Monthly Archives: June 2011

Who flew?

“It’s from God”, I said. The girls laughed and hung on, their young legs on 6 and 7 year old springs popping their excited selves up and down exuberantly. One more time I thought about the gift of an instant, uncreated, unplanned occurence and how it comes from the Lord’s hand. The gift that makes me 6, too.

I was standing on a grassy field in Southwest Michigan with another family and our own minus two. Our eldest children and a friend had just boarded a Cessna 172 with their pilot, a volunteer with the Young Eagles program, a flight we arranged to mark my son’s birthday. The happy airmen were flying over Lake Michigan,no doubt, and marking their church building in Saint Joe, Trinity’s high spire and tower.

 They were looking over the lake’s sandbars and noting the sky’s indecisive hues, contemplative, considering its coming descent into nightfall.  They were laughing at each other’s commentaries, piping in through the headsets which perched on each head.

As the flight team lived their mystery, we were experiencing a tiny one of our own here below.

Five minutes or so after take off, we began to notice as we stood there a far off object in the sky,and began making jokes about the UFO we had spotted. It seemed a steady little speck~could be anything for its size, we stood, watched and waited.

Its shape confirmed itself as it drew steadily closer to us, our smaller children losing interest in the 15 minutes we noted this . They played improvised versions of tag on the green grass, then tromped merrily on the pavement outside of the airport hangar.

The shape was roundish and seemed silvery at times, glimmering every once and again from the sun, who watched all of us from his western vantagepoint. We grownups laughed when finally we could identify it, and its amazingly direct path towards us.

“Let’s run and get it!” I called to the little ones. We ran as it descended steadily, this gift from high in the sky, a smile sent down on an already perfect day. The girls grasped it,the blue string of a silvery mylar balloon marked “Happy Birthday”, undoubtedly a gypsy wanderer come to find us and give a message. Jenna heard me say, “It’s from God…” “for James!” she finished my sentence, popping up and down on exuberant legs.

Who flew that day, really?

The load and drag of the day to day was gone in a small moment of gratefulness. Jenna had captured not only a used mylar balloon, freed from its mailbox post and aged enough to descend to us, but she had also captured goodness from the Lord in the thought of it being a gift for her big brother.

So much of the lift and thrust of inspiration comes unplanned in these moments, and I so pray that those times stay with the children and never leave them. Also that I will be brave in my mistakes, bad moods, draggy moments that keep them from flying in the regular life we share. Brave enough to wait and watch for His rescue and gift, even if on mylar wings.


{Week 5} Ministry of Motherhood Book Club

What is my child needing from me as far as their futures are concerned? It is I am sure no coincidence that in that spirit, we were talking to the family last night during meeting, as we discussed some of the findings of James and Jess’s IOWA test results.
It was a good time to look at their strengths, but I also pointed out my own story. And told the kids it is great to know Calculus by their junior year of high school if God wants them to have that. Since their dad really wants that for them , I am sure it may very well be part of the design…yet~well, I’ll let you click the “Week 5…”link below and then view “The Gift of Inspiration Pt.1” video so you can enjoy what our Book Club author says on the subject.
How amazing that it came to me this morning right after our family meeting yesterday:D

{Week 5} Ministry of Motherhood Book Club

little bells, little missions, motions from the "floor"

Do Robert’s Rules of Order sound ridiculous for the under 12 crowd? Chuckling, I understand if you think so, but it has lately been a tool which has served our family pow pows in a modified form and carries in it some strengths.

For one, it helps me to self-determine to listen and carefully think about my children’s ideas and suggestions which could range from ice cream for breakfast (it does have dairy, right? and sometimes fruit!) or activity choices of the day. It is also fun that a sibling gets a chance to “second” a motion, or feel invited to put forward their own different “motion from the floor” at which time we discuss then run a vote.

In daily operations, I still use the family meeting as a tool, and try to keep them short, relevant and as light hearted as possible. We are finding this a really great tool for those vacation times away from home as well.

Ministry of Motherhood studies continue over this most interesting summer (for weather, at least) Three cheers for our sweet leader, Christina for organizing us to stay in God’s Word and grow, grow, grow!

This week, I have been in Romans 2:4, Mark 14:66-72, I Peter 4:8 and John 14:1~ in pursuit of God’s Word on the topic of grace, as extended mother-to-child.

