Tuesday, March 20, 2012

First day of Spring, first day of school...






“A child needs both to be hugged and unhugged. The hug lets her know she is valuable. The unhug lets her know that she is viable. If you’re always shoving your child away, they will cling to you for love. If you’re always holding them closer, they will cling to you for fear.”  Billy Graham


Today I sent my Grace off to preschool. This would be the first time that I have left her in this type of scenario. She has been waking up every single morning for three months now BEGGING to go to school. It took a lot of prayer for me to be at peace with this. I had been struggling with what was good for her for a long time but finally let go... I have been prepping her for about a week. Telling her to make sure she obeys her teachers, washes her hands etc...thinking I was in control of what was to happen there. I try my best as her mother to keep her safe. I try to nurture her strengths and build up her weaknesses. We got there very early so I could show her the potty. I wanted to make sure she knew the process. Again, grilling her and overwhelming her with do this and do that...and there was a moment before it was time for the other kids to come when all the teachers gathered into the hall to pray. Pray for the day. Pray for the kids. I wanted to run into the hall and ask them to cover me in prayer. I started crying and began to feel a release inside my soul. Permission to let go and let God. He began to wrap his arms around me and whisper to my soul, " I got this, shes in my hands now." What an amazing God I serve who is always there to comfort me.

The kids started to come in and Grace started to greet everyone at the door. She commented on one little girls beautiful boots. She took her backpack from her and hung it up. Mr. John pulled me aside and wanted to commend me for having such a loving child. The tears just flowed. I couldn't stop crying, there were so many people around going from room to room but I felt like I was the only there. He kept telling me that it takes some kids a year to adjust to school...we giggled as clearly this is not my Grace.  She was busy showing another boy a puzzle. She looked at me with a cute little Grace smile and said "bye mommy, see you later!"

I began to try to pour out every single detail of Grace, a three minute synopsis of her quirky behavior. She is afraid of being taken away from a game or activity so she will do a potty dance and hold it just so she doesn't have to leave. Please tell her to go potty. She loves the playground so much that when its time to leave she will throw a fit. I am afraid of her making a scene. She loves to love so sometimes she is not aware of social boundaries...she will hold hands and hug etc and some kids might not like that. All while tears are coming down my face and parents walking back and forth. Mr. John just stopped me. "Its going to be okay Melissa. I have a degree in childhood education but our goal here is to love on the children. To build them up. We rarely use time out unless its a deliberate behavior. I am patient with them because they are learning. We are here to guide and train them, but love them first. Go have a good day."


vi·a·ble

[vahy-uh-buhl] 
adjective
1.
capable of living.
2.
Physiology .
a.
physically fitted to live.

I am sitting here as we speak thinking about the times where God has given ME some rope. I myself have had a first day of school. I remember it like yesterday. There have been times when I started new businesses, or had babies or got through a deployment. All situations where God took me from where I was and brought me somewhere new. Growth. Most of the time I have gone kicking and screaming. But I always ended up okay. In fact I always ended up better.  I think for mothers, its hard to just let go. But its always important to remember that we have a Father looking on our children, protecting them, leading them, loving them at all times.

It is hard for me to release my children out into the world but it is also something that needs to happen. It is easier for some than others.I personally experienced a cruel world as a child I don't want any of that for my babies. And sometimes the hurt and pain I experienced as a child is what keeps me from letting them go. But I have to remember that what I saw, what was for me, is not what is for them. I must let go of all my fear and give it straight to Him.


Of Benjamin he said, “The beloved of the LORD dwells in safety. The High God surrounds him all day long, and dwells between his shoulders.” Deuteronomy 33:12
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First day of Spring, first day of school...






“A child needs both to be hugged and unhugged. The hug lets her know she is valuable. The unhug lets her know that she is viable. If you’re always shoving your child away, they will cling to you for love. If you’re always holding them closer, they will cling to you for fear.”  Billy Graham


Today I sent my Grace off to preschool. This would be the first time that I have left her in this type of scenario. She has been waking up every single morning for three months now BEGGING to go to school. It took a lot of prayer for me to be at peace with this. I had been struggling with what was good for her for a long time but finally let go... I have been prepping her for about a week. Telling her to make sure she obeys her teachers, washes her hands etc...thinking I was in control of what was to happen there. I try my best as her mother to keep her safe. I try to nurture her strengths and build up her weaknesses. We got there very early so I could show her the potty. I wanted to make sure she knew the process. Again, grilling her and overwhelming her with do this and do that...and there was a moment before it was time for the other kids to come when all the teachers gathered into the hall to pray. Pray for the day. Pray for the kids. I wanted to run into the hall and ask them to cover me in prayer. I started crying and began to feel a release inside my soul. Permission to let go and let God. He began to wrap his arms around me and whisper to my soul, " I got this, shes in my hands now." What an amazing God I serve who is always there to comfort me.

