What This Grandmother is Learning From American Ninja Warriors

Josh didn't get the call this season, but he was one of the testers in Orlando.  So proud of his hard work!

Josh didn’t get the call this season, but he was one of the testers in Orlando. So proud of his hard work!

Please join me over at Redeemer Church today to hear some surprising things I’m learning from a place I never imagined.

Blessings!

Sheree

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Saturday Cartoons and a Ceiling Fan

Last Saturday I was typing this post while sitting in my family room. Here’s my story:

Today I’m remembering busy Saturdays when my day started with young ones rising early looking for food and cartoons. I grew up cleaning on Saturday mornings, and promised myself I wouldn’t deprive my kids of the Road Runner or Bugs Bunny like Mom did. My kids would get to cuddle on the couch with blankets, eat Pop Tarts and watch hours of cartoons like all my friends did growing up.

However, a couple of years after becoming a mom, “Saturday cleaning” somehow snuck into my heart and life. Homeschooling and full evenings serving the people in our church (my husband is a pastor) made Saturdays the perfect (and sometimes only!) time for weekly cleaning. Well, except once basketball seasons with weekly Saturday games often required adjusting our Friday school schedule to get chores done a day early.

The house doesn’t take long to clean anymore. Five of our seven are married with homes of their own to clean. My messy kid is in Law School at the University of Florida and only trashes his room when he’s home for the weekend. Our tidiest child is still at home and chips in to keep things clean.  Saturday chores don’t take very long anymore, unless the grandkids were over later in the week…so here I sit with vacuum lines on my carpets and the delicious smell of Pine Sol wafting through the house.

I used to look forward to these days. Now at times I find myself wishing music was blaring and I could hear kids yelling from room to room asking who used the Pledge last. This morning I almost looked for cartoons to watch.

I used to like change more than I do now. Getting something new for the house, finding a new favorite restaurant or trying a new dish on a holiday was fun. As I age, though, I’m finding myself clinging to the familiar.

I’ll tell you a secret. When we were meeting with our realtor last month about putting our house on the market I told him I didn’t want the ceiling fan in our bedroom to convey. He was understandably surprised. All the other ceiling fans could stay; just not the one over our bed. What I didn’t tell him is how much that ceiling fan helped me adjust to our current home when we moved from the one we lived in for our first decade in Florida.  Because the first thing I typically see in the morning is my three-paddle dark wood ceiling fan, it came with me to this house. Now it has to go with me to our new home in Lake Nona.

Seasons change. Children grow up and get married. Moves happen. Friends depart. Much of what changes in our lives is providentially out of our control. How kind of God to give the control of some things to us. The important thing is to make sure those things that should and must remain in His hands alone are free from the clutches of our sometimes nearsighted craving for autonomy.

Lord willing, my ceiling fan will soon be mounted above our bed in another house we’ll make our home. I’m glad that obeying God and moving to a new place (albeit only thirty minutes away) isn’t requiring that I leave all that’s familiar behind.

An old hymn I sang growing up said, “Where He leads me I will follow. I’ll go with Him all the way.”

With my ceiling fan.

P.S.  This post is the beginning of a series called, “When Obedience is Costly.” I hope you’ll join me.

i.surrender.

When change comes yet again while my heart craves stability and the false security of things remaining the same, I surrender.

As the ground beneath me shifts and I can’t seem to get my footing, I surrender.

When life takes turns I didn’t plan; when I’m disoriented and perplexed and can’t find my bearings, I surrender.

Amid the swirling emotions that cause my heart to faint, my faith to waiver and my lean on Him to increase, I surrender.

When tears come without warning and I find myself longing to transport myself to a familiar past I cherish, I surrender.

As unbelief seeks to choke my heart and find treasonous rest in a bed of uncertainty about embracing God’s sovereignty, I surrender.

When storm clouds gather and I fear pelting rains will destroy embers of childlike faith in my heart, I surrender.

When disappointment looms, courage fails, fear erupts, pride charges, strength weakens and Satan accuses, I surrender.

A life of surrender beckons me to find hope in God’s unchanging character when changes come at every turn and I can’t find immediate relief. Surrendering is risky only when the one requiring it is not safe; trustworthy; wise; loving. Surrender is the response of the lesser to the one with greater strength and power; and the surrender that is required of me is to The One who also holds earth’s vast oceans in the palm of His hand.

Surrender brings peace when He is the object of my trust. And peace quiets my tempting quest to wrestle control from a benevolent Father who knows what is best.

The One who has tenderly led and cared for me thus far will see me through. Through storms and trials of various kinds He has been strong. Invincible. Tender. Faithful. Able. Near. Compassionate. Good.

And He has proven Himself as One to be trusted through it all.

I surrender again. And I will continue to surrender over and over because my life is not my own. I have been bought with a dear price. A price that warrants my full trust…trust that can only happen because the One who deserves it also empowers me to grant it.

He both requires and deserves my surrender. And He will help me once again. He always has and always will. In the end, I love His will because it has always proven His wisdom.

“Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73: 25-26)