Friday, September 10, 2010

Another Year and We Are Here...Thanking God Continually!

Life certainly does not stand still does it? Summer literally flew by and in just a matter of days my little Fiona turns 9! The cool breeze of fall is such a welcome change in the weather…but my thoughts are back to contemplating the brevity of life and how important it is to always be watchful and prayerful and building our treasure in heaven rather than here on earth.

I am thankful God has taken care of me and I have been kept nice and busy with work, and I have no want for anything…enjoying whatever food I want, or buying Fiona everything she could possibly need and sometimes even things she does not need….

I have enjoyed spending time with her, (that is after all why I gave up my 9-5 career and opted for real estate) and as she grows I sometimes forget she was just a little baby not too long ago…just because she is growing so fast, (too fast since both father and mother are of the tall persuasion) and sometimes so mature almost adult like rather than a little kid…yet I know, right now, all she wants is to be the little kid and remain carefree and enjoy life.

What parent does not want their child to be happy? So many times my thought process is, “just let her be happy, do everything you can to create nice memories for her so that she can look back fondly as she grows older with a smile of remembrance”. But how do you balance that with teaching her to be responsible, and help others and empathize with another’s need rather than looking out for herself? Therein lies the tricky equation…

Today as we were driving together in the car I had a sudden thought…like sometimes happens to just come to me out of the blue…

How did I learn those things? I have suffered things in my life, some at an early age and others right into adulthood…could that be what has made me so aware of others and able to feel another’s pain…be it a friend or stranger? What is it that has shaped me in such a way? And more importantly how can I help my own daughter learn to think outside of “self” and understand the deep satisfaction that comes with knowing maybe someone smiled today because of something you did just for them, not because it brought you any gain. Or letting someone lean on you and hold on to your hand as you do whatever you can to help. How can I teach her that the more you step out of yourself the more you are a happy, complete human being…and that in reverse, selfishness can be the harshest taskmaster and brings about only dissatisfaction and unhappiness and a real emptiness that cannot be filled?

Could it be that feeling my own sorrow helped me to be sensitive to the sorrow of others? Could it be that every tear I’ve cried has made my heart more tender? Yes and no.

What I know for sure is that every dark experience HAS taught me to lean on God. Never have I felt closer to God than in those moments of despair or sadness.

But then I thought, I cannot bear the thought of Fiona suffering or going through hard experiences, just to learn those lessons! I could even be less focused on building a nice childhood for her, with all the possible comforts and things I can afford, and just let her learn some much needed lessons through a little hardship…but I can’t imagine not being there for her to quickly lay the net and catch her if she falls or fight her battles if I have to…

Then the thought came to me…”God does not like to see us suffer, and it pains Him MORE than it pains us, but in His infinite wisdom, He knows that without those hardships to shape us and teach us, we could never grow as human beings or learn what it is to lean on Him and trust in His mercy and power. I was thinking too that as much as I want my Fiona to be happy and healthy…and as much as I want to shield her from ALL possible hardship…and as much as some things would hurt me MORE than it would hurt her, I know that she is going to face her own battles, and tears and sorrow in this life…and there is nothing I can do but be there for her and whatever I cannot do, leave it in God’s hands.

My prayer to God is that she learn to lean on Him so that she can learn those valuable lessons, so that the love of God can fill her heart and move her to think of those around her and in her way, lend that helping hand or shoulder to lean on wherever and whenever it is needed.

For me, this is the most important lesson of all…God must be the first and foremost priority in our life, for as the bible says in Romans 8:28, “We know that all things work together for good for those who love God” and in Matthew 6:33 and 34 "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. "

If we try and go through this life on our own, not only will we be terribly miserable because our “self” will never give us peace and nothing will ever satisfy the “ego”… but worst of all, rather than working towards our own good, every hard experience will turn into bitterness that will poison us from the inside out, making for a sad existence in this life and for a lost eternity.

I pray every day that God will help me to learn more and more about His wonderful plan of salvation and even more fervently that He would grant me the wisdom and power to teach my little one what it means to turn to Him and trust Him in all things! That He would help her get to know Him with each passing day, month and year and fill her heart with His unchanging love and let the Comforter, the Spirit of God dwell in her, all the days of her life!

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