Monday, October 18, 2010

Parental Discernment

     As a parent, I like to think I know what is going on with my two daughters.

     This morning I was drinking my coffee as the girls got ready for school.  The cats were in my lap.  Malley was under the blanket and Nacho was on top trying to figure out what Malley was doing under there.

     Ashlyn called me and asked me to come back to her room.  When I walked back there, she said, "Not in here.  Come to the office."

     I followed her into the office and she said, "Can you finish typing this paper for me?  I am out of time."

     I questioned her about the paper, "What do you mean?"

     She said, "I wrote the paper for English and typed it at school, but could not save it, so I had to re-type it at home.  Please just type it and do not put in the parts that I crossed out." 

     I could tell she was starting to get stressed.  It was almost time to go the school and she was not ready.  Plus Bobby had just texted Avery and needed a ride.  Time was getting short.

     I started typing the remaining few paragraphs of the paper.  When I started reading, I was amazed at how good her writing was.  The wording was excellent and her descriptions were crisp and clear.  But then it happened - I could feel the fear and desperation from her story.

     The paper started with a prayer to God asking for courage.  She had written about the surgery she had on her foot in May of this year.  The account detailed finding out she had to have surgery, going to the hospital for the surgery, waiting, having the surgery, waking up in recovery, getting crutches, going home and the slow recovery.  She ended the paper with another prayer, asking God to help her get through the next few months with ease.

     The thing that struck me was the fear.  I had been there and I knew she was afraid, but I did not understand the depth of her fear.  How could that be?  How could I have not supported her when she needed it most?  How could I not understand what she was feeling. 

     I really felt like I had let her down.  I took her to school because Avery had to leave to get Bobby.  On the way to school I told her, "I am really sorry that I did not understand what you were going through with your surgery."

     She said, "It is ok.  I am thinking about talking to Coach and telling him I will not play basketball this year."

     Now was my chance.  I could share this moment with her, since she was opening up to me.  I said, "Can you still be a trainer?"  While going through her surgery and therapy she had mentioned being a trainer in high school and maybe becoming a physical therapist as a career. 

     She said, "Yeah, I think so."

    The long story short is that I feel like I failed understanding the depth of her fear and worry about the surgery.  Can I make it up?  No not really.  Can I do better next time?  Maybe.

    The great thing that came out of this was Ashlyn turning to God in her time of fear.  Through my failure, she grew.  She turned to God when she needed Him and that is awesome. 

Dear God,
Thank you for giving me this awesome daughter.  She is a light in my world.  Thank you for being there to support her when I fail.  Thank you for holding her hand before, during, and after the surgery.  Help me to be more aware.  Help me to not be so harsh and to encourage my daughter to share with me.  Thank you.  Amen 

Friday, October 15, 2010

God is ABLE!!

God is Able!  As I continue my current Bible Study, I have learned God is able.  Priscilla Shirer spoke about Ephesians 3:20-21 which says - 
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations for ever and ever! Amen. 

God is able to do for me.  I know that, but I often limit what I ask God to do.  The Bible Study focuses on how God is ABLE in a BIG way.  He can do beyond, beyond and way past, my way past.  Well this was demonstrated to be in a big way yesterday!!

In May of this year, I completed the last of six memory quilts I made for my friend, Taby and her family.  I had been on the Internet surfing and discovered a Christan Writer's Conference to be held in September of this year.  I called my friend, Taby, and told her about the conference and how I had wanted to write a book for several years about the ministries God has put into my life.  Well, Taby knew the speaker and urged me to go.  She volunteered to pay for my airplane ticket to North Carolina.  So, we met in San Antonio for the quilt pick up.  The last quilt was made for Taby's niece, Jetonna.  It contained pictures of Jetonna and her mother and was made of Jetonna'a mother's clothes.  We had a nice lunch and Taby and Jetonna both gave me money to attend the writer's conference.

Taby and me on left with Jetonna's little boy, Jetonna on right

I came back home and was filled with doubt.  I researched the Conference and plotted numerous combinations of airline tickets, lodging, rental car, etc.  The bottom line was I did not feel like I should spend THAT much money to attend the conference.  At the last minute, a scholarship was offered.  I submitted a letter and waited.  The scholarship letters were judged by Cec Murphey.  I did not win the scholarship.  I took that as a sign from God, but in reality God provided (money from Taby and Jetonna), but I balked. The conference filled up and I did not go.  I emailed Taby and let her know the time was just not right for me - I was too afraid!

Flash forward to Thursday of this week, I was blogging and adding some new blogs to my list.  I found out that my friend Alice Kolb had a blog.  Alice had encouraged me to write a book about the memory quilts.  I went to see her blog and she had Cec Murphey's blog listed on her blog!!  I went to his blog and found out he was going to be in Comfort Texas at the end of October conducting a writing retreat.  So I signed up.  

So even when I was not able to do make myself go to the original writer's conference in North Carolina, God still made it happen.  I know God wants me to write this book, but I have trouble with being obedient when I do not what steps I will have to take and if I can do it.  I know God will guide me.  I know God will open doors, but I am still afraid.

My new mantra is God is able.  He can do beyond, beyond and way past, way past.  I will keep reminding myself of that as I start down this new, scary path!