Friday, November 26, 2010

Please Comment

Hello Readers,
Wow! My greeting just gave me the willies. The thought that people are reading the words and thoughts that fall out of my head is rather odd. I write not for recognition but because it brings me joy and allows me a way to express my feelings and hash out some lingering thoughts that swirl in this head of mine.
I hear from people all the time that they are reading my blog and loving it. I took a slightly long break from blogging but I am back and I promise I will blog 2-8 times a week, always having something fresh and new for you to read. I was scolded by many and I have learned my lesson. I am sorry and thanks for the kick in the butt.
I would love to hear from you. I am open to discussion, thoughts and comments. Please disagree if you wish. I do not claim to be an expert, just an individual trying to make her way through life with God.
I hope to hear from you soon.
Leah

Gentleness

Before I had Ti I never realized how important the role of gentleness is in the grand scheme of life. It was always, I thought a natural reaction therefore I didn't see it's profound significance. Now in the process of raising a child my daily task is to help him embrace this concept. Basically if I can't help my son understand how to be gentle he will be a menace to society and mommy will be a walking bruise. Some days I am so proud because it is clear to me he understands how to be gentle when he rubs my husbands head and in a whisper says "me dad". But then we have moments when my wake up call is a cymbal clapping giraffe to the face and then I realize we still have work to do.

Children live in the moment. Their innocence takes away all sense of fear and insecurity. They flow with their surroundings and have absolutely no boundaries. That's why children have parents. We get to be the buzz kill that establishes "no" and "stop" in their life.

At 20 months I am starting to see the fruit of my labour when interacting with Ti. He stops mid play to give me nice hugs, the biting has become minimal and he loves to give sweet boogie kisses right on the lips. He is now responding to the idea that hugging mommy makes her smile, punching her in the head makes her cry.

Somewhere in my life I stopped being educated on how to be gentle and gentleness became a part of my nature. I learned the limitations that I can exist in without causing physical, emotional or mental harm to myself or another individual.

In scripture we read that as Christians we are given the Holy Spirit to live within us giving us guidance. A sign of living with the Spirit, according to God is the fruit we bear. Christian's who live daily in the Spirit don't have apples and oranges growing from their limbs but should exhibit the characteristics of God or the fruit of

"love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. "

I think as Christians we focus a lot on loving our neighbour, being filled with the joy of the Lord, being patient and having kind hearts. We try to do good and live our life with faith in God. But where we lack is being gentle and having self control. We fight, we put down, we push our way through knocking whomever out of our way. We think of ourselves and not of others. We open our mouths and spout nonsense without realizing how that affects someone else. We impress our ideas on others and reject their thoughts. We bully, we tear apart, we push away.

In raising my child I am in the first stage of gentleness training. I have to teach him how to conduct himself in a kind, gentle, compassionate way. Once he learns more words I will have to help him learn how to control those words and use them for love and productivity instead of harm and destruction. Then my next challenge will be guarding him from the lethal combination of hand & mouth. This task I fear and I will pray myself through.

As we go through our life do we focus on the trendy, appealing fruits that living a life for God produce, or do we mind that a healthy balance of all fruits be tended and cared for and present in our lives?

You may not walk your way through life pushing everyone to the ground, but do you slash their souls and wound their hearts with your tongue?

My son didn't know and sometimes still doesn't understand that hitting another person is not acceptable. But as I raise him and teach him he is learning that handing me a toy is much more productive than throwing it at me and hurting me. As we walk our journey may we look to God for correction. May we never believe the lie that we have arrived. May we allow Him to show us our flaws and may we try to change them.

Gentleness.
LJ

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I Will Follow You


My little guy.

I love the kid, he's a part of me but it is taking day upon day for me to understand who this little person is. I always assumed because he held a part of my DNA I would “get” him. Furthest from the truth. Every day we spend together is a new look at who he is as a person and a real examination into who I am.


Ti is heavily immersed in the art of imitation. He shocks us all the time with his new sayings or actions that he has picked up somewhere along his travels. Usually they are easily identifiable. He resembles someone we know.


I see a lot of me.


When he runs to the piano to “play” a song, or sits and draws a picture. When he unloads the cupboards and pretends to create some kind of eatable masterpiece it's like looking in the mirror. He drops words that I never thought those little ears would hear all the way from the kitchen and mimics the way I present myself or perform a task.


He always has to double check the dryer...


This morning after I put Ti down for his nap I went to one of my safe places. I sat in front of my piano and talked to God and played. I was singing a Tim Hughes song that I love and one of the lines popped out and became so real as the words passed my lips.


“Lord will you be my vision, will you be my guide, be my hope and light, be the way.”


As I belted those lyrics out the reflection of the sun on the roof came through the window so brightly that I couldn't see the keys in front of me. I pushed through and continued to sing,


“I will follow, I will follow you”


I stopped my song and got up from the piano. I walked to my computer and now I sit here hashing through what this means.



