Thursday, January 26, 2012

He Holds Us Together

     We watched this for our morning bible time…the kids and I.  Shivers run through me every time I get to the part where he shows the laminin diagram, no matter how many times I’ve watched this video.  I think about how awesome it is that when we were fashioned into a body at the beginning of creation, a cross was already part of our molecular make-up, before the cross was even a part of history.  God’s spiritual plan visually displayed in the physical form; we were meant to carry the cross.

Never should I be “coming apart at the seams”.  For You hold me together like none other ever could.

Monday, January 23, 2012

One For the Mom Team

     Mothers need one another.  Can you imagine trying to be a mother without having any others to talk to?  I can’t.  Last night my BFF and I were discussing a situation where we share a common thread and it made me realize how important it is that mothers are there to encourage one another.  Parenting is no easy task.  I think it is by far, the most important calling I have had or possibly will have, in my entire life.  It made me realize something that I hope I never do again.
     There have been times in my life as a mom that I have been prideful.  I have actually been proud when my kids acted the way I expected, and ashamed when they did not.  I have taken it on as solely my responsibility when their behavior was pleasing or disconcerting.  I have given advice as though it was a guarantee that a certain technique would bring about perfect results every time.  I have criticized other parents for their ways of parenting.  I gave myself FAR too much credit with the fate of my children.

     Yes, the bible does say, “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”  I believe that God wants us to do our best and to take our role as parents very seriously.  He also wants us to trust Him with that responsibility.  I believe now, that just like with everything else we do in our lives, He wants us to parent in faith.  I need to teach my kids more about His grace and less about my laws.  Sure I have to have rules to run my home, but His grace is what drives our hearts.  Not the law.  We as mothers are all in the same boat.  Trying to do the best job we can in the short time we have to raise our children to become everything they were meant to be.  We, moms, need to support one another.
     An encouraging word, a hug, and understanding ear, these are what we need to be for each other.  Prayer, positive advice, ideas and most of all love and support will give us that extra boost of encouragement that we so desperately need sometimes.  I, for one, plan to be that for the moms I know.  Motherhood is tough but so rewarding.  We need to know that we aren’t in it alone.  We need to come to each other knowing that none of us are perfect and none of us have all the answers.  We have each other, and praise Him, we have God to mold our children exactly like He wants them, in spite of our parenting.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Lonely Man There on the Corner

      We handed out our first blessing bag today.  This same man has been the very one I thought we would probably be giving our first.  He has a usual spot by our home.  He is dirty and looks sad and tired.  No hope in his eyes, empty and alone.  After I gave it to him out the car window and drove away when the light turned green, I thought about his words, “thank you.”  I felt sad for him.  I have no idea what “real life” is to him.  I suppose he could catch a ride in his brother’s Cadillac at the same corner at 8:00 p.m.  Or go catch the city bus to a nice home in the suburbs.  But I doubt it.  Even if he isn’t homeless, I thought, I would have to be in a pretty desperate situation to stand on a street corner and beg for money/help.
     Whatever his situation I was glad with the idea of the blessing bag.  I found it while surfing the web last week.  I loved it.  I can pack it with dry goods, toiletries, a McDonald’s gift card and anything else that will fit and help and I don’t have to worry about them buying the wrong thing with my gift.  It blesses me too.

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
    Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?  When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?  When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
     The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Oh PMS, How I Hate You!

     This week I made the ingenious decision to change everything that we do on a daily basis.  After our week last week, coming out of the holiday season, I saw we needed some serious structure and discipline.  Yes, the kids too.
     So, last weekend I sat and spent some time and some brainpower coming up with a plan.  I thought about all of the things that need to get done on weekdays, then I wrote down the current hindrances.  I thought of solutions for them and worked it all together into a beautiful masterpiece of organizational bliss to adorn our refrigerator.

     Problem is, I forgot to check with my biological calendar to see how my monthly visitor felt about my agenda.  Not good.  You see, when you drastically change your children’s lives sometimes they don’t take very kindly to it.  Sometimes they even balk at the new exciting things on the schedule.  Often they need to be reminded that there is a new schedule.  Often?  Who am I kidding?  At least five times an hour, and that’s a modest estimate.  Then there is the lack of enthusiasm.  I mean, what’s wrong with these people?  Don’t they see how harmonious and utopian-like this is?
     New family plans require a patient and firm-minded parent to handle all of these minor adjustments.  Preferably one of sound mind as well.  Not one that has to bite her tongue so many times throughout the day that it’s twice its normal size from swelling.  Should I really almost start to cry when I can’t figure out how to do a 7th grade math problem?  Only to find out that I couldn’t do it for the same reason she couldn’t, I wasn’t following instructions.  I’m thinking also of the irony of the fact that I told my son, “There are NO MORE extra chores to do today, don’t ask me ANYMORE!”  He really wanted to earn those tickets.
     No turning back now.  I’m on a mission and I know it is worthy of prayer.  It’s no less important than one that any missionary has lived out on the other side of the world.  Working with souls, teaching them what I know about Jesus and how he works in our hearts.  These young people are on loan to me from God to train up and do the best I can.  I have allowed stress and worry to sneak up on me and all that says is, “I don’t trust you God.  You aren’t big enough.”  He has a plan for them in spite of me.  So turn away from me, PMS Monster!  You have no power here!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Humble Pie Recipe

     Ingredients can be borrowed from your neighbor.  A cup of sugar, for some of their sweetness; some flour, for those sticky situations; a pinch of salt, for we are the salt of the earth and sometimes others just seem saltier.  A little milk, for when our heart just seems so dry or an egg, to crack open the barrier and set the meaningful free.  Yes, we can borrow from our neighbor.

