Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Blank Journal and Strong Will

To Stuart, Who Encourages Me to Not Live in the Past...
This Post is For You

I have a new journal, and it makes me happy. A blank journal is full of hope, wishes, promise, and dreams for the future.

The blankness calls to me," Write your destiny. Make your life count."

Psalm 90
I echo what Moses prayed in Psalm 90:

Teach us to number our days,
that we may present to You a heart
of wisdom...
And let the favor of the Lord our God
be upon us:
And do confirm for us the work of our hands;
Yes, confirm the work of our hands.

My life is changing. During one year's course, I will have sent two sons to college and one father to heaven. I will have become 50 years young... which alone brings changes enough.

My Will
I am making a conscious choice to face the future with a "positive will powered by the Holy Spirit." I own my will. God allows me to make choices. I believe my will is the greatest thing God has given to me. I have a will of iron, and it can not be broken. When my will is bent, it only becomes stronger.

In the DNA
I get this from my dad.

Two of my sons have inherited "the will" and, maybe the third also, but, because of how #2 is wired, his will has yet to be fully tested.
Lots about son #2 is unknown. He is a mystery package slowly unwrapping, like a Christmas gift revealing new amazement and joy as each layer peels away. The unknown in Stuart is uniquely special. He keeps us tuned in: watching and waiting and wondering about the awesomeness that maturity will reveal.

All 3 are Different
Clayton has been on a clear, straight (many would say predictable) path since the 9th grade. People look at him and say,"You are exactly where and who you should be." His will focuses intently ahead, and he does not waver.

With Stuart, we will watch expectantly to see what he'll pull out of his hat. I know it's not gonna be a rabbit... rabbits are assumed. I know it will be incredible because he is incredible.

The will of #3...oh my... "no" may be the same in many languages...but not his. He has taught me about persistence and goal setting. He lives by the motto: It never hurts to ask.
I can't believe what he gets because he is not afraid.

Never Hurts to Ask
Once, when walking past the mall food court, where Davis had always received a free slushy sample, he asked,
"Could I please have a slushy sample?"
"We don't give out samples any more, kid," was the curt reply.
We continued through the mall, but had to walk past the same food vendor upon leaving.
Davis approached the vendor again with a question possessing genius beyond his age,
"How much are your free samples?"
"Why nothing...they are free," the pretzel-making teen replied, not realizing he had been duped by a 10 year old.
"In that case, may I have one, please?"
With slushy in hand, my son left the mall.

I Embrace It
So...I have this will which can not be broken. When I am told "no", I usually ask, "Why not?" and my follow-up resolve is, "I will." When I am told it can not be done, I begin to count the ways that it can be done. This is just how God made me.
A few years back, I decided to rejoice in what some may label as 'stubbornness', and I asked the Holy Spirit to empower me as I embrace this strong will of mine.

Cluttering my path today are more potential obstacles than I have ever faced in all my life. Because our family has chosen Robert Frost's 'road less traveled by', the challenges are great.

Today I am inspired by Clayton who plods steadily toward his goals. I think of Davis who can not be stopped by "no". I remember my father who never quit in all his 84 years and would not allow me to even speak the words,"I can't." I rejoice in the mystery which Stuart has taught me to embrace as something which gives fun and excitement to every day like...

The Holy Spirit Will
I know the more a person tries to do, the more they are likely to fail. But, to never try is also to never win. As I face this day, I ask the Holy Spirit to strengthen my will to focus on one step at a time, not on mountains that seemingly block my way.
I will be encouraged by Paul's words in Philippians:
"I can do all things through Him who strengthens me."

Today is young and blank and full of hope.
I am wondering who might be encouraged or inspired by even just...
the reading of this post.

As I'm numbering my days, I'm wondering:
How will my life count this day?

What is Your Greatest Strength?
How Will You Overcome your Obstacles?


  1. I am about 8 pages short of flipping from my old journal to a new one. I get so excited about starting a new journal. It's like a new year: so full of potential.

    Loved the story on your son and the slushy. And i LOVE The Road Not Taken. Just love it...

  2. Wow. I love this post. A new journal is so exciting. I love the personalities of your sons : ). So cool!

  3. This is fun -- getting to know your family from afar.

    -- Cuz Terry