Let Him Have It!

relax beach picRecently someone asked me what God is doing in my life.  What big things has God done? And I had to think…

Sometimes it feels like I’m in a perpetual state of weary and I can’t see beyond the next moment…and other times I’m so desperate for a change that I look ahead with either dread or longing…depending on the day.

But really, God is always working, so the problem is I’m not looking.  I’m not paying attention to Him working in my life.

No wonder I feel overwhelmed and sometimes alone in the struggle.

Many nights I lay in bed pondering things.  It inevitably leads to anxious thoughts. There are things I can’t figure out, decisions I’m afraid to make, and situations I can’t fix.  I tumble them all around in my head and wonder if I’ve missed God’s plan.  If I took a wrong turn…

But I believe that God is sovereign so is there really ever a turn made that God can’t use for good?  Is there a turn I’ve made that He did not already see coming?  Nope and nope.  I am where He knew I would be all along.  This struggle is no surprise to Him, even if it is shockingly surprising to me.

Many, many times God has reminded me of the value of being thankful.  And I am thankful, so thankful for my children, my home, my job, my friends, my family, my life. For love.

It does seem that those very things I am most thankful for sometimes are also the very things that cause the most angst in my life.  I wrestle with feelings of fear and failure.  I struggle with loneliness even when I am so very not alone.

Sometimes it feels that I stand on a battlefield alone.  Arms too tired to raise.  Weapons dull and shield cracked.  Armor missing.  And I wonder why?

I am not alone.  How often has God reminded me that He will never leave me nor forsake me?  A lot.

In fact, this past week someone anonymously paid a bill I had…a big bill.  I cannot begin to tell you how blessed, surprised, and thankful I was.  I wish I could find that person and hug them tightly.  It was as if God said, “See sweetheart, I am going to take care of you…even when you forget to ask.”

I forget to ask.

I forget to say thank you.  I forget to drop the burdens at His feet.  I’ll talk to Him and share my struggles and study His word and worship in song, but then I return to the day with the burden still solely on my shoulders.

Sometimes I so want a husband to walk up beside me and put his shoulder under the burden with me, grab my hand, and say, “Dearest, we will fix this together.  You are not alone in this.”

It isn’t a ridiculous desire, but I believe that God wants me to truly understand that Jesus is the one who will bear my burdens.

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”  1 Peter 5:6-7

Humble myself under the mighty hand of God?  The hand of God could mean discipline or deliverance.  In my suffering am I willing to place my trust, my life, my heart under the mighty hand of God?  Am I willing to trust that He will do the best for me?  Am I willing to let Him be in control?  Am I willing to drop my burden and let him take care of me and mine?  Can I let go of my control (imagined control) and my concerns and my cares and let Him have it all?

These past several years have been a continual struggle between trusting God and trying myself.  Of thinking I should be able to handle this without so much anxiety, worry, fear, and sin.  Of wondering why God hasn’t stepped in and made this all easier by now.  And yet, God.

God who blesses in unexpected ways.

God who provides when I forget to ask.

God who makes ways where none seem to be.

God who loves me no matter what.

I have thought a lot about things to thank God for…in fact it is something I repeatedly have to remind myself to do.  Today, I want to think about God. I want to know Him better. I want to understand the love of the Father.  I want to learn from Jesus how to live gentle and lowly in heart.  I want to be filled with the fruit of the Holy Spirit…no, I want to overflow with it.

I want to stop worrying and start living.  I want to stop thinking about being thankful, and start living thankfully.  I want to stop looking for answers and help from others, and start trusting in Him for the answers and the provisions and the courage. I want to stop living struggle, and live strength.

Father, You are enough.  You are more than enough.  And because of You, I can live a victorious life.  No longer a victim of my circumstances, but rather a victor in my circumstances.

I don’t need someone to step in and rescue me.  I just need to trust that Jesus already did!

If that isn’t an hallelujah I don’t know what is!

So, I guess even though my circumstances aren’t considerably better than three years ago, God is working in them to strength me and love on me.

God is always with me, always working, always blessing, always loving, always faithful.

I am blessed.  I am loved.

I am His.

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”  Matthew 11:28-30

 

Trusting Him with Them

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I’m sitting outside on my back porch with my laptop, my Bible, and 3000 MOSQUITOES!!!!

It is so beautiful out here – cool breeze, sunny, and quiet!  I love it.

But I HATE these mosquitoes!  They have even bitten my hands!  It is very difficult to scratch my fingers and type.

