So many take walking for granted. It’s a work in progress. Today I must rest so I can attend church tomorrow . I pushed too hard yesterday.
I walk leaning on a grocery cart. It is safe, A/C controlled and if I get in trouble there are people around. Besides, people can be interesting.
Then there are those that are not interesting. The toddler in the cart looked at me and asked if I had a baby in my tummy. At times like these, handicapped or not, I just want to give up and go home. The mom nervously laughed, fussed at the child about not saying such things and pushed quickly down the aisle. It was not the child’s fault. Who taught her? Damage was done. I think she was #2 below, Indulging parent.
Truth is, “out of the mouths of babes” means unsuspected wisdom, not misunderstood truths. One of my earlier blogs, Sand Buckets, deals with when a child is ready to learn more about God and spiritual truths. However, it should be applied to all complex facts and truths.
They are all different. Here is an excerpt:
Take time to fill their ‘buckets’
Imagine that your infant arrives on this earth with an empty sand bucket. It is every parents job to raise that child with their bucket.
ACONTROLLINGparent will walk through life holding the child and the bucket deciding everything that goes in the bucket. That may work in the first few years, but what does the child learn other than being a puppet or robot – a ‘mini-me’. Their views of God will be shallow in that they never learned to seek Him and His truths, they just repeat what they are told.
AnINDULGINGparent sits the child down on the ground and gives them the bucket loaded with all the information and toys of life. They want their child to have it all and everyone to brag on them. They want them to have all the advantages. They want everyone to pat them, the parent, on the back for their smart and successful child. They overwhelm the child with knowledge and trinkets, taking away their natural pattern of mental, emotional and spiritual growth. The children are ‘force fed’ life way too fast. God is in the mix, but He is not clearly defined. He is on equal footing with appearance, education and success.
A SELF-CENTERED parent may seem to be over-indulgent. In truth, they find it easier to give things instead of time. So while indulging the child in their whims and over flowing their buckets too fast, they are doing it as a baby-sittIng device so that they, the parent, have more time for themselves. They may do the obligatory take them to S.S., church and/or VBS but, will do little to influence their child in spiritual matters themselves. These parents are all about me and their own bucket. If their child learns about God it will be on their own as their parent has little interest in their spiritual life.
And last, anINVOLVED parent is the parent that is prayerfully seeking how to raise their child. They have the manual, God’s word, before them. Their child comes here and they hold them in one arm and their bucket in another. The time comes when they sit the child down and help the child to select things to put in their bucket. At times the bucket becomes heavy, and they help their child carry the bucket. The time will come when they can carry two buckets. They hold on to their young firmly at first, then as they grow the palm loosens ever so slightly and finally opened as they are on their own. However, the hand is always outstretched ready to grasp or be grasped throughout their life.
This trend of overloading kids with agendas, truths, facts and information they were never intended to handle is disastrous in so many ways. Beyond hurting an unsuspecting stranger, their innocence is stolen. You cannot give it back.
Products on the market aim at making your kid smarter, teach them to read faster, make your child gifted. All children are gifted in one way or another. Allow them their own gift and quit forcing academics and facts too early. Allow them to grow and learn. The proverbial “too much on their plate” is beginning earlier every half decade. No longer applied to just adults, it engulfs young innocent children in the way of too many facts.
Answer the questions they ask and do not force feed information they do not need yet or have asked you for. Allow them their childhood.
From agendas and politics to academics, we are stealing their childhood.
The headache woke me this morning as it always has for 1,464 days. Some nights the nuero pain blocker med gets me to almost 5am. Some nights 12:30am or 3:30 am. No rhyme no reason. I can only take the minimum dose 3x’s a day and be functional. It is what it is, and that is okay.
Looking back to Father’s Day 6/21/15, I realize how far I have come. I can write, sometimes read several paragraphs without starting over. No rhyme or reason to the damage area’s lasting effects on my brain functions.
On that day 4 years ago, it would seem there was not a rhyme or reason to what I was experiencing or what was to come. If I had been given a choice I would have sad, “No thanks Lord, just take me home.” There would be many times I would ask Him for that in months to come. It was not a suicidal thought or depression issue, as doctors insisted I would have. It was just I was in such pain, like I had never known. I knew pain, fear… I thought, until this happened.
2015 ~ For days my head hurt. I felt, odd. Something was wrong. By Father’s Day it was worse. Maybe the pressure, maybe my brain bleed started small. Had it leaked for days? No one knows. I remember going through the ER doors. My husband says I talked after the MRI. I do not remember that test. I remember fighting to not be put in the helicopter for the life-flight to Tampa General. I remember the EMT guy’s big mustache. Brain’s weird.
