Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Distorted view- part 2

I recently posted some thoughts I had on what I referred to as having a distorted view. I am visiting this topic again with some further thoughts/insights and sort of 'talking outloud' here. I welcome your thoughts and comments as well. I think dialogue is half the fun of blogging. So feel free to join me when you're done reading this.
The pictures you see here are all of Crew with the exception of the top photo. That one is Teagan at around 7 months and I just share that alongside these photos because I think it's fun to compare features between babies. She and Crew are definitely related! I think they have a few similar personality traits too. They are both a bit feisty, lovable and so full of happiness. I am blessed for sure, to be the mom of them and all their siblings in between. =)
The pictures of Crew outside were taken a day ago and I am just amazed at how grown up he seems all of a sudden since his top 2 teeth have come in. He's losing that baby look so fast! Then there are the pictures of him at the gate. He is trying so hard to figure out how to get past it and head to the downstairs and play alongside of the rest of the kids. He does get to go down and play for short periods of time when I'm supervising him, but there are way too many 'trouble toys' for him to get into if left on his own, that it's not safe for him to be there. But in his mind, he doesn't care about the dangers. He just wants to get down there and play! Oh how he hangs on that gate and even does a little dance sometimes with the excitement he builds just thinking about playing beyond those stairs!
What you can't see is that just around the corner from the gate are piles and piles of toys that are totally safe and available to him whenever he wants to crawl over to them and get his hands on them. There are books and balls and stacking things and rattles and toy phones and chewy things and jiggy things and a whole lot more. But he's focused and persistent at times to just sit or stand at the gate and forego the fun he could be having just because he wants something past those wooden bars.
Herein lies the lesson of having a distorted view. How often in my life I see that I am just like Crew standing at the 'gate' and I even shake the bars and throw little fits sometimes wanting something I can't have. It's been true in my past and I'm sure it will happen again sometime. It's so easy to get 'hung up' on something we want- maybe it's even something really good- like a mate or a baby or a big job promotion or a new house or a spot on a scrap design team or any number of things. Have you ever found yourself disappointed or let down or feeling frustrated that life isn't going your way despite all the measures you are taking to make your dream happen? We ALL do it. We get our hearts set on something and for some of us, we get so caught up in the pursuit of that one thing that we let all the other 'good things' that surround us go unnoticed just around the corner simply because we want 'what's beyond the gate'.
We even lose things we hold dear because we are trying so hard to get that one thing. I know in my own life I have had selfish ambitions and have followed my own heart rather than waiting on God's time for what I truly need in life. He always knows best what I need and what I can handle, just as I know Crew isn't ready to take on a flight of stairs or play with some toys with tiny pieces. Crew thinks I'm just punishing him or denying him fun and good things. But the fact is that I am actually protecting him and giving him "freedom" by putting up a gate and setting clear boundaries.
That's what God does in our lives too. He puts roadblocks and 'gates' in our lives from time to time until we learn and/or grow into the person He is molding us to be. Sometimes it seems like He is punishing us by not giving us what we want, when in fact, He is likely trying to prepare us for what is yet to come. Does that make sense?
Here's another example. Crew would be happy if I gave him a hot dog in a bun when his siblings get one at their meal, but could he handle it as this stage in his life? No! He would likely choke and put himself in great danger. But it looks to him like something he wants and the other kids like it, so to him it is confusing. I was thinking about how often things in life seem confusing to me. Things seem unfair or unjust or simply 'messed up' according to the way I think things should go or be. But in all likelihood, from God's perspective there is a good reason for the way things are playing out around us and maybe they are even for a good purpose. I am learning that I need to quit standing and banging on a gate when stuff comes up that doesn't make sense in my heart and mind. At those times I need to trust that just as I know what's best for Crew and all my kids, God knows what's best for me. He has my greatest interests at heart and wants nothing more than to prepare me and shape me for what is yet to come. I can get hung up and miss out on the fun laying all around me, or I can surrender myself and trust Him in all things.
Let me tell you, walking away from life's "gates" is where I find the most freedom and joy. I can mope around and wish things were different or let go and live in the moment. It's not always easy though. The issues in our lives are so "big" compared to the toys and fun awaiting Crew downstairs. But the principle is the same. There is goodness all around us. We can live and grow and I do know that God swings open those gates and blesses us so often too. One day soon Crew will be crawling up and down those stairs and he will be ready to tackle a whole new set of challenges. I hope that like him I am ready to take on new challenges and set my heart and mind on things besides closed gates. I want to be ready and willing to do whatever it is that God puts on my heart for His glory and purpose. I never want to lose sight of the fact that God knows what's best and He is faithful to us when we wait on Him. I just wish growing up wasn't so hard sometimes. =)


Michelle said...

