Tag Archives: faith

I have a secret

I have a secret

I have a secret. Well, some people know about it, but it’s not something I tell everyone, nor is it something I discuss. Hardly ever. I can’t talk about it without detaching my self first, and sometimes that’s too difficult. It’s a pain that aches within me, and can be the fuel for sadness and anxiety if I let it.

My oldest son is a drug addict.

He’s not in recovery, yet, or in a program, yet. He doesn’t have any “chips” or long-term success stories to inspire you or give you hope. Right now, I don’t even know where he is. I do know that he’s been using again, and doesn’t look healthy. I know the people that have seen him lately, say that he doesn’t make much sense, and is in the worst shape they have ever seen him… I am just happy he is still alive, because as long as he is, there is hope, and that word “yet” is still alive…

He has been an addict since high school, when he took a friends’ prescription to help numb the pain of losing his father to meningitis. He came home from school that day, and told me! He begged me to take him to the doctor and get him that medicine, because he felt so much better! I did call the doctor and took him in, to only find out he not only took someone else’s meds, but he took more than the prescribed amount. He was basically high and hooked on the feeling.

Thus the secret nightmare began. Self-medicating for any issues that were just too dark to deal with became the norm… He has disappeared more than once. We put in a security system to keep him IN the house, not to keep intruders out. He has been in jail, and in programs. He has seen a variety of counselors and doctors. He has been on a plethora of medications as well, and still…

I’ve realized a long time ago, that there is nothing I can do. I can’t love him more, give him more, or say the magic words. I can’t make him listen, or work, or receive the help that has been offered. I can’t even make him remember the good – the happy, and the blessings that have, and still do, abound in his life. The only thing I have in my arsenal is prayer. Nothing else.

Prayer, to a control freak like me, seems so futile sometimes. Especially when I have been doing that – every single day of his life. It feels like no one is listening! Things get worse, not better! I have yelled and screamed at God. (He can handle it) I have laid on my face in puddles of tears, begging the Lord to save my son – from the grip of drugs and from himself, but still…

How do I cope? What do I do in those pits of despair? I read. I read the Word and meditate on God’s promises. I sit at the feet of the King of Kings and I trust. I let my tears fall into God’s hands, and I know he cares for me, and loves my son even more than I do. I remember too. I remember all the good….the smiles and laughs, and all of the good memories. I remember what my son’s sober smile and laugh are like, and I remember all of his many successes – the hugs and the deep talks and even the good tears. I also remember God’s obvious hand in our life over the years. (I have posted about these before)

I don’t know how people do this without God. When all earthly hope is lost, how can people still hold on the power of their own will? Isn’t that what is weak in the first place? I can let God grow my faith, and rest in Him, knowing that He is sovereign. Even over OUR prodigal son.

My oldest son IS a Child of God.  That’s the identity I pray he will walk in…

Drug addiction is a major epidemic in this country. It’s something that people don’t like to talk about, but keeping it in the dark is right where evil grows the best. I don’t want to give evil anymore help.

My son will be 32 next month. I will be praying for a birthday miracle.

Let’s pray together, shall we?

Thank you.

 

 

Everyone relates to the Prodigal Son…What about the Dad?

Everyone relates to the Prodigal Son…What about the Dad?
Everyone relates to the Prodigal Son…What about the Dad?

I read plenty of blogs and books about forgiveness and grace and how the Father’s arms are open wide.  I also read posts about hope for children as they grow and how everything will be ok. Really?

But what if you are in the position of the Dad in that story.  (Luke 15:11-23) What if your child is still out there in the pig pen, even though you did the best you could. How do you get to the place of daily living and being ready to open those arms when and IF they return?

I love that picture of love, grace and forgiveness for the returning son.  I am a true recipient of it.  I was in the mud and the muck and my heavenly father lifted me right out of it.  (Ps 40:2

) I don’t even remember running to Him – He was just there, pulling me to himself, washing the grime and shame right off my face.  He beckoned me and I went.  Without that daily grace and love in my life I just know I would curl up in a ball and never function.

