Not So Empty Nest Days

Cherishing the days past while moving towards the days ahead, BHG

Dead Situations

Dead Situations Luke 7:11-17
  Soon afterward he went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a great crowd went with him. As he drew near to the gate of the town, behold, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow, and a considerable crowd from the town was with her. And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” Then he came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you arise.” And the dead man sat up and began to speak and Jesus gave him to his mother. Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and “God has visited his people!” And this report about him spread through the whole of Judea and all the surrounding country.
What’s YOUR “dead man?”
– Jesus went to a town called Nain, which was a city within Galilee. With him was his disciples and a large crowd (on-lookers as well as those who genuinely wanted healing from him.). Verse 12 says AS he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out. This dead person was the only son of a woman who had already tasted loss through her husband’s passing. She was a widow. Put yourself in her shoes for just a moment. She now has no husband and as a custom in those times was subject to volunteers who heeded to the command of serving widows and orphans. She did have hope though because her son was a young man about to make his presence in the working world, if he already was not working and gaining respect in the town. Her husband’s name was going to be carried on because her son could marry and have children. Now think of the dreams of this single parent for her only child. She probably dreamt of him being successful, marrying (if he already wasn’t), to have loads of grandkids because of him and of course take care of her. He was going to save her from her situation! Then all of a sudden, death takes him! How many of US (not God) have had a plan, we could smell it, we could see it coming to pass and then some form of death takes it? When will we remember that God knows the plans HE has for US (Jeremiah 29:11, emphasis mine)? 

– Now as was customary, she also had a large crowd with her. This crowd was probably included family, friends and even those who just liked the dramatic effects of the mourning process (professional mourners), you know the ones who will be with you when you are down and out? The same ones who are nowhere around when you are “lifted up out of the miry clay” (Psalms 40:2) but are the first ones around whenever you fail? I’m sure there were people asking her “what will you do now? He was your only hope.” Or “what’s going to happen to you after this?” There were more than likely those telling her “well you could just beg. State assistance is there for you.” Even, as if she is not already down, saying “just give up. Your life is not going to get better. You must’ve sinned somehow for all this to happen to you.” Hmm.. do we remember Job’s friends, or Job’s wife? What about David’s wife? It’s funny how people rally around you just to see you down because they don’t feel good about their situations!

– This next verse amazes me. “When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, ‘don’t cry.’” Can you imagine?! His large crowd behind him, her large crowd suffocating her, but he SEES her. Out of all the people crying ad carrying on, he sees her! Now I know that it was customary for everyone to wail, even the parents, but I get a different picture of this mom. Let me draw the mental picture for you. She has already lost a lot. She lost her husband who was her primary means of support, probably lost weight from dealing with his death, and of course her voice in the community because women were not heard back then. Now the second blow has to numb her. While she is walking with this funeral procession, the deafening wails which are probably drowned out by her thoughts. All at once, her dreams for her son are gone with him in that casket. That box which carries her flesh, her dreams , her escape. She won’t be able to go on! She has nothing left, just as her “friends” were telling her! She can’t cry because there is nothing inside of her! She is empty. Notice that she is at the very place we must be for Christ to fill us! And just as she is being led, because standing and walking on her own are out of the question, “he sees her.” She stands out, not because of her outer appearance or how loud she is crying, but because of how empty she is on the inside. There is completely nothing left. He is drawn to her inner heartache and emptiness, just as he is drawn to that in us today. He has been there. God has sensed loss, Jesus has felt pain and anguish when he did nothing to deserve it. What’s even better is he doesn’t approach her and just give his condolences, or say you poor woman. She doesn’t run up to him and demand that he bring her son back to her. She can’t. She doesn’t even see him because her numbness has closed her eyes. I wonder did she even know Who she was about to pass by. Umm.. his grace is certainly sufficient! No he does not pass her by, he simply tells her “don’t cry.” Period! Not “don’t cry, I will help” or don’t cry, he’s better off,” something many of us say in our answers to those who have lost. He says, “don’t cry.”

