Saturday, August 09, 2014

2 Weeks ....

Well, its been 2 weeks since my girls have gone to Florida with their dad.    2 weeks with me and three little guys.  This has been fun, but having 5 kids out there and only 3 left has been making me think a lot about the future. 

I am LOVING spending time with these boys!!!  They are soooo funny and sweet and cuddly and boyish!  However, having only 3 in the house seems so quiet and empty.  There are no more toddlers who need constant care... no one left to teach how to read (this is a good thing!!)...  less work for me to do.   Less laundry with no girls around too!!

I'm realizing a huge part of my job of the past 20 years is now history... the future with the fab 5 left at home can't be more traumatic than the first three (who I love like blazes even though it hasn't always been easy!). 

I have known for awhile that changes were coming.  Inside has been growing and changing and its time to make the changes outside.  These changes are happening bit by bit.  The ground work is being laid, feelers going out...   its happening.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Quick thought

John Chapter 5:1-15 tells us about the Pool of Bethesda.

Apparently the sick of all kinds would lie around this pool and periodically the waters of the pool would be supernaturally stirred and the first person to jump in.. or get thrown in would be healed.

I know that sounds a little glib... but there is a point here.


In fact, a very small percentage of people were healed.  They had faith!!  This one guy had been hanging out there for 38 YEARS!!!  I'm sure others were there that long, or longer or only 20 or so years.  This is faith!!  Not a passing kind of faith.  A genuine, deep down abiding faith that God was going to do some healings.

I don't know how often these healings happened.  Obviously not that often.  38 years is a long time to wait.

Belief wasn't enough.  These people believed they could be healed... and there would be a healing... and the vast majority were not healed.

Does this mean God isn't enough?  nope

Here is another thought.... These are sick people.  I am sending out a 2000 year old (approximate) kudos to the ladies and gents who took care of these hurting people.  There had to be some... you don't sit around for 38 years without being fed. 

We tend to have the mentality that God is just going to help all these people who have faith to believe that God can and will help them and then sit back and watch for God to get the job done... like Jonah and the Ninevah thing.    Here is what usually happens in that case.  Hurting people become abandoned people... and hurt more.  While the good Christian people believe that God will just step in and change the day because some famous person had a nice little quote... or they take Jeremiah 29:11 completely out of context... Someone who could use some encouragement or physical or financial help sinks.  And learns not to trust people at all. 

In the best case scenario, they yield everything to God who comforts them in their affliction from the inside.  That's what God does.  He molds hearts and conforms them to Himself.  It is OUR job to bring on the real encouragement, give the leg up, assist, give... do the earthly things we can do because we can!!  

The other scenario is that they will just give up.  Give up on people, God, life...

The supernatural healings and fixer upping is not going to happen the majority of the time. 

For every King David, Esther, Job, Abraham, guy healed at the pool by Jesus himself (who left all kinds of them still sick on their mats), there are thousands who were not blessed in a financial way or healed.  

And its ok.  But we really need to get real about God and who He is and ditch our fantasy version happily ever after on earth God. 

I am going to get myself in trouble.... BUT....

Lately there seems to be some discussion about God's plans and purposes for people lives.  I know people mean well when they see some things going on in my life that are hard and tell me to have patience because God will bring much blessing from this.... and they mean here on earth.

Do I believe God CAN do this?? Yes, I do.

Do I believe God WANTS to fix everything??  duh, yeah

Do I believe it's a definite that God will?  Nope.  I do not apologize for this.  God is not my puppet.

He MAY shower me with so many material blessings that I won't be able to use it all.  He may lead someone to think I am the most amazing woman on the planet and fall madly in love with me so my kids could have a daddy.   He may make me a huge success and the toast of the town... like a BIG town ... even bigger than the rural NB town I live on the outskirts of the outskirts on.


And its not because my faith is lacking or God is lacking.... Simply because that it is not what He chooses to do.  AND IT IS ALL GOOD!!! 

If I am sick, if more of my kids have problems, if I struggle to find funds to always get groceries, if I spend my life lonely, should my kids all grow up and leave and I work at McD's and never can afford to buy clothes from a dept store and I look old and stink....  GOD IS STILL GOOD AND IT'S ALL OK!

There seems to be a common misconception that if we are believers and have faith that God will work all things out here on earth that it will happen.  That, my friends, is bull-ka-ka.     It is unscriptural, doesn't go along with history at all, and we are told to stay away from all ear tickling doctrine.   I claim it, I believe it, hallelujah it's gonna happen is ear tickling.  God can still say no.  And does a lot. 

