in life and connecting how this ultimately relates to Christ, i.e. finding a message relating to Christ in a movie or a book. But it is number four arrow I've been watching and waiting for.

We never plan a time when we will introduce them to the Savior. We hope they are being introduced everyday as they watch us walk with Him. As a young parent, at first I followed others and thought I needed to urge the little ones to "receive" Him, but as I talked more with Him, He showed me how He does the calling. So I've been waiting on arrow number four to have his heart tugged.
It has been happening lately! That youngest of the boys comes to me sometimes and whispers in my ear. One day it was during altar call at church--he had a prayer request and needed to go to the altar to pray for someone. That was the first time he showed any signs of wanting to know and talk to this Christ we talk about. Over the last few weeks his whisperings in my ear-always just for me and him, a "secret"-they have been about truths he has discovered after hearing words from the Good Book, a little deductive reasoning from the mind of a seven year old. I would tell you what he's been whispering since these things are known by those who follow Christ and not truly personal secrets, but I cannot share them because they are his "secrets", special truths understood by him, special things newly revealed that he's never thought about before. But he has been thinking about them lately because he is being pursued by the One who loves him more than I can.

I expect a new birth any time now.

His faithfulness does not end.