New Life

"What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls a butterfly." Richard Bach

Monday, June 20, 2011

No Complaints

"Do all things without complaining and disputing," Philippians 2:14 (NKJV)

It is a natural human response.  I mean, when a surfboard rips through waves and hits you square on the forehead (narrowly missing your nine year old and other little ones in the water), causes a 3/4 inch gash and 4 stitches just above your eye.  This, all on your first day on the beach........

Wouldn't you complain?    Maybe just a little?

I admit, I would have been a bit bitter.

We quickly piled gear, towels, boogie boards, frightened children, and SAND into our minivans barely making the time to pull off dripping wet, sticky, sandy bathing suits before rushing to the Medical Center.  My friend was cracking jokes as we hurriedly grabbed something dry to put on.  The first joke I remember was something about wearing a red shirt to match the blood (you had to be there).  I was amazed.  Her laughter was contagious.

In the Doctor's office, while the Doctor pulled stitches, his tweezers dropped the thread and he said, "Oops."  She had a field day with that one.  After all that isn't something you want to hear your doctor say as he is stitching up your face.  I know that doctor got a kick out of her, and maybe he saw a little bit of Jesus too.

(We homeschool and I had to document all of this.)

Don't get me wrong.  It was no day at the beach.  (Pun intended.)  She couldn't get in the ocean for the remainder of the trip, she had discomfort, her eye turned black (and blue, red, and yellow; not necessarily in that order) and it was awkward sleeping.  But her mention of the results of the accident (which were few), were a statement of fact, not a complaint.  She didn't let it stop her from seeing the good in everything.

My friend's attitude was a great object lesson for my kids.  They were truly amazed at her disposition.  It was an even greater one for me.  It changed my perspective.   I want to be more like her when I grow up

She is beautiful...stitches and all.

Laughter really is the best medicine.
Complaining accomplishes nothing. 
There is no gratitude in a complaint.
Complaining shows unbelief in knowing,    “...all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” Romans 8:28

#964.  No Complaints.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The front row

We sat in the front row at church this morning.  It wasn't by choice.  We aren't 'back row Baptists' or anything, we just usually stay around the middle; to the left, actually.

But this morning we had were blessed to sit up front.  There was a combined worship service to vote on a new pastor, it was Graduation Sunday, and it was packed.  So we looked around and no other seats were available.  It felt like we were sitting in someone else's seat.

Interestingly, though, as I sat down on the front row and started looking around,  the flowers seemed just a bit more vibrant up close.  They were beautiful; goldish yellow calla lilies purposely placed on a black cloth.  After a few moments, I could see the black and gold theme for graduation and the effort someone took to put it together.   I don't think I would have noticed or appreciated that if we hadn't sat in the front row.

Even the lights seemed brighter, the speakers more clear, and the whole service...well, more intense.  Granted, there was excitement in the air as we anticipated hearing the man who is to become our new, dearly searched for pastor.  It is like a new beginning in our church, a new chapter, and we had a front row seat.

As the graduates of 2011 walked down the aisle, a picture show revealed their progression from babies to young adults to graduates.  Our youth pastor spoke to them, quoted scripture, and got choked up..... which got me choked up.  And from the front row, I could see his tears glistening as he hastily wiped them away. 

I started thinking about my own 'graduates'.  Now, because we homeschool, the experience is a bit different from traditionally public or private schooled kids. 

However, my eighth grader has just 'graduated' from 'middle school' and will be in 'high school' this fall.
(It seems like it was just yesterday I was kissing her 'bee-owies'.)

My 5th grader has just 'graduated' from 'grammar school' and will be going into 'middle school'.
 (She is my snuggler and just barely fits in my lap now.)

And my littlest just 'graduated' from 'pre-school' and will start 'Kindergarten' this September.
 (Honestly, I just gave birth to her....she can't be nearly five already...)

We even had a Homeschool Award Ceremony last month.

Time is going by at warp speed.  There are so many things I still want to share with my girls, things I want to tell them and show them, do with them, and teach them. 

  "“Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.  You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up."  Deuteronomy 11:18-19 (NKJV)

So many things I am still learning too.

I can only imagine how those mommas felt watching their own babies children in the same pictures I watched up on that screen.

As a homeschool mom, I have a front row seat.    And time is going by quickly.  Too quickly.

I don't want to miss a thing.

And I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Today, I am grateful for the front row.