Online Dating

God does not leave things a mystery when we are constantly petitioning Him about our children I have learned this again and again

Recently we dropped our son off at the airport, he was heading to England.  He started on a journey a year and half ago that culminated in him flying to another continent and country.  There are so many thoughts and feelings that go with this adventure as his parent.  Parenting adults as you will hear me say often is so full of ups and downs.2017-01-16-15-44-45  Sometimes God is using them in such amazing ways and doing such amazing things. They are making choices that make you stand back and say oh wow that is my child. Then there are other times when you are asking yourself “Wait what? Where is that coming from?” In this case six months ago we learned that our son had a relationship with a girl he had met online.  Now let me be clear there are many types of online relationships and I will speak to others in a later post but for now this was a regular girl he had met while in a book discussion forum on a website.

God does not leave things a mystery when we are constantly petitioning Him about our children I have learned this again and again.  This was made clear again in this situation as well. God allowed us to be in the dark about our son as long as He wanted and then He brought it to light.  Our son left up a Skype ID we were unfamiliar with and the story unfolded.  There are so many clues the Spirit gives about  where a heart is at if you are seeking Him. I think often times  in these situations where a hidden aspect of our child comes to light, we can be either hurt or use something like this to bring some legal point home that has nothing to do with the path God has for that particular child.  I found both of these to be true with my first child, poor girl.  We can get so caught up in what we think is the overall right choice in a decision our child makes. Our son’s demeanor was not angry or defensive about our finding out about the girl, he was just not sure how we would feel. Essentially he had not told us because he thought we would not approve of the online aspect of their relationship.

I don’t think before this I could have articulated how I felt about this as I had nothing to go on prior to this occurring, but on discussing this with him I really had a peace about it. I felt like the Spirit was telling me to be open.  We spoke to her that first night and she was so sweet.  We have spoken to her several times over the last 6 months and she is a sweet girl.  I let him know he had a responsibility to go and meet her in person so he booked the tickets he just used.  This has been such an unexpected turn of events and I as always love watching God at work.

I have been watching this open my son back up, he had been hurt by another girl a few years back. It also is getting him to travel and step out in a way I don’t know that he would have prior to this.  I have seen nothing but growth in good ways in him.  So I am excited to see what God has planned for this journey he has embarked on!  The key in these kinds of things especially with our kids, but in everything really is staying open to what God wants to show you not being stuck on what you think should happen.  We all or at least I do, have a tendency to predetermine what we would like to happen, see, or learn in the situations He puts in our life.  I have found that when I define things myself I have a hard time seeing what He is actually doing.

As different family members have approached me it has been from the perspective that I am worried but I cannot go there in my mind.  I cannot let my mind wander down these paths and give power to fear and doubt.  So instead I have just been praying for growth and wisdom.  I have been encouraging my son to look at God and move forward.  It has been so different from how I handled my first just one more reason to have more than one child if you can.

So there you have it my son went off to England to see a girl he has been communicating with for lengthy amounts of time daily for over a year. He was so joyful while he was there, his best self really. This relationship is bringing out his strengths. So while it is unorthodox and we are in unknown territory I am excited to watch God work in this area as well.  Stay tuned and I will keep you posted as to where God leads all of us on this new path.  Stay open and be amazed as God works in your children’s lives and the way He gets their attention.

NF lessons in honesty and expression

I was listening to music the other day with my daughters and they introduced me to a new artist. This has been the way it has been since my kids have grown into teens and adults, I get to hear and experience new music through them which I love.  On this particular day it was a hip hop artist who goes my the name NF.  Now hip hop  is not my first pick but I am not adverse to it if it strikes a cord. It has to be danceable or more importantly the lyrics hit home.  Both were the case with NF, the music was good and the lyrics really hit home.  He is honest and says what he is feeling.  While listening in the car it is easy to pick up and enjoy what he is saying but as I listen around the house and can’t specifically hear the words a tone of anger can come across.  This rubs me wrong as I try to go about my daily tasks and I don’t enjoy it as much.

