Scripture for the day:
Thank you, Lord!
- Gen ♥
They tell of the power of your awesome works—
and I will proclaim your great deeds.
They celebrate your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of your righteousness.
The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love.
Psalm 145:6-8 New International Version (NIV)
I never celebrated my mother’s birthday. Not that I can remember.
My aunt told me she would have been 81 this year. It was a strange thing to me.
My mom died in 1975, it was so long ago. I was just a little girl, and she a young woman. It was strange to me, first, that I never thought of her in those terms. Hiding away all those thoughts and imaginings, it has always been seemingly too hard, too painful to think of her as anything but that young woman who loved me so much. I never thought of her in context of her, I always have thought of her in context to what she was to me. It was a strange thing to suddenly have an awareness of her life as something other than just the pain of losing her. It was in a moment a huge chunk of healing, over forty years needed.
Even as other women have come in and out of my life who have been “mother-figures” and I have said yes, she is old enough to be my mother, never once have I ever wondered what my own mother may have been like had she lived a longer life. I guess I was afraid it would open a floodgate of missed days, missed birthdays, holidays, events, that we were not allowed to share together. Perhaps, it would reopen wounds that I have prayed and asked God to heal over the years, wounds that disrupted my relationship with Him so deeply. But, there was none of that. It was like a healing balm. It was acceptance and separation and thanks. It wasn’t a sorrowful thing at all, it was peace. It was strange.
The other strange things was that I realized that I had never marked her birthday with any type of remembrance, or the day of her death, as some people do. A rather scary thing to admit is that I still carry a card from her funeral in my wallet. It is as if God wanted me to keep it there, knowing some day I would be ready to remember the days and her life and celebrate it. She helped to instill in me a strong faith and in the few years she had with me she poured into me a love for so many things – flowers, family, baking and cooking, music and singing, hard work and responsibility, but mostly faith that a loving a merciful God holds us in His hands.
So, this year, we celebrated my mom’s birthday! I pulled from my recipe files her favorite buttercream frosting recipe, written by her on a card – which actually turned out for me☺ – and baked a cake. It was good. It was satisfying. And it was not strange at all.
Thank you, Lord for this day and for the loving mother you gave to me, even if she was only here with me for a short time. I know her faith was strong, and she has been rejoicing with you all this time, and someday I will see her again! In your Son’s name I pray, Amen
It is with a bit of fear that I actually hit post on this…growth sometimes takes a little vulnerability?
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
“Momma, why is there a seed in your necklace?”
“Because Jesus said if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can move mountains! That is what this is, a mustard seed, to remind me of that.”
“He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”” Matthew 17:20
Mom was a woman of great faith. I am forever thankful to her for planting those small seeds in me, even though they took such a long time to grow in my rocky soil.
My memories are not many, unfortunately. It seems that my memories were wiped out, many of them – no, almost all of them – as a protection from the pain. I struggled for years with the anger of grief. Mom died when I was eleven, and even that I had blocked out for years, thinking I was ten when she left this earth. Silly. One day I actually did the math and realized that I was actually eleven, not ten. It is like a dark, scary, empty place to even think about my younger years.
The time surrounding her death is very gray and desolate. Trying to remember is like walking down a dark hallway into an empty closet, there is no light…it only gets darker as you go farther in and soon I am surrounded with only cold empty space. I remember a few things. She had made swiss steak for dinner with mashed potatoes, one of my favorites. I remember sitting in the big green chair curled in a ball as they took her on the gurney, and the surreal feeling of having what we now call “first responders” in our home. I remember sobbing uncontrollably, and for the first time in my life feeling completely alone, even with all the hubbub and clamor going on. That feeling lasted for a while…years…
Mother’s Day has always been horrendously difficult for me. Losing my mom at such an early age, and not having any children of my own both make the day, historically for me, intolerable. I have had some strong, wonderful women in my life who have come close to that “mom” status, and my mother in law is so very close! But the truth is no one ever fills that void. Any woman who has lost their mom will tell you, no matter what your relationship was with her, you mom is irreplaceable. Any other role you may have in life is one you can be replaced in, except for mom.
Love your mommas. No matter what, love your mom. Love on her every single day, even if she seems unlovable. Just do that.
I am choosing, this year, to celebrate Mother’s Day with thankfulness and joy. Instead of the pain of loss and the regret of choices I have made, I am focusing on blessings. Blessed that God gave me a mother who planted the seeds of faith in me, blessed that despite my stubborn willfulness God never gave up on me and continued to put people in my life who nourished and coaxed those seeds to grow even on my rocky and sometimes quaking sandy soil. Blessed and thankful that I had aunts who continued to pray for me even when we had no relationship left. Blessed and thankful that God answered my prayers so many times in my desperation. Blessed and thankful for the faith he placed in my heart…the faith of a mustard seed.
I still have her necklace.
