Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Expectations vs relocation part 2

I promise this won't be like a preacher with those 110 lesson sermon series, (sorry if you are reading this and you are a preacher or married to a preacher or whatever), but I have been thinking -again. Yes, thinking is dangerous for me, and when I think then I have to get those thoughts out... so for those of you who check and see if I have posted anything - today is your lucky day. Part 2 of relocation has to do with the behavior of my children. I expected there to be some change of behavior. I expected that this whole relocation thing from house to middle floor apartment would be a parenting challange. I expected a change in my behavior challanged children (and there are several of them). But I was not prepared for the vast difference of my expectations and what is actually occurring. I wonder some days how many times I have said... stop running in the apartment. I wonder some days how many times I have said... stop jumping and crashing on the floor. I wonder some days if the hitting, punching, kicking, yelling, biting, total lack of respect is a part of relocation and emotions running high due to the change of location and friends etc... or if my kids have just lost their "everlovin" minds. I mean I knew after struggling for years in our marriage, that the stress that my kids were under due to the fact that their parents weren't on the same page in their parenting styles, was intense, but throw in relocating and WOW! I was not prepared for the level of yuck that comes out of their mouths. They yell at each other with such hatred in their voices. Mason, yells at Cooper who yells at Jaxon who in turn yells at Zoe. Cooper yells if anyone comes remotely close to him or in the same room (some days). Mason can't stand to be near the two little kids. Jaxon has developed this scream yell that makes our skins crawl when he does it. He also stands there and just looks at you when you tell him to do something as if to say... I hear the words that you are speaking but there is no way I am going to do what you are telling me to do unless you use some sort of force. And oh the eye rolling and door slamming!! Maybe I am just more concerned about the noise that they are making because we have neighbors both above and below us. And maybe this is normal for a move- whatever it is - in the words of Barnie Fife "we have to nip it in the bud!" "Nip it, nip it, nip it!" Sunday's lesson challanged me to examine my prayer life. Not how much I pray (because I have an ongoing conversation with God that really never has an amen to it), but more so a how I pray. Mr. Chris spoke of The Lord's Prayer and reminded us that is was not spoken of as "these are the words your should pray", but more "these words are {{how}} you pray." (Substance over style if you will) Chris reminded us that prayer is not about our performance- big fancy words etc... it is about a relationship with God. Prayer is not about informing God of what our needs or wants are (because He already knows) but about drawing together with God. Any time you have a conversation with someone especially someone you admire, love, respect - doesn't a conversation with them bring you closer together. ( umm I added that thought- and I'll add another) You know when you have a friend that knows you so well that they can almost complete a thought before you do. A friend who when they see something they know would make you laugh even if you are miles and miles away... they laugh too and call, text or facebook you to laugh at you, with you, or about you and something you did or said at some point and time. You don't have to inform them about you, they already know you or they wouldn't be trying to communicate with you. God is that way with us. He just wants to know that we see Him, are reminded of Him etc... and want to communicate with Him. {{Chris, sorry if you are reading this I hope you are not offended that I added some thoughts}} Chris also said that it is not about asking God to align His resources with what we want, but aligning our hearts and our resources with His will. We have to pray that things be "on earth as it is in Heaven." The question came up how do we do that? Hang with me I am almost to my point and will tie it in to the relocation part I promise. (told you I had been thinking) We have to get to know God in order to be able to pray and to do that we must go to The Bible... to scripture, to the life of Jesus and see what He said and did, to Heaven (thinking about it and reading about it (imagining what it is like and what it would be like to have Heaven on earth) and going of course to The Lord's Prayer. The phrase within The Lord's prayer "on earth as it is in Heaven" helps us to align our hearts with God... being bold and believing enough that it is possible that we could have Heaven here on earth is possible. Chris talked about the prhrase "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done". God's kingdom is His realm... it is where He is. His will- is His "strong desire". So if we are praying for God's will to be done then what are we praying for? Aren't we praying for God's strongest desire be wherever He is? Isn't God right here with us at all times... here on earth?! All I could think of was the peace that comes to mind when I think of Heaven. Heaven will be peace. In Heaven, there are no tornados, there are no earthquakes, there are no hurricanes, there are no addictions, there is no lonliness, there is no cancer (no breast cancer!), there is no crying, yelling, hitting, punching, disrespect, slamming of doors, complaining etc... there is just peace. If I want the peace that I think of in Heaven here on earth- I have to ask for it! I have to believe it will happen. But if my heart isn't into it or if my heart doesn't really believe it I must align my heart with the will of God our Father. If what comes out of our mouths that which is in our hearts then (and oh dear gussy, this is where I was convicted) what is in my heart. I have to be the one who patterns for my children what is in my heart and if I can't wrap my heart and {{brain}} for that matter around the relocation because somehow I allow the moving and God to stay separate in my heart - how can I expect my children to adjust? Did I just hear some of you whisper "finally she got to the point- LOL!" So... I change my heart's expectations and I begin to look for God and praying for His Will to be done at this time in our lives. If I am going to find peace, I have to be peaceful... I have to lay out my expectations for the kids in a peaceful clear way, just as Our Father laid out his expectations of our prayers. I can pray for God's will to "reign" in our hectic relocation apartment. I can pray for that peace... I can find places to go to find the resources that God has placed out there that align my heart with Him. Resources that allow Him to be the center of our home in all that we say and do. Resources that align our parenting practices with His will. To that end I found this fabulous website: Compassionate Support Christ Centered Hope. It is a website that has some amazing resources from parents who have "issues" (as we call them in our house- ADHD, depression, etc...), and for parents who have kids with "issues", but it goes beyond that. Your challanges for today... take a look at that website, and think about how you are praying. I think I have found a way to adjust my expectations and it had to come from crying out, "Father, on earth as it is in Heaven!" Thank you Mr. Chris for your timely words and God bless each of you... especially the ones who made it to the end of this post! Love you!