In God We Trust?

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Lord,

You alone are Faithful,

You alone give joy,

You alone bring peace to

every girl and boy-

to every parent crying out

for

mercy in the night-

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When You Feel Like a Failure

Nothing is more beautiful than a strong, humble, God-fearing woman who knows who she is and Whose she is. ~Susie Larson

The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand.

Psalm 37: 23-24

It was a blue sky, sunshine morning but before my eyes confirmed this reality, I sensed a heaviness in my heart. It was as if the devil camped at the foot of my bed all night waiting to pounce on me before I stepped foot out of bed. Even as I tried to shake off the negative vibe, I felt like reminders of my lack peered back at me at every turn. The message in my mind was loud and clear, flashing repeatedly in neon, “Failure”.

Weakened, I repeatedly asked God to strengthen me, recognizing the wiles of the enemy, but not prepared for this particular early morning attack. As one who loves to rise early, and does so quite happily, the “surprise” attack should not really have surprised me, but honestly it did. I write this after the fact which gives evidence to the cunning ways of the Thief of our days.

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A Midsummer’s Day Dream (Soul Weariness)

 

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Hear my cry, O God; Give heed to my prayer.

From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

Psalm 61:1-2

I’m sitting here at this keyboard today, facing sunshine streaming in my windows. Facing the end of Summer days…which are this year a bit bittersweet. I’m tapping out words, and feeling the weight of the unknown press in like the end of Summer, and I struggle to describe how I feel. What I am thinking. Is it the perfect storm coming?

I will turn 5o. Finally. Well…on August 24.

My family  has been hearing me say I’m “almost 50“,  for the last 5 years.

This year has been a blur of pain, joy, survival mode, betrayal, frustration and ultimately a letting go. A letting go of dreams, expectations, desires. This year has been like living with death every day.

Death of hopes and plans shared. Death of friendships that reveal themselves to be over. Death of both secular and spiritual community expectations, death, death and death…  More

On Finishing Well (or just trusting God)

 

I’ve always longed for a Happy Ending.

Not a Happy Meal, but you know, that end that all little girls dream about in their deepest places. The places that get pressed down, shushed and forgotten.

I’ve settled most of my life for glorious beginnings. And I’ve had quite a few.

The fact is, it’s the finishing well, these days, I long for. Am longing for but suspecting I am incapable of…ultimately.

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Motherhood: Gavel or Grace

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But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” ~James 4:6
My cell phone rings from the bedside table, morning still has not peeked in through the blinds yet. I reach  into the dark, pressing the phone to me ear.
“Yes?” I reply, knowing who is on the other end of the ring.
“I just wanted to let you know it’s icy, and to be careful. I don’t want you to fall when you take the dog out.”
I am almost 50 years old, she’s 71. Actually, today, at this writing is her 71st birthday. Yet, here we are connected by a phone call. One in a continuum of calls made that sound similar. Warnings. Advice. Newsworthy tidbits. Concerns. Outright worry.
When does one stop mothering?
We have shared a lifetime of bittersweet and beloved moments, yet here she is still mothering me. Because that’s what mothers do. We can’t help it.
 She’s never believed she was a good mom. She worked two jobs, a single mom. She did the best she could, and yet, somehow felt it was never enough. Because that’s what moms feel. Like it’s never enough. Never right. Somehow incomplete.
Who can measure the circumstances that God allows and determine the way perfectly? Who guarantees outcomes? 

Who holds the gavel to motherhood?
How moms want to extol their children, raise them high on pedestals, when they do well.
But, what when a mom has parented, loved, and done the best she could, the best she knows to do, and is met with pain, grief, heartache, betrayal or rebellion?
Do you, Mother, slam the gavel down on the bench and judge or take her into your arms and remind her that He is the only one who holds the gavel. 
Do you remind her that she is loved; beloved, despite her daily failings. 
Beyond the disappointments of her own childhood needs unmet, yet still she is upheld. 
 He alone promises to lead those with young. Do you remind her that whether her children are well behaved, good students or great athletes is really not all to her credit? Not that it is wrong to be proud of our children’s accomplishments, but perspective is needed. Clarity, sensitivity and discernment is needed in how we see and express ourselves with regard to these things. 
What then do you say to the mom, who is struggling with a special needs child or child who rebels? Do you analyze and compare? Do you assume you did a better job at your mothering because your children happen to fare well in the confines of society? Oh, you might not say it out loud, but is it implied? Do you think it?
What grace then, to the mother who is unavailable, negligent, unknown to herself and others, a victim of her own lack of nurturing in childhood? 
Will you choose the gavel or grace for your own imperfect mother, the imperfect mother you are and for all of the other moms who cross your path?
But he gives us more grace…
Lord, this journey of motherhood is beyond me. You show me again and again how much more I need to depend on your grace, instead of my own limited understanding. I need to do this for myself as a mom, and I need to be gracious with other moms, not assuming anything. Because, you alone know the  unique struggles within our souls. Lord, keep me from making snap judgments and conclusions based on what I see in others, in their mothering. Only you know the hidden and secret things- You alone will bring all to light in your time. Let me instead be a shoulder to a despairing mom, an encouraging word to a weary mom, and a present grace in a time of trouble for hopeless mom and a light shining you to a mom who can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, right now. Remind me, I have no idea the hard battles that another might have overcome or currently be enduring. Let me be gracious, for you, Lord are gracious to me. Thank you that no matter who judges, or rejects me, You call me your own. That no matter how many times I mess up, you clean me up, and set me straight. Thank you that I am loved by You, and your desire is for me. I am your beloved. 
I belong to my beloved, and his desire is for me.Song of  Solomon 7:10

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