I say no to my kids all the time.  No more sugar.  No to more tv.  No to more video games.  No to staying inside all day on a beautiful day.  No to getting everything you want.  Wait sometimes for something you may even need.  Not because I don't love my kids, but they are asking for the wrong things at times.  

I want God to say no to me when my wants or needs aren't the best for me at the time... or simply so I will know that I love God not for what He does for me physically, but what He does for me spiritually and eternally.  I love God for what He has done for me... whether earthly blessings come or not.  

It's easy to twist scripture around to make it seem like God is just waiting to shower money on us if we just believe... its also easy to read and study and see that its baloney.  However, most don't even need scripture.  We have little fortune cookie style sound bites from big name preachers that don't even pretend to come from scripture and we shout out "AMEN!! I claim this! I need this! Let it be so, Lord Jesus!!"  

Here is the truth.... its all lies.   Jesus doesn't promise fixes, He promises a comforter.  He doesn't promise earthly love, He promises He loves us and will never leave us or abandon us.   He doesn't promise good health, but everlasting life.   He doesn't promise the temporal but the eternal.  He doesn't promise a full refrigerator, He IS the bread of life and living water.

You may choose the good earthly stuff.  I choose the creator of it.  Whatever He deems best for me I will accept with gratitude.  I will expect the very best.... peace, love, joy, hope, life, wisdom, truth... and be very, very content.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Another "solitary" day

For the second day this week the kiddos are off with their dad for another family gathering.

Today the little boys were quite upset that I wasn't invited!!  I love them so much!!
Their little hearts are innocent and sweet.   My ties to this family are my children and its ok that I am not on guest list. 

That brings me to another day!!  Tuesday I read Ezra, and puttered, and napped!!   Today I gathered laptop, phones, Bible, pens, snacks, etc, and holed up in my room!!! 

So far I have played music and cleaned out stuff that is long over due for a purging.  I found 8 lip glosses/sticks and 3 boxes of mints!!  Most of what I found is just junk!!!  This is good.  One box is filled with junk and another one is started!!

Why is so hard to get rid of stuff that clearly is not doing anything for me??... its only weighing me down. 

Why do I entertain thoughts in my head that do the same thing.  Sometimes my head is so cluttered I can barely breathe.   2 Cor 10:5 says "We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ."

I am guilty of entertaining loose thoughts, and sometimes let emotions and impulses loose too!  Ack, ouch, grrrr.....  I have every tool I need to tear down barriers and fit my emotions, thoughts and impulses to the structure Christ is shaping me into.... The secret is to know that I need Christ to help.  This is great since He happens to be here ALL THE TIME!!    The same power that raised Him from the dead is living in me ... ready and oh so wanting to shape me into the me He designed me to be!!!
Including my thoughts, emotions and impulses!!!  

How cool is that!!!!

Lately my mind just keeps wandering into regret and the fact that I miss a friend of mine so very much!!  Is it ok miss someone?  You betcha' it is!!!   But I need to leave Him in God's very capable, loving hands and not dwell on it.  

Right now God is doing a purging, healing... painful, and necessary work in me.   I both don't like it much... and am so thankful that He is faithful to complete the work He started in me!   He is so faithful!   This I know.... God will always be faithful to me.

I found this quote today from Samuel Hopkins in 1803.  Its from his sermon "The Friendship Between Jesus Christ and Believers"

"Faithfulness is essential to the character of a friend: without this there can be no safety in intimacy with and confidence in Him."

Jesus Christ is my faithful friend.  I can trust Him with my entire life.   It's all good.

In reading this over, I decided I must be the rambliest blogger ever!!  It's still all good!!

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Mid-Crisis Ramble

The city of Moncton is basically locked down.  A troubled young man in camo and heavily armed is playing a deadly game of hide and seek with the police.

It will not end well.

2 officers are wounded in hospital.

3 officers are dead.

No one is sure where this young man is.

Darkness is falling again... its pouring rain... visibility is going to be terrible tonight.  And the city, and province, and nation are waiting.  Waiting for the next sighting, the next gunshot, the next (God forbid) fatality, and ultimately the end of this nightmare.

26 hours ago, no one knew three families would lose beloved family members.  No one could imagine a little city in New Brunswick would be joined together by fear and sorrow.  Even if given a heads up, we would have thought, not here!!  This doesn't happen here.  But its happening.

