Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Teleporting to the Heart

I recently did something I've never done. It caught me totally off guard, made me a little nervous,  and floored me with it's awesomeness. And yes, I googled later. Don't laugh.

I have great kids. Full of heart and spunk and uniqueness, each one, but also tenderness, compassion and love. I don't care how awesome your kids are, though, they will ALL give their parents a hard time. As a parent, you can only hope you're not completely screwing them up. You don't wish for them to go through hard things, ever, or make the youthful mistakes you made. We all had to forge our own way, though. To get to where we are today. It makes us who we are today.

As a Christian parent, you also hope that your child chooses to also follow God, to be a believer, to pursue a relationship with the Savior. I can see God active in each of my children's lives and hearts, but some days I worry about one more than another.

One night at bedtime, as I was partaking in "the ritual" with one child, the only child who requires a tucking-in ritual, also the same child who gives me the most grief and gray hair, he asked me, "Mom, when will I be born-again?"

Uuuhhhhmmmm... What? gulp. wow. Wasn't expecting that. 


Uh...uh...uh.... Now what do I say??? 

So I just told him that it's not like the same as when you are born out of your mom's tummy. It's more something that happens in your heart, when you ask Jesus to come live there.

How does he get there?

You say a prayer and ask him to come into your heart.

You mean, like, does He teleport there?

Bwahahaha. Um, I think you watch too much Dr. Who, son. But yes, it's kind of like teleporting. It's just a feeling that you get. You believe, you know, that he does, and that's called faith. 

I asked him if he knew what born-again means and we talked about that. He asked how big your heart is and I explained the fist/size thing, but that that's not where Jesus lives, really. He lives in our "feelings" or our mind.

It was interesting.

And then he just looked at me.

The kid who never stops talking was silent.

*Can you say 'pregnant pause'?*

Maybe it makes me a crappy Christian, but I have never actually led anyone in that prayer. Oh gosh. Help! I'm not prepared. How do I do this? Will I do it wrong??

Realizing that this was my cue and the time was now, I asked him if he wanted to pray that prayer. He nodded assuredly. And so I led him in prayer.

Let's just say, I wasn't expecting that. But WOW!

Kids will certainly surprise you. But so does God. With this child, he thinks a lot about going to heaven, about being with angels and having wings. He thinks about what it's like in heaven, what he'll do there. He makes me realize I have biblical homework to do about end times stuff. :) When we were talking I also said that God makes him special. That how God speaks to him will be special to just him, and what plans He has for his life are special. Because of struggles he has had, I said that even our parts that we may not always like, God created for just a special purpose.

And that's true. He creates us as we are, even the parts that we see as negative characteristics, God has purpose in those. This fact, that there is purpose in everything, is something we as parents need to realize, and give to God to help those areas grow to bring glory to Him. We need to call the good things out, speak them into life, which helps those blessings grow and come to pass. Those things that seem insignificant? They aren't. Because God made them. And we have NO IDEA how important they just might be.

The even cooler part of the story is what happened the next morning.

He's one that likes to be the first one up or the first one dressed. (Consequently he's also the one who takes thhhheeeeee looooonnnnnggggest to do so.) Well his sister, excited for an activity at school that day, was up and dressed before everyone. He got really upset and started to fall back on old habits, saying "I'm stupid. I'm the stupidest. I hate myself."

Normally this frustrates, angers and saddens me. That morning, I just looked at him and said, "Kid, GOD doesn't think that at all. Those are satan's words he's trying to put in your head so don't you believe them."

He just looked at me and said. "OK." And that was it. It just clicked.

Blow. Me. Away.


You have no idea how many times I have struggled in hearing those words and getting him to stop saying it. But now he had God in his heart and that was all he needed. Still blows me away to think about it.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Soup and celery and friends.

I'm feeling a little under the weather this morning. A nice hot pot of Creamy Chicken Wild Rice Soup sounds heavenly to me on this dreary, cold and rainy day. But I'm out of celery.


I think I went about 10-15 years not really having any friends. I mean, I had "friends," people I knew, people from church, people from bible studies, the occasional roommate, coworkers, etc, but no real, close, emotionally or in vicinity, friends. That was tough. Really tough. I'm a person who needs people, feeds off people, draws my energy from those around me. Largely extroverted, and definitely a verbal processor, it was challenging to me emotionally and spiritually. I met my husband during that time, which helped, but he, being highly introverted, and a guy, and my spouse, did not fill all the needs I had for true, deep, honest, real and raw friendship. Then I had five children. And I live in a small town away from all my other "community." Talk about isolating.

Even before I met my husband, I prayed and prayed for friends. I dated "the wrong guy" for two years too many just because I was lonely. I had lost the intimate, and in some cases any, connection with friends from high school and college, and while my year in Spain helped form new connections and span the bridge, I was still alone. I thought even God had abandoned me. I cried out so. many. times. but felt like my cries were not being heard. Why was I suffering? Why was I alone? Why had everyone, including God, abandoned me? What was wrong with me? I longed for a partner, but yet had to watch all these younger kids pairing up and getting married, some even starting families. My heart cried out in desperation.

So husband and five children in a small town where everyone knows everyone except me, I don't know anyone except my neighbor who was busy with her own large herd of children, another mom "phone friend," and thru my awesome church, I had found enough community and connection that it staved off the extreme loneliness and desperation. I made a few connections, however superficial, with other preschool moms, so that helped too. I still dreamed for that friend who lived "next door", who had kids of similar ages, who I could hang out with in our pajamas for coffee, or do laundry together, watch my kid in a pinch, take walks with, just live life together, share our faith together. While I dreamed of it, I didn't crave it the same way I had. The problem is that we're all so busy. No one, adults with families and jobs and lives, has the time to invest in building that kind of relationship and intimacy. It's hard enough to work on our marriage relationship and family relationships that we often don't have the energy, and so many people build up walls creating this image of a perfect life that they have a hard time being real. But I'm not a beat-around-the-bush person. I will tell you honestly what I think, and honestly what is going on in my life. I just don't have time for all the bull-crap. 

Then, two years ago, something happened.

I met TWO people. Both completely separately, both completely different relationships. And it is definitely a God-send.

One friend has boys. And she trained for a 5K with me. We occasionally have drinks at one house or another, laughing til the wee hours of the morning. We talk about faith. We kid-swap. We get real. I can be honest and blunt and I love love love that she's honest and blunt too.

The other friend has girls. She's also the Girl Scout leader and does and AWESOME job at it. We fill our bored and lonely SAHM hours talking on the phone while doing dishes. We scheme. We do "dance mom" together. We carpool. And kid-swap like crazy. She is creative and spurs me to create. We laugh and joke. We talk about tough stuff.

Not to devalue the other friendships I have, because those are important too. What they contribute to my life, and I to theirs, is very important and has it's own special place. But the proximity factor here allows for us, my two home-town friends, to share life. To help each other out. Because as I stopped to get cough drops for a child at the gas station, I ran into one friend who lost her phone. So she used my phone to call the other friend (who does daycare for her) about an early drop off. And since that other friend was in town, I called her later and asked her to pick up celery for me, and she then asked if I could watch the other's kid since she was going to be late. So I ran down to her house to alert said friend and get the child, and we all three ended up meeting at my front door. I love this. I love my life. I love my friends. I fell so utterly blessed and I thank God daily for these two awesome women.

And now I am going to go make some wild rice soup with that celery. With a smile on my face.