– He then walks over to the coffin, the physical focal point of her pain, where her dead issue lies. The very box that contained her source of help, her dreams, her plans for the future, how many have put God in that very box? He touched it and said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” At this point, the crowds have to be intensely looking at what will happen. Some in disbelief that he would be so bold, some in anger that he would interrupt their wailing and some even holding their breath waiting for something, anything to happen. I only wonder what was going through that mother’s mind at that time. Was she still so numb to the miracle that was happening in front of her? Did she have a flicker of hope before he spoke to her, or after he spoke to the coffin? Did she even look up from her despair? Some of us do this very thing when we are so caught up in the despair that we miss seeing the miracle that could change our perspective. We only hold on to the “what happens” and miss the “how it happens.”

– At this very point when he speaks this to the coffin, the young man sits up. Not only did he sit up but he began to talk. Okay, push pause here. I notice at this point that whenever someone is dead in Jesus’ ministry time, two things that take place. 1. He speaks (out loud) to them and 2. they obey WITH an action. He told the synagogue ruler’s daughter to rise (Luke 8:54). He told Lazarus to come out in a loud voice ( John 11:43) and this young man he told to get up. Each of them did not just do as he said but with an action. You see, when someone dies, there is still air captured in the body. At a certain time, that air escapes; causing the dead body (notice I did not say person) to make a sudden movement. Whether it’s a jerk, the body sitting up really quick or even taking one last “breath.” Because God knows all and already knew the skeptics that would debunk these miracles because of this, Christ made it so that the resurrections would not be refuted. Now tell me my God doesn’t know all! For what dead person starts talking or walking around?? Case in point, Jesus speaks and the dead obey. We are to imitate Christ. We speak in His name and the dead obey! Whoo!! Okay, un-pause.

– Jesus then gives this young man back to his mother. This is an awesome display of unselfishness by God. He could have told the young man to follow him. I suspect the young man would have too! But where would that have left his mother? Still numb, still disbelieving, still broke and disgusted with her life. He not only wants this man to serve and tell of the mercy he was granted but his mother too. Think of the bitterness she might have experienced if it had gone any other way. She would have been walking around muttering and possibly cursing God. “He could’ve left him in the box for all that! Who told him to come interfere? I’m still in the same position as before! I don’t want to know this God!” Can you imagine and hear the hurt turned to disgust in those words? God is a God of a lot of things, but pain and inequality is not one of them. His love spreads to the ends of the earth. Reaching men as well as women. He wanted the mother as much as He wanted the son. To do this he brought back the son and gave him to his mother. They were both saved! In this he would know who saved his life and she would know who her real Savior is. No one around them could’ve done that. No one knew the plans she had made. You see God knows the plans of our hearts. He knew what future she was hoping for in her son just as He wants us to have hope in the future we have in His Son. What this narration tells me is that my God is compassionate! He does look out for His children while getting His glory! Aw shucks, my God is a multi-tasking God! Watch this! While Jesus saved this woman’s livelihood BY giving her back her dreams and future through her son, he also showed her Who her real Savior is, not her son, his success, her daughter-in-law bearing children. Nothing could save her but Jesus! He also gave God glory in the last two verses (v 16-17). Remember the crowds? His and hers crowds. Verse 16 says, “They were ALL filled with awe and praised God.” They then went and spread “this news” (v 17) all around about Jesus. A 3 in 1 score! That is just like God to do above and exceeding what we can ever ask for! Here’s a news flash: it works when it’s something painful in our lives as well. Let’s do the “what if” game, shall we? What if Jesus had decided to take another route or spend some more time in Capernaum? What if she had other kids or other means of support? What if her husband had not died? No, all of her pain and loss that was felt in however many years, months or days between the death of her husband and son all “worked together for her good.” I love it!