Jody, your post really strikes a chord with me.. especially today... I've been praying for some things so fervently that I just keep repeating the prayers over and over..many times each day... and I have been putting in so much effort to try make those things I pray for come true... should I not get what I pray for, I hope that I can be like you... to be able to surrender fully to the Lord and trust that He knows what's best for me and that there will be a right time... and that I can still find joy in what I have rather than focus on what I didn't get.

Hope you're well!!!


Rudi said...

Hi there, I happened upon your blog today and this post was exactly what I needed to hear. It was so good to be reminded that God is putting up some "fences" in my life so that I can learn and grow before I get to move on to the next stage in life. Thanks for your thoughts!

Anonymous said...

Again...very well said!! I was struck about some of the things you talked about similar to what I've been hearing on Intentional Living with Randy Carlson (see FB). People do foresake things that they should hold dear...because they "think" the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. Then with children they mess up their parenting by giving in to their kids ALL because they think they want them to be "happy". Oh the gates people pull down!!!!

Keep up the good work Jody...keep posting your thoughts!!<3Blessings....WSL

Jody said...

Thanks for your comments you guys. I was just thinking about people- like the Gosselin family for example. While I don't pretend to have a full understanding of what has gone on in their home, it does seem that they have sacrificed their relationship (and I think their credibility on many levels) for stuff like publicity and "happiness". I think so many times the media especially, makes us think that we are "missing out" on stuff, when in fact, we are better off without that stuff. More is not always better. Bigger isn't always better. Trading your self-respect and inner peace for anything is never worth it. I've gone down roads I wish I could have skipped out on- but thankfully I have learned some {hard!} lessons on those trips. I just hope that I keep growing in humility as that seems to be the best way to learn. My best to all of you on your journies too!

Beckypdj said...

What we focus on is so important. Am I going to focus on all the good and wonderful things I have; and thank God for them? Or am I going to focus on the one thing I don't have?

I know I will long for my son.......until we are reunited in Heaven, but I won't let myself miss out on all the good things until then.

Jan C. said...

Great analogy!

Don't scoff--have you ever thought about writing a book? Your life experiences have definitely given you a bit of grace and wisdom that you seem to be very good at expressing. Just sayin'!

Kara said...

Great comments today, Jody! Just what I needed to hear right now!

Heather from Ontario Canada said...

WOW . What more can I say. I am quite content in my life so thankfully, right now, I'm not standing and shaking any gates. You write with wisdom and clarity. You and I could be friends IRL **grin**

Lauren Kelly said...

wow, wow, wow... this is great stuff to chew on!!! :)

Kris with a K said...

wow. another wonderful post. you are a gifted writer.

Anonymous said...

WOW--- IF you only KNEW how your words have struck my heart!! God had placed YOU right in MY path- just when I needed to HEAR
your(HIS)words!!!! Thank you for sharing!

Stacie in TN

Kyra said...

OHHH! Jody this is exactly what i needed to hear. I feel like Crew on the other side of the gate trying to reach. I've been thinking in the terms of being on the wrong road and that has not helped, the gate and adorable visuals helped. Thanks

Lisa D :) said...

This post is perfectly said Jody. I have been praying for something a lot lately, thinking it's what's best for me and starting to realize that perhaps God knows better! ;) I need to let it go and allow God to show His plan, and accept it if it's already revealed and NOT what I'm expecting/wanting it to be.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts, as usual they're spot-on and really hold true.
Oh and, by the way, Crew looks absolutely adorable in these photos! Teagan sure was a beauty too. Thanks for sharing that photo of her.

lisalyn said...

What a great post!
As I sit here and watch my daughter (she's 27) wait and sometimes not very patiently for God to give her a mate...this post reminds me that God IS working on what is good for her at this time. Honestly I question why the long wait.

Sometimes she does think that God is punishing her. A question she asks alot is,
"Why is everyone else, including my little brother, getting their mate and not me?"

I don't always know what to say to her to help her with that. Your words today put new light on the situation. I will continue to pray for God to fill her life with peace and for her to not feel so alone.

Thank you for sharing and also for the very cute pictures of your family. God is good.