Welcome to my eclectic journey of my life and delights. This year my theme is surrendering my writing pen to the true author, Jesus Christ, while looking forward to the future, reflecting on the past and dancing through my journey.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

I Sent Out My Fleece

Stiffly dragging my feet and fighting back tears, I entered into the school.  Trying to stifle all of my anxious thoughts, my body tensed and my smile was forced.  Trying to act excited for Benjamin's new possibilities, I prayed silently, "Oh God please let me hear your voice.".  I sent out my fleece as we toured his charter public school environment. This transition would be the end of my 25 years of home educating my children.

Benjamin heard the violins as we passed the music classroom. He looked up with a grin, "I want to take violin lessons!".  The administrator explained that a parent volunteered to give violin lessons for the school. Benjamin looked excited. I smiled back.

"Here is our small 2nd grade class room.  We have two other full size 2nd grade classes, but this one will only have 11 or 12 students."  I whispered my fleece, "Lord,  if this is you, can he please have the small class room?"

"Lord, if this is you, may he take violin lessons?"

She cheerfully assured us of the school and all the teachers.  He would have to come back to be evaluated, since he had been home educated.  There weren't any words I could say to convince her that I had educated him well, as I had done with all my children.  They weren't sure about home schooling.

Benjamin talked on the way home with excited anticipation. I silently cried in my seat, my back turned to him so he couldn't see... my husband gently patting my arm.  This was going to stretch me and I continued to cry out to God.  Days later, Benjamin and I would both be in the car again, meaning he couldn't see my face, when he explained how he wanted to cry the day we took him to visit the school.  I reassured him that things would be okay.  I was stepping out in faith with my reassuring words.

My prayer through last summer was for a Godly teacher and success with his testing. The administrator's answer concerning his test, "We think he can do 2nd grade work."  My fleece was before the Lord and now I walked it out in faith.

He was one of only a handful of all the 2nd graders to win the Academic Excellence Award.  My home education had paid off and he wasn't at a disadvantage.

His class - 11 students and one awesome Christian teacher!

He excelled in violin, winning the highest awards.

The total confirmation came at the end of the full school year.  His violin teacher was also a Christian, as were the majority of teachers and administrators.  Many of the teachers were members of our church and they knew his older siblings.   I heard about his violin teacher's personal struggle and someone told me she was a singer, along with her two sisters.  I looked her up on YouTube and I listened to this song.  My soul rejoiced over the answered prayers for this first year.  There were some days that were very rocky...even to the point of wanting to pull him out. However, we persevered and the fruit was well worth it.  God was faithful, even had he not answered even one of my fleeces. He still is God... and I praise Him for answering this mother's heart's cry.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

In the Span of Nine Months

Nine months seems to be ringing in my ears. 

 In the span of nine months my daughter and daughter-in-law gave birth to my two grandsons.

In the span of nine months, Benjamin will have completed his first year at a charter school and promoted to third grade.

My husband has now been employed in the span of nine months.

Summer is on the way and I am still adjusting to my new roles.  I have been working two to three jobs for over a year.  The temporary has become permanent.  As my friends and I quote to each other on a regular basis, "Our expectations of what we thought life would be at this season are what is tripping us up.  Our reality isn't close to what we thought it would be like."  We are learning to let go of the expectations and embrace the new permanent, that we all thought would be temporary.  I am encouraged by women's strengths to adjust and move forward.  They have all experienced the span of nine months, during their birthing years of their own, now grown children.  They are now embracing the birth of this new season of life.

Benjamin has accomplished many things in the span of nine months.  He has adjusted well to all the changes. We have had some ups and downs, but growth has come from all of them. My favorite time of each day is seeing his yellow backpack come bouncing down the ramp to greet me in the pick up line. I am so grateful I am able to pick him up each day and hear all about the day.

In a span of nine months Benjamin gave his first violin recital. He played solo, duets and in the ensemble pieces.  His older brother helped him achieve this goal.  He has excelled in violin.

Promoted from Wolfe to Bear in Boy Scouts.
He played a sport our family knows nothing about...soccer.  We have been a baseball, softball and basketball family.  Benjamin has expanded our life...in more ways than one.

In the span of nine months - school.  He will be out for the summer the first week of June.

He grew up!  He adjusted this year and so am I.  He also took care of his ducks, then through tears he released them to a better life.  We took them to a near by pond, and yes, we all have secretly gone over there to check on them.  Our 18-year-old son even drove over there himself to see if they were okay. I heard one little boy say he liked the duck with the "pony tail", he didn't know we had placed the ducks there.

LIFE!  So many curves balls...so many chances for growth...even in the span of nine months.

Monday, May 12, 2014

New Mothers and Boys

My daughter-in-law made sure I am part of the club.  I have shown  her own boy mom shirt...check out their site if you are a mom or grand mom of boys. www.boysmomsdesigns.com  Joshua made me a Grand Mommy a year ago. He calls me "Grand Mommy" and my  answer is "yes!"

The new moms in our family are doing a great job!!  My moms of boys...my three grandsons.

Don't you remember your first kisses from your child?  My daughter is getting Mother's Day kisses from son David.

Uncle Benjamin loves being an Uncle!  Holding Maverick.

Cousins playing with each other.  My husband just laughs and says, "I can't believe we have two grandsons two days apart!"  Their personalities can already be seen.  This is going to be fun.

Now to leave you with the latest trick.

He has found his tongue!!!

Being a Grand Mommy brings a new meaning to Mother's Day.
Since I am still raising two sons, I get to experience both worlds.  Benjamin made me a home made card that will go in my treasure box.  What a joy to be a still active Mom and Grand Mommy at the same time.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Ruth and Naomi

Her only grand-daughter, our daughter Nicole, pregnant in this picture with her grandmother.