– Do you have a “dead man” in your life? The dead man in this Scripture could be anything dead; your marriage, your ministry, your finances, your dead end j-o-b, your joy, your dreams, etc. What’s dead in your life? What has you so empty that you too, could just roll in a ball and just die? What dreams or plans have died in your arms? Do you know that we serve a God who is able? Not only is He able but He is willing! Jesus could have easily kept walking past the funeral procession, past the mourners, and past the empty woman. Instead he went to her. He met her where she was. In all her pain (losing her husband and son), worry (who was going to take care of her now) and emptiness, HE..met..her! The same can be said of you. When your situation is dead; your marriage, your car, your finances, your job search, your job itself, your womb, your wayward children or spouse; He will see straight into you and have compassion and meet you.

– But He won’t stop there! He won’t just tell you “don’t cry” and then leave. He could and be justified in doing so. But he won’t because He loves AND cares for us. For this reason He will speak on our behalf. Both Matthew 16:19 and 18:18 say whatever we (us, you and I) bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever we loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. In other words while we are coming “boldly to the throne of grace” (Hebrews 4:16) and speaking to our situations, there is One who is interceding and speaking in heaven for us. Now understand, without God we just look like a fool speaking to inanimate objects, but “with God, nothing is impossible.” Wow! Tell your situation to get up! Don’t just talk to your husband or kids! Speak to the situation! Don’t just ask God to bless your finances or job, speak life into them! God told Ezekiel to speak to dry, dead dusty bones. The result of, not Ezekiel speaking, but his faith and obedience, was an army standing at attention in front of him (Ezekiel 37:10)! James 1 tells us that if we ask without doubt we will receive. There are two things you need to act as Christ did with the widow in Luke 7, faith and obedience. One without the other will NOT succeed. You will not obey without faith and you cannot have faith yet not obey.

– It starts today even for me! Obey what is told to us speak to that dead situation and as you do so with His authority, in His name, He will be binding or loosing whatever it is and in effect speaking to that situation in Heaven. As we tell our situation “get up” so does He. Take heart, dear one. He is with us in whatever we go through. Sometimes our loss, as much as it hurts, brings about our biggest victory. He is a just and loving God. Our pain is not in vain! Take the authority He has given us, speak to your situation in the His name and know that He will provide. Just remember, He works on His time, not ours. But He does work. 24/7, “even in the midnight hour”. “Don’t cry.” Only believe, speak and watch his blessings manifest! Be blessed!

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Blurred Vision

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The Last Stretch

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7

 

I’m not sure why this is the Scripture to use or if this will speak to anyone other than myself, but here I go. I have not been writing as normal since the beginning of the school year. The reason is very specific. My last child is a senior and it is hitting me harder than I thought… Like I seriously have moments when I wonder if this is real and even more honestly, I wish it weren’t.

My youngest daughter and I are on our last stretch as her being a minor, her being in school and soon after that, her being under my roof (you all know that declaration made to kids). It’s not so much that I am sad that she is growing up, quite the contrary, I am super excited to see what God has next for her and so forever grateful that i was chosen to walk this with her and unlike seven of her school mates, she has lived to see it. The sadness comes with having an empty nest. I know that God will fill my vats and keep me doing His work, but I am merely being honest when I say I am going to miss my babies…

On a trend of being honest, there are so many things I wish I could redo. I wish there was a button to push where not only would we go back in time but it would be the ultimate do over where the previous was erased… sort of like when you are recording your voice mail recording. I wish the times when I wasn’t as patient, I could go back and see what I saw directly after flying off my well-worn handle. I wish I could do over a warning that things would get worse if they kept the way they were going with love and concern instead of trying to pump fear and condemnation. I wish I could go back and handle each time a child teased or bullied one of my three… or an adult for that matter…. maybe some hands on help there. But most of all, I wish all the times I was depressed and wasting time chasing a man or money or freedom from “these kids” that I had embraced them and gotten on the floor to play with them a little more. I also wish that I could go back and tell my younger self that the “perfect moms” that seemed  to be DIY queens with clean homes, no, immaculate homes while toddlers seemed to change themselves and children seemed to be suspended in space while they did their work…. that is not realistic for every mom and it doesn’t have to be. I wish I could tell my young mommy self that I can be Mary and enjoy what will not be there soon instead of being Martha and worrying about things that will remain (like dirty dishes and clothes).

