The Art of Knowing Thyself

Know what’s soooo incredibly wonderful about getting older?
You know – or realize – your strengths and weaknesses – and you’re completely okay with them. We’re all wired differently. We all have unique, God-given qualities which, I believe, complement one another. Case and point: I work for an online education program (K12), occasionally, during testing season as a test proctor. Everrrrrything is done online. Everything. Well, short of me driving to the testing center and watching over rooms of sleepy and stressed teens while they take end-of-the-year achievement tests. (so much yuck – how does a crunchy homeschool mom get herself into these things, anyway?) But, I really, really, really dislike online forms. Even moreso if I have to complete those forms on my phone. Yes, seriously. I’m THAT age group, believe it or not. When I see an email about registrations, and all things online formish, I don’t even read it, I have to have a several days of silence to prepare myself for the stress.

But alas, I have completed the “onboarding” process. Onboarding – because “new-hire”, or “new employee” is such an 80’s phrase. 😀 We are a new and improved culture – we “ONBOARD” these days…..(giggle) Well, I’m finally on board. Because, this ol’ lady finally finished her bajillion-email, ONline, ONboarding process. Well, after the scanner and I had a few scuffles.

I am not much of a detail-oriented person. And, I’m finally okay with this.

All the while, my Mother is – dusting! D.U.S.T.I.N.G.! Another intricate, detailed task I literally hate. But Mom? Oh no…give her some socks to mend (by hand), or a 600 buttons to sew on (by hand), or 30 afghans to crochet, or a shirt (or 15) to iron, or a microwave to clean, or a gadget to take apart and then put.back.togetherrrrr…… – mercy.
The woman is a genuine saint in my eyes.

We’re all good. She dusts picture frames for fun….
And Me? Well, I’m going outside to breathe and shoot something – B.I.G.!!

Memories

About twice a day, I glance – actually it’s wince – at the chaotic mess in our car. Just this morning, as I’m taking off the first layer, I always always always think: “Oh, God help us if Papa – Joe Woods – ever saw this car!”

First and foremost, we live on a farm. The dirt. It’s so much that it makes this recovering clean-freak-perfectionist want to hyperventilate. Then, since we live a hundred miles from civilization, our car is also the food pantry. It’s also the book locker, the filing cabinet, the garage, the storage room, the farm truck, the church car, the college car, the chicken tractor mover, the veggie/produce hauler, and the bread delivery wagon. It holds counseling sessions, business planning meetings, and heated discussions over just about everything one could imagine. ~ *~ But you know what I see in the midst of the mess? I see my kids’ Bibles. I see scattered pieces of paper with scripture. I see small gifts from encouraging friends.I see encouraging notes/letters from friends and family which have been read over and over and over on the long haul to the city. I see pictures (yes, your Christmas cards get poked in crevices until they make into the house – usually we grab the mail on the way OUT, so we think about you, talk about you as we are all held captive for 30+ minutes!)
I don’t know about you, but God truly IS blessing my mess.
Even when I don’t see it. Even when I stress about it.
He has stopped me in my tracks this morning to show me this very thing.
#MyRealLife #SeekHim

Memories

As I study a Christmas card we got from our friends in Wisconsin, I’m reminded of God’s GREAT faithfulness and love for my precious family, this morning. Every.single.place. we were “stationed” during our traveling years, God provided a friend, a family, a home, a church, a park, a swing set, ….love. Friends, WHATEVER it is you’re going through, whatever the struggle – the THING that just.won’t.end – that defeated flaming dagger that satan is hurling at you ….please, with all my heart, I exhort you to keep the faith. Walk and do not grow weary. Keep your heart and your thoughts focused on the only One who is faithful. The only One who will never leave you. The One who is a best friend for those who call him Lord. Press on. He is molding you into His likeness and that, my friend, humans can’t put into words.

Parenting

I stumbled upon this article, 10 Lessons on Parenting Little Ones, earlier, and though I don’t have little ones anymore it was a good read. It’s good to be reminded of some things we did right (I can hear the children gasping), things we dropped haphazardly along the way, and  areas where we completely failed. More specifically, I’m glad to be reminded that my kid’s rebellion is, first, against God, not me. In all honesty, it would go far better for them if it were up to me. Lord, thank you for reminding me that my kids have been given to me as a gift – I humbly offer them back to you. I am utterly unworthy. It has been only by your grace that we have survived this far.

a girl with hands up in worship

Lessons in Mercy