Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Where My Heart is Today

Naive by Chris Rice

How long until You defend Your name and set the record right
And how far will You allow the human race to run and hide
And how much can You tolerate our weaknesses
Before You step into our sky blue and say "That’s quite enough!"

Am I naive to want a remedy for every bitter heart
Can I believe You hold an exclamation point for every question mark
And can I leave the timing of this universe in bigger hands
And may I be so bold to ask You to please...hurry?

I hear that a God who’s good would never let the evil run so long
But I say it’s because You’re good You’re giving us more time, yeah
‘Cause I believe that You love to show us mercy
But when will You step into our sky blue
And say "That’s quite enough, and your time is up!"

Am I naive to want a remedy for every bitter heart
Can I believe You hold an exclamation point for every question mark
And can I leave the timing of this universe in bigger hands
And may I be so bold to ask You to please...hurry?

Am I naive...
Can I believe...
And can I bigger hands
And may I be so bold to ask You, to ask You, to ask You

How long?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Social Butterfly Lands Hard

Although I was quite shy when I was very young, I really came out of my shell when I turned 14 or 15yo. I started singing in public then (school plays, choirs, wedddings, etc) and I suppose the raise in self-esteem made me feel less vulnerable. I also realized that I had my mom's quick wit, so I began to love being the life of the party. ;o)

Anyway, I have cherished my relationships with people. My church family, our homeschool group, the friends I've met through Five in a Row, and even the gals I work(ed) with on the internet on the Stayin' Home and Lovin' It Team...those relationship have meant the world to me. So now that I don't get to cultivate those relationships much, I'm realizing how lonely I am.

First, we moved to a new community about eight years ago, and although for a few years we were quite active with a residential ministry in town, we never really found a church home. We still visit from time to time, but the congregations (though full of wonderful God-lovers) have just made us miss our affiliations an hour away at our old church. I guess we were spoiled by that fellowship, and no other feels the same.

And our life took a turn a couple of years ago, and I am no longer working so closely with my friends over on the FIAR website, so we rarely talk to one another at all. It's no one's fault, just moves people from one chapter in life to the next...and now I feel several pages "off."

My internet business (although I love it madly!) was not making enough money for me, so I had to take a full time job outside the home, and I never have time to chat with my online marketing friends anymore.

But I realized how heartbroken I was when my 15yod came to me yesterday and said that one of her friend in our homeschool group told her that she had heard some of the moms in the group talking, and they were all gossiping about how our dd would probably be "just like her older brother," whom we've had a lot of trouble managing these past few years. He has some severe emotional issues, and although he's not a druggie/drinker, he is quite defiant and has been violent at times.

I couldn't believe what I heard! I felt so bad for her...she's trying so hard to make Godly decisions about her friendships, her future, even choosing not to date or court until she's much older. And for someone to tell her that she'll be judged no matter was just wrong. :o(

So now I have to wonder if us staying in the homeschool group is a very good idea. If we're already being condemned as parents (otherwise why would they assume our dd is going to be "just like him") by the group we really are hoping to find some unconditional love from, should we be around them?

Now, it's possible that this little girl didn't hear what she thinks she heard...or that she's making it up because she knows our situation and thinks this is a topic she wants to talk about. :-/ I don't know. But I'm feeling so disconnected and lonely these days, and this recent issue is just dumping a very bitter icing on a sloppy and condemning cake.

I'm gripping tightly to my Jesus who looks and me and loves me dearly, and knows my heart completely longs to be loved and Him,...and by His children.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A Gentle Nudge...or a smack with a 2 x 4!

Since our homeschooling journey began several years ago, I've been blessed to meet and become good friends with some amazing people. If you've never done so, introduce yourself to some of the vendors who attend your local home educators convention. You will probably find some like-minded lifelong friends.

Anyway, one of my favorite people (and one of the wisest men I know) reminded me today of all the reasoning that went into our decision to homeschool all those years ago. When we started this adventure over 13 years ago, we believed we were called by God to teach them to know Him, love Him and love others. All the other stuff was to be built upon those few principles.

But as the years have gone by, it's become so easy to get bogged down in making sure each child is "doing what they should do" to satisfy some intangible standard apllied to my family by some mystical force "out there." By that, I mean, it's become easy for me to take my eyes off of the most important thing (knowing God, loving God and loving each other) and instead, because of outward (or sometimes inward) pressure to make sure my kids are "smart enough," focus on whether we're teaching the right math, the right history, the right (or enough) language arts.

I can see how that happened. Like most homeschooling parents, I'm bombarded with dozens, if not hundreds, of choices of curriculum. This one helps them learn faster, while that one helps them learn more. This one teaches in a style that makes learning more fun, while that one focuses on rote memorization. And after awhile, the idea of my children being faster, harder, more critical thinkers become quite appealing. And I cave...cave to the pressure to make sure each day that they're "doing enough," insted of building solid, strong and Christ-honoring relationships FIRST and foremost in our home.

So today, thanks to my friend's proverbial 2x4, we focus anew on the heart concepts that set us off down this road all those years ago. And I pray we never lose sight again of what what God has called us to do.