Monday, October 24, 2011

In My Arms

I strongly suggest listening to this song while reading. Unless you don't want to cry...

Something I'm learning as a Momma is this: Nothing is ever predictable nor constant. What works for Levi today may not work tomorrow. What works for Levi will probably not work with your child.

There are some constants in this life, God's word for example. The principles therein will never be shaken, will never change. If I apply those to our lives, to Levi's life, we all fair much better.

But the child himself? Our relationship? It's never the same. There was a time and day when Levi relied on me for his very existence. Before he was named Levi, when he was just a 2-inch babe in my womb, I was his lifeline. Even post-birth, without my sustanence and nurturing and provision, he could not have survived. Even now, he needs me to provide the food, but he can feed himself. He can crawl into bed by himself, put himself to sleep, but he still needs Momma to find those jammies and kiss him good-night. I know there is coming a day when he neither wants nor needs my good-night kisses. When he will go to sleep long after I do. When he will be providing his own nourishment and for others in his care as well. As that day gets nearer and nearer every moment I just want to take him in my arms and say "No, NO! He's mine!" I've been a big believer in "Raising your kids to let them go." And I still am. My mom practiced it, and I know it blessed my life and hers. But now I understand, it wasn't an easy decision. One she may have cried over and hurt over. But she's done it. And where is one of my favorite places still? My mom's arms, or her listening ear. I pray if I do as she did, that my son will never truely "leave" my heart or arms. That he'll always come back to them for a quick hug.

But today? Today I still get to kiss away his hurts and comfort his tears. I get to be the one he runs to. And I'm trying to cherish it. I want to be his everything, but I know I can't be. So what to do? Pray. Pray hard. I pray for his heart and soul and life daily. I pray that he will come to know the one who can always hold him safe. When my arms don't reach, or aren't enough, I pray he'll trust his Heavenly Father who will always be there. And I'll hold him tight, while I can.

Friday, October 21, 2011

More Faith (and some ranting)

In all my thoughts and writing about faith, I've still been pondering over and over again how it works.

Because I've watched so many people say "We believe God will do this!" and then guess what? He doesn't. So then what? I don't think I doubt God in those situations, because we do NOT always know what He will do. So then I tend to think judgementaly and wonder how much these people were actually listening to God and what they know about Him. (Note: this is not a right attitude on my part. One of those, gotta walk in those shoes situations where I should never open my mouth.)

Here's the major revelation I've had today. Okay, just kidding, it's not major, but it kind of clicked in my head a little better.

~I can have faith and say "I firmly believe God CAN do this." I guess you could argue it leaves a loophole to allow God to work either way, but in my mind it kind of works like this. I will choose to believe God will do this if He wants to, so therefore, He CAN do this. But I will also have faith in His sovereignty that if He chooses NOT to do this, that He is still sovereign and as long as my faith is in HIM, not the circumstance, then it's correct faith. Clear as mud? I guess where I've been having difficulty with the concept of standout faith, saying "we believe you will do this God" is the question of is it really faith if I'm telling God something? So yes, it can sound wishy-washy to say "We believe you can do this God, but if you choose not to, we still trust you." Because then really, are we having faith? I'm not sure, so I'll give an example.

I've shared fairly openly that we've prayed for several years for a different job opportunity for Andrew. Not out of discontentment of his current job, but the fact that it isn't very well paying. At all. And thankfully God continually provides in many ways and we've tried to be very, very careful with our finances and not have too many luxaries in the past years. Anyway, in order to continue to well, live, something has to change. Yes, I could go to work, but childcare really? And frankly, I actually don't like the idea of paying someone else all I'm earning to raise my child. Because I wouldn't make a lot. I'm just not skilled in "high-demand" areas. Anywho.
Several times in the last year or two Andrew's had job interviews that would cause us to leave where we live. Including one we're waiting to hear about. Now, we love our town, our church, and especially our dear friends who have become family. But anytime we ask people to pray about a job opportunity we kind of expect a few of the comments that come. "I'm praying God provides a job closer so you don't have to take this one." That's the jist anyway. Guess what? I don't agree anymore. Andrew's tried again and again to find work in this town. It's just never panned out. So guess what? How about praying specifically for US to know God's will, not assuming that you do? Maybe it's not God's will for us to stay here and doing so would make us out of His will and miserable. I'm about to rant, because it bugs me so. I believe it's God's will that we pay our bills. So unless you have a job offer up your sleeve, DO NOT pray against what could be God's way of letting us walk in obedience.

