That's kind of how I feel at the moment. I feel torn and pushed in so many directions, that I am not always sure just where I am. My heart longs to be in one place with God, yet I constantly seem to be in another, not sure where I should go or what I should do. How do I accomplish what my heart so much wants? How do I become the wife, mother and person that I know God has called me to be? How do I get from here to there? Though I find myself "stuck" much of the time, not knowing what to do or where to go, I am thankful for those brief glimpses of proof that I am growing, moving, and "getting it" at times. Beth Moore, Jen Hatmaker or Ann Voskamp I will never be, but that's OK because that is no who God has called me to be. He has called me to be Heather McSmith, wife, mother, teacher, hard worker, and servant to as many people as I can while on this earth. Do I have all the answers as to how I am supposed to serve, no, and I don't think that I ever will. I must remain awake, open, and willing to do whatever He asks whenever He asks. Here are just some random thoughts on the summer, so far:
--A month without TV was not as difficult for me (or the kids...Kevin was a different story) as I thought. God allowed me to use that time to study His word, prepare lessons for our church to use in Family Quest, read with my children, and just enjoy uninterrupted time with my husband and children. I don't think we'll ever go 100% no TV or anything, but we'll be cutting back and using that time to love on each other and others as best we can.
--I am so thankful that though friends may be far away, they are still friends. I am thankful for Skype so I can see their faces and emails so we can send prayer requests and silly thoughts. I am thankful for Facebook, which allows me to still feel like a part of their lives. I am also thankful for all these things when friends who are near go on vacation!!! I know it probably shouldn't be, but email and Facebook are a lifeline to me, even with friends who live just across town, in this crazy, child-rearing time of my life. If I didn't have those, I seriously think I would end every day by sitting down and crying!
--I am so thankful that I have the opportunity to home school. Now, hear me out, I don't think it's for everyone (though I will admit that I wish everyone could home school just for a semester--you'd understand your kids better and you'd be much more sympathetic to their teachers), but it is what God has called us to do at this time. God has used this to teach me so much! First, I never even came close to understanding how selfish I am until I started homeschooling. If a project took too much work on my part, then I just didn't do it. It didn't matter if it would help the kids learn, I didn't want to take the time. Yeah, teaching isn't my gift! Second, I have learned so much about my kids, how they learn, how they think, etc. I have been able to see God's handiwork in such a different way by being their teacher. (I am sure all you teachers out there have known all these things for awhile. You get to experience these joys times like 20 everyday! Of course, you also experience the bad times 20, so I guess it evens out!) What joy it is to watch them read for the first time or figure out a math problem for the first time! Third, I've learned that if I will just rely on God, I will be far more capable of things than I ever thought possible. I mean, really, me digging into the Word and history and science and teaching it to someone else? I never would have dreamed it was possible, so I know it was all from God! Last, I learned a whole new level of love and respect for those teaching outside of the home. You guys, seriously, they don't even earn a fraction of what they're worth! Lesson plans, projects, grading papers, field trips, it's all overwhelming for just 2 students, I have no idea how you do it for 25-30. And without parental help? That's amazing! Hats off to all of you who get up everyday and do all you can to be salt and light in the dark world of public education. You are warriors on one of the most important battlefields and protecting the most important assets on the planet, and no one gets it. I know without a shadow of a doubt, I could not do what you do! (Thankfully, God has not asked me to!)
--So, I have to admit, I sat and cried at the pool the other day. Kevin was with me and we were talking and I just started crying. Like weeping and sobbing. It was a little embarrassing. I had my sunglasses on, so I'm hoping no one else noticed, but I am guessing they were all just being polite and trying not to stare at the crazy lady! It made me so thankful for a husband willing to put up with all my craziness, love me anyway, and pour out wisdom when it's most needed. I was feeling very overwhelmed with insecurity and failure, and he said and did just what I needed at the time. He is such a gift from God to me. My heart so desperately wants to look in the eyes of each of those unadoptable orphans and tell them they have a Father who loves them more than they can imagine, I want to hug them, hold their hands, sing with them, laugh with them, just pour into them...but that door just isn't being opened right now. And I have to admit that it's most likely because I am not even willing to care for the widow down the street. If I can't do that, why would He trust me with more? How will my kids every learn to love and sacrifice for others if they don't see it in me? I don't want to live for me, I want to live for Him, to serve Him and serve and love on His people. Why is that so hard to do? Lord, mold me and shape me into the person You desire me to be so that You will receive glory. Show me how to love those around me. Show me how to serve those around me selflessly that they might see You through me. Give me strength and boldness to reach out to my neighbors consistently. Lord, help!
--As Kevin and I were talking the other day we really wanted to think of something that we could sacrifice as a family, that would affect all of us, that we could in turn use to help others. We couldn't think of anything. Not because we have so little that there was little to give, but because when we started thinking of it, none of it was really a sacrifice. We wouldn't have to go without food or shelter or clothing or anything of true importance in order to help others, either here or around the world. We were blown away by how blessed and spoiled we are. Lord, I don't know why You have chosen to give us so much, but please show us how we can turn around and give it right back to You, to be used for Your Kingdom, so that many may come to know You.