Monday, September 13, 2010

Sharpening...

I have just come to terms with the fact this blog is going to be piece-y at best. It is a great place to have an outlet and I love randomly having the time and a lesson to share here. Needless to say, these past months have packed more lessons for me than several years combined and so many of them have had time to permeate my heart and mind.
So to update you all a little....
The last post left you with us waiting on direction for our family, specifically Bobby a job.  Fast forward to Bobby applying for a patrolman position here in my small hometown, agility testing (and scoring super high), interviewing and being offered the position.  In that 48 hours, Bobby prayed as did Gideon in the Old Testament, laying out a fleece, asking if this wasn't where God had us, for Him to PLEASE not let him get the job.  We literally had more peace in that small window of time, knowing God had a perfect plan and all we had to do was wait (which we had gotten pretty good at :)).  After he was offered the job, we prayed HARD overnight, making sure this was God's plan.  We both felt it was and have been sweetly assured since.  In all 8 years of marriage, I have never seen my sweet husband so happy.  He comes home just grinning, relaxed and loving.  He is energized (even though he works 12 hour shifts) by what he is doing.  I was worried in the beginning about him growing hard and cynical but I had a sweet friend (and fellow cop wife) share that it had done just the opposite in her husband.  That he came home more tender, loving and gentle with their family.  Just thankful.  And it has done the same in Bobby.  He hugs us tighter, loves on us and shares his day with us.  My cup literally is overflowing.  And I am humbled, in awe and just breathless at my God Whose plans are ALWAYS worth the wait.  Always....
We are building a home as well.  It has been SO fun to do this beside Bobby.  I know this is generally a stressful thing but I have really leaned on Bobby's experience/expertise in construction and we have dreamed and talked but both have a similar heart to make wise choices within our means.  We want to be great stewards of what God has given us and want to have WIDE margin for our family.  Meaning we do not want to bump right up to what we make with what we spend.  We lived 5 years with narrow margin (no debt but NARROW) and do not want to go back.  I have had to daily pray for perspective and wisdom, not wanting my wants to get in the way of HIS wants for our family and others we could help with the freedom to give.  My Dad is in the process of purchasing 140 acres of investment property which he is letting us build on which excites Bobby and I beyond what I can share.  It truly has been a dream of ours since the beginning to have wide open spaces to raise our family.  For our kids (and dogs) to have a place to run wild, learn the importance of work ethic that being raised on a farm can bring, having the opportunity to have fresh, organic produce at a fraction of the cost grown in our backyard!  We are just so stinking excited I cannot even tell you.  Dad and Bobby also plan on running cattle, which will keep us busy (and fed :)).  So many of my friends have laughed saying, "NEVER in a million years did I think you would end up back here, married to a cop, living on a farm."  And they are so right!  But I am so, so happy.  Content.  Joyful.
However, parenting has been the biggest arena for lessons learned lately.  I love how God uses each stage to challenge, kick me out of complacency.  Marriage was hard.  Learning to compromise daily, communicate in a way that the other sex could understand/relate to, lay down my selfishness.  All HARD lessons.  And then I just laughed after I became a parent at the things I had thought I learned.  My selfishness was challenged in a whole new way.  Having this new tiny person so completely dependent.  Needy.  I truly believe one reason God created parenthood was to reveal our sin.  To show us in a way that we are urgent to correct it so that it is never replicated in our children.  The area I have struggled with for a while now is my lack of self-control/discipline.  I often wondered why God did not give me a compliant, eager to please first child.  Abby Kate needs boundaries.  She THRIVES with them.  She has a Daddy that is EXCELLENT at it.  Me, not so much.  I literally find myself daily looking around for someone to ask "is this a big deal?" "how do I punish this?"  And I hate it.  One encounter this week left me breathless and completely challenged.  I took AK to the library for some Momma/AK time.  We both ADORE books and love to come home with new treasures to explore.  I was attempting to get a library card in my "new/old" hometown and AK was into EVERYTHING.  I asked her to come to me and she said "NO!"  Now, I knew that this was blatant disobedience and it needed to be addressed and punished immediately.  However, in order to save face, I finished what I was doing, checked out the books and took her to the car.  She WANTED ME to punish her.  She said, "You do it, PLEASE!  Not Daddy."  She KNOWS I am a pushover.  And I asked her if she would have acted that way if Daddy had been there and she said, "No way."  I asked why and she said, "He would have immediately punished me."  And in that moment God showed me a glimpse of our future.  I could see the tumultuous teenage years ahead and if as a 4.5 year old she does not show respect for my role as her mother, then the relationship I crave for our future would be impossible.  So I have been DAILY praying for wisdom, grace and courage.  Praying fervently that God would redeem any mistakes I make in that day.  And the area of sin that I had been too lazy to fight, the gloves are on.  It will not, WILL NOT, win.  I am praying for the power of the Holy Spirit to overwhelm and redeem.  And through this, I imagine God just grinning.  All His perfect, beautiful intentions when making Abby Kate are challenging the areas of sin stealing joy from her mother...His daughter...Me.


What an incredible Artist, Creator, Friend.  "As iron sharpens iron, so does one man to another..."  Proverbs 27:17

3 comments:

Cary said...

So great, Stephanie! Your words are always so encouraging.
I think that life you all are building sounds amazing! (And very Bobby, which is so fun for me to hear)
Good luck with the house building and tell Bobby I said Congratulations!

Anonymous said...

Being a parent is tough. Being a GOOD parent -- so much harder! I find myself with this same challenge all the time. I have to force myself to follow through, so I don't have a "brat". Following through -- tough stuff. So are picking battles. Isaac told me today, "if you don't let me paint right now, I will hit you with my lasso sooo hard!" Obviously, he got a double time out, but I had to carry him to time out, sit with him while he calmed down, pick his brother up so he would not bother him, make him start over again with the timer, and have a talk with him afterward. Not even that big of a transgression, but still, would have been easy to laugh off and overlook. Now I am having to learn how to parent and "discipline" Solomon -- such a different kid. Wow, God does challenge us, huh? I was just thanking God today for "torturing" me with the long, long wait for Solly. Knowing that God's plan was so much more perfect than my own -- my kids being 4 years apart was the perfect space for our family, and of course, Solly was always meant to be our child. I wish I had been able to see that during the two plus years we waited :). Love you, girl.

Erin

I'm Sadie said...

Your words are always great Steph! I have always enjoyed reading your posts! CONGRATS on building a house! That's awesome! Can't wait to see progression pics!

As for being a parent- I am NO help. Ruthie is in the same stage, and then Randy is just EVERYWHERE!