Sunday, August 12, 2012

It's Been the Point From the Start.

As a history teacher, I want students to realize that there is one theme that connects all of history - Conflicts create crises which lead to change. If students can understand that one principle, they can pretty much look at any history situation and analyze the cause-effect relationship between the events. It's THE point; the one thing students must get to truly understand history. I find it funny that I totally grasp that history has one central theme and yet, I missed the fact that the great teacher (our Heavenly Father) has only one main point too.  Every sin must be covered by blood, perfect blood.

Please don't stop reading because I mentioned God. Stick with me. This may be the most important thing I have ever tried to write.  I am so excited about it, I want to shout! God told us from the beginning that there had to be blood shed. From the very beginning.  From Genesis, the very first book!

I always discounted the Old Testament. I always thought... "Well, yeah, it says that, but that's the Old Testament". Then, thankfully, Jesus came and saved us. The New testament is what I have to focus on.  I based my faith in Christ alone because without Him, I am guilty of sin and the wages of sin are death. That part of my belief hasn't changed! Jesus Christ is still the one and only way that you can be saved.  What has changed is my view of the Old Testament. God isn't simply telling us our history.  He isn't simply saying here's how rough it used to be,  here are your great forefathers (and mothers) of faith.  He is telling us that sin must always be covered by blood.  Every single sin. I am blown away by this right now.

You don't have to be a great Bible scholar to know the story of the beginning.  God made the world. He spoke it into existence (and trust me, that was the Big Bang). The Garden of Eden was perfection.  There was every need supplied and met.  Adam walked with God in the evenings.  He walked with Him.  How incredibly cool is that! And then, ... Mankind screwed it up.  Eve believed the serpeant, Adam followed suit.  This is the first sin. Think about it.  Life was perfect and the first time, someone asks why can't you have absolutely everything?  We sin...  (You can't see me, but I am shaking my head because wow.. that one just hit home too...)  Back to the story of original sin... Adam & Eve sin.  They hide from God. (yep.. we still do this.). Then, God asked them what they had done.  They confessed. God punished them and future generations for their sin. Then, in Genesis 3:21. it says "Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them." Did you catch it? I never had until this weekend. I knew God clothed them in skins.  I guess I always thought that was about sturdier clothing.  God providing better for us even when we thought we had it handled with flimsy fig leaves. But it's not!  God shed blood to cover the sin.  WOW!!!! Sin #1... Sacrifice #1 to cover the sin so we may be forgiven.

Cain and Abel... Exodus from Egypt...All the stories.  Every single story points to the one and only point! Our sins require a sacrifice of perfect blood.  God, our Heavenly Father, loved us enough to give His one and only son as that sacrifice for us and all we have to do to be covered is totally and honestly accept that TRUTH.  It's the only point and He makes it over and over and over from the BEGINNING because it is that important!!!

God is an awesome teacher! He tells us over and over because some of us it takes a little while to grasp it all. I just ordered The Miracle of the Scarlet Thread from Amazon. I feel like this is where I am supposed to focus right now. I'd love it if some of you joined me!!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Exhaling... I'm Tired of Holding My Breath.

The year I turned 30, I made a list of things I wanted to accomplish before I died.  A bucket list.  How incredibly unoriginal of me, I know, but I had never heard of the idea back then.  I read an article where a man had listed the 100 things he absolutely had to do before he died and it had led to clarity about who he truly was and what really mattered in his life.  I wanted  that sense of clarity. I created a list  but try as I might, I could only come up with 70 things.  That's it.  70 adventures, small and large.

