Tuesday, December 31, 2013

On the way to whom I'm becoming...

All my life, I have known in my heart that I was to be a wife and mother.  It wasn't so much of a dream as it was a destiny.  And, each year (especially in the past 15 or so) that passed that I wasn't either one, I felt like I was treading water waiting for my true life to start. One of my favorite verses is Psalm 37:4, "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart".  I do not believe that God is a vending machine.  So, this verse means one of 2 things.  Either the Lord is going to give me what I desire, or He is going to change my desires.

This year, the year that I turned 40, I was more reflective and pensive than usual.  In order to distract myself from my birthday that ended in zero, I took a whole week's vacation from work to spend with some of my favorite people on earth, who are unfortunately now 1000+ miles away.  I had a great time with them, just doing life with their sweet family of 3 kids (6, 3.5 and 1.5) that call me Aunt Sarah.  The children are very well behaved, but they have sin natures just like all of us.  The six year old and three year old are sisters, and they were going through a season of frequent spats.  Their parents, while certainly not perfect, are some of the best I know.  They are raising their children as I would have raised mine. (I have actually read some of the parenting books they have.)  They have family devotions every night, Mama and Daddy consistently point the little ones to Jesus and the children are lovingly but firmly disciplined.  This includes spanking when it is warranted and it is done appropriately - the child is taken to the bathroom or a private place, the reason for the spanking is given, afterwards there is reinforcement of love and the need for reconciliation with the person(s) the child wronged and the child and person(s) hug.

It was very slowly, because the Lord knows I couldn't handle processing this all at once, that something began to work its way to the surface of my mind/heart.  I realized that maybe, I don't want to be the mother of a child, because I don't think I can handle the willful disobedience that every child will exhibit due to their sin nature.  I realized that every time - my whole life - that I have pictured myself as a mother - it has been of a baby, a child with only positive responses to my love.  I know that an older child's disobedience would be different if it were my child, but I think prior to this week with my friends and their kids I might have written off this less than pleasant behavior by the children as poor parenting.  But I certainly couldn't this time, and that's when this seed of potential truth/change of desires began to unfold.

There are many reasons (simple facts and 2 I will mention here) that I can point to as to why I know the Lord has not provided a child for me yet.  Firstly and most importantly is my knee-jerk reaction to disobedience or challenge of my authority by children for whom I've babysat has been threatening and other verbal and psychologically abusive behavior. I am certainly not proud of that, and I thank God from saving me from doing permanent life-long damage to a child.

The second reason is practical.  Due to my health issues and work schedule, I am not physically able to take care of a child of any age by myself. While I believe it is biblically acceptable and know that it is legally permissible to adopt as a single woman, I personally could not do that.  I do not have any men in my life that could act as father figures, and I believe God's design for child-rearing is for there to be a father as well as a mother.  Since I am not married, then I believe this is another indicator that motherhood may not be in the future.

For the first time ever, I am actually almost OK with peeking into what's behind the curtain of not being a mother or wife.  And, as someone that knows me very well pointed out - what if, instead of waiting to become someone/something I'm not (yet), I am already now on the track to whom I'm becoming? Meaning, my destination (not just temporary status) might be a single woman?  How freeing would that be?

I think, though I'm not positive, that would mean that my desires are really starting to change.  And I can feel, just a tiny bit, how much freedom would be in abiding in that place.

So, as we step into another year, I'm going to continue to follow this road of Psalm 37:4.  The Lord has been so faithful to provide for my needs, and as omnipotent and omniscient Almighty God, He is in control and He knows what He is doing.  He has my best in mind and I can trust Him.  He is more than enough.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Reason We Celebrate

Every year for as long as I can remember, Dad read the account of Jesus' birth from Luke 2 before we could open presents on Christmas morning. He read from KJV, but I have been using GNT for my Devo's and really like it.

8There were some shepherds in that part of the country who were spending the night in the fields, taking care of their flocks. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone over them. They were terribly afraid, 10but the angel said to them, “Don't be afraid! I am here with good news for you, which will bring great joy to all the people. 11This very day in David's town your Savior was born—Christ the Lord! 12And this is what will prove it to you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13Suddenly a great army of heaven's angels appeared with the angel, singing praises to God:14“Glory to God in the highest heaven,and peace on earth to those with whom he is pleased!”15When the angels went away from them back into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us.”16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph and saw the baby lying in the manger. 17When the shepherds saw him, they told them what the angel had said about the child. 18All who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said. 19Mary remembered all these things and thought deeply about them. 20The shepherds went back, singing praises to God for all they had heard and seen; it had been just as the angel had told them.