My 14 year old son (see boogie boarding pic) is trying to set Axe cologne on fire.  I believe his plan is to make some kind of flame thrower…I know. I know…I should probably stop him, but he is careful and so far it isn’t working.  The only result is that Axe cologne is all that I can smell…and it is masking all the bug spray I just put on.

He is so funny…I love boys.  He does the craziest, funniest things.  Yesterday he sent me a video of himself doing a flip off a slide at the playground.  It was actually a great flip.  He is always asking if he can do a flip off of the weirdest things.  99% of the time I must say an emphatic, “NO!” simply because I value his life…a lot!

I’m trying to let him be a boy in a house full of girls.  His only male companion is our old lab, Titus, whose only activity is non-activity.

Peter lives for the weekends when his older brother comes home from college.  They lock themselves in their man cave and play games, listen to music, and whatever else boys do…I shutter to think LOL!

Being a single mom to a boy is so so hard.  I get so much conflicting advice.  Things that a father could do or should do, according to some I shouldn’t do.  Things that a mother is inclined to do, I should avoid doing.  Things that I see as reasonable responses are apparently too feminine and he needs more masculine responses modeled.

Unfortunately, I’m most definitely a female, feminine woman.  I’m in no way naturally inclined to act like a man.  In fact, I’m baffled by so much of it.

But I’m trying.

I’m trying to let him be a young man with an adventurous, slightly dangerous side.  I’m trying to let him face his challenges without too much input from nurturing mama.  I’m trying to let him grow up into a godly man.

Oh I am trying.

It’s so difficult to act like a man…to model man behavior.

Unfortunately, as much as I have prayed for someone to step into his life and be the father-figure he needs, God has not provided that.  Men have taken him to movies, hunting and fishing, and sporting events – and those are GREAT things for which I’m very thankful, but they are not exactly what I’m talking about.

I’ve been praying for someone who will walk beside him…someone who will answer the questions, talk through the difficulties, counsel, encourage, and disciple.  Someone willing to challenge him to go against the natural tendencies and strive for holiness.

All the male bonding in the world cannot replace the bonding of a father and son…especially the bonding of a godly father raising a young man in the nurture and admonish of the Lord.

I have been praying for that.  And that…that is a lot to ask of a man.  A lot to ask of man who is not a father – biological, adoptive, foster, or step.

Honestly, how can a man do that without daily interaction?  How can a man do that without being committed to it as a God-given role and calling?

I can’t imagine being someone else’s mother-figure…well, I guess I can.  I have about 80 11-year olds I’m kinda a mother figure to but I am with them almost every day and I do know a fair amount about their world.

AND, I’m a girl.  I’m a nature nurturer…I’m a natural relationship person.  Bring on the conversation!  Bring on the Bible study!  Bring on the heart to heart!  Bring it.

So what to do?

This single mama needs perspective and peace about her young man.

My oldest son was already a teenager when his dad left.  He struggled and I prayed.  I also prayed for someone to step into his world and help him with his struggles.  I wanted and thought that looked like a father-figure, but God provided encouragement and accountability in a young man serving as a youth leader in our church and a young man who was a family friend.  I almost missed it because I was looking so hard for an older man to step into his world.

Maybe I need to think outside of the box?  Maybe I need to keep my eyes open and see what God provides!  And maybe I need to keep praying and hoping.

What in the world am I saying maybe for? I need to do those things.

Pray.

Hope.

Keep my eyes open.

Think outside of the box.

Those aren’t exactly what I was looking for, really.

I sort of just want to be able to write a thank you note to someone for stepping in and blessing my son.

God works more mysteriously than that.  He has other plans that are bigger than mine, more far-reaching and more effective.

Even if I can’t see the effectiveness…and I’m quite certain my idea is the best.

Good gravy!  How prideful and silly I can be!

God knows best.

God knows my son best.

God loves my son.

Shockingly more than I do…which is not even fathomable.

He isn’t going to let me or my son down on this.

He will provide in His way and His time.

(Drat…that phrase is frustrating…)

I want it NOW.  I need HELP!

Again, God is asking me to trust when I want to fix.  To wait when I want to do.  To pray when I want to pace.

Lord, we, single parent, need you to step in and be all that our children need.  We feel so inadequate and tired and overwhelmed sometimes.  It is hard to be both parents…it’s hard enough just being a parent.  Lord, will you help us?  Will you give us your peace and your strength and your wisdom and your discernment?  Will you open our eyes to the ways that you are working in our children’s lives so we can be encouraged?  Will you help us as we trust you with our children?  Thank you Lord because I know that you will indeed answer our prayers perfectly…in your way and your time…and that is the best way and time.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.