There has been some major heart work that I have been going through since January. I posted about a lot of the personal heart work that was taking place in me in the area of my walk with the Lord and in my marriage. I feel that while those areas were being worked out there has been other areas that there has been stirring in me as well. I guess is goes to show if we are willing to open one area of our lives to God, He is eager to show us other areas that need some work as well. I say that not in a begrudging manner at all, but in the truth of my season.
My heart has been in a healing stage for the last two months. There were truths that my head held that I had not been letting seep to my heart. Example – I am a Christian, but my daily walk was not reflecting the power of God. So, I have been standing as it were with open hands before God in every aspect of my life. This year our church was encouraged to begin praying the verse Exodus 33:18, where Moses proclaims, “Now show me your glory.” This was presented to our church in January as we concluded the sermon series of The Lord’s Prayer. Since then I have been praying this – Lord, show me your glory. Show me where You are so that I can stand with You there. As I have been praying this, there has been some heart work in me taking place.
For some time I have had many thoughts bubbling in my head and heart and only within the last few weeks have those thoughts been too numerous to let sit unattended. This may all sound too “touchy-feely” for some, but I have felt that I have been on a journey to re-discover who I am in Christ and my calling as a wife, mom and daughter of the King. All of that has led to some books, lots of prayer time and a few hard conversations. Those that know me, would I believe say that I am a pretty solid person – I know what I want and I go for it. For me I would say that is true in theory but I have allowed others to paint pictures of me that have held me back and restrained me – unwillingly and somewhat unknowingly.
This last month I read two very interesting books that re-framed some thought that helped me to see beyond the box and narrative that I have said about myself and am finding freedom in who God has called me – His Beloved. I am always late to the game of books and fads and this is no exception – people have been talking about the Enneagram, Myer Briggs and the multitude of other personality profiles that are out there. I have never really been one to take the tests or hold much value in them because I have always felt very confident in who I am and who I am not. Being that I have been on this journey, of reflecting who I have been, who I currently am and who I desire to be; I decided to sit with these personality profiles for a little.
I began reading the book by Anne Bogel called “Reading People: How seeing the world through the lens of personality changes everything” and I was dumbfounded! Anne walks through many of the personality profiles that are actively on the market and shows the positive side of each and the negative but clearly paints that each has qualities that makes our world go round. Anne’s words were soft spoken and provided a playground for me to play in while seeing that every person has God-given talents even though they may contradict mine, they all create a tapestry that is wonderfully laid out in history and present day.
After finishing Anne’s book I decided to read the book, “The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self Discovery”. The enneagram was one that intrigued me from Anne’s book and in all honesty it is because it is a one number result rather than a cluster of letters that felt like alphabet soup – that is most of the other personality tests. While reading “The Road Back to You” I was intrigued by all the enneagram has to offer in explaining as it were the way we as humans function. I quickly found the number that was my call number. While I was pretty confident of my number going in I liked that the author provided a vast explanation that we are not just one number but on healthy days we can display characteristics of others and likewise on unhealthy times we can vacillate to other angles. While reading I also found myself mentally noting the numbers that make up our family of five, I know that the author encourages readers to avoid this but it was enlightening to me to see how my perceptions of those that make up our household make up the very fabric that is Kulow. So I will take the little slap on the hand to have a personal peek into what is thought to take place behind motivations and aspirations of the men under my roof.
Meanwhile, as I am processing personalities that make up our home and what our family culture is and what I desire it to be, there has been a small voice speaking to my heart about the seasons to come. I have always said that I would never home school our boys unless there was a divine two by four that knocked me in the back of my head. For the last two years I have jokingly said that I can see the two by four in my peripheral, but it was not here yet. While my heart has been praying that I would be the wife and mother that best suits our family this two by four has been coming for me. However not it a haunting way! I am almost as it were seeing it and realizing that maybe this is just when it was supposed to come.
As I have been praying big prayers for myself I have of course added my husband and boys to the list – not in a check it off kind of manner but in a hands open wide way. I have been praying that as a mom raising future leaders, husbands, fathers and men of character that I would seize every opportunity offered to me to mold them and provide for them avenues that would best utilize their God-given talents. I have prayed that I would not be lazy with my gifts and that as a mother I would help our boys cultivate what God has placed in them. As I have been praying these prayers, my heart has been stretched.
I sat with the realization that Michael and I have seven years left with our oldest son before we launch him into the world. That realization had me somewhat hesitant and eager at the very same time! Hesitant, because I want to make sure that we as his parents have laid a foundation for him that is rooted in truth, grace and love, one that reminds him that he is enough when he stands on the never ending love of Christ, one that is not based on grades, test scores or earned merit. Eager on the other hand because our oldest is a strong boy, he has passions that he is eager to let those passions flow out of him. Truth be told that is the same for the other two boys as well, although our years are a few more with them.
Conversations about how we are raising our boys have been taking place. Some of the conversations between Michael and I are about our desire to freeze the sweet time we are in with our boys, to soak up every possible moment that is our life right now with our boys. Some of our conversations are about how to cultivate the desires and passions in our boys so that they know fully who they are and can confidently walk in that. Some of our conversations have been about our sadness in the state of our education system that it truly has not grown with the times, that it has found itself caught up on the monotony of the twentieth century and has refused to budge. Bringing us to conversations about the benefit or lack there of that the educational system is providing to our boys in particular. We have stated that if we are to leave our boys in the system they would not necessarily be failed by the institution, however are we okay with mediocre? Are we content with our boys being another test score? Are we content with the paper pushing agendas that are in place as a means of a teacher trying to meet the needs of twenty five pupils in a seven hour day? Conversations of depth and what feels like weight are taking place!
As a mother I feel that we are sitting on a precipice of change. What is that change going to look like? How will it affect our family dynamic? How will the change and transition look to each of the boys? My mind is a never ending array of questions and battling thoughts – however the one truth that I am standing on firmly is, “Show me Your glory”! How that plays out in the coming weeks and months I am not sure, but I am expectedly eager!
(So as I finish tapping out my heart’s thoughts I realize I went on quiet the rabbit trail – welcome the the mind of Andrea! If you stuck it out to the end, “Way to go!” What I tap out here is more than anything a personal journal, a way for me to make note of our family, my heart and take notice of the beautiful crazy life we are living. I have actually collected every post I have placed in this corner into two bound books and you know what – our boys love sitting and reading through them. So although this post was long winded and I continue to make it longer even now – I know that my boys and their families to come may value the time taken in this little corner of the internet, if not real time but in bound books sitting in our library!)