Sunday, November 16, 2014

Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things.

Kathleen, Kathleen you are worried and troubled about many things.........

The kitchen project is well underway.  The old kitchen has been demolished and now we are preparing the space for the new and improved version. The past few nights I found myself waking up with my head spinning. My thoughts were focused how there is still so much to do. We are going over way budge. There is dust everywhere. What and how am I going to prepare for meals over the next few weeks.  Is my second floor going to fall into the first?  What if this is all a big mistake?  Did we make a wise choice with the appliances. And the cabinets..... are they going to be too dark?  How am I going to clean the dishes?  The powder-room sink is so small.  And isn't it gross to wash dishes in there?  Oh my goodness I still have to figure out the back splash.  And how many knobs and pulls do I need? As I laid in bed my head just spiraled out of control.  I think I needed a larger plate. Something like a serving platter would have worked.  Because my plate was overflowing with the garbage I had chosen to feast on the past few nights.

This morning I realized that I had been awake yesterday for over 25 hours.  I woke up yesterday morning at 3 a.m. and finally went to bed at 4 a.m. this morning.  This was perhaps the reason for some of my stinkin thinkin.   I have to say that, after 6 solid hours of sleep, I am feeling better.  I "overslept" and missed church.  However, my perspective seems to be much clearer.  Who am I to be worried about a project that I have been so prayerful about. I realize that this dusty, disarrayed, disaster zone house is just a temporal phase.

After stepping back, and taking it all in, I realize just how truly blessed I am.  I am getting a new kitchen.  This "Martha" is going to get to be a part of the fun.  I will get to enjoy the silly moments and growing moments that are currently going on beyond the walls.  I may even get to experience more of the "Mary" in me.  I am less worried about the budget and more excited about the valuable treasure of memories that will be created in this family friendly kitchen.  Less concerned about the dust falling and smiling big when I think of the mess that will happen at the prep station in the kitchen.  We may have to eat crock pot meals, frozen dinners and take away for the next few weeks.  But, this too is temporary.  Many feasts and experimental meals will be created in due time.  And the beam, that has replaced the wall that once was a barrier, is sturdy.  And since the beam has been placed our sliding closet door, on the second floor, opens smoother than it ever has since we lived in this house. The appliances and cabinets are going to be beautiful in this wonderfully designed kitchen.

This whole process has been a lesson in faith.  I am learning that even when the Martha in me is so busy with sorting through the garbage, that I don't see God's blessings, He is still faithful.  I am getting a new kitchen!!!  And God has provided the funds, the resources, and the wonderful crew that is working so diligently to make this happen.  So, it is time for me to sit back, or at His feet, relax and enjoy the process.

Monday, October 27, 2014

By wisdom a house, or kitchen, is built.

We are in the process of renovating our kitchen.  It is long overdue.  But the process is not as easy as I thought it was going to be. There is so much to be done.  As most you already know I love to be in the kitchen.  But I don't love to be in my kitchen when the family is gathering.  My current situation is quite closed off to the rest of the household population.  I have a galley, aka room for one, kitchen.  I love to cook and create tasty meals and treats for my family and friends.  But in the process I have to be cut off from the company.  I often reflect on the Mary and Martha story as I am standing in the kitchen chopping, slicing, dicing and stirring.  I realize that I miss out on a lot of the family time in the living room beyond the kitchen walls.

Okay, so I guess it is a little silly that I am blogging about my kitchen renovation project.  But bear with me.  As I said earlier there is a lot that goes into all this.  And I am truly blessed to have Greg for my husband.  And doubly blessed that he likes to research and get deals too.  We have a very strict budget.  And we have a firm plan for what we want our space to look like as well.  As I am seeing it right now the two are proving to be not so congruent. I am reminded that it is through wisdom that a house, or kitchen, is built.  God has blessed us with the funds to renovate the kitchen.  But, we are required to be wise with how we spend it and on what it is spent. 

Now that the budget had been decided it was time for the next step.  We had come up with a floor plan.  We had our friend Linda come over and create a design for our new open kitchen. She measured, asked a few questions and headed to the drawing table.  Her design is wonderful.

