Free to Dream

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I never thought this day would come.  I wasn’t sure it ever would, but here I am, living proof.  Memories pop up in my mind, going all the way back to when I was probably in junior high school. Those memories weren’t that great, to be honest. Downright crappy, really.  I know those tough times go back even further, but when I was a little girl, life was just life.  I didn’t think about the future.  Good or bad, I just entered a new day and took it for what it was.  It’s funny, but that’s exactly where I feel like I am today.  I guess I’ve come full circle.  Maybe that’s what Jesus meant when he said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.”

It just makes sense.  Little kids are so carefree.  Free of care… Or at least they should be.  The little ones in the Ukraine just came to my mind, so I say a silent prayer on their behalf.  Most children don’t think about where they’re going to sleep at night.  They don’t think about the electric bill or the mortgage payment.  They don’t have to think about these things because they know (or should be able to know) that their parents or guardians have it covered.  They can enjoy just being in the moment because they are safe, and they feel loved.  That’s how it’s supposed to be, how I believe God intended for it to be.

I watch my grandsons, and I envy their innocence. I’m always telling them to brush their teeth, comb their hair, change their underwear.  If it were left up to them, they would never do any of those things.  I shudder when I think about their fingernails being long and dirty, and their nasty earwax buildup if I weren’t there to make sure they are cleaned.  For them, aside from having to go to school, they would be content to live in the same clothes morning, noon, and night, never having washed a spot on their body.  They’d wake up, probably watch TV for a bit until the next best thing came along.  They could live on Pop-Tarts if I let them.  And don’t even get me started on their using the bathroom and not washing their hands.  This grandma never goes into the box of Cheez-Its unless I’m the first to open it…I don’t know where those hands have been!

I know we need to teach them healthy habits and proper personal hygiene, although I know that doesn’t always happen in every home either.  I really do try to be lighthearted with them, but I know I have failed in that department often. Especially during this last year.  Without realizing it, we are teaching children how to be short-tempered, to worry about how we look, about what others think about us and what we have.   We three have a comfortable space, but I know I carry the weight of the world on my shoulders at times, and I’m sure they have felt that weight as well. 

I am so relieved to share that something wonderful has changed for me.  I believe I have shared my appreciation for podcasts I’ve heard from Pastor Rick Warren.  The man is truly anointed by God to share scripture in a way that anyone can understand. At first, I was going to write about what I heard recently, but I decided to include a link below that will take you straight to the very podcasts that were so profound for me this week.  I’ve been on a journey anyway, so I can’t promise they will bring you to the same place I am right now but believe me when I say that your time will not be wasted by listening.

What I do want to share is that for the first time in my life, I finally realize what has been holding me down for so many years.  I can’t believe it, but it was ME!  If you’ve known me for any amount of time, or if you have read previous blogs, I have had some rough stuff to deal with.  This last year was particularly tough, following a divorce after being married for thirty-one years, and two unexpected surgeries.  I have fought the good fight, I truly have.  But I came out of those trenches still wanting, not feeling the victory from what I had just survived. 

The podcasts from this week helped me realize what my struggle has been all these years, through the story of Jacob.  God made ‘Jacob’ (which means ‘manipulator’ in Hebrew) face who he had been and the mistakes he had made for so many years.  After struggling with God all night long, Jacob finally understood.  God dislocated Jacob’s hip, to where he would walk with a limp for the rest of his life.  Literally, and figuratively, Jacob was no longer able to run away from his problems, and became a new man that God blessed and called him by his new name, Israel. 

I have been full of self-pity, for as long as I can remember.  Just as Israel used to be called Jacob, the manipulator, my ‘name’ used to be Self-Pity.  I have been struggling with myself and God, and somehow this week I am a changed woman.  Self-Pity is no longer my name.  I am Lisa, and I am a child of God, the King of Kings.  I have an eternal family.  I have asked for forgiveness from those I may have hurt unintentionally, and I have forgiven those who have hurt me.

The other day I was walking around my neighborhood, trying to keep my knee from growing too stiff following my recent surgery.  When I got back to the house, I noticed the basketball hoop, picked up the basketball, and started making some shots.  I bought the hoop to try and get the boys outside, away from video games.  As I had hoped, they heard me bouncing the ball in the driveway.  Before long, my grandsons and I were outside together, enjoying the sunshine and cool breeze while we played a game of HORSE.  I lost the game, but I won a beautiful moment with my two little guys.

I am always telling them how they can be whatever they want to be, just as I told my own children.  I can see where they are developing their own insecurities because of the world around us.  They are learning their boundaries, what they can get away with, and what they can’t.  They definitely know how to push my buttons!  I watch as they try to find their places.  They are both so smart and quick to think.  And funny?  Goodness, they make me laugh at times.  And they make me cry.  There are times when they are simply weird!  But they are awesome.  They are at that age when they are just beginning to dream about life’s possibilities.  I hope I haven’t thwarted those dreams too badly with my self-pity.  I am so thankful to my God, and for the words from Pastor Warren that helped me see the truth in myself.  Like my sweet grandsons, finally I am free to dream too.

Time to Dream: Trusting God to Open Doors Archives – Pastor Rick’s Daily Hope

Blessings,

Lisa Jo

Lisa Hudson
Lisa Hudson
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