Thy Will Be Done (thank you Hillary Scott)

This was written and published on Facebook on Monday, July 17, 2017.
I feel like it needs to be here, too.John 11-40

This morning, I became a part of BEAST MODE week at Oak Hill Christian Service Camp. The lesson I taught was about Lazarus’ death. I read through the lesson quite a few times gearing up to teach today, but as I was actually teaching it – and looking at the questions Heather had laid out for me to ask, Jesus spoke directly to me.
See, one of Heather’s questions following the passage was “Why was Martha crying?” The simple answer is that she was sad that her brother died.
But really, don’t you think she was upset that Jesus waited TWO DAYS to come? By the time he arrived, Lazarus had been in the tomb for FOUR DAYS.
Sure, Jesus could raise Lazarus from the dead, but he also could’ve healed him before he died.
But that wasn’t the point – the point was that Mary and Martha BELIEVED that Jesus could do anything and so they saw the Glory of God.

Over the past 20 days since daddy first went to OBX Hospital, I’ve had moments where I question why it’s taking so long to get an answer… I’ve had moments of frustration when tests that were designed to tell us what was going on in his heart weren’t telling us anything. I’ve cried in that frustration of a lack on concrete answers and direction.
I admitted this much to two different groups of 3rd-5th graders and their counselors.

But then I read the scripture in the image posted above…
John 11:40, “Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” (NIV)
Let’s hold hands with Romans 8:28
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Ella did not sit in my classes, opting to play with Joe on the playground even though it is her age group at this week of camp. She didn’t hear me talk about her Pop’s surgery and the possible outcomes. So in the car on the way home, she started asking some questions about Pop and his surgery. I couldn’t hold back my tears when she asked, with all the innocence in the world, if Pop could die.
I answered her honestly through my tears and then reiterated that we’re focusing on the facts of Pop’s case and our FAITH in God.
She said the sweetest prayer for Pop’s healing and for his doctors. I couldn’t help but hold back sobs as I drove listening to her. Then, the kids asked for the radio and what song was on? “Thy Will Be Done” by Hillary Scott. This song has come to me in many moments since I first heard it – all moments I needed it’s message deeply. I’m listening to it now. Sobbing as I type.

There are moments when those who have been around me wonder how on Earth I’m not more of a wreck knowing what’s possible next week. To that I say, “God hold my daddy’s heart in His hands. Should my daddy die, he’ll wake up in Heaven seeing Jesus’ face.”

Anyway, I typed up the update on daddy posted just a bit ago and called mom to read it to her. After she approved it, I shared with her about this morning and how the lesson ministered to me just as much as I hope it ministered to those sitting in my class and she read to me the devotional she’d read today.
It’s dated July 16, 2017 – but she’s a day behind and read two – reading yesterdays today. Guess what it was about!
Lazarus dying and Martha & Mary BELIEVING in Jesus and seeing the Glory of God.

Oh, my God in Heaven.
Thy Will be Done.
I may not like it. It may hurt. It may break me in a way I’ve never known.
But I know YOU. I know you’re good. I know you work anything for YOUR good.
I know you catch my tears in your hands. I know you hold me there too.
I know you hear my prayers – those out loud and those whispered in the depths of my heart.
Thank you, God. Thank you for my daddy.
Thank you for the lessons he’s taught me.
Thank you for using heartbreaking circumstances to draw us closer than we’d ever been.
Thank you for the sermons I’ve dozed through and the sermons I might be able to repeat word for word if I tried.
Thank you for loving me. Even when I’m mad and questioning your goodness or timeline.
Be with my daddy. Be with my mama. Be with my brother. Be with me as we face the scary unknown of next Monday.
In your Son’s most Holy and Sacrificial name,
Amen.

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Hello, God… is THIS what you mean?

I have the best intentions.

In September 2015 I spoke as a breakout speaker at Oak Hill Camp’s Ladies Day. My topic – Being in God’s Word daily.  Guess with what I’ve struggled with since that day…

In September 2016, I spoke again at the same event on the topic of Following your Godly Passion.  At that time I had a PLAN all laid out for the next few years.  I was excited – on fire – to get back to what I started college as a sweet 18 year old for… teaching middle or high school.
The plan in September was that by right now, I’d have my license to teach Middle School Math.  I’d be using Fridays to sub in the middle school math classes in Henrico.  My goal – to be in the classroom as a full-time teacher in September 2017.

Then, an amazing chance came up… something that I would never have said I felt “called to”, but I really did.  Maybe it was that I had such amazing cheerleaders cheering me on to apply for the opportunity.  Maybe I just loved the idea of the place I’d be working at…
Either way, that didn’t pan out.  It evidently wasn’t in God’s plan.

