Thursday, May 26, 2011

Armor for the Weak

You never know when the moment will hit.

You never know when she will feel the full impact of the world.

You never know when the impact will bring you to your knees.

Last night I witnessed teen after teen receive awards and we all clapped.

Sometimes the names were repeated over and over and the applause rose.

Often, I thought, "Who are these kids?"

Apparently my daughter was listening, and not talking through it.

Apparently she heard those same names being praised over and over and felt, in her heart, that she didn't have much purpose or talent or gift.

Haven't you been there? Don't you remember?

When you first felt you didn't measure up? I do.

I felt it all my life.

At first it's an inkling that they are special. Then it's hearing them being praised by someone you admire. Then you realize: they have IT.

Of course, you can't quite describe it, but you feel it. It weighs heavy. It pulls, and measures, and reflects a distorted picture that looks so similar to who you really are, but not quite what you want to see.

Don't you remember what it looked like?

I do. I've seen it off and on my whole life.

And, for the first time, the picture, painted with long strokes, finally becomes clear and vibrant.

I don't measure up.

My daughter saw herself in that painting last night after a banquet honoring students whom she has eaten lunch with, rode in the car with, stood next to in line, and sat behind in class. She saw that she...didn't measure up to THAT standard.

My heart ached as I heard her express on the ride home that she wasn't really GOOD at anything, just OK. Out of her came a dark, long breath that spewed disappointment, hurt, failure, unrealized dreams. Oh, how I ached.

Haven't we all heard the liar. Haven't we all entertained his theatrical play, weaving lies with truth, until the two became one. My heart bursts.

She, with her happy-heart, witty banter, and ever-loving friendship, saw only her faults.

I drew a long breath before I exposed the lies, one by one.

But, last night, she couldn't hear it.

She felt the sting of rejection that closed off the confident young lady.

I felt that same sting, but many years earlier than she. Even though I had carefully given her instruction and even though I praised her all dropped to the ground like an unused toy. Forgotten.

Yes. This young woman is experiencing the bitter herbs that the world, the deceiver, serves to us along with sweet tea and cake.

It was a difficult moment for this mommy-at-heart who is a fierce lion when it comes to her cubs. It brought tears for hours as I hugged her goodnight. Even harder? Knowing that this is a long line in her course of becoming a grown-up woman. The line will extend her whole life with the deceiver whispering in her ear.

Prepare me Lord Jesus for this next phase.

Prepare our Armor together.

Forge her a sheild with your promises, a sword of swift return, and a helmet that drowns out the shouts of the world.

Prepare us together, because I will NEVER let her be defeated by a lie as long as breath lives in my lungs.

The war has just begun for her and I. We will stand united.

Friday, May 20, 2011

What happens when love and intimacy die away...

No, I'm not splitting up with my husband or anything. That is still all good.

What I am speaking of is an intimacy with God.

In the last year, I have felt a real distance coming in my relationship with Him. In fact, I have had trouble with even picking up my bible. It saddened me and shocks me all at the same time, and I keep saying to myself, "What is it?".

Intimacy builds in marrage when you invest in the life and in love of that person. Communing with their heart becomes something you seek. Many might put a sexual intimacy in this same catagory. But, for women, we know that the sexual intimacy must come through our hearts first. Letting our hearts be vulnerable. Letting our hearts cry out for that person to really know it.

It has finally hit me that I haven't cried out for God to know my heart in this last year.

I slowly closed that avenue off as I saw a strain in our financial health, in a difficult relationship with my children earlier, and with the strain of it all...eventually a hurt deep inside by a friendship that kind of through me over the edge. I simply couldn't pick up my bible. I couldn't pray. Nothing came out that resembled hunger for my relationship with the only one who could really heal my hurt. Nothing.

I couldn't pick up my bible, but through the persuasion of a persistent friend, I picked up Ann Voskamp's book, 1000 gifts. This beautiful book shouldn't have been a substitute for God's word. It shouldn't take it's place, but He used it to draw me to him inch by inch.