The kids started to come in and Grace started to greet everyone at the door. She commented on one little girls beautiful boots. She took her backpack from her and hung it up. Mr. John pulled me aside and wanted to commend me for having such a loving child. The tears just flowed. I couldn't stop crying, there were so many people around going from room to room but I felt like I was the only there. He kept telling me that it takes some kids a year to adjust to school...we giggled as clearly this is not my Grace.  She was busy showing another boy a puzzle. She looked at me with a cute little Grace smile and said "bye mommy, see you later!"

I began to try to pour out every single detail of Grace, a three minute synopsis of her quirky behavior. She is afraid of being taken away from a game or activity so she will do a potty dance and hold it just so she doesn't have to leave. Please tell her to go potty. She loves the playground so much that when its time to leave she will throw a fit. I am afraid of her making a scene. She loves to love so sometimes she is not aware of social boundaries...she will hold hands and hug etc and some kids might not like that. All while tears are coming down my face and parents walking back and forth. Mr. John just stopped me. "Its going to be okay Melissa. I have a degree in childhood education but our goal here is to love on the children. To build them up. We rarely use time out unless its a deliberate behavior. I am patient with them because they are learning. We are here to guide and train them, but love them first. Go have a good day."


vi·a·ble

[vahy-uh-buhl] 
adjective
1.
capable of living.
2.
Physiology .
a.
physically fitted to live.

I am sitting here as we speak thinking about the times where God has given ME some rope. I myself have had a first day of school. I remember it like yesterday. There have been times when I started new businesses, or had babies or got through a deployment. All situations where God took me from where I was and brought me somewhere new. Growth. Most of the time I have gone kicking and screaming. But I always ended up okay. In fact I always ended up better.  I think for mothers, its hard to just let go. But its always important to remember that we have a Father looking on our children, protecting them, leading them, loving them at all times.

It is hard for me to release my children out into the world but it is also something that needs to happen. It is easier for some than others.I personally experienced a cruel world as a child I don't want any of that for my babies. And sometimes the hurt and pain I experienced as a child is what keeps me from letting them go. But I have to remember that what I saw, what was for me, is not what is for them. I must let go of all my fear and give it straight to Him.


Of Benjamin he said, “The beloved of the LORD dwells in safety. The High God surrounds him all day long, and dwells between his shoulders.” Deuteronomy 33:12
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Friday, March 9, 2012

Be an encourager.


IN CHRIST.




Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other.And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil.May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.Brothers and sisters, pray for us. Greet all God's people with a holy kiss. I charge you before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers and sisters.The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
1 Thessalonians 5


                                       


Are you an encourager? Do you seek out opportunities to lift up people around you who may be struggling? There are people all around you who need to feel Christ's love. There is a person living next door to you who may be struggling financially but who has a gift or talent hidden within them that they can use! There is an old friend of yours who is lonely...a laboring military wife struggling to balance life without her husband.

Sometimes it is hard for me to not be judgemental. My fleshy self sometimes sees life through my own eyes and not my Fathers. And He does not instruct me to find and point out my sisters and brothers faults, but lift them up! Pray for them! Give encouragement!

If you are someone who doesn't come from a long line of earthly encouragement, just know that God has big plans for you. He has given you gifts. He has provided you with the tools to get you to the next BIG SEASON of your life. Diligently ask God to show you what gifts He has chosen for you and how to use them.

I recently started painting again. It had been many many years since I had picked up a paint brush or an oil pastel. In fact almost ten years to be exact. But I always felt as if a part of me was missing. A part of me that was not being used or nurtured. And I am not a person who comes from a long line of "earthly encourager's". But I have received the gift of Gods encouragement and it could not compare to any words anyone on this earth could give. But that is where it started...

It started with a few people who just simply said, you can do this. Their love and encouragement and prayers led me to a place where I stood in agreement. The power of your words and your acts of kindness might just propel someone into understanding who God created them to be. Be a person who speaks movement and love into peoples lives. Choose love.

You just never know what kind of sparks you might ignite!











