srijeda, 5. listopada 2011.

My Brother

My posts seem to be one prayer need after another. Just like life, I guess.

Well, my brother, Ivo, is at the hospital. The doctors are trying to figure out what's wrong with him, but without success. He's had a fever for a long time, but his bloodwork is perfect and there are no other visible symptoms.  Needless to say, he is feeling really sad. The longer he doesn't know what's wrong, the worse and darker his thoughts become. He's never trusted Jesus as his Saviour and Lord, so that all his hope is feeble. Today, he's been very aggressive, arguing with the nurses and with our parents. I thoroughly dislike (in other words, hate) staying at the hospital (at least in a Croatian hospital), where nobody tells you anything and they just expect you to accept whatever they bring your way, so that I understand how helpless he must be feeling. And helplessness can make us all behave very bad. God help him.

They've already tested him on numerous bacterial diseases, from TBC and HIV to Streptococcus and Escherichia coli. And now, they're testing him for malignant diseases. Bone marrow puncture yesterday, today the Chron's disease test and an ultrasound of the heart. Next week lumbar puncture.

Here's a photo of him and his beautiful wife Sanja, and their darling son Ante...

Please pray with us, for a spiritual wake-up call and physical healing! Thank you so much!

subota, 1. listopada 2011.

Moving ahead

The teacher wasn't pleased. We'll try harder next time.

Miro is in Slavonski Brod today and I've done the Saturday lesson at the Deaf and hard of hearing school. I'm teaching the kids there the symbols of English phonetics so that they don't have to rely on what's written in their English classes but have a way of knowing how to pronounce words. Since they can't hear well, they usually go for the letters on the page, reading them phonetically, and, needless to say, that's fatal in a language like English where pronunciation is extra weird:). No offense:)))

And now... we are being lazy. It's still quite warm around here, but the colours are changing. October colours. A bright sunny day - a perfect day for walking, squinting and smiling.
And I hope to do some of that:).

Before we know it, the forests will be dressed like this...

četvrtak, 29. rujna 2011.

Book Report Day and Baptism Service

Well, this too has passed. Jakov is at school now, with his report in the school bag. The second story he chose was called the Swineherd, and, for different reasons,  it was not an easy read. Anyway, it's all done now. Thank you so much for praying! I don't think it will make a good grade. However, the teacher might reward his effort - he did read it all by himself, which is something many other kids don't do - their Moms read it for them. And, he did write everything required of him. Miro spoke with the teacher yesterday, and tried to explain the difficulties Jakov is facing, and she seems to have understood and is willing to help. That is wonderful and hope inspiring! Here's the book, in all its 80s glory:(

Aahhh. Moving on. And not looking back.

Now, here's a great piece of news: a baptism service on Sunday. One dear brother and sister will be baptised!! I am so happy for them both! What an enormous encouragement they are for our church here. I am so looking forward to it (thinking about, among other things, what to wear:))))!!! Our little church band will play two songs, that is great, too. It will be held at a different Church, since we don't have a baptistry, but that is no downer:) We are going there small in numbers but with great joy in the Lord. May He bless the lives and paths of our new brother and sister in Him, who is our Beloved!

ponedjeljak, 26. rujna 2011.


We finished reading The Ugly Duckling, and now need to choose another story from the book. Actually, Jakov was supposed to read every story in that book and write a report on two of them, but that's not the way it's gonna 'go down'.

These are the kinds of things that he needs to write there: time and place of the plot, main and other characters, some of their characteristics, a few of his favourite sentences and the moral of the story.
I was surprised at how quickly he did it. No crying. No saying 'I can't do it, it's too hard!' So, I decided I was not going to correct the many spelling mistakes and investigate the fact that his favourite sentence was the first sentence of the story - the shortest and easiest for copying:))! I was happy it was done, and he was ecstatic:)!
He will probably get a D (a 2 in Croatian, 5 being the highest and 1 the lowest grade), but there's time. We will press on. Can't wait for his speech therapist to come from her vacation.

OK, the first part is over. Now we need to choose and read the next story. A short one, perhaps;)?

četvrtak, 22. rujna 2011.

The Saga Continues

September - the school month. The month when you start wearing socks and quit wearing flip-flops and forget about the occasional run with no shoes at all. The end of the barefoot, carefree summer. But oh so exciting beginning of the school year. The intoxicating smell of books, school bags, pencil cases, the rush of being in the school corridors, the promise of hysterical classroom laughter, the adrenaline of exams.....aahhh, the good times. At least when you're in elementary school, and you are not yet your own worst enemy. Like you might become in high school.