My time of being physical mommy (they still call me that) is almost up and I see instances where God has allowed for me to implant His wisdom in areas that should already have it. And for that, I am grateful. But I still wish for earlier days, knowing what I know now and doing what we do now.

What I can say is that God knew what He was doing when He planned for these three to walk this hard, sometimes lonesome, most days frustrated but nevertheless rewarding journey of being their single mama. He knew that they would teach me and they have. I can say (with tears as I finish this) that I am almost finished with this race, I have fought (mostly the kids) the good fight and I am keeping the faith that this next chapter in our lives will be well worth the turning of a new page. I leave with this…. young mammas heed a not too old mammas advice, you cannot do it all. Definitely teach them to care for their things, clean after themselves and watch out for each other (OH! and do NOT forget the manners) but love them as they are… not who you perceived them to be when you carried them. God’s plans are way bigger than yours and He loves them so much more. Trust Him and love them and take the time to show it.finish the race

 

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Set Apart

A short blog i wrote about on 11/3/2013 and never posted. Enjoy!

What an interesting revelation this morning!! In the picture is a cup of plain water (Living Water) and oil (the world) was added. Here’s what I got as I went to go demonstrate to my son, because we are both very visual.

1. The water by itself quenches everyone’s thirst. But because of it doesn’t have color or a distinct flavor, it is not the choice of many.

2. When the oil (world) is introduced, even though it cannot mix with the water (Christ follower) no matter how hard we try, it lands on top of the water and contaminates the water so that it cannot be used to drink from (useful in the Kingdom). How contaminated are you?

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Sitting In Neutral

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” Romans 12:1

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The one thing I hate to do is sit in a long line or sit waiting for someone while I’m in the car. There seems to be some sort of allergic reaction I have while waiting with the car in park or neutral. I start to first itch, then I tend to get real antsy and have to keep moving, then irritation sets in and finally sleep begins to cover over me like an invisible blanket! I just don’t understand it! I can stand in long lines, I can stay on the phone waiting for a service rep to answer or remember that I’m on the phone, but I cannot wait in the car!

Yesterday, my youngest daughter (the one in recovery; see the last blog post) said something that got me thinking about life as a parent. She asked me what the purpose of neutral was. I explained that was the gear that allowed you to keep the car still but without the brake the car could still roll back and forth at will. I said that and instantly heard, “many have their lives in neutral right now.” Then I thought about it and sure enough, it’s true!

As a parent, how many times have you had to wait for your child to “do what was right” only to have them do what they want? That’s life in neutral. How many have had to wait up at night not knowing if their child would come through the door or if that dreaded knock would be at the door instead? That’s life in neutral. My life at some points has been in neutral! But there is an upside to being “in neutral”!

The neutral gear when used helps to save gas along with wear and tear on your engine. It’s way better to sit for long periods in neutral rather than in park. Here’s the spiritual aspect without getting super spiritual. When your life is in neutral, you are trusting that GOD is in control. Now granted, when in a car in neutral, you have to constantly be on the brake to avoid rolling forward or back, BUT, in a dire situation such as snowy/ icy hills (for those who don’t know or don’t drive in this white stuff) neutral is the best place to be if you don’t have 1 and 2 as an option. I can even remember my brakes going out once and neutral is what I switched to to slow down and use my emergency brake! Didn’t know that did ya?!

Jesus says that are to surrender our lives to Him (neutral living) and that includes ups and downs (being off the brakes). We may roll back or forward but we must trust that He knows what He’s doing. We are then, as the Scripture above describes, to make our bodies a “living sacrifice.” This is also neutral living because we don’t know what He will have us do, where He will tell us to go or, my issue, what He will have us give up. It’s kind of like when you are at the car wash. You pull up to get on the track and then they tell you to put your car in NEUTRAL! You have NO control at all except to ride.