In order to establish and see her design come into fruition we then had to gain an understanding.  We began contacting people for estimates on what it would cost to have the job completely done. The first proposal came in and we realized that we were already over budget.  We needed to get the appliances,  floors, counter tops and a few other important features into the initial budget plan as well.  Linda gave a great deal on the cabinets.  And she found us flooring at a great price too!  So, without hesitation we ordered them. We spent days searching the internet and running from store to store in search of the best deals on appliances.  We also had to make a decision on the color for the hard wood flooring.   I would come home from work and Greg would be on the internet researching. We went to a few appliance stores not once, not twice, but multiple times just to look at refrigerators.  And do you realize how many different types of refrigerators there are?

Well it appears that things are progressing.  We are still getting estimates for the job from a few contractors.  And I know that God is directing us. It is my hearts desire that God be the foundation of my life and of my home.  Once this project is completed I am certain that we will clearly be able to see His hand in every nook and cranny of the new space.  We have gained much knowledge while researching products and costs .  And we have learned a lot about being patient.  I know that He will continue to direct us as we prayerfully wait for the new estimates to come in.  I am happy to report that God directed our path and we found a refrigerator! Yes, I finally picked one that I liked. We also found an oven, cook top and dishwasher that will all look great with Linda's design. The prices were all pretty good too.  They have all be ordered, delivered and they are currently sitting in our living space.  And what a beautiful sight.  The cabinets and flooring are on their way too. The room seems to be getting filled with beautiful treasures.

Through wisdom a house is built,  and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches. ~Proverbs 24:3-4

Saturday, October 25, 2014

When You look at my picture who's face do you see.......

I open my Facebook page or Instagram and I see a wave of "selfies" An ocean full of pictures of all types of faces. So many of these "selfies" capture the true identity of the individual in the snap shot. Some bring a smile to my face and make me laugh.  Occasionally I see sadness, anger, loneliness and hurt in the eyes of the one taking the "selfie".   It is amazing how much a picture can say about a person.

So, today I grabbed my phone and captured my very own "selfie".  I looked deep into the reflection.  What will others see when they look at this picture?  Will they count every wrinkle on my forehead and seek every imperfection?  And what about me?  What do I see in my own reflection?  Is it only my face that I see?   Or is there another reflection sharing this photo opportunity with me?

These past few days I have spent with my precious granddaughter, Grace.  Her parents were at the hospital due to the arrival of baby number two.  So, Grace and I had lots of time together.  She loves to look at pictures.  And she loves to see pictures of herself.  This is exactly how God wants us to react to our own reflection.  After all we were created in His image. Each evening as I put her to bed I prayed that she'd never stop seeing the beauty that God has blessed her with. And I asked God to direct me so that I would be a good and positive influence in her life and each of my grands to follow.

Thursday night, while laying in bed, I began thinking about what legacy I would one day leave my family.  What will they see when looking at pictures of my face?  What story will my reflection tell them about who Grandma Kathleen was to them?  For a few hours I closed my eyes and thought about, not only my grands, but my children.  How will they remember me?  Will they only remember the rough patches we went through.  Or will they smile as they reflect on the triumphs?  Will they think of me as a godly woman?  Or will they remember me as something much different? My only hope is that they will remember me as someone who loved the Lord.  And that when they see my "selfie" they also see the reflection of the One who created me in His image.

As I am sitting here blogging away and reflecting on my reflection.  I realize, that if I truly believe and want others to believe that we are created in His perfect image, my life needs to be the reflection or proof of His love.  My words and my actions must have validity.  Because if my character acts one way but speaks differently I will leave a poorly developed image behind.  You see, God is love. My life is to be a reflection of that great love.  And as I define myself as a christian and have received Christ as Lord, I want to be rooted, deeply rooted and straightened daily in my faith.

 His sacrifice was the ultimate outpouring of love.  So to love is to sacrifice. Over the years there have been many times that I have sacrificed my wants for the wants and needs of others.  There are times that I am doing it out of love.  And other times, to be honest, I am doing out of obedience.   And when I am doing it out of obedience I grumble a lot. I may even delay when it's time to obey.  You might find me walking or even running away. I am sure my "selfie", in those moments, isn't all that attractive. And when I think back on those moments I am not so proud.  How could I snap a picture of those moments and glorify God?  God, who willingly and lovingly sacrificed for me,desires me to have a willing heart. I really and truly do want to be built up in Him.  I want have this abounding joy every time I do for others.  And I want to genuinely be a reflection of His love and show His grace   I pray that my love will one day look like Him.  And that when I am gone it will be love that is the legacy I left behind.  And that my children's children's children are able to clearly see the image of  God's love in the "selfie" I took today.


