Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Radical and Crazy Love

**now I'm back. Kids are asleep. Fred is gone. House is quiet. Maybe I can think. And publish this myself when it's done. **

As I was saying, Lately I've been putting so much effort into house, school, crafts, behavior, that I'm finding myself drained when evening rolls around. It seems that all of my updates are roughly 400 words; I can only think in facebook posts now? Sad, yes.

Okay, and, really, it's partly because I don't know who reads this. I know that about 80 peeps visit this online home a day, but I don't want to take the time to find out who (and, really, I consider that an invasion of privacy anyway, but don't get me started.) I share things on FB with approx. 500 "close friends." And somehow THAT makes me more comfortable? I don't know. Weird logic.

This is what's up lately:

I'm reading several new books that I've bought through Amazon and Paperback Swap:

Radical by David Platt, Crazy Love by Francis Chan, Raising a Spirited Child by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka , Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families by Stephen Covey, and A Kick in the Seat of the Pants by Roger Von Oech, to name a few.

Yep, I'm working on many areas of my life simultaneously. I do this so I can grab whatever sounds right at the moment. I can't live out my life in each area separately-- God, marriage & parenting, homeschool, art, mental & emotional health, relationships and ministry-- and I can't put all else aside to get one area perfect. They work hand-in-hand; I may need that "kick in the seat of the pants" for artwork, but it has to come with the raising of my spirited children, while I live radically and effectively for a God who crazily loves me, and I Him.

Phew, mouthful.

Have you read any of those? I'm being challenged in several areas, and would love to discuss the books with anyone who is interested.

I have several things heavy on my heart: adoption is at the forefront right now. We're not financially stable or able. We don't have the space to even qualify. But it weighs on me. I know there are kids out there who need a home desperately and here we are WILLING, open, but unable. It's a sad thought. And when I think of orphanages, mental institutions overseas... all the kids who just need hugs and kisses, safety and warmth and food... that breaks my heart. And here I am, in my quaint little "cottage," living "below poverty" in America, but I have two vehicles paid off, no debt except my house... I have heat and air, plenty to eat, too many clothes and shoes... and yet I'm considered poverty? Really? C'mon, I have a computer. Two actually. And a camera. Cell phones. A tv and dvd player, and so, so, so much more that I don't need. While others go without the very basics.

Guys, I want to go. Part of me desperately just wants to get rid of everything, pack up my family, and take off to care for children who need it. I may not have the money to send, or the ability to adopt right now, but I know I could help if I was there. Ah, and here's where I've crossed the "safety line" on voicing my thoughts. Too much already?

In other perhaps disjointed thoughts, I'm all over the map with what to do in my home. I've been getting rid of a lot of things, and really wish I could live an extreme minimalistic lifestyle at times (if Fred would let me!) Less to care for, less to clean, less to worry about, more room for Real Things. I'm trying to keep what really matters to me, things that make me happy and fill our lives with joy. No more of the "this is what it's supposed to look like." Who cares if wicker is "in" (and I don't know if it is or isn't, just sayin'.) I like bright colors, textures, my own artwork and my kids', hidden joys to find, memories around.

I want reminders, here and there, of what we're really here for. So the other stuff is going.

And on the parenting front, I'm trying so hard to teach with love and patience. I believe in making learning fun and hands-on, challenging but not frustrating. I believe in going at their own pace, but giving enough of a push to show that I hold great confidence in their abilities.

I'll share a recent conversation that I posted on facebook, though:

O (3-year old): "T, I don't LIKE you!"
T(6): {gasps} "Mommy, he says he doesn't LIKE me!"
Me: "For crying out loud, yes you do. O, go to time-out and apologize to T."

{sigh} We're not perfect. I'm trying. I'm trying to teach them how to respect & respond, but sometimes I'm just exasperated, you know? I often ask them, "Do I treat you like that? Then why would you treat your brother like that? Is that how you want to be treated?" The boys seem to love each other to pieces one minute and fight like cats and dogs the next. We're working on it.

Now onto my next thought (kids -->school-->art)

I love art. As do my kids. I believe God made us this way, fitted together perfectly,

to take pleasure in it, encourage each other, and develop these skills.

But I ask myself, "For what?" For pleasure? In part, certainly. But I believe there's more.

Did you know that an average elm tree has 6 million leaves? wow.

God was detailed, delighted, amazing... the mountains, sunsets, dandelions blowing in the wind... it was all to shout His Name. Isn't that why, at least in part, he equipped us with creative abilities? For delight and to shout His Name? How can I do that??

And last, for now, I've been thinking again and again about this: The Awe of God. Who am I? I mean really, who am I? One more face? One more tiny little person, among billions. Can I really do anything at all? Well, certainly not as one detached cell. But as a part of a magnificent Body with a purpose, place, and call? Yes! I want this one little cell here to be alive and well, acting in conjunction with the rest of the parts to do something worthwhile. I just need to remember that my part won't be the same as so-and-so's part.

I might be a star peg, but God has a star-shaped spot just for me, as insignificant as I may feel at times.

And so the nightly rambling comes to an end. This is what happens when you turn off the filter for a few minutes. ;)



Catherine Anne said...

YES, I just took some blog time off after feeling this way. Im so happy to be back, just was not feeling it and the unknown visits were filling my mind~ Thanks for posting your thought. So many must feel the same. As for the long list of daily to-dos. I try to change things around when I feel thins way. Change something to give you more you time. Higs:) Cat

Soaring High said...

hmmm... did my comment not go through. Great post (in sooo many less words than what I wrote before). ; D

Living Creatively said...

I checked spam, Melinda, and it wasn't there. Sorry it got lost!

Mom of 5 said...

I know your heart on adoption. I ache for those children all the time. Even though I have 5 children, and I have more than enough on my plate to do everyday, I ache for them...I want to take in more children so badly b/c I know we have a nice safe home, with lots of love, and that is what they need. But, we are "full" as well. Even the workers are frustrated with the guidelines b/c it restricts where they can place the children so much. I don't want to be done, and I don't want to have a bigger house just to help one more child, but that is how it has to be for now.

I hear ya on living simply. No matter how much I purge, there is still so much, and so much that is hard for me to part with, but I don't even understand why I can't part with it, when having too much stresses me.

Great post!!

Mandy said...

Big hugs, Wendy! Just know.. if God has pressed it upon your heart that adoption is your next step - IT WILL BE. Don't look for the logical.. don't limit God by what you have RIGHT NOW. Look forward because you know that there are no limits with God. Not distance, not time, not financial... Pray for direction and provision and watch him move. I have no doubt.. not one single doubt. God wants his children in homes.. especially Godly homes... why wouldn't he give you all.. ALL.. you need to accomplish this ministry? Praying for you!!

Oh.. I have the Crazy Love book but lost it when we moved!! I had read the first page.. loved it.. and packed it. *sigh*

Anonymous said...

I was encouraged to read your thoughts on adoption. My husband and I are hoping to adopt 2 children that we have become parents to from foster care here in the US. We love them so much, but there are many seemingly impossible hurdles that only God can fix. We would appreciate prayers as we wait to see our beautiful children again some day.

Soaring High said...

Is there anything happening with a possible on-line Bible Study with either of these?