Category Archives: family

Searching God for Something Other Than A Knee-Jerk Reaction


I really don’t have time to write today.  But I must.  I feel compelled to write.  A different place than I was a few days ago when I didn’t want to write, but forced myself to sit down at the keyboard and type out a brief poem.

I feel compelled today because I am grieving.  Grieving over the reaction to the killing of Osama Bin Laden.  The celebrating in the streets.  The Facebook pictures of Bin Laden.  The comments on twitter.

I’m grieving because, celebrating the death of one created by God–regardless of what we think of that person’s life–doesn’t seem like the right response.  Ever.  I know he orchestrated the deaths of many, including the attacks on 9/11/2001 and gloated with his despise of Americans.  I know that he is credited as the leader of Al Qaeda, a terrorist organization.  I know he plotted the killing of friends and family members of many.

I get the knee-jerk reaction.  Of “finally.”  And, “what a relief.” But, celebrating death by public gathering, flag-waving, and shouting in the streets is beyond my understanding.

I find myself searching God for an answer.  A proper response.  I turn inward. I look upward.  I seek God’s face in silence.  You know the righteous.  You are the judge of all.  Forgive us our transgressions.

The response I sense in those quiet moments with God are these.   Just love.  Love deeply. Leave the rest to Me.

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If I Knew I Could, I Would. . .


I’m joining Lisa-Jo at Gypsy Mama again for 5 Minute Friday.  Join us! Just write for 5 minutes–no edits, no extra time–just write and post.  The theme today is “If I knew I could, I would. . .

GO
If I knew I could find the words that would convince you that God loves you, I would drop everything and spill those words out for you to hear and watch your eyes and heart light up.

If I knew the acts in my life that would show you how much God loves you, and what peace you would find if you knew Him, I would stop everything else and just do those things that would show you.

If I knew I could find another person in this world who could help you to see God and have faith the way I do, I would push aside my introverted nature and introduce you to that person and serve you tea and cupcakes while you talked.

If I knew that I could point you to a passage in scripture that would speak to your heart and show you His, I would sit with you in silence as you read and pray for God’s presence at that moment.

If I knew that I could pray for God to pursue you and prepare your heart and that nothing I could do would help, I would pray anyway because I love you that much, and because I know God loves you that much, and because I know hope and faith and love prevail. . . .

STOP

Hard Love


I’m joining Lisa-Jo over at The Gypsy Mama for Five Minute Friday.  Here’s how it works:

Want to take five minutes with me and see which ones bubble to the surface?

Let’s just write and not worry if it’s just right or not. Here’s how we do it:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat with no editing or tweaking.

2. Link back to Lisa-Jo’s site and invite others to join in {you can grab the button code in Lisa-Jo’s right side bar}

3. Go and tell the person who linked up before you what their words meant to you. Every writer longs to feel heard. {And if you love us, consider turning off word verification for the day to make it easier for folks to leave you some encouragement}

It’s a great way to exhale at the end of a beautiful week.

The prompt this week is Hard Love . . .

GO

I wonder in awe at God’s love for me.  How could He love me that much?  How could he give His son’s life for me?  Really.  For this broken, tired soul.  He must find loving me hard.

Then I breathe, But His love is unconditional.

Unconditional.

I grasp for meaning in that phrase unconditional love.  The closest understanding I have is my love for my children.

When they are broken and in the darkest and most difficult of places in their growing up, I love them and grieve for them.

When our son began to doubt, when he said he was just unsure about God and everything,  all I could do was trust God.  The God who promises to love no matter what.

In those moments, as a mother, I taste–I glimpse–unconditional love.

It is hard love.

Yet, it is all I know or could possibly have in those moments.

I am ever so grateful for the God of love. 

The One who gave His only son for me.

I am ever so grateful for His unconditional love that washes over me and holds on tightly to my son.

It is . . .   STOP  (I guess you’ll have to finish this for me…)

On Loving Others: A Letter to My Son


Sometimes we fail to say things to our children when we are thinking of them.  Sometimes, it is because we don’t have the courage.  Other times it is because we don’t have the time or the opportunity. Or, sometimes, we don’t know how they will respond.  I thought I would occasionally post letters to my children to inspire others to share their hearts with their children, too.  This first letter is to my son who is now 21 years old and who, last night, had to make a difficult choice to sacrifice a friendship he has had since first grade in order to try to save that friend’s life.