But, that's my story, not my kids'. Somehow, my kids seem to be different from me! What's up with that?!? :)

Well, Josip (my 1st grader) seems to be following in his mama's footsteps, at least for now. When he's in front of his classroom, he seems hypnotized - doesn't even notice me once the thought of entering that room possesses his mind. I can't deny that that gives me such joy.

Jakov, on the other hand, seems to be ridden with different little problems that annoy him like flies when he's trying to concentrate and do something pertaining to school. He is often completely miserable. The hardest thing about looking up different learning disabilities is that he seems to have symptoms for each and every one of them. ADD, dyslexia, visual perceptual deficit, bad short term memory (related  to his stuttering), etc. I don't think it is something very severe, more like a mild case of such things combined with a personality that becomes overwhelmed easily and shrinks away from 'hard' things. And the hardest thing for him, and is related to all learning, is reading. Our reading sessions are usually soaked in tears. Last year, our friend Rachel used to help him with that, trying to make it fun, and he loved it. This year, Charlie and Barb will try. I love them all so much for thinking about Jakov like that and doing something about it. His speech therapist is also trying to help, because it seems that children who stutter are known to have a hard time reading, at least in the beginning. Anyway, please pray...

He needs to read a book of Andersen's fairy tales by next Thursday. We are still in the first story - The Ugly Duckling. His pace is so slow that he doesn't even get things he reads. Which in Andersen's case might be just as well!! Why give such incredibly SAD stories to an eight year old who probably will not know how to cope with it?!? But that's another story. He needs to have a book report on this by Thursday. Please pray with us...

petak, 29. srpnja 2011.

Oh yes, it's been a while

The Busy July is almost at its end. One more event tonight and tomorrow night, and we are leaving the green pastures of Slavonia and exchanging them for the vast blues of the Adriatic. Praying for sunshine, a lot of sunshine to warm up our bones, to make us sleepy and full of smiles, to ressssst.

Tomorrow evening we are hoping to make a bonfire and roast corn with our short-termers. 'The Edgers'. Make some sweet memories, hopefully. They've all been very good, wonderful girls.

I'm aching for the sound of waves and concerts of crickets, squeaking of pebbles and the smell of pine trees.

ponedjeljak, 20. lipnja 2011.

in the waiting mode

The boys are still gone. On the phone, Josip sounds happy. I hope they are. I pray they are.

I spent this morning at Jakov's school, talking to the school's psychologists about Jakov's problems with attention and reading skills. It was a good experience, and although not much was concluded, the ladies were very encouraging, and they said they will continue monitoring him in the Fall. I hope the teacher will open her heart and mind toward me and let me have at least her phone number! So strange, that a teacher wouldn't want to work together with the parent on the child's welfare. Maybe she had some bad experiences in the past?!? I don't know. The Lord is with us. Every step of the way. Prayer, prayer, prayer. Putting my trust in Him.

5 more days and my boys will be home.

I'm thankful for...

encouragement at discouraging places
the golden green grass at sunset
my neighbour's tractor (Luka 'drove' it:)
my neighbour Kaja, an old woman who gives Luka chocolate
my hardworking husband
freshly made apricot jam
a lunch that was full of goodies from our garden
reading 1 Peter with M in the quiet morning
that our faith is more precious than gold
that dying to self is a victory
kind stray dogs
my car radio
friends, always friends...
Jesus, who bought my salvation. and it was costly.

petak, 17. lipnja 2011.

of partings

Jakov and Josip are gone for a week at a Christian camp for kids. We've just said goodbye and hugged and waived and blew kisses. This might be one of the hardest goodbyes of my life.
Josip seemed like such a tiny little creature, in his red cap and bermuda shorts. He is so skinny. They both kept smiling and I tried to find some words of fun and cheer, but I think I failed miserably. My boys. The tall Jakov and the tiny Josip. I love them so much. And CAN'T wait for them to come home next Saturday.
Please Lord, keep them safe, keep them warm, keep them wrapped in your grace, bathed in your kindness, your love...

nedjelja, 12. lipnja 2011.

