Friday, August 31, 2012

Desiring God's Will for Their Lives

...and believing it includes each other.


I'm going to a wedding this weekend.  It's about 3 hours away one way and I'm going alone, stag, to the first wedding I've attended since my marriage ended.  This is insanely awesome for my normally basement level self-esteem. 

I was really excited when I received this wedding invitation a few months ago.  I know the groom better than the bride and he was connected to my ex, so I wasn't sure I'd get one.  I know Jonathan will not be there because he wasn't invited, so that's also good.  But alone to a wedding, ugh, humph, okay. 

I've figured out the gift and what I'm going to wear and how long it will take to get there.  I think I'll probably have a ton of fun and the bride is darling and gorgeous I can't wait to see how she looks in her dress.  The groom's not bad himself but be honest, who looks at the groom at a wedding?  Um, no one, well the bride does.

I reread the invitation this week in prep of figuring out how far away it was and I saw the opening line of their invitation for the first time  I hadn't noticed it before.  "Desiring God's will for their lives and believing it includes each other."  This was the exact first line of my wedding invitations, this EXACT line.  You coulda knocked me over with a feather.  Whew, that was hard to read. 

Now of course, I am no longer young and in love so these words mean something very different to me now then they did then.  Also, I have really positive feelings toward the couple that just used them in their wedding invitations so how do I reconcile that?

I do desire God's will for my life and believe that desire it for theirs as well.  But my theology about how that is played out is a bit different than it was 12 years ago.  I am not sure I believe there is one person out there for everyone anymore.  In fact, I know I don't think that.  I'm sure my theology will change even more in the next 12 years and more after that, maybe not in this area but the thing about me and theology is that I like thinking about it and praying about it; so it keeps evolving.  Unlike the human species, I think we're regressing ;-)  (this is not a statement about evolution, it's a joke people)

So, as I prepared their gift today I thought about what to say on the card.  Most people say nothing and get a sappy card or fill a still sappy card with advice, thoughts, and bible verses.  Instead I chose a card with a picture of an open door on it.   I encouraged the couple that they are walking through a door together.  That they are awesome and that I'm not one to give marital advice, since I sucked at being married.   I did tell them that I'm sure they have hopes and dreams for their lives and that God has many more than they could ever have for themselves.  That marriage may be hard and takes three (Jesus) people but that they will figure it out. 

I hope you desire God's will for your life, I desire it for mine and for the bride and groom tomorrow.  I desire it for my children.  God tells us in his word what His will for us is, it's not a trick or a guessing game and we don't need to lay fleeces out like Gideon.  God makes His desires for us clear, Micah 6:8  - do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with your God.  That's just one of many passages where His will for us is made clear. 

Sometimes we worry about whether or not we are marrying the right person, doing the right thing for a living, going to the right college, or potty training our kids the right way.  I'm not sure that if you seek God on the big things and the small things and then you obey His word by doing justice, loving your neighbor and so forth that He is all that hung up on whether you go to Etown College or the University of Hawaii.  He's more hung up on your heart and your soul.

Does that mean I don't believe Erin and Kevin were meant to be together, no.  Not necessarily.  What it means is that I believe both Erin and Kevin and you and I and my children can follow the will of God regardless.  Please don't stop desiring to follow His will for your life.  Just to be clear, He may not care whether or not you eat at Five Guys or Red Robin tonight.  He cares more about how you treat the people you're there with. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

FYI

I'm writing tonight to give y'all some clarity.  I'm going to give you a play by play on what this blog is really about and what it is not about.  Why it's here and since I'm it's creator what it's purpose is and what I will and won't use it for.  

This is not a 'mommy blog.'  A few of my recent posts have been a bit mommy blogish.  There is nothing wrong with mommy blogs I love them, read them almost daily and I enjoy them.  In fact I wrote some of those posts because frankly that's what people want.  But my blog is not a mommy blog.  My blog is about suffering, it's about joy, it's about life and death, and God and relationship and the presence of evil in our world.  It's about how all of those things have been present in my life and my process about them.  This is the place where I process through them.

