Thursday, February 18, 2010

Sitting alone...

This afternoon I am enjoying the rare treat of sitting alone at Borders with good coffee, a computer with free Wi-Fi, actual work to do and the smell of ...the bathroom? It would be a perfect afternoon if the horrid smell of the men's toilet wasn't wafting above the smell of Seattle's Best. Oh Well.

Tomorrow morning I'm speaking to my church's MOPS group on the topic of marriage and sex. I've spoken to many groups over the years but never to our church...strange huh? I was given an opportunity to speak at Christmas for a few minutes and I guess I proved myself because they asked me back.

I love giving this speech because it seems so naughty to talk about sex in church. I love busting through the embarrassment wall that is there and getting real with the MOPS moms. Any time I talk to MOPS groups it amazes me how walled off the ladies are...and when I start to reveal my own struggles and embarassing stories...they start to tell their own. It's amazing!

It's also a very heavy job too. Each time I've spoken, on a variety of topics, there is one or two ladies who tell me their stories...and I am amazed at the resiliency of women and how strong they are and how much they put up with. My heart breaks at the stories I've been told...

There is so much brokenness in this world, in our churches, in our circles of friends. We need each other so badly. And we so badly need to stop trying to be perfect and appear as if we have everything together...authenticity and transparency are so much less lonely than keeping up a great appearance.

My prayer for you today is that you have someone in your life who you can be completely real with...someone who you don't have to pretend around...and that you have the freedom to really share with someone what is going on in your life.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

The calm after the storm

Through the power of the Holy Spirit, I can do things I couldn't, feel things I didn't and know things I wouldn't...Praise God! --Beth Moore

I find myself asking to be filled with the Holy Spirit almost daily lately because I am convinced that it is not in my own power or wisdom that I have been able to walk through the last few weeks of parenting. I'm so glad that I can say I am looking back on this latest storm and so thankful that I don't think I've burned bridges but by God's grace was able to build some.

So, I cried all day the day I emailed the principal and band teacher. In hinds sight, I can see that I was getting my period but at the time, I was overcome with anger, sadness, frustration and grief. So many times in my life the most compelling drama comes right before my period..and it leaves me to wonder...which comes first? Seriously, what's up with that?

Anyway...the principal called me shortly after I had written my blog post. She wanted to find out more about the story and help me process through this situation. She did tell me that she saw this as cheating, stealing and lying and that there is a specific discipline rubric to handle this although it did offer her a range of punishments from suspension to detention. When she mentioned suspension I felt as if I had been punched in the stomach...OMG, what have I done? Many times throughout this process I've had to remind myself and have others remind me that "I" did not create this situation, that my daughter had created this situation, this was not my doing. As a mother, it's hard to keep that in perspective sometimes. The thing is when I see other people going through similar situations, I quickly and freely judge their emotional responses, but experiencing this first hand awarded me a much different perspective.

After much discussion, the principal and I came to the conclusion that a 1-2 day out of school suspension was probably not the most effective punishment. Social networking is my daughter's most valued resource, so it was social networking that was going suffer the most. She was going to be pulled into the principal's office, talk this over with her, be required to talk to the band teacher face to face and confess what she had done, lose recess for 2 days and lose the privilege of attending all specials such as gym, music, band, chapel, library and computers. She was going to be required to sit in a room alone during all of those times during the school day. The unfortunate thing for her, and the rest of the family, was that this punishment was taking place from Friday to Monday.

All day on Friday, I was conflicted. I wanted to kill her. I wanted to hug her. I wanted to protect her. I wanted to teach her. I wanted...I had no idea what I wanted....I wanted this to end. During the day, I was given a unique perspective on our relationship with God. The Bible says that we "grieve the Holy Spirit" and that Jesus "wept over Jerusalem." I don't think I ever fully understood this...but now, I think I have a better understanding. My heart was breaking over her choice and what I was being required to do in order to parent her. I knew that I had to continue to punish and instruct her and yet throughout it all it was breaking my heart to see her in such pain.

Oh, the drama! I should have known 16 years ago when Doug and I got married that we would always have a lion's share of drama surrounding our family. Neither him nor I seem to escape comes naturally, it often thrills us and life just isn't worth living if you don't fully experience it. My children, all of them, have embraced this way of life as well. Oh, the drama! She cried from Friday pretty much straight through until Sunday. As I type this we are in the midst of a 30 hour snow storm. Just when I think it's over, the snow comes back with a vengeance...such was the crying in our house. "The worst part is, Mom, I just don't know what to tell my friends about why I'm not out at recess or at band. I don't ever want anyone to find out about this mom...I haven't even told my best friend."

I prayed with her...ALOT! Over her, with her, for her... And for that I'm thankful. We have since been praying together and studying God's word together. She asks for it. I'm glad. If this is what it took for the two of us to start learning about living with was worth it. She is worth it.

It's just the beginning though... 5th grade, 6th, 7th, 8th and then high school... I'm buckling my seatbelt, reading my Bible and praying hard... life, here we come!