BUT, what was in God’s plan was a conversation that my husband and I had over the Christmas Holiday about IF that plan didn’t come to fruition, I still would not be going back to work full-time this Fall.  I felt such peace and even more excitement with that decision!  I get to stay at North Run teaching 3- and 4-year-old littles about colors and numbers and letters and shapes and JESUS.  AND I get to be HOME for Joe’s first year of elementary school.  That’s one thing I discovered in December that I really wanted.  I don’t want to miss going to the zoo as a chaperone. I don’t want to miss out on any way I can actually help at their school that I can’t do now because he’s not a student (due to insurance liability there are very few opportunities to help during the school day with a little one in tow).

I’ll get to go on their school’s sub list and sub there on Fridays as needed.  What a blessing!

So, I still sit here and wonder what God’s plan is for me…
I’m 39 and I’m still not 100% sure…
One tiny decision at a time feels right, when there are moments that I just want a timeline laid out for me.
Just once, I’d like to say something publicly to a group of women and not have it come back to bite me… I’m still in God’s Word, but that “regular time” thing doesn’t work out each day.  Really – I used to get up every day at 5:15 to do my Bible Study homework and I can barely drag myself out of bed to get Ella up and ready for school right now… or for the past year plus.
My Godly Passion… I was SURE I had that figured out, but I’m discovering that maybe God wants my passion focused on my kids and how I can best serve them and teach them for the time being.  Ella asked this weekend to start a daily devotion time.

So that’s what’s next.
Getting myself refocused on my time alone with God (oh, mercy, 5:15 is early… but any other time of the day I’m not alone and once the kids are in bed we’re lucky if I’m awake long enough to use the restroom and brush my teeth).
Getting Ella up 10 minutes early to do a devotion with me – just us as often as Joe will sleep that extra 10 minutes.

Prayers are always appreciated, friends.  I often fail after I declare something… I’d like to NOT fail at pointing my kids to Jesus.

As for that job I didn’t get – someone got it and is rocking it.
I’m enjoying getting to see them take the reins and make it their own.

And two months fly by…

I know…I know…  I resolved at the turn of the year to blog once a week.  I also admitted that I’m not a great blogger.  I want to be!  I really do!  But I have so much competition that it is hard to do.  “What competition?”, you may ask…

I’ve recently fallen in love (read: become obsessed) with reading other mom’s blogs.  These blogs are by women PAID to blog!  They have advertisers and business cards and the like.  I’ve just happened upon them through references by other moms.  For one, there is the ever-amazing Kelle Hampton.  Her blog alone makes me question who the heck I am thinking I can write enough inspirational and/or funny mom material to encourage people to read my blog!  Lately, I’ve found a few others.  One is Stark. Raving. Mad. Mommy.  HYSTERICAL!  Her letter to Dora the Explorer made me nearly pee my pants on a bus full of teens.  I was laughing so loudly that I ended up having to read it out loud to those sitting nearby so that that were able to appreciate my laughter.  There are others, but they are bookmarked at home and not on this laptop.

Today, I just feel like writing so I am.  I usually don’t write because I’m not sure if what I have to say in interesting or worth the time others would spend reading it.  Today, I don’t care if this is interesting or worth your time…I just feel like sharing.

Last night was one of those priceless nights in life.  I was exhausted…I still have not recovered from the sleep deprivation that comes from Music & Drama week and Ella took very short or non-existent naps this past week, so there wasn’t much down time to help in recovery.  Anyway, I was exhausted and therefore a bit impatient and not nearly jovial enough to chase Ella up and down a hallway 100 times.  However, I was in a simple trailer on the Currituck Sound for dinner with my grandmother and her friends.  Let me further explain – at dinner last night were my grandmother, my great-aunt, my aunt, my mom, me and my daughter (as well as three other very good friends of those listed above).  How often in life do you get to have four generations of females all from one family sitting at dinner together?  How often do you get to watch your not-quite-ninety-year-old grandmother hug and kiss on her not-quite-two-year-old great-granddaughter?  Granny (now called G.G. since she is Ella’s G.reat G.randmother) will be 90 in October and very shortly after, Ella will be 2.  Beautiful.  Mom and I fall in between them.  My great-aunt Evelyn (where my name comes from and now referred to as E.E.) crawls along the floor, runs through the house, and plays all sorts of games with Ella.  It is amazing to watch this spry 86 year old play with a child with such ease.  She has more energy than I do!

Then last night, I sat on the bed with my mom and aunt just talking.  I love these times.  They can’t be duplicated or recreated.  They just are.  We talked about raising children – they’ve raise six between them (not counting grandkids who lived with Carla at times) and I’m raising my first.  Their words of wisdom are appreciated and welcome (even if I’ve heard them before and I’m sure I’ll hear them again).   This morning, the four of us went to Dunkin Donuts for coffee & breakfast before Aunt Carla headed home.  It was nice and something I want to do over and over again with Ella.

