Sunday, May 12, 2013

“Something Extraordinary and Beautiful”

I’ve had a run of bad luck lately, or so it seemed. Things come in threes, and I went for over a month without a working dryer, laptop, and vacuum at home. Finally, I was able to purchase those items, but you know how it goes with new products. The learning curve is frustrating and time-consuming. I’ve spent hours attempting to figure out how to use Windows 8, to print from the new laptop, and to upload final grades.  On top of all of that, I have to deal with late child support (which finally came) as well as hearing of even lower enrollment numbers (which means that I may not have enough classes to make ends meet this summer).
As a single, working mother who pieces together a living from various jobs, I don’t have time for all of these extra challenges, and life has felt extra overwhelming again. When I am already that fragmented, any little thing triggers despair or anger. I’ve been yelling at God recently, asking why my life has to be so complicated, demanding to know why I have so much to handle.
Thus, I went into the weekend feeling defeated and worried, but today (Mother’s Day) reminded me that I am so blessed.
To begin with, my gorgeous girls spoiled me, starting with making me breakfast. Over green smoothies and farm fresh eggs, they gave me special cards, flowers, and gifts. I love the cross necklace from Laina and the framed photo of the girls of us from Lexi. Laina presented me with two supermom cards, saying that I am her hero, while Lexi made a card with photos of them, quotes from famous authors, and Bible verses such as “Her children rise up and call her blessed…” from Proverbs: 32-38 and “Do not forsake your mother’s teaching” from Proverbs 6:20.
After breakfast, we attended church, and during the worship, I cried. We sang “One Thing Remains” by Jesus Culture, which goes, “On and one and on and on it goes / It overwhelms and satisfies my soul / And I never ever have to be afraid / One thing remains / Your love never fails it never gives up it never runs out on me.” I felt so filled up with God’s love, and I felt so extremely blessed. Blessed with God’s love, blessed with my daughters.
I stood in the front row with Laina on one side and Lexi on the other. God has blessed me with these amazing, wise daughters. No matter how difficult things have been in the past, no matter how hard they are now, no matter how challenging they will be in the future, I am so blessed and privileged to have these two daughters, to have a close relationship with them, to learn from them, to share with them, to be here with them. No matter what Matthew (their dad and my ex) has said or done, no matter what he will say or do in the future, I thank him for Lexi and Laina. They are worth it.
The pastor’s message was on how to deal with difficulties. As normal, I heard exactly what I needed to hear at CAV. It’s important to be defined by Christ, and not by our suffering, to see our self in Christ and not in the despair. Sometimes that is just as hard as whatever we are dealing with. I’d lost sight of who I am and was focusing on my troubles, my pain, my fears. Now I will turn my focus onto opportunities rather than dangers, as the pastor said today, and concentrate on how God can use my challenges for good.
This afternoon, we decided to see The Great Gatsby, which was brilliant, and afterwards, we analyzed the movie, deciding that it proved why it is so important who we choose as friends and that we are glad to be a little different than mainstream society. My girls thanked me for the time homeschooling them and showing them a different way to live.
Tonight, I am hanging out with my girls. They made a delicious dinner of roasted chicken, fried okra, fresh corn on the cob, and chocolate covered strawberries, and I am grateful that I had a day to rest. So, I go into the new week refreshed and content. I still have problems to work through and definitely have challenges coming up; however, my eyes are focused on who I am in Christ, and my heart is full of love.  Fitzgerald wrote in a letter that he wanted to "write something extraordinary and beautiful and simple and intricately patterned,” and similarly, I am open for "something new--something extraordinary and beautiful."
Happy Mother’s Day!

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