Saturday, August 20, 2011

If I Had My Children to Raise Over Again

Alex will start college this week. Where has the time gone? It seems like we just celebrated his 4th birthday. Now as he starts a new phase in his life,  mom and dad will mark another milestone in theirs.....children born, children loved, children guided , children raised to be adults, children ready to make their way in life.....God's purpose for parents.
As I pondered the fast approaching empty nest, I found this little poem that pulled at my heart strings.

If I had my children to raise all over again
I'd finger paint more and point the finger less
I'd do less correcting and more connecting
I'd take my eyes off my watch and watch with my eyes
I would care to know less and know to care more
I'd take more hikes and fly more kites
I'd stop playing serious and seriously play
I would run through more fields and gaze at more stars
I'd do more hugging and less tugging
I would be firm less and affirm much more
I'd build self-esteem first and the house later
I'd teach less about the love of power and more about the power of love

*Diane Loomans, from Full Esteem Ahead

I thank God for a wonderful son who has grown into a great young man. We are so proud of him as he goes forward into a new world. We are proud of all our wonderful children and their beautiful families.

The prize God has waiting for parents at this time in their lives when they face the empty nest.....

Saturday, August 13, 2011

God Sings

The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)

Imagine hearing God sing....does it sound like the mighty roar of thunder or is it like a soft gentle whisper?

During my quiet time this morning, imagine that, I had some quiet time today! It seems like it has been forever since I had time to sit, enjoy the peace and tranquilly of no activity, no place to be, no clock staring at me, no one pulling me in different directions, no one demanding my attention...... and time to study God's word.

My life once again has gotten off track and I feel like I am being propelled though time at an accelerated speed, but today, on this beautiful Saturday morning, I find myself sitting on my porch, the sun peeking out through the full foliage of the summer trees, the house is quiet and I have nothing on my agenda today, so here I am God...fill me with your comfort, your wisdom and your love.

As I flipped through my study Bible, reviewing some notes and passages, I came across a study section in Zephaniah that tells me God will sing to me to quiet me when I am feeling overwhelmed, rejected, unworthy and fearful. It is not His power or His majesty that quiets me, it is His unfailing love (Psm.36:7-8; Isa.54:10). God's singing is powerful and strong, yet unimaginably beautiful, pure and sweet, but why would he sing over me?

Because He delights in me and I make His heart sing with joy! Wow....what a concept! But after all, He is our Father and as a parent, don't we do the same with our children? When our children face obstacles and their lives get turned upside down, don't we long to comfort them with soft words, warm hugs and sometimes a sweet song to quiet their fears. When our children overcome obstacles and joy is restored in their hearts, our very own hearts sing with joy. It just makes sense that God would feel the same way about His children.

Oh Lord, when I am overwhelmed and life swallows me up, keeping me from seeing the plans you have for me, please let me remember that You are there to sing a sweet song to calm and quiet me. Let my frustrated spirit be transformed, for I know my transformation brings you glory. Let me be an example of your grace, mercy, love and power. Let me take that step of faith, to grow and mature and to know that as my Father, your heart is bursting with pride and joy.