My daughters have a big joke now about how I don’t like NF because I shy away from it in our day to day when I can’t really tune in with the lyrics as well.  I keep telling them that is not the case at all I love NF and what he is saying. I also love his musical style.  It was funny to me as I sat and talked to one of my daughters who is a big fan and it was somewhat surprising to hear her point of view, although not totally, as I had come to suspect what the Spirit showed me in part that day.  You see this daughter is bright and shiny ,positive, fun loving , and for the most part peacemaking.  She likes to have fun and put a smile on people’s faces.  I couldn’t reconcile how she was connecting with NF.  I on the other hand totally relate to what NF talks about in his songs.  I should in my opinion love his music and want to listen to it all the time yet I struggled.

Then as always when the Spirit is at work a light went on and I began to understand things in a new way.  One of my weaknesses that God has been working on is to look toward what He is doing for good.  I tend to see the bad and the negative outcome in most situations.  For me I am attracted to happy books and happy music, things that highlight the brighter side as I try to look to Him for my sustenance and view point.  Whereas my happy daughter really enjoys the honesty and straightforward way that NF talks about things that are happening while still giving credit, adoration and service to God.  She is not connecting with her own negative experiences and giving them voice and strength she is seeing another side.

I am struck by this as I have taken up blogging or as I have dealt with people throughout my life.  I have so much on my mind I don’t want to drag people down.  The Holy Spirit has been trying to get across to me that He created us each differently with a purpose and this was one of the confirmations He used.  My daughter and people like her enjoy NF and his honesty as do I when I sit and just listen specifically to the lyrics.  I can relate to what he is saying.  I am reminded as I meander through these things the Holy Spirit is putting in front of me that He has specific people He wants to touch by the way I express myself.  Yes He has been transforming me and showing the beauty and freedom of living in His will.  He is showing me to move beyond the gray cloudy world that is my mind at times, but I will never be a sunshine and roses kind of girl and that is okay.

Here you will find me speaking to the freedom I have found in Jesus. Freedom from the gray clouds.  I am not NF and it is not therapy to talk about the clouds and confusion (he is not confused btw).  I am learning as I walk to rejoice in being freed from those thoughts.  As I am writing this blog I am learning to live in love and rejoice in the freedoms each situation brings me, but as I learn that lesson I want to be free from the fear of being myself.  I have tended to try to be too bright and shiny at times.  As this blog has been from God it has not worked to well since that is what He has called me too but this lesson he gave me through NF and my daughter was such a good one to keep me on track with being who I am.  Sharing my journey with parenthood, marriage and life won’t always be sunshine and roses but it will be full of freedom and praise to the one who turns the dark and cloudy to light.

Check him out below he will get you thinking:

Therapy Session by NF

Through the Glass

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This year has been very full. Life was changing for all of us each in different ways. We all just needed a quiet do nothing vacation. Usually the mountains are calling with hikes and sight-seeing  but this year we just wanted to sit and be quiet. So we picked a place that is always hot, found a fun mid-century modern home and off we went for a week of quiet rest and as happens when you rest reflection.

The first day of vacation was hot.  We had been enjoying the first half of the day  in or by the pool.   It was nice to get this quiet time together with no obligations and nowhere we needed to be. Everyone was getting hungry so we fired up the BBQ and got some hot dogs and sausages grilled up.  As we gathered around the table outside we realized there were not enough chairs for everyone.  We could have gotten stools or sat on lounges nearby but for some, the dry heat was too much.  Where the table sat outside there sat another table on the inside separated by a wall of glass, so the hot people went inside.  In a funny way it was like we were eating together.

As we on the outside sat looking in, we noticed something, we had a choice of what we looked at. When you looked you could either see someone at the table inside or you could see the reflection of yourself.  The comments going around were that it was hard to see inside because you were just seeing yourself.  I wasn’t having this problem so I looked up at my reflection and the Spirit brought a profound picture to my mind.  It was a life illustration I know I will never forget so I had to share it.

When we looked at the window we had a choice, we could look and see the others inside or we could be distracted by our own reflection and only see ourselves.  Remember the comments were they couldn’t see the others because they could only see their own reflections.

I was struck by how true this is. How many times have I missed seeing something in someone else because I was looking at myself.  For me often times it has been me obsessing about what I might have done wrong in a given situation but for others it is that they are so impressed with what they have done and still others need to be in control, they need their vision realized.  No matter what perspective a person is coming from gazing at your own reflection makes you unable to see others.

Now we could spend a whole blog on how we should spend time in reflection looking at ourself and getting God’s perspective but that is not the freedom we are discussing here we are discussing how freeing it is to look away from the reflection of ourselves and truly look at others.  God has us, He wants us to see the beauty He created in others.

