My heart


Today is my only daughters birthday, she is 27 years younger than me, I was so young when I had her but not by today’s standards. Back then I felt mature, ready to be a mom for the second time then only to have back to back babies, only 13 months later I had another boy! Such fear and fear, more fear and then joy ….eventually; I then really did have to be mature, adulting became a “smack in the face” daily life of this young couple.

My kind husband worked hard to make my life easier, to allow me to stay home and raise our children, it was more than I could have ever expected. This life we made together was a joy, but not without some struggles, but with our determination to follow God leading the way, we survived it. Nine years later we had the Caboose, a sweet little boy that became the jewel of all our lives. My preacherman is the soul of my life but those 4 lives are my heart.

As I look at them now, all of them adulting just like we did, wiser than us maybe, taking their time choosing mates, but just to realize that all of them are grown up, and so far alive and well(not that each of them haven’t attempted to give us heart attacks!) but so far so good, when I take a minute to look at them, into their beautiful eyes (they get their baby blues from my beautiful man, the hint of green is me)I see lives that are changing and maturing and people that I genuinely like.

I would rather hang out with them than anyone I know and that’s saying something. I adore them, love them and invested my whole adult life in them but some days as the parent I’d just as soon not see their faces… Mamma needs time to breath! Yet on this day, the day of my (little) girls birthday, I have relived the entire event, in my head, and after remembering that I actually lost weight with her, lost 13lbs and gained 14lbs! So 1lb gain for a 6lb 11oz baby I was skinny! Lord help me! That memory I coulda kept lost… but I regress! These times of thoughtful reflection on the magnificent power of God to sustain us through the years, good and bad times are reflected in the eyes of my children. Without them knowing it, I get strength from those eyes, I am encouraged by their eyes, I praise God for those eyes that keep me living a life for the Lord. They have watched me, the good bad and ugly, whatever I had said to them falls short if I haven’t practiced what I preached. And I would like to say I did it all right but I’m not typically a liar so I won’t, besides each one of them could bust me on it, I have had to apologize to all of them too many times for my mistakes! I am literally a super human, flaws and all(not to be mistook for a super hero…way different! But God!

The Lord has told me my children will always be His, I have told them they don’t have a choice about it and between the two of us they are trapped. I trust God at His word and I pray my children can trust me at mine. I have given my heart to them, after Jesus and their Dad, they are my best friends and if I can be in there somewhere in that line up with them I will be happy. They are my heart.

Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you. Exodus 20:12

Yeah so there’s that kids!

Dedi- ca-t-i-o-n?


Many years ago, there were decisions that had to be made, knowledge of certain consequences that would happen unless the correct decisions were made. This is the way it is….life I mean and growing up is a constant borage of choices to be made. Skort or shorts?…walk home or ride the bus with the mean kids? Go to class in college or eh… sleep in? Oops, I did way too much of that!

Dedication is a learned pattern, one that is necessary to live a life of fruitfulness. How hard is it to become dedicated…..REALLY HARD! Unless it’s fun! Then my dedication becomes like breathing. Being dedicated to eating sweets, got that covered; dedicated to sleeping all cozy, I got that covered also! Dedicated to a clean eating, no carb regime… shocker it’s a struggle! I have attempted to think what I am dedicated to besides the easy stuff and I find that even the hard stuff becomes easy once the dedication is in place.

My family is my life’s dedication. If I were asked at age 22 what I was going to be when I grow up I would not of thought this, a wife, a mother( of four!) a preachers wife even, small town life too. Never was even on my radar, or on the list of my life choices, at that point a steady boyfriend seemed a stretch, boys are dumb and had an agenda(sorry) but true. My head was in the stars and adventure was ahead, I never thought any different. Until that day I saw him… I knew I was doomed, smitten but became dedicated in my heart there and then, forever….for always. This was not a chore but a joy, I found my heart. Then dedication to our children was a slam dunk.. wow what a lovely way to live.. joy overflowing, I was a Mom now!

Other than those two areas of dedication I fall short on the small stuff, diet…exercise…world peace! There is only one other area I am faithful….dedicated. This is my relationship with Jesus…for which I have never faltered. Not to imply I am the perfect God-fearing Christian but I have not ever gone back on my love for Jesus and I will never. At 24 I realized my missing part. I did dedicate my heart to Him and this has guided me ever since. With that in mind the assembling my self with others…..attending a church service every week helps me to stay grounded. To connect in a real way to my Jesus and other people who feel the same way is encouraging and I became dedicated to church attendance then, before the preacher man became a preacherman! I wanted to be there… it was not a struggle! The struggle was hauling kids to church, spending more time in the nursery than in the service…but early on that was just the way it was.. it was my sacrifice to teach my children that this was important. I did not have this as a child, a hit or miss time or two or four but no real dedication to church. I was determined to lead my children towards Jesus, dedicated to serving God in whatever way was needed, I can’t carry a tune, can’t play a instrument (tone deaf ya know) but I could help in the nursery and eventually could teach kids and as often as possible do artsy stuff to help!

