Monday, July 16, 2012

Pray With Me?

We had a close call with our little Ethan Bug on Saturday. We were in the pool and turned around and he was just gone. There were more than enough adults for the number of children. We were all being so careful and still he was there one moment and then just gone.

My husband said "STOP, Where's Ethan!?" and my heart was in my throat. I looked where he had been standing on the steps and I could see his little nose barely touching the top of the water. He was so still. Everything was slow motion. We got to him and lifted him out and water was pouring out of his mouth and nose. He began to cough and throw up after only one chest compression. He couldn't have been under for more than a few seconds. We were at the home of a pediatrician and he was able to check Ethan out and make sure that his lungs were clear.

Ethan is perfectly fine. He was given back to us. He was solemn and a bit ashen for the remainder of the day Saturday, but he stayed in the pool with John and wore a life vest. He even got back in later and played with the other children. I am so proud of him. He was a little trooper.

This scripture came blaring to my mind in that moment:
Deuteronomy 32:39
‘ See now that I, I am He, And there is no god besides Me; It is I who put to death and give life. I have wounded and it is I who heal, And there is no one who can deliver from My hand.

We never know how much time we have left with those that we love.  I know that it's a bit cliche to say "seize the day" or "live life to the fullest" or "say what needs to be said". What I want to say is this, teach the children about our God and Savior so that in those moments of crisis they are calling upon the name of the one who is ACTUALLY in control. So that in the moments of danger they are calling upon the name of the creator of Heaven and Earth, the one and only God who embodies power and strength and controls life and death.

That night I had trouble sleeping because I couldn't get Ethan's little face out of my mind. I sat up praying silently. My family will all tell you that my silent prayers almost always turn to poems and unless I write them down sleep rarely comes. I thought I'd share my prayer with you. 

Dearest Father
I fall at your feet
I am humbled
And again we meet

Every Day Lord
Blessings seem to flow
Just like water
It is all I know

You amaze me
With your wondrous pow’r
With your wisdom
In my darkest hour

Your pow’r to give Lord
And to take away
Held my baby in your lap and gave him back today

What a task Lord
That you hand to me
Teach these little hearts to praise you, teach their eyes to see

I have faith Lord
I have faith in you
That the strength you see in me somehow must be true

Lord, I need you
To guide my weary feet
Touch my soul and fill my heart with you in every beat

Thank you Father
For each second chance
For Love that makes the walk of life a victory dance.

By Nettie

Thank you all for praying with me. Love to you.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A good

a best friend of mine pointed out a huge flaw of mine today. A flaw that might've become a critical failure on my part without someone to point it out to me. The flaw of self doubt. I realized that in  every area of life, from playing board games to cultivating friendships, and basic decision making I feel the fearful questions looming over me "will I mess this up, and what if I do?" and I find myself stating those fears out loud.

I've been struggling with my children even though I am very loving and consciously consistent and firm with them, and now I see it as if it were a light shining straight in my eyes all along and I was just blind! My children saw my self doubt! I can think of a perfect example to share!

My little girl is 4 years old and has been in love with dance since she could crawl. One of our favorite things to do when she was 8 months old was to watch "Dancing With the Stars" just to watch her! She would move to the music even then and she was so fascinated by the beautiful costumes that the women wore. We knew even then that we had to find a way to put her into dance class. When she turned 4 our birthday gift to her was a year of dance. She loves it. There are days when she doesn't want to go, but 9 times out of 10 she is very excited and ready to get there and perform, and that's saying a lot for someone so small.

Still, even with her passion for dance, I find myself feeling out of place because of our family's social status. Until tonight I didn't realize exactly how ridiculous that is...regardless of how many times my dearest friends have tried to reassure me. I felt out of place because of the sacrifices that it requires of us to allow our little girl to do dance. I felt out of place because we drive an old vehicle and our clothes are showing some wear. I allowed my fears of rejection to keep me from reaching out to the other mothers around me, and guess what all of those women are...THEY ARE MOTHERS TOO.  They are mothers with their own sets of doubts, struggles, and issues; with their own sets of weaknesses and strengths. I may not know what they are, but I'm not the only one wondering if I'll be rejected and by doubting myself I have allowed myself to be the one doing the rejecting and that is unacceptable to me.

By hearing me say aloud "I'd like to invite Tina over for coffee, but what will she think of my floor?" or "what would she think about the fact that our fence is broken in the back and because we rent we have no control over when it gets fixed?" my children are learning that mommy doubts herself, and are therefore learning that mommy is to be doubted. They need to see confidence and strength, even when I don't feel it. So, here's the plan.

Have you heard the phrase "Act enthusiastic and you'll be enthusiastic"?  Well, I am going to behave with confidence whether I feel confident or not.  I'm going to replace the negative and false thoughts with simple truths, such as...when I think "Tina will think poorly of me because my home is small and rented and I need new linoleum." I will replace it with "I have an acquaintance that I think could become a really dear friend and she is coming to visit with me, not with my floors!"

I know that this is not going to be an overnight change, but it's a start. I thank my dear friend for the wake-up call.