Amanda's Meanderings


Another new Season
December 18, 2013, 7:35 pm
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I just re-read what I wrote last time. Now I find myself in a new Season of Change. Baby #4 is coming in the spring and with him/her comes all kinds of emotional and family dynamic changes. But, it’s really made me buckle down and make another change. I’m saying goodbye to Facebook. It’s something I should have done MONTHS ago! My level of disobedience to the Lord in this matter is somewhat shocking; even to myself. I’ve known for a long time now that this is what He wants me to do, but I’ve been dragging my feet and making excuses for keeping it. It’s become the main way church faithfully shares good and bad news and encouraging articles. It’s the only way I ever see or hear anything from long-distance relatives and friends (aside from the family gossip hotline). I enjoy reading status updates about the new discount grocery store in the neighborhood.

But here’s the thing: God told me to close it down. That’s honestly enough reason for me to do it.

This is the beginning of my new season of Home. I have (almost 4) small children. I’m supposed to stay home and nurture my family. (I consider a few non-relatives to be a part of my family and I want to nurture my relationships with them as well.) It isn’t my job right now to go all over the countryside (or the internet) seeking the superficial company of others. That’s what Facebook had become for me — a way to keep up with people I love without any real or intentional interaction. My life according to Facebook for the past 2 years has been to read updates from my friends and then to feel no real obligation to go the extra mile; to write them a note or to visit. I’ve considered a Facebook comment to be enough consolation for the death of a spouse, or enough Happy on a birthday. Or for a conversation about the Awe-inspiring God I worship… For people I claim to love! Shame on me. I’ve neglected people and personal interaction for the lazy way out; for the ease of simply pushing a few buttons. The most heinous part about it is that internet interaction (all merely written correspondence) removes all inflection, tone, body language, and Deeper Meaning from communication. Except when you really know the one you’re writing to. It eliminates our ability to qualify our point with a look of sincerity or the quiet tone of understanding. If I had a dollar for every time what I’ve written has been completely misunderstood I would be very wealthy. Facebook has become a tool to make us think we know each other based on the pictures and/or articles we share. It’s wrongly become a platform for “venting” about relatives and friends instead of being open with one another and sharing when we’ve been hurt and why — with the one it should be aimed at. The internet has enabled us to read meaning into a conversation through the goggles of our own bitterness, heartbreak, pessimism, and insincerity. As a culture, we’ve lost the personal responsibility that comes with personal interaction. And it’s caused an interesting social phenomenon. When I realize I’ve been “un-friended” it’s awkward to be around that person in real life. I wonder if it was something I said or shared, or a picture I uploaded…….or the undesired and misunderstood encouragement? It’s weird for me. I realize that’s MY problem, but I don’t think it’s just me.

But the bottom line is that I don’t know my friends anymore and I don’t like it. Unfortunately I’ve also discovered that a few people I considered my friends had changed so much that we no longer have anything in common. Literally nothing. And I’ve not allowed my friends to come to know me, (I mean, to know the real me) either. So here’s what I hope to change about myself — I want to be more purposeful in my relationships. I pledge to become more sincere in my pursuit of friendships. Please understand that I’m in no way suggesting that you also close your Facebook account. I’m not saying that the internet has no good use at all. But I am saying that I’ve abused social networking in a friendship-killing way and that I hope to change that. I want honest, open, genuine and sincere relationships with those people who have had the most impact in my life. So, I will stay home and make more effort to communicate with my loved ones. I am moving beyond Facebook and stepping back into real life and real love. Today, I’m choosing to change.

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Change of Season
September 6, 2013, 3:00 pm
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Do you ever have the feeling that Life is passing you by and you just can’t keep up? Like, you’re overwhelmed with being overwhelmed and your head is barely above the water? Be encouraged! Our lives are lived in Seasons.

There’s the Season of Waiting. Waiting to be married. Waiting to be pregnant. Waiting to give birth. Waiting to finish school. Waiting to _______. We need the waiting. That seemingly eternal pause between where we are and where we want to be is sometimes the hardest test to overcome. It helps us build our Faith…if we know and Love the Lord…and if we allow Him to allow us to Wait.

There’s the Season of Little. Little Joy, little time, little rain, little breeze, little patience. This season can also be called the Season of Self. When we focus on ourselves, we don’t see the beauty around us. We I miss all the Joy in the Time it takes my babies to mature. I miss all the opportunity to learn how to dig in the dry sandbox on a summer day when I fret about the housecleaning, or the laundry, or all the other “things” I won’t have Time for if I just stop and feel the breeze that really IS there.

