Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Man-Boy (becoming more of a man!)

Seventeen years ago, today, you made your presence into the world. At exactly 9:43 A.M. You arrived. A screaming, chunky, red faced, white haired, ball of love. My life has never been the same!

You have become an amazing young man, and I am proud to be your mom. Tyler your love for those around you is infectious! You are a special young man, and while you are quick to point out you aren't perfect (we are aware of that!), your love for others and your heart amaze me.

God is doing a wonderful work in you! I am blessed to be here to experience all your growing pains- knowing these past seventeen years are drawing you closer to HIM and who HE wants you to be!

Monday, January 31, 2011

If You Only Knew!

There are times when I want to scream at the top of my lungs "IF YOU ONLY KNEW". Those times when people assume your entire life looks like that one glimpse, that one shining moment. The moment when my kids all seem like they are the best of friends. The moment when I was *caught* laying down my selfish desire to give the quick answer, and took the time to teach, or explain. The moment we left the house, to go somewhere, and thankfully left the huge argument we were having at home. The moment we went out to eat and somehow, my children remembered their table manners, even though I hadn't seen them in months! The moment my children remembered to say "Please" or "Thank you", without being reminded and someone assumed I had this entire parenting thing figured out- little did they know!

There are people who have *known* me for years, but haven't *seen* me in years- who think I'm a fraud! They don't know Christ, and don't understand "how or what" happened to me. The pieces to my puzzle don't fit. The funny thing is that they will never fit! It doesn't make sense. Out of all the people in the world God chose to save me- that girl who.....I am right there with you! It DOESN'T make sense! I am SO glad it doesn't have to!!

When I first became a christian, I had this overwhelming feeling like everyone else was perfect, then there was me. I felt like they were going to find out who I was, and ask me what I was doing there. That isn't how God works! God doesn't want those people who have it all figured out. Those poeople who have a perfect life. God wants those who have fallen, who are the weakest. He wants to take someone like you or me, who I am sure many wrote off, and change your (my) life. He wants those of us who are broken, fallen and beyond repair. So that we might bring glory to Him! HE is the only one big enough to help someone like me!

There are times when I share very intimate details of my life with friends who are discouraged, because God can and will use it all! With this bit of information or knowledge they can have hope! If God can redeem, and make good-- ALL I have done. The worst of the worst! They would know just how faithful HE is!

I spent most of my younger years looking for love in all the wrong places! Mainly in boys, yet I swore never get close enough to care about anyone! I was a single mom, who managed to make others think I knew what I was doing. I didn't. I still feel like a kid. Sometimes, I think someone is going to figure out that I'm stumbling my way through this life, and tell me I need adult supervision.

I was, and am, one of the most stubborn, prideful, selfish people I know. I have played the role of the other women, a cheater, liar, thief, gossip and manipulator. I have been an awful friend, wife and mother. I have been a horrible sister and terrible daughter. I have done it all! I have made really bad decisions that I'm not proud of! I know I have been forgiven! BUT, I can tell you I do not look forward to the day I have to look into one of my children's eyes and have *that* conversation. I know they will have a hard time understanding my decisions(even when they're adults). I am the girl who cursed like a sailor, ran away from home on most holidays and was plain lost! At 38, I still struggle with the fact that my biological father never thought I was important enough to truly enter into my life.

I am the girl who thought home school was fine for someone else (meaning those weirdos) , but NOT me!-(God found that really funny!). Now, as I navigate through this home school maze, I am more aware of how big God truly is! Let me make it clear, when we made the decision to home school, I did not have a supernatural moment where God anointed my head with an abundance of grace and patience! Daily, I struggle to respond with grace(sometimes hourly, sometimes by the minute)! There are days when I have no patience. There are days where if you stood at my front door you would have a hard time believing Christ had any influence in my life what-so-ever! Actually, you might call someone to intervene and cast out the demons inside:). I don't think because homeschooling works for us, you should do it. Matter of fact, unless God has called you to it- DON'T! That doesn't mean you won't feel like you're jumping off the side of a cliff if He has called you, but it isn't something that should be entered in to lightly. It calls for some serious prayer and consideration. I believe God has a special plan for you, your family, and your life. Hopefully you aren't as stubborn and rebellious as me, and your transition will be a whole lot easier, than mine was.

I want to be transparent. There are days where my whole life looks like one hot mess! I don't want anyone to ever see a shining moment, or a glimse of my life, and think I have it all figured out. The only things I know, the only areas I have changed are ones God saw fit to change! I want you to know I am flawed, I am corrupt, I am selfish. I am many, many things. It took all those things, the good, the bad, and the ugly to draw me to Christ and for His work to be done in me!

I started by saying there are things I want to scream from the top of my lungs! One thing I want you to know is that I'm probably going to screw up tomorrow! Not mess up! Totally screw up! That isn't what is most important! What is more important than anything I could share about myself, what I would yell from the mountain tops- I am saved by grace. I am forgiven. I am loved! He not only accepts me just like I am, he wants me JUST as I am!

This past year has been one of the busiest yet calmest of my life. I am thankful for every moment- good and bad! I don't know what God has in store for us, the Crotsley Crew. I am praying for HIS will and not mine. I pray I will see the gifts and blessings in it all. I pray I will find joy in the everyday, and that He will continue His work in us (me)no matter how we (I) might fight.

I am still *that* girl! Hopefully, with a lot more stretching and growing I will become a little more comfortable becoming *this* girl! I pray for more growing pains. I pray I would enjoy this year as much, if not more, than last. I pray God would continue to show me his gifts in everyday life. I pray no matter how much it hurts I would grateful for *ALL* of it!

So, now you know, you really know.