Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Lessons with Annabeth

Yesterday morning I woke up feeling awful. Just awful. I'd stayed up too late and then my mind wouldn't turn off and let me sleep. I had a headache and my house was in chaos with suitcases and stuff everywhere. I was overwhelmed by emotions, exhaustion, and needing to pull myself together and be Mom.

I opened up my Ruth study and got in the Word. I had some very strong tea. I prayed. Eventually I got us all dressed and ordered Chinese food to take to my mom's house.

And at some point during the morning, the Lord reminded me of something huge.

When I first found out about the Israel trip, I didn't want to go. I didn't want to leave my family for such a long time to go on a trip I'd taken before. My mom even agreed with me. But as the months passed and trip details became clearer, and some of my favorite people in the world signed up to go, and my mom and sis and I considered how great it would be to be there together, I changed my mind. Surely I was supposed to go. Curtis would take the kids to his parents' house and they would have a blast. Surely.

I was never supposed to go. He'd told me but I'd stopped listening.

When God reminded me of that, everything changed in my heart.

After lunch with my mom, I couldn't wait to see everyone and hear about Israel. In fact, the kids and I met the staff for lunch today. (I admit I felt a little awkward around them after what I'd written.) During my funk I'd felt like I wanted to hide from them, so I knew the best thing was to do the opposite. The enemy loves to isolate us, doesn't he? He's such a liar.
___________

Yesterday Annabeth started hitting. It took a few times before I realized what she was doing. Actually, it took a slap in the face. When her daddy came home she tried it on him, too. He scolded her in a deep voice and that bottom lip pooched out like nobody's business. She did it again right away and this time there were big, sad tears. It was tragic.

I laid her on my chest with her arms wrapped around me while she cried. There was no strain or fight in her body. She was completely abandoned to me. I felt so much compassion and love for her. God pinged my heart and I saw myself right there in His arms. He poured my love and compassion for Annabeth in a cup and made me drink it. I love you, too.

God is a safe and loving refuge for our hearts when they're in turmoil. There have been a lot of tears and a lot of bratty moments from me this year. What I love about my God is that because of Christ, He embraces me and fellowships with me while I wrestle through my moments. Like my toddler, it's my nature to run from my Father and bang my head against every surface in the house until I fall on the floor in a sobbing heap. But He scoops me up and holds me. He gives me the grace to surrender and comforts me when I do.

59 comments:

Melissa Emma said...

I appreciate your honesty in each and every post. You are an encouragement to me. When I read your posts, it feels like we've been friends forever. Thanks for sharing your heart. God bless you!

Love,
Melissa

Allison said...

Great, excellent, amazing post. Tearing.

CAROL LIVIN FOR GOD said...

All I can say is Wow Amanda you have such a way with words you have a gift. I feel like you do at times throwing myself and throwing temper tatrums but God still picks us up and holds how much He loves us is amazing.
We Love you here in seistaville
And you have a ruff year with everything that has happen .
Love you
Carol

debra said...

thank you for writing. really.

Tiffany said...

Thanks for sharing. You are such an encouragement!

Joyce said...

This is just a fabulous post. So wonderfully said. I've had some bratty moments this year too. I too am thankful that He loves us as we wrestle with our moments.

Emmy said...

I love that... so sweet!

Big Nanny said...

I went on a mission trip to Africa with 2 of my best friends this past January. When we returned, my friend needed to go back to Africa for a vision trip because God had called her family there and she needed to go there to work out some details. She asked me to go and I wanted to go back with her but God told me no. She went with several other mutual friends and it was so hard for me and I felt like I was being left out. I finally had to look at the big picture and look at the character of my friends. They were not doing anything to "leave" me out. It was just how I was feeling. I still feel like I missed out but in the end, I knew that God did not want me to go. Obedience isn't always fun:)

Heather said...

I am so glad I read this! What a great visual and a lesson that every one of us should take to heart.

lauren said...

very well said!! i LOVED this post and your open honest heart....we all do this at times!

Alison said...

Goodness, I'm right there with your sweet little girl. Abandoned to him, I cry without knowing why I do what I do, not wanting to do it again, and wanting Him more than ever.

Alexis said...

Thank you for your honesty and always sharing from you heart when you post! I know I am a brat too and I am still loved by Father!!!!
HUGS!!!!

Susy said...

You are so beautiful AJ! Thanks for your transparency!!!

Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...

You just made me cry.

Kayla said...

I just love that last paragraph so much!

Lauren Kelly said...

