Hello, my name is daisy and I am a pessimist. I fully admit I am one of those people who tends to see the glass as half-empty and by some strange act of whatever about to tip over and spill everywhere. What I have long struggled with is how to live with that tendency in light of the Gospel. Sure we can view the world as full of sin (which oh my goodness turn on the tv for 5 minutes and you will surely realize) but I want to live with the view that I am redeemed and part of the great story of God’s redemption of this world.
Lately, I feel the lesson that God has been teaching me (through a harrowing experience selling our house, through homeschooling, through coming off of working full time etc etc) is that I don’t “buy into” my experiences. Given a task, I will complete it, spend time on it, develop it well, but all through it I will be looking for an escape or a way to be done with it. I will be planning what I will do when the task fails or doesn’t come to completion. The verse that has been coming into my mind over and again is Deutoronomy 6:5…You shall love the Lord your God with your WHOLE heart, WHOLE soul and WHOLE mind. If I sit and admit it, there is very little I do with WHOLE-NESS besides please myself.
As we are about to partake of our first real break from homeschooling, I have the chance to really reflect on what has been working, not working and work on finding ways to change it all up (along with moving to a new house!). One thing I have realized is that I have not bought into the idea that we are homeschooling. I refused to set up a room or area for school. Mind you, we have bookshelves with our school stuff on them, but that was it. We moved places to work and while I don’t think there is anything wrong with that, for me it was an easy way to not fully come into the fact that this is what we are doing this year (and even with that, it may be a year or could be 10 more) and I need to fully delve into it. My excitement and fullness of being with this place God has brought us can only serve to excite my children more and more about learning and the way we have chosen to learn this year.
I could easily go on and relate some health issues that come up this month, or the obnoxious story of selling our house etc etc to show you the ways that the Lord is bringing this lack of trust and lack of Wholeness. It has been amazing…and hard.
Bet that title got your attention! Honestly, the last 30 days have been a blur for me and that is pretty much my sentiment right now. In the midst of stress, worry, turmoil, joy, pain, happiness etc I have wondered often if the psalmist David might have raised his hands up to heaven and declared “what the hell?”
I’ve spent the last 6-8 months praising the Lord for His timing and just for giving me such clarity in decisions with school and working and just with general parenting and wife-ing. I am now beginning to realize it was to prepare me for this past month. Without going into any detail, our life has been wrought with many decisions, many scary unknowns and honestly not much clarity here lately. The Lord is teaching me about
abundant trust and
reminding me minute by minute that
His mercy is forever perfect and unfailing.
But for now, like the Psalmist I cry:
2 Be merciful to me, LORD, for I am faint;
O LORD, heal me, for my bones are in agony.
3 My soul is in anguish.
How long, O LORD, how long?
4 Turn, O LORD, and deliver me;
save me because of your unfailing love.
9 The LORD has heard my cry for mercy;
the LORD accepts my prayer.
~from Psalm 6
May God meet me and you in whatever place you are and with grace fill us with His steadfast love.
as I start day #3 of being home and schooling my children:
I must constantly remind myself that though the visible, tangible world is so insistent and clamorous in its demands, I must not let it badger me into spending my life unwisely. The results of living by God’s value system isn’t immediately apparent like clean windows or a newly papered wall. But years from now, by God’s grace, my time with God and my children will produce results brighter than sparkling windows. I must take the long view. I must choose to do those things which will give satisfaction as I view my life as a whole, rather than measure satisfaction at the end of each day.
~Jean Fleming from A Mother’s Heart
As I reflect on where we were last year and where the Lord has led us this year, I am amazed and overjoyed (and freaked out too!). He has given me something my heart longed for and despite the attacks of persistent doubts, I can’t help but know that we are doing what the Lord has called us and led us to. In that I take great strength and refuge.
In whatever the Lord has called you to today, praise Him for it and take heart in the big picture that He is creating with your life and the life of your children.
I woke up this morning realizing that I was going to start hearing the school bus go up the street again in a few short weeks…and my child wasn’t going to be a part of that world. Granted, he didn’t ride the bus, but the sound of a school bus signifies something that we’ve opted to pull out of for at least a year.
Since we made the choice to homeschool, the Lord has been beyond patient with me and provided many confirmations that this is the path that He wants us on for now. But as the time to start nears, I start to panic that I’m doing something wrong. That I’m leaving my child out of something. The doubts start swarming in.
It’s funny how life can do such a 180 so quickly. A year ago I was so excited that I wasn’t going to be at home full time and I wouldn’t trade that year at all. I met some great people, was a part of something I needed to be and realized that I do love teaching special children, but that right now I want to focus on mine. I’m much more relaxed at home and I’m realizing over and again how my selfishness is what leads to so many issues with my children.
But it’s funny how you can be so sure of something and then two seconds later be covered over with doubts. I long to have that confident faith that walks about sure of who I am, what I am doing and where I am going with Jesus.
There are 1,000 different crazy things going on in my life right now, but I am sure of this:
the Lord never gives us more than we can handle,
he surrounds us with an amazing sense of Himself
and if I am walking on the path that He has laid then I am not walking alone.
The latest book I’m reading is called Peacemaking for Families by Ken Sande. It was one of the 5 books I bought that were recommended by Ann at A Holy Experience (and this woman amazes me so I’ll read pretty much anything she mentions!). So far it’s been a good mix of reminders of how to deal with conflict between people and also some good Biblical background and other examples that I really hadn’t thought about before. Today I read a paragraph that specifically challenged me.
Here’s the background: Yesterday I sent my husband to Walmart to get just a few things. I wrote a pretty specific list so he wouldn’t have to guess what to get. The one thing I really needed was a big tub of vanilla yogurt. I wrote vanilla yogurt on there, showed him the old container so he would have a picture reference etc. So, when he got home I was so frustrated when he brought back plain yogurt. I don’t share this with you to harp on my husband, but to share what a reminder this was today when I read about forgiveness in this book. The next 30 minutes between my husband and I were tense…over yogurt! It was just so clear how easy it is to hold a grudge and to not offer forgiveness over anything – no matter how tiny! And if we are hard pressed to forgive over yogurt – how much more over something substantial!
That, (our struggle to forgive) is the legacy Adam and Eve left us with in the Garden of Eden. But when we remember our position before God, when we adopt an attitude of continual repentance and thankfulness for our salvation, God will help us, through the work of His Spirit, to improve our ability to forgive others. When we come daily before our Lord an repent of our sins, seeking God’s forgiveness and the Holy Spirit’s strength to improve our lives, our forgiveness of others will grow as well; it will become more sincere and more lasting the more we seek God’s grace and guidance.
It’s funny how sometimes you can read something that is so basic and it just hits you between the eyes! I get so frustrated with myself in situations like yesterday because I’m so caught up in disappointment and in essence my sin. I try and try to make myself forgive and move on, but that’s the problem: I can’t make myself. It’s a matter of my heart and to be honest I’m not coming before my God daily and offering up the million ways I need his forgiveness…I’m offering up the million ways He needs to fix or do or whatever for me.
So, today I made a challenge for myself to start a list of things that I’m thankful for and/or things I’m forgiving or need forgiveness from in my personal journal. It’s humbling to sit down for 5 minutes and start to think about forgiveness and thankfulness instead of myself. But let me tell you what a difference it makes in my perspective when those little feet toddle in and interrupt and need breakfast.
Here’s to the next 30 days of keeping track of the ways I’ve been forgiven, need forgiveness and have been blessed. Want to join me?