Put your life in neutral today… the good way!

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Transparent Pressure (reblog)

This is a repost from my blog TransparenMe. Thank you to all those that prayed for my daughter yesterday during this trial. If you get a chance, go over and read some of those! Blessings! http://transparenme.blogspot.com/2014/03/transparent-pressure.html?m=1

“We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—” 2 Cor 4:8-9

This week has been a doozy! I have been in some form of spiritual attack for a while but March 1st seemed to have intensified and magnified each feat the enemy brings my way.

This last one, I thought might crush me because it involved two of my children at the same time! Anyone that knows me knows that is a way to get to me, a “weak spot” of sorts with me.

Last summer, GOD led my oldest through a trial through her job that tested her and showed her some areas of concern such as fear of man and harboring anger. As much as I wanted to step in, I knew that I could not. While I guided her as much as I was allowed, it was not my fight but that didn’t stop me from being angry at all involved.

This time around, it’s my middle and youngest being attacked and that same anger and helplessness has bubbled back up to the surface. I know that this trial is not just for them but for me as well as this is bringing up muck in me that GOD simply cannot use and wants to file away in the File 13 far away from my, and their, hearts. This verse is and will be instrumental in this victory of ours.

My son has the desire to be a teacher/ track coach/ youth minister. That is not a desire manufactured by him or his surroundings but given him by GOD. His life, on the other hand has not really afforded what one would call or see as an exemplary life that would lead to such a high calling. Thank GOD there is no man on earth who is GOD! My son has had his prodigal son moment and still has some residue being removed but has been given a new robe by GOD. During his prodigal walk, he had isolated himself, had compromised and is a father in waiting. For man, this is looked at as unacceptable for his calling and some would have him not only reminded constantly by man made consequences but also deter him to another calling that is not as high up. In this instance, is leadership in the place where he has chosen to help out with track. Through others eyes and words, he has been deemed unfit to help coach without even so much of a personal conversation, just judgment. He was “hard pressed” but not crushed and I reminded him of that. Although leadership did not take the biblical stance when having something against a person who has sinned, my son will be. Am I angry, yes. I trusted this person and because they are Christian I held them to a higher standard and forgot (just as he has done with my son) that we all fall short. Stamp this one as lesson learned.

My daughters attack has been on her health. She had what we thought was back pain, mom-diagnosed as sciatica but not because of physical strain but a spiritual attack. This entire weekend has been a tiring strain for both of is as she struggled to get comfortable and even pleaded that she only desired to sleep. Yesterday I found out differently. She had an incredibly large boil that had manufactured, it seemed, out of nowhere on her backside. I felt that anger rising up again but this time was ready! I had already that morning been in communion with GOD and renounced the spiritual root and was ready for battle. I had no idea it would be so intense. The day started with me leading her in prayer to renounce the same and to be released of the harness of burdens she was not to carry (she is a burden bearer) and she had a good day! And then we started home. An obnoxious smell (anyone with knowledge of a boil knows) filled the car and we went in search of it relentlessly but it wasn’t until my daughter got out and we saw a wet stain, did she search herself. I hope somebody got that. A spiritual boil is just as painful as a real one. To get rid of it can be even more painful as pressure needs to be applied after a cut (double edged sword) is made. There is an offense (smell) and it will need to be searched out if you are unaware of the source of your pain.

Well we found the source was this boil. I was instructed to send her to ER and more rose up in me. I hate ER, I hate germs and I hate being around sick people that don’t take care to block others from their germs (I’m being honest). But I had to get over all this to get my daughter the help needed. What a battle this was in my head! I won’t go into details of the pain and agony my child was in as they got rid of this thing as I sat with her helpless to end her pain and crying. No, I wasn’t helpless. I could have stopped them. I could have said never mind or no more. But I knew this was for the greater good.

