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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Summertime, Sweet Summertime!!

I can remember, but just vaguely a committee meeting about families in crisis facing hardship about feeding their kids over the summer. Well, it didn't register, honestly, I didn't even know what they were talking about. So I didn't give it another thought. That was back in Florida probably six yrs ago, way before the financial crisis really hit. Well as we go into summer I can relate to the dilemma of preparing three meals a day for my own kids. I could feed them ramen noodles, but to feed them a balanced meal, cost money, money we don't have right now. But a different stress I feel as their mother. My biggest stress use to be what pool or what week we were going to the St George Island, or what movie or where to lunch at. It is funny how quickly the priorities in your life change. Good or bad. But it also brings out the creative side I think God meant for us all to display. I think our children get lazy and lose the ability to just play and create. Frankly they are over stimulated.  I use to get so "stressed" over the summer and having an "agenda" mapped out for the kids so that we would have an activity planned everyday. I don't know that we spent more than a few days at home the entire summer. It was almost expected, if you were a "good'  Mom in that circle to keep your kids busy the entire summer.  The school and teachers even bought into this. The last week of school the kids would tell what their summer plans were and to be honest I think out of embarrassment alot of the kids lied and made up plans. And then when they return in August they repeated the same process of going around and having the children tell about their summer. I have spoken in earlier post of having anxiety attacks, well I woke up last night in one of those moments, when I felt like I could not breathe and I was paralyzed with fear. I had all the familiar voices, how are you going to feed the kids what the need to eat, Bella needs to be on a certain diet, Wyatt has food tics on and on..... need-less to say the recreations were the least of my worries. I lay there til early in the morning, thinking God, have I not learned anything? I had just written the
Christmas post yesterday! How quick my fear had consumed me. Suddenly all my advice and all the the stories, laying in that dark room seemed like of no help to me. I felt crippled, I felt that old familiar feeling of God you are our only hope, You are all we have. Remember when I knelt, early on in this dilemma in our life, and I said my children would see me display character and integrity during times when it is not so easy to display those traits. Well, I have come to call these moments these days the commonplace, I don't think greatness shows up in a moment I think it shows up in everyday experiences and how we respond to each and every one of those situations,  this is  what the commonplace is, this is life in the making, the routine life, when no one is looking, the unstaged , like the candid shots, they prove to be the most cherished and most intriguing, they capture life. God uses the commonplace to shape our hearts. I think about the fear and pain I felt last night, I know God doesn't take pleasure in my pain, but He does want to see me whole. C.S. Lewis gave us great insight, "God whispers to us in our pleasures, but shouts to us in our pain". We all suffer some form of pain , physical or  psychological.  But will we grow from it or will we let it diminish us? The longer I layed there the more I realized the one who walks in joy has made  the decision to look for God. Joy  rest  on the awareness of God's presence. Joy does not depend on circumstances. It grows out of a relationship with one's God. It is a habit supported by hundreds and hundreds of moments of choosing to look for God in situations when it would be easier to give up. A funny thing, when you chose joy, it give rise to hope, and hope always leads to God. So when we keep a joyful heart, when we chose a joyful heart, it consistently keeps delivering our hearts to God for His work. So I got up and thought God, people save all year to spend a week in these mountains and we are blessed to live here!!! So if we have to eat PB& J, I chose joy and I chose the commonplace of the day to day of making memories with my kids and having you shape my heart and make me the whole and complete person you intend me to be.