Monday, July 25, 2011

You Will Protect Me, Right?

I've taken a bit of a hiatus. We have been in the process of packing and moving, and then the time in between apartments...well, restful is not what I would term it, but growth and appreciation is.

But I'm back!

This past Saturday, a church that I have been to in the past, one that has an amazing Single Parent Ministry, had a Boy's Mentoring morning. A bunch of guys got together with a bunch of boys and played flag football, water balloon fight, and ate pizza. Totally a dude kind of day. :)

I typically don't get to make it to those events because something inevitably comes up, however this last weekend turned out a little differently. I got up, Gideon was overflowing with youthful energy and the need to get out and do SOMETHING, and I thought, "Ah ha! I know what he can do to burn off that energy!" So, I packed him into the car and drove him to the church.

I was greeted by a few of the guys as well as the (female) organizers. I ended up staying and taking pictures since they were a little short-handed initially and it was just awesome to watch my son learn how to play flag football. It was funny too. :)

On one of the plays, Gideon happened to be in the wrong place at the right time and got kneed (completely by accident) by one of the guys. He wanted to cry, but I wasn't going to let him. I told him to grab some water, rub some dirt on it, and get back at it. Gideon had no intention of getting back on the field, however I didn't let him get away with it. He was there to expend energy and be a boy, and I had every intention of him doing just that.

Well, one of the volunteers and Gideon made a connection rather quickly. It was very heart warming to hear part of his story before all the action started, and it was awesome that he cared enough to ask me about the dad situation in regards to Gideon. It isn't the easiest thing to say, "He doesn't have a dad," but anything short of that would have been a lie.

So, after pushing Gideon back out onto the field (like any loving mother would), he stood next to his new friend and, I'm not sure what happened, but Gideon ended up on the ground in the midst of other little bodies. This time the volunteer took him aside and they sat under a tree and talked for ten or so minutes. I'm not sure what they talked about, but after the talk was over, Gideon was excited to get back up and get back at it!

This is the part that is both heartwarming to me...and heartbreaking. They got into position and before the play started, Gideon looked up at him and asked, "You're going to protect me, right?"

SOOOOOOOOOO many emotions welled up inside of me. Isn't that what we all want? Someone to protect us and take care of us? Someone we can lean on and trust when times are tough? I know I do. I know Gideon does. I know Gideon trusts me and leans on me, and sometimes it feels like that is a weight that I cannot handle, but God NEVER fails to give me the strength I need, just as I know I can always trust Him and lean on Him when times are tough.

That was the moment the other volunteers came out and took over the camera work. Not that I didn't want to be there to watch the festivities, but Gideon is around me often and this event wasn't for me to spend more time with him, but for him to be around amazing Christian men for real dude time, so I left and took a walk and prayed and cried. God is just SOOOO good! I felt reassurance wash over my heart that He truly is taking care of me and He is giving me the strength that I need to continue on this amazing journey.

When I returned, I ended up talking to one of the women that was there volunteering and she asked me about my story. I started talking and just let it out. I ended up crying the whole way through. She just sat there and listened and asked questions and held my hand and reassured me.

That event wasn't just for Gideon. God had every intention of reaching my heart in a deep and profound way that morning as well.

Tonight, as I was reading the Bible, I came across Job. I have read all of Job, but I haven't understood it all yet, however God led me to a specific passage, "If I have raise my hand against the fatherless, knowing that I had influence in court, then let my arm fall from the shoulder, let it be broken off at the joint." Job 31:21-22

God calls us to be an influence to those that are fatherless. The guys that were there and, in particular, the one that Gideon became a shadow to on Saturday, were heeding that direction and actually DOING something to influence those children who are fatherless. I have met a lot of men in my day. Some of them have proclaimed that they are Christians, and they know a whole lot about theology, probably mountains more than I ever will, HOWEVER! The fruit of the Spirit is not there.

Gideon likes to ask, "Mommy, when is God going to bring me a dad?" That question hurt at first, and stings just a little still, however my answer is always, "God has heard you pray, and He wants to hear you ask even still, but God has an AMAZING daddy for you. Not just any guy can be your daddy, but first God has to work on both him and me. You will get a daddy exactly when you need one, in God's timing, and God is never late."

On that note, friends, I bid you a good night. Time to pray with the Gidlet and get myself to sleep. God bless and good night!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Compromise and Acceptance

This is something that is difficult for a lot of people. Let's start off with the definitions (brought to you by The Free Dictionary):

Compromise: A settlement of differences in which each side makes concession

Acceptance: to take or receive (something offered)

Okay, that wasn't so bad, now was it?

Compromise for me is difficult because it means that I have to not get everything I want and I have to LIKE IT!! Not the superficial, "I'm going to act like everything is okay, but then bottle up my emotions and let it all come out when the next related incident comes up," or "I'm going to pick at you and make passive aggressive, snippy comments any time I get the chance." kind of acceptance, but real, genuine, honest-to-goodness compromise.

Compromise and acceptance can manifest themselves in forgiveness.

One incident where I can clearly remember this lesson starting is with my son. I was sick, the hormones were having their way with my emotions, and we were at the doctor's office . He decided that rolling around on the doctor's stool was the thing to do while playing with my itouch.

I warned him to be careful. I asked him to stop rolling around. Neither of those things happened.

He over-corrected on a roll and he fell to the side. The side that held the touch.

Onto the floor, face first, went the touch. He righted himself and I retrieved it from him. Sure enough, three cracks were running across the face.

I wanted to scream, cry....pretty much any emotion one human being could possibly feel came crashing down on me all at once. I took a few deep breaths with my eyes closed. Oddly enough, the thought that came to mind was, "Is screaming at him going to change this?"

No, it wont.

Instead of doing any of the 10 things that first came to my mind, my reaction was to tell him, "You have lost the ability to use the touch." Though there were a few days in which I chose to make little comments about the incident instead of letting it go and moving on, this was honestly the first time I can say that I gained the acceptance of a bad situation in a rather short period of time. Instead of reacting as I normally would have, I chose to act better. Sure, I now have a touch with a cracked screen that needs to be replaced, however it does still work and my son is no longer able to use it. Compromise achieved!

I'm not perfect at this by any stretch of the imagination, but I am clearly seeing situations, whether they are big or small, arise and I am trying to take a more forgiving stance on them. Some situations just can't be helped or remedied and your choice in the compromise is void, yet you still have to live with the outcome of the situation.

Do you needle and pick at people when something is done or said that is off-putting to you?

Just once when an occasion like that arises, try not saying those passive negative comments. So what if it's not going to go your way? LIFE ISN'T FAIR, but in YOU choosing how you react to it, you may feel better about your actions and words after the fact.

Find yourself in a conversation with someone that picks at you? There are always ways to extract yourself from them gracefully and not get drawn into saying something you might regret later. You cannot control how others act or react, you are only in control of yourself. Make the way you react reflect God's love and grace and see how the opposition reacts.

God bless you my friends. <3