Thursday, January 28, 2010
I have one of the most beautiful little boys on the face of the planet. I know I am biased, but sometimes, honestly, it is his saving grace that allows him to make it to the next day. Last night while he was taking his bath, he had lathered the soap on his hands and fingers and had reapplied to his arms several times. Then it dawned on him, "I'm turning white! That's not in the book! I'm not supposed to turn white!" I was so startled by his comment that I was trying to formulate some answer, but what answer could I possibly come up with for my Hispanic son who was adopted by two VERY critically Caucasian parents? Some might even say pigment challenged. Then he looked up with those big black eyes, grinned and said, "I'm kidding. I'm not really turning white." He rolled on his tummy to rinse off. Where in the world does he come up with this stuff? Normally I'm pretty good at staying ahead of him, but this one came out of nowhere.What do you do when something comes out of nowhere that requires a response? I was trying to gather my wits, and in a split second I was formulating my thoughts on how God made us all different. Then I had thought I'd go over his adoption story with him and how I know that God had his path chosen before he was born, and that his path was to lead to me. Can you believe all that went through my head? When in reality, he didn't need my insight or wisdom after all. Maybe instead of trying to fix every problem, make everything better, and do all the things I think I should do…maybe I should wait. The Bible says those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength. Lord knows I need all my strength with my boy. Maybe I should wait to see how my children process it and help them figure it out in their own way because I may make more of a problem than what was originally there!
Lord, give me wisdom!
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Day 14 of our Daniel's Fast, and what have I learned?
There are some things that never change…at least they don't change without the strength and courage that only God can afford.
My mom likes to tell people about when I was a baby I refused bedtime. As soon as I heard it was bedtime, I would begin to run up and down the hall back and forth until I would pass out from sheer exhaustion. When I was in elementary, my dad told me to apologize to my mom…for what I don't remember. So, he bent me over and spanked me. He stood me up, told me to apologize, and I was crying – I REFUSED! He bent me back over and spanked me three more times. Standing back up, I was told to apologize to my mom. I said, "No, sir." I'm crying. She's crying. He bent me back over, spanked me three more times, and stood me up. I'm crying. She's crying. He's crying. "Apologize to your mother." "I'm sorry!" I blurted out and ran to my room. I was spanked so often daddy use to tell people I didn't have a rear-end because he beat it off of me.
My issue. My stubbornness. My unwillingness to SUBMIT. Submit to my parents. Submit to my God.
Recently, my mom came into my Sunday school class and taught five Sundays on submission. FIVE SUNDAYS! Apparently, I'm not the only one with the issue of submission. It is one thing to hear about submission from a man, a preacher, but it is another thing to receive it from a godly, growing Christian, lady. So, I wrestled with my issue of submission and thought I had it licked, but last Sunday Pastor Rick preached on strongholds…it was still there. That very morning, I had not submitted to my husband…a shock I know. I was supposed to have kept my mouth shut and let God handle it, but I didn't. So, I had to apologize to Patrick for what I said and when I said it. Then I had to submit to God's will for my life. As a result of this act of submitting and surrendering my will, I will be starting seminary this summer to obtain two women's ministry certificates and my MACE – Master in Arts in Christian Education.
This past week in addition to doing the Daniel's fast, I fasted my laptop. During this time, God showed me that when I use it to minister and reach out to others for His purpose, then it is a good investment of my time. Then He allowed me to see that I would have time to study for my Master's if I limited that use to ministering and reaching out. It won't be easy, but it will be worth it. God has a plan for me. He has ordained my footsteps, but it is a choice whether or not I choose to submit. And I choose to submit. I covet any and all prayers, and I pray that if you are doing this fast that you will post what God is doing in your life so His light might shine through you.
Saturday, January 9, 2010
If you've read any of my previous blogs you know just how different my parents are. My mom is a classy lady who is put together and organized. My daddy…not so much. Occasionally, mom would leave my sister and me in the care, custody, and control of our father. Now when daddy disciplined, he disciplined from his choleric side which was big enough to make a lasting impression if you know what I mean. Other than that, he is completely sanguine. Lori and I would often complain to him that the way he was doing things was all wrong. Why? Because he wasn't doing it mom's way which was after all the only way. Mom never procrastinated. Daddy could wing almost anything. Mom had a calm appearance but was most likely paddling like crazy beneath the surface. Daddy would be swimming in figure eights just because it was fun and because he got someone to follow him. Mom was steady as you go, and daddy seemed to burst forth at the most unexpected times with spontaneity. And Lori and I thought all of this was normal…actually, we just thought mom was normal. Mom had her coupons and paperwork neat, tidy and in alphabetical order. Daddy had mounds of paper on his desk, but if you asked him for something, most of the time he could find it.
Variety is the spice of life, isn't it? Normally, I quite enjoy variety and spontaneity…until it comes to my house, my kids, my life, etc. My husband is very laid back and is the youngest sibling. I am very choleric that has mellowed a lot over the years and have had some of the edges knocked off. I am also the oldest of two. Over the past year, God has been teaching me to accept our differences, to keep my mouth shut, to be appreciative of things when Patrick does something, and to allow the differences is exist in our home. It has not been pretty. It has not been fun for me, but I know it's what I need to do in order to grow. After all, as my daddy says, "There is more than one way to skin a cat." (That's really rather gross, isn't it?) I am by no means to the point of just accepting things and rolling with it, but I have come a long way especially since we were first married.
When Patrick and I were first married I was extremely type A. All of my bowls were stacked neatly as well as the lids. My pantry was organized to where I could take a quick glance to see if I was low in some vegetable by looking in its spot. My underwear was perfectly folded and neatly placed in the drawer. I had no dust bunnies. This drove my poor husband INSANE! So, he did his best to drive me crazy. The Tupperware bowls that were above the sink were completely out of sequence and thrown into the cabinet and since I was the next one to open the door, I ended up wearing them on my head! There are still differences, but my mom has assured me that most couples meet somewhere in the middle after being married for a certain period of time. (I can't wait for the period of time, by the way!)
God has created us all differently. We have different talents, gifts, strengths, and abilities. To expect our spouses, friends or children to do things like we do is not necessarily realistic, but sometimes it's the hardest to accept differences within our own family. It's easy for me to accept the difference someone might have at work or at church. I can be quite accepting of the different temperaments and gifts, but for some reason, I expect my children to fall in line. How absurd is that? My children while adopted are so similar to Patrick and I it's not even funny, but regardless of how similar they are, they are still different. I want to be more accepting of their differences this year. I want to parent them in their differences, praise them for their individual strengths, and encourage their creativity and gifts which means I have to loosen the reigns in an area or two. To find what works for one child is a challenge because when I figure it out the child moves on to a different stage. To discover and to stay on track for two children is tiring and difficult, but this is what I want to do. Because in order for my children to accept differences in others they need to feel accepted for their differences in our home.
We serve a creative God, an ingenious God. We also serve a God who has a sense of humor.
Thank you, Lord, for not making a vanilla world with all vanilla people! Help me to enjoy the spice of life that lives in my own home this year.