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Posts Tagged ‘#whenigrowup’

When we are children we often have aspirations for greatness for when we grow up. What I never realized as a child and teen is that it never stops, for as we learn and grow and experience life we continue to acquire aspirations for when we grow up.

Recently I had opportunity to attend a volunteer gala/appreciation evening … at a seniors facility. The greater majority of those being honored were aged seventy and up! The oldest was ninety-three!

That evening reminded me of something I heard during a sermon or speech a number of months ago:

“challenge our young people
and comfort our aged”

I jotted it down because it did not sit well with me … I could not hear it and say that I heard truth … that I heard aspirations for all.

The other night confirmed for me that that statement is an unfortunate generalization of how society approaches the aged (and young people), for I saw seniors/the aged who are active, contributing members of society who are offering comfort to their peers, their community as well as challenging (by their example) those of us who are younger that their gifts can still be used in later years.

I remember my grandmother, in her eighties, telling me she was still driving the old girls on her road to church each Sunday. This is a real life goal!

Joel 2:28 tells us:

“… I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.”

The Spirit is poured out to all people, from the young to the old. If we look at further verses throughout the Bible we would see that the Spirit is poured out to the Jew and the Gentile, sons and daughters, the young and the old.

Matthew Henry’s Commentary speaks of this verse in Joel:

 ““Your old men, who are past their vigour and whose spirits begin to decay, your young men, who have yet but little acquaintance with and experience of divine things, shall yet dream dreams and see visions;” God will reveal himself by dreams and visions both to the young and old. “

When I grow up I want to be challenged, I want to be giving and sharing the Spirt of God in all that I do … maybe even comforting my peers … and the youth.

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Come-Alive-–-The-Moving-Forward-Series-–-Part-4-Pocket-Fuel-on-Jeremiah-1-5-longWith each day, each assignment and event our youngest son (and our family) is moving closer to the end of his high school years.

This weekend was such for him, as he worked to complete what is known as a Transition Plan (T Plan). It is a presentation which he does for a a group of family and friends, as well as a school staffer.

Though I, as a mom, and a school staffer, love to hear and view these presentations and to learn about the past, present and future of the lives of the students, I have not loved the pressure that this puts on the students (my own as well as the others).

Perhaps it is because it occurs in the final year of high school, when there is already so much pressure on the students to have their futures figured out.

Of our own three kids, this T Plan assignment has been much work, with little joy.

Our oldest, a perfectionist (kinda goes with being oldest) worked for weeks ensuring it fulfilled all the intended goals, and was amazing in every way. The evening of her presentation she ended up with technical difficulties, resulting in great stress and little joy as the presentation had to be viewed from her computer screen.

Our youngest daughter simply did what needed to be done. It was just another assignment to her … she did it and crossed that hoop off her list.

Our youngest son … he, well … this assignment was a constant reminder that he doesn’t know what his future plans are yet, and so it has just been a reminder and pressure to get it all figured out.

Finally, yesterday, I sat him down, and communicated more clearly to him that it is okay to not know what the future holds, for the heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps (Proverbs 16:9) anyway. I assured him that many of the plans of his peers will change, even in the next year.

Then I encouraged him to tell the truth about his future plans …

that he does not know what they will be,

that he simply cannot imagine next year without the community he has spent the last thirteen years with.

Then I reminded him that God has plans for his life, for next September, for his future. There is a plan, there is a hope, and when he is ready, it will be revealed.

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Purpose


With our youngest graduating from high school in five months, I have been perseverating about my own purpose or calling.

I remember well, as a teenager, being asked what I wanted to do when I graduated. I also remember my immediate thoughts to be of being a wife and mom, followed by lying and giving more ‘driven’ responses of professional goals.

Years later I discovered that I was pregnant … my life’s dreams were coming true … until, at about seventeen weeks, it’s heart stopped beating.

Twenty-one months later our ten and a half pound daughter was born. I was happy and challenged more than I ever imagined mothering to be.

The next seven years were filled with four more pregnancy losses, the birth of a daughter (who cried for two years) and the birth of our son.

My pursuit to hold the professional title of mom, was earned through PhD-like blood, sweat and tears. I awoke each day ready to go to work at my practise of mothering and homemaking.

As they headed off to school in succession, I realized it was time for a new, or more specifically, another vocation. What to do, when one grows up? became a regular question for me to ask. 

So, I went back to school … to work as an Educational Assistant. I have had the privilege of going to work, with a contented heart, for almost fourteen years, learning daily from the students I have the honour of working with.

Now … now, as my favourite three are moving into their adult lives, I see an opportunity for me to, once again, ask “what will I do when I grow up?

So I have looked at different jobs, courses and schools. I am still looking.

To this point, the only thing that keeps resurfacing, the only message I keep encountering that resonates with me is that relationships matter.

I am not sure that this message is for me, in terms of my vocational pursuits in the years to come, or in terms of me as an individual, in my life.

When I came across the words of Mother Teresa,

“we have been created in order
to love and to be loved”

I realized that, in considering what I want to do, I must first start with who I am.

Still no answers, yet all the answers are wrapped up in that core awareness that we are to love and to be loved. From that statement a stewardship of and to humanity is known.

 

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