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Take your gift seriously

Over the past few days I have had a lot of quiet time.  My husband working double shifts.  And the kids were either at work, school or both. And the Martha in me got busy in the "kitchen". I did a few chores, browsed the internet for unimportant facts and findings.

Today I  arrived home from work and once again I had the evening all to myself.  I was feeling a little "under the weather" and tired so I decided to get in my comfy pj's and listen to one of my pastors on podcast.  I love technology!  I was so blessed by the sermon.  It encouraged me to reflect on Romans 12:8.  And I spent some time praying about my God given gifts.  Am I an encourager, a giver, a leader, or is my gift in showing kindness and mercy?  In which area am I strongest?  And in which area do I need guidance? 

Often we neglect to utilize these gifts.  We are paralyzed by the overwhelming expectations of others. And tend to hide and neglect those precious gifts .  I am guilty as charged. The brat that dwells within can be my greatest form of paralysis. My Dad use to say it was paralysis by analysis.  I tend to over think and sometimes that over-thinking brings bitterness a.k.a "Stinkin thinkin".

A few years ago I had a situation with a person in my life.  I wanted so desperately to embrace and love this person.  I reached out many time only to get my hand zapped.  It hurt.  But, I couldn't help myself.  I continued to extend the olive branch.  Hoping and praying that one day, while the olive branch was extended, this person would grab hold of a leaf.  Or perhaps pluck a piece of the fruit. I wasn't sure if God wanted me to understand my gift of persistence or insanity.  How could this individual not want to accept this invitation to be a part of my family/friend circle?  Looking back on it I see clearly that my persistence may have contributed to her reluctance.  Maybe I came off a bit in-genuine which was truly not my intention.  And in the process my heart didn't feel all that joyful.  I remember sitting with my husband one evening and talking to him about the situation at hand.  He listened and of course sided with me.  As any wise husband should.  He told me that I just needed to accept the fact that not everyone in the world is going to like me.  What?!?!?!  Ouch. He recommended that I stop putting my hand out.  I took his advice for a few months.  And in the process my "gifts" became not so gift like.  I found myself becoming bitter.  And "stinkin thinkin" consumed me.  I exchanged gifts for garbage.  I threw down the branch and dug a pit of quicksand between myself and this person.  No way was I going to risk sinking for an unwanted friendship.  Well, during that time of picking through garbage I said and did some not so kind things.  One night, while praying for this person, I felt a bit convicted.  As I should have.  I prayed every night that God would change her heart.  And I realized, during that moment in prayer, that it was my heart that needed to be changed.  I lost sight of my gifts. The Lord was very clear."So in everything, do to other what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law of the Prophets." So, I have to still be kind when kindness isn't given. Loving when not loved. Be generous when taken for granted.  And lead even if I get thrown under the bus

Whatever the gift that God has given me, or you for that matter, needs to be taken seriously.  If you are great at encouraging others, than you must encourage and uplift.  If you find that giving is your greatest gift, than you need to give generously.  If God has given you a heart to be a leader, take that responsibility seriously and pray for wisdom.  And if kindness is your forte, than do it with a joyful heart.

Yes, I extended the olive branch multiple time after that night.  And I am bless to say that God is faithful. He restored my heart and healed my hand each time it was rejected.  And in the process it was by His grace alone that a not so friendlyship turned into a blessing.  I think we both came to the pit waiving our white flags.  I pulled the plank out of my eye, laid it over the pit of quicksand, crossed over and began building a beautiful friendship with this beautiful woman. Praise God

