Monday, January 23, 2012

A New Act

Every Parrot I know can ride a bike Penny,
you're going to have to come up with something
better than that!

Take it or leave it, it's the best I can do!!

Sunday Morning church bonus question for a check up on how your heart is doing;
Ask your children-What does it feel like being parented by me?

Daniel: a circus
Melody: but one that we've seen over and over again so we have it memorized...
Me: so what you are saying is I need a new act?
Melody: yes.

Oh God I'm all out of acts, scripts, new ideas...I just want to be done, the joy is gone the laughter is gone, and no matter how hard I try to get out of this rut I just keep slipping back down into the demonic, "accuser of the brethren" angry, ugly monster. Circus?  More like  a horror show, I can't do this anymore. Not even one day goes by without me being angry. Not even one day goes by with out me expressing my disappointment. Who could live up to never being good enough. I've never been good enough, how I can tell them that they are good enough.

Joshua's answer: Like you don't care about how I feel and you don't understand my side of it and what I'm going through, nor do you even want to try.

A long conversation commenced. In a nut shell I can write down how I feel,

You lied,
it doesn't seem like it's a big deal to you
you don't seem to care how I'm feeling or how hard this is for me
you don't show me any respect
I'm finding it hard to forgive you
or treat you with respect
you don't seem to be sorry
show any remorse
any humility
and this hurts
and I think it should be over but it just won't go away
and you don't seem to care.

And Joshua can sign it.   

Any of you who have mirror image children can understand what I'm talking about here, if I were more than 20 years younger we would have been twins! No we don't look the same but we think alike, talk alike and act like! It is unnerving at times.

I did lie, and I apologized for it, I said I wouldn't bring it up again but there it was, like vomit I couldn't have kept it down even if I had wanted to. There was too much disappointment in my heart, to much hurt, shame and too much anger, but this was not the way and I knew better.

It was like my mouth had a mind of it's own.  

I made up he did.
Since I apologized for it I didn't expect it to come up did.

We both needed understanding, we both needed compassion, we both needed mercy.

Who's going to make the first move? Who's going to be the bigger person. Well you would think the older one of us, the more mature Christian, right? The Mom!! But you don't know how many times I've already messed up, like Melody says at the top it's the same old act over and over again. Attempt, anger, frustration, hurt......then the pain spews out of my heart and we are further back than where we started from! So I need a new act, it needs new actors, starring Love, with Mercy and Grace and Wisdom as supporting actors. I need to fire anger, offense and pain and send them packing up to God so he can deal with them appropriately.

James 3:17-18  But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.  And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

James 1:20  For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

1 Corinthians 13:8  Charity never faileth: ....

By God's grace, through His strength, according to His will.

I need to start rehearsing-memorizing James 3:17-18 is a good start, I hear the word of God is powerful and can change people.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

From My Head to My Heart

"Shhhhh, I think your heart is speaking to me!"
It was a ladies meeting...
The speaker was talking about your earliest memory.
She stated that these earliest memories are still there because your emotions were extremely high when they occurred, they were imprinted on your heart. Some of these memories may be lies that you have believed for years. It is not enough to know the truth in your mind but you need to move the truths you know in your mind (intellectual)  down to your heart (emotional) or the lies in the heart will win out every time.
I began flipping back through the pages in my mind of my earliest memory.
Like a magazine in the wind the pages began flipping faster and faster, each one yelling out the message that I have believed and tried to disprove all my life. "You are not good enough".

Now what,
I can waller around in all those memories or
I can replace that message that has been written on my heart over and over again with the truth.

