Friday, May 30, 2008

Changes at 40

My 40th year is bringing change that is wonderful and terrible all at the same time. Yes, I've got bifocals, but I love that I can see. My blood pressure hit the "pre-hypertension" stage, but it finally got both Wayne and I to wake up to taking better care with what we eat and how we exercise. So, now we spend more time than ever together.

My oldest girl, Cassie, is a perfect example of this. Her last day of her junior year is today. In just a few short weeks we'll enter her last true year at home. College applications will have to be sent (along with the small...whatever...fee). Senior pictures will have to be taken. Cap and gown ordered. I can see her walking away even today. (Okay, Mom, I'll stop. I know. We're not talking about this yet!)

But with this time also comes the undeserved grace of seeing what God is doing in her and the hindsight to be able to see what He has been doing. We are so grateful to be able to bear witness to the Spirit of God that is within her. We taste the fruit of her life and proclaim together with those she blesses that the Lord is good. To give you a taste, here's a posting that she did recently on her blog. She told me when she wrote it that she meant it when she said that she liked it the way it was. I tend to edit. Heavily. I'd love it if you'd leave her an encouragement at her blog by clicking here. Here's our Cassie:

In my English III class at school we were told to write a college essay and turn it in the next day. It's the last week of school and my teachers are still assigning us homework! I pessimistically sauntered over to a computer and began to look at the plethora of prompts i could choose from. One stuck out to me the most. "Describe a significant person, experience or achievement that has meaning for you." I can find something to write about this for sure. Everything else is like politics and find a solution for the world...this should be a breeze. Which it was...but God had a different plan for my essay. He wanted it to be about Him. How selfish! Just kidding! He's allowed to be selfish...He's God! So, I began to think about what i could talk about. One topic that obviously came up under the "significant person" category was my mother. She's more than significant to me...BUT, it's a college essay and the things i'd have to say might be seen as sappy (although true) and made up (because they seem so fictional). So, then i began to think about other people, experiences and achievements that could come a close second to my mom and God said " about ME." So i said "O.K"...and this is what i wrote:

Discuss a significant person, experience or achievement that has meaning for you.

"Most people might have a certain mentor, life altering experience or unheard of achievements on which they could write a college essay. I'm not saying that I lack any of those, but the one I'm going to write about is the most important person, experience and achievement that has meaning to me all wrapped up in one. My life was saved, changed, and renewed. It began when I was just a little girl. I would dress up in my prettiest dress, or the dress that twirled the most, and trot off Bible in one hand, my Mom's hand in the other. Dad would proceed to drive us to church. This was a weekly event in which my parents and two younger sisters would greet people as I twirled down the hallway eagerly admiring the smiling faces I received and giggling with the joy of knowing here I was accepted. This tradition, so called has continued for all of my life and for the rest of it I'm sure. I had heard every Bible story imaginable from Moses and the Ten Commandments to the birth of Christ through His death on the cross. To me they were just like the fairy tales I grew up on or superhero cartoons on Saturday mornings. Nothing more, nothing less. Easily forgettable during the week, but boy was I a professional when it came to memory verses in Sunday school! As I grew older I began to question some of the things I had heard in church. Why would a God so great send His one and only Son to die? Wasn't there another way? Things like this irked me and I grew restless. I wanted to know the answers, but I was uncertain of where to find them."

"I had had a certain revelation when I was seven years old when I suddenly felt guilty for doing something wrong. That had certainly never happened before. It struck me as odd because I couldn't understand why I continued to do bad things even though I wanted to stop. That's when God revealed Himself to me. Not physically, but spiritually. I learned that day that nothing I could do could help me not to sin, but with the help of Jesus Christ "...all things are possible." From that day on I took that and ran with it. My life was not about me anymore. It was about living for Christ and putting others before myself. Yes, I realize that I was only seven, but this wasn't an overnight heart change. It took years. Four years to be exact, and I'm still growing. When I entered the public school system at the beginning of my sixth grade year, after being home schooled for three years it became apparent to me that I was different than the rest of the kids there. Not only was I socially awkward, which is just a nice way of saying weird, but I stood up for the other little people around me and didn't let them get pushed around. I knew what I wanted in my life and what I didn't and I wasn't afraid to let people know. This was, as I found out quite uncommon. I wrestled with what my friends were doing (sometimes joining in) and what I knew was right. For all my life my parents had to lay down rules and tell me what to do and what not to do. However, during my seventh grade year that began to change. I began to see things and decide for myself whether they were what God wanted me to do or not do. My reason for not going to a certain movie changed from: "Mom said no." to "I don't think I should be watching that." "

"My faith had finally become my own. Now, four years after that I still struggle with understanding God's will for my life. But one thing I am certain about is that if it weren't for Jesus Christ and His remarkable mercy and grace I would not be the person I am today. I'm not perfect. In fact, I'm far from it. Due to my experience when I was seven and having love and mercy revealed to me I was able to strive to achieve what many people look for everyday: my purpose. My purpose in life is to glorify God in everything I do. Not just the "churchy" things but the minute and everyday things like eating and drinking. God has not left me alone in this world. He has given me tools in which to master specific tasks He has planned for me. College is my way of sharpening those tools to better equip myself for what lies ahead. It's a journey that will take a lot of faith, trust, and perseverance, but knowing that the God of the universe is by my side is the most comforting stronghold I have."

I like it the way it is...grammatical errors and's how i write when i don't give mom my papers and have her edit them! haha! let me know what you think! I love y'all!

1 comment:

eileen mom nana said...

Once again, I am crying & laughing ~ what a treasure we have!
Love you! Mom