God has spent years teaching me this lesson, starting with people who I did not necessarily agree with. He began, as I opened myself up, to show me what He created in these people who did things so differently than I did.  He showed me the good in who they were and what they were doing.

It is so easy to look at the weaknesses of others and miss their strengths. Only in seeing them as God created them and intended them to be, do we have any hope of loving them the way He intended.  Love cannot be manufactured that is a lie that I believe is being spread heavily right now.  Put on the face of love, act loving and this will bring about change.  But when it doesn’t? What then? Where does the face of love go? I am sure you have all seen it, it fades very quickly.

I am so thankful for this picture lesson God gave me in my quiet time. I am thankful for the freedom to see people as God designed them not as they present themselves or satan tries to distort them so I will look away.  I am thankful to be free to love in every moment not just the ones that meet my expectations.  I am thankful to be free to look away from the reflection of myself and look through the glass at the beautiful creations which God placed around me. Where are you looking today are you looking through the glass at the people God has placed in your life? Or are you looking at your own reflection?

An Avenue of Renewal

The passionate feelings we feel in the physical world are but a shadow of what we have with Him.

Marriage for me has been a gift. A main avenue through which the Spirit works to renew and transform my mind.  The parallels that run through marriage and our life with Himsillhoutte-couple run deep.   They are  a training ground of spiritual expression.   Even as I write this I am astounded by a revelation as He opens my mind to a deeper truth of something He has been teaching me for years!

My spouse can never fulfill me the way the Spirit can.  He can never meet my needs at the deepest level the way Jesus can and wants to.  Song of Solomon is expressed the way it is on purpose.  We have turned all our focus on the physical, getting our needs met, making sure we are happy and with people who build us up.  That puts a lot of pressure on us!  I have seen posts and books about an affair proof marriage keeping your man interested in you. Now I don’t want to take away from what some of these wise women are saying, addressing certain weak areas of self focus.  I am speaking of freedom. Freedom in marriage is  a deep abiding reliance on Jesus to meet our needs.  It is a faith often so hard to grasp we are weeping at His feet, but the end of this road is a vision of grandeur. Sometimes the work He is doing isn’t on us, we are just a part of the process and in the end we get to stand in awe.  Casting our care on Him seems so clique but really only in letting go and being free do we see Him and what He is doing in our marriage and in our life.  When we are working so hard in our own power to make things work we can’t see Him.  All we see is the effort we are making and we are looking for the expected response.  This only ever leads to deception and disillusionment.  Gideon watched God work, Moses held up his hands and watched God work, Peter, Paul and the apostles laid their hands and said words. This is not work and human effort. We gain nothing on this road and in our marriage it is no different. This is not a new story or a new way.

So let’s put down our expectations. Let’s be free and look around and see what God is doing. Is your spouse not saying what you need or want to hear right now or some other loved one? Let’s live free to ask why.  I am loved, I am cherished where is this darkness coming from. Should I speak to it? Can I express love in the face of it? So often for me the answer is no. The best I can do is hold tightly to my control and not respond. Let me tell you I fail often! What should I be in prayer about?  So often I can see how my spouse should be handling our relationship differently and what His best behavior is but really the question comes back to me?  This is really between God and I. The spiritual manifests itself in the physical and satan just amps it up makes it bigger than it is.  heavens

So today I am going to take a moment and sit before Jesus and listen to the Spirit.  What does He want me to see? What army is He conquering while I am looking the other way and complaining about what I don’t have? Today I am going to look freedom in the face and see the chains the Spirit wants to break. The chains that are binding me and keeping me back from loving those He has put in my life because I only infinitesimally grasp His love for me.

I am thankful for the reminder I don’t need my spouse to act in a certain way or say certain things. I can love because I am learning more each day how I am loved.  I am thankful as I have been for years that God chose to show His love for me through my spouse and then my children and He continues in so many ways.  I am thankful I am not responsible to live with the spin in my head and to rely on those around me who have their own challenges, I can rest in Jesus. When there is no clear instruction I just rest and for that I am thankful. I am thankful that as I watch Him handle these challenges in my physical realm with my spouse He takes me deeper inside of my relationship with Him where He is healing me and bringing out what He intended when He created me.

