Tag Archives: graduation

Nextpectation

Standard

Last week I had another graduation, though this was one I didn’t have on the calendar.  It began on Tuesday when I mowed the lawn.  I don’t remember what started the downward spiral, but the drone of the mower wasn’t drowning out the thoughts that kept pummeling my mind.  Somehow I had let my mind wander and had opened a door to a room filled with pain.  I soon found myself in a battle that was about as intense as they get.  The thoughts coming from outside my mind (so you know the source) kept trying to get me to become bitter or resentful or pass judgment on those who attacked me.  I kept forgiving…and reforgiving…and forgiving again.  I cried and repented for my part in things (yet again) and wondered what was it going to take for me to finally get over what happened.  Then I had an interesting thought.  Peter asked Jesus how many times should he forgive his brother when his brother sins against him.  The answer probably seemed way out there to Peter when Jesus told him seventy times seven.  So was that seventy times seven different sins or was it one offense that kept coming back to the mind and each time forgiveness had to be extended?  The answer is probably yes, lol.  In any event, I determined I would forgive as many times as it took, that I would never allow bitterness or anger or resentment in my heart.  I felt that day was a test, and that as grueling as it was, I had passed.

A couple days later I was at the store and had to buy a few things.  The total was $19.76 and the cashier said, “That was a good year.”  I told her yes, that was the year I graduated.  As I walked out to the car I’m not sure if it was an impression or if I heard that it was going to be my graduation day.  I kind of tucked that away but I could feel a sense of anticipation.  Soon afterward a friend came to visit and we talked for a couple hours.  Her wisdom and the grace and love she extended brought revelation and healing and by the time she left I realized that I was no longer the person I used to be.  A shift had taken place and I could release the past and move on.

I decided to go to Global in the evening to hear Bob Hazlett speak and went early enough to catch worship.  When I graduated from my internship at Global back in 2014 I had put together a compilation video and there was a song I used that is to this day one of my favorites, Bethel’s “Chasing You.”  It always takes me back to that graduation.  I had never heard it played live in worship anywhere, so you know what’s coming.  Let’s just say I sang my heart out :)

Jesus doesn’t always come to still the storms in your life; He comes to show you He is more powerful.  Bob’s message what just what I needed to hear.  He spoke on “Nextpectation”, which describes the place between where God has us right now and the place He is taking us to.  It’s that moment of anxiety/anticipation between the natural and the supernatural, the moment between the seen and unseen, an expectation about what God is going to do next.  If I knew what was going to happen I wouldn’t need hope.  Hope is always planted in a place of uncertainty.  But on our way from glory to glory, something needs to move out of the way.  If you’re going to take this new place, something has to be displaced.  So no matter what you’re going through or what you’ve been through you are standing in the place of grace, and grace enables you to fall forward.  So I boast in the hope of what God is about to do even though I don’t know what that will look like.  Whatever it is, though, I am sure it is beyond what I can even ask or think.  It has to be because it’s from Him!

Hanging up one of my hats

Standard

Tonight my youngest son will graduate, and I will no longer be a homeschool mom.  How do I feel about that?  Pretty good actually.  It’s a lot of work homeschooling, though this year was a breeze because he took a college course at a local high school and one math course.  The rest of the time he experimented with his science projects in the basement, learned how to make and edit videos (he did quite a few projects), and slept a lot, lol.  He tried to find a job to fill up some of the time, but in rural parts it’s hard.  Anyway, it’s a beautiful day, though a bit warm, and I’m going to hop in the shower soon and get ready to go.

There are six kids total graduating, and we do a nice ceremony at our church.  Matt made a video presentation put to music which shows pictures of each of the grads growing up.  One of the grads is playing a piano piece, one a clarinet, and one is singing a song with his sisters (he comes from a very musical family).  It should be a good night!  When they present the diplomas, they read a paragraph or two that the parents wrote.  Here’s what Matt will hear…

Matthew, it hasn’t always been easy, but it has never been boring! If we had it to do over again, we would have given you fewer answers to remember and more problems to solve. We would have told you less often what we expected of you and instead sought to awaken your own expectations. And we definitely would have encouraged you to bite off more than you could chew and then made you chew it! But your homeschool days are over and today you are beginning a new journey.  We believe God has a special purpose for your life, and though the future seems uncertain, God is already there. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths. He loves you even more than we do and will never give up on you. Neither will we! Thank you for not giving up on us despite our many parenting mistakes and for teaching us how to love unconditionally. Remember that there are no shortcuts to any place worth going and that neither success nor failure is final. We are here to help you, but the best helping hand you will ever receive is the one at the end of your own arm. You have great potential, but how far you go in life will depend on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of both the weak and the strong, because some day in life you will have been all of these. Congratulations, Matt. We are very proud of you!