Thursday, August 30, 2012

Hair Products

It surely takes a lot of hair products to make me feel good about going out of my house every morning. There's the shampoo (wanna' make sure it not only cleans yesterday's products out of my hair, but also smells good). Then comes the conditioner. Now, this one gets me because the directions say, "Leave on 3 minutes." Doesn't that just seem like a long time for a "product" to make clean hair soft and manageable? I'm usually impatient about this step and actually have a hard time finding something to do in the shower while I'm waiting for the conditioner to do its magic. Well, after the shower comes the multi-step process of moussing and curl enhancing, not to mention the finishing spray. By this time and with all these products, you'd think I look like a wild woman. The goal, however, is just the opposite! Quite a daily operation, isn't it?!

You ask, what does this have to do with being a woman at a crossroads? I see several lessons for myself in my hair product adventure:

1. If I'm willing/compelled to spend such a significant amount of time on hair, why don't I make the time to improve my physical, relational and spiritual well-being? I could spend 20 minutes to read God's Word and be nourished in my soul. I could walk for 20 minutes to encourage my body. I could put down my iPhone and talk with my husband to build into our relationship. Oh, the benefits of getting some perspective about priorities!

2. Taking shortcuts, like prematurely rinsing out the conditioner in my hair, can cause a terrible, tangled mess. It really does make a difference when I give the "product" time to work. Likewise, when I step back, slow down and not rush or get ahead of God's plans for me, I see His hand preparing the way and directing my path (Proverbs 3:5-6).

3. One last lesson is that man may look on the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart. In this part of my life journey, am I keeping my heart pure and longing for Jesus? That's the beauty I want to shine forth -- the love and grace of Jesus in my life!

I'll probably still feel the daily weight of hair products on my head, but I'll also be reminded that God's Holy Spirit is who truly transforms me into a new and beautiful creation!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Expectation and Expectancy

The other night at our small group gathering, we talked about practicing the presence of God. Part of that discussion was about the contrast between expectation and expectancy.

Let me tell you, I have lived with expectation my entire life. I’ve had expectations of my husband and my children that are impossible for them to meet. And that leads to frustration on their part and disappointment (if not anger) on mine. That certainly wasn’t where I wanted to land or what I wanted to convey to those I cherish and love.

Expectations are a funny business. The word is defined as, “A confident belief or strong hope that a particular event will happen; a mental image of something expected; a standard of conduct or performance expected by or of somebody.” Expecting that someone will act in a certain way.

I have set myself up to be disillusioned with my husband because I have required something from him that is not for me to demand. For example, I was recently promoted in my job. A congratulatory/I’m proud of you bouquet of flowers would have been wonderful! It didn’t happen. Is Billy happy for me and proud of my accomplishments? Yes, he is, yet he didn’t come through on my specific expectation. The place where I can live that doesn’t burst everyone’s balloon is in expectancy.

What we learned last night was that expectancy is anticipating that God (or someone) will act. I’m just not putting the demand that it be a certain word or action. In that way, I can have joy in seeing what unfolds. Expectancy takes the tension out of the equation.

So, when I think about my husband or my children and put my expectations on them, I’m actually burdening all of us. I think I’d rather walk with expectancy in what will transpire and the ways God will teach me through it all.

What are your thoughts?

Let’s be friends,

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Hooray for the Moments!

Thanks to those of you who read my first two blog posts. I wanted to give you some history and context for what contributes to my thought processes and the road on which I continue to travel.

This has been a mixed up kind of week for me. Anticipating Kristin’s departure back to Indonesia has been in my head for a long time – even to the point of not cherishing the moment. Will I ever learn?! We went to a minor league baseball game last Friday night – it was a great time – we won and there were incredible fireworks after the game. As I sat there beside Kristin, I was struck by her joy and peace. Contentment simply oozes out of her (and is contagion to those around her). Even yesterday when we hugged and said our goodbyes, she was so strong and eager to get back to the children she teaches and the community she loves so much there in Bandung. I will miss her like crazy!!! But I know she’s in God’s hands and is where He will use her for His glory.

The house seems so quiet again, except that we’re taking care of one of the “grand-dogs” for a few days while Ryan and Joanna are out town. We got to see our other “grand-dog” a few days ago when Austin and Kim came for dinner and a rousing game of bridge. I guess these kids need us, just in different ways than when they were young. Ryan told me on the phone last night, “You’ll always be my parents, and I’m really glad you’re there for us.” I’ll take it!

