Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A View from the Fast Lane

It has been a long time since my last post.  Life has taken some unexpected turns in the past few months. 

·         My oldest is home for a short time, working and earning money to leave again.  This time, she’s not only leaving for school, but “really” moving out. 

·         I’ve started substitute teaching here and there. 

·         My 15 year old niece has come to live with us for the school year. That means that I have four teenage girls and one pre-teen boy in the house.

·         My homeschooling is in full swing with a 6th grader, two sophomores, and one senior.

·         Mark and I have aging parents with various health issues that need constant attention. 

Needless to say, we have our hands full. 

So that is the view that I am currently enjoying.  Enjoying?  Yes… most of the time.  Stress is unavoidable.  But God is giving us grace beyond what we could imagine.  Mark and I celebrated 25 years of marriage in October.  What an amazing gift.  Family times are precious as we try to make playing together a priority.

During this time away from my blog, I’ve been really wondering what direction it will take in this season of my life.  I’ve always tried to make it a reflection of what I’m learning or what is occupying my thoughts the most.  Right now, that consists of dealing with a busy schedule, raising teens and the extravagant love of God.  Sounds like I could stay busy for quite a while with those topics.  

I’m not an expert on blogs or blogging, but the mom blogs that I read are typically written by moms with young children.  I haven’t found many that deal with a house full of teens.  (Please send me your favorite links!)  That’s where I am, so that’s what I’ll be writing about for the near future.

I’ve read a lot of parenting books in my career as a mom – just ask my husband.  I love my kids so much.  I want to be the best mom I can for them.  I know that I’ve made many mistakes.  As my kids get older, the seeds that were sown in their youth are bearing fruit – for better or for worse.  Now, as we near the time when they will fly out of my nest, I feel an urgency to make the most of the days, months and years that I have left.  I'm like a kid that realizes that summer vacation is almost over and has a ton of stuff yet to do.  I know that I must be more intentional about parenting before this season of my life is over.

The books that I love on this topic are:  Age of Opportunity, by Paul David Tripp and Loving our Kids on Purpose by Danny Silk.  Writing about what I’m learning will help me process the information as well as pass it on. 

The situations in my life that cause stress will not be changing any time soon, so finding balance in my life is key to my survival existence.  I don’t merely want to survive – I want the abundant life that was promised me by my Savior, Jesus.  It's out there, I just need to carve out space to rest and receive it.
I think I'll paraphrase the apostle Paul and say, "I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether too busy or rested, whether living in peace or in stress."

"I can do all this through him who gives me strength."
Philippians 4:13 NLT