Five Minute Friday: Expectations

Five minutes…. Hmm. Expectations are unmet in so many ways. I expected as a child to have parents who loved me, or at least acted like they did. Hmm. I expected as a teen that everyone would like me or at least act like they did. Hmm. I expected as a young woman that my life would be perfect or at least look like it was. Hmm. I expected as a mother that I would always do the right thing, always be the smiling Susie homemaker, or at least look like I was. Hmm. I expected as an adult that I would be treated as one, or at least feel like I was one. Hmm. Now my expectations are more realistic- I am confident in the One who made me, that my expectations in Him are well met; that He makes me whole, perfect, loved by Him. Nothing else matters.

Ding.

Check out other 5-minute links on 5-minute fridays!

Five Minute Friday

Independence Day

We celebrate independence in our family daily. I once commented to my daughter that I didn’t understand why she did some of the things she did and she said “well, you raised me to be independent, so what did you expect?”

 

She had a great point there. Raising independent individuals who think for themselves, are responsible, and are accountable to themselves was, I think an underlying goal for most of my reasoning as a parent.

 

But BUT, the foundation for all of this independence is Jesus, the cornerstone of our lives. Where true independence lies in complete dependence. 

 

I have to put the caveat in here: 

 

We are not perfect; we were not perfect parents; we didn’t pray at every meal, we didn’t have family devotionals, we made a ton of mistakes. 

OK, son- a kazillion mistakes; and often wished that someone had told us what was coming and the impact it would make on our sanity and our finances!  

We had OJT.

Now back to our regularly scheduled post subject.

 

We live in a country where independence is valued; some would say it’s an American’s Birthright. Yet sometimes, in our parenting, we have a tendency to foster their dependence on us; to want to protect them from everything; to hold on a little too tightly; and to refuse to acknowledge that the spark of independence we see in our children shows they are maturing and learning along the way. 

 

If we trust God to know what’s best for all of us then we must be able to let them go as they grow, foster that independence and realize that they will make mistakes, screw up, and thoroughly embarrass and sadden us in the process of failing miserably and bring us joy in their success. We can confidently watch them continue on that road of independence if we know that they are dependent upon the Cornerstone, the sure foundation upon which they build their life of independence in this country that declared its own independence that 4th of July, 1776.

 

Something for myself as a parent: 

 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6  

 

Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you. Psalm 9:10

 

My admonishment to my children: 

 Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and

depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life—in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing. Philippians 2:14-16

   

My prayer for my children:

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:9-14

 

Linking up with: 

 

Letter to an Ideal Reader

(I must preface this post by telling you that Jeff Goins of  “You are a Writer” said in his ebook, that we should determine our audience, decide who that “ideal reader” is who will  stop and read my writing. I mulled that one over and over. I have always written letters, some never sent, some that had to be written, just because. I chose to write a letter to my ideal reader and post it because someone may identify with her a bit.  Her name is Miriam, Miriam Loggins, to be precise. If there’s a real Miriam Loggins out there, apologies for stealing your name. For me, she was the name of the main character of a short story I wrote so very long ago.)

 

 

Dear Miriam,

 

Your name has been in my head and heart for a Long Time. When you were young, so was I. Now we are older. Do you still wonder and wander? I do. The places I’ve been in my head and in reality! The things I’ve experienced, the people I’ve known, they all have had a hand in shaping my life. But that one experience as a child, when I was 7 has kept me sane all these years. Remember?

 

Those two Sundays in a row, I stood there singing with the grandmother/mother “Just as I am”. I think that was the only invitation song I knew there was for a very long time. Nevertheless, that first Sunday, I was listening. I heard HIs Voice. I started to make my move, and she grabbed my arm, held me back. Leaned down and whispered, “You are too young.” The song ended, the service ended, and we went home. Nothing was said. The next Sunday, again with the “Just as I am”, but this time I stood on the outside of the pew next to the aisle. I looked up. She wasn’t watching me. And, I stepped out. I fairly ran down that aisle to the pastor. To the safety of the King of Kings.  She called the pastor the next week and asked him to talk to me before a baptism was scheduled. She didn’t believe that I believed and understood the call of the King. I don’t know that she ever did.

He and I talked, Mostly he asked questions and I answered, He gave instruction and I listened. He must have been satisfied with my answers; because she said after she talked with him that he told her to let me be baptized, that I understood what I believed.  I remember the next Sunday I was baptized.  It was January and I was cold. I think it was in the evening, she drove me to church and left. Something going on with the grandfather/father I think he was drunk again.

So, alone, at the age of 7, I was welcomed into my Forever Family in a little church on the south side of San Antonio.  I’d like to say that everything changed in that moment, but it didn’t. On the outside at least. But inside, that is a different story, the Holy Spirit took up residence.

He provided people in the church that loved me just because. He provided protection from those who would grind me down just because. He provided instruction, encouragement, direction and love that I would not even come close to knowing in human form until I met my husband. He prepared me for difficulty for most of my life just because.

 

Because He knew I was his child and I had no oneNo One to prepare me for adulthood; to provide for me spiritually; to protect me from myself and others; to piece together the bits to where they actually looked like a picture and not a complete mess; to pull me toward the man who would be my husband; to place mentors in my life where and when I needed a human hand with God’s Name written on it; to put His song in my heart for me to hear in the midst of the cacophony of noise that was my life before I was an adult; and most importantly, to pierce my heart of hearts with the love of Jesus when there was no one else and comfort me with that love that will never leave.

 

Remember, Miriam? It was tough getting from child to adult.

Love, Nancy

 

PS- He still holds my hand. Does He hold yours?

 

I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.  Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:13-14

 

 For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear;
 I will help you.
 Isaiah 41:13