Monday, July 28, 2014

Fascinating but Flawed

I come from a long line fascinating but flawed women. A variety of imperfection. I see the characteristics of my lineage in my own reflection. I have much in common with Eve, Sarah, Rebekah, Leah and even Potifhar's wife. I also share many of Martha's traits and I have a bit of Mary's too. But I am going to focus on my old testament grandmothers and aunts. From the very beginning of time it is quite evident that women have and always will be emotional.  God created women from His perfect love and throughout history, due to our unlassoed emotions, we have failed to grasp the reality of this great love.  We neglect to see that God has and always will provide us with the desires of our heart.  Instead of waiting on God's provision when I want to taste something the world has to offer, just like Great Grandma Eve, I present it to my husband in hopes that he will bite.  And, like Sarah, I may laugh at what God may put on my husband's heart because I think it is totally impossible and unreachable.  And there are moments, just like Aunt Rebekah, that I find myself feeling jealous that I am not my husband's first wife.  And that his children are biologically not mine.  The Leah in me often feels unlovable and rejected.  Potifhar's wife's characteristic, at times, comes through as well. Desperate to take the focus off of my own sinful heart. Can't get what I want out of I make a feeble attempt to magnify others inadequacies, whether real or conjured up in my own mind, just so the focus on my faults are redirected.

Yes, I come from a long line of women who fail love.  Jealous, insecure, manipulative and doubtful. I could sit here and point out all the faults in each of their husbands. I could tell you that if they loved more and did a better job of making their wives feel beautiful that each wife may have been more confident.  But that would be just plain foolishness.  God has given us this gift of a spouse for joy. Yes, joy!  It is not our husbands responsibility to make us feel happy, secure, confident or loved. We really do a great job setting them up for a catastrophic disaster.  No matter how hard they try it seems that our men always fall a little short. Only God is capable of meeting our conditions. "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart" ~Psalm 37:4 He will give me the desires of my heart.  Not Greg, my husband.  Don't get me wrong  my husband is wonderful.  He makes a valiant effort in "trying" to meet my needs.  But I am a brat in my heart.  And my selfishness is difficult to quench.  Only God has the capability of meeting my needs.

 Women throughout scripture and history needed to take captive their emotions and experience God's true and faithful love. 2 Corinthians 10:5  tells us to capture, put a lasso around, every thought and bring it into the obedience of Christ.  "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;" God is love. When I am taking every thought captive and reflecting on why I feel jealous, insecure, manipulative and doubtful it becomes evident that I need His perfect love in my life.

 Like I said earlier, in each of these women I find a small piece of me.  Like Eve I love my husband and every day is a new adventure.  And, like Sarah, my laughter turns to wonder.  The Rebekah and Leah characteristics seem to play off each other.  And oh the moments I look in the mirror only to see the character of a Genesis woman, Potifhar's wife.  Boy is she manipulative.  But, fortunately for me I am a sinner saved by grace.  It is only by the grace of God that I am who I am. "But by the grace of God I am what I am: and His grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly then they all : yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me"~ 1 Corinthians 15:10

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Prayerfully Seeking....

Recently I felt as if the Lord was leading me to read through the bible from beginning to end.  For a few weeks I prayed and delayed.  I had attempted to do this before and found that half way through Exodus I lost that willingness to read.  This time I prayed it would be different.  I began to read and seek prayerfully Genesis and next Exodus and today I am almost through the Chronicles.  

Each chapter of the Bible has given me a greater perspective of who I am in Him.In Genesis my story began.  I was created in His image. Exodus, what a journey.  Even as His chosen one, at times, manna just wasn't good enough.  My selfish and gluttonous heart was revealed. Leviticus was full of His unconditional love. I discovered His desire to wipe away my debt in the Year of Jubilee!  I laugh when I think about how I complained as I read through the book of Numbers. I would say, "Lord, who on this planet likes this book?"  And then one night He directed me to that one individual.  It was 2 am. I was wide awake and feeling drawn to the sofa downstairs.  So, I grabbed my Kindle and went down stairs to continue the journey through Numbers. Only to realize that my Kindle need a charge. So I grabbed a bible off the shelf and opened it up to numbers.  And much to my surprise there were notes written on the pages.  I began to cry and smile at the same time. Of course, Joseph Mallon, he would be that person I had been asking God about.  So I sat there and continued reading Numbers. And by the the end of Numbers I was able to see the importance. Every intricate detail that He has laid out before us. I am blessed by God's faithfulness to care for His people. What I though as not important clearly became relevant. And this is where my attitude got adjusted.  Deuteronomy is where God's gives the law.  Ten commandments that were laid out as guidelines. I saw clearly how I truly need a Savior.  I think I have broken each one of those ten laws a time or two. In Joshua He gave incite on conflict and victory. I marched around plenty of Jericho's prayerfully waiting for the wall to come tumbling down. In Judges He had me reflecting on my own disobedient heart.  Increased unfaithfulness forcing me to realize that my iniquities require discipline. Then, through Ruth, He opened my eyes to His grace in the midst of evil. And Samuel 1 and 2 made it clear that even the chosen aren't perfect.  Then Kings 1 and 2 allowed me to see how His sovereign grace is manifested. And I began to understand His blessings when I am faithful. And here I am this morning searching through 1 and 2 Chronicles. I know that God has great plans for this generation.  His love for His people is overwhelming and free.  Once again I reflect on 2 Chronicles 7:14, "if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and heal their land." As I continue to seek who I am, in the image of God, I am thankful for His word. I pray that I will humbly seek Him as my journey continues.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Revivalation Revolution Resolution

