Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I love you broken...

I have a beautiful, nearly 11 year old daughter, who is all too often a reflection of myself.  She is a perfectionist, tough and sweet...she's got some grit to her, too.  But, I have said before and I am sure I will say again that so many times when we look at the behaviors of our children (both good and bad), if we don't allow pride to stand in the way, the behaviors can be traced back to us.  OUCH!  Over the past few weeks, my oldest has been struggling in her heart.  I can see it...I'm her mother.  There was a time not so long ago that my heart pushed the blood through her body....she is part of me.  So, as I have so often said to her, I can see what's going on inside her.  It was part of my job requirement when I applied.  I had been trying my best to patiently sit on the sidelines and be a cheerleader, letting her pray and sort this all out.  I tried to use some of my old high school chants, you know the ones...."We're number 1, you're number 2, we're gonna beat the whoopie out of you!"  oh, wait, that's not the one.  Anywho, then my patience became more tired and I realized that it was time for an all out intervention.  So, I gave her a thorough rebuking (please note that I don't use that word on a daily basis, nor a weekly, alright I have NEVER used it to describe disciplining my children but this time it was needed).  It was a moment we shared, in my tiny kitchen, that I hope I never forget.  To be honest, I can't even remember what the final straw was that day.  It may have been her ugliness towards her brother or sister or the incessant bossing nature or maybe it was a huff of breath with a face that looked like she had been treated unfairly.  None-the-less, what I do remember is that after truly rebuking her I could see her heart hardened and she shut down.  I took a deep breath and told her that I was going to be quiet and let her explain to me what she was feeling in her heart.  It took her a few minutes to soften and the words and tears started to flow.  I can't begin to explain nor am I willing to share her deepest heart secrets....we all have them and it's our choice whom we share those with.  But, what I am going to share is the words the Lord allowed me to share with her....

Each of us is broken.  The brokenness can sometimes hurt others, but all of the time it hurts us and our relationship with the Lord.  And, it is only when we come to Him in prayer, forgiveness and weakness that He can heal us.  I then explained to her it was like breaking a bone.  Initially, it was extremely weak.  But, when healed, it makes that point of the bone stronger than the rest.  So, when we are broken in a certain area of our life, truly broken, and we ask the Lord to hold an intervention, He will heal us....stronger than we ever were before.  And, in those times when we feel broken, it is then that we truly get a glimpse of our relationship with God.  It is easy to sing praises to Him when all is right in our world, but what do we do when things aren't going as planned?  Do we turn to Him and cry out for His help.  He is waiting....

From all of this, I learned that not only was she broken but that she needed to understand that I, too, am an imperfect broken girl, who is blessed by God to be her mother....her perfectly, imperfect mother that He is using for His plans and purposes.  And, that she can see that as a Christian, you never "arrive" here on earth.  I want her heart to truly understand that I fail everyday.  It's not about not failing or how many times you fail.  It's about what you do when you do fail.

So this post serves as a reminder to me for the rest of my life (isn't it cool how blogs, put a date and time stamp on a post), that on that day, in my tiny little kitchen, I shared a moment with my daughter that ended with tears, I tight hug and the soft words, "I love you broken"....


The Jesse Tree

This is a post from my first blog two years ago (sorry if it doesn't come through quite right....click on 'post' to read the original).  There are so many Christmas traditions that I grew up with that I am now learning are not at all steeped in the true meaning of this special time of year.  So, this year, my heart is searching the scriptures trying to only hold on to the traditions that will teach my children what this season is truly about....