I can move mountains…nothing is impossible.
Be blessed. Beloved.
“I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live. The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came over me; I was overcome by distress and sorrow. Then I called on the name of the Lord: “Lord, save me!”
The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. The Lord protects the unwary; when I was brought low, he saved me.
Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you. For you, Lord, have delivered me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before the Lord in the land of the living.”
Psalm 116: 1-9
My husband and I were involved in a lively discussion this morning, as we often do! No, not what you are probably thinking, we were not arguing, we were just fired up about The Word! We began talking about an article he shared on facebook about freedom of speech, and it went from there.
I have been getting very passionate lately about religious persecution (again, probably not what you are thinking!). It seems that a bunch of ‘us’ Christians think that we are unable to talk about Jesus anymore. That we will be scorned, bullied, persecuted. Jesus already told us this is truth.
John 15:18-25 New International Version (NIV)
The World Hates the Disciples
18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’[a] If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father as well. 24 If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. 25 But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’[b]
This should not stop us from sharing the Gospel! This should not stop us from opening our mouths and sharing the TRUTH. We must not. We should not be afraid. How many times does God tell us in His Word to not fear? Some people say 365, although I cannot substantiate that – but it is a whole lot of times!!! We must stand on the Rock, and not be moved.
I also hear a lot these days about how the LGBT “agenda” is being “forced down our throats” and how sexual sin is so prevalent these days. Yes, we see it more because of all the media and yes, people are more open about it, but more prevalent? Not in my world. My world has been steeped in sexual immorality ever since I can remember. I have seen it, been exposed to it, and yeah, done it. I had friends when I was a teenager who were homosexual. Sexual promiscuity was rampant back then, with us kids. It is not new. Read the Bible, I think it deals with it quite a bit. Here is the truth about this: it is spiritual warfare. It is not of God. Satan has his grip and that is the biggest crack, he opens it up wide. It is his most fun, most alluring playground.
Having said that, here is the other truth of the matter: We are all sinners. One sin is not worse than the others. Two Bible passages in particular DO point to what sinful behavior will lead us to hell – Revelation 21:18 and 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.
We must look at ourselves.
Not “those” people. The people who are lost are the ones we need to be Jesus to, not to be afraid of. God is with us. He will protect us, until the end of the age. He will not leave us. That is what the Bible says. The one who created it all died for us, so that we will live, free of the condemnation of sin. That is what we need to know, way in the depths of our soul – to KNOW. And that is what we need to share. We need to share that repentance means not losing, but gaining so much. Repentance is turning away from satan and turning towards God. Turning away from fear, and evil, and sadness, and doubt and turning toward love and hope and forgiveness and joy and FREEDOM.
1 Corinthians 9:19-23 19 Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.
We may be the only Jesus some people see, and don’t you want people to see Jesus??? Stop being afraid, look to Jesus, keep focused on the truth!
Do you believe what God has told us? If you do, STAND ON IT!
What do you think???
Today is our anniversary, my husband and I were married 14 years ago today. Our journey since that day has not been a normal one – we met and married later in life and for both of us our lives did not ever follow what would be anything close to normal. By the grace of God, we met and married. And it was by God’s grace entirely, an answer to earnest prayers.
It is also the anniversary of my cancer diagnosis one year ago. The journey over the past year has been difficult. It still seems like a nightmare that I will awake from, saying “I just had the most horrible dream…”. There are so many ironies and so much growth and new opportunities that have come from and through the past year, it seems unbelievable. I have learned to trust, both God and the people He has surrounded me with, and lean into Him sometimes to a depth I never knew was possible before. He has shown His love for me so clearly I can feel it, I can feel His arms around me as He is saying “I am here, I have got you, I won’t let go, don’t be afraid.”, at times when it seemed the world around me would never be the same.
And the world never will be the same, it never is the same. It constantly changes, and will all fall away.
“The grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of our God endures forever.”
Only God remains unchanging.
He is the rock I stand upon.
This is not what I had planned to write today…but here it is. Stay tuned, and save your fork – the best is yet to come!
In all things, in all ways.
Be His light.
Excuse my dust…getting to know all the ins and outs here at my blog.
Aren’t we always?
I am testing social network integration for Gen’s blog and I don’t have a clue what I am doing. So far I have had to learn stuff I have never thought I’d have to learn how to do, like add memory to php from the server, add an ftp account, install wordpress plugins, update plugins, become a developer for facebook and I don’t even have a clue what else I have done so far as I have limited long term memory it seems nowadays. OK so now it looks like I’ll have to learn how to post this to the blog before I’ll know if it automatically posts to facebook. The goal here is for Gen to post to her blog, have this app automatically post to facebook (and soon to other social networks if this is successful) and have it post an “announcement” limited to like 300 characters with an auto-generated link back to the blog. OK here it goes 🙂
Testing new blog post…please disregard while we work out some bugs! 😀