This is a different Mother's Day post.  This post is dedicated to Mothers-in-law, the women who brought our precious husbands into the world.  
I am calling it my Ruth and Naomi post, because a young mother friend of mine is diving into the book of Ruth.
As she talked about what she was learning from the book of Ruth, we both shared our thoughts about mothers-in-law.  I can now speak from both sides: one, I still have a mother-in-law, and two, I am now The Mother-in-law to two beautiful, young ladies and one young man.

I expressed to her what a bad rap mothers-in-law receive. I also expressed to her how I hated people telling me that "once you have a daughter you have her for life, but with a son you only have him until he has a wife."  Now how unfair is that!  Why is it that I have to lose five sons?  Why can't I gain five daughters?  

As I opened my Bible to read the commentary on Ruth, this is what I read...
"When someone says, "Let me tell you about my mother-in-law," we expect some kind of negative statement or humorous anecdote because, the mother-in-law caricature has been a standard centerpiece of ridicule or comedy.  The book of Ruth, however, tells a different story.  Ruth loved her mother-in-law, Naomi."

My mother-in-law turns 99 in June.  She has been my mother-in-law for 34 years.  I am married to her only son.  She didn't lose her son when I married him, she gained another daughter.  My husband didn't abandon his mother either.   He has always called and talked to her daily, except when we were out of the country, for the last 34 years.  She has  ALWAYS asked about me.  She will also ask about each of our six children, their spouses and now her great-grandchildren.  
Until recently, she could have told you in detail what was going on in each of their lives.
She has always  known when they were playing a sport, if they won or lost, what position they played and the name of their team.  She has followed their daily lives.  Even as they became adults, she has continued to keep up with their lives.

As a mother-in-law, she has always supported me as my husband's wife and children's mother.  She has ALWAYS told me what a good job I am doing, both as a wife and mother.  Her precious cards fill my memory box. I have treated her with the same love and respect.  I have never said, "she is your mother, that is your family, you take care of them."  I shop for her special gifts for Christmas, birthday and mother's day.  One day she called and said, "Janette I am looking around my house and all I see is you!" She started telling me all that was in her view were things I had bought her.  Then she said, "I love you and I don't want you working so hard." That has always been her saying to me, "Janette, don't work so hard."  No, we haven't seen eye to eye on everything, and yes, she has stood her ground on what she didn't like.  Recently she was upset with me because I love my husband's hair grey and she wants it dyed.  She let us know her displeasure (she still dyes hers!)

Even though we are very different women, we are the ones who share one important person...my husband, her son.
We also haven't shared similar interests, but we share our faith and walk with the Lord.
She prays for me.
I will never hold the place in my husband's heart that belongs to his mom.

SHE was the one who gave him birth.
SHE was the one who instilled in him his values, his belief system and many qualities that drew me to him.
SHE is the one to whom he said, "Mom, I want to marry you."... just like all little boys tell their mom at one time or another in their childhood.  At that time, they couldn't imagine living without this woman, their mom.
SHE is the one who was there when he first laughed, when he took his first step and when he fell in love with me.
SHE is the one who kissed his boo-boos.
SHE is the one who pondered things in her heart that the Lord told her about her son.
SHE is the one who celebrated his successes and dried his tears from his failures.

I will never hold the memories she has of her son and the years she raised him. She will never have the part of his heart that he has given to me,  BUT in no way is she less important.  In no way, should she be tossed aside, or given the leftovers, just because he married me. I pray she has never felt that I did that.

(My mother-in-law spent her last Christmas at our house in 2012.  She was still traveling to see us for every event, until she turned 98!!!)

Naomi set an example for us mother-in-laws.  First, love the Lord your God will all your heart, and allow His love to flow from you for your daughter-in-laws.  Ruth teaches us the blessings of honoring your mother-in-law. God chose these women to be in the lineage of Jesus, because of one daughter-in-law's love for her mother-in-law.  May I learn from each of these women.

Happy Mother's Day

Monday, May 5, 2014

Bowing to Someone Else's Gifting

Years ago, when I seemed to be a sponge, taking in every book or teaching I heard, I absorbed a valuable lesson.

I can't remember all the details, but at the end of the lesson I coined a phrase, "bow to their gifting/talent". This tool became invaluable.  Bowing to someone's gifting/talent is the aspect of stepping aside and watching someone move in their abilities.  This has allowed me to learn from some of the best.  I have never been made to feel I had to compete or justify my acquiescence in any area.  I step aside and support the leader, without having a problem with letting them lead.

As I restarted my decorating business, I took this motto again.  Since it has been awhile since I have been in the business, I knew there were things I needed to learn.  God has so graciously led me to people with talent/gifts.  As they have used their gifts/talents I have learned, as well as allowed them to make my business look good.

When I looked up to the ceiling of my client's dining room, I knew what I wanted on that ceiling.  Even though I have painted in my own home, I wasn't ready to venture into a client's home.  I went looking for someone whose talents outdid mine, and I found him.

I took the mirrors off the bottom of the walls.  I also removed the valance and panels.  The walls were all painted white and the bottom squares painted with the same red that accents the stairway wall.  I then brought in the painter.   I sent him ideas for the design. He met with my client and I and asked for any extra touches... they like peacocks.  He then designed the ceiling.  After two days his work was completed.

Can you see the peacocks?

  He brought his talent into the entry way with unique, corner designs.

He is just one of the many whom I am "bowing to their gifting/talents" and in doing so, they are letting my decorating come into full view.  When the new drapes I designed are hung, and the dining room chairs are bought, I will come back with more pictures.  Right now I am enjoying other's talents/giftings, who are making me look good.

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