Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I Quit!

“I quit! Parenting stinks!” I received this text from a mom of three teenagers.

I believe most moms have experienced moments of exasperation. Raising children brings joys and heartaches. These seasons fluctuate as children develop into adults and choose their own paths.  

Perhaps today you are in place of despair over your child’s decisions. Is anxiety overwhelming? Is emotional pain searing your heart as you watch your child wander away from the values you have tried to instill?   

If yes, please know that God is near to the broken-hearted. When the darkness of the unknown threatens to engulf us, we need to pray. He hears our prayers.

One of my favorite examples of God’s faithfulness is a dear friend and her substance -addicted son. She despaired that he would never turn back to the faith. One night she woke with a frenetic anxiety. She tossed and turned as she prayed. Then she noticed a thin stream of light slide through the blinds onto the nightstand. Her Bible lay open and the light fell narrowly on to one section. She got up and read,

This is what the LORD says: "Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for your work will be rewarded," declares the LORD. "They will return from the land of the enemy.
 So there is hope for your future," declares the LORD. "Your children will return to their own land.
(Jeremiah (31:16-17, NIV)

Immediately, she felt peace. She fell asleep.

Although, it was several years before she saw her child return to God, she never felt the deep angst again. She chose to believe that God is faithful and loved her son more than she ever could. She placed him in the hands of Everlasting Father.

Do you feel like texting, “I quit! Parenting stinks.”?  If yes, you’re not alone. Nevertheless, remember, God’s hands hold your child.  

Friday, November 16, 2012

Peace, Jerusalem, Peace


Oh Jerusalem,   


Oh, Jerusalem!

The bleached bones of your stones stand steadfast as the world attempts to dislodge you.

Your people look up, alert for falling debris, and then scurry for cover under man-made trenches.

But you, Oh Jerusalem, are built on the foundations of God’s will--stand upright.

Even if your people fall into the shadow of treachery and war, you will gleam in the Light.

If humanity turns against you as in the days of Rome, you will not be abandoned.

Oh, Jerusalem, twist your staggering glory toward the eastern sky. Watch for your King is near. 

You are His holy city. He comes to bring you Peace.

  Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: "May those who love you be secure. 

 May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels." 

 For the sake of my brothers and friends, I will say, "Peace be within you."  (Psalm 122:6-8 NIV)

Please pray for the peace of Israel and it's holy city Jerusalem.

Seek the Mystery,

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Sweet Potato Times

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” (Ecclesiates 3:1)

Another Thanksgiving spent with my husband’s family. I did not want to go, again. I begrudged the yearly expectation to show up with a smile and a hot dish. My list of complaints grew each year as to why we shouldn’t go. For example:
  • The turkey stuffing included raisins.
  • The rolls were store bought.
  • The glazed ham with pineapple slices was not to my taste.
  • All we did was watch football, not play games. The women mingled in the kitchen; the men hung out in the den.
  • Plus, they always served sweet potatoes and I do not like them.
I griped incessantly each year pressuring my husband to stay home. My husband must have felt the truth of Proverbs 21:19, “Better to live in a tent in the wild than with a cross and petulant spouse.” (The Message)

Now the funny thing about it, I love his family. However, my independent spirit yearned for my own holiday traditions. Any small displeasure validated my excuse not to spend Thanksgiving with them.

Finally one year on the way to his parents' home, I snapped. The recipe I was assigned to bring was sweet potatoes. I’m sure you know the recipe that includes lots of brown sugar, marshmallows and butter spread across the top of the orange squashy vegetable. (Remember, I do not like sweet potatoes of any kind.) I wrapped the steamy dish in towels to transport it to Thanksgiving dinner. We piled the kids into the back seat. I plopped down in the front seat and my husband placed the hot pan of syrupy bubbling goo on my lap. As we rounded the first corner from our house, the pan slid, tipped and spilled all across my beige pants. My legs burned and my eyes filled with tears. I let all my pent-up frustration break upon my husband as my children sat silently with their eyes looking down. I ruined Thanksgiving for everyone.

As I look back, I realize how selfish I acted each year. My heart did not display thankfulness for my husband, my kids, the extended family or the abundance of delectable provision God provided each year. All I thought about was me. Even worse, I illustrated a poor example of Christian behavior to primarily unbelieving relatives.

Times change.

Two of my three grown children now live out-of-state. My dear mother-in-law passed away almost five years ago. Funny how time alters our feelings. At this moment, I would jump at the chance to return to a past Thanksgiving. I would watch my children play with their cousins. I would hug my mother-in-law. I would bring that silly marshmallow orange glob and I would eat it with relish. I miss those sweet potato times.

This Thanksgiving, remember to be grateful for the small things in life. And if you are married, give your husband the opportunity to say, “House and land are handed down from parents, but a congenial spouse comes straight from God.” (Proverbs 19:14 The Message.) Joyfully give thanks to the Father God not only for the food, but for the family, friends and circumstances that you find yourself involved with this Thanksgiving. Because times change and there is a season for everything.

My Prayer for Today:

Father, remind me that time changes circumstances. Let me display grace and thanksgiving throughout these holidays, regardless of what I want. Help me to exhibit kindness, patience and joy to my family and friends. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Seek the Mystery,