Struggling. Its hard to explain why, but I've been struggling lately in some of my relationships. I was never really trained on letting people go. I'm not talking about my Mom, or my Sisters, but there are those other kinds of really deep, important relationships that form over time and then suddenly I realize its been two years since we've seen each other...and I struggle with that. I feel a little guilt, but mostly a sense of loss. I'm not sure what to do, should I write? Call? Invite? Do nothing? So I talked to Dave about it, and he gave me a great insight. He shared about how some friends are like birds who have taken flight, and you can feel great that you were part of their journey. (by the way, let's agree to leave all those bird-dropping analogies out of this one, okay?) Yeah, birds who take flight...that's a good way to describe some of my friends. Especially those young college-age people that I've gotten to know over the years. I miss them, I love them, occasionally I pray for them. Fly little birdies, fly!
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Saturday, April 07, 2007
I was a little surprised when T.Michael's Sunday School teacher asked to speak with me. Even though Nancy is a friend of mine, I got that "oh no, I'm in trouble" feeling. This is new to me. As a kid I rarely got into trouble.
"If you don't want T.Michael to participate in the story or the craft during class, I would appreciate it if you would let me know in person."
Huh? What was she talking about? Then it dawned on me. This brilliant son of mine came up with the idea to convince his teacher that doing things his own way -- that not participating -- was actually my idea. Turns out this wasn't the first time this occurred. Hmmm. (so, what else is going on I don't know about?)
Okay, just to reassure you that I don't totally spoil my kids (although I do reserve that right!) I did have some "instructional time" where we discussed honesty and integrity, and he did apologize to his teacher...but deep in my heart I smiled. I never would have thought of that. I mean not even in my wildest dreams would I have even thought of his plan to get out of stuff. As much as it makes me a little nervous for what is yet to come, I can't help but appreciate the creativity. And the nerve. I love the genius of it all!
Of course I can't tell him that. Not yet anyway. I'll wait 'til he's dealing with his own little brilliant six-year old!
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
The canvas: our fence
The artists: one or many teenagers
The painting: commonly known as "my territory"
The police tell us this lovely painting is a claim made by the local girl-gang (specifically girls from or somehow related to Mexico) marking their territory, which suddenly appears to be our entire neighborhood.
Neighbors are outraged. Some are moving. We just keep covering it up -- this is the 3rd painting we've received in a month. We feel called to live here. We love our neighbors. We love being so close to our church. We love being so close to the school. And we know this is really God's territory.
Hmmm. It all reminds me of the not-so-good days when I was part of a "Mexican girl gang." But Jen, you might say, you're not even from Mexico. Well, good point. But when I was in high school I lived in some apartments where I was a minority and just by association I was in the gang. I never joined the gang, but I still had to get out of it. It is a long, difficult story that I can tell you about in person some day...but for now, the important thing is that when these young people "signed" our fence, they unknowingly stirred up the heavenly realms...because now they're being prayed for!
Now, every time I have to clean or paint or turn a fence-slat around, I pray to the real and living God for these young people...and I can pray like someone who's "been there." I can pray for things like their heart, their life, their identity, their future, their self-image, their concept of authority, their fear of others, giving in to peer pressure, etc, etc... I may be angry and frustrated, but God loves them, and obviously wants them covered in prayer.