Struggles · The Journey

Life is…

Life is challenging.  Life is difficult.  Life is hard.  Life happens.  In the midst of struggles we long for calm.  We long for moments of peace and the ability to forget.  We wonder what we have done to get to this place.  How can things seem so out of control and crazy?  We get wound so tight that we feel as if we might snap like a rubber band.  How does this happen?  We wonder if we’ve reached our capacity.  Well, I’m wondering anyway…

(Step) Parenting teens is like herding cats!  Everyone says, “Wait until they are 19 or 20… they’ll come back around.”   And in the meantime…..?  Some moments feel like we’ve reached the end and we will never have peace or sanity again.  We talk in circles trying to reason with (pre) teenage minds… that’s our first mistake!  Suddenly, we are as dumb as a box of rocks and know nothing.  They seem to see the world as a glass half empty… we long for it to be brimming full.

Just when you think the relationship will never survive, your wisdom is sought for help with an algebra question.  Sidled up next to you, waiting for your pearls of wisdom sits the 13 year old that you have had nothing but difficult conversations with for the past month or so.  For a brief span of time, you are “the one who knows something.”  Desperately wanting this moment to last, you hold your breath.  For a few minutes she sits near you as she continues with her homework.  Then, as quickly as she came… she is gone.  “You’re welcome,” you whisper to her as she ascends the stairs…

Those are the tiny moments that I hold on to.  They are few and far between, but very cherished at this point.  Breathing slowly and deeply, I begin to feel a glimmer of hope return.  I guess the relationship is not completely gone.  Hope flickers back onto the horizon.

I wonder if my heavenly papa ever feels this discouraged by me and my actions?  Oh, how I must disappoint Him when I don’t handle my “parenting” duties with grace and kindness.  Each day is new and so are His mercies.  I need to make sure that I honor Him by extending that to my children.  It’s so easy to keep that list of wrong doings, and add more to it.  Thank goodness God does not do that with us!

Life is full of sunshine and shadows.  Lately, I feel more shadows than sunshine.  I know it is a season and I’m to learn a great deal about myself… my character sharpened and fine-tuned.  I was reading about grace this morning and came upon this line…               Who would ever know the greater graces of comfort and perseverance, mercy and forgiveness, patience and courage, if no shadows fell over a life? – Ann Voskamp (1000 Gifts)

I need to keep that in my mind when I’m feeling like shadows are closing in.  Every day I’m afforded the graces of comfort and perseverance… mercy and forgiveness… patience and courage… if I acknowledge,thank and honor the One from whom they come.

Life IS challenging… but I’m up for the challenge!  Life IS difficult… but I’ve got my armor on.  Life IS hard… but how boring it would be if it were always easy?  Life DOES happen… and I guess it’s how I choose to respond and/or let go that determines whether or not the sun will shine or clouds will cover.

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