The Mundane Morning and The Truth

There is a routine that happens during the fall/winter mornings at my house.
I confess, it’s pretty sad.

It begins with my alarm going off multiple times.
I set 4 different ones.
This is after my husband’s has already gone off.
And 99% of the time, I still don’t wake up until he comes to gently nudge me awake, encouraging me to get up before I am late again.

For the record – I am always late again.

In a rush I get up, get dressed, get my make up on, rush to prepare my lunch, check to make sure the manchild has everything he needs for school. Without fail, I always forget something.
My water. My coffee. My lunch bag. My phone. My breakfast shake.

Finally with everything in tow, our manchild calls out to his dad
“love you dad, hope you have a good day!”
My husband wishes him a good day at school and calls out “Love you too”.
Then I give my hubs a good-bye kiss and follow the manchild out the door.

Getting into the actual car becomes another whole ordeal.

Holding a water bottle, a coffee cup, a purse, a breakfast shake,
and a lunch bag proves to be too much.
Without a word, I hold out my coffee cup to the manchild
who takes it and places it in the cupholder.
Then he takes the water bottle while I twist and turn to set my bags in the back.
Most mornings he or my husband have already cranked the car, so it’s warm and defrosted.
On the rare morning they don’t, at this point my son and I scramble back out of the car to wipe and scrape off any snow or ice.

Once we are in and actually ready to take off,
he is in charge of making sure my coffee doesn’t spill.
He turns on the radio, I drink my breakfast down.
Then I’ll toss the empty shake cup down and reach my hand out, he hands me my coffee.
After a bit of coffee we may pray together about the day ahead, or just chit-chat.
Sometimes we sing along to the radio, or we laugh and poke fun
at each other about who made who late.
Some mornings one or the other or both of us are grumpy, maybe instead of “I love yous” we left the house with harsh words and criticism.
Those mornings we ride in silence until it’s time for him to get out of the car.
No matter what, he always turns down the radio as he gets out of the car,
I always say “love you, have a good day”.
And he says “love you too, bye”.

Last week, in the midst of one of these mornings
when we reached the point he was handing me my coffee,
after protecting it from spilling as we bumped over all the potholes on the dirt road,
it struck me.

aaaaaa

I’ll only be taking him to school for two and half more years.
A little less if he has a car to drive himself his senior year.

At the stop sign, as he was checking with his head turned away from me
calling out “nothings coming”, I just took the moment in.
The rushing. The hecticness. The frustration and the laughter at it.
The reality that these mornings are coming to their end, this season of our lives together
as parents and child is winding down.
I took a deep breath to steady my emotions and pulled onto the road.
In the quiet I said gently, “I’m going to miss these mornings with you kid.”

Because it’s true. I am.

I only have one biological child, this manchild of mine. My husband adopted him,
he’s our son growing into a young man.
I have a step-daughter who is already out in the adult world with her own son.
In a few years time my husband and I will enter into what people call “the empty nest”.

Which is a lie. 

That’s what the Lord has laid on my heart these last several months.
You see, my husband and I will not have an empty nest, because we are still here.
He and I, we are the ones who will be living in this nest of ours.
With a puppy, a kitty. And the fish if I can remember to feed them. (RIP greenie).

I was too young when I had my son. The teenage mother statistic.
The truth is, I’ve never been an adult without being a mom.
It’s terrifying to think about.
My entire “adult” life, every decision I made, every thing I did,
I had to consider this son of mine.
I didn’t do it perfectly by any means.
I have volumes I could share with you on all the wrong things a parent can do
because I’ve done it.
However, I did try my very best. I still do.

So as my son is preparing to step out into the adult world, in a way, I am too.
For the first time, I’ll be an adult without a child at home.
My husband and I will have a wide open future before us.
Which is why I think the Lord is telling me to start nesting.

Preparing the nest for the hubs and I. 

I remember nesting before my son was born.
It was instinctual. A God given instinct to prepare myself
and the space I had to bring this boy into the world.
Now I am nesting because my son is becoming an adult.
This is a God given instruction to my heart,
to prepare myself and the space I share with my husband
as we prepare to release this manchild into adulthood.

I don’t fully know what this will look like. I just know that it’s happening.
Writing helps me to process things, and this life transition is both painful and exciting.
My mother’s heart is sad and struggling with what life will look like
when the manchild is no longer in this nest.
My wife’s heart is excited about the future adventures with my husband,
the two of us having precious time together we’ve never had before.

I know I’m not alone in this life transition.

In the upcoming years I am praying the Lord will place women in my path who have gone down it before me, who can encourage me and lift me up.
I have women in my life who are going through it at the same time as I am,
and I am praying we will be an encouragement to one another.
All this so that ultimately, one day, I will be the woman who has gone through it
and can love on a younger sister facing it.

