Transitions

            My baby girl started working full-time last week.  Or nearly full-time – 35 hours.  At the age of 16 she has finished high school and is seeking direction for her life. She knows what she wants to do, just not exactly how and when.  So in the meantime she is kind of in limbo.  It is unfortunate that our society has no rite of passage for our young people.  At 16 she is a very mature young lady, but because of her age is unable to pursue several options that are available to 18-year olds.  This has caused much frustration and has contributed to the limbo state.

            I also have been seeking direction and wisdom for this time.  This is almost as difficult for me as it is for her.  As a mom, how do I transition from having a highschooler to having a graduated, full-time working, young woman in my household?  I told her the other day that this is a process that we are going through together.  And because it’s new territory for both of us, we need to work through it together.

            How much freedom is appropriate for a 16-year old high school graduate?  How much is too much?  Too little?  Where do I let go?  Where do I hold on?  Do I allow her to make her own decisions about everything, or do I still retain veto power in some areas?  What about household chores?  What about curfews?  The questions are endless.  I guess I missed that class in Mommy School.

            Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t trust her or her judgment.  As I said before she’s very mature.  She’s hard-working, extremely capable, and smart.  She has a strong foundation of right and wrong and doesn’t follow the crowd.  So what is it then?  Why is this so hard?  I think it’s this:  I’m afraid I haven’t prepared her for something the world may throw at her, and I won’t be there to protect her.  As a single mom for most of my children’s lives, I have assumed the responsibility of protector for them.  That is an area that Father has been teaching me in recently.  It is actually not my responsibility to “protect” them from the world at this age.  It is my responsibility to point them to Father as protector.

            My daughter is not ignorant of the world.  She has a strong sense of who she is.  She has a vision for her life that burns fiercely.  And she has a relationship with Father that is growing as she learns to listen for His voice.  So, as I daily, sometimes hourly, give this care into Father’s very capable hands, He is gently helping us make this transition.  And as we move from mother and daughter toward two women following after God living in the same house, I am confident that special joys await us along this road.

Treasure Hunt

            I was thinking about my life this morning, and I realized that I’ve been doing a lot of whining about it lately.  It seems so easy, somehow, to turn my eyes away from the many blessings I have in my life, and to focus on what I perceive as a “lack”.  Then, of course, I start to beat myself up about being ungrateful.  So I get in a cycle of whining and guilt and whining and guilt.  It’s not pretty.

            When all the while the truth is, I have a very blessed life.  I have a place to live, food to eat and clothes to wear.  I have a car to drive that was a GIFT.  I have two amazing teenagers who refuse to be put in boxes by society and that actually like to hang out with their mom!  I get to be a stay at home mom and I get to write, which are two of my greatest passions.  I have a family that loves me, and a special circle of friends whose hearts are knit together with mine.  And, most importantly, I have an ever expanding revelation that my God loves me, has nothing but good for me, and wants to be an intimate part of my life.

            “So why”, I asked Father, “Do I get so ungrateful?”  And He sent me on a Treasure Hunt.

            First, He took me to Genesis 3:1-6.  That’s the account of Eve being deceived by the enemy.  In the garden, Eve had everything.  She had an intimate relationship with God and physically walked with Him every day.  She had the lavish beauty and abundance of the garden surrounding her everywhere she looked.  She was perfect, her man was perfect, everything was perfect.  And yet, the enemy wriggled his way into her life and made her believe that even in the midst of paradise, something was lacking.  Wow!

            So, I wondered, is that my answer?  Eve was ungrateful, so that’s just the way I am too?  But Father wasn’t finished yet.  Next, He took me to Genesis 1:31.  “And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good (suitable, pleasant) and He approved it completely (AMP).  And He asked me, “Would I have approved of Eve completely if she had an ungrateful heart?  Would I even have called her good if she had an ungrateful heart?”  Of course not!  That means Eve didn’t have an ungrateful heart.  She was deceived by the enemy into believing the lie that God was somehow holding out on her.  So, if Eve didn’t have an ungrateful heart that means that I don’t have an ungrateful heart either.  That means that I have also been deceived by the enemy into believing a lie.  In my case, the lie is that God has been holding out on me in the area of provision.

            Now that the lie was out in the open I could look at it in the light of Truth.  One of the names of God is Jehovah-Jirah, the God Who Provides.  It is His very name and nature to provide for His children, just as it is in my nature to provide for mine.  He coded His nature into my DNA so I could better understand His heart.  I know this because Genesis 1:26 tells me that I was created in His image and likeness.

            So, I know that it is His nature to provide for me.  Will God, then, go against His nature and not provide for me? Once again I have to say of course not!  James 1:17 says that in Him there is no variableness or shadow of turning.  He is consistent and constant in Who He is.  Isn’t that awesome?  He has, He is, and He will always provide for me!  Watch out devil!  Your lie has been exposed.  And now I am wielding the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God! (Ephesians 6:17)

            I just love to win, don’t you?

Faith

            I am blessed that God has grafted me into an amazing group of people who all have hearts that long for Him to flow through them always, in all circumstances.  Last night at Bible study, one of the topics we discussed was promises.  Several of us have prophetic promises that have not yet come to fruition in our lives.  We are doing what we believe God has said to do, and just as important, we are not doing what God has not told us to do; being guided by Him in everything the best we know how.  That has led us into times of great stretching and growth.  To hold onto your promises even when the circumstances are telling you otherwise, takes a determination that I, for one, did not know that I possessed.  But having others in our lives that are going through the same journey at the same time is immensely encouraging.  We pray for each other, build each other up, cheer each other on, and share each others’ victories.  And, when needed, we unite our shields of faith over each other whenever anyone is too weary to hold up their own.

            This morning God brought back to my mind something that I wrote about promises a few years ago.  I pulled it out and dusted it off, and was glad to be reminded.  I hope that it encourages you in your journey toward your promises.

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             My daughter won a CD from the local Christian radio station the other day.  A new one that had just been released.  She was so excited!  She ran to the kitchen where I was and yelled, “I won!  I knew the answer and I won!  I got that new CD, the one I’ve been wanting!”  Then she hugged me and did a happy dance and ran back to her room to call her best friend with the news.

            Over the next few days, she told everyone she saw that she had that new CD.  And every day she waited expectantly for the mail truck until the day it finally arrived.  Interesting, I thought.  Even before she “got” it she was telling everyone that she “had” it.  The DJ on the radio said she won and promised they would mail it to her.  She believed it was hers and waited expectantly for it to arrive.  When it didn’t show up that same day, did she say, “Well, I guess it’s really not for me.  Oh well, I would have liked to have had that.”  No.  She continued to tell everyone that CD was hers and did her happy dance every time she thought about it.

            Could that be faith?  Is that the “assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen”?  Is it really that simple?

            What would happen if we really believed that we had everything the Bible said was ours?  Would we think differently?  Would we talk differently?  Would we act differently?  My guess is, it would change some of our lives dramatically.  So, I have decided that I’m going to take ownership of the promises that have been given to me.  I’m going to thank God every day that they are mine.  I’m going to declare the Word of God over my circumstances.  I’m not going to give up on them, but wait expectantly until they become reality in my life.  And you never know, I may just start doing my own happy dance!