I wasn’t sure what to title this post, so I’ll simply leave it blank. I’ve been wrestling with a couple of big things that God has truly brought to my attention this past year. I share partly for the mere sake of this being a journaling spot for me, partly for the accountability from the friends that read this post and partly because I’m just not sure where this blog is heading.

One, I’m insanely selfish. I have realized in the time that I’ve gone back to work; in the hustle and bustle of trying to make all the ends meet up, that I want my world, my plans, my children, my husband to do what I want, when I want it. I have been slammed with this selfishness when my kids don’t nap when they are supposed to, don’t eat their dinner that I made, don’t do the things that I want them to… But honestly, what has been lacking for me in my world is that unclenched fist. The acceptance that it isn’t going to be a nap time like I want, and cherishing that time with my child versus cursing the time that I lost for myself. It’s a hard and tiring road to walk down, but I’m realizing that it is taking more energy for me to be angry and selfish with the situation, rather than relinquishing myself to the reality that is and just resting there. I’m longing this year to rest. To stop fighting with myself and relinquish.

Two, I am struggling deeply with regret. I think in the past I’ve called this “discontentment” and maybe they are one and the same, but I so often ignore the place that I am at and struggle with trying to get out of it. For some reason when I was thinking about this the other day, I kept hearing the Lord telling me that what I was struggling with was regret. Regretting decisions I had made, or not made, things I had done, or not done etc.

It’s funny though, because with the selfishness I am clenching on tightly to the things that I want and my vision for how things need to work out. With  regret, I’m begging to be released from whatever is going on and so frustrated with the reason or person or thing that put me there (which was more than likely me!)

Last year I was really struggling with being too well known. I really felt like I was overexposed in so many ways. This year I am feeling the Lord really drawing me in. Not in a “crowd up in your shell and hide” kind of way, but in a “you need to deal with your crap” kind of way. In high school I was anorexic and one of the reasons why I struggled so much with it was because of attention. I wanted people to notice me, take care of me and I was doing anything I could to get that to happen. Since then, I have really struggled with my intentions for doing things. This blog (and Facebook too) has been a struggle for me with that. While it has been good place to vent, journal and share etc I have struggled with “why” was I putting such a picture or posting such a post? Was it purely out of the intention to share something or was it because I was wanting that recognition? A wise friend told me that I needed to look at it as sharing my talents out of the joy that the Lord has blessed me with. I went with that for a while, but now I’m not so sure. That pull to see if anyone has commented or what my stats are or wondering why things are so silent is hard to deal with. Every time I post lately, I see myself sitting in youth group in high school at 98 pounds.

So what does all that mean? Honestly, I don’t know. I’m not shutting this down and I’m not taking a formal leave of absence like I’ve done in the past. I’m really not sure what I’m going to do, except do nothing. I will more than likely keep my pictures updated on flickr, but as for posting things I just don’t know. And facebook…just shoot me. I’ve already tried to give that up twice and it didn’t work.

Ultimately, I want to focus more on my family, the things that do bring me pure joy, focus on the things that are real in front of me and less on the virtual world that seems so much safer. This is my goal for 2010…

And please don’t read this post as such a downer. I can’t tell you how realizing these two things, voicing them with my husband and now here give me such relief and peace. May you experience the same in your life and in the year to come. Here’s to new beginnings!

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One thing about me working full time is that it has left very little time for me to process anything in my life. I used this space often over the course of the last year to mesh out what was going on in my heart and I have really felt that void lately.

I am processing through a few of the big things that God has really pressed on my heart lately and hope to use these next two weeks off from teaching to put them to “paper” so to speak. In preparation for that, this was our Confession of Sin at church today and it really spoke to to many of those deep places within that I am beginning to feel some wrestling occurring within:

we confess, our Father, that we do not live up to the family name.
we are more ready to resent than to forgive,
more ready to manipulate than to serve,
more ready to fear than to love,
more ready to keep our distance than to welcome,
more ready to compete than to help.
at the root of all this behavior is mistrust.
we do not love one another as we should because we do not believe that you love us as you do.
forgive us our cold unbelief
and make more vivid to us the meaning and depth of your love at the cross.
show us what it cost you to give up your Son that we might become your sons and daughters.
we ask this in the name of Jesus,
our righteousness.
amen.

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My Heartsong

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1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High

will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,

my God, in whom I trust.”

And those who know your name put their trust in You, for You O Lord have not forsaken those who seek You

3 Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare

and from the deadly pestilence.

I have cast my anchor in the port of peace knowing that present and future are in nail pierced hands.

