Monday, June 8, 2009

My child is growing up...

My son graduated from 5th grade last week, so starting next year he will join the big bad hormone-infested, awkward world known as Middle School. This year has been quite the eye opener for me. He's been showing signs of "growing up" for a while, but it really hit home this year. I know my kid is growing up...

1.) My son has actually start caring about his appearance. This happened to us the day of his graduation. My son has never cared about his appearance. I can barely get the child to brush his teeth, much less care about whether or not his clothes match. I started letting him pick out his own clothes this year, and as much as it pains me to watch him go to school with mix-matched clothes, I have to let him make these fashion mistakes. But, he actually told his dad he wasn't comfortable wearing brown shoes with black pants (he picked this out himself) and wanted to make sure he looked 'nice' for his graduation. I can only assume he wanted to look 'nice' for a certain girl he's had a crush on all year. He also told his dad he thought he (his dad) should wear the same outfit he wore to church Sunday because it looked good on him.

2.) He is no longer required to go to the "kid check in" booths at church because he is now part of the phenomenon known as "youth" and is no longer referred to as a "kid". He can now check himself in without the help of mom and dad and aren't required to wearing the name tags that end up on the floor board of the car.

3.) Yesterday a song from early 2000's came on the radio and my son referred to it as "Old School". I didn't think it was possible for an 11 year old to think anything was "Old School".

4.) Last Sunday he received a Teen Bible from church as a "moving up" gift that has no cartoon depictions of smiling pictures of Jesus, no Noah and the ark pictures, no strategically placed leaf covered pictures of Adam and Eve. Instead there is a list of "60 of Satans Favorite Lies", which include discussions on the true definition of sex, pornography, and dating. Naturally as a curious pre-pubesant 11 year old boy, this lead to some uncomfortable conversations. Luckily because I'm the mother of a boy, I get to refer most of these questions to Dad.

5.) His new favorite shows are those that come on CBS, NBC, and ABC and not PBS, Cartoon Network, and Nickelodeon. My son's favorite show is "Lie to Me"...he now wants to be a body language expert when he grows up. Just last year he wanted to be a superhero.

6.) Helping with homework now involves some research on the internet. And I'm not talking about my son doing the research. It's me, trying to figure out how to help him figure out certain assignments. It's a pretty humbling experience to have to tell your child "I'll help you in a little bit", and spend that next "little bit" feverishly researching how to do certain things.

7.) He has recently start paying attention to my driving and just yesterday told me that "it isn't safe to text and drive". He only noticed because he's now old enough to sit in the front seat.

8.) My son tells me almost everyday "Mom I'm almost taller than you".

I am proud of my son. His teacher told us that he is the bright spot in her day. And he really is a great kid. (not that I'm biased or anything) I get all "mom" sometimes and worry about him. I worry that he is about to be in middle school and the things he will encounter there. I worry that puberty is setting in and girls won't have cooties anymore, and instead he will start noticing other things that rhyme with "cooties". I worry about the mistakes he will make. I worry about how I will react to him having his first girlfriend. But I know that if I turn my worries and my son over to the protection of Christ he will be ok. And I will tell him...

"My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity. Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine. My son, do not despise the LORD's discipline and do not resent his rebuke,
because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in. "

Proverbs 3:1-12

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Flying Builds Faith

I recently went to Oregon for a week on a business trip. This was the first time I have ever flown any significant distance. As I got ready to board the plane, my husband called me and prayed for my flight. It eased my anxiety...until I sat down in the plane. Now, my husband had warned me about what would happen once the engines started and the plane actually started moving. His advice...pray. I did more than just pray...I chatted with Jesus, actually I did a lot more pleading and He just patiently listened. As the plane started moving at speeds no human should really ever go, all prayers ceased, and panic set it. I realized I was in a situation that I was completely out of control of and the thought of my life being in the hands of some pilot I didn't know put the fear of God in me. So, like a rookie traveler, I actually teared up a little. (I refuse to admit I actually cried) Once the plane actually left the ground I realized something. My life wasn't in the hands of the human pilot at all, it was in the hands of the Holy Pilot, Jesus. My husband told me that flying builds faith, and he was absolutely right. Flying is not something I have done frequently, nor do I plan to, but it is another situation like everything else in life that we have zero control over. The one thing in life that we can always control is our faith. Even if we lack faith, we have control over praying to Jesus to help us with our unbelief. So, as I sat there in the plane, a peace overcame me. I was like the father that doubted Jesus with his son. I was concerned that I might not make it back home. I began praying, "...I do believe! Help overcome my unbelief!" And instead of feeling fear, I had faith that God would keep me safe.

"...Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not. O unbelieving generation," Jesus replied, "how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me. So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth. Jesus asked the boy's father, "How long has he been like this? From childhood," he answered. It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us. 'If you can'?" said Jesus. "Everything is possible for him who believes." Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!" Mark 9:17-24