Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Parenting in my 20 vs. Parenting in my 40's

Most of you know that I have a wide range of ages between my kids, my oldest is 18 and my youngest is 7 months.  I know this is not the norm, but seriously if one more person calls me "Grandma" when I am out with the younger ones, I am not certain I will be able to contain myself.  I am not saying there is anything wrong with being a grandma, just that I am not quite ready for that journey yet.  I cannot even count the times I have been called, "Grandma" by some well meaning, but clearly clueless person!  I wish I could tell them what I am thinking  "Listen, it is only because I love Jesus that they are not looking for your body!"  but I am trying to be a good example to these kids that are ALWAYS watching me, so I refrain!  I don't make this stuff up, when I went to bring the last little bundle of joy home from the hospital my friend Tori went with my because my husband could not.  As we were leaving, Tori was loaded down with all the bags and such and I was carrying the baby and the receptionist said, "Oh Grandma is going to carry the baby out."  My friend, Tori, burst out laughing and I just shook my head and exited the building before I could commit a crime.  So all of that has gotten me to thinking about the obvious differences in parenting from when I was in my 20's to now when I am in my EARLY 40's (not nearly old enough to be a grandma)!  Here is a list I compiled of some of the differences:

*At 20, you pretend not to hear the baby over the monitor in hopes that your husband will get the baby,
  At 40, you seriously don't hear the baby over the monitor

*At 20, when you take them to the bathroom you put a seat cover down and wait for them to go,
  At 40, you say, "Honey, Mommy has to go first and then it can be your turn ok?"

*At 20, you boil every bottle part and pacifier anytime it comes into contact with anything other than the       baby,
At 40, you dip it in your coffee and hope it is still hot enough to kill any germs.

*At 20, you play run and catch games and you let them win
  At 40, they actually win, even when you don't want them to.

*At 20, you play ball with the kids and run all the bases
  At 40, you are all time pitcher.

*At 20, when you child brings you a broken toy, you take it apart and examine it to fix whatever might be    wrong
 At 40, you bring your broken electronics to  your kids for them to examine and fix whatever might be wrong

*At 20, you sweat the small stuff, worry over every little detail and possible dilemma

  At 40, you just sweat...seriously I totally get the whole hot flash thing now!

and the one thing that has stayed the same...

*At 20, you love your kids and would do anything for them
  At 40, you love your kids and would do anything for them!

Dealing with Disappointment?

Boy has disappointment smacked me in the face lately.  Disappointment in my fellow man, disappointment with the court systems, disappointment with life, and even disappointment with God.  Have you ever been there?
I was just reading about Moses as he led the Israelites out of Egypt and then spent the next disappointing 40 years in the dessert.  As if all of that was not enough, he receives some more news...lets pick up the story in Deuteronomy 34:16-18,
"The Lord said to Moses, "You are about to die an join your ancestors.  After you are gone, these people will begin to worship foreign gods, the gods of the lands where they are going.  They will abandon me and break my covenant that I have made with them.  Then my anger will blaze forth against them.  I will abandon them, hiding my face from them, and they will be devoured.  Terrible trouble will come down on them, and they will be devoured..."  Wow, talk about watching your life work go up in smoke. Moses, had given these people the last of his years.  He had faithfully served them, instructed them, protected them, guided them, and now, on his death bed, he hears that they are going to walk away from all he has worked for.  I guess this is a good reminder of a few things:

1- You can only change you, you have influence over others but ultimately they have to make their own choices.  This means you can do everything right and your "children will" still have the freedom to make the wrong choices (Not that Moses did EVERYthing right, or that you or I do for that matter :)

2- We work for God and not man.  I imagine Jeremiah could relate to Moses, as he preached repentance day after day only to watch his fellow country men walk in disobedience.  Sometimes, we do not see the results of our work this side of Heaven.  That should not keep us from moving ahead in obedience to God's call.  Ephesians 6:7 reminds us, "Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men."

So what ever disappointment you are facing today, I hope you will be encouraged to keep your eyes on Jesus, who never disappoints us, never leaves us, never forsakes us, and work as if you are serving Him and not the people around you.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Ten years from now?

I had a job interview this morning and things were clipping along rather well, and then...it happen!  She asked me a question I couldn't answer.  I took the question in stride and fiddled up some half hearted answer but it has been bothering me ever since.  The question was quite typical, "Where do you see yourself in ten years?" and yet I really truly didn't and still, hours later, don't know the answer.  I guess I should, it is a typical interview question, it's just that ten years ago, I didn't see myself here.

Ten years ago, I was Momma to 4: Jeremiah was 8, Myrah 6, Jennah 5, and Mikaylah 2.  I had just ended our homeschooling journey and was sending my oldest three off to public school for the first time.  My heart was heavy at the thought of days gone by and I was just starting to contemplate reentering the working world.  My husband was working a construction job and ministry was only a glimmer of hope on the distant horizon.

Fast forward ten years.  My husband is a full time pastor, and I am now Momma to 7, ages 18, 16, 15, 12, 4, 2, and 7 months.  I have just taken my oldest to college  (How did that even happen?)  and today my 3 older girls had there first day of school.  My heart is heavy at the thought of days gone by and once again I am thinking about reentering the working world! Funny how life changes and stays the same all at the same time!

Proverbs 29:18 tells us. "Where there is no vision, the people will perish."  So it would seem that making a plan, having a vision for where we think we are headed, is a good, life sustaining  thing. In fact, ten years ago I had a plan!  Of course my reality looks nothing like the plan I had mapped out!  But then if we look back at Proverbs 16:9 we can read, "The mind of man plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps." Now this more accurately describes my journey!  This verse reminds me that, though it is good to have a goal, or a vision in sight, it is more important to be open to what God's purpose, or plan for you is. 

A lot of things have happened in the last ten years that I could not have foreseen ten years ago, some of them good, some of them bad, all of them God ordained! And I guess that is the only thing we can be certain of ten years from now!  So where do I see myself in ten years?  I guess the best answer I can give is, "In God's hands!"