Change – Oh! What a difference 9 months can make!

1150610_10153099280955487_1585285912_o Oh what a difference 9 months can make!  As we come to the close of our only daughters first year of college, it has been exciting to see the joy on her face; to witness her eagerness to get back to the college after a weekend at home; to hear her tell about the fun times she is experiencing at the college, hanging out with her friends, and talk about her favorite teacher and how awesome he is! It makes a momma’s heart feel good to know her baby is happy and enjoying her life. In fact this last few days of school, all I have heard from her is ” I wish I could go to school all summer!”

But if we could hit the rewind button to just 9 months ago, we would see a scared young teenage girl on her parents couch, crying her eyes out because she wanted to stay at home. She stomped and snorted and even called her big brother, all to try to convince us that college was NOT the right place for her!  As hard as it was for us to see her miserable for that time, we as her parents knew it WAS the right place for her to be. Did we want to tell her to come on home and stay in her bedroom and never leave again? You bet we did! But we knew that was not the best thing for her. We knew that she couldn’t live the rest of her life shut up in her bedroom; that she couldn’t be at home with mom and dad forever. As much as we would love to keep her at the age she is now and have nothing ever change, we know that isn’t reality or what God wants.

Reality is – things change. Reality is – God expects us to grow up! Reality is – if we never change we never grow! Reality is – change is sometimes hard!

We know that a piece of coal becomes a diamond under pressure. A pearl is made by the irritation of rubbing up against a piece of sand.

What makes us think we can grow without some kind of pressure or irritation in our life? But we have to choose. We can choose to stay the course, and walk through the pressure that is placed before us, or we can choose to walk away from the pressure, go back to our bedroom, pull the covers over our heads and let the world go by us while we sit in the pit we have always been in. It is our choice!

This year as we have watched Amy grow and mature, it has been a joy to see her take on more responsibilities and excel in her studies. Has it all been easy? Absolutely NOT!! But is she now a stronger more mature person because of it? You bet she is!! Is she better for it? ABSOLUTELY!! Are we glad we forced her to stay and finish the course? Yes we are, even though we now see her taking the next steps that will eventually lead her out of our home for good. It brings us mixed emotions, but in our hearts we know that this is the best thing for her. So, we choose to give up our desire to see her be our baby for the rest of her life, and encourage her to grow and be all that God wants her to be.

If you are facing something that makes you feel like going back home and pulling the covers over your head, just remember: growth doesn’t happen inside your comfort zone. Some of God’s most expensive jewels are created under pressure.

God’s Word promises that if we will not get weary in well doing, we WILL reap a harvest! Before we know it, 9 short months later, we will be looking back and everything will be totally different! We will know that without us keeping on, with God, we would not have made it, and we will be able to say “Oh, what a difference 9 months makes!”  Praise Be To God!!

I Was Just Thinking…..

976437_10152857233020487_67834993_o           I remember when my oldest son was only about 2 or 3 yrs old, I had one of those moments where it hit me he was just growing up to fast. So, as I held him lovingly in my arms I told him (as any good mother would.) ” Lee mommy wants you to stop growing up, you are getting to big” As he squirmed out of my arms to get back to playing with his toys he complied and said “OK Mommy” I went back to what I was doing satisfied that at least for a a second I time had stood still. It was only a few minutes later he came to me with the most serious face and said “Mommy can I please grow up, can I please???” I consented and gave my approval, as if either of us could stop him.

That memory has repeated it’s self in my mind several times over the last few months as our family prepares to face some major milestones in our lives. Our oldest is getting married, and our daughter is graduating high school, and my baby is turning 16 and learning to drive. All in the matter or of about 60 days.

Oh! how I have wished I could stop them from growing up!! I don’t know why, I am thrilled at my son’s choice for his new wife, I love my daughter and the woman she has become, and Chad is an amazing young man that is going to do great things for God and is probably a better driver than either of the other two. I, the woman who’s mantra as been ” I didn’t raise them to keep them!” has been a ball of emotion. (just keep the tissue coming) LOL!!

In all of this I have been thinking, I wonder what God thinks about his children growing up? Not physically I mean, but spiritually. I have a feeling His reaction is quite different from mine. I believe He is jumping for joy has His children grow spiritually. I think He shouts and cheers like a parent in the stands at a sporting event when their child makes a point for the team. I think His chest swells with pride when we show kindness to a stranger or chooses to give of themselves and finances to others. I am confident that He counts the time as precious when we take the time to spend with Him in His word.

I guess the bigger questions is how are we growing? You know, when a person first finds Christ I have heard them called a baby Christians. But to often I have seen them stay right there and never grow. Unlike, my children as Christians it IS up to us if we grow or not spiritually. Depending on what we do, growing as a Christian is as simple as developing any relationship, it is with time. Whether you are stuck as Baby Christian, Adolescent Christian, or maybe you’re in your rebellious teenage years as a Christian. We should never stop growing in Christ.

We need to stay relevant to those around us and with a passion that compares to nothing else, we need to follow after God.

Because the reality is, there is a cheering section watching over us from heaven waiting for us to make the next point for the team. We have a heavenly father that can’t wait to spend time with us and brags about us, Because He is so crazy in love with us. Like us as earthly parents His chest swells with pride, when He sees us do what He has called us to do. He loves us so much that His heart breaks when we ignore Him, or feels we can do this thing called life, without him.

So today I want to encourage you, be His child, Make one for the team! Make your heavenly Father proud today. Because He can’t wait for you to grow up and the beautiful thing is, we never get old in Christ, we never get to a point we have reached it. We are always growing in Him if we choose and in that He is very pleased!