I guess that’s why I’m choosing to blog about this.
To tell the mother hearts out there, your nest is not empty, and you are not alone. 

11111

Blog Signature

 

Stop and Remember, He Gave Us Each Other

Today I attended my son’s “Winter Concert” at school.
He’s in the 6th grade.

His once tiny hands are now bigger than mine.
I am in awe at how his thumb completely hides my own.
He stands on the verge of having to look downward,
to be able to look into my eyes.

I look at the wall to my left,
Where pictures hang of a smiling toddler,
and tears sting my eyes.

On the way home from the concert,
troubling thoughts plagued my mind.

Of all the concerts I missed.
For the years I was a single mother,
choosing $7.00 an hour at work over concerts
full of children off pitch and forgetting their parts.

Remembering times I was so exhausted and didn’t want to “play” trains with him,
Of all the times I was struggling with my own demons,
trying to be a parent.

And maybe all mom’s feel that way.
They look back over their shoulder,
and they think,
“I could have done so much better.
If I only knew then what I know now.”

More plaguing thoughts,
The painful ones.
The ones of mistakes. Choices.
Things that I did that directly impacted his life.
Marriage. Divorce. Moving to different part of the country.
Running. Always Running from that Pain,
that Pain so deep inside, I missed how it had become a part of me.

My heart aches.
My stomach aches.
There is a Gripping inside me so tight I can barely breath.
Tears run down my face..

Anger. Regret. Sorrow. Pain.
I’m not even sure.

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother…(from Genesis 2:24)

Before my son was born, his destiny was to grow up.
Part of God’s plan for his life,
to go from baby to toddler,
from toddler to child,
from child to man-boy,
From man-boy to man.

God, (I think) out of His Love and Mercy,
simply allowed me to be a part of that plan.

To love this child, hold this child, and do my best to raise this child.

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. ~Proverbs 22:6 (ESV)

I haven’t always done the best job.
Truthfully, there have been moments where I have done
an absolutely horrific job of it.

God Is Sovereign. 

It took me 28 years,
and a horrific storm of hurt,
to finally grasp just the outer edges of that sentence.
To finally grasp it,
and give up that pain.

Because that sentence holds so much.
So Very Much.

God is Sovereign.
In his sovereignty he gave me this child.
And He didn’t stop there.

He gave me a husband.
One who holds me when I cry,
who lets my mother’s heart ache rest on his shoulder,
and then reminds me,
of who I am,
guiding me to truth instead of allowing me
to sit in the guilt, shame driven shadow of who I was.

He gave me a step-daughter.
Whom is also a friend.
Who I love doing girly things with.
Who I love cooking with and hanging out with.

And you see,
in God’s Sovereignty,
He gave myself to my husband,
my husband to myself,
During a pivotal moment in our journey of “parenthood”.
A time when a daughter is a young woman,
and only months away from “adult”.
A time when a son is no longer a little boy,
and every day grows taller and less “child-like”,
God in His Sovereignty,
Gave us Each Other.

Sometimes when we don’t agree on how to “parent.”
Sometimes when we are hurting in this long process of
accepting “Mom and Dad” over “Mommy and Daddy”,
we argue, we lash out at each other,
we forget to just stop,
and seek out our Lord,
and ask for His comfort, His Guidance, His Wisdom,
and His reminder,
That he gave us Each Other.

As the tears dry,
and I train my thoughts to stop looking behind me,
to stop looking at “what ifs”,
and instead to look at
God’s Sovereignty.

His Unbelievable Blessings,
His plan and His will over my own unreliable emotions,
I can accept His peace.

I can look at all He has Given me.
And allow peace and appreciation to fill my heart.

I went to my son’s 6th grade concert today.
And I am so thankful I got to go.
So Thankful I got to watch and video it.
So thankful I got to come home and hug my husband.
So thankful for Jesus,
whom I can cry too,
and who can give me such peace and comfort,
and hope,
and joy.
So thankful for the responsibility and privilege  my husband and I have
of “training up this child”.

cropped-blog-small-0041.jpg

In Love & Faith,
RaZella

To Live By Faith, and Not By Fear

On Thursday, I renewed my commitment to not letting anxiety rule over me. Recommitted my battle plan against it, and to trust in the Truth of my Savior. I had a weak moment with my husband, where instead of trusting, I turned to anger. Anger that lead into an argument. Instead of fully engaging in an argument that would have been an argument of untruths, he wrapped me up in his arms and he prayed over me.

There is power in prayer.
Especially in the prayer of a husband wrapping his wife up in his arms,
and pouring out his love, and his request for his God’s love, over her.
It is truly powerful. 

