My devotion this morning talked all about trusting God when your life seems out of control. I realized that I get many opportunities to trust God every day because my life very often seems out of control. Out of my control anyway. Things are not at all how I pictured them to be at this stage of my life. I think that's a testament to God's sense of humor. I had it all figured out in my mind. By now, I would be just a couple of years away from an empty nest; more travel opportunities with my husband, more time to study and write, a slower and more comfortable pace of life overall. That's how it was for my grandparents, so that's how I expected it would be for me. Ha! God had completely different plans.
Four years ago this month, my husband and I (then in our late, late 40's) were looking at an empty nest just a short 6-years away. We were already getting a taste of independence since the boys were older. We had a freshman in high school, a middle-schooler.....and the opportunity to adopt our then 2-year old granddaughter. There was no way we could let her go to strangers so I became a MOP again at the age of 49. Today, at the age of 53, I run a household full of kids. Our high school freshman is now a college sophomore and lives at home. Our middle-schooler is now a junior in high school, and I am homeschooling our now 6-year old granddaughter/daughter. Oh! Did I mention that none of these kids drive? The empty nest is now more like 12-years away when I will be 65. That's pretty close to retirement age, right? I'm not holding my breath on the whole retirement thing. I've been a front-line mom for over 30-years (I also have a 32-year old daughter, and a 25-year old daughter). I'm beginning to think it's God's call on my life and I'm wondering if there will be more children to come. I wouldn't be surprised.
I love my children with all my heart and they ARE my ministry. There are times, however, when it all seems way out of control. The demands on me far exceed my energy level at times (a lot of the time) and my stress level goes through the roof. I dream of peace and order; a clean kitchen and a living room devoid of cardboard boxes that have been turned into colorfully decorated "houses". My perfect day would be one in which I would actually get through my entire "to-do" list without interruption or getting sidetracked. I've gotten to the point where I don't even bother with a "to-do" list anymore. I rarely get to cross off even one thing! The experience of already having raised several children tells me that one day I will miss the chaos and clutter of young children and teenagers. It's this experience that allows me to cherish the crayon drawings and high school text books scattered everywhere at the same time that I'm lamenting their existence. It's an odd sort of paradox that I live in and some days I cherish the evidence of my lifestyle more than others. What I think it all comes down to for me is exactly what my devotion was speaking of - trusting God when your life seems out of control.
it's true that my life is not what I imagined it would be by the time I was slightly past middle-age. In fact, it's almost completely the opposite. It's also true that my 50-something, arthritic body often has to perform the tasks of a 30-something (neither easy nor painless). It is also true that God is trustworthy and He knew exactly where I would be today before I was even born. "For I know the I have for you,” says the L. “They are for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."-Jeremiah 29:11 The circumstances of my life cause me to rely heavily on God. There are countless moments in the day when I look to Him for strength, patience, and joy. I remind myself that I trust Him and that His Presence is with me. "But I trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me." - Psalm 13:5 There's a saying that goes like this: "If God has called you to it, He will see you through it." He has and He does - every moment of every day. My children are a blessing and I know that even in the midst of any chaos that occurs. I also know that I am a very blessed woman to have such children as well as a wonderful and helpful husband. I may not have all the time I would like to write or pursue other interests, but one day I may, and if not then it wasn't really important for me to do so. Apparently, what's important for me to do right now is to continue raising up soldiers for the Lord and to serve my husband at home. I thank God for the privilege of doing so. I thank Him for the times that strengthen my patience, and I thank Him that I get to lean on Him so heavily and walk so closely with Him. "And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ". -Ephesians 5:20 I could not do any of what I do without Him. I choose to trust Him when my life is running smoothly and when it seems completely out of control. I thank Him for it all because it all has a purpose whether I see it or not. Trusting Him and being thankful brings peace and I need all the peace I can get!