Welcome to Monday!

Welcome to Monday! If you’re on the high, enjoy it, rest and prepare for the low to come next. If you’re in a valley, know that the high will come in time. In the meantime, give your troubles to God, He has overcome this world.

And, I’ll pray for you! Leave a few sentences in the comment so I can pray intentionally.

Life is full of highs AND lows, and we have to be willing to submit to the course and trust God with all the things we cannot control.

HAVE. A. WEEK. (Not good, or great, or bad, just a WEEK!)

Like my grandfather used to say when we’d ask him about getting older, “It’s better than the alternative.”

 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” ~ John 16:33

Ups and Downs Are Part of Life

If we believe that ease, lack of problems, “everything clicking along nicely” is NORMAL, then we’re guilty of unrealistic expectations in life. There will ALWAYS be problems, strife, and “bumps in the road.”

Life is ups AND downs, so if we PLAN for the downs as part of our days and weeks, we can more coolly handle the problems and enjoy the ups when we experience them. If we get sidetracked by every bad thing that comes our way, we live in a state of constant worry, fret, anxiety, depressive status, anger and rebellion.

Having “everything go our way” is NOT normal. Having ups and downs and twists and turns IS.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters [the Greek word for brothers and sisters (adelphoi) refers here to believers, both men and women, as part of God’s family], whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” ~John 1:2-4

What You Think Matters

This quote from Sarah Young (Jesus Calling; Jesus Lives, et. al.) is why political anger is wrong. Not because our viewpoints are wrong (they are simply different), but because they harden our hearts and hurt our relationship with God. If a party tells us to demonize people who think differently, then it’s time to step away from political investments. We need to walk in the light.

“To live at peace with everyone, you need to control not only what you say and do but also what you think. It’s common to assume that your thoughts about others don’t matter much, as long as you keep them to yourself. However, I am fully aware of all your thoughts. When you indulge in negative thinking about someone, your relationship with that person is damaged. Those hurtful thoughts also affect your relationship with Me, and they may have a depressive effect on you. The remedy lies in turning to Me and seeking My forgiveness. Then, ask My Spirit to control your mind and help you think My thoughts. This is the way of Life and Peace.” ~Jesus Lives by Sarah Young, p. 146

 

Push Me, Pull Me

As a mom whose kids are in the home stretch of high school, I can tell you the emotions flutter just below the surface, threatening to gush out in a torrent of waterworks or maybe a scream.

Vollmer Farms, 2009

I’m watching the pumpkin patch visits and apple picking on Facebook. The tooth-gapped smiles and childish joy of my friends’ younger kids stab at my heart. I was there once. I would help my kids put on tiny shoes and bright colored t-shirts, too, and then we’d drive out to the country to pet farm animals or run through a corn maze, too. We’d eat spice cake and pick out our pumpkins, too. We were there, too.

Found his pumpkin!

And it was only a minute ago.

Everyone told me it would go fast, but I didn’t think it would happen to me.

Second Day of School 2018 (because mom couldn’t get a first day pic)

Today, they went off to school and my son had to bend down so I could hug him goodbye (yes, I get that daily love and I treasure it!). Busy with their own musings, one grumpy, the other overly excited for spirit day, they dressed on their own, they filled backpacks on their own, and they walked off to the bus stop on their own. I am there, but I’m a cursory player. I’m not the ring master…anymore.

Goat!

Even as I write this, I’m sitting here crying. I see that little tow-headed boy reaching out to feed a goat. I see that carefree little girl jumping on the inflatable, and I wonder if I sucked up enough of that when we were there, when we could play.

Jumping for joy!

These days, my little girl who would scream and jump with exuberance over the simplest things, asks me pertinent questions about politics or sex. My little boy who replaced his “b’s” with “v’s” and insisted it was “lightsaver,” gives me a nod in response to a query, or, if I’m really lucky, a grunt.

And there is joy still.

Lake Tillery, Summer 2018
Poker Night, 2017

We watch old movies and laugh over the ancient technology. They “get” adult humor, and even though it’s sometimes uncomfortable, it provides a commonality. We play poker and blackjack, and we take weekend trips in our camping trailer when they’re not off with their various activities. We spend time together, but it’s in fits and spurts, not every day involvement.

“Excited Teenagers” bowling, 2018

And, they get on my nerves. I want to pull my hair out. They get moody, and I get angry. But maybe that’s God’s way of making sure they leave the nest. We’re to leave our parent’s home and create our own. We’re to cleave to our spouse, not to our parents.

Animazement 2018, Anime Convention, Doc Brown and Marty McFly

 

In this age, it’s a process. You go off to college or the military, you join the workforce, you get your own digs, and you find a wife or husband, and through the growing pains and delights, you create your own life. A life away from your first home.

Now at the tail end of the daily direction of their lives, I feel the loss. The loss of crayons and board books, of plays and recitals, of dry cereal and cartoons; and I hope they remember enough of their growing up years to know that we cared and nurtured…and loved.

Loving the outdoors!

I want them to go away, because I want them to live the life that God has planned for them, to impact others, to make a difference in the world, and to have adventures.

And, I want them to stay, because I’m selfish.

My silly babies!

I miss the little girl and the little boy who used to break stuff and write on the walls and hug my legs and beg for ice cream. I miss them, but I’m also excited to see what they’ll do with this amazing life God has planned for them.

Pumpkin patch pictures: Vollmer Farm, Bunn, NC on 10/10/2009