Seeking Father's Kingdom First

One of the most well known verses, but still, a verse that is so easy to 'skip', because, 'I know this one'. Its abstractness makes it layered, and I have a tendency to stop thinking as soon as I've found the first satisfying answer. But, what does it mean? Maybe, going to Church on Sunday, tithing, sending kids to Christian camps... But, isn't this verse so much deeper... it takes time to think about what it really means. Like, in a certain situation when a friend makes a little remark that allows you to see that there is something wrong with your relationship that you had no knowledge of. You catch a glimpse of a dark light coming through the crack of their sentence. You feel hurt, because you are not 'like that' (although you maybe are). But, all of a sudden you don't trust them as before and all you feel is a desire to retaliate.

Or when you want to go to sleep early, so you can get up early and 'seek the Kingdom', but your husband would really like to watch a movie with you.

Or when, jumping from moderate to high heat in an argument, he tells you that you can't even keep the house in order, let alone yourself.

What then? I panic. And in that moment I realize that I connect seeking to reading, to quiet time, as if it's limited to that serene setting. I think: Doesn't this seeking has to do with reading the Bible? and don't I seek while I read? How do I seek it now that I'm hurt and my ego swells, and lights go out and I stagger around, hitting the walls?

Seeking God's kingdom means losing ourselves in obedience to the Lord and pouring out our lives in the eternal work of our heavenly Father.
John MacArthur

Losing ourselves. Pouring out our lives. Dying to self. Putting others first. Surrendering my will, knowing that it's not about me, but in Him, through Him and for Him. And He is good. And I can trust Him. Because He loves me with an undying love.

Here is a stanza from a poem (My love, by James Russell Lowell) that I came across that made the dying more clear, more tangible and, ultimately, more winsome. I secretly wish my husband will some day find this poem and see a glimpse of me in it...

She doeth little kindnesses,
Which most leave undone, or despise:
For naught that sets one heart at ease,
And giveth happiness or peace,
Is low-esteemèd in her eyes.

For now, I want to wholeheartedly continue with thanksgiving... One thousand gifts...
#46 blooming of roses
#47 receiving the Kingdom that cannot be shaken (Heb 12:38)
#48 ordering children's books through - free shipping worldwide:)
#49 women with a great sense of humor
#50 prayers with Jakov
#51 M's help, sacrificial help
#52 the good outcome of Charlie's surgery
#53 Jami and for the internet
#54 words
#55 computers
#56 a good night's rest
#57 Jakov getting an A in English
#58 potatoes in bloom:)
#59 the smell of C&B's house
#60 Kekec
#61 losing weight
#62 Luka's laughs, when he throws his head back
#63 trains that come on time
#64 coming home after a long day out
#65 the new flowers in the garden
#66 our well
#67 coffee with friends
#68 my 'hoarding' father in law
#69 the stillness of the kitchen early in the morning
#70 the knick-knacks on the windowsill

petak, 10. lipnja 2011.

A-weedin' and a-wonderin'

I've never had a vegetable garden before. Or any sort of garden, for that matter. I was born and raised on the third floor of an apartment building, overlooking the kindergarten and low Dalmatian hillside. (Apartment buildings were the usual dwelling places of the middle class in socialist Yugoslavia. Like anthills.)

However, milling around my garden the last few weeks, I was struck with a thought that no matter how much I try, and take care of the weeds, and the soil, and put sticks for the tomatoes - all that is just peripheral in a sense. The real part, the reason why the vegetable garden was planted - TO GROW VEGETABLES - is beyond me!! I can't do anything to make it grow, I can just watch, hope and pray, and weed, and put sticks...

The miracle of growth belongs to HIM. We can 'work out our salvation' (Phil. 2:12) only in the sense of weeding and putting sticks, but the miracle of growth belongs to HIM.

nedjelja, 5. lipnja 2011.

What is so rare as a day in June?

This title is so inspiring...

I am thankful for
#31 children giggling and screaming for joy
#32 planted flowers
#33 the fact that Sirač is only an hour away
#34 friends from afar
#35 M's support
#36 the ease with which I can watch Luka get totally dirty in the sand, and not worry one bit
#37 my mother's joy
#38 occasional conversations with my brother
#40 the good books that arrive through the mail!
#41 the good books that friends bring in their generous hands
#42 being involved in my neighbour's wedding
#43 hosting a beach party for the neighbourhood kids on our lawn
#44 Charlie and Barb coming back
#45 Ann Voskamp's daily inspiration

subota, 4. lipnja 2011.