We are the light in our world. We are how many will see the face of God. But when they see His face will they recognize it? Will they see love, peace, joy, gentleness, kindness, faithfulness, patience, goodness? Or do they see inadequacy, hatred, malice, bitterness, hypocrisy, rudeness, self absorption and judgment?


When I sit back and watch my little guy and see the positive qualities I possess surface in his personality it makes me happy. I feel like I have done my job as his parent to prepare him for the world. But when I hear him utter the word “stupid” I suddenly see the imprint my human nature is making on his little life. He watches me, he drinks my every word and absorbs my every action. He reacts as I do, he focuses on me as I do or do not on him. My son looks to me in the way I should look to God.


Sometimes believing we are children of God gives us silent permission to ignore Him. I know sometimes God becomes my default and I use Him as my “get out of (fill in blank)” card. But looking at my earthly mother-son interaction I see the picture of what my relationship with God should be. We are told that we are made in His image but like with my son the example is learned based on the amount of time and moments engaged together. Just because I am made in His image doesn't mean I “get” Him. Many children exist in our world who hold DNA of a parent that will never be made known to them, they possess qualities of their biological donor but without the nurture sometimes those qualities dissolve and they never really understand who they are.


I need to focus on God and spend daily encounters understanding who He is. Peeling away the layers of religion and assumption and begin believing in the heart of God, taking my daily glimpse of who he is and examining who I really am.


My time with my son is precious. Each stage, each tantrum, all with perspective is good. Through these daily exchanges I am developing a life long bond that is held with unconditional love and grace. As I move forward in life I pray I am as attentive to God, allowing Him to be my hope, my light and my way, as I am to the person my son is becoming. If I live a life that is holy and pleasing, putting God first and being the light in this world that I need to be then when I look at my son and who He has become I will no longer see myself but I will see the face of God.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Beauty in the Chase


Monday morning, the sun slowly rises above the hills, glistening on the frost across the fields. Everything is silent but the energy is all a buzz. People spread themselves across expanses of properties all dressed in orange apparel, guns in hand, pockets full of candy, waiting patiently. Big burly men assume childlike glee and all are beyond ecstatic for the adventure that is about to ensue.

It is the deer hunt.

I have been hunting since I was a small girl. I remember bundling up in my snow suit and waiting for my dad to come pick me up. We would go sit in the bush and eat candy while enjoying each others company. This year having my son on the watch with me I assume my dad didn't enjoy my company as much as I enjoyed being with him.

When I got older and got my license I would miss days of school to go hunting with the gang. Every year I longed for the first week in November. Some of my longing was derived from my passion for the sport, some my adolescent need for a break from all the hormones and homework that go along with the high school experie
nce.

Now that I am older and do not have the excuse of missing school the hunting experience is different for me. I still love the sport and the anticipation of Monday morning but the reasons I love it are much greater.

(Pause because of shooting... I am writing this on my watch.)

Of course hunting is a bonding experience for me. I connected with my father as a child, my brother as we became adults and many friends because of the sport, but the ultimate connection is with God.


Sitting out in nature, looking at the sculptures created by the hands of God is a fabulous place to meet Him. For me when the chase is a lull and I am cold and bored I take that time to talk to Him. I think, I ask, we chat. When you have a few hours to sit in a wide open field over looking rolling hills that carry on forever, the amazing unknown of God hits home. Even when we don't see Him, He is just over that next hill, behind the tree or coming up out of the pond. He is always there.

His creation of the forest is so revealing. Squirrels sound like buffalo's, chipmunks crash like moose, birds sound like dogs, trees crack and sway. When you find yourself in complete solitude and at one with nature it is fascinating to see how the birds live. To watch the chipmunks prepare for winter. To see the deer use their instinct, the rabbit
s to scurry and hop, the partridge come from no where because they are so amazingly designed to hide in their surroundings.


Lately life has been tough. Challenges keep coming and sometimes the way out isn't obvious. Yet something I rediscovered this passed two weeks is that faith in our creator is the only way. Watching those animals carry on in their lives is so symbolic of what we should be as followers of Christ. The scripture is true, the birds never have to worry. God cares for them, he meets their needs. The chipmunks don't go hungry even though they may have to work harder to find the food to store. In some strange way the forest works together. The animals live out their purpose and even though that means some are natural predators they live as God designed.

Deer hunting for me isn't just a "hick" sport. In actuality hunting requires a lot of skill, knowledge and preparation. It is a sport of precision and awareness. It is a sport I love. Hunting isn't just shooting animals (so that we have food for the winter) but the sport brings with it community, new and exciting friendships, good stories and amazing fabulous food. It also allows me to stop and take that time with God that sometimes my busyness doesn't allow. I learn to appreciate God more. I see a little bit more of the mystery reveal itself when I sit and watch and wait. For me I feel like I am sitting in God's backyard, enjoying his handiwork, freely being who He created me to be and listening to what He wants to say.



"I waited patiently for the Lord and he inclined and heard my cry." Psalm 40:1