**sigh** as I began to read this chapter, I already think I know the first, middle and last word in it. It seems to be very much about me.
My perfect little family started when I was 22 years old and I had my first child. Alone. Not what I had hoped for and thought about when I was younger, but it was happening so I might as well had been ready. Although I was 22, being a single mom was no picnic. So at 25, when I met my soon to be husband, I was thrilled. I was about to have that perfect family I had dreamed about. You know, we were going to have the house, 2 kids (I was already ahead on that one), two cars, and a picket fence with rocking chairs on the porch to watch the kiddos play in the yard. Ahhh yes, life was grand.... for a while anyway. And then the worst possible thing could have happened.. he decided that was not the life he wanted anymore so off he went. And me... I got the apartment, no rocking chairs or fence and the 2 kids turned into 3. My perfect family was pretty much gone in a flash right before my eyes.
My daughter took it the hardest... the boys were still really young then. But she saw and heard things that I would imagine that no child, or even some adults should hear or see. The fussing and fighting, and I honestly think now because of that, she has some real issues with relationships. We are working on that...For a while, I was in a funk that seems to get deeper and deeper as the days went on. I couldn't figure out why in the world my friends "X" over here were doing so wonderfully and "Y' seemed to have the life that I always dreamed of having. Well it didn't matter anyway, that was done and I still had to press on.. you know fight the good fight and all that jazz. So, put up this barrier... I mean NO one was breaking that thing. It never really mattered to me at that point what God thought, I was more concerned with what my friends and people I worked with thought. It was all a hot mess. The kids got older, my life was a wreck, home wasn't all that great, but to see us on the outside you would have never known it unless you really knew me. It was all about appearances. You know, when the folks at church ask how you are and you say "FINE" with a big smile when inside you wanna fall to the floor crying and tell them the real deal. But it doesn't matter what the people around you think.. it's what my children KNEW and more importantly, as Donne puts it in the book, It was God's opinion that counted the most. See, God knew and knows our hearts.. we can't fool Him no matter how hard we try and we will be rewarded on what is in our hearts ,not how we perform in front of others.
And before you read this part.. know that I have been guilty and am guilty of this too. And I never really thought about it until I read it in the book, because I have always thought I had my children's best interest at heart when it cam to their lives. But we can over do it sometimes I guess. But, we can get make sure our kids go to the best schools in the world, put them in all the sports activities we can get gas to drive them around too, make sure they are taking the hardest classes in Hg school so they can go to the best colleges in the world, make alot of money and buy a big house for them and you when you retire and get old. Buy the biggest and the best so that when they die, they will have alot of stuff, and it will have absolutely no meaning in the end. There is nothing wrong w/ sports activities, nothing wrong with children being smart and going to good schools and colleges, but have you ever thought why you want it? Is it because the kids really love to play it and want to go, or is it because we are living out some life long fantasies we once had and we are trying hard to keep up w/ the Joneses?
Psalms 112:1-2 " Blessed is the woman who fears the Lord, who finds great delight in his commands. Her children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed." See, God promises a gift to my children, a blessing for my obedience. My life may not be perfect, but through obedience, my children will be able to tell of God's greatness and that makes it better. No, not the perfect life, not the one I signed up for, but for my children, I fight to the end!