It’s that unconditional love that I have been given that stirs the desire in me to share it with everyone, especially my children.  I want to be that person, patiently waiting with open arms, filled with love and grace.  But what if that child doesn’t want it and what if they never come?  And what about those times I just don’t think I can?

Nothing in life guarantees that the sweet toddler you can’t get enough of will grow into the adult you have envisioned.  The reality is, they will grow up and be the person they want to be, and God will allow trials and consequences to grow and shape them.  (James 1:2-4) You can love them till it hurts and it might not make a difference for a very long time or seemingly never at all.  How then do you have hope and patience?  How do you get through those times of blaming yourself, fear or regret?

One of my favorite verses is Phil 4:13. “You can do all things through Christ, who strengthens you.” We can do all things. We can love when it seems undeserved. We can bite our tongues when all we want to do is scream.  (Col 3:12-13) We can pray continually and feel the flood of God’s peace fill our hearts and minds when all seems lost. (Phil 4:6-7) We can rest in the real hope that God is sovereign, and He can and will take care of everything, either in this world or the next. (Rom 8:28) We can cast our burdens on Him, and He will take it. (Ps 55:22) We can be that person, with open arms, without judgment, when the prodigal returns.  Even if that child doesn’t return, we can cry out in the stillness of pain, and know that God is God and that can still be enough.

Find your peace and hope in the eternal Abba Father that is worthy of it. Love your children and enjoy the moments you have with mother prayingthem. It’s the closest example we have of how God loves us. Just never forget they belong to Him first, last and forever.   We can do our humanly best, and even our worst, and God is still in control.  I believe that’s how the Prodigal Son’s father did it.  His hope was always in the sovereign One who made us all.

One of my favorite quotes is this: “Everything will be ok in the end.  If it’s not ok, then it’s not the end.” Fernando Sabino

Sometimes the end takes a very long time to get here and sometimes it’s here in a flash. Either way, it’s never quite what we expected.  But, if we’ve spent time dwelling in the awareness of the ever-present God, and we’ve learned to acknowledge Him in all our ways, when that end finally does arrive, we will be ok… And what a celebration it will be!…Really.

 

Looking for Hearts

Looking for Hearts

heart collectionI am on the development team for a ministry called NBS2go. (Neighborhood Bible Study to Go –www.NBS2go.com ) The founder of this ministry is kind of obsessed with rocks, shells, and just about anything that look likes a heart. She loves to share how God revealed to her through these hearts that God is awakening hearts all around the world, through neighborhood Bible studies. She has quite an impressive collection to say the least! It’s always exciting to see another heart shape in something… She seems to find them EVERYWHERE!

beach walkingYesterday I was at the beach with my family. My husband  and 2 of my kids went walking after dinner, and my husband asked me if I was keeping my eyes open for “hearts” for my sweet friend. Wow. Honestly, I hadn’t been looking. I was too concerned with walking in the sand and not stepping on something sharp. So, I begin looking. My husband found one right away! I kept walking and walking, and looking. I would see one, that kind of looked like a heart, but not a really good one – I wanted a totally obvious one – no imagination required!

We walked for quite a while before turning back. I kept looking and passing over the partial looking hearts… and then it hit me. How many times am I too busy or concerned with my own walk or my own safety (mental or physical) to seek out hearts for God? How did my heart look when someone shared that love with me?  Then when I do finally decide to look, it doesn’t matter how long I walk, or have walked… How many hearts have I walked right passed, and not shared the love of Christ with because I didn’t think the circumstances were “just right”? Imagination required. Or better yet, faith required.

I didn’t find a heart yesterday, but my husband did. I was bummed, but then I was also reminded that one heart is just as important to one heartGod as a whole bucket full. (Luke 15:3-7)I love how the Spirit reminds me of truth, and opens my own heart and eyes to the love He has for every single heart out there.  The good news is that it’s never too late.  My prayer is that I will find one, either on the beach tomorrow, or back home in my very own neighborhood. Really.

