Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Moving Forward

We walked her into the school as she held her big brother's hand rather tightly. He hugged her and kissed her face before Jeff and I took her to sit down at her desk. Having a big brother at school really does make the transition so much easier for her - God knew what He was doing when He ordered those two.

I held her tightly and Jeff whispered to her the two things that He says every morning.

Be a leader.

It's always right to do the right thing.

As I watched them, I felt the tears welling up in my eyes. Yes, she is the middle child, but she is also our baby girl. She's the one who has a sweet heart that is untainted by the world. The one who is innocent and loving (and bossy). The one who never wants to miss out, but also has a healthy fear of dangerous things (praise Jesus).

The thought runs through my mind : She will thrive. The thought is there, but the wave of emotion that breathed "this is it" hit me all of a sudden and I just had to get out of that room.

I kissed her quickly, squeezed her tightly and went outside to do the easier thing + take Brady to his third grade room. (Third grade drop off is WAY less dramatic than a kindergarten one.) But once I hit the hallway I heard all of the "how are you"s with the sad, understanding look on people's faces and I nearly lost it.

It was silly. I'm not that mom, y'all. I'm not. Or at least that's what I kept telling myself.

Of course, we are beyond thrilled she is in Kindergarten. We are thrilled she is at this school with this teacher this year. THRILLED. So where was all of this emotion coming from?

This is when I realized that the mix of sadness and joy really stems from what this moment - this day - means for me.

It means I'm getting older. Which isn't bad in and of itself - I mean it wasn't too long ago that I couldn't wait to be older. It just means that the days are long, but yes, new and very weary mom, the years are indeed short.

It means that my baby girl is going to be exposed to new things. Things outside of my control and outside of Jesus. This has happened before, of course, but this is going to be a pretty permanent change.

But what it really means - where the deep down emotion was coming from - is this feeling that it's time for me to get with the program.

School activities, buying school supplies, registering for programs and signing up for sports... this is a huge neon flashing sign that says : "SUMMER IS OVER, AND ONWARD YOU GO..." I guess it would be a good time to get back in the swing of things here, right?

On the blog. In my shop. In life.

This summer the Lord enabled me to hit the pause button... to stop and rest. To lean into Him and ask Him to mold my dreams. This was for the best. I learned so much about God the Father, about myself and about all that He wants for me. (Not all He has planned for me, but what He wants for me - to trust Him fully, to live in a peaceful state of mind and to love my family before all other earthly things).

With school starting, summer ending and new dreams brewing, I know it's time to move forward from this place of rest into a space of growth and doing.

But how do I do that? What is the secret formula for trusting Him but also doing the work? Where in the Bible does it tell me how much I am expected to make stuff happen and how much I am to expect God to direct the stuff happening?

Does anyone else struggle with that?

I am reminded, when I wrestle with all of this in my mind, of a phrase someone said at She Speaks in July. I can't force a door open that He doesn't want to open for me. God is certainly a God of details, we see that with the genealogy in the Bible, with creation and with the physical human traits that we carry. But are there details that He just simply leaves up to us?

I tend to get stuck, wanting to strike the perfect balance of planning a way but letting Him direct my steps. As I reflect on this, I am overcome with the greatness that is His grace, reminded that He uses all for His good - even the stuff that may have been stepping out on my own, without asking God first.

As I dream and make plans to move forward, grow and expand, I want to ask for the Lord to expand my territory. To begin taking the land that He has promised to me. That He would stay with me every step of the way and that He would whisper gently in my ear when I step - even slightly - off of the path He has for me to take.

I have decided to cling to a verse that a sweet friend prayed over me last year. When I feel overwhelmed with the journey that may (or may not) be ahead, when I question whether or not His plans for me are indeed good, when I compare myself to what everyone else seems to be doing better and bigger and stronger than me, may I remember that "The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance."(Psalm 16:5-6)

The lines have fallen for us in pleasant places, my friends. We aren't meant to do it all, but we are meant to do our own assignments with Him.  May we all be reminded of this today. It doesn't really matter to Him if we took baby steps, gigantic steps or stood still in our assignments today. He is after our hearts and when our hearts are after Him, He takes care of the steps. Even the still ones. 

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