Friday, January 22, 2016

I’m Still Here... Along with 2016

I am not giving up on this writing thing.  I need it.  However, at this point, my traffic of thoughts is so backed up, I may never get a coherent thought out.  That’s the way it feels today.

I felt the Christmas season blow my hair back as it whizzed through our home.  It's never long enough.  There were a few moments that seemed to slow its pace but overall, it left me wishing for more.  For the first time in years, I missed my 45 minutes with Andrew Peterson's Behold the Lamb of God CD-- listening from start to finish.  That's a favorite thing for me.  {It’s worth the purchase.} Come to think of it, I should just listen to it now.  Best idea I have had all day.

But I press on because one must start somewhere.  Of all the words typed and posted on the world wide -getting wider every second- web, what could I possibly have to say that is any different?  Don’t I wish I could get my hands on some woman’s journals from, like, the 1800’s?  A few things I think I would find— I’d be challenged to have a different perspective—on many things, that my complaints are ludicrous, my desire for comfort is way out of balance, my idea of hard work is pitiful and so on.  But then, when it came to the heart of what makes us women, I think I’d find some common ground.  Family.  I think any “good” mom — and I can consider myself at least that— desires similar things for her kids- and women with a few soft spots in her heart desires to be loved and cherished by her husband.  All that to say— we wives and moms have SO MUCH in common so we are bound to say much of the same thing from time to time and that’s why I think we like to read.  Did C.S. Lewis really say, “We read to know we are not alone.”  {He did in the movie Shadowlands.  So there.}  Whoever said it, it’s true.  We like to know someone else “gets” where we are.  Not that someone is stuck in the same sin pattern we are, but that someone understands what we are up against or that someone else has already gone through what seems to be an impossible situation but they made it!

Therefore, I keep writing.  As sporadic — and somewhat guarded it has become because of my kids’ ages— I still do it.

A couple of weekends ago, we took the kids to plan and pray for the New Year.  Jeff and I have done this before.... but never with the kids.  One night before we left I was lying in the bed I heard Brighton in the kitchen asking Jeff, “So, what else are we going to do?  We can’t just pray the whole time!!”  {B usually says what everyone else is thinking but won’t say.}  No, we didn’t pray the whole time but we gave it a good Sanders’— with a 14 and 12 year old in a tiny cabin on the coldest weekend of the year— effort!  For the first attempt, I think it went well.  Sure there were moments I wanted to get back in bed and hide my head under the pillow—-.  the kids still fought.  I still said too much.  Jeff never backed down on the agenda— and that meant praying when maybe we didn’t feel like it.  But by the time we’d finish, hearts would be softer and our perspective would be less skewed.  I kept telling myself that time spent praying is NEVER wasted.

The owners of the property were kind enough to take the kids out for a {very cold} ride over their land.  I love the cow photo bomb.  
Though most of the change and fruit will come from praying together, I loved hearing the kids’ thoughts when it came time to talk of their goals, things they wanted to change, places they wanted to go, events they’d like to experience…..  These are easy questions to ask anytime of the year but there’s something about a new beginning that gets their noggins churning.  They were primed to talk and we were not distracted by the responsibilities of home.  A couple of new things I learned about my kids is that one of them is energized by the thought of entrepreneurial type endeavors and the other is determined to set and keep a tough goal if someone joins him/her in it.  Our kids think more than I think they do— about fitness, about eating well, about nurturing friendships, about how they are treating their sibling, how they fit into the family mix, how they engage or don’t engage at times.  They are fascinating to me- these kids in the years spilling into adulthood.  On the brink… of something.

There are times when Jeff and I feel time is running short.  Their time at home with us is ticking away.  Planning seems to need to be more strategic— and this takes time and energy, which honestly some days I am all about it but other days, I am content to let it all drift by and let it be what it is.  Sure there are days for drifting but there is wisdom in putting some plans to paper— after prayer.  And this is one of the lessons with which we want to send them off.

Did this weekend prayer retreat change their lives? My life?  Who knows?  But I am praying for this:
that some things are accomplished this year that wouldn’t have been otherwise, that we will continue to think on the desires and goals we communicated and are challenged personally, that we find more Scripture hidden in our hearts over the year, that as parents, spouses, children and siblings, and that we can all say that we depended on the Lord more to order our steps and words.
I hope we can look back on 2016 and feel like we gave it our best shot.  And most importantly, I trust we will see changes in ourselves as a result of time spent praying.  Together.

I’m pretty sure any wife or mom can relate to that.    On the wagon or the white SUV.

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