 

Africa Update or Mama Smiles… Whichever you prefer

Africa Update or Mama Smiles… Whichever you prefer

If you’re familiar with my blog, then you know that my one and only daughter, Katie, is spending 2 months is Swaziland, South Africa this summer.  I posted about it HERE, when I was still nervous, and she was still fund raising.  Then I posted HERE when the fund raising was over… She has just passed the half way mark, so I thought it might be fitting to post about it…

I thought we would not be able to communicate with her, at least not often, but to my pleasant surprise, we have been able to “chat” on facebook about once a week.  Her team is keeping a BLOG, although they don’t get to post much, and one of the girls in her group has the international phone plan, that works occasionally, so I also get a random text once in a while.  This morning, I was blessed to get some “face time” with her because she was able to use an ipad and was in a South African mall with wifi… So, needless to say, my worrying has been at a minimum.

Her updates have been wonderful, and I can hear her excitement even in the words she types.  They are staying in a homestead in Swaziland.  There is no running water or any modern conveniences.  She has mentioned a time or two her grievance over not having real toilets, or showers.  They use baby wipes, and buckets of well water to clean with.  I’ve been instructed to have the tub cleaned and ready for her when she gets home.

She loves the people and her team.  The scenery is breathtaking and the children are her joy.  They work at “care-points” each day, feeding and caring for the children in the surrounding communities.  They have found several places to just help where needed, and they are always thinking of how to make a lasting impact.

She has been trapped in the shower shack (see the picture) by a heard of cows.  They have had some things stolen, by the cow herder.  He got caught, and fired, so everything was returned, but they woke to a dead cow in the front yard the next day.  So, since there is no refrigerators, they had the pleasure of watching the cow get cut up, and passed around.  Her exact words were ‘EW Gross!”

They went into a mental hospital, which was more of a hospital for the demon possessed.  It was the most terrifying thing she has ever experienced.  They managed to pray, and then get out, but it has stuck with them.  Katie told me today that she has planned a “Joshua” attack… since they can’t go back in the hospital, they will walk around it and pray till the ‘strong hold” comes down.  Prayers from here would be welcomed too…

They have been on safari, and have visited the mall.  They have fallen in love with the sweet bread that is sold through the jail-like bars on the windows of the stores throughout the area.  For the 4th of July they went to a party in South Africa… she said she hadn’t seen that many white people in one place since she got over there, and it actually felt weird. The food hasn’t been as bad as she feared and she misses chocolate more than anything…

One of the things she has learned is how simple sharing Christ really is.  She was preparing to say and do all the right things… And when it came down to it, she didn’t have to really say much, if anything at all.   She has been ministered to as much, if not more, then the people she is serving.

I must say, before she went, she had been living in a big city, doing the city life college thing.  I was concerned that maybe her heart wasn’t ready for such a big adventure.  Wow. I love being wrong sometimes.  Really.

Please keep her and the team in your prayers! Thank you!

 

 

Faith?

Faith?

Today was starting out as any other day… I tried to sleep passed 8AM and laid in bed silently going from cursing the sunrise to praying and going over my to-do’s for the day… all at the same time. Really.  This is the reality of the OCD-ADD mind.

As I gave in to the light, and headed in to wake the man-child, my Africa bound daughter screamed, “MOM!!”  Thinking there was a bug bigger than her, or she was stuck in the closet or… sorry, I guess you would have to know her…  and I digress.  I just quickly headed for her room.  She met me at the door, holding her laptop and asking me who Helen was.  This mystery woman had donated $500 to my daughter’s mission fund and we didn’t even know her!

Well. How about that?  This might not seem like such a big deal, nice maybe, and definitely an “awww” would be appropriate, but this really is a big deal and I’m going to tell you why…

All of the funds for this big mission trip had to be in by last Friday.  The Wednesday before we were still $641 short.  My daughter was calm, and without drama, told me that God would provide.  She had no doubt.  I, on the other hand, being the “adult” in the real world, knew that more action was required.  So, I posted on face book, talked to all my friends, prayed and even peddled an autographed football that my son and sister-in-law would have killed for.  My hard worked paid off, and at 9PM the Thursday before, a sweet friend purchased the football for the amount, which was now down to $316, since I had sent a check in myself… Whew!  Yay me! Yay God! Yay for sweet friends and footballs!  All is well and I was exhausted!

