Thursday, June 24, 2010

Is Loved More Than a Sack of Taters

"Mom, I love you more than a sack of taters," Pearce said with a hearty grin and an exaggerated drawl.

Not to be outdone, I said, "Son, you can sweet talk the horns right off a billy goat, and I love you too.""I love you more, mom." And so it begins.

"I love you, Pearce, more than all the trees on the earth.""I love you, Mom, more than all the frogs on the earth.""I love you more than all the number of stars in the sky." You get the picture.

This has been my way of trying to quantify my love to my children. This has been my way of trying to give them a visual picture of just how much I love them because children are such concrete and literal thinkers.When Pearce first started telling me he loved me more than a sack of taters, my first thought was, "Boy, you been spending too much time with your Poppar" (my daddy). But it was simply his way of starting the conversation and his way of getting to hear me say how much I love him.

For Erin, it progressed from the "I love you more than…" to "Guess what?" That is Erin's phrase for everything. "Hey, mom, guess what!" Of course, I'm rarely given the opportunity to guess, and when I am given such an opportunity I make it so absurd that she wonders why she even tries. "Mom, guess what!" Erin says excitedly.

"You are going to go snow skiing down Mount Everest backwards with a cricket in your pocket going forwards.""Mom, you're not even close," she says with a grin. Then she begins telling her story of the thrilling event or tidbit of information she finds fascinating. When she's very excited I hear, "Hey, mom, guess what! Guess what!"

Each are so unique with different strengths and different temperaments and different gifts. Loving them and disciplining them differently can be quite challenging at times too. Invariably one thinks I'm unfair.You know, I've learned so much about my heavenly Father by being a mom to Erin and Pearce.

"Kristy, do you know how much I love you?""More than all the stars in the sky?"

"More than that.""More that all the dust bunnies in my house?"

"More than that.""More than all the sand on every beach on Earth?"

"I love you so much that I knew you before the world was created. I love you so much that I made you a masterpiece, a one-of-a-kind, priceless. I love you so much that I have the number of hairs on your head numbered. I love you so much that I was willing and did die for you because I didn't want your sin to separate us any longer. That's how much I love you.""WOW, that's some kind of extravagant love!"

Monday, June 14, 2010

Knows I Could Handle Some Things Better

As many of you know, I refer to my children as "motion" and "commotion." Erin who started talking in full sentences at 18 months, who wakes up talking and goes to bed talking is the "commotion" part of the duo, and Pearce who wakes up moving and moves all day until he just gives out is the "motion." They are quite an entertaining duo when I'm not having to referee, but there are just days, especially hormonal days, that if I have to repeat myself one more time, referee another argument, or answer the same question one more time… I snap. I feel like my head should pop off my neck and start spinning, and typically what comes out of my mouth is not what I want to say or how I would want to say it if I were in my right mind. Does this sound familiar to anyone?

I don't remember my mom losing her cool very often, but when she did, it got the attention of her Attention Deficit Hyperactive daughter (me). I wish I was as calm as she, but I'm not her. I don't have her strengths, her gifts, and her temperament and to compare myself to her or anyone else is not fair to me or my Creator because He makes one-of-a-kinds only. Not only that, but He has chosen the children for each of us to raise even those of us who adopt our children. Nothing surprises Him – THANK YOU, JESUS!
I also think He chooses children who will make the parent lean on Him the most. Granted, I don't have any biblical backing on that. It's just a personal observation. For example, He chose me, an ADHD, Dr. Dobson strong-willed child to be mothered by Sandra, an organized melancholy. In turn, He has blessed me with Erin who moves at a very slow pace and sees life as a party missing the details in instructions, and then He blessed me with Pearce (the answer to my mother's prayers). I am now raising an active, strong-willed boy. (Thanks, mom.) In truth, they make me smile and laugh more than anything else, but they definitely can drive me to my knees quicker than most anything else. God, I pray the power of the blood of the cross from the top of their heads to the bottom of their feet. Keep Satan from taking hold in their hearts, souls and minds. Lord, give me the strength and courage to parent my children as they need to be parented. Please give me wisdom to know how to handle each situation, each discipline issue, each moment with grace and mercy. Lord, thank you for choosing me to be their mother. Thank you, Lord that whatever difficult thing we are going through is a phase, a season that will come and go. Thank you, Lord, for the gift of laughter, and thank you, Lord, for forgiving me when I mess up. I love you, Lord. Amen.
Personally, I think it's good to apologize to our children when we blow it. It teaches them we are human. They don't need to see us beating ourselves up over our mistakes. They need to hear us praying to our heavenly Father asking for forgiveness. They need to hear us ask them for forgiveness too. It also teaches them how to ask for forgiveness. It gives them the opportunity to exercise grace and mercy, and it can create a stronger bond if allowed.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Wonders What Are You Expecting

Tonight my son was watching "Horton Hears a Who." This little movie is about an elephant who hears a noise coming from a speck, and the elephant Horton decides the voice belongs to someone who has a family who needs help. Horton finds out it's more than just that someone. It's a whole town living on the speck he caught on the top of a clover.

