Thursday, September 30, 2010

Life Transitions's not a word that sits well with some of us. Would it not be easier if we could just have consistency every day and not have to worry about doing anything differently?

I don't think so.

Now, I used to think change was bad. Au contraire!

God is teaching me that "Change" is all for Him and His glory. Seriously. Change is HARD. But God can see us through.

All these years (12 of them), I have been homeschooling and having babies. The babies are growing up, and I am not homeschooling (with the exception of my preschooler, to whom I read and teach to write...but that's not school, that's fun!). Now, I am sitting in a coffee shop, sipping cafe au lait, and having leisure time on the laptop. This is new for me!

What's amazing is how I used to do this years ago in college, yet it seems so far in the past.

I sit here and smell the aromas of warm chai, coffee, and pastries. Nearby, two ladies are having an enchanting and upbeat conversation as their cellphones go off every now and then (they just push the silent button so as to not interrupt their lovely chat). Traffic flows by intermittently on the two-lane, old-town street outside. A ceramic lamp sits glowing nearby with its slightly crooked lampshade.

I like this change...Snnniiiifffff (big inhale)...I love the smell of chai.

Where to next, God?

Enjoy the "Change" that God has given you.

Now I shall do what I was supposed to do; make my grocery list (smile).



Thursday, September 2, 2010

Tears in a Bottle = Encouragement Overflowing

"Thou tellest my wanderings; put thou my tears into thy bottle; are they not in thy book?" Psalm 56:8 (Kings James I love the poetry of the King James!).

Though God is certainly omniscient and omnipresent...etc. he may even be frustrated with trying to keep up with me lately. Between the already overwhelming daily upkeep and care of our busy household, we have football practices, driver's training, readying 4 children for school (that's another post...we are putting 4 of our children into the area Catholic, we are not Catholic), and to top it all off, the disaster which presented itself today upon my arrival home from errands.

Sorry about spewing that all out at once! Let's put this in reverse and explain the precursors to the above paragraph.

This is not quite an unusual late-summer/pre-fall for us. The anticipation of football and all that it entails keeps us very busy. However, there is a new matter, Roger working far away and not in town. This puts more responsibility on my shoulders and means I need to get people where they need to go without calling my husband and asking for his help.

Well, after 3 weeks of this, I am starting to feel it. Anger, frustration, helplessness, fatigue, ALLERGIES (ragweed season..blah), unexpected occurrences (lots of those in a big family). Well, you can only go so long with that laundry list of items before some thing's gotta give.

This morning while driving around (chauffeuring, of course), I was allowed some time to pray and ask God to give me grace while at the same time asking His forgiveness for my angry, hard heart and selfishness (self-preservation kicks in when we're busy!). I just couldn't give it up...I didn't want to! I wanted to be mad and furious (inside..ha ha...the only one who really can see that I feel this way besides God, is my husband).

After a few hours, I felt the Lord softening my heart (He really does do that!) and telling me that I need to have a good cry. Lord, I can't do that right now! I don't want to appear red and puffy-faced in public! The crying spell could wait. I arrived home and phoned my husband meaning to apologize to him for my stubborn, cold behavior of the morning. But I had to eat first, so I thought stir-fried broccoli and rice would be great. I'd get this started in no time after getting the broccoli out of the downstairs chest freezer.

Before opening our family's freezer, one needs to remove the piles of stuff off of the top, which takes a few minutes. Alas, it was clear and time to open the lid. What I found inside brought me almost to my knees and certainly into guttural tears.

A completely defrosted freezer with the remnants of the frost remaining in 4 inch pool at the bottom revealed itself to me. Much of the food was defrosted (hours of hard work preparing strawberries and blueberries..AAGGHHH). Someone had unplugged our basement chest freezer.

"Well, God", I thought, "perhaps this is a good time to have that crying spell. Thanks for providing the opportunity." (an then what followed was sobbing, crying, frustrated sighs here and may be familiar with it).

So, after mopping up all of the water (my tears mixed in with the pool in the freezer bottom), I took a deep breath and began to count my blessings (with God's grace and help). I wanted to scream and yell at my children about how frustrated I was. Wow. Talk about intense feelings.

God reminded me that most of the meat in the bottom was partially frozen and could be saved. I could refreeze the fruit and just use it for smoothies. And best of all, the freezer got cleaned out! ha ha. One of those dreaded seasonal jobs that is last on my to-do list.

It's amazing how children react to a sad momma. Mine began to feel sympathy toward me and tried to help the best they could. Phew. I know I need their help.

My dear husband phoned, and I told him the whole story (breaking down once again in tears!). He, as always, listened patiently and commiserated with me. There is no one who can make me feel better.

Dear sister calls. I tell her the story, again in tears! Geesh. I was really beginning to sound pathetic.

I am doing much better now, an hour later. You're hearing the news fresh off the presses.

What a blessing that God collects all of our tears in a bottle. When that bottle runs over, encouragement eventually comes in a flood. His encouragement.

I praise Him today!


Camy (who wonders how many of you dear readers are holding in loads of tears, thus preventing God's flood of encouragement meant for you. Let it out!)