The week before I had sent an email out to my son’s baseball league as well.  Just trying to sell the football, for a good cause.  One of the parents emailed me and offered prayer and wanted to donate.  I thanked her and sent her the information. I really didn’t give it too much thought after that.  I didn’t know her, and seriously, why would I think she would donate more than $25, maybe $50?  Well, today the mission account updated and Ms. Helen from baseball donated $500.  I didn’t have to donate more myself.  I didn’t have to peddle a football.  I didn’t have to lay awake and wonder, and ask God why He was waiting till the last minute, if that was what he was even doing…

I didn’t have faith.  While I was wearing myself out, He was relaxing…with my daughter.

To read my post about her trip – click here

Phil 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

(Duh)

Have you learned any hard lessons from your kid lately?

Life Scales

Life Scales

Thinking about what to post this week was difficult.  There are so many things on my heart, but I never feel lead to share them – I usually write when I feel pressed upon – or pressured, whichever comes first.

I asked my husband what I should write about and he went off on the upcoming election… I just turned around and walked away.  I asked my college kid, and she said, “Broke college kids”… I said, no, so she said I should write about, “The increase of younger people getting married”… I responded, that I didn’t really know anyone that has done that recently.  So, then she told me to write about prostitution.  Really?  I then got a text from her, informing me that I was the blogger and I should figure it out myself.  My youngest son, in his obvious humbleness, told me to write about how wonderful he is….  I’m not going to ask anyone else.  I’m realizing that it probably wasn’t a good idea to ask them in the first place.

So, I figured it out on my own and here it is…

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my life “scales”.  One side being worldly, responsibilities, hobbies, entertainment, etc., and the other side, kingdom work.  Now, don’t go jumping on the “covered by grace” train, I know I can’t earn my salvation, (Eph 2:8) but I am called to participate in the work of the kingdom.  Wearing the Jesus Team jersey comes with responsibility.  (Rom 12) The reasoning for the work can’t be driven by the belief that your salvation depends on it.  It’s supposed to driven by the Spirit that you have dwelling within you, and your gratitude for salvation – and the love you have for your Savior.

I used a marriage as an example when I explained it to my kids.  If you marry someone, (enter into a covenant relationship) and you never spend time getting to know them better, (reading the Word) or doing anything they asked you to, (kingdom work), or even talked to them all the time, (praying), how good would that marriage be?  Makes sense, right?

Reading the Word isn’t as hard as it used to be.  I look forward to it.  I can’t describe the peace it has brought into my life…  Praying without ceasing (1 Thes. 5:17) has always been easy…If you know me, this shouldn’t be a surprise.  Sometimes I feel like that verse was put in there just for me, “Sure God! I will talk to you ALLL day!” I so got that one.

It’s the kingdom work that I stumble on.  Don’t get me wrong, I love to serve. But it’s more like, depending on my mood, or the need, time, location, energy level, schedule,  is it in my “gifting”?  Do I do it for the glory or for God’s glory?

I do believe that running our company with Christian values makes a difference.  Serving in our local body of believers is very important, (Rom 12) and just being pleasant, does shine a light for the most part. (especially while driving in the Atlanta area) I even try to scatter seeds by mentioning my faith often, and I offer to pray for those that seem to need it.  But do I do what Christ himself as asked me to do?  (Matt 28:18-20) Have I shared the gospel lately or served when it wasn’t so easy?  Ah… No.

It’s the going out and sharing the reason for my hope that trips me up.  It’s stepping out of the boat, when it’s not convenient, or easy, and maybe it’s even a little scary…But that’s when God will get the glory, because you couldn’t have done it without him.

We told our youngest son that he couldn’t have a fantasy sports team this week, because his scales were already too “sports heavy”.  You might think we’re mean, or too strict, but we are trying to teach him to manage his time wisely, and to be aware of the delicate balance of it.  As a young Christian man, he has the same responsibilities that I do in the Kingdom.  

