Monday, March 23, 2009

Taking the training wheels off. . . .

Well yesterday I was amazed that my little girl started riding her bike without the training wheels. Bittersweet to say the least and my heart breaks at the idea of her growing up so fast. She is the sweetest, most gentle soul I've ever known in my life, reminds me of my husband in many ways. Who knows, maybe we all start off that way as little girls, I just don't remember that innocence and free spirit without burden.

It's quite a funny little story. Yesterday, Adrianna wanted so badly to play with friends outside but nobody was home. She saw an older girl riding a motorized scooter thing, this to be exact:
...and she asked me to ask the girl if she could ride it. I of course told her no, she doesn't even know the girl and it's for older kids. I explained that she needs to learn how to ride her own bike without training wheels to learn how to balance before being able to get one of those. I left to run an errand and within the hour I was gone, I can back and daddy taught her to ride without the training wheels...she was SO PROUD! Of course, the first thing she said, after "mommy did you see me?!" was,"now can we go buy one of the electric ones". Uh Oh! One day, was all I said simply and am so grateful she accepted that answer, for now at least. :o)

Anyway, I was watching her ride today after school and felt full of questions. I brought my Bible outside since the weather was so nice I thought maybe that'll get me to sit down and read, but it didn't. Instead I sat and reflected. I thought about the last 2+ years of my faith and how it has grown. I thought about all the people that have come into my life and each gift they had to offer to me. My friend Sabrina, her and her husband have shown us what Hope looks like and how God can use people like them to show to us. My friend Amanda shows me what faith looks like and the strong need there is for women like us to grab onto it and not let go. And Erika, well she has shown me Love, genuine and true love something I'll cherish forever! And never mind all of my other friends that I've grown closer and closer to and all the love, support and guidance they've all given me. Through the women I've mentioned, more and more relationships have blossomed and I can't imagine life without them. There is nothing like having a neighbor right across the street that you KNOW is there for you anytime, anyday. Given the opportunity to live in this house has opened that door and nurtured that relationship for sure. God has surrounded me by women, strong, supportive, sweet, understanding, driven, all different types with all unique qualities and gifts.

Now that's all the great stuff, the relationships, the people....I love them all! What's tough for me is the expectations I set on myself with where my faith should be. What my relationship with God is supposed to look like.

Here's some honesty...

I don't like referring to Jesus as "Christ", it just doesn't sound personal or respectful if that makes any sense, which I'm sure if you are a "seasoned Christian" it doesn't. But I grew up hearing his name used when you are pissed off or stub your toe or something, seriously.

I have a very hard time listening to people talk about how much they love God when I don't see them love people. Isn't that what God is? Relationship, people, love? How can I take them serious? Why am I more afraid of them than anyone else?

I haven't even been baptized yet (well not since I was 1mth old in a Catholic Church) so what does that mean for me? Do I do it because I want to be taken seriously? I believe that Jesus died for our sins and wonder what does being dunk under water in front of a bunch of people mean? Probably a dumb question I know.

I feel awkard around Christians when they refer to "when they were saved" and so on. It's almost like I want to ask, so when you were baptized and accepted Jesus, your whole life changed? Are you really transformed? Do we ever get so see what being transformed looks like or is it a process that takes our entire lives? I usually feel like I don't belong in those conversations and am probably the reject in the group for sure!

I can't even completely be myself around many of the people I know without the fear that me stubbing a toe (just happened a few minutes ago, hence the toe reference again) and saying F*^#! wouldn't SHOCK THE HELL out of them or make them uncomfortable around me, judge me, etc.. etc...

I've experienced culture shock since I've been in Texas. People are sugary sweet, yes. People are polite, yes. But truly I'd rather be around an up front, tell it like it is, light a cigarette and not even care kind of person, because at least I know they are real. I'm not afraid of those types of people. I kind of got off on a tangent a bit here so let me get back on track....

I want a closer relationship with God. I want to rely COMPLETELY on him. I do know that the fear and anxiety would be lifted if I did rely on Him more. I just don't know how to do that. I am definitely that type of person that when I get excited about something, just like I did with Christianity, I will jump right on board, here I am a sponge ready to absorb it all. I get caught up with the excitement of it all. YES I'll be involved in community stuff. YES I'll do whatever it takes to meet people and grow our church so we can do even bigger and better things. YES I'll read my Bible, host a Bible Study, make meals, have meals with people, do anything that is pretty much directly asked of me. But then there is the down time, the moments when I'm alone when I ask myself, "Where are you in your faith?" And that is such an important question for me to ponder and work through.

I have had my own set of Training Wheels on now for over 2 years and I think it's about time I take mine off too. As I watch Adrianna's fearless and determined look on her face while she's riding without them and then the glow of Glory while she pushes back on her breaks to get off the bike, I yearn for that. I feel like a child in my faith and am amazed at how much I learn from my own sweet little ones!

I don't know how else to end this post accept just by asking for prayers. I want to move on, I want to grow but want to do it "genuinely". I don't ever want to be a phony Christian. I don't ever want people to think I am something I'm not. I want it but also want to be true to myself...

I wonder what that looks like...


Sabrina said...

Ok so I'm bawling my eyes out right now!!! Amazing - you are amazing!!

I love you!!

Gina said...


Amanda said...

Wow! This was cool and NOW I am taking it as a compliment when you say "You don't seem like you are from Texas." :) I think that is why you and I are so drawn to each other because one never has to ask what we think! :)

I love what you wrote! WOW! I love how you think. I love our conversations and I love the fact that you can be totally real and do it without caring. You are a jewel and you are someone that is a TRUE life changer. Everything you touch turns to something with excitement.

I adore you and I thank God for you. I was just telling my friend Tiffany that I still kind of feel alone in this town but you are someone I know I can call on any time and you will be there.

Thank you for making such a difference in my life. You came into my life with such a powerful force and I am so glad I have you in my life.

Erika said...

Wow- I remember using the same analogy a few years ago in reference to my own spiritual growth. It is a great one!

We all get to that point where we have to evaluate if the things that we are doing that are designed to help us along really ARE helping us along. You are good at this!:)

From my perspective, I am so proud of you and all that you do to communicate love for God and people. It is a great privilege
to have your family in our midst! You are moving in the right direction, and I think that you're correct in saying that transformation takes a lifetime- we become changed piece by piece. We get on the bike, start to ride, take the training wheels off, and later on to the motor scooter!:)

A very thought-provoking post!

Dee said...

You are awesome! I love how you are honest and real. I totally get this post especially your "honesty" portion! Amazing... I love finding more REAL women. I really feel alone sometimes when I hear all the people talking about how fabulous their life is and how wonderful their faith is and looking like they have it all together. It's refreshing to know there are REAL WOMEN out there who aren't perfect and share it and then share what has worked for them along their journey! Thanks!