Life is so short.... and so filled with twists and turns and shocking events.  Life is stressful.

This I know... God is faithful and above this.  God knows where the gunman is.  He cries with the grieving.  He loves all those who are waiting and fearful.   We can trust Him.

Life is too short for misunderstandings, and leaving things unsaid and undone... yet we do that.  In the officers last moments were they stressed because they were leaving relationships hanging?  Did they know they were loved?  Did they know that they did everything possible to leave this world better than they found it?  Did they know God?   Did they know where they were going? 

In my last moments I will know I loved lavishly... I will know I introduced all of my children to their Heavenly father and I will see them again.  I know where I'm going.  My trip has been paid for and prepared for.   In most ways I will be content.    The relationships that have been failures still mock me.  Most are completely irreparable.    My relationship with the kids dad has come to a place of peace and acceptance.    Only one broken relationship still has the power to make me cry.   

Life may be to short for misunderstandings and hurt... but sometimes you have to realize its a huge part of life. 

I have not left a huge mark on this world... and that's ok. I have made many, many, many mistakes...and wish I didn't.   My needs are small.  I am happy.  

God bless the families, friends and co-workers of these fallen heroes.  God bless the people of Moncton.  Praying peace and protection for all of them.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

My Isaac Moment...for this week anyway...

So.... I figure that if God is going to take the time to teach me so much lately, I should document it so I can remember this later!  Knowing myself the way I do, forgetting what I have learned my usual deal and then I have to learn it all again later!!

Thank you to Francine for helping me to get this!   Though to be fair to God, He had prepared my heart to receive what she had to say in a very personal way.

This spring I have experience several losses in my life... Ha Ha Ha... Let's get real!!!  This past decade has been a series of losses!  It has also been a decade of growth and amazingness!!   I am so thankful that God doesn't just leave us in a pit of misery, He always provides stuff to be thankful for!!

But where do I focus??

If my focus is on God and the good stuff .... it's all good... UNTIL something BIG or small gets in the way and I am swallowed up by grief again. 

But THIS spring... This is the spring where God asked me for the only thing that was almost impossible to give.. something that kept me teary for a week as I fought this... and fought myself.  I happen to know that God is completely trustworthy and that His way is so far above mine!  So the battle was with my heart and my mind.  My heart was so broken... how could God ask this of me??  My mind was slapping my heart upside the head... God will take care of me.  Its ok... trust.

What did he want?  The ONE thing that was MINE, MINE.... ALL MINE!!!  My dreams for my future.  Tentative dreams... babies of ideas and sweet bits of hope.   He wanted my innermost self... to give it all up!  

I had just began to allow myself to dream about the future.  My life had been one of survival!  Who had time to dream of anything?  Not me.   Did God not want me to have anything?  What if He left me here just trying to survive forever?  What if this was it?  Could I trust God with my life if I could never look forward to anything?  

Did Abraham think that way when he was asked to relinquish Isaac, his precious son?  Duh!!   Of course not!  God covenanted with Abraham that Isaac was the son of promise!  He couldn't die!  Abraham knew God had to do something special or God would be a liar.... IMPOSSIBLE!!!

So rather smugly I imagine my decision is harder than Abraham's.  I am an idiot sometimes.   God has covenanted with me too.  "He who began a good work in me will be faithful to complete it" and He promises plans for good for me, HOPE,  a future!!   

He can't leave me with no dreams and hope, because He already has them for me.  Could I give up mine for His??  How could I not.  So.... its all gone.  My plans... my future... my goals... my dreams...  and they were all good ones.     And yet, I can give them all up because God's are so crazily better!!!  I don't say this because I have a clue what they are.... I say it because I know who HE is!!  He has a fantabulous plan for me.   A journey only I can take and its gonna be wonderful!

Until then... I will wait.  I will make a little book of remembrances.  I will be faithful in the day to day and will pray that I will not be grieved by what is lost, but live in excitement for what is ahead!!!

A disclaimer may be necessary...  people tend to ask WHO when discussing loss.  My journey is not about the people who walk in and out of it.  It is about me and the walk I have with God.   My dreams I talk about are the innermost part of me... not dreams regarding another person.   There are many people I miss too... Several this year for various reasons... However, this is not what this post is about!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Good stuff, Baby!!! Good stuff!!

Some people blog... some BLOG.... and others BLOG!!!!!

I blog.

The word blog makes me feel like I am drowning or about to choke.  Who came up with that word anyway??