So that's where it turns to faith. If this is the only job that will provide for our family right now, as evidenced by being the only job offer on the table, how much do we have to pray about it? Because frankly, I do think God moves through circumstances. Now, if Andrew gets the job offer and suddenly it becomes VERY clear he should not take this job no matter what, that's a different matter. But to ask us to turn down a higher paying job when there are no other feasible options available just because you want us to stay in this town? Guess what? That's not God's will, that's your preference. And not a very smart one. I hope you'd never advise your children that way.

Now, to not sound so harsh, let me say this. Here's a way to pray "Lord, we are so thankful for this job opportunity and if it's your way of providing then we pray that it would be offered. If it's not what you have then we do pray that you would provide a very obvious job to them in this area if possible and soon." That's an honest faith-filled prayer that allows God to work while still asking for what we'd prefer.

So, we're praying in faith, and trusting that God is going to provide. He's never failed us yet. We're ready to take the steps of faith. So I pray hard that this is going to be God's way of providing. That this much goodness from my Lord is possible right now. I've learned over and over in the past few years that our lives will never be easy, but that does NOT mean that God will not bless us. It may not be the way I want all the time, but He never says don't ask. So yes, while it may be God's plan for us to be living for every breath and penny, it may also be His plan for us to breath a little easier. Who knows? But I can certainly have faith no matter what. And pray for the big blessings.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

What Not to Write

So less than two months ago I resolved to blog more. And I did. And now? I've run out of words. I'm finding it hard to come up with anything interesting to say. And no, you don't want to read my uninteresting things. I promise. And the fact that almost all of the sentences in this post so far have started with And? Not good.

So I'm writing about not writing. Told you it wasn't interesting. I will say I had one deep thought today. While discussing a pending situation with a friend, I heard myself saying the following "I guess I find it hard to believe God would bestow that much goodness on us at once." And I did about choke after I said it. She totally understood my heart in the matter, but I thought it very telling of my lack of faith that I would even randomly think it. Which lead me to some joy believe it or not. Because I'm going to choose to believe that He would. Bestow that much goodness actually. I'm not going to get all gung-ho, but I'm going to pray believing amazing things may just be happening for us. That maybe, just maybe, our search for faith will be blown wide open and amazed. That doesn't even make sense grammatically, but you get it.

Also in this said conversation with friend? I learned just how much I love her all over again when she made a huge self-sacrificial offer. Wowed me. God DOES overwhelm me with goodness. It just comes in the form of other people sometimes. :)

I'll leave you with a Levi note for today. He's become obsessed, and I do mean totally, with cars and trucks and planes and trains and motorcycles and semis. Said the Canadian way...Semee. Not SemI. He sees a car out the window and you hear about it. He hears a loud motor and assumes it's a "cycle! Cycle!". See a "SEMEE!" Oh and the kid's hearing is crazy. We're inside, eating our breakfast, and he starts yelling out "plane! plane! plane!" because yes indeed, one is flying overhead somewhere and he hears it. A train whistle? Not ignored in this household. I'm kind of assuming this is a normal boy thing, but my goodness is he exact about it. I'm thinking he may have his daddy's DNA just a little and soon know every make and model of cars out there. And I guess I don't mind. He is a boy after all. :)

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Faith Enough

It's almost 2 weeks later. I can't promise I'm doing a whole lot better in the fear area, but I'm trying. More than fear, my focus is trying to be on faith. Which has led me to ponder over and over what faith really is. Faith is one of those words that can be very ambiguous. Hebrews 11:1 has been running through my head over and over again.
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
A different version changes substance to assurance and evidence to conviction.

I'm not sure which words work better to explain faith. But I do know I have a long way to go where faith is concerned. But here is something I've learned about faith. You don't always know how much you have or how to implement it until, well, you have too. And sometimes, you do just have to have faith. I can't see the air that gives me life everyday, but I surely believe it's there. I can't see God, but I firmly believe (have faith) that He's there, holding this world together and carrying me through every day.
Verse 3 of Hebrews 11 says this: "3By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible."

Now that is faith. Believing that everything we see came out of nothing but the words of God. But it's something I've believed ever since I can remember. It comes so easily to me. But believing that God has my best in mind and at work everyday? Even when it causes pain? Why is that so hard for me to believe?

I wish I had all the answers. But I don't. What I'm coming to learn is that faith is a daily and lifelong pursuit. All of Hebrews 11 is full of the recounting of the "heros of our faith" and their lives of faith. Here's the intersting thing, most of their stories of faith are full of trials. Faith comes through testing. Oof...Not the best news of the day.

So today, as I have a head cold and my son is pushing all the cranky buttons I have, I'm praying for the faith I need. It's been a long 2 weeks. Fear is a powerful things. But I just keep praying for the faith to overcome. Faith and Love. With God, all things are possible.