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Then, when we stop long enough to breathe and surrender, we find the Season of Much. Much Time. Much Love. Much Joy. Much Patience. So Much Peace. That’s where I find myself lately. This Season of Much seems to be such a long time coming. It took me a long time to find it because I struggled through the other 2 seasons for longer than I needed to. I’ve finally surrendered myself (again) to what the Lord really wants me to do. Sometimes the “what” changes. For now, I’m a stay-home mom who home schools our 5-year-old and entertains our 2 other, younger children. For now, I’m passionate about landscaping, heirloom tomatoes, keeping ducks, being fully present in my children’s lives and a supportive wife to my most excellent husband. This is what I’m supposed to be doing. I had to stop obsessing about my weight, housework, yard work, weight, schedule, my weight… you get the idea. I had to make the choice to STOP! Look around. And remember that Life is not built in a day, or a week, or a month, a year. Life comes in Seasons.

The leaves have begun to change in the woods. A new Season is coming. Autumn will soon be here, but for now, I’ll just enjoy the season I’m in.

Blessings.

What Season do you find yourself in today?



He Loves Me So!
July 25, 2013, 3:39 pm
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God really does love me. I can prove it. When I talk to Him, He listens and then later — when I least expect it — He reminds me of what I asked for. And, the timing of everything is absolutely perfect…as only HE can do.

So it’s been a pretty rough time around here recently. Some close friends of ours discovered that their 3rd baby was developing in the fallopian tube. For those of you who don’t know what that means — it means that if the baby continues to develop where it is, the mother’s life is in danger. Okay. They were advised to abort simply because the chances of the baby living and NOT killing the mother are very small. They didn’t do it. We don’t worship a God who tells us to murder our children so that we might live. The doctors said they were crazy. But once a woman gets pregnant her life is not her own… Our wonderful friends lost their baby and the sweet mother of 2 other beautiful people almost lost her life.

At the end of April I dreamed that a very close friend of mine was pregnant! (Not a big deal…until you realize that God often tells me when my loved ones are expecting — sometimes even before THEY know it!) So anyway, in my dream P told me she was pregnant and used her hands to show me how big her belly would be at different stages. But I could tell that she didn’t really believe it. I could tell that she wasn’t joyful. Then I woke up. (P has gone through the horrible pain of multiple miscarriages.) I was so sure that she really was pregnant that I even called her husband more than once to ask…but chickened out. You see, I’ve hurt P in the past by demanding that she confirm what I’d heard from the Lord. I’ve been prideful and arrogant before about her joyful news instead of letting it be just that: Joyful. So I didn’t ask her. I prayed for her and the baby. I prayed A LOT! I told her that I was praying for her and left it open for her to tell me that she was pregnant, but she didn’t and I respected that. Then a few weeks later I got a call from her husband: “Hey, we just had our 2nd ultrasound and it doesn’t look good. We’re 8 weeks along and the heartbeat is only 85 and there’s another hemorrhage…just like last time.” I felt like I’d been punched. My heart cried out to the Lord “But, Lord, I’ve been PRAYING for them! This can’t happen again! This is MY baby, too…” That’s when I heard it; you know, that little voice that says “Trust Me.” So I trusted Him. I prayed even harder than before. P and her husband asked that our church pray, too. We all prayed for Life and Joy, but they won’t come through the birth of that little person. The baby died. And God is bigger than that. He’s not surprised. He never promised that we won’t feel pain or loss and disappointment. What He wants us to take away from those experiences is the realization of where our own heart is. Am I angry at God? No. He knows everything. It’s my job to submit to His decisions. Do I think He should do things differently according to the way I want them? No. His ways are higher than my ways. Do I still trust Him? “Though You slay me, I will trust You.”

So, I was reeling from the pain of loss and I didn’t realize that I had genuinely begun to question whether or not God really listens to me. I mean, after all, things were not turning out the way I had planned. That’s sin. I’m not God (shocker, I know) and to question His love for me simply because I was in pain is completely self-centered. Where was I when He created the heavens and the earth? I went to the chiropractor on the day it was confirmed that P’s baby died. As I was driving out of the parking lot I saw a woman driving in. She smiled at me very sweetly. Long story short, I’d never met her before, but have been praying for her little family for months! Our husbands are acquainted and their picture has been on our fridge for a long time now. I had recognized her smile from the picture on our fridge and I turned around and practically chased her down in the parking lot. So I stood in front of her and quickly introduced myself and blubbered that God was doing something amazing for me at that moment. I had been praying for the opportunity to meet her and share with her that I had been praying for them (and their new baby which is due any day now)! On just the day I needed reassurance the most, God gave it to me. I can’t really put into words just why it was so important for me to meet her on just that day. There’s so much their story that I really can’t do it any justice here. It’s the Divine Timing of everything that has me floored. And I had been such a brat to the Lord just a few hours earlier… . I’m very excited that we’re having them over for supper tonight — unless they’re having a baby. 😉

I’ve repented (again) for doubting Him. He’s always so good at gently reminding me to Trust Him when I really need it most. Do you have an amazing God story? I love hearing others tell me about how wonderful He is, too. Blessings.