This means a couple of things:

- this blog is heavy, if you come here for a lighthearted laugh; you've come to the wrong place.  Oh, we laugh here but often it is through tears. 

- this blog is about my life.  unfortunately my life sucks a lot right now.  I occasionally use coarse language, that's probably not going to stop any time soon.  I have actually practiced restraint in that so if you're already offended by my language, you might get more so.  If you don't like that my life sucks and I talk about it frankly, then don't come here.  That's not going to change.  My life doesn't suck nearly as bad as some people and I am aware of that.  I plan on speaking out against all types of suffering and evil in the world.

- I have strong opinions.  I express them.  Get over it.  It's my blog.

-  Jesus means the world to me, how I process my relationship with him and his involvement in my life is sacred ground for me.  Attack that and you will be thrown out.  

- I plan on sharing the happy stuff too.  We have a lot of good stuff in our life, we have awesome friends and family, a roof over our head, and the kids are loving school.  These are great things.  There will be many more great things and we will celebrate them here as well as in our home.

- If you're attempting to use my blog as legal leverage against me; you're an asshole - Jonathan and minions.  You are continuing to prove your profound lack of character.  (I just practiced restraint in not using a whole lot more four letter words ;-)  see told you we laugh here.

- I am NOT a photographer.  I share pictures because I like pictures, please don't grimace too much photographer friends.  AND I would love a photoshop elements lesson since it is loaded on this computer and I just don't know how to use it.  I'll make you a pie!  Or the best brownies I've ever made - dark chocolate brownies with vanilla icing.  Heaven in a brownie may I tell you!

- My views on spiritual matters I discuss are not always presented.  I often desire to have more of a discussion than a sermon (no mDiv over here) so if I don't flush out a position on something theological, it's because I want YOU TO THINK, not to tell you what I think or what you should think.  You are welcome to ask what I think any time.

- Comments are welcome, even if you disagree with something I've written.  Please just do so with respect.  This is my space, I moderate it and if I feel attacked I will not publish you comment.  Smash bloggers are also assholes (see above note about Jonathan) 

- If you copy and paste my words onto your blog you are violating my copyright.  Please don't do that.  You may however link if you'd like and you're NOT a smash blogger. 

- I love you, I appreciate you reading, I love to write and probably would do so even if you didn't read.  But I really love my readers.  I'd love to know who more of you are and I'm thankful for your presence in my life.  

How I'd like to be ending my day...






  

School Days



I did the first day of school thing again this year.  This time putting two kids on the bus instead of one.  How did this happen?  I have a kindergartener and a first grader.  I am home alone with one child (until something changes in my situation).  I have not been home alone with one child since 2006 and really I was pregnant with Harvey for 3/4s of that year so that doesn’t really count, right? 

Rowan was excited for 5 seconds when he woke up before he descended into the “I don’t want to go to school” funk.  Harvey popped out of bed like a jack rabbit (Aunt Meredith’s old phrase for them).  We were ready 45 minutes early.  I may have taken the punctuality and preparing ahead of time a little too far.  We had to kill time; that did not go well.  Watch, we’ll be late tomorrow.


Jonathan met us at the bus stop. I seem to have trouble even looking at him these days, but I’m very good at looking at the ground, or my phone or my children, or staring off into space.  It’s not that I’m feeling hatred in those moments; it’s just that I really don’t want him to smile at me or pretend to be kind.  Makes me want to throw up.  So, I look at the ground or my phone or give my children my absolute resolute compolute (so not a word) attention.  I needed another 'olute' word.  It was good for the kids that he came.  They appreciated his presence and I appreciated them appreciating it.  Even if I didn’t want to look at him, ugh.  