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4 He will cover you with his feathers,

and under his wings you will find refuge;

his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

Thou art so good, wise, just, holy that no mistake is possible to Thee

5 You will not fear the terror of night,

nor the arrow that flies by day,

6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,

nor the plague that destroys at midday.

Teach me that if I do not live a life that satisifies Thee, I shall not live a life that will satisfy myself.

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7 A thousand may fall at your side,

ten thousand at your right hand,

but it will not come near you.

8 You will only observe with your eyes

and see the punishment of the wicked.

9 If you make the Most High your dwelling—

even the Lord, who is my refuge—

If we believe in Jesus, it’s not what we gain, but what He pours through us…it’s not that God makes us beautifully rounded grapes, but that he squeezes the sweetness out of us…

10 then no harm will befall you,

no disaster will come near your tent.

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11 For he will command his angels concerning you

to guard you in all your ways;

If the Son of God is formed in us by regeneration, He will press forward in front of our common sense and change our attitude to the things about which we pray.

12 they will lift you up in their hands,

so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.

13 You will tread upon the lion and the cobra;

you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

The Law disciplines, educates and convicts us driving us out of ourselves to Jesus Christ

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14 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;

I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.

For we are God’s masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him;

I will be with him in trouble,

I will deliver him and honor him.

God doesn’t ask us to do the things that are easy to us naturally; He only asks us to do the things that we are fitted to do by His grace and the cross will come along that line always.

16 With long life will I satisfy him

and show him my salvation.”

How I praise you Lord Jesus for the places you are moving me, for the way that you are squeezing me…may I be a grape in your hands and not a marble…that Your sweetness will squeeze out from me and that I might not escape.

Black from Psalm 91/Purple from various quotes, verses and prayers from the last month/Pictures from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
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SAHM~WAHM~WM~just me

In less than a week I will be returning to the classroom as a special education teacher. I quit teaching nearly 3 years ago in order to stay home with my children after the birth of my daughter. It’s been an amazing, life changing few years and I know that I could never do what I am doing now without having gone through these years at home.

Not that I feel I need to explain why I’m going back to work, nonetheless these are the reasons why I am:

Timing: There is absolutely no denying the fact that this job, this school, this time of year, this time of life wasn’t ordained and directed by the Lord. There is no way that I could have entered into this school system, at such a supportive and wonderful school, get my son there also and find a super place for my daughter on my own terms.

Gifts: With fear of sounding like a braggart, I am a good teacher. But I am a good special education teacher. I honestly struggled for a long time when I stopped teaching with wanting to homeschool my son. I finally settled and rested with the ideas that #1 that is not our family, #2 I can’t even begin to understand how to teach “normal developing” children  and #3 that is truly not what God had in the works. I struggled with the idea that I was a college educated, experienced teacher, therefore I should have no problem and it should be natural for me to teach my own children. It took a lot of guts for me to finally admit that, in our case, that is not true.

Identity: When I started this blog, many of my first posts dealt with finding my identity. I really struggled for a long time with who I was. I was truly floundering around and was really confused with that. There are all these labels that hit you the moment you become a mother (hence the title of this post) and I just felt like I needed to fit into one of those labels. But I didn’t. I still don’t. Sure I did stay at home, then I did work at home and now I’m going to be a working mom again; but these past years have really shown me that it’s really just me. I am who I am and I do the best I can do. I am trying my best, daily, to focus on today. I want to be who Jesus longs for me to be…today.

Faith: It is with absolute faith that I, we, walk into this next year. There are still some crazy variables out there (such as a teaching license that is being held hostage by the state) and those scare the pee out of me…I keep waiting for this bubble to burst or something. Therein lies my lack of faith. But it is only with that faith can I know without a doubt that this is what the Lord is leading me to do. This is His path.

I wouldn’t take away the last 3 years for anything. In a very selfish way, these last 3 years have been more about me than about my children. I think…I know that He has grown me so much in these years at home. I’ve experienced things that I never would have if I hadn’t of quit my job. I would never be able to walk into this new path without having gone through the amazing heart changes that have happened. I feel like I am a much calmer, joyous, friendly, comfortable person…which I so wasn’t before (and seriously have a long way to go too!) and that in return makes me a much better mother, wife and person.

I am beyond grateful for that.

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my life…changing

giving way to…
awe
excitement
amazement
peace
contentment

attacked by waves of…
doubt
worry
guilt
fear
being overwhelmed

quieted by the Word…
“When my heart was grieved
and my spirit embittered,
I was senseless and ignorant;
I was a brute beast before you.”

“Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.”

“Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.

My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever. …”

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