We are never given a redo of time.  We will not wake up on Ground Hog Day, over and over again.  But even though days have passed, God, through His grace, gives us brand new ones.  With each tick of the clock, and breath in our lungs, we can adjust our scales (Pro 16:11) as often as we need to.  I’m putting sharing the gospel back on mine.

Do you know that Christ loves you so much that he died for you?

How do you make sharing the gospel a regular practice in your life?

Old Habits Die Hard

Old Habits Die Hard


Today I had an OCD day squared.  I haven’t had one of those in a long time.  My day consisted of paying both company and personal bills, going to the bank, getting my car serviced, taking one son to baseball practice, and lunching with another.  Then I vacuumed my house, dusted, windexed, straightened, mopped, did all the laundry, shopped, and cooked.

I call that an OCD day because I was totally anal about all of it.  My ADD kicked in as I flitted from task to task and even re-did a few things that needed it. (in my mind, anyway)  I really got a lot done.  Now I’m all tucked in my corner of the sofa with my laptop and remote control, waiting for Alcatraz to start.  I was reflecting on my day, and I am surprised at how obsessively productive I was, since I haven’t had such a full day like this in a long time…

I used to be intense about lots of things.  I guess you could say I was tightly wound, and had strong ideas and routines for everything.  I spent hours cleaning grout and hanging baby clothes on tiny hangers… I had to have the lines just right in the carpet when I vacuumed.  Everything had to have a box, or place… with a label.  Disorder and conflict were strictly forbidden.  Everyone thought my house was beautiful and clean. I had schedules, charts and lists.  It was a great front.  I worked so hard on things I had control over, because I couldn’t control so many other things that weren’t as obvious.  The insecurities were overwhelming but the appearance was close to perfect.

Those days are long gone, as I have submitted to the authority who really has control over everything.  It was an easy,
spiritual, and emotional experience to accept the One who has saved my soul, but letting go of the “control” that I thought I had, or didn’t have, is a different story.  It is a slow, painful development, which continues today.  Sometimes it’s hard to remember that this whole Christian walk is a process.  Thank God.

So how does that translate into a clean house?  I was productive, after all.  I guess it just reminded me of how psycho I used to be.  Have I regressed into my insecurities? Sure! Every now and then!  But now, instead of dwelling, stressing, and dusting 3 times, I say a prayer, praise my Lord and I let it go.  And it works…Really.

Do any of your old habits ever rear their heads in your new life?  What do you do?

An Award

An Award

The other day I was nominated for the Liebster Blog Award.  I was very surprised, and blessed… Thank you Thriving Despite Us.  Part of the deal with this award is that I too, need to nominate 5 blogs that have 200 followers or less.  Well, all of the blogs I follow have more than that.    Sooo… I had to head to my blog server’s “freshly pressed” and start reading blogs that looked …little.   What a good time that was!  I am now a follower of a few new blogs and am all the better for it.  My quest is not over, but this one I read caused me to pause and I wanted to mention it…

One of the blogs had a post about the, “er-beauty of peacocks”.  They are beautiful, but their sound is not.  The post was sweet and simple, and connected to faith.  You can read it yourself here.  It got me thinking about my sound.  It’s not that beautiful either… It’s one of the few things I have left to embarrass my kids.  Once, a few years back, they even asked me to stop singing so loud in church!  Which also got me thinking.  Because I did stop singing.  I stopped singing in Church, at least loudly, because I didn’t want to offend anyone, or more to the point, I didn’t want anyone thinking I sounded bad.  Which made me think about how often we conform to the patterns of this world, because we’re worried what people will think?  (Rom 12:2) We never mind showing our beautiful feathers, which are, by all intent and purposes, our appearance.  What we sound like when we sing? Well, that’s personal.  That’s not something we do for everyone.  Especially if we stink.  How does that correlate? I was thinking…again,  I don’t share the most beautiful thing I got going for me very often.  It’s not my feathers, although I do have a decent wardrobe.  It’s not my voice, as I’ve already shared, I’m doing everyone a favor…  It’s my faith.  It’s my knowledge of Grace and the Spirit that changed my life.  It’s the most beautiful thing about me.  That’s the reason I wake each morning and smile.  I praise the Lord who made me at the beginning of everyday He gives me.  Some mornings I even sing… Really.