Eating Manna

"For forty long years, God's people daily eat manna - a substance whose name literally means 'What is it?' Hungry, they choose to gather up that which is baffling. They fill on that which has no meaning. More than 14,600 days they take their daily nourishment from that which they don't comprehend. They find soul-filling in the inexplicable.
They eat the mystery.
They eat the mystery.
And the mystery, that which made no sense, is 'like wafers of honey' on the lips."

This is written by Ann Voskamp in One Thousand Gifts. These words, these thoughts penetrated deep inside my inner core. They linger in my mind throughout the day. And this is how I now try to live my life. This is what I pray for at night, thinking about the day ahead. And each day seems overwhelming. And I open my soul toward my Hope and I trust Him for the manna. Open my heart in trust and I eat the manna. And it is like honey on my lips.

I'm learning and breathing deeply.
Thank you for this day, Lord.

ponedjeljak, 30. svibnja 2011.

The path less traveled by

Glorious, sunny days in Nova Gradiška. School almost over, although finals are still not over. Please pray for Jakov and his ability to retain what we learn together, and not to zone out in the middle of the task at hand.
Please, pray for Josip to have a soft heart, soft conscience and an epiphany:) - to get at least a glimpse of his little self and feel the humility of human, his own condition. Pray that for me, too.
Luka is growing as fast as a weed:)))) Please pray for his 'debut' in the world of obedience:))

And now, let's visualise the little path of gratitude. That little path that is not yet well trodden, but is already forming receptive ground to walk on, like it was waiting for this, like this was its destiny and now it is being fulfilled. The little winding, enchanting path that invites faster heartbeats, that gives excitement in anticipation. Passing by little brooks, caressing the soft grass, stopping to smell the leaves and the bark, and, the best of all, seeing a dear friend coming toward you... SO MUCH to be thankful for, so much to be thankful for...

# 11 for my neighbour Mira
# 12 for my vegetable garden
# 13 for hot sunny days in Spring
# 14 for M's patience
# 15 for the look in Josip's eyes when he's on to something
# 16 for Jakov's jokes
# 17 for 'having a plan' (naming)
# 18 for occasional moments of solitude
# 19 for the fact that my Lord is a REBUILDER. ALL POWERFUL REBUILDER.
# 20 for friends who come to visit and we get to spend a few PRECIOUS hours sharing what's on our hearts
# 21 for the story of Zacchaeus
# 22 for the rain
# 23 for the salvation of sinners
# 24 for the sounds of 'screamage' from the boys' room - Luka and Josip scaring eachother
# 25 bottlefeeding Luka and him touching my nose, and us both laughing like there's no tomorrow
# 26 for potatoes in bloom
# 27 for the ants in my kitchen
# 28 for the Holy Scriptures
# 29 for my neighbours' kindness
# 30 for spinach

četvrtak, 26. svibnja 2011.

Some private stuff:))))))

(A recent e-mail from me to our DEAR friends and teammates, Charlie and Barb, who are in the States, but are coming back soon. Perhaps it seems pretty silly to write that as a blog post, but this was my day, and it was good, and I miss them:))

"Hey guys, how are you? How's big boy Charlie doing? I hope the drugs are of
good quality, if not, I know a guy:)))))))

Report from the Brennecke home:
Your home smells so NICE, I can't believe that even after you've been gone for quite a while the whole house just smells beautifully and gives me such a feeling of safety and rest. I miss you guys so much.
Praško waiting just behind the gate, in desperate need of tlc (won't touch hard food - he reads us like an open book)
Kekec crazy about running, eyebrows 5 cm long, gorgeous as ever, losing touch with reality:)))) just kidding (?:D?)
Speaking of centimeters - the weeds are getting to be of an impressive height:)! Ever since the End of the world on Sat, we've had short summer thunderstorms, with little showers of rain. It's amazing how weeds, unlike plants we like and nurture, only need a few drops of rain and they THRIVE:))
However, judging by the beautiful blooms of the plants in the living room, the lady that nurtures them has 'zlatne ruke' and I can't wait to see her.
We all weighed ourselves upstairs and (why not) here is the report (we all seem to weigh double in comparison to the guy behind us):
Luka 24.4 pounds
Josip 42.2
Jakov 73.8
Ivana (who lost weight which is the only reason she is doing this ridiculous
list:)))))))) 145.4

Hahaha, WE LOVE YOU!! See you soon.

P.S. Cherries sumptiously ripe. We had some.:)))

ponedjeljak, 23. svibnja 2011.