"Because of Christ and his redemption I am deeply loved, completely forgiven, fully pleasing,
totally accepted and complete in Christ. "

This came out of a book entitled In Search of Significance by Robert S. McGee. I went through this study many years ago so this truth should be written on my heart, right? Wrong, over and over again because of something I see as failure comes up and chokes out the truth, fear grips me again and I begin grasping ahold of the lie, "You are not good enough".
We get so caught up in the whirlwind of the "cares of this world" that we don't even realize that Satan moves in slowly, very sneaky and before we know it we are not only believing the lie we are living it. That wouldn't be so bad if it just involved me but my actions, and my words are imprinting that same lie on the hearts of my children. Now Satan has crossed the line, and it is time to pull out the weapons of warfare!

2 Corinthians 10:4-5  (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)  Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

My first weapon being truth. God loves us and accepts us just as we are, failures and all. We are righteous because of the blood of Jesus Christ not because of anything we do. This is tough, especially when your trying to teach your kids about the fear of the Lord and you will reap what you sow. How else are you supposed to make them behave? "However, the focus of the gospel is on relationships, not regulations. Christ's exercise of His lordship in our lives is dependent on our attending to His moment-by-moment instruction. Focusing only on rules will relegate our lives to the prison of self-examination." We can't use religion "Religion says, 'I obey, therefore I am accepted.' Christianity says, 'I am accepted, therefore I obey.'Alistair Beg" Grace and Love and Mercy these are the things that I need to be mesmerized by, entranced, soak in, and live out.
2 Corinthians 6:1  We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Melt Down 101

Yes, there were signs that it was coming, moments of weakness, lack of control, tired, getting sick, yeah, they were all there. I was in the laundry room changing out the washer...someone had taken wet clothes out of the dryer...obviously in desperate need of a clean, dry shirt. That's all it took. 3 ignores and a couple of out right disobedience and a couple of shabby halfway jobs. That was the trigger but the gun had been loaded several times over.  The boys had just left, hubby was sleeping, I was exhausted. I sat down and cried. I cried for my lack of caring, I cried for my being unable to let go, I cried for the exhaustion I felt from trying to do God's job. Enough was enough. My mother always used to say, "When you are sick and tired of being sick and tired you'll quit." But that was for the smart ones, the ones that "got it". Many of us are so deep into it that we just keep running along blindly not even realizing that we are running the wrong way or perhaps we should stop running altogether and "be still".  But for me it was an eye opener. I'd been carrying burdens that were not mine to carry, I felt obligated, responsible...and besides if I didn't do it, who would? Matthew 11:29-30  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.  It was heavy, that should have been sign enough that I had taken on the burden that belonged to someone else. I wanted to make them do what was right, I wanted to change them, I wanted to cause them to make wise choices but I am not God. The sooner I realize this, the sooner I will be well, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. It is hard not to step over the line, my job to God's job. It is difficult to stay alert and recognize when you've come across but it's not impossible. If fear is driving me then I know. If I spend more time worrying than praying then I know. If someone can throw a guilt blanket over me at the drop of a hat then I know. If I am not measuring up to an unreachable goal than I know, this is not God, this is Satan!

Discerning What is from God or from Satan

God convicts in love.
Satan accuses us in hatred.
The Holy Spirit uses the Word to convict us.
Satan uses feelings and memories to accuse us.
When God convicts us, it draws us closer to Him.
When Satan accuses us, it pulls us away from the Lord.
God’s conviction leads to discipleship and devotion.
Satan’s accusations lead to depression and discouragement.
When God convicts, it is so we might look ahead and have hope.
When Satan accuses he wants us to look back and give up.
Romans 8:1  There is therefore now no condemnation.
to them which are in Christ Jesus,
who walk not after the flesh,
but after the Spirit.
1 Peter 5:8  Be sober, be vigilant;
because your adversary the devil,
as a roaring lion, walketh about,
seeking whom he may devour:


