Friday, October 7, 2011
Good news! GOD ANSWERS PRAYER! Many of you know that. I know that. But I love when God proves it anyway. Dear son Cody is in remission from his drug addiction. My prodigal came home. He left again, but this time on his own to get his own apartment and stand on his own two feet. He's working, going to school, and has a simply lovely girlfriend. Gone are the days when he wouldn't dream of bringing home whomever he is "dating" because his Momma wouldn't approve! He was proud for me to meet her, and they've been together for a year now. My heart is at peace for my son.
Of course, God can only let me be for so long. He recognizes when I need more growth and perhaps more dependence on Him. There is more drama swirling around in other areas of life -- but for today and for blogger land, I am going to simply rejoice in seeing the difference of last year's post and today's. God is so good. Life is good, even in the midst of trials. Amen!
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
I could rewrite my last blog again, and it would still be relevant all these months later. Only my now 18-year-old son is no longer living in the house. He is rarely attending his last semester in school. His school counselor called and indicated he will not be able to graduate as he lost a needed class credit due to truancy. He admits to using drugs. He does not work -- though at times has money to spare (?!). He is less and less in contact with me, and rarely in contact with his dad. At times he reaches out to his younger brother, but since he is only able to see him if he comes to visit with us at home or out with us for a meal, that isn't happening anymore either.
I think again of that father in Luke 15. How did he cope? How did his wife cope? I don't remember her being mentioned in the story. Obviously life went on. The father lived and worked alongside his other son. But yet he waited and hoped and prayed.
There are times my heart is so broken that I don't know how to pray. I don't know what to say. I can only cry, "Lord, Lord." Or sob quietly. Or even wail. And then, I step off the doorstep and continue to live life...working, running errands, spending time with my husband and youngest son. But it's not quite right. And, even though it's incredibly busy (often too much so), it's not quite full.
Jesus tells about a shepherd who leaves his 99 sheep and goes to find 1 who went astray. He shares about a woman who lost 1 of her 10 coins and looks high and low until she finds it (then rejoices and tells everyone around her). And of course, there's the father and his prodigal son. I know these are all examples of God's amazing love for us and the rejoicing when what was once lost is then found. Jesus speaks of the rejoicing in heaven when His children turn to Him.
I want to rejoice as the woman with the coin. I want to throw a party as the father did for his returning son. I want to place my lamb in my arms and carry him back to the flock. What if that time does not come for me? What if I wait, hope and pray, and the Lord's answer is something else entirely? What if, as I look for His answer as only to be "my son coming home", that I miss the real answer He has for me?
Isaiah 42:16 says, "I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them."
Though I often feel lost, hurt, and in despair, I know I am not foresaken. I have to admit, I forget that sometimes -- my emotions take over, and I wonder where God is. The path is indeed dark and unknown. I feel completely blind as to the future. I long for the smooth road. But I am called to trust. When I do, I remember all that God has done for me in the past. He has always shined a light on my path. At my weakest he has made me strong and given me a hope when I have been hopeless. I have no reason to trust He won't do so again. He is the same today, yesterday and forever.
"Lord, when I can't think of what to pray, may I just remember Your words, and pray them back to You. May I turn to the direction of the light rather than wallowing in the darkness. May I remember that YOU love my son as the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the prodigal son. These are illustations of YOUR love for my Cody. When nothing else gives me comfort, may that knowledge be enough."
Monday, September 7, 2009
I feel much like that mother cat. I want to wrap my 17-year-old in my arms, hold him close, and protect him from the world – even from himself. I am fighting the urge to whisk him away to a “safe place”, wherever that might be. He is an unhappy young man, angry at life (and thus often at his family as well), and seems to be intent on self destruction. His choices are steering him toward danger, loneliness, and potentially a devastating future. But, while maternal instincts can teach us how to love, how to be responsive and protective, it doesn't provide a blueprint for how to handle the challenges that come when raising a child…particularly a wayward one.