I was dedicated to being there, supporting my Pastor, my church, my friends… my Lord. If I believed (and I do) that the Lord has equipped me with gifts from the Holy Spirit then if I’m not there they will be missing, I have a place there, I am important to God, then why would I not show up? It was never an option that I entertained because I was dedicated… and I still am, not just because my preacherman would make me…the few times I have missed for sickness or our vacation I miss it. I have many faults, I fall short daily; you can set your clock by my mess ups… lack of memory or just not taking the time to follow thru or bad thought or the litany of stuff I strive to overcome still keeps me showing up. I could have church in my den in the recliner I guess, watching a TV preacher.. Nope! Not the same… nothing takes the place of showing up. I love y’all!

So forgive me for wanting to be frustrated with all who choose not to show up. Why? Do we just have to say..”well it’s the way of the world these day!” No no no not a good reason. The way the world is now should push us toward church and the Lord. It feels we have lost the dedication to be a good church member, the older generation has pushed this uphill for years and are now looking around wondering who will carry the mantle. I wonder also. Why don’t we show up. Maybe it’s too many choices of fun things to do or we work so much it’s just our need for a family day? The best thing for our families is to start the day at church. Probably not anyone clapping their hands for that one! I get it, I get it! I’m the queen of lazy but when I make the effort I am so happy I did. I never have to be sorry I didn’t do enough for my children’s lives, raising them up in the way they should go so that when they are old, they won’t depart from it. No guilt on that one.. plenty of other guilty mistakes but not that one.

Our church is not perfect and needs plenty of changes but I know that it takes the Holy Spirit and the church(that’s us!) to show up and allow Him to use us to do His will. If I’m not there my gifts will be missing, we all are important and can be used by the Lord to help someone else. I may be the one who needs the exact prayers that the ones who choose to lay out could be praying… is this too hard? Do I seem judgmental, not my goal but if I’m can be candid it breaks my heart. Corporate worship, small groups, Fellowship is what makes us a mighty army. Arms locked together in worship supporting our church, our Pastor; this will overflow into our city. I’m sure we could throw a rock and hit 50 people who have never known the love of Jesus. How will they know if we don’t tell them? My prayer is my church will wake up and choose to be present, to get to know me and the people sitting right there near us and open our hearts to knowing what ways we can serve.

My nearly five year old went to a children’s service this week and walked out the door and boldly stated..”I know all about Jesus!!” With excitement and joy… would to God I have the same joy each time I leave church, Sunday morning, Sunday night or even Wednesday Nite!! They are all important, all are an opportunity to get closer to the Lord, to be healed, to be found faithful and dedicated!

Mother’s Day me and the preacherman!


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We cry a little, too!


On this special day set aside to honor our mothers I’d like to pay tribute to the many women who have come before us…. Matriarchs of our Faith, who have not only stood beside the men, but also walked boldly in the light of Gods calling on their own lives. Many of them we will never hear about, but all equally important.

 

Women like the prophetess Deborah, Rahab and Mary, the mother of Jesus. All of which had a specific job to do, a calling to do the work of God in the midst of extremely difficult times. 

 

What must it have been like to be chosen to do what had to be done, wondering if they should… or could…take the first step knowing there could be harsh consequences and I’m sure they cried a little too!

—-They were women, common and not worthy in a mans world……. 

But God…

 

We are more than conquerors, we are faithful and we count! 

Deborah had the plan, Rahab followed the plan… Mary was the plan!

 

So, just as these women were chosen to carry out the plans of God.. we too are called to be His hands and feet.. to reach out, to lead, to create, to serve. We women are also daughters, wives, mothers, sisters, friends but most of all we are fierce prayer warriors, followers of Jesus…we grieve, we rejoice and we cry a little too!

 

 

–For Mothers brave and strong, compassionate; full of wisdom and grace

    We give GOD thanks for you

–For Mothers vulnerable, worried and frustrated

    We encourage and pray for you

–For those who gave birth to their first child this year or their 4th

    We celebrate with you

–For those who have lost one of their precious babies…young or old …..Who have broken hearts

   We mourn with you

–For those struggling to raise children…alone…thru the struggles and pressures of life

   We reach out to you

–And for those who are empty nesters….we feel your loss…..but encourage You in the new life you have….finally….peaceful and quiet 

    We encourage you to live a little!

–For all the women who do not have children but help the rest of us to lead and teach and Guide these little ones…….

    We thank and appreciate you!