Amanda, you are such a blessing to me and just wanted you to know that. You have a way with words that speaks straight to my heart. Thank you for this post. Loved it!

Kim said...

manda, I love reading your posts on here and the ones you post in the way you minister to others. I just don't think Paul knew what to call Blog-Ministry when he listed the gifts of teaching, preaching, etc. or he would have listed this too.

You are a blessing and speak wisdom beyond your years. Your transparency and humbleness make you that much more lovable. Please keep pouring your heart - it ministers to the hearts of so many others.

Love
Kim

Marla Taviano said...

Thank you, Amanda. I'm so glad God showed you that and gave you peace. That's what I prayed! (But I couldn't have imagined that.)

And I'm so Annabeth. So Annabeth. Thanks for the beautiful analogy.

Bobbie said...

Wow! Amanda, you're an amazing lady with a heart of gold--and a heart for God! Thanks for sharing and please know that when you share your feelings, you help more than a few Moms..reminding us we always have somewhere to turn when our emotions run high or we feel abandoned.

Many blessings will come your way!
Can't wait to hear from Melissa when she's able to post.

Holly said...

All I can say is ME TOO!

Sarah said...

Great post and wonderful analogy. Thanks. :)

Amy Beth @ Ministry So Fabulous! said...

I think this is my new favorite post of yours.

The Reardon's said...

Thanks for that beautiful reminder, Amanda. Love ya girl. xoxo

Heather said...

wow friend, great post!! I have been in your shoes when I want to have "bratty" moments about not getting my way, and he loves me just the same and embraces me in His arms. I love your heart and so glad you shared this!

Jeannie (HAPPY HEART) said...

It is amazing how the Lord teaches us so much through our children. We all have moments like you had yesterday. Thankful that the Lord is so ready to just hold us when we need it!! It feels great when we just relax and give all our cares and concerns to him!

Glad your home!! There is no place like home:)

Kiki said...

Beautiful words. Beautiful expression.

I wish Levi would respond to the firm voice and stop hitting. We're resorting to time outs.

Darla said...

The enemy does like to isolate us. That was JUST what I needed to hear. Today was the last day of school and I was a little down in the dumps because my daughter wasn't invited to go on a little outing ...you just wait. :) Really and truly it's not that big of a deal, but it hurt my hurt and made me feel alone.

And I'm not.

Thanks so much for the post.

Becca said...

Girl, I am so behind on reading blogs...I had no idea what you have been going through. Bless your heart, friend! I am so sorry to hear of your family's loss and I know you are disappointed that you missed the Israel trip. I just love you to pieces and I LOVE your messages of what the Lord is teaching you. I could use a few lessons like those too! Tell Curt that the Calverts send our love and sympathy.

And, if Annabeth just started to hit, then my boys are not far behind. They are like 4 days younger than her...can't wait til I get to correct that one!

God bless you my sweet friend.

Kathy Cheek said...

God is our safe place, He is the one place we can go with whatever we are feeling, whatever is on our heart.

I am so glad He lets us come to Him as a Father!

Yoli said...

Awwww...so sweet. Thanks again!! Love ya!

Jennifer said...

AMEN!! What a powerful post!!! I love your honesty! And I LOVE our God who lets us fall in a sobbing heap at His feet time and time again!

Shelly said...

Thank you for being so real. You are so honest in your posts and don't try to sugar coat anything. It's just what I need.

Tara G. said...

Praise Him!

We got our new copy of Israel My Glory yesterday. I always open it to the back to read Zvi's article first- he began with quoting Proverbs 19:21.

Callie said...

friend you are such a talented writer! I too have had many many bratty moments (especially considering the craziness of my life right now) and this post was the perfect reminder for me of God's purpose in all of it. Can't wait to be out and about again - we HAVE to get all the girls together this summer to play - and bring the kids along for the fun too this time!!

lavonda said...

Amanda, this is the best thing I've read in a long time, anywhere. It hit me in the heart.

I love how God can use our biggest blessings to teach us the biggest lessons. What better way for us to even come close to relating to how He feels about us than when we love our children through their good, bad, and ugly. I love how you brought that around full circle from your initial gut feeling (from Him) about going on that trip... true to form, like we do every day, we let our analyzations muddy our waters, our emotions, and our plans from what He places in our hearts.

Keep writing my friend. Take posts like these, put them together, and make them into a book.
I'd buy it.

much love to you.

Beth said...

Oh, Honey. What a word. Incredible insight. You, young lady, are being raised into a mighty woman of God. That process is rarely pretty but the end result is gorgeous. I am so proud of who God is raising You to be.