You know how when you're mad at your husband or he's done something to urk you, you kinda want to just stomp off? Then pretty soon the little urk becomes apathy and you have forgotten how to reach for a kiss or hug. You don't even miss it. It's just a numb existence at that point without a feeling. Well, that's where I had been. Numb.

Well, I am slowly emerging. Sometimes it requires a little pin-pricking to get a feeling back. Sometimes it requires a long-hug. God, my gracious God, has been waiting for me patiently. Sometimes he allow me to get a poke, a sting, by something I read. "OUCH" as I read that my selfish, ungratefulness has brought me the lack of joy. Then, He turns around and washes a deep, long-hug as I weep at my kitchen sink.

It's plain weird for me to make a connection with God as if he's a husband, but in this case that's what I feel. He want express his love gently, as I need it. But, I think he's waiting for me to let down all the defenses. He's waiting for that final giving of myself to him. I'm almost there.

Letting go of lies, disappointments and hurt is like getting your teeth clean. I hate the scaping off and the way it makes me so uncomfortable. But, I love running my teeth over the smooth, clean edges and the lovely clean taste.

I need a good scaping and God is going to work taking the callouses off.

I'm waiting for the emergent new heart.

Monday, May 16, 2011

So is it wrong?

I blame William and Kate.

I would not normally do it but I found that after watching the royal wedding a couple of weeks ago that I now want to eat Brie cheese all the time.

Ok, back up.
That day I made scones and tea and waited until my daughter returned home from school so that she and I could watch together. I found that while I was waiting for her to return home, I craved it. I wanted it. I didn't have it.
No matter. Scones and tea were soon served and life went on it's merry way.
But now, I want to have it all the time.
This is not the sort of craving that just comes around and then is never thought of until months later. It's an everyday crave.

Here is the problem. I had some wine on Sat. and also had my fair share of brie (which I bought to go with the wine, and only with the wine).
Today, I had it for lunch. On crackers. Without the wine.
What next? I may be dipping into it now until its all gone. Everyday. Maybe twice a day.

I thinking that a fast with only veges for a day or so is in order.
Would that help with cravings?
If you have had a craving that didn't go away, what did you do?

Multitudes on Mondays, Blessings Galore...

... A walk around the lake in the crisp morning air

... A blue heron at the blue heron restaurant, funny

... A dog always happy to see me no matter what

... The hat covers my un-showered hair

... A text of encouragement from Corrine

... A sore muscle, which means it got worked!

... A new fence that came as a result of the sweat of a good man

... Monday, all day, at home with my boy

Friday, May 13, 2011

blessed by...

...a smiling clerk who was sweet, sweet strawberries
...a young man on a trip of his own today
...a girl excited by her day and so willing to share every bit of it with me crossing the parking lot, even if it was because I am perceived to be "old" by my 10 yr.old
...iris budding into purple pleasure
...chocolate tidbits called Flicks
...soothing music while cooking
...reading blogs of encouragement from fellow sojourners

But you love me anyway...

When I hear these lyrics I am reminded that it WAS my sin that nailed Jesus to the cross. This was the very thought that caused my heart to turn at age nine while I physically nailed nails to a cross one Sunday Night at an evening service. My youth pastor talked about personal sin and responsibility, and I remember the guilt convicted me to tears as I hammered.
Many times I have carried that conviction and guilt throughout my life. I believed that my sin was so dark that I wasn't sure that Jesus could ever see past it.

This song brings me the peace I need. I haven't forgotten that my sin nailed him, but I know that his love reaches past that sin. Not only has he conquered it, but he reaches out, takes my hand and says, "I love you." I'm not "kinda a Christian". It's all that matters in who I am.
It's like being kinda pregnant. Either you are, or you aren't. He grace loves, erases and embraces that old sin...and then discards it.