Sunday, February 23, 2014

Music as intercession

Today as I was singing at church a thought struck me.  I love to sing, I love music, it just makes me happy.  I began to think about what we were singing and how sometimes the music is speaking to my situation at the moment.  I am a visual person, so often I tend to visualize things in my head as I sing.  Sometimes its a song of thankfulness and I run though pictures in my mind of things to be thankful for.  Sometimes its about Jesus himself and who he is and I picture him standing there in an open field.  However to be honest, sometimes I just sing and as Kip from Napoleon Dynamite said... "nothing comes to mind at the moment".  Today I was having one of those moments.  As I was singing one song I began to think how powerful those words would be to someone in prison for their faith, and so I pictured in my mind that person, and I sang as an intercessory prayer for them.  Another song came and I thought about the drug addict who has hit rock bottom and I pictured her and I sang as a prayer over her.  It was a pretty moving experience.  I have had times where I have been somewhere and an image of a person in distress has popped into my mind and I feel like I must stop where I am and pray for that person.  These are people I have never seen!  Anyway kinda kooky but a new perspective I learned about today :)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Time Keeps on Ticking..

I spent a long time the other day reading posts from a blog I used to have.  I hadn't read through it in years and it was awesome to remember.  Most of the posts are from what were our baby days.  Literally filled with 1,2 and 3 year olds and also our days when we were a new "big" family.  One post caught my attention because I was saying how strange it will be when I had teenagers and not babies.  Well I am here and it is not as strange as I once thought.  Although it is much more difficult to blog about everything in life, as I like to respect their privacy as they get older.  It got me thinking about life and how quickly it moves along and yet how endless the moments can seem.  Somehow I have yet to get a grasp on this whole time thing.  On one hand stages like giving up naps, potty training, learning to read, seemed in the moment to be endless... but when I look back, I can remember glimpses and it seems like it went by so quickly.  It seems I went from worrying about kindergarten to college in about 2 weeks. Randy and I were discussing the 10 year plan of life.  In 10 years my youngest will be 17 and my oldest 26 and while it seems like forever away I know I will see this in those days and say, it went by so fast.  It was a reminder of I need to guard my time and at the same time not wait to live.  When we grew from 2 to 7 children in 2 years, we were not "ready".  If we had waited to be "ready" we would still be waiting.  We had no idea how this would work 7 years ago and still we have no idea, but its working (some days better than others).  We didn't know that after bringing home 5 children we would have 2 cross country moves into 3 houses.  We didn't know how the sibling dynamics would work.  We didn't know we would adopt another teenager.  We didn't know if the funds would arrive.  But in that we saw and see God show up time and time again.  We were forced to rely on God because we had no idea what we were jumping into.  We just knew that God was calling us and that we needed to respond.  We weren't "Ready" we still are not "ready" for some things life throws at us.  So I encourage you to answer your call.  Whatever God is calling you to do, don't be afraid, jump in!  Let Him provide, let Him show you what He can do.  No your not ready, no everything isn't in perfect order, yes you will be tired some days and want to throw in the towel, but its OK.  All those people you look at and say if only, or when I, or we always plan to, or if I could.....they didn't think they could either, they didn't feel prepared, they were scared as all get up, but the difference is they jumped anyway.  Here are some old pictures I found :) If I had waited for perfect timing, I would have missed all of this.....

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

High School and College and Life OH MY!

As I watch my children navigate the teen years and observe the world, so much does not make sense to me. See perhaps I was naive as a teen or perhaps times really are different almost 20 years later, but eegads the stress people put on this age group is CRAZY!  I was an average student, I got decent grades.  I had no knowledge of AP, dual credit, IB.... we had honors and that was for the smart kids, of which I was not a part of :)  I was the worlds worst cheerleader (seriously Sue Heck style if you watch The Middle), I was on the track team for 1 season, but instead of running hid behind the shed near the track until laps were over and then talked with my friends in the weight room.  I got A's in some classes and a D in one or 2 (ahem Chemistry and Geometry).  I was pretty normal.  Like many of my friends we stressed about finals or midterms.  I didn't know their was a prep for the SAT, I just took it and while taking it worried that I had too many c's in a row colored in.  I worked after school about 15 hours a week in a daycare center and other then that I was a kid.  I enjoyed my life.  Now looking back and homeschooling my kids and looking at the school world I am floored by what these kids have on their plate.  I am sitting here trying to figure out why.  I feel like we parents and adults may have forgotten what life really is all about.  Do I want my children to go to college, of course!  I want them to find the path that makes them happy and gives them a future.  I do not think though that we should sacrifice our children's childhoods to make sure they get so ahead they feel they can not stumble.  I started college at a very expensive private college, my mother was employed their at the time and so I was able to attend for free.  Two years into that experience my mother no longer worked there and I transferred to a cheaper state school.  During that transition I had my first child and didn't finish my degree, but later enrolled in an online university (actually 2) to finish my degree.  In that experience I learned many things.  First, college is not the end all be all.  It took me 12 years to complete a bachelor's degree (long story, but I have almost enough credits for 2 degrees because of my change of majors).  I did not get a better education at the more expensive school.  Each place taught me something different, but I did get much better grades and gave much more effort when I started having to pay for my classes!  I learned that in those 12 years I changed my mind numerous times on what I wanted to major in, I found a love for learning when it was at my pace and my discretion.  I found out the important things in life were never my job, home, pay scale, or possessions. It was the fact that I married my best friend, that we enjoyed our life when we had little money and 2 kids, it was our decision to have this gynormous family, it was our decision to move across the country to try living someplace else.  I am not against this rigorous education programs and push for higher education, but I do think we step back and look at what we are teaching our children.  I feel like we need to step back take a breath and realize we probably all don't need to speak Latin and Greek, it is OK if we disliked the Odyssey (its super boring lets be honest), it is OK if your child is a C student, it is OK if they don't excel or want to excel in that sport or club or whatever will "look good on the college application"  Heck....crazy here it is OK if they choose to find their way in a non traditional way!  We as adults know the stress that we face as adults, no amount of stress in the teen years is going to take the adult stress away, it just changes its source.