so trying to explain the developmental stage she is in at her age, and the value to her emotionallly and mentally of being able to make her own choices and have them be upheld and encouraged by adults... i said it is unwise to create absolute power struggles over issues like this, and that we should reserve pulling rank for situations in which she truly cannot have a choice (like health/safety issues that are non-negotiable), but she's old enough to have more voice/control in decisions like this, in which the outcome (the finished costume) is not going to seriously affect her health/wellbeing/safety in any way... to let her exercise some agency in situations where the stakes are low. i am afraid of the dynamic he is setting up with her and how that may play out when she is a teenager... but i am grateful that she somehow, miraculously, trusts me enough to come to me with her questions/doubts/problems... i am especially grateful considering some of the thing she is exposed to from other kids at school... so far (and she is 9 years old!!!!) she has come home from school and asked me: why women kill their babies (abortion)? what is AIDS? what is a condom? what is a blowjob? etc... these are things she has heard other kids, mainly boys, saying on the bus or on the playground at school. i have been in the principal and guidance counselor's offices more than i'd like to need to be... but at least she's talking about it, and asking about it. that's better than being silent. still, i wish ben would let me homeschool her... i really do not want to raise my kids out in this society...
isaac and i have gotten a little more time together lately, and i've been more *present* to the times that we share. simple things, watching him eat breakfast, picking up cheerios and one by one putting them in his mouth. we've started having a morning cuddle before we eat breakfast, pray, and get ready... i get him out of bed and we cuddle together on the couch with a big blanket, and just curl up together. he nestles his head under my chin and curls his tiny body in against my stomach and chest, like he is trying to enfold himself in my flesh... and i hold and rock him, and it's not long, less than 5 minutes (because he can't sit still longer than that!) but it is precious to me. he is growing up so fast! i don't want to miss this time. i love my kids so much... i hope God strengthens me to be the mother that they deserve.
i feel hermetic.
i saw jeff again last night, after this past friday... we didn't talk either time, didn't even acknowledge my presence. not that he has to, but it is strange to go from sponsor/sponsee to complete and utter persona non grata. it's possible that i'm taking it personally when it is impersonal... but jeff is too intentional of a person for me to believe that. he's been blowing me off. never returned my calls when i called him, doesn't talk to me or even say hi, etc... for awhile i was really disturbed by all of this, and last night the shadow of a thought passed through my mind, but it passed quickly... partly due to my conversation with matt earlier in the day, which we'll get to in a minute... but something more beautiful has happened. every time i open my hands and my heart and let go of what i feel i cannot let go of, it is transformed and returned to me in an even better form. i let God open my heart and scoop out my limited, selfish, possessive love that i was clinging to, obssessing over, couldn't let go of, cried about, blah blah melodrama blah, and He replaced it with a peace and a reflection, something still more expansive, something bigger and totally foreign and unnatural to me, which is how i know it's from Him! :) i have prayed intensely about this, not just because of jeff, not just because of me, but because i just do not want to repeat this cycle, the behaviors/thoughts/feelings, in whole or in part... i want to be free, in every way... i want my freedom. and there is no freedom in the dark, twisted, selfish ways that i have lived with all my life. God's way is better! and He is always with me to teach me! He has been whispering to me about how a higher love is needed to heal my heart, and enable me to approach this differently... and it has nothing to do with jeff, or this other girl, or anyone else! this is about learning to trust (God) and open my heart to love (unconditional/spiritual) and receive true vision (seeing people with His eyes) to be able to fulfill His purposes (healing) through my life... i am here to serve. i am here to learn how to love, and love well. i am not here to have/get this/that. real life, abundant life, is so much bigger than that.