Reading some of those blogs reminded me of that and I’m glad.  I needed it.

I still have not found 5 little blogs to nominate, but I will still acknowledge this wonderful award, and start with nominating HearingnSeeing… thank you for making me think.

 I’m still looking, so, If you know of a blog that’s worthy of an award that gives happy little blogs some recognition, tell me about it, so I can check it out!  And if you happen to see me in Church, don’t sit in front of me…cause I’m over that not singing thing…

Psalm 98

Sing a new song to the LORD,
for he has done wonderful deeds.
His right hand has won a mighty victory;
his holy arm has shown his saving power!
2 The LORD has announced his victory
and has revealed his righteousness to every nation!
3 He has remembered his promise to love and be faithful to Israel.
The ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God.

4 Shout to the LORD, all the earth;
break out in praise and sing for joy!
5 Sing your praise to the LORD with the harp,
with the harp and melodious song,
6 with trumpets and the sound of the ram’s horn.
Make a joyful symphony before the LORD, the King!

7 Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise!
Let the earth and all living things join in.
8 Let the rivers clap their hands in glee!
Let the hills sing out their songs of joy
9 before the LORD.
For the LORD is coming to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with justice,
and the nations with fairness.

Africa…Really?

Africa…Really?

My college student, and only daughter, will not be coming home this summer.   She has applied, and has been accepted, into a program through Adventures in Missions.  She will leave the first of June, for a 2-month mission trip in Swaziland, Africa.  Really…

My kids are all service oriented, and have experienced missions on local and national levels, and one of them has served in Mexico for 2 weeks… but none have ever traveled so far and for so long.  It is giving new meaning to “letting go” for me.   I thought sending her to a dorm was hard!  I think my, “Top Ten Ways You Know You Have a Child Going to College” list applies here for the most part… just substitute “college” for “Africa”, although I would add just a few…You know you have a kid going to Africa when…

  1. You dream of fund raising techniques …
  2. You spend excessive amounts of time googling common illnesses of the region. (not recommended)
  3. You get your own passport…just in case.
  4. Praying for safety has taken on a whole new meaning.
  5. You have mixed emotions of pride, humbleness, fear, and faith churning in your heart.

We have had a few folks ask why?  Why Africa?  There is so much need right here!  Spending lots of money and time to travel to a place that has no hope seems crazy!  The governments are never going to allow for real change, so why bother?  Well, that’s all true, but the people suffering in those places with no hope are still people.  One person can make a difference.  One life can be changed and we believe that one life is worth it.  Our faith tells us that Christ instructed his followers to take His message to the ends of the earth, even to the places that seem hopeless.  So, those that are called, go… My daughter has been called, and wild horses couldn’t stop her.

I share this with you for a few reasons; first, I covet your prayers.  For her, and those she will be ministering to…  Then, for her step-dad, and me, but especially for her father.  He carries enough worry for everyone.  Secondly, I want to share this experience with you, because that’s what good bloggers do… and last, but not least, I want to give you the opportunity to support her financially. (Refer to item 1 of my list)

You can click here to donate through Adventures in Missions.  She is going on the “Passport” mission and be sure to put Katie Moberly in the “Participant Full Name” space.

If you would like to know more about her, before you support her, here is her story in her own words…

Dear Family and Friends,

I hope you are all doing well.

 I am writing you this letter to share what has been going on in my life, and the new adventure that God has laid before me.

 Many of you know, two summers ago I went a mission trip to Charlotte, NC. I had several opportunities that summer to travel abroad, in which I was most excited, but as the time came for me to make my decision, I prayed that God would show me where He wanted me to go that summer and my friend invited me to spend a month in North Carolina. My heart was in Africa, so I wasn’t even worried about going to NC but God works in mysterious ways, and all of the doors leading me abroad shut, right in my face. So Charlotte was where I went. And that summer was the one that changed my life.

