Tag Archive | growing up

In this moment

42-17251068I have been an impatient person (probably) my whole life. Many are the times God uses situations to teach me patience. Just when I think I’m mellowing-at least some-I find a new circumstance stirring my impatience pot. I put on blinders, pretending I’m not frustrated or angered, but the reality is I get stressed. God wants me to learn (and relearn) patience and understanding. As were the Israelites, I, too, am quite stubborn, pig-headed, hyper-focused, wanting things my way and in my time frame.
This is a new life season for me. Waiting for the birth of the first grandchild. Waiting. Waiting. WAITING!!!!! Past the due date, one day, two days, three days, four days…every day and every night asking for God to set the systems to go. This precious miracle of life I am longing to hold in my arms. It’s so very exciting and exhilarating! Can you understand why I am impatient? However, the expectations I have for the timing of this event have been overruled by Abba (Father). It’s a good thing He doesn’t ask my permission on these matters!
One year ago, I wasn’t sure whether my eyes would heal from hemorrhages or if I would ever drive again. (Look back to 8/24/15 entry for hiking blog beginning.) I think I had more patience then. But others may disagree. I knew regardless of the outcome, I would still live a full life albeit with some minor inconveniences. With an otherwise miraculous recovery, my God story was forming, getting ready for the telling. I was content to walk through the season of healing, sharing my miracle, drawing nearer to God.
Fast forward to celebrating life and the blessings a child brings to a family. Unable to drive, my daughter needed someone to be with her during the day.  I am blessed to have the flexibility to drop my schedule to help her.  That’s what moms do. It’s been two weeks. She has shown many signals that labor is not far away. Still, no birth.
God’s message is to enjoy every moment. Live in the now. Not the then or the yet to be. Don’t wish away life. Sometimes I am so focused on the next phase, I lose sight of the current phase. I need to embrace these days with my daughter. This time with her will never be back. Our dynamic will change as she takes on the role of mother and leaves daughter on the back burner. My prayer is that this will be a firm foundation for the changing relationship.
God’s plans are bigger and better than I can imagine. He only gives me enough vision for my current stage. I would want to jump ahead if I had the whole trip mapped out for me! He knows that too! He loves my daughter and grandson more than I do. He has perfect timing every time.
So, here I sit at her table, 500+ miles away from home. Thunderstorms rumbling the apartment. Lights flickering and lightning flashes. Waiting for labor to begin. Listening to raindrops on the roof and downspout.
Thank You, Father, for this step, for reminding me to not rush through life; for time to reflect and pray. Make me a blessing to someone everyday!

p.s. Hiking blog update coming soon.

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I Don’t Want to Grow Up!

One of numerous vivid memories of my early childhood has spoken much to me of late.   When I was about two and a half years old, I remember running toward the hall closet where my mother kept a pile of shoes readily accessible.  Summertime was approaching; the weather was getting warmer, and I had a sudden impulse to get out my favorite sandals from the previous summer and put them on.  They were white leather, and I was very excited at the thought of wearing them again.  As I approached the closet to get them out of storage, my mother asked me what I was doing.   I replied with delight, “I am getting my sandals!”  To my chagrin, she responded with laughter that I couldn’t possibly wear them that summer, as my feet had grown, and the sandals would be too small for me.   Decades later, I still remember that disappointment.   What is odd, is that I do not remember whether my parents bought me new sandals or not (although they most likely did!).   I simply remember the sadness of not being able to wear the ones I had worn before, the most comfortable and prettiest white sandals in the world, the sandals I loved best. Moreover, I didn’t really understand how my feet could be too big for the sandals that had fit me perfectly. 

The process of growth continued to be a mystery to me.  (“This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how.”  Mark 4:26-27)  When I was in junior high, I began  to look forward to growing up, because I had begun to grasp that privileges would accompany maturity.  Later, as a college student, I realized that simply growing older wasn’t always characterized by an increase in maturity level!  People may age physically, but maturity is not guaranteed, for, unlike the physical aging process,  gaining wisdom and maturity requires cooperation from the individual!  I also noticed that I wasn’t always terribly eager to cooperate with the maturing process myself, as some of the responsibilities associated with growing up were not so pleasant!

As a young adult who appeared younger than my actual years, I could get by with a little immaturity now and then.   However, I ultimately found that I needed to quit resisting the process and begin to cooperate with the “forward march” of time!   Whether I liked it or not, I had real-life obligations and was not a child (or even a college student — an excuse for much!) anymore.  Behaving in a manner that was NOT commensurate with my phase in life would be equivalent to cramming my toddler-sized feet into the baby’s sandals.   My immaturity would be evident to all, no matter how insistent I was on remaining in the former phase of my development or how much I had enjoyed the previous season!

As Christians, I believe we are guilty of the same kind of resistance to the maturing processes God uses to shape us into His image.   We love the season of childhood with our Daddy, where He caters to our every need and holds us tenderly by the hand.   We love learning to know Him better and experiencing His power.   We long to do great things for Jesus (kind of like playing the part of a superhero when we were children).   We imagine that we are more spiritual than we actually are; the time is then ripe for God to test and hone us.   When that process began full force in my life, I longed to return to that toddler phase and wear my spiritual little white baby sandals.   They were so pretty on my feet, and they were perfectly comfortable.   I didn’t ASK for bigger shoes — just for a little more attention, perhaps!   Nonetheless, in the Body of Christ, we ultimately must repent of wanting to wear our old clothing that no longer fits us.   We need God’s forgiveness for wanting to use His power without true maturity of character and accountability in relationship.   Trials are definitely painful, but they allow His DNA in us to replicate exponentially, as we are compelled to abandon self-indulgence if we ever hope to survive the trial!  

Father, help me to abandon the trappings of past seasons that I treasure and move on into the next phase of my journey with You!   Don’t allow me to resist the tug of Your Spirit to see You work victory in the face of fresh challenges.   Deliver me from the fear of the unknown!  You are with me!  I DO want You to transform me more and more into Your image!  Daddy, help me to strap on the new sandals You have purchased for me and take up the weapons of truth You are putting into my hand, in Jesus’ Name!

“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”  2 Corinthians 3:18

” Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”  1 Corinthians 15:51-54