Saturday, November 14, 2009

Planting Seeds...

We are in a season of hopes of a future harvest.

Some wake-up calls, both in crisis' and in raised awareness of our family dynamics has led us to some much needed prayer, desperately tugging on Abba's heart for hope and help. And a great book, that we have been reading, two or three sections a week, called Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends by Sarah, Stephen and Grace Mally. This book is like a microscope into our family dynamics...often bringing me to tears.

Tonight as we read, Tad was not into it. He really wanted to play and do other things. He was picking it apart saying how will this help anyway. Understanding that most families fight, what make a difference. Mary kept fidgeting, getting distracted, interrupting. What I was reading was such a cry of my heart, I could not stand that they were not hearing it, getting it. Nick however was soaking it up, and I prayed a little seed here or there would please seep in.

One thing the book shared in the section we read tonight, was that it was not all or nothing. That if even one of us tries and wants to make a difference, it can start changing the dynamics. "If one person is willing to obey the Lord, amazing things can happen. It is not your responsibility to force them to work things out: it is your responsibility to be sure that you are obedient to the Lord and then to leave the result the results to Him."

Although I feel so passionate that we get this and change, and although it seemed like every attitude and distraction was fighting anything getting through, I trust that some seeds were planted and that God's spirit will water it.

It was interesting, a couple paragraphs after Taddy asked how will this book make a difference, it isn't telling me anything to DO, there was a section called "Application".

It had three awesome points:

1-"Accept God's design for your family. God is the one who has given you the family that you have. His ways are perfect and He has a purpose for what He does. If you are upset about a certain aspect of your family (such as who your brothers and sisters are, how many you have, or your birth order), you are actually upset at God. But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?' "[a] Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use? (Rom 9:20-21)"

We talked about one might be upset that he is the oldest, or another a girl, rather than a boy, or another that his little sister has some behaviors that annoy, or momma that she is parenting alone.... God designed our family and put each of us in it.

2-"Thank God for your family, for each of your brothers and sisters and specifically for anything about your family which you do not like. It is essential that you do this is you want to successfully apply the other things in this book. Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. I Thess 5:18."

I thought about how even the crisis and issues that each of us have, to be thankful for, since this draws us to run to God for change. And I thank God for the specific personalities and challenges of each member of my family. This is the path He has laid out for us, with these exact ones to be with us on the pilgrimage. (Disobedience, stubbornness, brokenness and all.)

3-Choose now that you want to do whatever it takes to establish a godly, strong, edifying relationship with each of your brothers and sisters. Just reading this book will not fix things in your family.It is up to you to choose that you will obey the Lord and seek His best, whatever the cost."

We have all expressed the desire to have different dynamics in our family. I think each one things it is impossible. How could it change? What would it change now? Nick with a heartache coming through his eyes because his eyes have now been opened and he can see how we interact and how it hurts.

The challenge for Nick is in seeing, he now wants an immediate cure, and seeing the symptoms of brokenness all around him, he easily gives into the sense of hopelessness. He pulled me aside, after our reading...while the others were starting on popcorn. Privately he said, "our family is all messed up and hopeless. Taddy doesn't get along with anyone, and we don't have any money and I am going to get an F in band, because I never practice!" (The heart and anguish of a 11 year old.) We talked through each item, making practice a priority, living under a budget is good for us and it won't always be this tight, and most important, Taddy is dealing with his own hurt and issues. And we need to just keep praying for him each time we see something that shows his hurt and brokenness. That it is a journey, baby steps...and like a baby, we move forward very slowly, and even at times take big steps backwards, but all the while God is working in hearts.

I shared with him about a movie I just watched, after three people traveling across this desert in Africa and dune after dune, hoping the city and ocean, they were traveling to would be there...and it was endless. Finally exhausted, they all fell on one side of a dune...that if they could just see over the crest, they would see their destination, the city and blue seas. And often our prayers and journey is that way. We feel like giving up, when refreshment and our destination, at least on this issue, is just over the hill.

Nick asked if the three perished. They did not. A child from the city was standing on the crest, saw them and brought help. And I told him that is just like God with us. When he knows we are at the end, giving up, he sends help to us...a teacher who cares enough to have a family meeting with us, another momma sharing encouragement and tapes, a book that addresses just our hearts concern.... So not to get discouraged and give up hope. Keep on...and pray.

As I reflected on what I so desire for our family..and how far we are from the full, lush tree, bearing the fruit we desire...I did feel the hope of seeds. In spite of distractions, discouragement, feeling like kids really aren't listening, is anything seeping through? I felt the hope of planting seeds.

It reminded me of some thing that is said in the movie, You Got Mail, with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. The heroine runs a small children's book store, which has been put out of business by a big conglomerate chain of bookstores. Her accountant and dear family friend, Birdie, says:

"You are daring to imagine that you could have a different life. Oh, I know it doesn't feel like that. You feel like a big fat failure now. But you're not. You are marching into the unknown.."

That is how I feel. Brave and daring to imagine a different life for me and my kids. And even if I feel like a failure, or one of them feels like our family is a failure, we are not a failure. We are marching into the unknown with God..... planting little seeds.

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Gal 6:9

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