 Walking along side the children I helped there made me realize my passion is in showing the unloved, that they are loved, and not only by me, but by the Creator.

Now, I have started my first year in college and have been given the opportunity to, once again, go to Africa, and more specifically Swaziland.  And this time, the Lord as opened the door wider than ever. An organization called Adventures in Missions has welcomed me on a team traveling to South Africa, to help in an orphanage this summer for the months of June and July.

 I applied for the program, had an interview, was accepted, paid my commitment fee, and now I am in need of your help.

 First and foremost, your support in prayers is what I desire the most, but I am also in need of a little financial help. The total cost of my trip is $4,985. If you would like to support me, you can make a tax-deductible donation through the mail at: Adventures In Missions, PO Box 534470, Atlanta, GA  30353-447 and be sure put my name in the memo.               

 Thank you so much for your support, and I’m really excited to bring you along this new journey I’m stepping into!

 Swaziland Bound,

Katie Moberly

Acts 1:8

8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (NIV)

Have you had a child go off to Africa?  How did you do?

3 Empty Rooms

3 Empty Rooms

I’ve been a bad/sad mood lately.  Well, I guess I should say that I’ve been fighting off a bad/sad mood.   I’m normally a pretty happy kind of girl.  My standard mode of operation when something troubling happens, is to get upset, vent, vent again, pray, repent, and then I’m usually over it.  Just like that.  I don’t dwell or ponder like I used to. (although Rob doesn’t always agree with this statement, so I might be in denial)  It makes for a happier home when I don’t freak out on unsuspecting family members too, and I prefer a happy home… and denial.

So, I was trying to figure out where this bad/sad mood is coming from and I had few ideas.  First and foremost, it’s the devil.  He’s always to blame, so I will give him the credit where it’s due. I also think life as a Mother of four, self-employment, home-schooling, and being involved in youth sports, give ample opportunities for stress.  Plus, I haven’t been to an all you can eat pizza buffet in 11 weeks…Seriously.  With all of that driving me nuts regularly, I think I’ve narrowed it down to one new thing that has happened recently.

My second son moved out last weekend.  I was pretty neutral about it, so I thought.  Don’t get me wrong, I am very proud of him, and I know he can manage out in the world.  He’s twenty-one years young and extremely responsible, for the most part.  The thing is though, this is the third adult kid to go and do things their way, contrary to my recommendations.  Really.  I would think that sooner or later even one of my kids would go, “huh… wow… Mom is almost always right about stuff…  Maybe I should try it the way she suggested?… Hmmmm. Yea!… I’m going to listen to my Mom!”  (Sorry, I really walked down that dream road for a second…)

The funny thing about that is, I am the same way.  I never listened.  I did everything the hard way and it sucked.  Life was hard and it didn’t have to be.  That’s one of the downsides to being strong-willed.  Do I have regrets?  Well, no.  I can’t, because then I wouldn’t be the person I am today.  I am a living testimony of what God can do with a strong-willed life. (can I get an AMEN?)

It’s wanting that testimony for our own kids wherein the problem lies.  The trials we go through is where our growth and character comes from. (Rom.:5:3-4) It’s usually when we are in the middle of a mess, that we cling to God the most.  We are real quick to realize our need for Him at those times, instead of the times when life is all peachy and we are feeling self fulfilled. So, I’ve prayed every day for my kids to walk with God.  I pray for them to have a love and desire for Him that exceeds all else in their lives.  Even when we are the cause of our mess, can we truly appreciate a Savior, if we never feel the need for one?  Can that come without trials?  I don’t know.  I really hope so.

I’m a big talker of faith, and I’ll be the first to share how God has worked things for good in my own life.  I do live in grateful awe every single day that I am forgiven.  It’s walking all of that out as a Mama where I trip sometimes.  It makes the Word so real for me, as God tells us His way, out of His love for us, we continually do things our own way anyway.

Letting go, and having faith in God over our kids lives is not the easiest thing to do.  I know He loves them even more than I can imange.  I hate that God has no grand-children, but then on the other hand, I wouldn’t want it any other way.

If you have any advice for this mom with 3 empty bedrooms…. Please share.