–For those Mothers who have felt the disappointment of distance and heart ache for the children who have left and never look back…….

    We sit with you and hold your hand

–For those Moms who are first time mothers or step mothers…figuring it out as you go, we walk with you through these complex paths

     YOU GOT THIS!

–To those who for whatever reason, placed children up for adoption, we commend your selfless heart And for those Mothers who adopted…..

    PRAISE GOD YOU WHERE THERE!

 

And for those of us who hold our Mothers memories…..for Moms who will never know us again as we hold her hand and tell her goodbye and thank her for loving us……

   We know and feel your loss.

 

And on this day we celebrate our Women of God…Mothers

 

Don’t forget—we are women created in the image of GOD that give not just life…but abundant life. WE are caregivers, teachers, prophets…preachers…and leaders! Women who fight and struggle and pray and believe and we cry a little too, who have HOPE and Faith and the courage to face off any demons that would attempt to overtake our families….

BUT GOD!

 

For all the Moms and Women in their wide variety and many forms…. WE GIVE THANKS AND PRAISE TO GOD  

 

Happy Mothers Day, y’all!

 

Mom by Goodoldgirl


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She was strong


It wasn’t long before I had figured it out – the true story about the about the bruises – when I had walked in and saw her crying, I should have known. It was a time of upheaval, not only for her, for all of us in our world and the world in general. She was a beautiful woman, and never deserved to be here. But here she was. This was proof of her strength, and even more her courage. The 1960’s made her come to realize that if life was going to be worth it, the it was up to her. She had the babies, at least that’s how she always saw her children, even if some were almost grown. It was left to her to stand up to what and who would attempt to take her down. And that just wasn’t happening.

She was beautiful, so pretty there was a jealousy among her sisters. Truth be told, even her mother seemed put out about it. Her auburn, wavy hair and crystal blue eyes were an unbeatable combo. And she had a smile for days. She had many dreams, a nurse or a teacher maybe. She wanted to help, but it all changed when she met him. Tall, dark and handsome. The best worst decision she would ever make. They loved fiercely and fought about the same way. Those first days were splendid and the life they led was bittersweet. He was a young Army private being sent away to a foreign country.

She managed with a heart longing for him. They had  married and he left her back with her parents. This was most painful since her Mother was a strong voice, constant and judgmental. Soon, she was a new mother, which made it so hard to be without him. The Army gave furloughs, but once they send overseas, it will be a while until they are together again. But she was strong, and tended where she was planted. They made their home in Army housing in different states. Soon there would be another baby. Then to Germany. Korea was hard….Her heart was full, but his was tormented, knowing that his beauty was back home without him. The struggle to believe whether or not she was faithful weighed on his mind, which began the fear in his heart. Proud men languish with crazy thoughts that can ruin lives. He soon would return back home.

Then began years of painful fights, jealousy, alcoholism, fists and of course, pride. She stood up to him. She loved him so much, just as he did her. But his fear of losing her was overbearing and he acted out. She was the one who felt the brunt of it all. Yet, she kept strong, raised her children and fought the great fight, believing that it would change. He was not her enemy; the drugs and alcohol were the real culprits. He would not stop, and eventually loved it more than her. This was the saddest part. Because he loved her so much and was a sweet man, full of life, smart and multitalented in so many areas of life. They were the most beautiful couple and everyone loved them. But it wouldn’t last.

The day she knew would be the last day for them, she knew it would never change. She had to protect herself as well as her babies. He was not going to take care of her and the kids. He went too far, threatened too much, forbid one time too many. It was time to take the leap. This was 1969 and you don’t just leave. But he left, eventually into the arms of another. She was left to pick up the pieces, feel the shame, and know the hurt it caused the kids. She took the blame around everyone; they wouldn’t listen anyway. Their self-imposed judgement was mis-directed, even among her own family. But she kept her head about her, went to work, relocated, took every job she could. I missed her.

“We are women hear us roar” was our mantra. Vietnam was raging on the left. It troubled our hearts every hour of every day. The one who was now the man of the house was there. We prayed for God to keep him safe… He did!! Hard work was on the right. Never underestimate the power of a women scorned. She taught us all, and it served us well until it didn’t… until our lives turned out hard. Time to bare down and move forward. She taught me how to re-create and start over. Her legacy is one of fortitude, never giving up and “you can’t tell the good guys by the white hats!” (a direct quote) I wish I was more like her, sometimes, but at other times, I’m more like my dad. That’s ok too; he wasn’t all bad. I was fortunate. I met a man who changed me and loved me, both unconditionally. That made my life take a different turn… for the better. I’m not a statistic; I broke the mold. I’m grateful for my heritage, yet even more thankful for my future. She made me stronger. Thank you Mom.