Wow, Monday again, and it’s June already. Where does the time go?
I am very excited to be with you today. I hope that the words that God has placed on my heart encourage and strengthen you on your journey. Remember that you are never alone and that there is a God in heaven who understands your struggle and wants to be the LORD of your life. He doesn’t simply want you to add Him to your life, He wants you to give your life to Him: “Then Jesus called the crowd to Him along with His disciples, and He told them, ‘If anyone wants to come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me…’” (Mark 8:34).
Like most little girls, I had dreams as a child that I would get married and have children of my own, but I also had other interests and dreams. In ninth grade my teacher created a hunger in me for reading and appreciating character development and creative writing. She saw something in me and encouraged me to get involved in different courses and extracurricular activities where I could develop my skills and confidence. All throughout school my interest in English and writing increased. In my senior year, I applied for and was accepted into Northwestern Community College where I was set to study journalism. I envisioned a time of life where I would travel all over and document the thrills and defeats of life through writing. I believed in my dream and my potential to make it happen.
As life began to unfold, I was swept up into a whirlwind that put my life on a different course than I had anticipated. To my surprise, I found out I was pregnant just before my eighteenth birthday. My dream of college and writing was put on the back burner and I embraced the idea of having a family and a child. There would be plenty of time later in life to go to school or pursue writing.
Well, one child became 2 children and so on, and before I knew it, life was assaulting me on all sides. My dream was buried deeper and deeper as the debris of life and all its challenges consumed me.
I have seven fantastic kids; each is unique, strong, independent, smart, vibrant and savvy. Some are even a bit sassy. At one point in time our kids were in grades 9 to kindergarten and we homeschooled. I planned lessons and spent summers grazing over curriculum trying to serve all their needs. Although they didn’t love this season maybe as much as I did, some of the best memories I have with them are our read aloud times when they would be pulled into a book and not want it to end.
I have spent 32 years already being a mom. Lying down, as each mom does, the things I longed for with the things that would benefit my children. I have waited tables over nights to put food on the table, and I have spent many long hours working counters in delis or dry-cleaners so that my kids would have all they needed and wanted.
I have not always made the right decisions, but they were always made with a heart that longed to see my children safe and strong in this world. I wouldn’t have traded any of it for the world.
Writing still lives in my heart, but even now as I write this, my prayer is that I won’t hurt or offend my children by anything I say. It is never my intention to make them feel as if they were in the way of something I wanted to do. They are my legacy and I thank God for each of them and their personalities and how special each one of them is.
Today, I am homeschooling again, and my struggle has flipped as I now find myself thinking that I should be working. God has put a different season in front of me and I am trying to figure out how to just rest in it instead of working feverishly to have it. If you are willing to meet me back here Friday, I would be thrilled to share with you the way that sacrifice has changed my life. Until then, please never forget that there is a God in heaven who loves you more than you can imagine, and you are never alone; His grace is uniquely provided for you and it is more abundant than you can fathom. Look for Him this week and I promise…you will find Him….