Actually, I blog when my life hasn't got much going on in it.  Otherwise I am busy with the good stuff in life.  The planning and the doing and the socializing and the talking to real people instead of a computer.  It's a shame really as the good stuff tends to get all but forgotten.

Here is the good stuff as it stands today....

I have 2 adorable little boys (6&8) whose fave thing, besides playing on the wii, is cuddling with their momma and telling me how much they love me.  I am completely enamored with them!  They tell me stories, find me treasures and create things for me.  Quite honestly, if this is an indication of how they are going to treat their future girl friends/wives, I am so beyond impressed.  From experience, its better than any adult dude has ever treated me.   They think of so many special things to please me... are delighted when they know they do... and when I am sad, they don't try to fix anything, they just cuddle me and love me.

Then there is Jack.  He is so intelligent and empathetic and discerning.  He has such a trust in God and a belief that I will always find a way to fix anything.   He trusts that God will always show me what to do if I just wait.   Jack knows how to pray.  He is uplifting and encouraging... and I am absolutely crazy about him!!!!

Molly... what can I say?  The kid is amazing!!!  Such a helpful, capable, funny daughter there has never been.  She is great with babies, can bake bread, do laundry, clean bathrooms... on and on and on...  She is beautiful, generous, insightful and loves God with all her heart.    Where ever she goes people comment on how wonderful she is... and for good reason.  I am so darned proud of this kid.
She deserves a vacation... which I happen to have planned next month for her and...

Courtney!  Courtney, the easiest teen to raise on the planet.  She is beautiful, sweet and is my right hand.  When I am killing myself mowing the lawn (if you know my yard you understand its brutal to mow) she is inside preparing the next meal and making things nice.  She is creative and has a gift for making the plain special.   She is simply a delight to have around.

Today, as most days, all 5 of the kids spent time just hanging out and enjoying each other.  Today it was outside.  Sure its not always perfect, but our lives are full of laughing and so much fun.     We miss having the older kids around, but are enjoying this stage of our lives to the fullest.  

This is my life... this is my family... this is my joy... this is my calling... this is me

These are the ones who aren't afraid to be loved and are not afraid to love.  We can rest in the relationships we have and are not worried that if we sneeze the wrong way or say the wrong thing at the wrong time we will walk out or turn our backs on each other.  

I love these kids... and Cait, Matt and Connor so incredibly much!!!!   Sometimes I can't believe how blessed I am to be the mom to the most incredible people I know!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Wow!! So tired!!!

I thought I would get on this and rant tonight... but now that I'm here I don't want to rant.  

I'm tired

I'm sad

I'm disappointed

Reality is, so far in my life there has been a lot of disappointment... and that's ok.  My life is better than 90% of the world's population.  I am not complaining.  

It's this.  I have trust issues.  There are some wonderful people in my life who I just trust... with everything. I trust they care about me.  I trust that we can have a knock down drag out fight and they will still be my friend.  Please note that I am not in the habit of having know down drag out fights with my friends, but last year it happened when a friend stood up to me for my own good.   I respect that.  She didn't care if I liked her in the end, she wanted me safe.   And I didn't get it.   I have also apologized and we moved on.... together... as in we are still friends!!!

There are also those I have chosen to trust and they aren't trustworthy.   I'm not sure whether its because they are hurt and need someone to be tenacious with or if they really are not worthy of trust and I should walk away for good.  Is it being a friend to let them leave or not?   Because I have been hurt (and I have), sticking my neck out to be told to go away again is a huge risk.   Its embarrassing and so hurtful to be rejected over and over again.

I want to be a good friend... but I also need to know this person is MY friend.   I miss them so much.  There is so much going on here lately.  Caitie moved out west ... with my precious grandson... my divorce is getting finalized... there are court things going on with my son... we are selling the house and uprooting.... and I have to mow my large yard that has disgustingly uneven terrain with my little Honda push mower.  I am so tired physically and emotionally.  

I am so glad to know that God is still in control of everything.  He knows my weakness, and my hurt and He is carrying it.   He also knows my friend.   I don't want to lose another friend.  For those of you who really know me, I love my friends.  Even if we don't see each other often, I am praying for them... crying with them... rejoicing with them... hurting with them.   Loving someone who is walking away is so hard.    Especially when its like this.

I just read my last post... from December.  Wow!!  It seems like I only blog when someone walks.   2 people who acted in almost the same way.   I need to blog more.  There are a lot of happy times.   Next time something great ... or just good... happens, I'm blogging!!!!