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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

I learn so much from my children.

I had this whole big plan. I am taking a break from the blog simply because I am trying to figure out how to navigate through my life right now but there was so many special moments today I have to share. God is so good, so present and waiting to show you everything you need to know.

We found a park today. Well lets say my husband had been there with Grace but I woke up with the holy spirit nudging me there. I had no plans for today but I knew I needed to get to that park.

We got there and there was nobody there. I felt sad because we all know Grace needs to be around people. Every time we go somewhere where kids should be she always comments on how they aren't there and where are they? But we spotted a mom with 4 kids with her getting out of the car and Grace yelled "the children are here". Turns out 2 were hers and the other 2 were her daycare kiddos. Grace ran to the kids and said hello and then of course we followed them to the lake to feed the ducks.

As we were walking, she went up to the little girl Abigail, and grabbed her hand. She held her hand, walking and talking with her, all the way to the lake. She had never met this girl before and knew her for about 10 seconds before she grabbed her hand and walked with her. We fed the ducks. There was a group of older handicapped folks too. We also spent some time interacting with them. They were all in wheelchairs hooked up to oxygen and meds sitting there in their wheelchairs fishing. Grace talked to them for a while about whales and fishing and how she wants a pet whale. The smiles on their faces to be outdoors in Gods splendor. The joy in their eyes interacting with little ones who don't see all their tubes and wheelchairs and treat them as if they were just like everyone else. The joy of simple conversation. The gift of just enjoying Gods creation.

So many times throughout my day the Holy Spirit whispers to me. Today all I heard was Matthew 18.

And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.
(Matthew 18:2-6 ESV)


I could not hold back the tears today every time I saw Jesus in my daughter. I couldn't believe just how simple it all really is. Love. Just love. Nothing stops her. So often I feel as if I am only available to love when its on my terms. If it fits into my schedule or it doesn't cost me anything. I spend so much time worrying about my own financial issues and think that's the only way I am available to give. But today, God showed me that it could just be as simple as getting out of your house and going where God leads you. Today it was the park. I took off all the hats I have been trying to wear lately and enjoyed my inner child. I forgot about all the bills that are due and all the Mothers Day Out programs we have been visiting....I forgot all about my husbands squeaky breaks and how to pay for them. I lived in Gods precious moments. The moments where peace is found.



It was such a blessing today to sit and chat with an old lady in a wheelchair. She had no teeth and oxygen. She could hardly gather her thoughts enough to fill a full sentence but boy did she enjoy talking to Grace about whales. I am sure that lady felt love today. At the lake, in her nightgown at 10 am. I am sure my daughter brought some joy and peace to her soul simply because she practiced love. I wish, I pray, that I am brought to these precious moments more often. I pray that I can get rid of all the yuck in my life long enough to enjoy the places God leads me and the people He leads me to.

Sometimes the way people are led to the Lord is to see Him through you.


We stayed for about an hour until we made the long walk back to the playground. Grace walked with both little girls and offered to hold Abigail's jacket. She was hot so Grace held it all the way to the playground, it must have been a half a mile.

If you follow me you know that I have been struggling with Grace the past few months. You can read about it here. I just don't seem to be enough for her. She is bored and anxious. But today I received a beautiful gift from God. I was pushing Lucy in the stroller and watching Grace up ahead with the kids. I saw a little girl who was eager to serve. I saw a girl who was willing to walk a mile with another girl and hold her jacket, and her hand. And I saw all the anxiety and guilt and confusion regarding her leave my tortured soul.

Grace loves to love. Its that simple.

And this is what she desires to do. She loves to hug and play and help. She has a burning desire to be around people and interact. This has to be a glimpse of the amazing woman God is creating her to be. This has to be something I celebrate and nurture instead of see as a failure on my part as a mother. Its not that she doesn't connect with me, its that she desires to connect with humanity. All the flash cards and art and music and walks we take will never fill her up like connecting with other people will. And today I realized that it is not my job to make her have fun with me or judge my success as her mother based on how well her and I interact. It is my job to grow and adult full of love and compassion, someone who resembles Jesus.

I was so blessed today in the peaceful, quiet places of the Lord. He always amazes me with how much He loves me and how He wants me to know Him more intimately.

I pray that if you are looking for some answers and clarity that you will find your quiet moments with Him. That you will listen and be open to where He wants you to go. The easiest way I have been able to meet Him in these places is simply to just practice love, like a child.
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