Today, I Crossed The Jordan!!

Today, I woke up before my alarm went off.  I have it set pretty early, and I beat it - why??
First day of school.
I love them dearly, but it's time.  I'm not one of those with the tears in her eyes.  I'm the one holding back the scream of becoming unchained - in a different sense, of course.
I feel a little like the teenager whose parents have left for the weekend.  I don't know where to start!

I realize that some of my neighbors are sad today.  We have entered a new territory.  A new phase of life.  Our youngest child is finally in full-day school.

"It's not always easy to trade the comfortable security of the known for an uncertain future."  This was said of the Israelites as they left Egypt and headed towards the Promised Land.  I love being at home with my kids, not having to work outside the home, and I realize this was a secure place.  Each day life pretty much revolved around taking care of my kids, and now it's uncertain (not that life as a stay at home mom is routine).  But, there's a time for sowing and a time for reaping!

In Numbers, The Israelites were told to get up and take possession of the land (13:28).  They had been wandering in the desert for forty years, among grumbling, defiance, and discipline (sound familiar).  And just as they had to wait for the entire old generation to die off and a new one to begin in order to enter the Promised Land, I, too, feel like that's what the last twelve and a half years have done for me.  The old me has slowly died off (and still is), and a new me is beginning.  If God takes us across the Jordan to take possession of the land before our old selves (the old generation) are gone, then we aren't ready for it!  But now that there was a new generation, now that He's been able to work on me, refine me (at least a little), He has me way more prepared and excited to enter this new phase.

I feel unchained.  No, my kids aren't chains.  I don't really feel guilty for being excited - so I guess I'm not supposed to.  I think chains are sometimes necessary for character to grow during restraint.  We can't always get what we want when we want it.  If we did, we'd be miserable.  I will try to be sympathetic towards my friends who are grieving during this time, and hold back my victory cries; but inside, this is what I hear:

"Awake, awake, O Zion,
clothe yourself with strength.
Put on your garments of splendor,..
Shake off your dust;
rise up, sit enthroned, O Jerusalem.
Free yourself from the chains on your neck!"   Isaiah 52:1-2

God reserved a book for me that was written in 2008 by Erwin McManus, called Wide Awake.  If I read it any sooner, I would not have been able enjoy it half as much as I am now.  I'm not done with it, pretty much because I don't want it to end.  Here's what the back of the book says:

"He called you to live as Jesus did - a heroic life, void of monotony, teeming with danger, adventure, and the unknown.  Living wide awake is about realizing that the world desperately needs you to live up to your greatness."  

Isn't that cool?  It's extremely motivational to read that there is a hero within you waiting to be awakened, isn't it?  So, as my neighbor explained through her tears that now she didn't know what she was going to do all day, I thought in my head - I don't know what I'm NOT going to do!
And, yes, I will be ready with arms open wide to help with homework, give hugs, and especially snacks to those not-so-little cheeks!