Where Has My Little Girl Gone?

Pixabay-tween-girl

The older I get the faster the years seem to zoom by!! When my daughter turned 10, I kept telling my friends that I couldn’t come to grips that I had been a parent for a whole decade……I still felt like I was a newbie to the world of parenting!! I just got used to being a mom of toddlers. Now I am a mom to a pre-teen and all the glamor that that entails…changing body chemistry,  new interests, sarcasm and her acute ability to see my flaws and short comings.

Can time be reversed? I tried putting the incorrect number candle on birthday cakes and giving lectures regarding aging backwards…..both ideas were not received well 🙂

So I am trying a different approach. After mourning and grieving the loss of my little girl, I am now embracing(sometimes) the joys and challenges of becoming a mom to a budding young woman.

She loves to serve others; she likes to try new recipes; she has a new sense of self and emerging personality. She is also trying this new staring thing when I ask her a question…..not sure what that is except my husband says she gets it from me…..what is he talking about?!! I love my big girl. It is not always easy, but I am witnessing who she is becoming. I am excited for the purpose and possibility of her life and seeing it all unfold. There will be triumphs, heartache, joy and disappointment. I pray for her faith to grow strong, and that God will show me how to be a blessing to her.

What I am still having a hard time with is that from now on, every 2 years another child of mine will enter into this phase…..yikes!

So as I have resolved to enjoy, embrace, and equip myself for this next step, my husband, on the other hand, has chosen to stay in denial!! What can I say….girls will always stay  little when it comes their daddies 🙂

Does anyone have resources, advice they would like to share??

 

 

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The Gift

As December is almost here, Christmas shopping is well under way, my inbox and mailbox are overflowing with deals and coupons, my bins of decorations are begging to be unpacked, and my children are chatting about all the things we love to do in this season. We bake, make abstract gingerbread houses, decorate, buy gifts…..these are all good and wonderful things, but every year my husband and I try to remind and show our children that we celebrate Christmas because of the hope and promise Jesus brought to the world when He became fully human.

In the past we have done advent calendars that incorporated some special family time and ways to serve others. This year we have chosen to go through Ann Voskamp’s devotion for families, Unwrapping the Greatest Gift, A Family Celebration of Christmas.    You can find it here:

The devotional consists of a daily reading for every day in December leading up to Christmas. There are also introspective questions and suggestions for family activities.  It contains printable ornaments that are hung on a Jesse Tree branch. The readings trace the amazing miracle of Jesus’ earthly lineage and the loving  way that God the Father gave us this gift of His only Son. He gave this broken world a perfect and redeeming gift of love. We do not deserve, nor can we do anything to earn, this gift.  In spite of all our brutal mistakes Jesus still came to save and deliver.

I am so excited about learning alongside my whole family, and I am praying that it will become a tangible way my children will come to see and acknowledge how much God loves us in the magnitude of Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection.

I hope your family will be encouraged to find some simple ways to remember and celebrate Jesus. Do not think you need anything fancy or complicated; strive for connection. You can simply read passages from the Bible, spend time with each other, and serve the people around you. Don’t miss getting to unwrap the most precious gift anyone could ever receive and accept.

How do I Surrender?

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7x2IpLSfqp8 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1RQciil7B0

I was hoping to write something light hearted and funny; this is my first blog post, and I didn’t want to be all depressing and heavy! Alas, I couldn’t do it. I don’t feel light hearted, I don’t feel like I am much fun, and I don’t know how to shake off the blues. I know and proclaim all the Christian cliches…..”This is a season,” “Let go and let God,” etc., etc. But how?

I am a wife of an ambitious husband and mother of 6 healthy children, we have food in the fridge and a roof over our heads….I should be grateful. I should be happy, I should embrace moments, I should be present…..I should but I’m not. I have cried; I have tried to be numb; I try to go through the motions; I can’t. I am tired, emotionally tired, spiritually tired, physically tired, and it is not how I want to live. I feel overwhelmed in my mind, in my heart, and it shows on my face as anger and discontentment.

I try to read the right books, the right articles, the right blogs! I have tried to talk to my husband, my friends. I have tried to talk to God.

All I hear in my heart is the word surrender…but what is that?? How do I surrender? I am in the midst of nursing, homeschooling, housework, being a wife, and being a mother, not to mention trying to keep everyone fed and somewhat clean. How do I begin to surrender? Can I surrender? Did I take on too much? Am I trying to do too much? Do I have too many children? Should I just send them to school? All these questions swirl in my mind, and I cannot seem to get a handle on even my thoughts.

I have cried and cried, and my prayers have become “Lord, I don’t know what to do,” and he continues to say, “Surrender.” Does that mean give up? Throw my arms up? Wave the white flag?

What does surrendering look like? What does it mean? Why do I have to? Do I have the courage to give everything to you Lord?

I am just beginning to look at what surrender means from a biblical stand point and this is what I have found so far.

There are many instances and examples of surrender in the bible but as a start I took this one:

Surrender yourself to the Lord, and patiently wait for Him. Psalm 37:7 (GWT) In the ESV it says “Be still before the Lord.” In the KJV “Rest in the Lord.”

I know there is so much more, and I am sure books and books have been written on the subject, so by no means am I an expert.

But for right now, as a busy mama who feels sleep deprived and at her wits’ end. God is telling me to be still, to rest. Not give up, but to hold onto him. I NEED to surrender, I need to devote myself to him.

God is telling me to understand that I cannot have a self-centered vision of my life. I need to have a God given vision. He gave me my husband, he gave me my children, he has called us to home school, and he has made a mother. I cannot wave the white flag and become a prisoner of war. I fight the battle by resting in Him! I cannot win by trying and fighting harder. WHAT!! God wants me to be still and take a nap?

What about the laundry, the crumbs, the endless to do list?

I close my eyes and try to imagine Jesus saying to me “Come, Deborah, I know you have labored and are heavy laden. I will give you rest. Take my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your soul. My yoke, Deborah, is easy and my burdens are light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

To surrender, to draw close to Jesus, to go to him, is to take his burdens. I want to choose to be gentle and lowly. Jesus has given me the freedom and privilege to surrender to him daily. Why did I think surrendering would be harder than relying on my own strength?

I still have my never ending, forever growing to do list, but I feel less burdened because I have surrendered. I have let go of my self-centered expectations and I am holding onto the burdens of Jesus.

Am I the only one? Do any of you feel overwhelmed with all that life brings? Even the great things? Have you thought surrendering means giving up yourself?