Yes, the names have been changed to protect the guilty. In order to freely be able to share with you the struggles and get down and dirty, deep into reality, total secrecy is necessary. Only then will I be able to convince you that I do not do this to impress anyone or boast in anything accept the Lord, but I do it to be real. I have been getting Christmas letters for years from people who talk about their Barbie Doll kids and yes writing them too. But after all who wants to hear about suicidal teenagers or drug addicts, especially around Christmas time! But this is not a Christmas letter this is truth, struggles, and victories. This is not a movie, being healed takes more than two hours as does forgiveness and growth. And we don't always jump back up and move on quickly just because were a Christian and we trust God. There are real lions out there and real problems and real people hurting. Hopefully we can share experience, strength and hope in the midst, see the light at the end of the tunnel, and warn others about  the pit falls giving them wisdom and encouraging them to seek God with all their hearts. We need Him more now than ever before. This world that we live in  is not a play ground, it is a battle field and we have a real enemy so lets get our armor on and be victorious by the blood of the Lamb and testimony.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Signs: Dog Poop, Stinky Water, No Power, and Useless Work

"I'm not speaking to you."
"No, I'm the one that's not speaking to you!"
I remember when my kids were young I would get red flag signals, I would take action, discipline and train out of them the things that made them hard to live with. The red flag was I didn’t want to be around them anymore. I wasn’t very consistent in my training but my hatred for whiney, bratty kids worked. Now, however, it is not just disobedience, being mean to your brother or even disrespect. In fact compared to other teenagers mine aren’t near as bad as they could be. Now, however I found that my son is lying, leading girls on, and using them, talking dirty to them and all the while he is dating another girl whom he says that they have agreed to break up secretly so it’s just a joke that his status still says they are together. I KNEW having a girl friend at the age of 14 was the most foolish thing I have ever allowed without protest, I wish now we had left the church, even left town but no, that would not have built character or changed hearts but still my husband and I should have done something because we knew from experience it would not be healthy to him or to our family. It is a terrible blow when you find out your sweet little home school child isn’t so sweet. They are now “officially” broke up because I forced him to tell the truth to the young lady at least about some of the girls. I didn’t know about the others.
I’m really having a tough time trying to figure out my feelings in this whole situation and the actions that should be taken. It is difficult to have a “Christian” attitude. But God is showing me signs. Today was house cleaning day; it started out with me saying his name to ask a question. “Joshua?” “What?” Now you may be thinking so what is the big deal? It wasn’t a normal “what?”, it was a “You are like a pesky fly, why don’t you just leave me alone, what.”  I reacted with anger, knowing if one word is going to start me up so fast I must not be done forgiving the last incident before the next one incites me! They are coming so fast! So after cleaning one room, Joshua disappears. I find out he has a headache and has gone to lay down. With absolutely no compassion I resort to if/then consequences. “If you don’t feel well enough to clean the other room before basketball practice, than you won’t feel well enough to go to basket ball practice.”
Sign #1: While I was busy cleaning I ran outside for something and stepped in dog poop! Unbeknownst to me until it was too late I tracked it all the way through the house adding more work and clean up time. Message: Your evil, harsh, angry words without grace are like dog poop and you are throwing them all over the house and they are getting on everyone. The more you do this the more difficult you will make it for him and the longer it will take to get him back where he needs to be. Close to God. Proverbs 21:23  Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.
Sign #2 I got out the carpet shampooer to clean up the mess…. It had old nasty water from the last time. I couldn’t believe that I had left that in there. I was in a hurry so I just left it for the moment and used the left over clean water in the top. Before long the whole house permeated with what smelled like the sewer. Message: You hang onto the old stuff it’s just going to grow and stink up your whole life. Let it go, let God clean it up. Otherwise you will just have to start all over again.  2 Corinthians 2:7  So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.
Sign #3 After cleaning out the old water and even changing out the good water I went over the carpet again.
It had a short cord so I was plugging it into different wall outlets, one outlet had no power. Message: Plug into the right power source, not you, not your words, God. Anger does not bring about the righteousness of God. Words hold the power of life and death and you are simply spewing death. Only God can give you the power to forgive and the power to love the unlovely. Mark 10:27  And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.
Sign #4 Once I had finished with the poop cleanup detail I went back to finishing the vacuuming. As I vacuumed I noticed the carpet was still dirty. The hose that I had taken out to go around the edges had slipped back out of its place so the vacuum cleaner was rendered useless with no suction. Message: Without God, without love, you are nothing but a clanging gong. 1 Corinthians 13:1  Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. Let God’s love flow through you. Be a vessel, let Him cleanse you to be useful for the masters work.  2 Timothy 2:21  If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work.
Please pray for my husband and I for wisdom and God's will for our son. Ephesians 6:12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Faith in God, not my prayers.