Maybe I am a little delayed in actually putting my resolutions into play.  Here we are Saturday morning May 24.  Only 143 days into 2014 and I am feeling like today is the day.  We all begin to ponder about what our "New Year's Resolutions" will be every year in December. And I, like most, drop the resolution ball before the end of January.

I am the queen of excuses.  I have one for every minute of the day and most are very selfish. The past few months have been packed with family issues, job issues, life issues and me issues.  Yep, issue after issue after issue.  With all these issues it's hard to get anything done.  Anyone who knows me knows that I can relate to and at times be a total Martha.  Tending to all the issues and forgetting about why I resolve to do the things I do.  I started this year off with really good intentions.  I wanted to be more concentrated, single-hearted and a wistful listener. My goal was to be a little less absorbed and less preoccupied with things. I just wanted to serve without distraction. I developed a plan so that I would have intimate quiet time with the One who calls me His own.  My plan would allocate time to seek His face every morning and every minute of the day.  I would walk upright and would make choices that would propel me in my walk.  It all looked good on paper and sounded easy when I said it out loud.  But, remember those issues, they became my stumbling blocks.  And I sure did trip over them daily.

The past few weeks I have been reflecting on 2 Chronicles 7:14."If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and will heal their land."  God knows my heart and He knows how wayward I can be.  He is perfect and wants nothing more than my love.  He calls my name.  Sometimes it's a soft whisper and others a thunderous roar.  He calls me His precious child.  And when I humble myself and and choose to meet all of God's conditions in 2 Chronicles 7:14 there will be a great revival. 

The dictionary defines revival as an improvement in the condition or strength of something; an instance of something becoming popular, active, or important again.  I believe that I have been called according to God's purpose.  As one of  His people  I need to gather together with others and turn this joint upside down.  I may even need to flip a few tables in the process.  The world around around me seems to be inaugurating itself into the hearts and minds of this generation.  Often, I find myself surrendering to the unprincipled ways of society.  Walking around like a zombie or worldly programmed robot.  I have become complacent in my daily life forgetting that I was made to be different. I have become a member of an arrogant generation people.  Everyone is out for themselves and there is the sense of entitlement.  When did I stop humbling myself?  I think about how great it is when I put others before me. The blessing is two fold.  The recipient is overwhelmed with joy and I in turn am blessed by the joy given.  Therefore, if I humble myself I will have taken the first step in this revivalation revolution resolution.

What next?  How do I continue on this path? When I stand before the world and pass judgement, calling myself a  follower of Christ, how do those who don't know Him now see Him?  Our God is the definition of love.  And I am supposed to be a reflection of this great love. It is not my place to negatively pass judgement on how another person lives.  I need to clean my house before picking up the trash in my neighbors yard.  I am commanded to love and respect my neighbor.  I don't recall anywhere in the sixth through tenth commandments God stating that I should judge my neighbor and tell them He doesn't want people like them in His kingdom.  James 4:12 reminds me that God is the judge and lawgiver.   "There is only one lawgiver and judge, He who is able to save and destroy.  But who are you to judge your neighbor?"   I am made aware that prayer is the next condition of a revival.  I must humbly seek Him and pray.  My prayer is that God would continue to open my heart to do His will and not my own.  That I would become a reflection of His love and grace. 