After his prayer, the rest of the day went wonderfully. I had found peace in the truth of who my God is, a peace that was able to sink down into my soul. Later that evening my mom sent me a list of 11 reasons why it was a blessing my husband was leaving. I loved that list. It made me smile and touched my heart.

Then Came Friday

There are no words to describe what happened. No mortal understanding. My heart broke. Writing this now, my heart breaks. I simply went to my husband, fell into his arms, and cried. We held each other, in disbelief. In pain. In sadness for all the families left behind. My son was upstairs at the time, he had just gotten home from school. Knowing this would be circulating in the news, in conversations, on the radio, everywhere for days, I wanted to talk to him about it. I wanted news of this to come from his parents before any other, in the safety of his own home, so that he could ask questions and feel safe in whatever emotions he may have over it.

Telling my son what happened was hard. What happened in that elementary school took away the innocence and safety of those children in the school. It also took away some of the innocence and safety of all of the children of our nation.

As softly and as gently as I could, I explained it, I saw the reality of my news wash over his face. The same disbelief the rest of us felt. He became quiet, sinking back into the couch. A look of sadness and terror came over his face as he looked at me and said, “Mom, they were just kids. They didn’t do anything. They were just little kids.” He then named off some of the small children in his life he loves, cousins, friends, neighbors. He set back again, quiet, and then I saw it.

Fear.

So I asked him, gently, lovingly, “How do you feel? Do you have any questions? What are you thinking?”

And he said what I’m sure we all have thought, even if we have not voiced it.

“I’m thinking, that could happen at my school. And it scares me.”

Fear. This kind of fear, is the same fear that grasps me at times. That renders me useless. That invades my mind and my thoughts and leaves me lying awake for hours, or crying. This kind of fear is not a fear of God, I believe it is a fear God wants to deliver us from. A fear He does not want us to live in.

And seeing that on my son’s face, ignited something in me. Ignited a fire that screamed “No, We Will Not Live In Fear!
We Will Live By Faith!
Evil Will Not Rule Over Us!”

I hugged him. I hugged this man-child who is as tall as I am with bigger hands and feet, and I hugged him like he was 3 years old again. I hugged him and I told him, “I understand it being scary, and I understand wanting to be afraid. However, we are called to live by faith, and not by fear. So, let’s talk and pray about this.”

And we did. We talked about what evil is, and why we should not be afraid of it. We talked about what it means to have an eternal hope, and a source to draw supernatural strength from. We talked about smart decisions in life. Being aware of our surroundings, being aware when we notice something that doesn’t look right, and alerting people as needed. We talked about living by faith, not by fear.

My husband being gone this week, very quickly, very suddenly, became a small concern. I miss him terribly. I want him home, not away. However, I have this young man, and it became much more important to me to set an example to him to not live in fear. When I’ve found my thoughts this week attempting to go to that dark place, I have said, out loud, “Live by Faith, Not by Fear.” It has become my motto this week.

My husband is also a hero to me. He found a way for us to video chat with one another. It has helped being able to see him every day. Wave to him. Talk to him. My son has enjoyed being able to see and hear his dad’s voice as well.

I’ve also started a new Sunday School class that I am greatly enjoying. We are reading Doctrine: What Christians Should Believe by Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears. The very first Chapter is Titled “Trinity: God Is”. I made it a point to stop and read every single Bible verse referenced as I went along in the text. It was reading about who God is. That there is no other like Him. It was comforting, awakening, and wonderful to just read verses focused on God. His glory. His power. His Love.

Live by Faith. Not by Fear.

Not the fear caused and planted by evil.
Not the fear that I have struggled with off and on throughout life.
It’s time to change my focus. It’s time to change my thoughts.
To renew my mind. To embrace His love, and the love He has placed in my life through my husband, son, parents, in-laws, siblings, friends, and church family.

My prayers will continue to be for the families left behind from the horrific event that took place last Friday. My prayers will continue to be for all persons who find themselves  feeling fear from Friday’s events. My prayers will continue to be for our Nation, and the leaders of our Nation.

And I will continue to be active in my attack against my own anxieties. Because I know what living in fear means. I know what living in fear feels like. These morsels of peace I’ve tasted, to live by Faith, I want to know more of what that feels like. I want to be an example to my son, so that when the day I pray comes, the day he walks out into the world and away from mine and my husband’s protective arms, that he will do so not in fear, yet in faith. So that nothing will hold him back from whatever he is meant to do in this world. From whatever dreams he is meant to turn into realities.

Blog Today

May Peace, not Fear, be with us all.

In Love & Faith,
RaZella