Friday, September 24, 2010

Sweet 16

This week, Son#1 turned 16 and earned his driver’s license.  I have known this was coming; we even bought a third car so he can help us with errands in addition to driving himself to school.  Because we planned for this and in many ways looked forward to it, I did not think I would be upset by this life transition.  Not so surprisingly, I wrong.

Car keys.I am usually out of sorts in September before all three of our children have their birthdays within a span of 2 weeks.  A new school year has begun, they are moving forward in their lives, and time has brought us to this moment before I am ready or feel old enough to be here.  I want to shout at the passage of time which makes all of my kids closer to moving away from home. 

So, this year was harder than usual.  I had a good cry during my devotions on the morning of Son#1’s birthday, and realized how so many things changed on that day.  I am afraid for his safety on the road and my inability to protect him. I am sad that as he grows older, he needs me less often and for fewer things.  I am worried that I just won’t see him enough and that I have now lost the time we used to have in the car.  I am called to be a different kind of mom. 

I would love to have a family “blessing of the keys” to mark this transition, but I need this and Son#1 does not.  I will take my cues from him and bless the keys in the quiet of the morning before he rises and drives away. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Answered Prayer or All You Need is Love

Earlier this month I was pondering a relationship in which I was getting frustrated.  I didn't want to be angry and needed a new way to talk about a few things without discomfort or tension.  In the shower one morning, I prayed and prayed, asking for help and guidance in what to say and do.

A few minutes later, I was busy putting on my makeup.  The clasp on my compact is broken, so I have a rubber band holding it together.  I took off the rubber band and threw it on the towel I had lining the counter while I quickly proceeded with my morning transformation.  When I was done, I looked down to pick up the rubber band and was stunned at what I saw.  The rubber band fell in the shape of a perfect heart.  Not a lopsided heart, not a broken heart, not an imagined heart - one that if you turn your head a certain way and squint your eyes, it might look like a heart - but a perfect heart with a small circle for the indent at the top.

I stared at it for a moment and began to realize it was the answer to my prayer!  All this person needs is LOVE.  When I love them and focus on that, all other things will work out in time.  A sense of peace flooded over me.  I can make things so complicated sometimes when the answer is pure and simple.  Then I grabbed the camera.

I followed this message of love in my next conversation with the individual I had prayed about.  Of course the interactions with this person improved.  Later on, when I was feeling down and frustrated about myself, I thought about the rubber band heart.  The message was for me also.  When I generated loving thoughts toward myself, I immediately began to feel peaceful.  The Beatles were right, all you need is love (and open eyes to see answered prayer).

Monday, September 6, 2010

God Moments

I can see that God is up to something at the congregation I serve.  New energy and movement in our community mission and outreach pumps through some of our projects, people actually see the Holy Spirit at work, and some new people are visiting and joining.

As a response to these happenings, I have changed my morning prayer to something like this:  God, I can tell you are up to something - How can I help what your doing?  How can I get out of the way, so I don't hinder what you are doing?  Please us me to serve you today.

This helps me pay better attention to what is going on around me and in my interactions, pulling me out of my own head and my never-ending to-do list.  When I am focused on my agenda and tasks, I can blow right by the God-moments that are there for me and for others.  I can't sit and wait for them, of course.  It's a mental trapeze act for me - pay attention and work; be present and productive.

One day last week, I was in my office late in the afternoon- a time I am not normally there; I was hoping to get some things done when no one else was around.  I barely got started when someone stopped by.  At first I was a little annoyed because my plan was not working out; however, as we sat and talked I slowly caught on.  Deep conversation, prayer and encouragement took place that was a blessing to us both.  When this person left, it became even more clear to me why I felt compelled to be at the office at a time outside my normal schedule.  It was a God-moment.  This week I hope to pay attention to more of them.