I am a blessed woman – and as I noted earlier, I need to treasure the moments I’m given with my adult children.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Dreams Do Come True

Upon graduation from BJU, I had a full-time job there at the university. Chronic kidney infections caused me to need to leave that position and return to Texas for rest and recovery. I was so disappointed because I had envisioned building a life and hopefully finding a mate there in South Carolina.

Our first apartment, complete with the air conditioner
cord hanging on the wall above the couch.
God had a different plan for me. He brought me “home” to Texas, and I was soon able to find another job. But my heart ached to become a wife and a mother, and I didn’t really have any prospective suitors knocking at my door. Just about the time I resigned myself to another shattered dream, I met this guy who was different from everyone else. We got acquainted at a College/Career Bible study. He would come from his job looking a bit disheveled (not the appearance of one that a BJU graduate might be interested in). I think it was because we were both misfits that we were drawn to each other. We would talk quite a bit, and one day Billy finally asked me out.

Well, the rest is history. We found that we had common faith and goals. I discovered that Billy has the best sense of humor – something we all need when it comes to relationship. We’ve been married now for 33 years. Wow!!!! I love him dearly and am so thankful for the man of character and strength that he is!

I love the feeling of holding my youngin's close.
My dream of becoming a mother was also fulfilled. We had two sons and a daughter (within a 3 ½ year timespan). Busy days, joyful laughs, teaching moments, faith-building – all the parts of being a parenting that I had hope for. There were many, many difficulties along the way – two strong-willed children (thank God for Dr. Dobson’s book, The Strong-Willed Child), illnesses and surgeries, academic challenges, friendship conflicts, adolescence in general. But I honestly wouldn’t trade what our family has learned and how we’ve grown through it all.

I once read a book called A Mother’s Heart by Jean Fleming. She said it well, “Mothering can seem an isolated occupation unrelated to anything beyond the immediate needs of the family, but there is no more natural way for a mother to influence her world for Christ than through her own children. The implications of this are awesome. Time devoted to our children should not be spent marking time, but as an investment in one of our greatest ministry opportunities. Although our children should not be the total focus of our ministry, if we neglect to pursue other ministries we may find we lacked a biblical vision of mothering.” Well, God let me have those years with my amazing children! A new season is upon me. I’m learning that letting them go is difficult, and finding my new identity is part of the journey.

“Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning; for I trust in You; teach me the way in which I should walk, for to You I lift up my soul.” Psalm 143:8

Let’s be friends,

Friday, August 3, 2012

Welcome to Becky Lane - At A Crossroads

Hi! Thank you for checking out my newest adventure – blogging . . .

My name is Becky Lane (my maiden name was Smith) – as you can see, I like to keep it simple, and it doesn’t get much easier than having the last names of Smith and Lane. I was born in the Florence Nightingale Wing of Baylor Hospital in Dallas, Texas, in May of 1955. At that time, my parents were students at Dallas Bible Institute and were looking forward to seeing what mission field the Lord had in store for them.

My parents, Jim and Mae Smith.
We moved to Wichita Falls, Texas, when I was just a toddler. My folks were going to open their home to the service personnel at Sheppard Air Force Base and offer them a “home away from home.” My dad, Jim, had come to know Jesus as his Savior while he was in the Coast Guard and had visited a Christian Servicemen’s Center in New York City. Although my parents came from very different backgrounds and parts of the country (my mom, Mae, from a small farming community in North Texas and my dad from Florida, Mississippi, Maryland, Louisiana), God brought each of them to a Bible college in Dallas; and they both had a heart for serving the Lord.

I grew up with two younger brothers, David and Phil. I have tomboy tendencies because they had no interest in playing house or dolls or even paper dolls with me. I still love football and baseball to this day.

I wasn’t so keen on school in junior high – our family had just moved the summer before I started at Hirschi Junior High. I didn’t know anyone, and I was extremely shy and self-conscious. By high school, things were looking up. I enjoyed band (mostly because I could go to the football games) and did well in my classes. Thanks to Facebook, I’ve been able to keep up with several of my friends from good ole’ HHS.

Graduation from Bob Jones University
After high school, I attended Midwestern University right there in Wichita Falls. The following year I transferred to Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. Talk about change! Again, I was in a place where I knew no one, and I was so very homesick. The entire first semester was very painful, and I would have gone home if it hadn’t been so far and if I’d had the money to do so. Looking back, it’s good I didn’t quit – I wouldn’t trade the education I received, the life lessons I learned and the friendships I made. I graduated with my degree in Office Administration in 1977.

Life seemed to be going “as scheduled.” :) Now, I needed to get busy and find a husband, so then I could build my nest and start having babies. After all, that’s what I always wanted to be when I grew up – a wife and a mother.