OK – So, if you have read any of the other posts you will know that I am an overachiever.  Like chemicals, you should really be careful what you mix "overachieverism" (is that a word?) with.  It is highly reactive with crafting of any sorts…sewing, crocheting, stamping and I just learned….needlepoint.    Last year, my dear friend, Mrs. P, at Homemadeatthefarm,  introduced me to the concept of the Jesse tree.  I didn’t manage to get it done last year, but this year I crafted all our ornaments.  And, although we’re running a bit behind, we will be catching up in the next few days.   
Like recipes that I cook, I of course couldn’t stick with the original scripture plan that Mrs. P gave me.  I had to "tweak" it to my own.  So, this is what I came up with after combining many different plans:
Intro to Jesse Tree
Isaiah 11:1-10
Stump wi/shoot
Gen 1:1-31; 2:1-4
Fall of Man
Gen 2:4 – 3:24
Noah & the Flood
Gen 6:11-22; 7:17-8:12; 20:9-17
Tower of Babel
Gen 11:1-9
Tower w/ cloud
Abraham & the Promise
Gen 12:1-7; 15: 1-6
Dark cloud w/ stars
Isaac & the Offering
Gen 22:1-19
Bundle of sticks
Gen 27:41-28:22
Gen 37; 39:1-23; 50:15-21
Exodus 2:1-4z;20
Burning bush
Exodus 12:1-14:31
Ten Commandments
Exodus 12:1 – 20:20
Joshua 1:1-11; 6:1-20
Shofar (Ram’s horn)
1 Sam 3:1-21, 7:1 – 8:22, 9:15 – 10:9
Oil Lamp
1 Samuel 16:1 -13
1 Sam 16:1-23; 17:1-58; 2 Sam 5:1-5; 7:1-17
1 Kings 3:5-14, 16-28
1 Kings 17:1-16; 18:17-46
Isa 1:10-20; 6:1-13; 8:11-9:7
Jer 1:4-10; 2:4-13: 7:1-15;8:13,8:22- 9:1-11
Wheat stalks
Hab 1:1-2:1, 3:16-19
Neh 1:1-2:8; 6:15-16; 13:10-22
Stone wall
Luke 1:26-38
John the Baptist
Luke 1:39-80, 3:1-20; 7:18-30
Matthew 1:19-25
Christmas story
Luke 2:1-21
 And, here are most of my ornaments.  All the clay looking ornaments were crafted out of salt dough (I found the best recipe this year!).  If you have any questions, please feel free to email me.
This is the stump, the globe (crafted from felt), an apple ornament I found at Dollar General, Noah’s ark crafted from a walnut shell and felt and the tower of Babel (salt dough with felt cloud)

Bundle of sticks (Isaac), dark cloud with stars (Abraham), Josephs coat, burning bush (see detailed picture), door frame (passover) – there are popscicle sticks behind that it is glued to.

Heart (Solomon), Lamp (Samuel), Sheep (Jesse), Stone tablet (Ten Commandments), Raven (Elijah), slingshot (David)

Jacob’s ladder (crafted from 2 wooden skewers and toothpicks), hook (Habbakuk), Mary (crafted from old clothespiin wrapped in muslin), hammer (Jesse), stonewall (Nehemiah – see detailed picture later), sheaves of wheat (Jeremiah), shell (John the Baptist)

This is a detailed image of the burning bush.  There is a channel that I stitched in it so that every year the kids can go gather a cedar twig to put in it. 
Joseph’s Coat

This is the stonewall in the story of Nehemiah.  And, yes, I molded and cooked each brick (can we say "over-achiever" together now?).  I then glued each onto a piece of thin wood and used ModgePodge to seal them.

On another note, we spent Sunday evening with another family we are dear friends with in Glen Rose watching The Promise of Christmas.  For those of you in the Central Texas area, I am sure you have heard of The Promise which is an outdoor performance of the story of Christ.  This year they put together a play with a father and son looking for a Christmas tree that then leads in to the true story of Christmas.  Although Sunday evening was slated to be a low of 21 degrees, we all bundled up in layers of clothes and enough blankets for a small army.  It was truly an awesome thing to share with my family.  However, there is one thing that stuck out to me for some reason.   I can't explain why it bothers me, it will seem insignificant to most, but where did we get there were 3 wise men?  This morning I spent over an hour in study trying to figure this out.  The Bible never puts a number on it, but perhaps over time, since there were only 3 gifts mentioned (gold, frankincense and myrrh) we have adapted that to fit "our" story.  And, it is THAT very thing that bothers me.  I am feeling led to question most holiday traditions, not just Christmas, but Halloween, Easter, etc.  How many of us do things just because it's the way we've always done?  I am guilty, but I am beginning to question these things.  Does ignorance make us less accountable to the Lord or is it a curtain to hide behind?  

Prairie Kerri