I remember the word “pray”. Couldn’t. I remember, “need pray”. Bits and pieces, phrases of Scripture. Not whole scriptures or references. Just key words and phrases. God has a provision for when we cannot pray. He thought of every detail.
Romans 8:26-28 NASB “In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes foruswith groanings too deep for words;and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according tothe will ofGod. And we know that causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according toHis purpose.”
The pressure of the air flight made my head hurt so bad. Maybe the DVA ruptured then. Maybe it already had. Maybe it bled more. I bled over and into the brain, a double bleed. It left a lesion. Everywhere blood touches it kills brain cells, the only cell our body will not replace. I was born with the DVA. All those years of migraines. Never found in any test. Why now? What rhyme or reason?
I landed. Taken straight for surgery. But, one of our pastors, Dr. Dowdy, arrived and was waiting when they brought me in. He asked to pray for me first. God had sent someone to pray. The scripture I kept vaguely trying to utter. Pray. The Holy Spirit prayed for me. My daughter had people praying. She started with her long time friend, Dr. Dowdy’s daughter Liz. Liz called her dad. He headed to the hospital and was there before Phil arrived (coming from FL Hospital by car). Rhyme and reason. God’s plan.
The bleeding stopped, the pressure dropped. The surgery canceled. I am so glad they did not drill into my brain. Prayer changed things. It always does. Had I died, their prayers would have still been answered. I would be healed and in Heaven. Sometimes we do not realize healing is here, or there. There was a rhyme and reason. I just could not see either.
MRIs, EKGs, EEGs, CATs
So much bloodwork my veins unusable. Blood clots in my arms. ￼
Funny compression bags on my legs.
room at 60°. The nurses in sweaters bringing heated blankets to Phil (yeah some things you just stay mad about).
head surrounded by ice packs
headache, oh the headache
Would it ever end? What was the rhyme or reason to all of this confusion?
10 days in ICU then to the Nuerology floor. The nurse who took a disliking to me so he removed my IVs (once gone doctors orders were I could be discharged). The nurse was fine until he walked in on someone praying for me. For some rhyme or reason he didn’t like what he saw. His demeanor changed. The praying had changed things. He pulled out my IVs and within hours I went from the ICU to the floor, then I was discharged to home. I never went to a rehab.
My IV arm began to swell. The seizures started. Back to the hospital I went for five more days. Rhyme? Reason? That nurse walked into my room, his face froze; he left quickly. He never entered my room again. The admitting nurse had asked about my arm so I told her. I guess he had been reported.
Only God knows His plans and reasons. He does not always tell us why. We can trust He has a reason and let it go. God is sovereign.
So four years have past and I live with a headache, comfortably. Oxymoronic, I know. There is no rhyme or reason why in my way of thinking. I will never know all the “whys”. I just have to know, God’s plan, not mine. He has a “rhyme and reason” to the smallest details of our life. God is sovereign.
Some people meet me and think I am normal. Quit laughing. (Some of you are thinking she was never normal.) I do not want pity, never have. But, there is a rhyme and reason for my pain. It is part of my life, part of my testimony.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “16 “Rejoice always;17 pray without ceasing;18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Not “for” all things, “in” all things. Big difference. God is sufficient . I do not thank God for the pain or the circumstances that brought me to this point. I thank Him for His plan, His rhyme and reason for the details. I thank Him that He is sovereign.
We have no idea what pain people live with in their lives: spiritually, physically, emotionally or mentally. Much ofwhich seems to not have rhyme or reason. I guess what I am trying to impart is to trust God with the details. We do not need to know the rhyme and reason. Trust His sovereignty.
As my headachesubsides to the statusquo of the day, I can move on with the daly routines. I do not fret overthat I still have my headache or let it hinder me. It is part of my life. I can trust God‘s plan and that He has a rhyme and reason. I can trust in His sovereignty.
As only a child would think he voiced, “Let’s go find the rest of it!” Simple logic. He knew it was all there…. somewhere, and he wanted to go looking. If only we had the faith of a child.
Matthew 18:2-4 New (NASB) 2 And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, 3 and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
God’s Word has the whole picture, all the answers. Unfortunately, as we grow up in The Lord, we tend to forget where to look for the answers. We forget our lessons learned and fail to return to study and search more. We have read so many devotions and been to so many Bible studies; heard so many preachers that we act as though we have heard it all.
We never see all of the rainbow. That is because of what is on the horizon, it blocks the whole view. We never know all about God either. Our view is blocked by our horizon, our life on earth. Sin has corrupted the view of God on earth. Our earthly minds are too small to grasp all His truths and plans. Even if He showed us all of His plan, we could not grasp it, much less even remember all the details. So we must trust His plan and have faith. We hear it all the time but we cannot even grasp that concept.