My Dear Son,

You have grown into a young man—one any mother would be proud of.  You know the meaning of friendship—of true friendship.  The Greek call this philia –fondness, appreciation, and loyalty to those you hold in community.

Your passion for life and those you care about drive every part of you.  I admire it and at the same time I see it as a cross you bear.  Your friendships have been characterized by loyalty, availability, honesty, trust, listening, nurturing, and a sense of finding a kindred spirit.  But they also have been characterized by conflict, sacrifice, forgiveness, grief, and disappointment.

The depth of your friendships, the love you have for others in your life also means that you have had—and will continue to have—a sense of responsibility for those you care about.  I know that you have had to choose, on occasion, doing what is right over the relationship.  It has meant not just calling out your friends but also standing beside them when they desperately needed a friend they could count on.  It has meant seeking help from family and friends to save the life of a friend. It has meant agonizing over the choice and ultimately choosing love and life, knowing that someday your friend might turn back to you, and may even thank you—hoping that you will have restoration.

It has also meant grieving deeply at the loss of some of your closest friends—whether the loss was because of death, or distance, or doing what was right. I have grieved for you, as I can’t imagine at your age having endured the loss that you have already endured.  I know you have sought to understand loss and that, in many respects, it has eluded you.  But I know that you have faith that someday you will heal, even if small scars remain. That somehow loss and grief will shape you in a way that will remind you that loving others was worth the pain of loss.

So I pray that you will continue to love deeply and value friendship above other things, for it is part of the fabric of who you are. It has been imprinted on your soul as long as I can remember. And, while it has been a burden at times, it has shaped you into a man of integrity and given you great joy.  The way that you love others in community beautifully reflects Christ.

As C.S. Lewis wrote, “Friendship is not a reward for our discrimination and good taste in finding one another out.  It is the instrument through which God reveals to each the beauties of a thousand other men; by Friendship God opens our eyes to them.”

With love always,

Mom

Stacks of Unspoken Words


I look around my home and see the stacks and piles. Stacks and piles of things. Mail sits on the end of the black granite countertop.  Leaning precariously, as though anticipating that it will slide to the floor, unopened.  Stacks of books.  Not neatly stacked.  Just stacked.  Waiting to be finished.  Or started.  Or just waiting to find a permanent spot on the bookshelf. And then, there’s the dust. The dust colors everything like a winter fog.  Dulls those things around me. The dust, piling up, particle by particle, on everything, not left by anyone, but just settling there.  I notice it, even if no one else does.  But I’m sure they do.

Mom would have. She noticed everything.  Everything that wasn’t put away.  Every mess.  Everything I never finished.  Every crumb left on the counter after making toast.  Every sock hiding under my bed.  She noticed the things.

But somehow, she never noticed me. The scars.  The pain.  The loneliness.  The heartaches of a young girl growing up.  Or, maybe she did but she just didn’t know how to catch her daughter’s tears.  Maybe she just didn’t have the words.  Maybe she couldn’t help me heal because she had never healed herself.

Despite her flaws, I loved her, as little girls love their mothers.  And, I miss her, even after all these years.  Today, if she were here, I would sit down with her and gently ask her why she couldn’t be there for me when I needed her most.  Why I needed to look elsewhere in my life for shelter from the storms. And, I would look into her eyes and seek to know her heart.

And, I would tell her that it was okay–that I had found comfort in the loving arms of my heavenly Father.  I would tell her that despite the stacks of unspoken words and unopened hearts and the grey haze that dulled our relationship, that love prevailed.

In my home, the dust on the hearth piles up, the mail sits unopened on the counter, and the books sit patiently for shelves or pages to be turned.  And, I try not to notice socks hiding under beds or crumbs gathering around the toaster’s edge. They remind me of the piles and stacks of words unspoken in my childhood home.

And, so, instead of tidying up the house, I look into the eyes of my children, searching for their hearts. I hope they know that I notice them–every aspect of them.  Every tear. Every heartbreak.  Every moment of loneliness.  And, I hope they know that their tears, and heartbreaks, and loneliness are mine, too.

Today, I hope that the piles and stacks for things go unnoticed–at least for one more day.

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