Saturday, March 29, 2014

What I learned in March

Another day of snow.  The amount we'd been getting was absurd.  But this one particular day, there was an amazing snowfall.  Even though I really, really wanted to complain, I just couldn't.  It was way to beautiful.  As I drove to work, I looked at the trees along my route.  Each covered perfectly with a velvety ribbon of white.  Just amazing.  How could I possibly complain?  So as I drove, I took it all in.  Any other day, maybe the snow would not have received such a welcome, but this day, it did.  I decided to celebrate instead of complain.  So what happened?  Well, my disposition changed.  Since then, I focused on a simple prayer.  Lord, change me.  Three little words.  Because when it comes down to it, the driver for my mood is my attitude, my perspective, my thinking...all of it.  Learning and saying these three little words was a huge graduation for me.  It gave me a sense of peace and relief.  That is, until I learned a new way to pray just last week.  During a small-group study, I grasped the simple notion that God isn't in the business of changing me, He is in the business of redeeming me.  Daily.  Minute by minute.  Wow!  He wants to see a better version of me come into reality.  A truer version of me.  A version of me that He sees.  That He created.  So, my prayer changed to a new three word prayer.  Now I say, Lord, grow me.  I love that, and how appropriate as we enter the supreme season of growth all around us.  Lord, grow us!!

Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.  From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. Ephesians 4:15-16

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Help, I'm a new mom again!

Have you ever re-visited something in your mind, over and over again, hoping to rehearse an upcoming conversation, or maybe correct one?  I find that happens to me as I sometimes put my foot in my mouth when I speak with one of my kids.  I find myself bumbling through a conversation and when I hang up I wonder, “Why did I say that?”  I blame it on the awkwardness of talking on a cell phone, the distance in miles that limits a heartfelt conversation, or just my inability to remember I was once their age.   

Thankfully, my sister helped me put things in perspective.  I’m not their mother anymore…in a sense.  I’m not here to give advice, unless they ask.  I’m here to be a companion in their journey.  To hold on very loosely so they can experience their lives, just like I had to.  I don’t think my parents had much insight into what I was experiencing when I was 25 or 30.  They were living their lives.  And so am I, but I want to be connected to my kids.  There is a difference, though, with connection vs. control.  

The Bible saysMy dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to angerJames 1:19-20.  But James says more… But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere…James 3:17.    

The word sincere really jumped out at me.  Sounds like the opposite of control.  Lord, let my conversation be about them, not me.  Let me be sincere.  That’s my prayer.  Maybe, I’ve given them the wisdom they need for right where they are now.  Maybe, it’s up to God to bring along other people and situations that will share insight, instruction and good advice to their hearts.  And if, by chance, He decides to use me, I will do it with His peace, and gentleness.  So here is more to my little prayer.  Lord, help me to be quick to listen and slow to speak, knowing fully my children are in your hands.  Help me to be a good travel companion.  

Am I new mom?  No, I think I am a growing one.