My Blog Thoughts

I came across this blog–titled “My Blog Thoughts” in my files–I wrote this over 3 years ago before I started my “Blog”.   I really liked it–it was a look into my heart and mind, and showed what God was putting in my heart and mind to do.  It shows that there are seasons to a person’s life, and I was aware that I was entering into another season of my life.  Anyway—Here is this blog–written over 3 years ago–I hope you enjoy it, and it encourages you.

I have told myself for some time that I would start writing, and today is the day, even if no one ever sees my writing, even if no one else ever cares.  I have wanted to write professionally for a long time.  I think I may have a gift for writing.  Many times, I write, and I wonder where the words came from—it’s as if they spring from my fingers to the page, my heart, not my head bringing them forth.

And I feel the same kind of awe that I experience when I hear a lovely song, or see a poignant picture.  I think artistic gifts awe me because I don’t intellectually understand them.  I don’t know how someone can compose a song, or paint a picture, or write a book.   (I can play the piano, but I can not compose).  I can draw a picture, but there is a big difference between my drawings and Leonardo de Vinci.    🙂

When we see or hear or read a master’s creation, there is a sense that we are seeing or hearing, or reading the work of God.  That the divine has reached down and touched us through this master.

(Now I am not claiming at all that I am a Master, far from it, but I do think that there is something spiritual about writing for me.  Because it is so clearly a gift—it would be as foolish for me to take credit for my writing, as it would to take credit for my blue eyes.)  However, there is also an element of work about writing—about practice—and having a voice and opinions and expressing them through writing.

That work of writing is what I need to see if I can do.  The day to day, I am going to write, I am going to practice, I am going to take one more step to the goal of becoming a professional writer.

I have been busy in the season of raising children, I’m still busy in that season, but that season will be coming to end before I know it, and the same voice that speaks through my fingers is also telling me to start a new season for my life—the season of being a writer.

So the big question—what do I write about?  What does this voice want me to express?  That too is easy—my life has been wrapped up into my children, and my husband, and I want to tell of what I’ve learned.  I want to tell you the value of letting my life be wrapped up in my family.  Not because my children are perfect, or are navigating life as God would want them to, nor because my marriage is perfect and we are living a fairy tale ending.  

No—because in spite of the results, (thus far), my family has been worth my life.  That is the bottom line—my family has been worth my life.  Just as God has deemed that I was worth dying for, and that you were worth dying for, my family has been worth my daily, sometimes moment by moment death to myself, as I have placed them over myself on a day by day basis.  (Have I done this perfectly?  No  In fact, if you talked to each of my children and husband, they could tell you, (if they were being honest), of all the ways I have failed to love them the way they wanted to be loved.

However, Love is not giving in to my child’s every whim.  Love is not being a doormat.  Love is not doing all the work in the home.  Love is not any of those things—it is about doing what is best for the other person—for their future character and development, for their ability to be prepared for their future life.  Therefore, my child may perceive that my actual loving act of requiring them to help with the dishes—to be an unloving act.  That’s ok.  As my mother used to say, “Someday, I’m going to have to stand before God and give an accounting for how I raised you.”  (I used to hate it when she said that, but that is true—I have to answer to God, and my child is not my God   )

There ends the thoughts from this blog–I think it is interesting that I said, God was moving me into the season of being a writer—because I now realize that when one becomes a parent, that parenting role will continue as long as I and my child are both alive.  However, it will change, and there will be an ability to do other things that before–because we chose to homeschool, I was not able to do. 

I am also well aware, that people will be tempted to look at my decisions about staying home with my children and homeschooling and think I am advocating these decisions for them. I am not–I am advocating that we all listen to God, step out in faith, and obey Him. It will look differently for each of us, according to the gifts, and faith God has given each of us.

Our God knows we are but dust, here today and gone tomorrow–and He has compassion on all us poor souls who take one step at a time, one day at a time–fumbling and making mistakes. Our God holds our hands, and He will not let us be hurled headlong on our path, but will keep picking us up. We have a good, good God who loves us beyond what we can think or imagine. He will not leave us alone in this calling of parenting, or whatever calling He has for us. He will never leave us or forsake us. So Be Encouraged!!