Throughout scripture there are many passages on seeking God.  And the results of seeking Him are pretty amazing. When I seek God He is there.  Even when I am not seeking He is still there.  Imagine that you are in a room. You are too absorbed with reading, texting, facebooking etc. to even notice that your Dad is in the room with you.  He is sitting on the chair patiently waiting for you to notice that he is there longing to have a conversation with you.  He just wants to see your face. This is how God is.  Always there waiting and wanting us to seek Him. I believe the word seek appears 368 times in the bible. Zephaniah 2:3, Psalm 27:8, 1 Chronicles 16:11, and Deuteronomy 4:29 are just a few.  When I seek God my journey seems easier and my "issues" become much lighter.   

As I continue seeking God's conditions for a revivalation revolution in my own heart I read once again in 2 Chronicles 7: 14 that I must turn from MY wicked ways. A few weeks ago one of my pastor shared a story that made me think about my own sin nature.  John Lavendar, author of "Why Prayers are Unanswered", shared a story about a pastor named Norman Vincent Peale.  When Peale was a boy, he found a big cigar and slipped into an alley to smoke it.  It didn't taste good, but it made him feel grown up...until he saw his father coming.  He quickly put the cigar behind his back and tried to act casual. Desperate to divert his father's attention, Norman pointed to a billboard advertising a circus.  "Can I go, dad? Please, let's go when it comes to town." His father's reply taught Norman a lesson he never forgot " Son" he answered quietly but firmly, "never make a petition while at the same time trying to hide a smoldering disobedience." I am totally guilty of trying to divert God's attention to my sin. I do a great job hiding my smoldering disobedience to the world around me. However, He will gently and firmly remind me that He knows my heart and my every move.  Nothing is hidden from His eye. I can no longer seek justification for my poor choices.  No more excuses for my sins.  I need to deal decisively and intentionally with my own sinful nature. Time to stop making light of my poor decisions by point at, what I believe to be, another persons grander sins than my own. In God's eye sin is sin.  He won't compare mine to another's.  

Now, today is the day! God promises that when I humble myself, pray, seek and relinquish my selfishness and incorrigible behavior, He will forgive and heal the land. My request is this.....if you have read this entry and care to see a revival in this land that you would join with me by praying for our country, our future generations and the generation at hand.  I know that if we all search our own hearts and have a desire to seek God's will He will bless each of us and revive this land. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

What one man can do

Today is the anniversary of my Dad's birth. Dad went home to be with the Lord three and a half years ago.   I think about him every day and miss his encouraging and uplifting wisdom. I would do just about anything for the sound of his laughter, his hugs and just to see his smiling eyes.  He was not just a husband to his wife, brother to his siblings, father to his children, grandfather to the grands, and friend to his friends. He was the glue that held us together so to speak.  The leader of the tribe. There is a song that occasionally lingers in my head.  John Denver's "What One Man Can Do." We played this at the memorial service as pictures danced gracefully through each verse.  Pictures of a husband, brother, father, grandfather and friend.  One man who changed to life of a multitude of people.  A leader to the "Mallon" tribe. He taught his family that is was okay to dream, love, make change and stay young. He tried to stay positive in the craziness of the world around him.  Always seeking truth and pushing his loved ones to do the same.  He was a brilliant teacher.  He saw beauty is some of the darkest places.  He loved his tribe deeply.

Family can surly be a funny thing. You can't select members that fit the "Norman Rockwell" idea of family.  It's not like a dodge ball game where the parents are the captains and they take turns picking the players. Family is a tribe.  And, the members of the tribe can, at times, be your biggest supporters.  And sometimes they can be the people who unintentionally hurt you the most. But at the end of the day we gather together and remain a tribe.

Since the leader of our tribe is no longer with us life in my tribe seems discombobulated.  Everyone seems to have either gathered their tee-pees and pitched them in distant locations.  Other, like myself,  have just pulled the zipper up and only come out to hunt and gather. Life seems to be playing out in slow motion.  And I am frustrated with the progress.  I often want to hit the rewind button.  And go back to the days when family meant more than the occasional text messages. Or a quick poke on Facebook.  Family gatherings don't seem to be a priority anymore.  I honestly can't remember the last time the tribe, as a whole, gathered together.  Maybe this is just another cycle in life.  After all scripture does tell us that a man shall leave his father and mother and cling to his wife. And they shall become one. ~Matthew 19:5  However, they will still be a part of the tribe. Right?