It was during the beginning of the movie when Horton is chasing the clover because he heard someone crying for help that a still, quiet voice asked me, "What do you expect of me?" I thought it was funny because there is a kangaroo on the movie who couldn't hear the voice Horton heard, and if she couldn't hear it, see it, feel it or taste it then it just wasn't real, and here I sat hearing that still, quiet voice.I excused myself, and the still, quiet voice began questioning me as I entered my time alone with Him. It's been a while since He came to me, or maybe He's come and I haven't heard Him for all the racket going on in my life.

  • Am I expecting anything from God? I have to tell you I have wrestled with this question and am still wrestling with it.
  • What do I expect from God? Do I expect anything? I want God to do things, and I need God to do things, but what do I expect of Him?

  • What do I want from God? (The question "What do I need from God?" will be addressed in a different blog.)

  • Direction: I want God to just tell me what He wants me to do. Is that too much to ask? When we were going through the adoption process the first go around, I got to the point in my spiritual walk that I would be obedient, I would comply, I would submit if He would only just make His way, His plan boldly evident. Do you know why this was a problem?

    I had gotten to a point in my spiritual growth where I relied on God and wanted nothing more than to be in His will and to please Him. This is not a bad thing. But if God had left me in that place, my faith would not have grown roots. 2 Corinthians 5:7 "We live by faith, not by sight." We should never stop learning. We should never stop growing in our relationship with God or in our faith. So now, I'm working on breathing. When I take a deep breath and realize He is in control, that He will work it all out for the good of those who love Him (which is me) Romans 8:28, and that even if I stumble He has me in His hands (Psalms 37:23-24), then I'm trusting Him with my whole heart. I'm trusting Him with everything.

    Here are a couple of other verses He led me to read.
             Proverbs 16:9 NIV   In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.         Isaiah 42:16-17 NIV   I will lead the blind by ways they have not known along familiar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These things I will do; I will not forsake them. (I cannot tell you how meaningful this verse is in my life on a regular basis.)
Justice: Given what I do for a living as a fraud investigator, I want justice. I need to know if I can't get them here that God will settle all scores in the end. Otherwise, I would not be able to leave my work at work. On the flip side of that, I'm thankful for God's grace and mercy that He extends to me daily.          Isaiah 42:1-4 The Message    

1-4 "Take a good look at my servant.  I'm backing him to the hilt. He's the one I chose, and I couldn't be more pleased with him. I've bathed him with my Spirit, my life. He'll set everything right among the nations. He won't call attention to what he does with loud speeches or gaudy parades. He won't brush aside the bruised and the hurt and he won't disregard the small and insignificant, but he'll steadily and firmly set things right. He won't tire out and quit. He won't be stopped until he's finished his work—to set things right on earth. Far-flung ocean islands wait expectantly for his teaching."

2 Chronicles 6:30 - 31NIV
Then hear from heaven, your dwelling place. Forgive, and deal with each man according to all he does, since you know his heart (for you alone know the hearts of men), so that they will fear you and walk in your ways all the time they live in the land you gave our fathers." 
  • Love: As a mean mom, I don't always get love from my kids. Human love is flawed, but His love is perfect and can cast out fear. I love the way The Message puts it in Jeremiah.
           Jeremiah 31:2-6
 2-6This is the way God put it: "They found grace out in the desert,  these people who survived the killing. Israel, out looking for a place to rest, met God out looking for them!" (I love that!) God told them, "I've never quit loving you and never will. Expect love, love, and more love! (Thank you, thank you, thank you!) And so now I'll start over with you and build you up again, dear virgin Israel. You'll resume your singing, grabbing tambourines and joining the dance. You'll go back to your old work of planting vineyards on the Samaritan hillsides,
And sit back and enjoy the fruit—  oh, how you'll enjoy those harvests! The time's coming when watchmen will call out from the hilltops of Ephraim: 'On your feet! Let's go to Zion,  go to meet our God!'" 
  • Protection

         Proverbs 18:10 NIV   10 The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.

        Psalms 34:7 NIV The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.

 Those are just a few things I want from God, but do I expect them from Him? I guess I do. Why do  I       expect them? Because He is faithful and just. He is consistent. Is it bad that I expect things of God? Not necessarily. I can rely on Him for my every need, but our expectations of God can be a bad thing when we limit God with our finite knowledge and human experience. If you were to write down everything you know or feel about Jesus Christ and put it in a box, how much space would that box fill in a room? Not much. God doesn't fit in a box. He cannot be adequately described. He is beyond description. He is the beginning and the end – have you ever tried to wrap your mind around that? He is the Alpha and the Omega. He has infinite knowledge and wisdom. We see things partly not in whole.

I am guilty of limiting God. I am guilty of putting God in a box. So I'm working on just breathing and waiting, and I'm trying not to be too eager to label things that happen in my life as good or bad. I'm looking for God's hand knowing that sometimes I won't see it until I look back and sometimes it is not for me to see but to trust that it is enough to know that He loves me.