Humbly joining the Multitudes on Monday

I am thankful for...

#1 Luka's face when he's asleep
#2 seagulls, soundlessly following the ferries
#3 the word RANSOM
#4 the shimmer of the sea on a sunny day
#5 good pens that slide down the paper
#6 the brown eyes of my sons
#7 clean sheets
#8 hot showers
#9 M's ever warm feet

nedjelja, 22. svibnja 2011.

Our Father

We must address ourselves to him as our Father, and must call him so. He is a common Father to all mankind by creation, Mal. 2:10; Acts 17:28. He is in a special manner a Father to the saints, by adoption and regeneration (Eph. 1:5; Gal. 4:6); and an unspeakable privilege it is. Thus we must eye him in prayer, keep up good thoughts of him, such as are encouraging and not affrighting; nothing more pleasing to God, nor pleasant to ourselves, than to call God Father. Christ in prayer mostly called God Father. If he be our Father, he will pity us under our weaknesses and infirmities (Ps. 103:13), will spare us (Mal. 3:17), will make the best of our performances, though very defective, will deny us nothing that is good for us, Lu. 11:11–13. We have access with boldness to him, as to a father, and have an advocate with the Father, and the Spirit of adoption. When we come repenting of our sins, we must eye God as a Father, as the prodigal did (Lu. 15:18; Jer. 3:19); when we come begging for grace, and peace, and the inheritance and blessing of sons, it is an encouragement that we come to God, not as an unreconciled, avenging Judge, but as a loving, gracious, reconciled Father in Christ, Jer. 3:4.

Henry, M. (1996, c1991). Matthew Henry's commentary on the whole Bible : Complete and unabridged in one volume (Mt 6:9). Peabody: Hendrickson (emphasis mine).

Father Abraham, Maria Hathaway Spencer

petak, 20. svibnja 2011.

there are a lot of ways of refusing to be crucified with Christ

This evening I 'loved' my family by demanding that they be more like me. Me, who is giving her best, me who is doing one thousand things, me who is making sacrifices while everyone else just floats on through life.....
Such a subtle, and such an obvious deception. I should know it inside out by now. And still... it's elusive, this self. Me and my right to the throne. Always lurking.

četvrtak, 19. svibnja 2011.

Story about ants, but, alas! without morals;). well, maybe a little moral.

Two still asleep. A beautiful morning outside. Sounds of birds chirping come from every direction. Ants all over the kitchen counters. Avoiding the food, looking for water.
For some reason, I don't mind them when they're 'only' looking for water. It's like we pass by each other without any hostile feelings, minding our own business, maybe with even a little bit of compassion and...respect?!:))

I'm not anxious probably because I'm convinced they will soon leave. It's what they did last year. Invaded our kitchen for a week and then disappeared for the whole year. The thought that they CAN actually totally invade our house is kind of scary - there are holes in the walls, in the floor, that are sufficiently big for them to come in and bring whole armies. Last year they even had a dance in the boys' room, totally disregarding 'our world', having parties and mating rituals!!

Haha, and now a strange statement: Thank you Lord for these ants of 'mine', thank you for giving me the grace not to panic and be anxious about them, too. Thank you for making me share my kitchen with ants:)

We meet in the weirdest places - early in the morning, when I open the utensils drawer, they are there to greet me, well, actually to run around like crazy people, but that's what they always do, isn't it?!? Always look totally nuts, carrying stuff a million miles away from the anthill, or going left then right then back, then meeting someone and then off again in all directions, over the walls, in the tall grass... and still they make it home. I think they don't get overwhelmed by the IMMENSITY of the world around them and hence HOPELESS because they KEEP THEIR MIND ON THE JOB.

Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing.

utorak, 17. svibnja 2011.

Get off the bus!

Early morning. And already thoughts of rushing, thoughts of anxiety. Prayer, followed by anxiety. Something's wrong with that. And yet it's so familiar. Maybe recognizing it will make a difference? Leave the computer, go back on your knees.

ponedjeljak, 16. svibnja 2011.

of new beginnings

The train passes by. I like the sound of the train.

It's a cloudy little morning and my little patch of the sky is grey - that's the little sky piece that I see from my prayer place, which is nothing more than an armchair near the radiator. My Radiator Springs :) where I come to find the Living Water.

I've read a book recently and so many things were made alive inside me, so many unfarmed plots stirring, calling for rain, for the plowing. It's One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.

