Thursday, May 8, 2008

No Regrets

I'm feeling the pressure today. I've been challenged...challenged by God. I've got to step up my game, get off the bench and without sounding too much like High School Musical-I've got to get my head in the game!

Let me explain. Last night at church Shawn and I got to talk to a young girl about living with no regrets. Regrets never go away, they can stay with you forever. She was very responsive and we hope she took our words to heart. I guess I needed to hear my own words. Of course talking to a teenager, my mind was only on teenage regrets.

Then today, I get on my computer at work and find in my email a daily devotional and something caught my eye...
Today's Truth
"She watches over the affairs of her household..." (Proverbs 31:27 NIV).


I felt my heart strings being pulled ever so slightly. So I read on...
I have always seen a mother as a lighthouse, or beacon in a child's life. Think about it. A beacon is a landmark that her children can always count on. She shines the light of Christ at night and she serves as a landmark by day. She is watching out over the sea of faces to protect her tiny fleet. Like the Proverbs 31 woman she "watches over the ways of her household." She is present. She's available. And she's on guard.

The last couple of weeks have been the toughest mothering I've experienced so far. I know, I know all you mothers of teenagers...it's only going to get harder. But before I go into complete depression, I have to deal with the present before I get completely freaked out about the future.

Lately, I've seen such a rebellion in one of my sons and it scares me all the way to my toes. Disrespect doesn't begin to describe what I've been witnessing. It's like I'm watching a spiritual battle take place and my son is the battlefield. It's not very easy to watch. I've found myself sobbing at his bedside at night just because he looked so peaceful and I hadn't seen him look like that in a while. I prayed like crazy. Shawn and I are always trying to think of things we can do differently to help our children. I know, we have a huge roll to play in his life, but I also know that I am not in control of him, that only God is. Right now there is nothing we could tweak to make this better for him. This was on God. But, you know, what I learned this week (which I thought I already knew) was that God wants control of our kids. I hold on to them so tight that I leave no room for God to do anything. He was telling me, " He is my son, not yours. Let me take care of him!" So I did. I backed off, and let God move in. What a difference. I felt that I was loosing him already, but little did I know, that I had to give him away to gain him back!

My hands were busy through the day.
I didn't have much time to play
The little games you asked me to,
I didn't have much time for you.

I'd wash your clothes.
I'd sew and cook,
But when you'd bring your picture book
And asked me please to share your fun,
I'd say, "A little later son."

I'd tuck you in all safe at night
And hear your prayers, turn out the light,
Then tiptoe softly to the door...
I wish I'd stayed a minute more.

For life is short, the years rush past.
A little boy grows up so fast.
No longer is he at your side,
His precious secrets to confide.

The picture books are put away,
There are no longer games to play.
No good-night kisses, no prayers to hear,
That all belongs to yesteryear.

My hands once busy, now are still
The days are long and hard to fill.
I wish I could go back and do
The little things you asked me to.
(Author Unknown)
I

(I'm sorry this is so long, and if you've made it this far, I'm almost done, I promise. I probably wouldn't have read any ones blog if it was this long.)

So, I want to live as a mother, with no regrets. I want to be that lighthouse, on guard, at my post, watching over my family. But I've learned the best way to do this is on my knees. Thank you God for teaching me, for not giving up on me even when I do stupid things and try to take your place. Please forgive me for all the years I've been parenting and I haven't let you parent them at all. I love you! Thank you for loving me and my family as much as you do!

7 comments:

Tiffany said...

Wow that poem or song sent me to tears. I struggle sometimes with giving God complete control over my kids lives too. But I have to keep reminding myself that I can not do this on my own. Oh, the many struggles, sadness, joy, broken hearts, and all the other emotions they will go through...I am so glad that God is always there to heal their wounds and to guide them. God has a special plan for both of your boys. We just have to pray and have faith. Somedays all we can do is rely on God's faithfulness...I have been there too. I love you more than you know!!!

Amy Nelson said...

Brook, I do not at all understand where you are in life, but please know that I will be praying for your son, and your family. God has and will continue to equip you and Shawn with what you need to handle situations that arise. I periodically peruse through various blogs and if I ever read your blog, Tiffany's blog, or either of your husbands, I see God...I feel God. God is using your family and blessing your family in so many ways. Your obedience to him over the past decade or so has been so apparent. He protected you from a hard pregnancy. He protected your son. He protected your family. He will continue.

I love you, Brook - and I miss seeing you!! I'm glad that we can keep in touch through the internet. :)

You and your family will be in mine and Michael's prayers. Truth trumps evil. God trumps evil. As children of God, we will trump evil.

NaNa's Nonsense said...

