Welcome to 2011! I've thought about blogging several times, but truthfully, my heart and focus is on my boys, homeschooling, the wonder of schedules, and the joy and successes we've been celebrating as a family. There haven't been many leftovers from my day and I've been trying to head to bed by 9:00, so no time for musings at the computer. 9:00 has actually happened for us twice in this new year and you would have thought it was Christmas again! We were giddy!
This blog has reflected the highs and lows of the last year as God has perfectly peeled more layers of my control off. A friend recently commented on how there was much sadness in some blogs. In thinking about that I need to say that I'm okay with sadness. With feeling overwhelmed at times. With feeling completely alone. With thoughts that whisper no one knows you. These times are rare and they are experienced by everyone. And when I am sad, or lonely, or overwhelmed, those times are always intermingled with something I own, claim, and cling to ... the love and hope of my Lord Jesus Christ. Those times drive me firmly and completely into His arms where I am known. And because of Him I rise, stronger and more at peace with myself. So, sad is okay at times.
God is at move in my life and my heart, and for this I always rejoice. Right now He's having me explore family systems, mental illness, dysfunctions, and the things that shape the heart of a child and condition responses to others. God's brought me here many times over the years. I used to think we'd worked all the "kinks" out, but in recent years past I've come to accept that it will be a work of my lifetime, allowing God to release parts of me that are still locked up tight in self-preservation. More than anything I want to live a life of freedom. The freedom He has promised me. So I'm willing to do the work every time God shows up and says, "let's peel a few more layers off, my sweet daughter. Let's get these constricting garments off so you can move about in my freedom." (So there is no confusion, learning to live with mental illness in a family is from my childhood, not my marriage.)
I've just spent time praying over a woman - wife, mother, daughter - that I found only through the prayer request sent about her. She is 38, wife to a man who is bi-polar, mother to two daughters, and currently clinging to God after suffering a stroke. I'm praying for them. And I'm sad. I want to know her, hear her words, learn from God's action in her life. This is from her blog:
about loving and living with mental illness in her marriage ... “God has used it to ignite a passion in me for him, to challenge me to believe him like I never had before, to remind me of his sufficiency, to teach me humility, to encourage others--and so much more.
And that's something I need to remember in the midst of being sad about it. No, it's not bad to be saddened by it, to wish it were not part of our lives. But in the midst of remembering, I need to remember the truth of how God has worked it for good, of how he continues to work it for good.”
Joanne Heim http://thesimplewife.typepad.com/
I'm ordering a book Joanne recommended. And I'm printing off the quote she posted. I need to read it - probably several times a day. Because I've discovered in being home with these boys full-time, seeing where they struggle in school and in relationships, that I'm a "fixer." It's not a new discovery, just one I'm seeing the depths of better. I've spent a lifetime trying to fix other people and what they struggle with. So, since we are in the full-time business of school I'm going to give my full attention to my own assignment - releasing control, especially of those I love the most, over to the perfect hands of God.
From Sarah Young's "Jesus Lives"
Entrust your loved ones to Me. They are much safer with Me than in your clinging hands.
Sometimes you confuse loving others with rescuing them. When a loved one has a problem, you often feel responsible to come up with a solution. Then you plunge headlong into problem-solving mode, as if you're obligated to provide sound advice. I want to help you stop feeling responsible to fix people since that is My role--not yours.
It is My prerogative to bring about change in people's lives as I choose to do so. You can be part of the process, but remember that I am the Author and Director of the drama. You need to follow My script rather than creating your own. Do not usurp My role in people's lives, no matter how much you long to help them.
When you feel compelled to rescue a loved one, take a good look at the quality of your love. Learn from Me, because I have all authority in heaven and on earth: I could rescue or control anyone at will. Yet I intentionally created people with the capacity to choose good or evil. I wanted them to be free to love Me--or not. Love that has no choice is not real!
Subordinate your deficient, controlling love to My perfect, empowering Love. Prayerfully release your loved ones into My protective care. Restrain your urges to solves their problems. Instead, use your time and energy to listen to them and pray for them. Trust in My Love and My unsearchable wisdom. I can work changes in your loved ones' lives beyond anything you might ask or imagine. As you release these precious ones to Me, linger awhile in My unfailing love--for them and also for you.
Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me." (Matthew 28:18)
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21)
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. (Psalm 143:8)
I'm sure you have some assignments in the new year. I'm praying you find strength and encouragement to work on them. Love you much Favored One!
"You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You." Isaiah 26:3