Sunday, October 17, 2010

Revelation Deja Vu

Wow... I would laugh, if it weren't so sad... Why, oh why, must the Lord convict me of the same things over and over (and, unfortunately, over again)? It seems that whenever God has used my life experiences to teach me powerful lessons, somehow I end up right back in the same place?

Take Wednesday's somewhat maudlin post... "I'm so busy", "I'm so tired", "I'm so confused about why I feel this way." Seriously?!?! It was only a year and a half ago, that I was singing the very same tune.

Stressed and at the end of my rope, confused and adrift, I was totally burned out. And when you're totally burned out, guess what? There's an incredible opportunity to start over. With nothing certain, I figured the only thing I could do was look after my health, which had been neglected for so long. I was the busy mom who had time for every activity, club, and committee, but couldn't find a single hour in my day to get a work out in. I'm sure you've never met anyone like that, right? :)

So, I found an incredible (and I mean INCREDIBLE) fitness facility. My children were so thrilled. Each of them were so happy there, that I spent every day of last summer taking a little time for me. I checked those kids in, programmed the iPod, slipped the SkullCandy over my ears, and hit the elliptical trainer hard (well, as hard as you can while you're ogling Food Network!). A couple of times a week I would do Zumba (oh yeah!), but when I was done I would always shower, put on something cute, fix the hair and pick up my babes (who were always sorry to leave).

I'm sure you can imagine what happened... I lost forty pounds and I felt fantastic! I never wanted to go back to that sluggish place. I learned the same lesson so many other women have: taking time for yourself does not take time away from your kids. It actually ADDS to the enjoyment of the hours you have together.

So last Wednesday, I was down. Thursday came around and it was time for the kids to go to one of their sporting lessons. That morning, determined to get a work out in, I dressed in my gym clothes and when I dropped the kiddos off, I hit the machines. With a little tobymac thumping in my ears, I had a revelation...

I hadn't worked out regularly since July and my eating patterns haven't been great, either.

Hmmmm, I wonder why I haven't been thinking clearly or finding the joy in homeschooling? I was frustrated that I hadn't paid attention to that important lesson I thought I had learned. I thought I had that one crossed off my list forever. Evidently, I needed a revelation deja vu.

Are you feeling stressed about something right now? Just know that's not God's will for your life. He repeatedly tells us over and over (and, over again) not to worry about anything. If you're concerned with the direction your life is going, just go ahead and put your name on a list about a billion people long, right below mine... and then do something about it. Pray that the Lord would reveal to you (even if it's for the fortieth time) that which you cannot see clearly on your own... and then do something about that.

The phoenix is probably my favorite mythological creature. I love the idea of it bursting into flame and rising from the ashes, a new (and I'd like to think, better) version of it's former self. Wouldn't you love to start over with the knowledge that you have today? Would you like to take the lessons you've learned and rise, a better version of yourself? Maybe you're like me, and your current struggle can be easily remedied. Maybe you're like I was, burned out and at rock bottom. Either way, know this, you can have a do-over on life. You can be better tomorrow than you are today, but not by your own power and it's not a myth. "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 2 Cor. 5:17 Don't be afraid to relearn old lessons. Grow from them and rise.

Blessings, Lins

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Defining Moments

Oh, it is so sweet to sneak away from all of the busyness inside my home right now. I've missed my blog. It's so sweet to be able to write about whatever I want and not worry about it being perfect...

For some reason, and I still can't figure it out, this year just feels SO much crazier than last year. I feel like the kids are involved in the same activities, but we never seem to stop. It's actually making me a touch frustrated. If only I could put my finger on what it was, I would fix it in a heartbeat, but for now I'm left wondering.

Can I just share a HUGE bright spot, though? I was absolutely floored when Carrie at Live, Learn, and Love Together linked to my last post! Seriously, I think she is just about the coolest person I've never met! :P If you have never visited Carrie's blog, you must! Everything about it makes me happy: the colors, the fonts, her writing, her beautiful family. She's amazing. Thanks, Carrie!

Last week I went to a meeting for our homeschool group. We always begin with chapel, but I tell you all the kids want to do is worship. When our director starts her short message, my kids get a little antsy and I am almost always unable to connect. This week however, she spoke about homeschooling as a calling. The core of the message centered around the fact that many of us have chosen to do what we do because we were called by the Lord. If you have read any of my other posts, you may remember that homeschooling was truly not my idea and I actually chickened out at one point. The Lord, in His goodness, called again and this time I answered.

But I'm tired, friends...

It seems like all the things I loved most about homeschooling; the flexibility, the random field trips, the peaceful coming alongside my children, the worship, the joy has been replaced with schedules, scheduled field trips, finishing on time so we can get to our activities, tasks... it's overwhelming.

I need space. I need quiet. I need the Lord. I need time to reflect on His calling.

What has He called me to?

He called me to this time. I am who I am because of my generation and the parents he gave me (praise and thanksgiving to the Most High for mom and dad... they are the two most incredible people ever). The work I have ahead of me fulfills His purpose at this moment in history. If that thought doesn't just amaze you, I don't know what will.

He called me to be united forever with my best friend. Where there were two, fearless kids on the cusp of possibility, He created a family. Never would I have imagined marrying as young as we did (I was going to be a Supreme Court justice, you know). Praise God for the history we already have together.

He called me to parenthood through His perfect miracle of adoption. That fearless kid on her wedding day was so confident that pregnancy was a heartbeat away. Now I praise Him daily for the blessing of infertility.

As I reflect on these callings, I realize that these are the defining moments of my life. Coaching soccer teams, folding laundry, teaching classes, emptying the dishwasher, shuttling kids to and fro; those are things I do. They do not define who I am. God has defined my time and my family according to His plan, not mine.

Now, He has called our family to homeschool. He has made a way for us to be with our children and educate them morning, noon, and night. He has changed my boundaries and defined me once again, while also allowing me to define who my children will be. My three precious gifts will be who they were called to be and think differently about their lives in the future because of what's happening now.

And what's happening now?

Busy is happening. Movement is happening. Stress is happening. Tasks are happening (or not). :) I want this to be the defining moment for my family. I don't want the moments to define us. There is no glory to be found in busy. There is no joy to be found in rushing. The whole of life will demand deadlines and schedules. Do I want to teach my children that perfect attendance at gymnastics supersedes kind words or that showing up to every single homeschool activity trumps peacefulness in the home? It sounds silly even typing it, so I can only imagine how it must sound to read it. The answers are obvious, but what's less obvious is how we make needed changes.

For now, I must remember that I am living in one of my defining moments. When a sharp word is on my tongue, I will be mindful of the effects those words have in defining future generations. Peace be with you, friends.