Are you challenged in your relationships? Is it hard to hear God? Is your feeling of love coming from those around you and you just are not feeling it right now?  Leave a comment and let me pray for you. This is an ongoing struggle. Let go today and open yourself up to God’s true intent for you? See the you He created.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Today was unusual but in such a normal and uneventful way.  I am probably confusing you at this point. Today our whole family was at home but not because of a holiday or celebration.The normalcy made it unusual.2016-07-19-22-15-33

We sat on the couch on the floor wherever we fit in the living room like we always have watching home movies.  It was amazing to have us all home spending time together that wasn’t a holiday or a special occasion. Just the day before I had been writing about standing on the mountain top and looking out at the landscape of my life. Now here I was with my mostly grown family watching it in real-time on a tv screen, watching the changes happen.  As I watched I could see it is true that each child is fearfully and wonderfully made who they are from birth.  I watched as they handled situations, and how similar it is to how they handle things as adults and it was eye-opening.  My son who is serious and analytical was like this as a child, he would pick apart the games they played and analyze the best way to do it.  My dramatic daughter was oh so comical I wish I could post a piece for you!  It was one of those moments when the light turns on and you see everything so clearly and it makes you excited to move forward, to keep going. Thank you Jesus for the light!

God just used this night to spur me on! It has been a long road and the twenties have been a little rough I have to admit. Things have been leveling out as my oldest closes in on 25 and gets more and more perspective into adulthood.  Kind of like going from that screaming, crying phase to when they start to communicate in small ways; you begin to see the light.  He spurred me on by showing me how He created my kids from the beginning and how He is using these things in their lives and the lives of those around them.  What an incredible journey it has been to see beyond the fear of their weaknesses to the victory of their strengths which are so integrally tied together.  This is a statement the Holy Spirit taught me early on;our greatest strengths are also our greatest weaknesses.

As I watched these movies I was reminded about what affects my kids.  I was reminded on a deeper level how they were created and how I could build them up in that.  My dramatic daughter is also my peacemaker, joyful girl.  My son who can be fearful is also my most outward, people oriented child. My mommy’s girl is my caregiver, my most articulate girl is opening up and sharing her quiet gifts. I could go on and on but I will leave it there. I so often in my kids childhood got caught up in my children’s weaknesses and wanting to fix them so they would not be hurt or affected by them. What I am learning now is to turn to God and learn their strengths and build them up in them.

What stage are you at?  What challenges are you facing? 

Comment below, I would love to be praying for you!

Mountain Top Views

2015-08-13-16-11-40Hello everyone! Of adventures and journeys I could write a book.  Is life a road I am on or an exciting trip!  How would I characterize it?  Even as I write this my mind is wandering in and out of the valleys and up to the tops of the mountains I have traveled. It is all too much for one blog post; a blog post that is the beginning of a new adventure!

I am sitting on the top of a mountain, a landscape of mountains, valleys and roads behind me and I am excited!  Excited because as I look behind me from the mountain top I am gazing over all the places I have been and the memories I carry are cradled deep within me.  I am excited because as I started each new moment I am looking back upon, I had no idea what the map would look like,  I just knew the path I was called down.

So here I stand ready to embark again on a new journey, this time into the world of blogging. The time has come for me to bring others along for the adventure.  What does 26 years of marriage look like?  We rock and roll over here and there is never a dull moment! There are six children still at ho2015-08-13-13-23-20me here 4 of them adults, you want to get a glimpse, stay tuned.  God created so many plants around us that heal and build and I love to explore and experiment with what He placed around me.  On this note I will take you on my journey to stay healthy and strong.  For me this journey now includes Hashimotos so I will bring you along from time to time as I try to overcome the new challenges this has placed in my life. (They are good by the way.) What does homeschooling look like after 23 years and 5 graduates?

 

 

Will I woo you with sweet words of beauty? My intial thought is no, life is messy and I am truth speaker, but I have been made Fully Free. So what you will find here more than anything is gratitude. Jesus has freed me from the opinions and circumstances that surround me and left me free to see what God truly intends. Walk with me on this new path as I gaze back upon the what is behind me or look forward at the unknowns in front of me. Hopefully I will bring a smile to your face from time to time and maybe the Spirit will touch you in a place you need some healing or freedom from time to time.  So come along on this journey with me and let’s learn together!