Julia’s Gift

For years and years and years, I have been hearing the Holy Spirit telling me to write.  “What do I write about?” I’ve asked.   This summer, God answered.  “Start a blog and encourage young women to love their husbands and their children.”   That is exactly what God commands older women to do in Titus 2— “Older women encourage the younger women to love their husbands and their children.”

So, this is my very first blog.  I am starting it to coincide with my daughter Julia’s birthday.  I am hoping she will see in a very clear way what God has done to let her know, He is with her, He loves her, and He won’t let her go, even when at times, it feels like He has.

6 years ago, on September 16th, 2013, my sixteen-year-old son, Sean James Stanton, was hit by a car when he was riding his bike.  (This story is not about Sean—that story is to come.)   Julia was 14 years old when her brother died.

Before her brother died, Julia was a happy, introverted, practical girl.  She had friends, she laughed, she was a calm and almost perfect little teenager. 

After her brother died, Julia suffered from depression, withdrew from others, became anxious.  Life was torture for her.  Life was torture for me watching her and her siblings suffer.

This blog is not about what we did in our own power to alleviate the suffering—this blog is about what God did—something we could not do on our own—to minister to Julia.

God gave Julia a gift—the gift of music.  

I had all my first four children take piano lessons.  Julia had piano lessons starting at 4 years of age—until she was nine or ten.  Then I got tired of throwing money away making my children take lessons on an instrument in which they had no interest.  

However, we inherited one of my husband’s Aunt’s violins.  The violin sat in Julia’s closet for years, until Julia opened the case when she was 15.  Julia asked to take violin lessons.  “If you try to learn how to play that violin on your own and practice faithfully for 6 months, you can take violin lessons,” I said.   Julia did just that—by watching YouTube.   She was faithful and persistent, and she showed her dad and I she really did want to learn how to play the violin.  God provided the most amazing teacher for Julia—a woman who was a beautifully talented violinist, but also someone who had been gifted by God in ways that helped Julia’s heart as well as trained Julia’s hands on the violin.

 Julia became obsessed, enthralled with the violin, but downcast and disheartened, because she could not play like she dreamed.  She thought because she started so late, she would not be able to make up ground.  She played, she practiced, she persevered.   And Julia has grown and grown and grown as a violinist.

Julia has also had amazing help along the way.  She has had wonderful teachers, participated in many orchestras, went to several music camps and this past year was taught by a professor of the violin.  This professor is a great violinist and a gifted teacher and a perfectionist, who is difficult to impress.

This professor told Julia and I just last week, “Julia will be a great violinist, if she keeps improving at the rate she has been.”

Words of encouragement by which to live. 

To me—this was a God thing—this is what only God could have done in Julia’s life—He gave her this gift to help comfort her, to give her a dream, and a reason to continue with life.   God knew just what she would need to come back into the land of the living.  (If any of you know anything about the violin—it usually takes 10 years to sound bad at the violin—Julia has been playing for 4 years, and she does not sound bad, she sounds glorious.)

From the time I saw Julia determined to play the violin, I began to see this was her gift from God.  She did not play well then, but I saw her passion.  And when she would complain that she did not start early enough, I would tell her that if this is what God had for her, she would catch up.

Now Julia is going to college to study the violin.  She has a full ride.  She is beginning her life in training for a career in music.  Julia has lost her brother, the brother who loved her and considered her, “mine” as he held her when he was 2 and she was a newborn. God knows her heartache, He knows her inside and out. He cares for her, and He cares for your children. He knows them inside and out.

So—be encouraged by this story—God is with you, He is with your children.  He will do things for them, that you can not do.  He has given them gifts, that only He can give. 

God will want you to listen to Him, to come along beside Him to help your children become who He made them to be.  Know that you will not be perfect in doing this, that you will need to depend on God for His strength and turn to God often for forgiveness.  

We know the God who created everything, and He loves us with an everlasting love.  We can trust Him.  He always keeps His Word.  So be encouraged!!