God made us, so He knows us. He provided His Word for us to know Him and the Holy Spirit to help us. We decide we have heard it all before and read it all. We close ourselves all up and are in a spiritual room with no doors or windows. We take our last spiritual breath and try to hold it. Then we become spiritually dead. There is always more if we return to the Source. Open His door, His Word and breathe again. You cannot breathe it all in so quit trying. One breath at a time is all you need.
Knowledge of God comes bit by bit. The wisest man I ever knew was 97 years old when he died. David Fant read God’s word every day. As an engineer he would stand in front of his engine at every depot and read God’s Word to the passengers as they went by him. He was known as the engineer-evangelist, God’s “Ambassador On Rails”. He had a brass plate on the front of his engine shaped like a Bible with “The Word Is Truth” inscribed. We in the church called him “Dad Fant“. He is responsible for finding the land and helping establish Tocooa Falls Bible College. I never new a finer Biblical scholar or Godly man. He never stopped seeking to know God more. No matter how much he understood or knew there was always more for him to learn. He knew that there was always more to know about God and he would never be finished.
We grow physically older and mature. We are never as old as the last breath we breathe. Our spiritual life is no different. We will only know Him more each day we breathe in His Word. Each breath should make us younger and more childlike in our faith. We may forget Scriptures we have memorized as we age and our minds fail, but, we trust Him. We know we can stand on His Word and truths, His promises. They will never fail. His Word never returns void. Once we have read and heard His Word it never fails us.
Isaiah 55:11 “So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.“
May we all return to humble, childlike faith and keep searching for Him breath by breath.
I once told a child of mine it was going to take Heaven for them to make eleven. They were 10 and driving me insane. Good news. We both made it. They graduated College, married with kids. The point is not that we get pushed to our limits with our kids. It is what we do with that limit’s line. It is just so easy to give into them.
Drawing lines. Boundaries. We make them, we move them. Why? When did we become so pliant as parents?
A proverb, not a promise. They still have free will.
“Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 (NASB)
The Potter molds the clay. The clay does not tell the clay what to do. Sometimes there is harsh molding, sometimes, gentle strokes, so light and fine, but, there. It depends on the desired effect. Changing the design midstream does not add to the finished project. It weakens it and sometimes destroys it. Remember, just as God is the Potter to His children, you are a potter to yours. Parenting is being the potter. It is a long and tedious process. Taking your hands off and letting them spin out of control results in catastrophe. Sometimes shattered forever. Although, The Potter never makes mistakes, although we do as clay molders. Will there be flaws and defects? Probably. We have them and we have The Potter molding us. Stubborn clay.
Firm molding, hands on. Or, tough love. Call it what you like. I taught mine that every child has a right to a place to sleep, food to eat and an education. And I told them (many times to their chagrin) that no where, no way does that mean they get their own private bedrooms with all the smart technology. No where, no way does that mean they get designer drinks at the local cafe, lobster, steaks and expensive desserts. No where, no way does that mean they get private school when homeschooling or a local good public school is available.
I raised mine with no technology in their bedrooms. Computer was in the family room. They had an alarm clock, and extension to our landline for group school work or team calls. No cell phones, computers or music technology were in their room. They could take a player in to listen to music quietly as they studied. No head phones. That was a place to sleep and study. They were class “A” personalities, in public schools, they each obtained 5 Varsity letters. Education at church and school came first. They earned the plus treats. They were guaranteed a place to sleep, peanut butter sandwiches or school lunches, and bus rides to school. They earned their own bedroom, waffles, pancakes, packed lunches, home-cooked meals, fast food trips, and all theactivity fees plus mom’s taxi to all the extra curricular activities. I put as much as 30,000 miles a year on those taxi’s and as many of their friends as that mini van could carry.
Yes, we gave up the upgrades to a bigger house (we had 1500 sq ft), fantastic vacations, my career job and all that would have afforded. I worked at their schools instead. But, as they strove under my boundaries to achieve, we did all we could to enrich their lives. We still took beach trips occasionally, camped, hiked and went to the water and amusement parks in summer. You just need to set boundaries by the best children’s manual, The Bible, and stick to them.
If you are raising your children with champagne taste on a beer budget, as the colloquialism says, then it is time to take a step back. Why are we putting the pressure on them to live that way? Why are we putting that kind of pressure on the family? Because of our desire to fit in for appearance sake? No, labels on clothes are not wrong. I bought them … on the sale rack? I never bought for the sake of the label. If it was the best buy then that was fine. There was such satisfaction in getting something they wanted on sale. But, there are good clothes, foods, etc. that are not the best appeal to the world. So why do you care what the world thinks? Why would you want to teach a child to do what is okay with others when it is not okay with God? What kind of stewardship are you teaching them? What kind of life will they try to lead on those kind of values?