to that end He sent some wonderful people across my path... laura came out to visit me this week, with a beautiful prayer (she is a prayer warrior! holy crap, i felt like my hands were on fire when she took them in hers... but in a good way!) for me... then yesterday i ran into matt, my buddhist recovery buddy, who gave me a 4 hour long teaching about non-attachment to the past and our "story lines", about being in the present moment, about seeing through the emotions/thoughts that are triggered and seeing them as illusion, looking beyond it to see the core... great conversations! it was great because, i have gotta say, i usually talk alot... but i do not think i have sat still and quiet for that long anytime recently... i just absorbed what he was saying. he's got a lot of years and life experience on me, and he speaks his truth with a gentleness, humor and gritty realism that is very earthy and approachable. grateful for all of these AMAZING people i've met and had the privelege to learn from and get to know as a result of the way this new life is opening me...
last night when i got home from the meeting, after i put isaac to bed and checked in with jessika, i sat quietly with God, just contemplating everything He has done for me, all of the gifts He has given me, how He has changed and is still changing my life and healing me and helping me to grow. it is a miracle. gratitude is not an accurate description for this... it is beyond... ineffable. LOVE. reading yesterday in luke, just absorbing His words. the way He walked this earth with the power of God, how fearlessly He walked His path, all the way to the cross!!!!! and He **KNEW**!!!!! can you imagine calling someone, eating with them, spending three years of ministry with them, watching them grow, and KNOWING that whole time that one would deny you, one would betray you, the others would all scatter and flee... imagine that love! the way He was (and IS) with us... it's so beautiful to me, overpowering... the way He loves us is unspeakable and lovely. i am soaking Him up and honestly i wish i could withdraw from the world and just be with Him... it is unpleasant to set down my Bible and walk out into the world, but that is what He requires of me. so i walk with Him. have my moments of weakness, but hey, that's what He's there for.
oh, hah, that reminds me... all this hype about judgment day being in a few days or something. huh. I WISH! boy, wouldn't that simplify everything! i wouldn't care if it took me down with it, if it brought all the suffering of the world to an end and ushered in the 1000 years of peace and Christ's reign on the earth, i would welcome it even knowing that i am not ready. the problem with that is that Christ Himself said that NO ONE knew or would know the day/hour/time of the second coming. it was not to be revealed to anyone. so anyone claiming to know an exact date or time automatically invalidates themselves and makes it plain that they are a false prophet. if someone warns that the end is coming, that is true; if they encourage people to repent and prepare, they are a prophet and follow in the tradition of all the prophets who came before... but if they post billboards with a specific date and time, claiming it is the day of the Lord, then they have themselves fulfilled the prophecy about false prophets, that false teachers would come and say "there he is! this/ that day is the time!"... Christ said His followers know His voice and that He will call them Himself. so if i belong to Him, i do not need to listen to other people, or read billboards... i have to stay close to Him in prayer and faith, and He Himself will call me. the other problem with these folks thinking that the end has come is that, i hate to say it, but it must get A LOT WORSE than this in order to fulfill what has been written in God's word. Jesus Himself said that such a time had never been seen before and would never be seen again, that it would be unparalleled by anything in human history, and that the suffering of all people on the planet would be so severe that God shortened it otherwise the righteous would be destroyed as well. the period of "tribulation"/trials is long and painful, but it is designed to turn the hearts of the people back to God as they are forced to be humble and admit powerlessness in the face of the calamities we have created for ourselves. we have a lot more ahead of us: more wars, more famines, earthquakes, floods, fires, storms... it says in the Bible that the famines will be so severe that people will resort to cannibalism. if you read and study what is written, it's pretty hardcore. we are not there yet. in light of what it says in the Book, i WISH it was all about to be over. but in fact, we have a lot more ahead of us. thank God that He simultaneously is pouring out His spirit over the earth and all the people, calling us to Him.
beautiful... invited into a cool Christian fellowship. they have potlucks, Bible study and prayer sessions... i can bring the kids, and just hang out with other people who get it and love Him and know Him, and i am more excited than i can say!!!!!!!!!!! seriously, i have been praying intensely for fellowship with other believers, and here it is! :)
so overall, life is good, and i am grateful... figuring it out. :)