A little while ago, we went for a Pioneers Conference on Brač, Croatia. Through His Word, the songs of praise and thoughts, and the huge fact that the kids were with different caretakers :) - I saw the barren land within me, repented and found Him loving me. Still!! And more than ever! in the sense that I understood it better than before, another layer on the road to the center of His love. When I became a Christian I understood - that knowledge is not an enormous shallow sea, the way I always saw it before, but a small area that goes deep down, always deeper and deeper. Like, when you hear 'God loves you'. And you think you understand. And then, after 11 years of living with Him, you see that you didn't really understand. There is a vast deal more to know. Not more in the perimeter but more in depth. In trust. Trust goes deep, not wide. That's what He wants from me, to trust Him.

My prayer today: But as for me, (may I be) like a green olive tree in the house of God;
(and) trust in the lovingkindness of God forever and ever.

The spot from which Cetina rises, the river from whose banks I hail. Scary looking, ha:)? So is this trusting business.

utorak, 12. travnja 2011.

Visits and Cards

Miro's Dad and sister came to visit us the other weekend, and we enjoyed three days of lovely company and sunshine. Miro's Dad celebrated his 55th birthday with us and we had a bbq for him. My boys had a blast, they love their grandpa so much. His name is Ferenc and he lives in Zadar, where Miro is from. Zadar is a beautiful old city on the Dalmatian coast. Hopefully, we will go there this summer and stay for a week or so with grandpa, who lives alone, since Miro's Mom passed away 13 years ago.

Grandpa said he liked my cards (I was soooo flattered:D) and asked me to make two for his sister and her daughter Ella. Since I recently bought fantastic papers from my friend Teta Beta, I decided to use those. One card is intended for a grown woman, and for some reason I kept having in mind those shoes that have a clasp, like this :). Which is why the card looks like this...

The other one was meant for a little lady named Ella, and is much more girly and childlike.

I hope the girls will have fun on their birthdays.

utorak, 15. ožujka 2011.

Jakov Balint-Feudvarski

"Luka, I cannot hold you in my lap forever!", says Jakov and puts the screaming Luka on the floor. Aaaah... Life in our family is as hectic as ever:). No matter where you 'slice' us, you will find chatter and physical movement, laughter and wild gestures. Even Miro and I aren't immune to that. Actually, I think we belong to a group of parents who goof around a LOT... But also demand total discipine. Now, does that make us the worst or the best parents in the world?!? Probably neither. Mostly average. But, I will tell you there is one area where God has a lot to teach me, and I'm guessing that because the circumstances of my life DEMAND it of me, and that area is PATIENCE.
Longsuffering might be another term, since it sure feels like suffering :).

As you know, Jakov started school this academic year. Even before it started, I knew he was going to surprise me, since I had no idea what to expect. He has always been a wonder to me. Even when he was a little boy, I couldn't predict many things about him. All I knew was that he was different than me. My creativity always needs something to hold on to - like, I need a character from a book to identify with, and then I can easily imagine other characters and other worlds. But, Jakov... Jakov doesn't need something to trigger his creativity. He creates ex nihilo, if you'll pardon my expression. Like a true artist he finds the inspiration from within, and doesn't depend on his environment.

However, he also finds it hard to concentrate. Once he told me that the letters on the page were dancing. Ahem. And, did I mention that he stammers? As you can imagine, I was terrified of school, and, sure enough, it's been a crazy ride, this school business.

His teacher is a rather strict lady, but I have no problems with that. I have problems with myself and my atttude toward him. It's amazing how encouraging I am with the two students I help with different subjects at school, and yet, how short-fused I am when it comes to my own child. My firstborn. My enigma. The little wrinkled black haired guy that one day presented himself to me, glancing at me through his eyelashes.

So many opposite thoughts going through me while we are doing his homeworks: Is he just lazy? Did he really forget that, or is he lying? Is it possible that he cannot understand this, after I've explained it to him a moment ago? Why does he never read the assignement carefully (like I keep telling him)? Arghhh, it's a struggle. And goes much deeper than that.

However, I need to be resolved to get through this phase without having to regret it afterwards. My life is going on at this moment and the decisions about how I live it are mine. What do I want to do? I want to depend on the Lord and do what's right and then let go. And right in this case (or in any other case) is producing the fruit of the Spirit. And to do that - I must immerse myself in the Word and shift my focus to God. May this not be a soothing 'mantra' that never gets done but a new beginning.