Isn’t that how GOD is with us? Isn’t that how He was with Christ? He doesn’t sit idly by wringing His hands. He is with us, comforting us, encouraging us, never leaving or forgetting about us. One thing my daughter kept asking was “where’s nana?” I wondered why she didn’t ask where I was but then it dawned on me. She KNEW I was there! She knew I wasn’t leaving! THAT’S how GOD wants us to be! He wants us to be that confident through our trials. He reminds us of this much like I reminded my daughter in her morphine induced state of what her favorite (life) verse is… and she still knew it! John 16:33…. Which reminds us that we WILL go through things, that we can be sure of. But we can also be sure that Jesus has overcome this world and that GOD will NEVER leave us!

My daughter is still working at her job and has overcome the challenges of hiding from those who seem to be after her. My son is no worse for the ware and will nevertheless teach, coach and spread the GOOD News that Jesus can use and call anyone no matter how rugged their paths have been. My youngest daughter is coming down from the morphine high, still in pain but getting back to herself. Me? I have learned that I can’t save my kids all the time, I have hidden anger and offense and that healing is not always easy. Sometimes it comes from pain.

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The Shadow Killer

This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

Today is another bittersweet milestone for my little quad family. My son, my middle child, just turned 21 today. To be honest, I don’t know how I am handling it. On one hand, I’m excited for the life GOD has laid out for him. On the frustrating hand, I don’t want my “onlyest son” to grow up! Heck I don’t want any of them to! Is that wrong or selfish? Probably but it’s real.

What’s also real is that they ARE growing up and WILL leave eventually. And with that, in rolls the Scripture for today. This IS the day that the LORD has made! And every day I am given here after. I pray that I get to see my kids living out the good seed GOD has given me to plant. I pray that I get to see what He had me speak over them and watch what He does in their marriages, families and ministries. I pray I get to pour into my grand kids and perhaps even great grand kids. But, THIS is the day that the LORD has made and so this is the day I will live in and in doing so I am teaching my kids to.

This verse is also the anchor GOD used to keep me grounded last April when my old running mate, Depression and Suicide, decided to come pay me a visit. As much as they tried to tell me I wasn’t loved by my kids and how much poison I had poured into them and how unprepared they were for life, this verse is what GOD used to keep me. For every condemning thought that came in, “THIS is the day that the LORD has made you will rejoice and be glad in it,” is what I heard. I still remember sitting in front of my moms house after a very disappointing and frustrating day with my kids, how out of control they seemed, how rebellious and defiant they seemed to be, how ungodly my son looked walking to and from his girlfriends house knowingly defying what GOD had said and my daughters no motivation and no care or concern of godly things. I say there hearing Suicide say with fake concern dripping with every word, “you know they are better off without you. You know you are standing in their way and hindering them.” And in a smaller, gentler and more sincere voice I let hearing, “you will rejoice and be glad in it.” I’m so thankful for my kids! I had even texted them “suicide texts” and was ready to go except, this WAS the day the LORD had made! How was I going to leave it early?! Why that’s like being the guest of honor and leaving the party early!! No!! Just like at the party hosted in your honor, I was going to rejoice and be glad in it! I’m so thankful they all texted back!

My nest is getting closer to being empty, but not of hope and lessons and adventures with my kids. No, just of the putter patter of their little feet. And even though that saddens me some days still, I have, am and will continue to cherish each day that the LORD makes. I will rejoice and be glad in each one of them! Will you?

******If depression is something you battle on a regular basis, reach out. It doesn’t have to be a doctor. But reach out. Someone will reach back, I guarantee that Jesus will!! You are worth living for!!*******

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Summer Vacation is Exiting…

Back To School

Let your light so shine before men that they may see your moral excellence
and your praiseworthy, noble, and good deeds and recognize and honor and
praise and glorify your Father Who is in heaven. Matt 5:16 AMP

Is it really that summer is over that fast?? Where did it go? How was it
able to escape our grasp?? Is this the reason the kids are growing up so
fast? How did my youngest go from entering the seventh grade to being a
junior in the flash of an eye? And where is the slow mo button??? *insert
sigh*

I picked this Scripture to highlight this first blog of the school year so
as to remind not only our children, but also ourselves of how we are to
behave.