Luke 2:13-20 (GNT)

Merry Christmas!!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Kaelynn comes to TX!

We had so much fun with Kaelynn and her parents the weekend before Thanksgiving.  One of the things I liked best was that she answered "yes" instead of "yeah" (I'm not even that disciplined).  Apparently they taught her that at daycare.  By far, though, I was most impressed by her newly (as in the last 7 days) acquired skill:

Daddy works at Apple and they had purchased an iPad for Kaelynn and Mommy had found a 2 year-old proof case/stand.  She knew how to push the button to make the screen come on, then Daddy would say "OK, swipe", and she would, with her tiny little index finger.  Then she could do her "ABC's".  It was an app that was a word puzzle.  It would display the word and then wipe the letters away to the side. She would then need to pull the letters with her fingers to the appropriate places.  If the word had an "L" in it, the "L" would sound "la, la, la, la" while she had her finger on it, until she dropped it in the proper place.  Similarly, the "S" would hiss like a snake - and on and on.  It was really cute. She wasn't doing just short words, either.  She did "xylophone" and "musician", which I thought was pretty good for a 2 yr old (though obviously I'm not biased!) She also had an app to build cupcakes (working on colors and shapes). K's parents limit her time on the iPad and it's not used as a babysitter.  She's learning and having fun at the same time.  While Mommy and Daddy went out and Granny, Granddad and Aunt Sarah had her, she wanted to do "hi-pad", so we got it out.  She wanted to do "tuptakes", but I couldn't find the app for it.  Turns out, she knew - it was buried as a game within a group of games and she found it!!

Another fun thing we did was that K went to "work".  She had a glow stick necklace, her gift bag of "cookies" (2 stuffed Cookie Monsters from Granny and Aunt Sarah), and then the Fisher Price record player that she called her purse.  She would make the relatively long commute from the kitchen to the front room, work for about 15 seconds, then commute back "home" to the kitchen.  I don't know how many times she did that, but we were all for getting out energy.  She loves to go "ou-si" (outside) and she couldn't because it was cold and wet, so we needed to tired her out before bedtime somehow!  :)

During their visit, Mommy and Kaelynn and Granny, Granddad and Aunt Sarah were in the room and Mommy was pointing to the person and asking K "who's that?"  Mommy pointed to my Mom and K said "Granny".  She pointed to my Dad and K said "Granny" (she called both of them that!)  Then when Mommy pointed to me, K walked over, took her little hands and cupped them around my face and whispered "Sarah".  It was like a moment of time froze and just the two of us were in it.  I hope I remember it forever, it was so sweet.

The next day we went to the mall for K to ride the carousel, one of her current favorite things to do.

Then, it was party time!  Since the TX family had never met K, we were having a 2nd birthday party for her a week early.  Here is our pretty girl all dressed up.  You can see how much she looks like her beautiful Mommy here.

Kaelynn likes Sesame Street right now, particularly "Cookie" (Monster) because he is her favorite color, blue.  So that was the theme of her party.

Cupcake cake with TONS of frosting holding it together...(it tasted great, though!  The adults scraped off the blue icing so we wouldn't have blue teeth!)

Last year, K didn't want anything to do with her 1st birthday cake - even after Mommy put frosting on her lip.  She actually cried.  Not so this year.  She's had a year of her friends' birthday parties to practice!  She dug into that cupcake with reckless abandon!  :)

When we started laughing at her after she had blue frosting on her face, she realized she was funny.  So then, she purposely tried to get more blue icing on her face.  This next one is one of my favorite pics, and one I posted earlier.  Because she wanted her Daddy to share in her blue fun, and because her Daddy adores her so much that he will do any reasonable thing to make his baby girl happy! Nothing melts my heart more to see my brother be a tender Daddy to his baby girl!

After cake, she got to open her presents.  She got a little Elmo game with colors that talked.  Apparently K thought it was something else.  Perfect example of what era we live in:

By far the best part, though, was just being with our sweet, funny, beautiful girl and her parents.

And my parents were over the moon to show off one of their grandbabies to their friends at church in person (vs. all the pictures they've seen from the brag book!).  I have very rarely ever seen my Dad smile this big!

We're so thankful our precious redhead and her parents were able to come for a visit, and we can't wait to she her again, probably after the first week in July when her baby brother or sister comes!!!