Wednesday, November 23, 2011

New Balance

No, not the running shoes.  Although admittedly, I have not run in far too long.  I guess that goes hand in hand with what this post is about.

I've discovered the most challenging part of being a wife and mother is finding balance.  Most days it's a struggle to keep just one of the areas of my life in balance.  It's a constant readjusting.  I started to feel like I was failing more than I was succeeding.

Keep a clean house, but spend time with your children.

Make healthy meals, but make them taste good.

Don't dress like you just got out of bed, but don't dress to make other men stumble.

Spend time teaching your children, but let them be kids too.

Budget wisely, but splurge on the important stuff.

Protect your kids, but let them make mistakes.

Exercise, but take time to rest.

Be stern, but be gentle.

Love others, but don't let them take advantage of you.

Have great friends, but spend time alone too.

Be helpful, but don't get overextended.

Be confident in who you are, but be willing to change.

Accept that the Lord is God and He died for you, but....hmmm.  I'm glad there's no "but" to salvation.  That's all that really matters.  Life's pressures are mostly imposed by ourselves or others, not God.  Does he want me to be a good wife and a good mother? Of course He does.  He desires the best for me and my family.  Does he care that I haven't cleaned behind the fridge in two years? Probably not.

Now that Brian's mom has passed, I am replaying our conversations, and cherishing them even more.  When they came to visit this past January I told her that I didn't have a chance to clean as much as I wanted.  She just smiled and said, " can have a clean house or you can spend time with your kids.  You can't have both.  Each day is a choice.  Some days you will choose to clean.  Some days you will sit on the floor and play with Barbies.  As a grandmother, I am glad that your house isn't spotless because it means you're spending time with my granddaughters."  She went on to tell me that there will come a time when your house stays too clean and you miss the mess.  Then she said the kids move back in, along with the grandkids and you miss the clean.  "It all evens out eventually."

Today, I'm striving for a new balance; one that doesn't leave me feeling guilty at the end; a balance that reminds me not to take things too seriously because, "It all evens out eventually."

Friday, November 11, 2011

Victory is not easy

This week has been a roller coaster for our family.

There are major changes going on at the girls' school and we're right in the middle of it all.  Brian has major things going on at work and he's at the center of it too.  That should be enough, but those are the minor parts of our week.

Monday morning, Brian's mom passed away.  She was diagnosed in January with uterine and lung cancer and by October, it had spread to her brain, spine, and lymph nodes.  She fought it every way she could, and dealt with the awful side effects of treatments.  On Monday she was healed completely.  It may not have been the way that some were hoping and praying, but it's healing nonetheless.  I've often heard the term that a person has "lost the battle with cancer".  I've decided I don't like it.  She didn't lose.  Ultimately, she won.  Cancer did not take her life.  It took her home. She gets to be with her Jesus.  When Brian was there a couple weeks ago, his mom said she was ready to go to heaven and be whole again and be with her sisters (and others that have gone before her).  But victory is not always easy.

Victory is not always characterized by jumping, shouting, and rejoicing.  Victory often has a downside.  I'm definitely not a glass-half-empty kind of girl (that's the pessimistic one, right?).  But I'm not a sunshine, rainbows, and unicorns kind of girl either.  I know the reality of life is that for every winner, there is usually a loser.  In a court case, there's always one side rejoicing, while the other mourns.  The Lord's gain in heaven is truly our loss on earth.

I've learned that victory always means change too.  Even when we were ecstatic about the girls' new school, it meant saying goodbye to old friends and learning to adapt to a new school's philosophy of learning.  Likewise, we have been praying for my dad to find a wonderful job after his department was laid off almost 3 years ago.  This week God answered our prayers.  He has a wonderful new job! We rejoice in the victory, but the job is over 4 hours away, so it means that they will be moving.  Major change from the 5 minutes it takes us to get to their house now.  Victory is not always easy.

What we cling to in weeks like this is that victory is ultimately the Lord's.  We are promised that throughout the Bible.  In Jeremiah 29:11, it says "For I know the plans I have for YOU,' says the Lord. 'Plans to prosper you and not to harm you.  Plans to give you a future and a hope." The Lord's plan is for us to be victorious.  In Revelation 17:14 it says, "These will make war with the Lamb, but He will triumph over them.  All those that accompany him shall share in the victory."

This week we cling to His promises, rejoice in victory, but we grieve for our loss.


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