God’s opinion matters, the world’s does not. It may be painstaking to detoxify your kids and give them a reality check, and by that, I mean a God check. It may take a lesson on The Beatitudes: Attitudes to Be. But, it is much better than the judgement day check we will all receive, both parent and child, if we do not realign ourselves with Biblical values.
Or any other adjective for ‘MOM”. I understand there are legal purposes where there are adjectives needed to protect a child and or give permission of care. But, that says what they are, not who they are. At some point in time these women must decided to be a mom in actions, not just name.
Not all women that give birth are mom’s. Neither are those that have to take on raising a family member’s children. They might be mothers but they are nothing close to a mothering person. Even if a birth mother keeps their child and raises them, that does not make them a mom. Mom. Mother. We have lost the real meanings of these words.
I stood in the grocery line. The little child, maybe 5 or 6, still clutched the coloring book they had found following behind their adult. She called her mom. But, she was not a mom. Yes, I am judging. But, the evidence was right there in front of the cashier and other shoppers. Eyes rolled, mouths grimaced, fists clinched as we all watched the child. “Mom, she pleaded. It’s all I want. It’s not much.” The mom yanked it out of her hand and shoved it on the magazine rack. “No, I said. I don’t have the money for it.” The little girl had dirty nails. Her hair had not been brushed. Their were stains on her too big clothes; probably hand-me-downs. Her feet were dirty in her flip flops a size too small. The bug bites on her legs were many, some red and looked infected. The mom was a different story. She had on an expensive brand’s label tennis shoes. Her manicure and even tan costly. Her makeup was perfection, her hair layered and highlighted. Her yoga pants (she was not in yoga class – another blog) and top also showed a brand name. Expensive, colored tattoos across her front and upper torso as well as her arms and a leg decorated her body. Her purse also had a designer label. She had two cases of label beer on the grocery conveyor belt and had just asked for brand name cigarettes. The kids cereal, bulk and generic, were next to her power drinks and a package of sushi. I did not see any milk. But, there was generic water. One can only assume.
You guessed it. She whipped out her food stamps for the allowed food items. I glanced at the magazine rack where the coloring book was shoved. A big, red $1.99 was in the right corner. “It’s all I want. It’s not much”…. “I don’t have the money for it.” Translates, I don’t have money for you, time for you. The bottom line. At what cost are you willing to be a mom first and you last?
Mom. Mother. Words that have lost their meanings. We have so labeled them with adjectives that we have diluted them into generic terms. Stay at home, work out of the home. Does not matter. Mom matters. Yes, there are women that need to work for money. There is no choice. There are, however, more and more women that choose to work for bigger houses, better things. And, sadly, more and more find a way to stay at home and be paid by the government but, do not use the money on their kids. Every woman decides how much their kids are worth. When did it become acceptable to put more value on yourself than your child?
Mother ~ Love. Caring. Nurturer. Self-sacrificing. Giver. Comforter. Available. Listener. Sympathizer. Empathizes. And much, much more.
A Mom is…
Being a good mom is taught from generation to generation. With each generation fewer and fewer mothers are raising the next generation. They are giving over to societies views and accepting their terms. More and more mothers are self centered, selfish, me first women. The children are too costly in time, money, convenience. They call themselves mother, even good mothers. Sadly, they do not even know what a good mother is today. We need role models. Moms to stand up and be moms; God first, kids and husband as a priority. A true mother may be somewhere down in the double digits in priority.
Mom. She gives her all and is ridiculed in today’s society. She is worthless in their eyes. She is a stay at home, non working mom. Really? She is more than just mom. She is the mom that fills the gaps at schools, communities, churches and neighborhoods. She may not get paid, but she works outside of the home. Sometimes so much so that she is up late at night and early in the morning to complete all the chores for her own. She may also be the works for pay mom that fills in gaps, cramming 36 hours into 24. She is a real mom. She is selfless. She is exhausted. And, she is worthless in the eyes of the world. Worthless? Not in God’s eyes. She is valuable and rare.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future. 26 She opens her mouth in wisdom, And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. 27 She looks well to the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness. 28 Her children rise up and bless her; Her husband also, and he praises her, saying: 29 “Many daughters have done nobly, But you excel them all.” 30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who [s]fears the Lord, she shall be praised. 31 Give her the [t]product of her hands, And let her works praise her in the gates.