Have you noticed anything weird about mom lately?
Yeah, she keeps banging her head on that same tree over and over again!
Definition of Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Jeremiah 17:7  Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.

I realized something last night. My trust is not in the power of God but in the power of my prayers. I understand now why Jesus said don’t pray in vain repetition. (Matthew 6:7) I actually prayed faster and begged God to control and protect my son. It’s New Years Eve and he has to work late, so I’m thinking he’ll be home by midnight. I was exhausted when I went to bed but at 12:15 I am still wide a wake with “wicked imaginations”. I get up and call the restaurant, he’s still their. At the time I didn’t consider that it was a weekend and they stayed open later. I also didn’t think to ask about what time they thought he might be heading home. 12:45 he’s still not home, by now I’m so mad that I could spit nails, not because he’s not home and not because he’s being disobedient, he’s not. I’m mad because I’m exhausted and I can’t go to sleep. “God please bring him home safe, please don’t let him do anything else stupid and please, please, please…. I try calling again, no one answers., at 1:05 I am sitting at the kitchen table boiling when he walks in the door. “I said to call me when you headed home! Do you know what happens at 12:15 on New Years Eve, all the drunks leave the party to go home.” I let him have it with both barrels. He calmly (I’m surprised) explains he didn’t hear me say call home before you leave and “We stay open till 11 and it takes an hour and a half to clean up, I’m here right on time.”
     My sweet Christian attitude springs out and says “ The least you could do is say your sorry I’m so stressed out. You wouldn’t be taking the blame for anything just considering someone else in the situation.” “I’m sorry you are so stressed out over all this.” He obediently repeats the script I just handed him. He just got his car back from being grounded, he’s walking on egg shells. I go back to bed wondering why I couldn’t have just trusted God. I presented my request to Him,…even thanked him for a few things just to make it official but I didn’t get the peace that passes understanding. (Philippians 4:6, 7) Why? I didn’t give it to him; I just kept praying trying to manipulate God. I showed him the problem, ask him to fix it, then wouldn’t let go so he could. Joshua had lied recently (hence the grounding) so I didn’t trust him, but why didn’t I trust God. Why didn’t I just fall right to sleep?
  1. My expectations: Because I pray I expect my children to stop being human. Because I homeschool I expect them to do what is right every time all the time. Because I pray I expect God to do what I say. OUCH, that’s pretty haughty. I guess I just expect them to have a little more common sense and be a little higher up on the ladder than I was at that age, and for the most part they do and they are. In all honesty, I really just wanted them to skip the purifying through the fire part and magically arrive. It would be so much more convenient and less stressful for me. OUCH again, there’s my comfort zone addiction rearing it’s ugly head again.
  2. I was giving God the wrong problem, Joshua was right where he was supposed to be, doing what he was supposed to be doing, it is not the disobedient child that needed God’s protection, it was the “oh ye of little faith mother” listening to the lies in her head that needed the protecting. I was angry, and worried and scared all for nothing. I have a tendency to feel like I’m not doing the right thing, not doing enough ….so worry is better than doing nothing?? No, trusting and resting in the Lord is best. God has alerted me before when I needed to wake up and pay attention, I can trust him to put me where I need to be when I need to be there!
I honestly don’t know how people raise kids without God. But it’s not enough just to have Him. I’m going to have to trust Him, believe He knows what’s best for me and my kids and loves them more than I ever could?  Mark 9:24  And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.