And it isn’t just about MY family.  I LOVE the women in Jeff’s family.  I want to spend time with them – just the girls – as Ella grows older.  I want her to have a strong sense of the women who travelled this earth before her, preparing it for her.  I also want her to know the men in our families, but today I am very focused on the women.  Why?  Because I am one and one day she will be one too.  Her last name will change to something not nearly as wonderful as Cronin just as I left behind McCrickard.  I never had the name Stewart or Edwards (my mother and grand-mother’s maiden names), but I wear them with pride.  From my dad’s side, I have the Maxey nose….from my grandmother.  I also have a touch of her temper, but I try to keep that in check. 

I want Ella to know her family.  Deeply.  I want her to know their stories and it scares me that she may not ever have the same long conversations that I have had with my Granny.  Of course, she’ll have her own long talks with HER Granny Mac. 

I didn’t want a girl.  I wanted a boy.  So badly that when they told us at the ultrasound that it was a girl I had them recheck it.  NOW, I only want my girl.  If we were to have another…I want another girl!  I LONG to be the mommy of two girls.  I almost feel crazy saying that…but then I think about last night.  Yes, it would’ve been just as wonderful with a toddling boy running about…I’m sure.  And I don’t want to get slammed by all you moms of boys – I love you!  God knows it!  My mother in law had three boys and I swear she’s an angel in disguise for doing it!
But last night was MAGICAL!  Four generations of WOMEN from ONE FAMILY line….

Thank you, God, for my family.  Thank you, God, for my Bean.

What a great weekend…and it is only Saturday night!

Just had to post that I am having a fantastic weekend.

First – I got to spend a lot of time yesterday with my friend, Bobbi Jo.  We have a good time when we’re together and I always laugh a lot around her.
Then – last night was Christie’s Panty Party.  It was less about embarassing her with lingerie for she & Andrew (though we certainly did and with lots of laughs) and more about getting to celebrate my really, really close friend before she gets married.  This is such a special time and I’m so excited for her.  I wanted to make her feel special last night and I think we accomplished that.  Thanks to our friends who came out to shower Christie with laughter & lingerie.

Overnight was not pretty since Ella isn’t sleeping well and she & I were up battling it out between 11:30 pm and 2:30 this morning.

BUT – I woke up at 7:30 this morning next to my beautiful baby girl.  Then – I got to get ready and head out to breakfast with my friend, Melissa – who I feel like I never get to see and we used to go out at least once every weekend when she & Jay first moved here.  It was so wonderful to just sit with her and chat for a couple hours in a local coffee shop.  So needed!

Then, lunch today was a celebration of mine & my dad’s birthdays.  My grandmother, great-aunt, and aunt came in town from Newport News to eat with Dad, Mom, Jeff, Ella & Me.  We had a good time and Ella got to show off a bit.  After lunch we went back to mom & dad’s apartment and hung out while Ella really showed off how much fun she is to be around.  So good to have Ella spend time with her GG, EE & Aunt Carla.
Tonight, we went to Jeff’s parents for dinner in a late celebration of Jeff’s mom’s birthday (Feb 3).  It was great since all three boys (Jeff, Jerry & Gabe) were all able to be there with no schedule conflicts.  Kristen & I were there, too, but the most fun is watching Nana and Papa interact with their two grandkids.  We were all together.

It has been a great two days and tomorrow is lining up to be fantastic too…
I actually get to go to church at United tomorrow.  I feel like it has been a lifetime since I’ve been there and for me it has.  The last time was January 24.  Church was snowed out the 31st & February 7 and then Jeff & I were away last weekend (Feb 14).  I can’t wait to hear my dad preach.  He is my favorite minister…and it isn’t just bias.  I feel that he preaches from the heart to the heart and I love that about him.  Tomorrow’s theme: God as our shepherd.  So excited!
Then tomorrow night is my book club meeting.  I haven’t posted about book club before…not sure why not except I just post so little…
Tomorrow night we’ll be discussing the book, The Help.  It was a GREAT book that I recommend to anyone interested in a fiction story set in a all-too-real 1960’s segregated Jackson, Mississippi.  I had to remind myself that Mae Mobly and Aibileen weren’t real people.  Oh, little MaeMo – your nanny Aibileen loved you.  It has been a month since I read the book and I can’t recall what MaeMo called Aibileen in the book, but it tugged my heart strings.  SUCH A GOOD BOOK. 

I’ll have to do posts on the books I read since I have become a voracious reader.  I read the bookclub book and then find as many other books to read in the remainder of the month.  I can’t stop and I love it.  I’ve also found that I’m currenly very drawn to stories (fiction & non-fiction) set during the 60s that focus on segregation and integration.  I find it fascinating…okay – that is another post too.

Well – that’s it.  It is a great weekend and I just found the desire to share that with you.  Thanks for reading!