There is so much here, and to consider. Being aware of my own sins, I have sensed often the transfer of wrong thoughts and habits as emerging in the life of my child. Frequently when I see behaviors of one kind or another, I immediately can see the adult manifestation in my own life of the same misdeed, then think “well, they just_________, exACTLY like how I often_________________.”

Being aware of this universal truth, that all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God, I know the temptation is to be too paralyzed to discipline, thinking “they got _____ from me, so it would make me a hypocrite to address the misdeed…”

But our other option is  a degree of appropriate transparency and work on the areas as they children do. I try, try, TRY…to do it this way. Humbling as it always is.

This week’s readings from the scriptures and Clarkson’s topic of grace in Ministry of Motherhood remind me of two principles, therefore: One: Our children are not only our children, but our Brothers and Sisters in Christ. The thought of it, helps us to show them grace, teaching them that at al times grace is one available option when interacting with other people.

 Two: In the understanding of our own frailties, we still train and disciple these young ones because we can use the opportunity to draw aside the veil. In the quest of “Who am I?  How am I connected to past?How will it effect my ripple in the future?”~ Mommies and Daddies can draw aside the mystery of our shared tendencies and the traps that can draw us aside from loving Christ in everything we think, say and act.

THIS is a key initiative the enemy does NOT want us to realize, and why we are so easily cowed by guilt over our sins, as if we were never forgiven, never redeemed never called “friend” by the King of Glory. Don’t fall for it Mom! (typing more for myself than for my dear reader, most likely)

My reading also inspired me to think about what I see in my child’s face or body language, and what I hear in their voices and word choices throughout the day. The externals are so useful.

Positioning myself to learn from God’s Word, teaching myself and and my family to “tell” our own hands and feet to be gentle towards others.  Reference situations involving grace options during family meetings, discuss and maybe role play them. Remind my self to consider my children as fellow believers in the Lord Jesus, and my brothers and sisters…

Ring the bell today and have that meeting.

See what can be found.

of words to remember, I Peter, and fly swatting…

Words to remember this week from my reading in”Ministry of Motherhood” were:

“the mother’s dreams and goals are not what necessarily motivates the children to become better behaved  or Christlike…what matters is our loving presence.” P. 33

“In order for them to be open to my messages, I must be able to say no to my rights and yes to their needs to be willing to be available to them.”

All true. Very true.

Worth taking seriously and thinking about. But. There is an elephant in the room and that is a one word elephant, interestingly enough, bearing the same initial….the word “enough.”

Am I loving “enough?”

Am I present “enough?”

am I self sacrificing “enough?”

Am I available “enough?”

Am I meeting their needs “enough?”

No matter how sweet the Christian author, how hopeful, how helpful, the whisper is heard in every mommyreader’s heart as she reads precept and suggestion…am I doing …enough…or, harder still Am …I…enough?

  And we look over at that litlle sleeping person burrowed under the Hello Kitty comforter, squeezing the funky soft pet (that WILL make it to the laundry tomorrow), and say…no way. No how.

 Whatever the dear, kindly author presents in her on-paper account, I have to try to shake loose of the perfectionism and be careful how to apply the study here.

And I must not compare.

My life, my thoughts, my actions, my words are neither carefully worded or faithfully edited to the world around me, at least, not that I can see. The mothering scenarios I read here make mine pale in comparison, and that leads me to try to remember to root it out, the comparing. Comparison is almost always a bad idea.

Proverbs 4:25~”Let your eyes look straight ahead~ fix your gaze directly before you.
Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm”

Hymn~”How firm a foundation, ye Saints of the Lord
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word…”

As we look on 1 Peter 4:8 and the love which covers a multitude of our sins, I want to remember that this love covers me in my imperfect wifing (is that even a word?) and mothering. Jesus has indeed covered my sins by His awesome love for me…for you, too. Before we even had a chance to check the rearview mirror and fix the cut and perception…He loves us, Moms.

Firm and grounded in His Word for us, His excellent Words for us, we will continue on…setting sure a faith in His promise of enduring love for us~ unearned and unrefinable, faith in the wonderful way He created us unique in our individuality (Ps. 139:13-14) and faith in His plans for us to prosper our lives and bless our futures (Jer 29:11).

It may not look like anyone else’s, but this is your love for your family given to you by Him. Highlight passages in “Ministry of Motherhood”, “Wisdom for Mothers” whatever you are studying, if they help you, but swat the flies of comparison with vigor…do not let them spoil the view for you of Christ’s love, His unique love for you, specially made and fashioned for you.

love and blessings, Jenny