Soon enough, we as parents will be offended, angry, hurt and/ or frustrated
at what is going on in school, at sporting events (even when we are not the
coach), peers, and teachers. We need to remember to let our light shine
before OUR CHILDREN that they may see our moral excellence, etc. How did we
really expect to teach our kids the fruit of the Spirit if we don’t display
it? Parents, our children may be throwing fits that embarrass us for their
teachers, but no matter how different they are, you telling off the
teacher, parent or even talking with your child in earshot, WHICH IS
ANYWHERE IN THE HOUSE UNLESS YOU ARE CALLING THEM, you are teaching them
how to throw a fit as well. Their excellence is going to be what we display
as excellence, not what we call it.

When I read this verse, I get extra convicted because there have been times
when I am seething mad and am talking to another parent; I tend to forget
that my child is around. And she is a nosy one so I can’t keep up the fuss
and keep watching for her too. Besides, we shouldn’t have to. Discussing is
one thing but complaining is against the law… in my Father’s eyes. But then
again, on a daily basis I’m doing what I shouldn’t be…. Okay hourly basis.
I’m so glad grace and mercy follow me!

Let’s instead do as the Scripture states. No changes, unless you want that
for your child.

Have a good school year… on purpose!

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Hard Battles (and Choosing Them)

There is a song that solidifies where I am at this point. Tenth Avenue North is an awesome singing group!! I love how plain and necessary their words are! How they seem to relate to what’s going on with me personally although I know they didn’t write each song about just me. Do you feel that way about a song? I call those battle or storm songs. Even have a place on my dumbPhone for them. Well their song Worn is where I’m at.

I began writing this post in June, at the height of the issues with my son and just could not go any further than the first sentence. A lot has happened since then. I’ve several break downs with GOD about my kids and pleading for Him to “make it or them right.” The most recent battle has been a spiritual one for my kids…. It seems I’m being tag teamed against because one will just get over something or seem to be okay and another one will act a fool… so to speak, of course! There were even a few moments when I wondered why they were given to me or cried about my failures when they were little (wrote a post about that earlier). I am seeing that this road to adulthood is marked and paved with non announced construction, forks in the road, dips, hills, valleys and even some deep potholes. I am sure we have had several “flat tires” during this journey but after tending to it, our Driver seems to keep right on going! There have been pit stops where at least one child has decided they don’t want Him as a Driver anymore and wanted to take on their own course and drive themselves because of a relationship. *Sigh* Or another who can’t seem to develop that rapport with our Driver or anyone that He sends to help or fellowship with us on this “train”. And of course my trio wouldn’t be complete without the child who is stubborn, determined to do it their own way when they are old enough! Goodness!! It seems the ride inside has been as bumpy as the road! Oh the sickness that has been on the train because of all the road issues! Am I the only one that has wanted to scream, “I WANT TO GET OFF NOW” or “NEXT STOP!!!!”

Well, again, I’m writing this as the song Worn runs trough my head. The lyrics that keep replaying are, “I’m tired, I’m worn… My heart is heavy, from the work it takes to keep on breathing.” What a perfect description! But I’m not here to complain or tell you all the stuff going on. Or how my son can’t seem to climb out of this pit or come out of his winepress, or how my daughters don’t know a whole lot about being an adult or wife yet (one is already an adult). No, in the midst of this storm, I am writing to let you know that the “Eye of the storm” is where you want to be! Jesus is that Eye. Psalm 121 assures us of that just as Jesus does in John 14:27.

I am at a place of peace because I have given my kids to Him as well as their burdens I was trying to carry. The latest one? My son’s ex girlfriend being pregnant. That was a hard one to release because I kept sensing that she might be and kept giving warning of please stop or at least be careful to no avail. It’s heart breaking to say the least but I love my son regardless, am learning to love his daughters mom as she so desperately needs that (no matter how hard she fights to “take my place” in his life) and of course his daughter! Meanwhile I am having to teach my oldest things I was unaware I needed to (don’t know how I thought she would learn them) and develop my youngest’s burden bearing heart she has for people that was misdiagnosed by doctor mom as “drama queen”.

