Thursday, October 21, 2010

Adolescence

Adolescence is described as a period or stage of development preceding maturity.

Recently I heard statistics that point to the fact that adolescence is not ending at 18, 19 or 20. We have begun to see adolescence clear into the 30s. This idea was foreign a few generations ago. Teenage years were a time of apprenticeship and beginning of responsibility.  Girls were married at 14,15 or 16 and society thought nothing of it. Why? Their period of development preceding maturity was a child. They expected more of them by the time they became teens. 


Maturity is not a black and white moment defined by reaching a certain age. Maturity is the achieving a certain level of character that defines you as trustworthy. Maturity is having self-control. Self-control to do what you need to and refrain from those things you don't. 


I have noticed a lack in teaching children to be mature. The Bible says even a child is known by their doings. I fear that we are going to see adolescence reach far into middle age if the direction of parent rearing doesn't change. By the grace of God, I hope to raise my kids to glorify Him. When I discipline Benjamin for his lack of control, I do so to better his life that he may be behaving as more of an adult at 13 than most adults are. 


One of my favorite quotations on maturity.

What is maturity ? Maturity is the ability to control anger and settle differences without violence or destruction. Maturity is patience. It is the willingness to pass up immediate pleasure in favor of the long-term gain. Maturity is perseverance, the ability to sweat out a project or a situation in spite of heavy opposition and discouraging set-backs. Maturity is the capacity to face unpleasantness and frustration, discomfort and defeat, without complaint or collapse. Maturity is humility. It is being big enough to say, "I was wrong." And, when right, the mature person need not experience the satisfaction of saying, "I told you so."

Maturity is the ability to make a decision and stand by it. The immature spend their lives exploring endless possibilities; then they do nothing.

Maturity means dependability, keeping one's word, coming through in a crisis. The immature are masters of the alibi. They are the confused and the disorganized. Their lives are a maze of broken promises, former friends, unfinished business, and good intentions that somehow never materialize.

Maturity is the art of living in peace with that which we cannot change, the courage to change that which should be changed -- and the wisdom to know the difference.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Friendship with God

 I experienced a painful breaking of a friendship in my life. I have been reading through a True Woman Movement book which points out that all trials in our life are chosen for us by God. I had been learning to accept this season in my life as a gift from God.

This weekend at True Woman Conference was an incredible working of God stripping things from my life. So painful and so beautiful at the same time. Through the sovereignty of God, I went alone to this conference. I couldn't even find anyone I knew. I had left phone numbers at home to be able to even contact them. God isolated me.

A speaker asked us to pray with those around us about things when needed to surrender to God. Those around me gathered with people they came with. In that instance, I felt utterly isolated and alone. God revealed that I desired friendship with people more than friendship with Him. I felt extremely lonely. I began to surrender with the crying out in my heart that I will give this up, but I need you. Please don't leave me all alone. God revealed that I had a hard time releasing this friendship in my heart, though I had physically a long time ago. I was clinging to an idol.

I made it to the prayer room and fell to my knees and my body shook in sobs. I repented of idolatry and felt a painful cutting away of flesh and then peace. Rarely did I sit next to another woman in the conference, though I was never alone. We were asked to hold hands with those around us to pray. Again women were connecting with those they came with and the woman next to me distracted by the people next to her. This time, however, I was holding the hand of God and in complete peace. I smiled as I closed my eyes and soon after felt a woman's hand join mine. The sweetness of God.  I am looking forward to the continuing of a much deeper relationship with God.

"As the deer panteth for the water, so my soul longeth after thee"