28 of them are places I want to visit. That's slightly less than half of my dreams.. to go to the places I've only read about.  Another 7 center on Taylor - being there to watch him achieve his milestones.  Graduate from high school and college, get married, have children. I realize that those are my dreams FOR him and not necessarily my dreams. At the time, Taylor had not yet started kindergarten and there was no line between his life and mine. Would he love school?  Would he make friends? What sport would he play? My life for 13 years was driving to events, play dates, practices... helping with homework, reading bedtime stories, hiring tutors... buying a tuxedo for prom, buying a truck for his first vehicle... helping with college applications, touring colleges, meeting with recruiters, saying goodbye, enduring boot camp, combat training, and job school... I held my breath. I wanted every single dream of his to come true. Tell me how I can make his life a little better and I will.  Tell me what I can do as mom. My focus was Taylor. I wouldn't change a single thing.  He is the best accomplishment I ever hope to have in life.  He is a fine and wonderful Marine.  He has all his dreams in reach.

I can breathe now.  Slowly and luxuriously... slowly with my arms spread wide to gather in all the possibilities.  I can exhale all the worry and breathe in the possibilities as cliche as that sounds.  It is time to make a bucket list, a real bucket list.  Let's clarify what I want, really want to do with my life.

1. I want to go to Paris.  I do.  I know that is a common assertion among women, but I want to walk the streets and sit in the cafes.  I want to gaze at the Mona Lisa and picnic under the Eiffel Tower.  I want to journey to Versailles and eat cake.  All the other trips on the list can be crossed off if I can go to Paris.

2. I want to snuggle with my grandchildren.  This one is tricky because I know immediately upon hearing that I am going to be a grandmother, the cycle of trying to ensure that their dreams come true begins.  However, I embrace that.  I want to kiss their downy heads and breathe in their sweetness.  I want to build pillow forts and read picture books to them.  I want to play cars and go on adventures. I thoroughly enjoyed motherhood; I want to do it again... and be able to send them home when they get cranky like a proper grandma.

3.  I want to have contributed something to the greater good.  That's incredibly vague.  However, I think it's human nature to want to be remembered.  I want to touch lives, to make the world a better place, to ease a burden, to inspire a dream. I'm not sure we have lived if people are not sad when we have died.  I want to live so when I am no longer here, people notice I am gone.

I am sitting her re-reading all the things on my original list and yes, I would love to do many of them.  Others, I blame on the fight against turning 30.  I mean, did I really want to bungee jump or hanglide?  Really?  In reality though, I've done a lot.  If I can mark these three off the list, I'd say my life has been well-lived.  Who knows what adventures I'll add next.  :)  I am breathing these days and it feels amazing.

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Things Left Unsaid...

I read somewhere once that people begin affairs because the new person hasn't heard your stories yet. That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard! One of the great parts of sharing your life with someone is the shorthand language that develops over time based on shared experiences, common adventures, simple day-to-day life. There is a specialness that comes with the silly inside information you know about the ones who share your life and allows you to tell an entire joke with a simple smile to one another or a singular word, to exclaim loudly your fear that your parent is slipping by the length of a hug when you leave a family gathering, to express severe hurt by not folding your partner's clothes when you fold your own.  It's the things you do not have to say that really matters.

Of course, you don't have to be married to share this bond.  Families have it; long-term roommates develop it. Life-long friends are lucky enough to share it too.  The things left unsaid are some of the reasons I miss Taylor so desperately.  For most of his life, it was just us.  He is my best friend. He knows that I am prone to come home and put on my pjs regardless of the fact that it is not yet 5 pm.  He knows I do not want to leave the house after it is dark outside and that I will watch America's Next Top Model whenever it is on television regardless of how many times I have seen the episode. I know how aggrevated he gets about certain situations, how thrilled he is when certain things go right, and just how picky he is about his clothes. I miss the laughter for no reason.  I miss him saying the right punch lines to the nonsensical jokes that were our own language. I miss him being here to say the right thing without me having to explain the whole situation... I want to be able to use shorthand.

I didn't get invited to an event that I love attending every year.  I cannot enumerate the reasons why I love attending without it sounding like I am silly and needy and just plain weird. I do not want to explain the background of the event and all that it entails.  I just want to be able to come home, say that I didn't get invited, and be instantly and totally understood.  Taylor would have said "Aw, Mom.  I'm so sorry.  I know how much that means to you."  And he wouldn't have to say anything else... but maybe we could go get ice cream later...