I know you have heard me say many times before, enjoy everything at this age that you can because before you know it they will be grown. Enjoy the fit throwing, the strong will the wear what they want to wear, the little bickering back and forth because that is the little stuff. It may seem huge to you right now but it the big picture, it is nothing! You are so right. These children are God's and when we take control of the reigns we can mess them up but when we completely surrender them to God then he can shape and mold them into who he made them to be from the begininng. We are to help protect them and to teach them right from wrong but not control them. I have struggled with this as I was controlled but knowing when I allow my children to make their mistakes and they seek God for answers that is the only peace I feel. He loves our kids more then we are capable of loving them ourselves. When we let go and let God, we can rest assure their lives are in his will when they are as young as yours are. You are a wonderful mom and it shows when Ashton shares it in his artwork!

Cindy Gray said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cindy Gray said...

Brook, As I was updating my blog, I my joy, I paid a visit to yours. I was thrilled to read that you are presently “in position” to be “challenged by God” to “watch over the affairs of your household,” to be a “beacon” in your child’s life, to care for them and “protect” by being “present, available and on guard,” and to be conscientious in regards to the use of your time.

I certainly understand the trials of raising a preschool or young elementary babe. They sure do test us in ways we will never experience in any other realm of life. They are testing us to see what we are made of, what we expect of them, and how much we love them. Sometimes they are acting out their inner anxieties, hurts, or frustrations. Rebellion comes so natural to man. Though I believe in unseen spiritual battles for the soul, I am not sure that a mere babe would become that battle field. What I am sure of is that Satan would love his soul but God has placed that babe in your watch care to train him up in the ways of the Lord.

Journaling for the world to read and respond to is sometimes a dangerous thing. Well meaning people can turn our focus from the work God wants to do in us by trying to make us “feel better” when we have had a rough day. So I struggled with the urge to respond to this. I feel led to share a few words of my most recent blog. I pray you weigh my words against His words and disregard any of mine which do not meet the “plumb”. Though other readers may not realize, I know you will understand my words to be a “RUN, BROOK RUN!!” because I am one of your greatest cheerleaders and have more invested in you than others.

We can sometimes feel overwhelmed or flounder when we have the wrong idea about the person of God. I took pause as you discussed who was in “control” of your kids. I wondered how you would define the word “control”. No mother wants to “control” their children in the negative since of the word, such as; manipulate, oppress, or dictate. But I do feel God has given the responsibility of “control” to the parents for a short time He places them in our care; “control” here meaning to influence, keep in check, organize, direct, be in charge of, monitor, and discipline. After all, it is not God who sits your child in timeout a million times a day for the same act of rebellion he has displayed a million times that day! He clearly has given the parent the “charge to discipline” – the “control.”

Maybe a more acceptable word would be “responsibly”, defined by one as the “ability to respond.” God gives us the ability to respond in love to our children in every situation of every day. Because HE IS OUR ABILITY to respond, we fall on our knees and give Him control over US. We do this so that he can GIVE US the courage to take charge, the wisdom to direct our child’s tiny steps, the insight to monitor their growth, the skills to organize a schedule that will make them feel rested and secure, and the strength to disciple in ways that build them up and not destroy. He does not simply give us a task to perform (a huge and overwhelming task), He gives us the ability to respond to every situation and circumstance that comes our way, as mothers He has placed in charge.

As far as God protecting our children; can God prevent evil from touching our children? Yes. (Do you hear a “but” coming on? Ha.) But…He chose to give man freedom of choice and because of that, our world is not as it should be or will one day be. The world we are raising our children in is full of “darkness and chaos and horrible things happen to those He is especially fond of.”

Truth will trump Evil…one day. “Evil is the chaos of this age, but it will not have the final say. Now it touches everyone that He love, THOSE WHO FOLLOW HIM and those who don’t.” And that is why you (and I) feel THE CHALLENGE from God.

“Run, Brook Run!” “Do not loose your focus.” “Do not justify your responses.” “Revisit the idea that there is ‘nothing you can tweak’.” Because, “if anything matters then everything matters.” Because you are important in the life of your family, every thing you do is important. Every day you rise early, fix, breakfast, ready them for a new day, and pray with them about the concerns of the day, and talk with them as you drive them to school their universe changes! Every time you firmly correct their actions or attitudes, their character grows! Every time you forgive them, the heart of our Lord is being demonstrated! And every time to rise to the challenge God is giving you this day, His purposes are being accomplished and nothing will ever be the same again!

Brook said...

Thank you all my loved ones for your responses. It feels good to hear what I know...that others have experienced these feelings too. I'm glad to have shared with you how God has been speaking to me recently. Love to you all :)

Lizzybeth said...

I am not sure at all why I chose to go to your blog. This is the first time that I have ever been on here. I was looking at Joyce's page and decided to click on your name. WOW!!! You don't know how much I needed to read every single word on this particular blog entry. I have been engulfed in prayer for my children lately and I know that the Father sent me to your page for a reason!!! He is faithful....