Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Panic and Perspective

“Leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms…” Know that old hymn? I will be very happy when I've learned to stay there!
Very recently, I woke up and thought, I’m controlling! Elliot is going to dive into drugs and destructive behavior when he leaves home. From that peaceful reflection, I progressed to financial insecurity, the backlogged school schedule, mice in the walls, mold under the kitchen counter, dental bills, my kids’ possible low self-esteem, potential threats to their well-being, and of course my many failures as a mom. Finally, I had the sense to get out of bed.
It seems panic is about perspective. My focal point determines my perspective. When I focus on just one of my myriad fears and responsibilities, they ALL threaten to overwhelm me. My knee-jerk reaction to fear is either catatonic immobility or a spontaneous rush of useless activity – neither a good option when one unproductive hour can trainwreck the whole day!
That recent morning, it was time to P.U.S.H. – Pray Until Something Happens. Something in me. Even if it meant Praying Like a Good Christian until I gave up my religious efforts, and simply let God hold me. Which, this time, it did.
Safe and secure at last, I rediscovered that an amazing thing happens in the arms of God. Those overwhelming circumstances take on a much less threatening aspect. Somehow, the presence of Jesus is enough to take me from panic to power – His power dispelling my panic. Remembering victories God had already won in my life, I calmed down. I began to see solutions to some problems. Others were not today’s burden. And a lot were simply not reality; I’d been borrowing trouble.
No matter what’s going on, the answer is found in the arms of God. He knows your situation. He hasn’t forgotten you, and He really will bring you and your kids through.
He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me…. The Lord was my support…. He rescued me. – Psalm 18:16-19.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Crazy Outside, Cozy Inside

It’s one of those nights I named this blog after. Late. My kids are finally tucked safely into their sleeping bags, in the basement. The weather advisory tells me tonight’s winds could be strong enough to bring down big trees. Our bedrooms are upstairs, beneath a simple, A-frame roof – no attic, no margin for trees crashing in! Outside, the wind is tossing the highest branches of several 150-foot Douglas firs. They stand within reach of our house, and although it’s unlikely they would fall in our direction, my mommy heart won’t take any chances. The kids will stay downstairs until 1:00 a.m. (unless the weather guy extends their sentence).
Earlier this evening, we had returned from AWANA and listened to the wind and the rain loudly battering our thin roof. We’d watched the bright moon illuminate the shredded clouds that scudded across its surface. The weather was thrilling, and I didn’t want to consider that it might impact our sleep schedule. I was spent, looking forward to getting the kids to bed and having a little down time.
I must admit, I got really fed up as the evening continued. After snacks, showers, and toothbrushings I read the weather advisory, which led to another 45 minutes of rearranging everyone for sleep. I voiced my fearful frustration, and immediately regretted it. “We don’t have time for this! Mice in the kitchen, huge spiders in the closets, and half the time we can’t even sleep in our beds – we’ll have to move!” (And I’m so done dealing with this stuff alone! I added, silently.) I often threaten to move – the kids know I don’t mean it, but it genuinely concerns them. They love it here and naturally resist change. I want to learn to trust enough to eliminate these upsets.
Later, I prayed. I believe it was God who brought to my mind the stories in World Vision’s magazine. Some mothers are raising their children without adequate shelter, warm clothing, or even enough food. They too are alone, but without the provisions I take for granted. I remembered seeing a glass of water, as brown and dirty as the sweet child who held it. “Imagine handing your child this glass of water,” said the caption. I couldn’t. My fears evaporated, and suddenly our warm, cozy home seemed safe and adequate.
The kids are quiet, and I put the last of the dishes back in its place. I curl up on the couch, listening to the rain and wind, and I’m very thankful. Not only because we have shelter and provision, and I can help those who don’t. I’m thankful that God is with us, and His counsel brings peace.
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given… and he will be called Wonderful Counselor… Prince of Peace.” – Isaiah 9:6

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Overcoming Faith

Raising kids in a fallen world is no joke. Spiritual, emotional and physical dangers are everywhere. Moses’ parents experienced this reality in overwhelming circumstances. (Read the story in Exodus chapter 2.) They responded in faith, not fear. Using a basket, Moses' mother performed an inspired, peculiar act of faith, surrendering their child to God’s care. To human understanding, her actions seem very strange. Yet, through faith, she floated Moses precisely to his destiny.
Moses’ parents were blessed with a few more years with their precious son. After that, they had to give him up forever – into a heathen family, no less! I wonder if they ever thought, God, You saved our son for this?! I wonder if they glimpsed the historic magnitude of God’s plan for their son. I think they knew they were part of something big (they saw he was no ordinary child), but I’m sure, being human, they sometimes doubted. However, the lesson they show us is clear: To protect our children in the highest way, we must let go and surrender our lives and theirs to the will of God. Someday, we will fully understand what God has known all along.
This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.
1 John 5:4

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Privacy Policy

This privacy policy sets out how  Susanna’s Apron uses and protects any information that you give Susanna’s Apron when you use this website.
Susanna’s Apron is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected. Should we ask you to provide certain information by which you can be identified when using this website, then you can be assured that it will only be used in accordance with this privacy statement.
Susanna’s Apron may change this policy from time to time by updating this page. You should check this page from time to time to ensure that you are happy with any changes. This policy is effective from: September 2012

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