My beautiful boy is sleeping in his room right now, having been out all night and not answering me about where he was. In the middle of the night, I drove to find him but didn’t know where to look. I came home and listened for the door throughout the night and checked my phone about every half hour, waiting to hear from him. I felt all the rational and irrational fears one feels when someone they love is “missing”. I see my son slipping away, and I feel powerless.
I feel like the woman in front of the wise king in 1st Kings 3, fighting against another for the life of my child. What or whom I’m fighting against I don’t know, but I wish the king would give me my whole baby back.
I pray for my son from Proverbs 23…”Listen, my son, and be wise, and keep your heart on the right path. Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags. Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old. Buy the truth and do not sell it; get wisdom, discipline and understanding. The father of a righteous man has great joy; he who has a wise son delights in him. May your father and mother be glad; may she who gave you birth rejoice! My son, give Me your heart and let your eyes keep to My ways…”
I want to rejoice in my son; I want my husband to delight in him. But I can’t make that happen. My motherly heart grieves for this child. I ache all over…inside and out. I go from anger, to fear, to hopelessness, to pain. I do not understand what my son is going through. I do not understand my husband’s reaction to him. Sometimes I don’t understand my own responses. All I know is that right now I want to protect him. I want my whole baby back. My little blond-haired, green-eyed, full of life and energy boy. Oh, he’s not so little any more. He towers over me now. But he is still my Cody. He is still my son.
I know that when I can’t, God has this child in his arms. He will not forget him. "Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!” says the Lord. (Isaiah 49:15)
Oh my son, I will not forget you, but I place you in the arms of Jesus…He is the blanket, the closet, and the loving arms that will keep you close.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
That sounds kind of morbid, doesn't it? I don't mean it that way. Yes, I'd love to be living in heaven, but I'm not looking to get there anytime soon, and that's not what I meant by getting off the roller coaster ride. Oh whatever...I'm going to leave this train of thought and get on with it.
Work is as stressful as ever. We had yet another layoff yesterday; this one involving almost 500 people companywide. It breaks my heart, and I just pray and pray for all those affected. And for all those (including me) who wonder if they're next. It is not a good time. And, my workload just keeps getting more and more overwhelming. And my dear husband is tired of hearing about it, and I'm tired of being resentful that he doesn't work. Well, actually, he does work...around the house, doing all of the shopping, and taking the youngest wherever he needs to go. (The 17-year-old now has a car, and boy does he use it.) Yes, my husband really does work A LOT.
My oldest son is not in a good place right now. He's starting to exhibit much more concerning behavior that is reminiscent of when I started my blog and the intense challenges we were having with him. Tonight he and I really got into it for something he had done. He accused me of never being here and that his dad is always yelling at him. As I explained that he alone is responsible for his choices, not us, inside I felt terribly, terribly guilty. I am in a job I'd love to leave, making an income I don't know how to replace somewhere else, traveling extensively, and working an insane amount of hours. He's pretty nearly right. While "never" certainly isn't accurate, "rarely" probably would be.
My husband saw an ad for the program Total Transformation (which is about transforming your relationship with your child...and seeing a total transformation in their out-of-control life), and I ordered it. While doing some research about it, I found a blogger who recommended it (http://holymama.org/), and you've got to check it out. She is so funny, so real, and is a self-proclaimed "sorta shallow Christian mom", though I don't really believe it about the shallow part. Anyway, you're sure to love her blog.
So, I am also looking into studying for a real estate license. Oh, I know it's a HORRIBLE time to get into real estate, but for some reason I just feel led to do it. I can't get it out of my mind. Perhaps this is a way to get ready for a life (and career) change.
And then, if I'm not busy enough, I signed up for Heritage Makers because I wanted to make some keepsake books for family members this Christmas. And since I can't do anything halfway, I decided I needed to be a consultant. Ha! But, hey, feel free to check it out...it really is an amazing way to tell your life / family stories and give a truly unforgettable and meaningful gift: http://www.heritagemakers.com/330883.
My current password at work is based on Psalm 9:9-10 -- "The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know Your name will trust in You, for You, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek You."