Yet, we must make our own humble pie.

Friday, January 6, 2012

To Be REALLY Known

    I was reading a plaque that a dear friend brought me once when she visited from out of town.  It says:

True Friends Are Like Angels

I believe in angels;
the kind that heaven sends.
I'm surrounded by angels,
but I call them friends.
Many people will walk
in and out of your life,
but only true friends
will leave footprints
on your heart.

     I thought about my friends this morning.  What a blessing to have real friends that you can always count on to be there.  Especially my BFF!  She loves me, I know, because she’s seen my ugly cry and has still come over again after that.  We have shared so much.  Five million gallons of coffee with International Delight, school ideas, home organization ideas, husband ideas, laughs, cries, secrets and hugs.  We have grown together these 20 years or so that we have come to know one another and I can’t imagine my life without her.

     There are others too.  I know that if any of them read this, they know I’m talking about them.  We all share a wonderful bond in Christ and we love and care for one another.  Meeting some of my friends the way I did proves even more to me that God cares about every detail of my life and He will provide in the most amazing ways.  I met a lot of my friends online a few years ago, which I never did before and will probably never do again.  But God can orchestrate something when He wants to and you can’t stop it.  You wonder how those can be real friends?  They know me.  They pray for me, laugh with me, cry with me, love me.  I figure once you can share inside jokes with one another, you know you have a real friend that knows you and you know them.

     In my bible study this week, I had a list of verses.  I was supposed to pick one to memorize for the week.  I chose this one: 
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me.  I give them eternal life and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them from my Father’s hand.  John 10:27-28
     He KNOWS me.  You mean he knows what I called that guy that cut me off in traffic the other day?  Or he knows how exasperated I get with my children sometimes?  He knows that I am lazy sometimes, I am selfish more times, and I am impatient almost all the time.  He knows the ugly things I’m thinking on the inside when I’m trying to change my heart by saying something different on the outside.  What about when I just want to retreat inside my cave every 28 days and not serve or do ANYTHING for ANYONE for fear that I might actually bite someone’s head off?  He also knows I hate all of these things about myself.  He knows I’m sorry.  He knows I love him and want to KNOW him.  He knows me.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

He Signed up for This?

     I sat down to write today and thought about how serious I am all the time when I write.  I guess it’s because it’s kind of become my therapy, and therapy is serious business.  Today I thought I might lighten up some and share in my usual style.  I was thinking I’d write about how wacky I can be as a woman sometimes and how when you throw that into a marriage and involve the love of your life, what transpires is quite entertaining.  Well….after the fact.  And maybe to me it’s funny, not sure what he thinks.

     Neediness had overtaken my senses on Saturday night.  Not sure what exactly I needed, but I NEEDED it and someone had better give it to me!  I prayed, and I thought about it and gave it a few hours to subside, then I decided that since the husband was the only one available at the time then he must be the one that should solve all of my problems.  I did the thing you are supposed to do when you are married, I communicated.  A very clumsy display of communication it was too.  I told him that something was wrong, and that I felt like I needed to talk, but when he asked me to explain it sounded something like this…  chirp…..chirp….”er, um, well I dunno, I just uhh, well..y’know.”  chirp….chirp….SNNOOORRREEE (that was his contribution).  Since my audience had now checked out, I had to turn it back to God.  With tears and supplication I fell asleep.
     The next day we went to church.  I was happy to have that distraction from my so-called problem and just get into worshipping and being with loved ones.  However, as soon as we got into the car and were on our way home, the cloud found me again.  It must have stayed in the car during church since evil is not allowed in the building.  When we got home and changed from our church clothes and had a chance to talk again, I was finally able to say something that made some sense.  I got a hug and POOF, all better.  The poor man was baffled.  We survived my hormonal abyss without a fight and all was well.
     So, Monday he comes home from work, being oh so attentive and sweet.  Calling me with his new little pet name for me, “Mumsy….you wanna sit by me?”  After a few times, I “realized” i.e.(a brick flew into our living room and hit me upside the head) “He’s trying to give you extra attention.  You asked for this, you idiot!”  I was playing on the computer, completely content and he’s caught up now and trying to fulfill my needs.  Are we all like this?  Poor men!  We really need to cut them some slack.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Jumping the Walls

     There are times when the desire to reach out is so strong it hurts.  There is nothing physical stopping me, only an invisible wall of lies.  Lies so powerful they come between this bond that can’t be broken.  They have my heart believing, they have it in a death grip.  How dare the master of lies invade my thoughts.  How dare I let him.

     How easily I conquer the wall.  All it takes is a prayer, some faith, and an act of love.  A leap of faith really, for isn’t the lack of it what kept me trapped on the wrong side?  Only by trusting can we tear down the barricades of life.  If I’m not trusting, I’m not living.