Saturday, March 19, 2011

Out of the Frying Pan & Into the Fire

Does life ever catch you off guard? Do things sneak up on you that in hindsight, perhaps, you should have been more prepared for? I occasionally find myself gasping for a gulp of air, a gulp of prayer, as I submerge once again into the heart of the battle- you know, those battles that take place beneath the surface. We all look great on the surface. We smell good, our kids are beautiful, and we even sit together in church. Meanwhile we're gutting it up to invest time quickly before our window closes, and teach and preach and sow good seed and pray and water and hold on by faith, not by sight, until the harvest time arrives, when we'll see if our crop survived the storms served up by the teenage years.

Such precious gifts, ours to love and teach, but not ours to keep. The challenge of a lifetime is bringing them to a place of independence gracefully. Helping them find their own way, while realizing that they don't have to fight us to find it. We want them to be strong, not weak, seeking for them only that which is for their good. Still they struggle, trying desperately to fling off the layers of protection in an effort to identify where the parents end and they begin. It's a separating process, a tearing away, and after all, tearing is painful.
After doing this wild ride on the bucking bronco once, never knowing which way life will pitch you next, you might expect that I would have been more prepared the second time. I suppose if I'd had a moment to catch my breath, I might have. I was looking forward to a season of respite. Silly me! However, a little ray of sunshine is always present, if only we have a notion to look for it. I am exceedingly grateful that thus far, only one horse has been bucking at a time. No small blessing for an intentional mama who already manages to overburden each day with too many expectations and responsibilities. After all, when this season arrives, the ante goes up, and the rest of life must be allowed to slide by, unattended. Prepared or not, we must, forgive the expression, take the bull by the horns, gulp some air and lots of prayer, and dive in for the ride of our life and theirs, planting God's word and His truth in their hearts so that in due season we will reap a harvest, if we faint not.

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