Poptarts, First Jobs, and the White House Rose Garden

Well, this last week has gone a touch better than the week before.  To start, I banished the words “I’m bored” from our vocabulary!  Anyone who dares utter these words quickly learns what being bored is really like (in the form of sitting in a dark room with nothing to do).  Okay, not really but you know what I am getting at!  We also planned a vacation for the end of the month!  Having something to look forward to (and of course, make useless threats against) works wonders for the attitudes in the house; mine included!  There is just the perfect amount of fear that I REALLY will make them sit through a guided tour about the  history of the White House Rose Garden to keep it interesting!

So, sunburns and rainy days aside, the bumps of the first days of summer seem to be smoothing out.  Just don’t get me started on how much food these teen/pre-teen humans consume.  It’s never ending!

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Not really! Well, maybe…

My oldest started his first REAL job today.  I can’t help but feel like things are on fast forward with him.  I find myself making a mental list of the things that feel like they are sneaking up on me.  He only starts high school in the fall, but I can’t stop thinking about senior pictures and open houses.  My husband drove him to work this morning but I keep thinking about cars and college, texting and driving, and making sure he knows he doesn’t have to grow up too fast; that he doesn’t have to pack away childhood just yet.

I used to think that babies and lack of sleep were the most challenging parts of parenting.  I cannot tell you how wrong I was! It makes me nervous about what comes next, and if I’ll be saying these years were easy compared to high school, or college, or adulthood.   So, in the midst of the craziness of summer and me complaining about hovering kids, I am in fact also feeling like I need to freeze time, stop the the growing, and keep these little monsters as close to me as possible.  I am certifiably, hysterically, double-mindedly CRAZY!  Oh, well they have to love me; I’m the mom, right?!

Confusion.  Frustration.  Joy.  Love.  Growing.  Contentment.  These seasons in life make me grateful for a God who sees me and loves me in spite of the way I feel.  I am who I am, and you are who you are because of the grace He extends at our strongest moments and in our weakest disasters.  He is greater than our fears.  He is bigger than our joy.  He is more abundant than our worries.

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I am going to choose happy this week because even when the world around me is full of the unknown and keeps me guessing from day to day; HE IS GREATER.  He gives me rest and keeps me sane in the ever changing world of summer breaks, first jobs, and the never ending chaos of parenting.

 

Oh, and does anyone know how to schedule a tour of the White House Rose Garden?!!!

 

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Which Way is Up?

I am pretty sure I have shared (maybe even overshared), the fact that my husband and I are struggling through the craziness and confusion of trying to understand teenage minds.  We currently have a 14yr old boy, and two preteen girls; 11 and 12 to be exact.  I cannot even begin to tell you the absolute and utter confusion that reigns in our home on some days.

One minute everyone is laughing, teasing, and getting along, and in the next there are tears, yelling, and doors slammed because we just don’t understand.

Guess what?  We don’t…

Seriously, last week we were all in the kitchen talking about homework, the upcoming track season, and Spring Break only to find ourselves standing in the midst of a full blown mental breakdown because Finn said Bella was wearing combat boots?!!

She was wearing boots.  They were in fact, super cute purple combat looking boots.  She loves these boots.

Finn is in her class.  She does NOT like Finn (I mean, in THAT way).  She does NOT care about his opinion.

However, she WAS ready to drop out of school, and leave all who are close to her because a random boy in her school decided to state the obvious?!!!

God, help me Jesus I am going to lose my mind!  I really should call and thank my parents for allowing me to survive my teenage years!  Really, I should tell them how amazing they are having survived themselves…some days I am ready to throw in the towel.

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And we haven’t even started the girlfriend/boyfriend drama, the mean girl cliques, or the tricky navigation of high school.  Lord, help me!  I am gonna need some pretty cute grandkids to make any of this worthwhile 🙂

Lately, confusion seems to be par for the course.  I am trying my hardest to learn contentment (click here to see my post about this from last week).  It seems to be proving a little more difficult with confusion at every corner.

Sometimes I can see God’s hand as clear as the snow falling outside my window, and feel it as sure as the love of my husband.  Other times…

Other times His hand seems so far away.  So distant.  So unfeeling, and deaf to my voice.  Even little, teensy tiny requests, that would only make a difference to me, seem to go completely unanswered, or even ignored.

And I feel little.  And I seem invisible.

And I am confused…again.  Left standing in the kitchen, wondering what in the world just happened.

I want, with all my heart, to tell you that it is at this very moment that the sun comes through the clouds and some little detail catches my heart.  Something, that can only be attributed to the lover of my soul happens, and suddenly I feel like I am heard and all is right with the world.

But, that is just NOT what happens every time.

Sometimes, it takes a decision.  A resolve to trust.  To wait.  To stand.  To worship.

Through confusion.  During contentment.  Making my life an offering even when I cannot understand.

So, here’s what I want you to do, God helping you:
Take your everyday, ordinary life-your sleeping, eating, going to work, and walking around life and place it before God as an offering.
Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him.
Don’t become so well adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.
Readily recognize what He wants from you and quickly respond to it.
Unlike the culture around, always dragging you down to it’s level of immaturity.
God brings out the best of you, develops well formed maturity in you.
Romans 12:1-2
The Message 

I have decided to choose happy through the trying times when it seems I am not heard, when confusion fills my heart and I don’t know which way is up.  I have resolved to make my life an offering, to worship, and do my best to stand when I feel like I’m crashing to the ground.

It’s a work in progress; just like teenagers and their parents!