Saturday, September 19, 2015

From the Back to the Front

Here we are already in the middle of September.  I feel like I haven't been able to catch my breath since school started.  We have entered the school year full force.  High School is constant work.  I am leaving my Freshman early at school almost every other day just to stay on top of the challenging work load he decided to take this year.  I am glad he is challenging himself this year but I am being challenged as well.  Didn't I already make it through 4 years of HS?  My 5th grader loves school and always has.  Bo is quite the socialite so waking him for school is never an issue.  In fact the boy sets his alarm for way earlier than he needs to get up.  He has to make sure he doesn't miss a thing. 

Growing boys mean this mom also has to grow in her patience and understanding.  I am either a nagging mom asking if they have all their stuff put up.  Or I am the best mom because I washed a shirt at 9:00 at night because one forgot they needed it the next morning.  There is no in between.  Some days I get a load of information and other days I am lucky if I get two words from them.  I am always trying to find that fine line of teaching my boys to be sweet, caring, and compassionate and encouraging them to be strong, courageous, and confident at the same time.  Not a day goes by, that I don't question myself as a mom.

I seem to be on the road a lot these days.  There is the everyday commute to work and then the numerous trips down Eagle drive taking my boys to their activities.  And of course there are the random grocery stops for items I forgot to get on my last grocery store visit.  It is on the road where God has really been making some things clear to me.  Now that my boys are often in different places at the same time, only one is with me in the car at a time.  Four days a week Bo is with me on his own.  We have our normal get-to-practice routine.  I get his jug of water ready for practice and carry it to the car while he grabs his cleats, helmet and shoulder pads.  He piles everything into the back seat and buckles up.  Some days he is quiet and other days he talks my ear off.  I am reminded that I am still in control of his life.  I have the steering wheel.  I am the big person in charge in the front seat.  I am steering the direction of his life most days.  He sits back and enjoys the ride trusting that he is safe in that car with me.  He talks and I listen yet I still know that I am the mom and he is the kid.  The downfall to him being in the backseat is that I often find myself tuning him out.  I am easily distracted by what is ahead of me.  I can sometimes forget that he is back there watching what I am doing.  I get lost in the cares of this world.  What am I cooking for dinner?  What errand do I need to run next?  Conviction has overtaken me recently as I find myself asking him to repeat himself because I wasn't paying attention.  Hope, slow down!!!  He will only be in the backseat for a short period of time.  I can only control the direction he goes in for so long.  I need to remind myself that there is a precious boy behind me who one day will be taller than me and old enough to ride in the front seat.  I will no longer look at him through the rear view mirror.  He will be shoulder to shoulder with me soon enough.  Lord help me to embrace these days with my back seat passenger.  I pray that I steer him in the right direction, the direction that leads to you.  Help me to pay attention to every word he says because there is power in the words we speak.  May I never forget how important it is to lead by example and remember who is following behind me.

Every morning I get to take Christian to school.  Man where did the time go?  He was once in that back seat.  But now this young man with a deep voice is sitting right next to me.  Some mornings are easier than others.  Some mornings I get asked for advice and other mornings I am the mom who obviously knows nothing about life.  I mean seriously, those of you know me know that I have been dancing since I was in diapers.  I am not good at a lot of things but I have some skills on the dance floor.  But I was told that I don't do the whip or the nae nae correctly. My dance moves may have been good for my day but things have changed.  Really?  He is lucky I still let him ride in the car.  So here is this teenager fighting for control at times by changing my favorite song on the radio.  Excuse me, but this is my car.  Go back to the backseat!  But no, there he is right next to me.  It is in those moments, that I get to see his profile.  I get to see how handsome he is and how he looks and acts so much like the love of my life.  I still have control of the steering wheel but he constantly interjects with his opinions of my driving.  Mom why are you waving at that car?  Mom why didn't you go?  Mom, why did you say thank you out loud to that driver?  They can't hear you.  You see even though I still have the keys and I am still driving, he now has an opinion.  He is becoming his own person.  He can now see what is ahead.  Sometimes I still find myself putting my arm on top of his chest if I make a hard stop.  When I can see danger ahead I still want to protect him.  I still want to shelter him.  I can only pray that the Lord shows me when to grasp that steering wheel with tight gripped hands and when to let off some slack.  Lord help me to embrace the days where he is right next to me because soon he will be driving.  He will have to see what is ahead and make a judgement call.  I pray that he sometimes asks "What would mom or Dad do?" I pray he knows which ways to turn, when to put on the gas, and when to slow down.  Lord guide his path.

Like many of you, I pray for my kids each day.  I pray for their friends too.  Because I want the kids who surround mine to love God.  I want them to be game changers and leaders.  Psalm 91:11 is a scripture I always pray over them.  I want God to command his angels concerning them.  I want them to be covered from the right to the left and from the back to the front.  I can say some serious momma prayers when it comes to my kids and your kids.  I can't lie though, there are days when I doubt and ask for forgiveness for it too.  It seemed the more I prayed for others the more bad things kept happening to my own kid.  We had our year of injury last year with Christian having to have pinky surgery.  We got through that and I was thankful for life lessons we learned through that time.  So honestly I thought we would go into this year fresh and totally prepared.  Then the tough schedule kicked us in the rear and three games into football Christian ends up with a mild concussion.  So yes, this prayer warrior momma did what every momma does.  I had a good cry.  Why is it that I can pray faithfully and am confident that God will hear me, yet mine gets knocked down again?  He has to be still and wait again.  Tell me there has to be a reason.  The truth is, I have boys who choose to play sports and injuries happen in sports.  Accidents will happen.  Adversities will come.  But God is God Almighty.  He sees the bigger picture.  He looks through the windshield and sees what is ahead.  He knows when to step on the gas pedal and He knows when the brakes need to be tapped.  I can picture it in my head.  He was there all along.  He saw what was coming and like the scripture says, He gave his angels charge over my son.  As I sat there waiting for my son to get up from the impact, I closed my eyes and prayed.  Some of my friends put their hands on me as a reassurance that I was not alone.  I spoke God's promise that my kids would be taken care of and that Christian would get up.  You see though my fear may overwhelm me, I know that God is peace.  Be still my heart.  There will always be consequences to our choices and sometimes we share in the consequences of others choices.  No matter the situation, I know God equips us with all that we need to get through anything in this life.

I will never understand why certain things happen.  Why does my mom struggle with her health so much?  Why does my friend have to battle cancer?  Why does a mom have to watch her son spend months in a hospital?  Why do innocent people have to die?  My lack of understanding doesn't change who God is.  His path is the one I choose to follow.  I picture the scene from the Grinch movie when the Grinch steals all the toys and is rejoicing in what he thought was his success of destroying the spirit of the Who people.  They were beyond devastated but in a distance the Grinch hears the rising of their Christmas spirit and the song coming from their mouths.  He shouts "They're relentless!"  This is exactly how I feel.  Life will always have its challenges.  Some will knock you down harder than others.  But I will make a joyful noise because the joy of the Lord is my strength.  I will be relentless.  I will keep singing of His love forever and I will continue to teach my kids to sing also.  God is lighting our path.  He has given me all the wisdom I need to be a good driver for my kids.  Whether they are riding in the front or the back, they are covered by one mightier than me.  Lord, thank you for surrounding my kids on all sides.

Here I am to worship