On a side note, there are a million children at our bus stop this year and almost all of them are kindergarteners.  I’m considering asking the house that we’re in front of if we can put a bench on their lawn?  It’s like 6 families and many of them have more than one child.  We may need more than one bench or a pavilion.  Speaking of which, there’s a perfectly good pavilion directly across the street at the park, why is that not our bus stop?  No idea.  Keeps us out of the rain, and has a whole picnic table, duh!  Who didn’t think this one through? I guess we’ll stand and wait and I’ll go buy a really huge golf umbrella that four of us, including a wiggly toddler who probably won’t stay put, can fit under. 
When you're 20 minutes early waiting for the bus is boring



Since she packed her own backpack with her treasures; it weighed more than her.

Eowyn wanted to wear her back pack loaded down with toys that I’m sure weighed just as much as she did.  She did okay when the boys got on the bus.  But then as I was carrying her back to the house she cried.  And once we got home she sort of just stood there and looked lost.  Poor baby.  “Where Harvey and Rowan?”  Awww, little lady I’m sorry.  They’re at school honeybunches. 


Tears for mommy even looking at this photo.

You can't see Harvey well, but he looks so lost.  More tears for mommy.
I think Rowan will be giving Harvey this look for a long time
Spiderman web shooters



And here's the look Harvey gives Rowan, am I doing it right?








I was not able to get them off the bus this afternoon, a whole other story that I had no control over, but Granddaddy did.  He even walked Eowyn down with him because he was watching her.  Shout out to Dad – Thanks!  I was dying to get home and find out how their days went.  I ran in the door shouting and looking for them.  They were playing contentedly on the third floor and ran to me when I got there.  Shouting with matched enthusiasm about how great their days were.  They both told me how much they loved school.  It warmed my heart so completely.  I don’t feel like in my current situation I have a choice to do anything but send them to public school.  I would say 60% of America’s population probably doesn’t really have another viable option.  But the reality is that if you take away the element of choice sometimes you can feel trapped and if you feel trapped and you’re worried about your kids being happy it’s a huge relief when they are. 
 
 I asked them too many questions.  I’m a mom of boys, please Lord help me learn this lesson before they disdain me anymore from asking too much.  This is something I can be thankful that their father is more verbose than I am.  He asks more than me.  I wonder if he gets a pass though because he’s a guy?  Hmmm, that’s not fair.  Regardless, I need to set a limit to the number of questions I pester the boys with when they get home from school.  Suggestions from the prolific population of men out there reading my blog are welcome, hahaha.  I don’t think any men read my blog, but I still need to figure out how many is enough/too many,  2, 3, 4?  Oh, I’m pushing it with four I know I am.  Can I do three? 
Did you have a good day?  Did you eat your lunch?  What did you learn/do/who did you play with/did you make any new friends/ what are their names?   Ughh, see how I do that?  I want to know everything and I’m clearly NOT a helicopter parent, how many questions are those parents asking???!!!!

Updates:   

This post did not go up last night as intended.  I was still ready 40 minutes ahead of time again today.  

Rowan greeted me at 5:30 so I didn’t get a shower but I did comfort him and we talked about bad dreams.   Thankfully it wasn’t a dream about school.  

Eowyn still doesn’t like the boys leaving.  She and I had a solo today and we are enjoying it!

And I bought the rest of the school supplies they needed today, school supplies are expensive. 

I also fixed a dinosaur today with super glue.

Eowyn has napped for 20 minutes today therefore I still haven't had a shower

I have no awareness of whether or what I've eaten for breakfast the last two mornings, that can't be good.  

Having only one child around is really weird.  

We are SOL financially and I'm starting to really stress about it. 

I am completely aware that I have not fulfilled my commitment for a really deep post lately.  Feeling a little chicken with expressing myself lately.  I’m writing it, just working up the nerve to share it. The truth is the truth right?  I should be able to talk about it even if I am attacked for it, I'm slandered and people distort what I say.  Corragio e la forza

Much Love,

Shannon