I am seeking Him. He is my refuge. I could not survive these times of trouble without Him. How I wonder how people make their way through their crazy roller coasters of life without Him. I think they end up dizzy, nauseous and completely disoriented. Thank goodness He is our compass, and also our stronghold. While I'm on this crazy ride, He's keeping me secure so I don't tumble out on one of the loops.
Thank You, Lord, for never foresaking me, even when my son is right. Thank You that You never leave me...may my son, my husband, my other son, and those reading this blog feel Your love around them and know You are there...ALWAYS.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
A 92-year old, petite, well-poised and proud man, who is fully dressed each morning by eight o’clock, with his hair fashionably coifed, and shaved perfectly, even though he is legally blind, moved to a nursing home today. His wife of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary. After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, he smiled sweetly when told his room was ready. As he maneuvered his walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of his tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on his window.
“I love it,” he stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy.
“Mr. Jones, you haven’t seen the room; just wait.”
“That doesn’t have anything to do with it,” he replied. “Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn’t depend on how the furniture is arranged…it’s how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it. It’s a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice – I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do. Each day is a gift, as long as my eyes open, I’ll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I’ve stored away just for this time in my life.”
At the end, my realtor wrote (or borrowed from someone else):
Old age is like a bank account. You withdraw from what you’ve put in. So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories. Remember the five simple rules to be happy:
- Free your heart from hatred
- Free your mind from worries
- Live simple
- Give more
- Expect less
We have a great example of choosing happiness in Paul . Reading his accounts of where he finds joy, in the worst of circumstances (i.e., Acts 16:25), is simply inspiring.
I have found myself lamenting a number of situations in my life over the past month. God is so gracious...sending me pockets of joy even though I am not obedient in seeking them. Visiting a Christian friend in KC that I hadn't seen in months brought joy as we talked, prayed, and fellowshipped together. Receiving an email from a Christian co-worker (in a secular business) that said, "Remember, God is in control"...which was sent not knowing what I was facing and how much I needed to hear that. My 17-year-old son sending me a text message right after I landed at the airport after a business trip, asking "Are you in town yet?" and when I answered "Just landed," he responded with "Coolio!" He then hugged me when I got home, in front of a guy friend...and if you know his story (and the reason I started this blog to begin with), you know how amazing this is, and just how far we've come.
So, today I praise God. I sing to Him. I worship Him. I thank Him. In the midst of enormous financial trials. In spite of a marriage that seems to be fading. In spite of job that is overwhelming. He is merciful. He is awesome. He loves me. He comforts me. He suffered and paid the ultimate price for me. I choose to praise Him in all circumstances
"The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God my Savior!"
"Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan..." (Psalm 42:5-6)
"When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?" (Psalm 56:3-4)
I choose Love. I choose Life. I choose HIM!
Blessings, dear readers friends.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
As I want to relish in God's answer to prayer, I won't write anymore. However, would you pray for my husband and son's relationship? And also for their choices -- how they respond to each other, how they treat each other, and that they will make decisions that show respect for themselves and for each other.
Praise be to God who is so faithful, loving, and who works all things together for good for those who love him. We know that not "all things are good", but God is able to replace ashes with beauty. He is so good...
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
- My friend and coworker, Cynthia, just found out this week that she has breast cancer. (She was called by her doctor while she was traveling on business with me and other coworkers.)
- Cynthia got on a plane and flew back to the doctor the next day. She will have a lumpectomy next Wednesday, followed by radiation (hopefully) or chemo, depending on what they find during surgery.
Please pray for Cynthia. She is a Christian, and she is at peace about this situation, but this comes at a very stressful time for her (for a whole host of other reasons). Please pray for God's hand to guide the doctor's hand during surgery. Pray for no complications, and that the cancer is fully contained. Pray that chemo won't be necessary. Pray for her health, her relationships, and her family (mom, sister, husband and kids in particular) -- for them to have peace, to be her pillars, to strengthen their faith through this situation, etc.
Thank you for your prayers!