Friday, January 23, 2009

What A Day!

We woke up to snow on Inauguration Day....and to NO SCHOOL! So we stayed in bed a little longer this morning. I drank a few extra cups of coffee and watched all the festivities of the Inauguration that was to take place this afternoon. I also watch the snow fall. It was so beautiful. It was interesting to watch all the exchanges between the outgoing President and the incoming President-elect. The coffee at the White House must have been nice. I would think anything that was hosted by Laura Bush would be classy! She is one classy woman. I will miss her as First Lady, won't you? She was always smiling....always beautiful. She was so gracious on Inauguration Day. I admire her so much. She was a beautiful picture of a helpmate. Well done, Laura Bush! She makes you proud to be a woman.

I didn't vote for Barak Obama. I don't agree with many of his views....but I, like many Americans, was proud to watch the Inauguration on January 20th. It was moving. I think it's not only the fact that America elected an African American to the highest office in our country, but to watch a sweet family that seems, at least from the outside looking in, to be strong and in tact. That is refreshing. A mom and dad who are very much in love, and two children who seem to be bright and well-behaved. So many families are broken and hurting. So many children are out of control and headed for destruction. I am thankful to see a beautiful family take up residence in the White House.

I decided to make the most of the day, and make my children watch the ceremony. I wanted them to remember the history in the making. So, I sat them down and told them they would need to pay close attention to the speech, the music, the former presidents and their spouses, and the oath. Then I broke the news to them. When the speech was over, they were going to go upstairs to their rooms and write me a paper! I had them write about what they watched and heard in their own words. They actually didn't mind doing it. (after all, they are only eight and nine) I have saved their papers and will show them to them someday when they are grown as a reminder of the historical event.

I will enjoy reminding Meredith that she called Yo Yo Ma, "Yo Ma" and talked about how "happy" he was when he played the cello. I will chuckle for years to come as I remember Janey writing....."A lady in a big hat sang My Country Tisave."
Of course, I spent some time explaining the real name of the song. (and laughed a lot too)
I don't know how the next four years will play out. I am sure it will be interesting enough. I do know that prayer is always important....and even more when you aren't in agreement with someone. So I am praying for our new president. I pray that he will seek God's face in all his decisions.

Leading a nation....can you imagine? But why should leading a nation be any more important than raising children. In the grand scheme of things we really should look at them with equal importance. As a matter of fact, as parents, we are responsible for leading our children to the Lord. That is a monumental task....to put God before our children every day and make sure that we are addressing each and every situation in the light of God's word and how it applies to their decisions and actions...both visible and invisible. Wow. That's sobering. How many times do I think, "Pick your battles." If I were totally honest, I should pick them all.....as a moment to show God to my children. So, I'll pray for the president as he leads our nation in HUGE decisions that affect millions of people.... And I'll get on my knees and beg for wisdom and guidance as I guide my own little army.

So help me God.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Weeds

Wisdom from Above
James 3:13-18
Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace
.

I want peace....on so many levels.

I have realized lately that my mothering needs more urgency. I see time slipping away every day in the faces of my children, and wonder how much I have wasted and lost already.
I see traits in my children that seem to be popping up likes weeds....and to be honest, I do not like what I see growing. I feel like a gardener who goes outside to water the garden one day, only to find that when he wasn't looking, it was taken over by weeds.

So, these traits that are budding rather rapidly in the middle of my daisy bushes are beginning to bother me. Selfishness, greed, manipulation.....and all the while, the peace I long for is slipping away. I must get a handle on it! I must get out the "weed-be gone" and "round-up" the Fruits of the Spirit!

As I begin thinking about what to do about these traits I see growing rapidly and out of control, I find myself focusing on the negative.....becoming more irritable.....less peaceful. James warned us about this "disorder" that will erupt. It is spilling over into every open area of our lives. Everything becomes vulnerable. Instead of modeling peace and wisdom, I become irritable, aggravated, impatient and sometimes even angry. I allow the weeds to choke me. I am such a weak human! I am no better than they are.

I realize my reactions are based upon lack of watering in my own garden. You see, James said that wisdom from above is first pure. Talk about a slap in the face. How in the world am I supposed to show good conduct and model the traits I want my children to have if I am not modeling from wisdom that is pure. No wonder we are lacking peacefulness and gentleness, and no one is reasonable, there is no mercy among us. I must back up and start from the very beginning....my own purity.

So as I try to rid my children of these weeds, I must first take care of my own garden. I will move straight to the Fruits of the Spirit, and stop focusing on the weeds. Tending the fruits will choke the weeds.......

and peace will return.

All this has made me thirsty.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Out with the old.....


Well, I ate my black-eyed peas today, did you? I expect this year to be more prosperous than last! I also did not do one load of laundry today, lest a member of the family be "washed away" over the next few months.


There are so many funny customs....some pretty cooky! Check out this link and read some for yourselves. Very interesting stuff. You might find out the reasons behind your own silly and fun customs.


We decorated gingerbread men today. It is still Christmastime after all, right? Today would be the "8th day of Christmas"--which is the "maids a-milking". Do you know what the maids-a-milking represent? They represent the 8 beatitudes listed in the Sermon on the Mount. Some people might not realize that "The Twelve Days of Christmas" actually has religious meanings behind each verse. Early Catholics in England were prohibited to practice their faith. The song was written to help young Catholics learn the basics of their faith through coded messages or memory aids.


So, I digress. As I was saying, we decorated gingerbread men today, took down the Christmas tree (a day late because I've been sick and literally forgot because I haven't been downstairs!!), did no laundry, ate our black-eyed peas and began our family challenge to read the Bible every day this year. The girls each had their assignment and it was completed this evening.


For some reason I'm blue today. New Year's Day has always been an exciting day for me, or at least a day of gearing up for something new and exciting....feeling fresh and renewed. Not this year. I don't really know why. I'm still working through this melancholy. It could be lots of things.


I'm missing my family. My parents and my brother live far away.....his girls are growing up and don't know me very well. I get very sad when I think of all I am missing. God has a plan for my life and I am trying to walk in His will....but it seems to have me walking away from those I love so dearly. Friendships of old that are also so dear to me are not in my grasp or sight. Time just keeps moving on, and so do their lives...without me.


I guess I need to take a dose of my own medicine and plant a few more daisies where I am. The ones that have been planted are wilting. I haven't been "willing" them to grow and blossom. There are some that have blossomed quite beautifully. Those I have planted in my children and around my children's lives are blooming beautifully. I am thankful for that. I praise God for that.


I will choose to be grateful for time spent with people, even if it is much shorter than I would like.


I will choose to cultivate my relationship with God more deeply and more consistently. I think in focusing on this one thing and only this one thing, all the rest will fall into place.....


The melancholy will fade...


The sadness will ease....


and the daisies will grow.