Marc and Charity said...

thank you!

Ronda said...

Thank you for sharing this! I've had some similar ministry experiences this past Spring. I felt undependable as the Lord stripped away what I thought were very good ministry opportunities due to needs I needed to take care of at home (I have twin 15 month olds and one on the way). But this post actually reminded me that I had prayed about so much of that prior and may just not have been listening. Thanks so much for your honesty! :-)

Deirdre said...

I'm with Marla - I am SO Annabeth. it is astounding what we learn from toddlers.

Shelli Littleton said...

You are "real." I love you for it.

Mary Craig said...

Love this post. Love it.

Shelli Littleton said...

You are such a great teacher ... God teaching you ... and you passing it on. Your comment "I was never supposed to go. He'd told me but I'd stopped listening" spoke volumes to me. I remember once being at a red light (1st in line and waiting to head straight across) ... I had a little thought that I could turn to the right and make it that way, too. I stayed right where I was and in an instant the car behind me rear-ended me (accidentally let off their clutch and smacked into my car). I say ... the Spirit was trying to tell me to MOVE in one direction, and I didn't listen. God knew you needed to remain home to attend a funeral. He is so far ahead of us. But, for me, sometimes it's hard to discern if it is the Spirit leading or me just being too cautious, over-reactive, etc. I need that Bible study!

Dionna said...

This post makes me cry for I know I've laid like that on my Lord so many times. And I know how it feels to have my children lay that way on me. Thanks for the visual. I hope to remember that next time... :)

Mandi said...

Oh girl! I've had many "bratty" moments over the years and wonder many times why the Lord is so patient with me during those times. He is gracious...no doubt about it.

Tiffany said...

Thank you for being so honest & open. As a mother to 3 kids, age 4 & under, I can relate to a lot of your everyday experiences. It's amazing how God teaches us through our moments with our children!!

Shannon said...

I want you to know what an encouragement you are to me. Thank you for your honesty. I really needed to hear that today!

Siesta OC said...

Thank you - i needed that!

annalee said...

i feel this way all too often as well. love your heart!

joy in the journey said...

"He poured my love and compassion for Annabeth in a cup and made me drink it. I love you, too."

Wow Amanda. This post was beautiful. Thank you :)

Forever His said...

It was real...it was honest...and many could so relate...you were focused on the fact that you knew it was your struggle (really you surrendering your plans to God and submitting saying I don't like it but I trust You) and then it was about the fact that God would faithfully see you through it...and He has...He did...and He will. Sometimes life is hard...sometimes it hurts like hell...but God is always good and He is working ALL things out for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose...His purpose is to conform those who love Him into the image of His Son...it is all good...but sometimes it does hurt like hell...We don't do anybody any favors by pretending were are the super Christian and have it all together 100% of the time...more often than not we don't and we are wise to share our struggles so others can pray and offer advice that may have helped them.
Take care and keep your hand in His

His Jules said...

Oh wow, this is so good - such honesty and I so needed to read this. Thank you Amanda for putting yourself out there and letting God shine through you!

Siesta OC said...

Forever His - I loved your comment! It really helped me

Living day by day for Jesus said...

Thank you...I needed that today!

TXSkipper said...

Once again I feel like you've seen into the deep recesses of my heart and soul and penned words to picture you obtained.

How thankful I am that He loves me through the brattiness...and I've been awfully bratty the last 18 months.

Again, thank you for not hiding behind a mask.

Corrie's Blog said...

LOve that word about Annabeth! It really spoke to my spirit. Thanks! :)

Kari said...

Thanks for this post. During church today I sat and looked inward and realized that I totally flopped God's assignment for me this past week. While I did what He asked my attitude stunk and I am currently ashamed....but because of God's faithfulness and mercy He will hold me in my arms and wash away my attitude and sin.

katiegfromtennessee said...

This is beautiful Amanda, what a picture of how He relates to His children! You are right, the enemy does try to isolate us, but we were not meant for that. We need godly fellowship, amen!? God knew what was best for you:) That warms my heart:):)

katiegfromtennessee

Kelli said...

Beautiful. This hit straight home. God uses your words to speak straight you our hearts. Thank you for taking the time to put it out there. Thank you.

Kim Safina said...

Amanda,

There comes a time in our lives where we need to stop and BE STILL.. From the words of your heartfelt post, You have stopped to BE Still and Know that God is Our Everlasting comfort!
Precious AnnaBeth is seeing JESUS in YOU and YOUR LOVING ARMS!!!
Your family means the world to me. (((((( HUGS )))))))))