I am certain that the Lord desires us to lean and depend on our family, our tribe.  The greatest gift for me is, and always has been, my family. Even though Dad is no longer physically here we have a piece of him woven into each of us.  And I guess, perhaps when we are all gathered together, that is when I get the warmth of his hugs in Maria's embrace.  To hear his laughter in Thomas' belly laugh. And see his smiling eyes on Christina's face.  I see so much of him in my Mom, my children, nieces, and nephews too. This is why, for me, I long for the tribal gatherings. God is faithful.  He has called each one of us according to His purpose.  As I reflect, on the life of my Dad, I pray that today will be the beginning of a year of jubilee. And that my tribe will once again celebrate and dance around the fire.  And that we will praise God for His foundation and His faithfulness.

"It shall be a Jubilee for you; and each of you shall return to his possession, and each of you shall return to his family."~ Numbers 2:34

I suppose that there are those who'll say he had it easy
Had it made in fact before he'd ever begun
But they don't know the things I know, I was always with him
It may sound strange, we were more than friends
It's hard to tell the truth, when no one wants to listen
When no one really cares what's going on
And it's hard to stand alone, when you need someone beside you
Your spirit, your faith must be strong
What one man can do is dream, what one man can do is love
What one man can do is change the world and make it young again
Here you see what one man can do
As shaded as his eyes might be, that's how bright his mind is
That's how strong his love for you and me
A friend to all the universe, grandfather of the future
Everything that I would like to be
What one man can do is dream, what one man can do is love
What one man can do is change the world and make it new again
Here you see what one man can do
What one man can do is dream, what one man can do is love
What one man can do is change the world and make it work again
Here you see what one man can do.

"Now arise, get out of this land, and return to the land of your family."~Genesis 31:13

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day to ALL the "real" Moms!!

Happy Mother's Day.  This is a day that Moms around the country are to be celebrated.  Doesn't matter if you are rich, poor, expecting, brand new, biological, adoptive, inherited or honorary.  We are all to be celebrated!

My kids are abundantly blessed.  They have two moms.  A "natural" one and an inherited one.  And I have to admit I am pretty blessed as well to share my role as mom with such wonderful women.

I share my precious biological children with a true gift.  Her name is Denise.  She married my previous husband a few years ago.  And she instantly became a "real" mom to three crazy and very different kids.  The kids were never afraid to love Denise.  And she constantly shows them love.  From the first time I met her, at karaoke many years ago, I knew she was perfect for Chris.  And in turn she is perfect for the three kids too. I am forever thankful for her friendship and unconditional love. I am thrilled to share the mom role with such a genuine person.  And share it equally. I know that she will always be on the same level as me when it come to our kids.  We will walk down the isle as mom's on their wedding days.  We will dance and rejoice as our girls give birth.  I know this because the kids have and will always consider her happiness. Sometime they consider it more. And that is exactly how I would want it.

I am not just a mom but an inherited mom as well aka step-mom.  I have learned a lot during my journey as a step-parent.  There were many moments that I felt rejected, loved, excluded, overjoyed, cut off, liked, reluctant, and embraced. Yes, a roller coaster of emotions.  And what I can say is I am truly a blessed "real" mom.  I am thankful that my husband's previous wife, Colleen, has accepted me for the crazy person I am.  And that, even though it has been a bumpy road, I can say now, with joy in my heart, that I am honored to be a co-mom to my beautiful inherited daughters. And I am abundantly blessed to be a co-grandma with Colleen.

I have learned to accept what a lot of women would have difficulty accepting.  Jealousy could have reared it's ugly head and made our path a very ugly one to travel.  But God had bigger and better plans.  He commands me to love.  Even if it seems unnatural.  Don't get me wrong.  I loved Denise from the instant we were introduced. And I had that same agape for Colleen.   And that is only because God taught me about grace.  But to most people my relationship with Denise and Colleen is strange.  And that is okay by me.  After all I believe I am one of the strangest.  So it is only fitting. 

 My hearts desire has always been to show God's amazing grace and ever present love.  I thought that one day I would wind up with the perfect bunch.  But instead I am a part of the most imperfect perfect bunch that teaches me perfect love every day.

So, Happy Mother's Day to ALL the "real" Moms!!

Proverbs 22:6

Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.