Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Cheerleader I Will Be!

We were walking over the weekend at one of our favorite spots in town. The trails are also used for bicyclists. One of our kids decided to take his bike for the first time on the trails. I was impressed with how well he did for a first timer.

We realized at one point there were four adult men behind us as we were about to go up a steep incline filled with stumps and built in stairs (I am sure there is an official name for these stairs, but I am clueless as to what it is!). We decided to pull off to the side of the trail and let the men pass.

Okay. A little back story on me. I am a southerner. I speak to everyone I see on a trail, especially those who would never ever speak first! And I am sure those people are from the north - no offense to anyone north of the Mason Dixon!

Back to the bikers.

As the first guy was making his way up the incline - and it was DIFFICULT - I was overtaken with my inner cheerleading self. I couldn't contain it. I might as well had pom poms and everything. It was bad. It was really bad.

I started clapping and cheering him on...

the birds stopped chirping, the squirrels stopped scratching...possibly the sun stood still

The guy was almost to the top, and at the onset of my fabulous cheer he sorta lost momentum. He did not wreck, if that is what you are thinking!! He just lost momentum and tried his best to get away from the cheerleader woman.

I was quickly reprimanded by my man. I didn't realize there was bike etiquette. I would gladly want someone cheering me on if I were going up that incline...which I cannot fathom doing any time in the next fifty years or so. But I would be thrilled for anyone to cheer me on.

I have laughed at myself (and my family will not let me live this down for a loooong time) ever since.

The cheering squad needs to come out more often. Monday mornings, for example. Instead of drudgery over a new week, how about a shout out for all the opportunities God has for us this week? Sometimes the cheering squad makes boys in this house want to accomplish a lot more than they thought possible, because this cheerleader believes in them. It is amazing how cheering over how well a dusting job was done or how well the laundry was folded does for a young lady. Cheering for the man who works hard all week so we can have a home, clothes, food, a car to drive, bikes to ride, and a vacation or two, does something for the level of respect the children show him.

Don't be mistaken. I fall short of wearing the uniform too often. I focus on what has not been done and what needs to be corrected more than the other.

But remembering how quick I was to cheer for the lone biker, makes me realize I need to be the cheerleader this week. I need to rally the troops. It is going to be a great one!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Verse For Everything

It was a busy week. I arrived home Saturday night from a wonderful retreat
with the ladies in my church. It was a great time, but I was starting to feel
a little run-down and worn-out. Sure enough, within a few hours I had a
big, fat head cold.

Feeling pretty miserable, I spent most of Sunday and Monday
recuperating and taking all my vitamins. By Wednesday, I was all
better, just in time for the next round of busyness.

In the next few days, I had to "pull-off" several things for my kids.
I had promised my third child a birthday playdate, since what I had
planned for her birthday in the fall had totally fallen apart when a
serious rainstorm had the nerve to ruin our family camping trip. So, I
had invited several friends over for a Thursday afternoon Valentine
birthday playdate complete with mini cupcakes and making Valentines.

Thursday night was spent helping my oldest daughter pack up her things
for her trip with The Classical School to Washington, D.C. She needed
clothes for 7 days/6 nights, plus snacks, thermal underwear, etc.
Needless to say, it took a lot of thinking to get that organized....

Also, it was the youngest daughter's turn to go to the Father-Daughter
dance at church on Friday night, so I was ordering a wrist corsage and
making sure the dress, shoes and tights were ready. Her two older
sisters had previously had their turns. Dad accidentally forgot to buy
the tickets this year, so after I made all those plans, I had to
cancel them! (this might be a subject for another blog! ;-) )

Also on Friday, I had to figure out how I was going to get the 2nd
daughter to her gymnastics team tryout at the same time the third
daughter needed to get ready for the dance. But as it turned out, a
snow storm pushed the tryout to Saturday and relieved that scheduling
problem. Plus, we didn't have tickets to the dance!

By the time we got home in the snow on Friday from our afternoon
activities, the kids enjoyed some time in the snow and I enjoyed some
hot tea and some down time!

Whew, all that preparation and busyness!

We got the oldest daughter off on her trip and Saturday I took the second child
to her gym tryout.

I was feeling guilty because with all that had gone on, I had let some
things slide this week. One was the time I usually spend in training
my kids in Bible study and character issues. It seems like each
morning we were running late and something needed to give, and of
course, I let the hardest thing to do just fall off my plate.

As we were driving to the gym tryout, we were talking about the tryout
and she confided to me that she was a little nervous. I told her to
just do her best and we will see how it turns out. I reminded her of
our recent studies in the book of Daniel about how the Lord is the
Ruler over the Realm of Mankind. (It says that over and over in
Daniel!). And therefore, we can trust His will for whether she gets on
the team or not.

Then she reminded me of her favorite verse in the Bible--Jer. 29:11
which says that God has a plan for us, for our future. And that His
will is not to harm us.

And then she said, "There's also the verse in Joshua 1, where he says
He will be with you wherever you go. I guess there is a verse for
everything in the Bible, right, Mom?"

And I said, "You're right! There is!"

Relief flooded my soul as I realized that even during the busy week,
and my lack of training my kids in the way I SO desire to, that this
one is still getting it. Thank you, Lord, for your grace and mercy and
for covering my mistakes and filling in all the missing things I leave
out. Thank you that the time we have spent in the Word is "sticking"
and that You let me see a glimpse into what this special girl is
learning about You.

Isn't it a relief that He fills in all the places where we are lacking?

Friday, February 12, 2010

This is a Test

We have been working on the sin of pride in our home recently. One of the kids told me one of his superior's at work told him he was stubborn yesterday. He was asking me how that was the case based on the scenario. I pointed out his "stubbornness" was actually pride.

We discussed how his struggle was inherited from his parents. We have both struggled with it. Not much fun.

I gave him examples of how God has disciplined us, sometimes pretty severely. Job losses, business failures, financial struggles, marriage struggles. Not much fun.

He remarked, "Pride not only affects you, but those you love, too."

As only God would have it, today my Bible study was in Genesis 22, the story of Abraham sacrificing Isaac. Testing. My stomach tightens thinking about it. God's tests are purposeful and always yield a result.

I had told him yesterday, "You know what is exciting? God is allowing you opportunities to kick pride out of your life. He has a great plan for you, and pride will stand in the way of His perfect plan. He cares about you, because He is bringing this to the surface."

Today I was faced with my own tests, realizing how often I have failed the tests over and over again.

Parenting, being the best wife I can be, self discipline...anyone feeling my pain?!

Then I remembered what I told him yesterday. Yeah, it applies to me, too.

All the while, God is full of grace and mercy, giving me tools to use to overcome, giving me the siren of my heart to shut my mouth, giving me LOVE. Unconditional. Fulfilling. Measureless.

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