Sunday Reflection

I’ve been absent from writing for a long while and am starting to crave the release of writing through my thoughts and trying to make sense out of them. A LOT has changed in the past year or so. We got married, moved in together, blended a family, learned that one of our children is autistic and has sensory processing disorder, subsequently changed schools for her, went through a surgery to get pregnant, got pregnant (now 33 weeks), welcomed my husband’s parents and grandma in a move from CA to AZ, and forged through other tough decisions and realizations. We are doing really well considering how much we have been through. More on that another day.

What inspired me to write today was church service this morning. We have been going through a series called Plan B, which is based on the book by Pete Wilson. At the beginning of the series I thought…is anyone really still on Plan A…or B for that matter? I feel like I’m on plan Z and I’m only 32! I love what my life has become and I’m completely grateful to God for turning a very hard season in my life into something spectacular. But it is something I never imagined for myself growing up or even when I was in college. I knew I wanted a family and kids and a husband and some sort of career, but the way I got to this place was a very patch-worked path that was messy and unorganized.

We had the privilege to hear directly from Pete Wilson at church this morning. He said a few things I wanted to share and remember.

“The greatest illusion in life, is the illusion of control.”

This struck me because of its simplicity and obviousness (not sure that’s really a word), yet it’s something we forget on a daily basis. We have little to no control over the things that happen TO us. We do on the other hand have some control over how we view and react to circumstances, challenges, or successes. Some other things he said that I wrote in my journal:

“If nothing else good happens to you in your life ever, you STILL owe God everything.”

If we pray, and pray, and beg for help…. for a new job, or to keep a job, to change our finances, to repair relationships, or to save our children from hardships, or keep them safe…..and God does nothing to help us, we still owe Him our lives with faith and dedication to his glory. He gave His son to save us from our sins and so we would have the ability to spend eternity with Him. We owe Him, not the other way around.

“The hardest part is knowing God is completely capable of doing something but accepting that He sometimes chooses to do nothing to change the situation we are in.”

We’ve all been there, begging, asking for a sign, pleading and crying…..and wondering where He is. It shakes your faith to hear nothing and to feel no relief from pain, embarrassment, or crushed dreams. My plans and expectations have changed many times and when I think He isn’t listening and didn’t help…I look back weeks, months, years later and see that even though it wasn’t part of my plan, it was part of His. No one ever grows up and says I want to get married, then divorced, and have my family ripped apart and then go on to live in a blended family with more challenges than one could ever imagine. That’s not picture perfect, you don’t dream of struggling and going through heartbreak. But “..it” happens and God and make those terrible seasons in life worth it and has the ability to make life beautiful again.

Pete Wilson gave an example of when kids throw fits and fight and scream that they want the other parent to instead of the one they are with. The child doesn’t really want the other parent…they want what they think the other parent is going to give them. It’s like our conversations with God, we are begging for help, for more or less of something. More often than not we aren’t begging for more time and love from Him, when that is what we should be doing.

He asked a question that makes me question if my actions and choices conflict with what I believe to be true? How can I trust His plan more and release from the chains of my own? What is He asking of me and how can I say YES?

“What would you do if you were absolutely confident that God was with you?”

My answer…..a lot more.

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Internal struggles

I went from being a single-mom of a 3-year-old boy, to married (to love of my life) and trying to parent two additional children. I knew it would be hard, extremely hard, I just wasn’t sure how or how often it would be. I started doing research, trying to grasp at any straws of information on how to co-parent, how to handle girls and who were also older than my son. I had missed what happens from the age of 3 to 7….jumping in feet first. I have so many questions and even more prayers going up to God. Researching blogs of parents of step-children, of girls, of adopted children….anything. Honestly it just left me with more questions. Are my expectations too high? How do I approach difficult situations when their dad is not around…and even when he is standing in the same room?

We had decided before we got married that the biological parent would do the discipline. As parents we would talk about the problem and then whoever “owned” the child would handle discipline. We have a general house rule of “Be Respectful” which covers a lot. So, if we need to address a situation, we can, without having a full on parenting discussion. Those are kind of left for the “major” situations. We have adjusted and readjusted our approach on everything multiple times.

I want to be an example of someone living to be Christ-like, as a wife, mom, and just a person in general. I want to teach these values to our kids (which we agree on whole-heartedly). But how much do I rely on leading by example and how much do we sit and talk as a family about what it means to trust and rely on God? I don’t want to shove it down their throats, I want them to choose it for themselves.

I have been looking for advice on blogs and at church through pre-marital counseling and parenting conferences. I guess only time will tell if I’m doing anything right. Like most parents, I wonder if I’m made for this…wonder if I can raise 3 kids and have them turn into God-loving people…wonder if they will think as adults that I did a good job….wonder if I can ever live up to how great the parents of my own were (are).

I know this blog has been about something kind of different but it really is just my journey in life. I want to look back and see my growth or maybe where I can improve and areas I still need to pay attention to. Not sure really where I am going with this….eh, we will see.

Blog that I follow that have been helpful and inspiring that may help others in their own journey. 

Lil Blue Boo

Chatting at the Sky

Ashely Ann Photography