Jesus told us that in this world we would have trials but to take heart (be of courage) because He has overcome the world! That means we will too! He also told us to give Him our burdens and take on His easy one. Why can’t we do that? Why is it so hard to put down our burdens that weigh is down for an easy and light one? Because we are used to carrying them and we don’t trust anyone, not even Jesus, with them or because we start to feel “guilty” not carrying our “own load” as the world suggests we do. Well I’m pointing out that Eye in the middle of your storm for you. He is peace when there should be none! He is joy when that car should be emptied. His love is never ending! I never got that before. People would tell me that He loves me when I was struggling but now I know why! It’s because of that Love for me that I can rest in the storms of life. And so can you!

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Pray When Nothing Is Left

pray without ceasing…. 1 Thess 5:17

I am at the point of parenting where I want to give up! I just want to throw in the towel and say forget it, I’m done. I mean my kids are 22, 20 and 16, so it’s not like I would be abandoning infants. *sigh* Now don’t get me wrong. I love my kids to life! I would have a all out drag out street fight for my kids. I would take a bullet for my kids. Yes I would die for them. But I’ve come to a point where I have to decide that I won’t die BECAUSE of them.

Here’s my issue. I have three very different, very intelligent, very creative kids. I have allowed them, for the most part, to express their creativity since they were younger. Probably, no, most definitely when I should have been teaching practical things like manners and loving their neighbor/ siblings, sharing and showing the love of Christ, I was letting them run in the house, yell and play like crazy. It’s my fault, I’m sure of it and now I have to face that portion. I have to look the sweet kids who loved to be outside and laugh at my dry jokes, who I should have taught chores, responsibility and the art of putting self last, in the face and say I failed you as a mom back then. All the homemaking, homeschooling got it all together moms remind me of that all the time.

And then I read a blog or status on Facebook where a mom flipped out on her kids. I hear a mom admit to not caring if they didn’t clean up right now, or I go to a moms house who says sorry for the mess! And I realize that I am no different, I’m not the only screw up that allowed things that should not have been. I have even ditched certain no brainers in discipline because I wasn’t allowed to do it. And then I also remember…. I’m redeemed!

I remember that God pursued me for 39 yrs before I surrendered and even the not had to have been such a battle to me to that calm state you get wild horses to after throwing a rope they weren’t prepared for around them. I complained, I lied still, I even harbored anger towards people and I’m sure I caused a commotion or two. Sheesh! Now that I think about it, He has to be GOD to have not given up on me! Everyone else has before! So how dare I even think about giving up on my kids.

They have been disobedient, reckless with their lives at times, rebellious enough for Billy Idol to yell ENOUGH ALREADY!! But they are my kids. The children GOD lent to me for a short time. It’s not their fault I wasted some of that time but even still, I’m glad GOD used me to pour something’s into them. The verse Matthew 7:11 comes to mind when I say this. In my being evil, I knew certain things to tell them or show them. Thank You for that LORD.

I was at a crossroads for a while now. I didn’t want to “stifle their creativeness”, I also didn’t want spoiled snots for kids. So I spoke with as much love as I could muster up when they irritated me. I tried pouring into them when I was angry to reassure them I loved them. But I never pulled that love of the Father into it. I never said, “Lord, show me these baybay kids from Your eyes.” I didn’t see that His way was more important to instill than to make friends or make sure they weren’t mad at family members. While I could go on with the “shoulda woulda couldas,” I choose to MOVE ON and be the mom I need to be at this stage in life. After all, if GOD had given up on me when I was their ages, I would be a MESS right now clenched onto my one way ticket to hell!! I’m so glad He saved me!! Aren’t you? Make sure your kids will be too….

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