Monday, May 11, 2015

When (We) People Unwittingly Say Things That Hurt More Than Help

It is raining hard at five a.m. and the birds are already noisily awaiting the dawn. The cloudy skies are sliding from murkiness into a more defined dull gray.
Now one raucous robin is insistently calling out a repetitive monologue.
Being awake in the wee hours always is at once a place of deep connectivity to God and profound loneliness.

Our daughter's little almost 8 week old baby boy is in the hospital since yesterday early morning. The ER docs were concerned about meningitis so after getting an IV in him and doing some blood draws and catheterizing him they added a spinal tap to the list!
It was so very necessary to rule out that terrible, yet treatable illness. It was also in and of itself terrible for her and her husband to watch him go through such a tortuous diagnostic tool after such a long sick night at home fighting to breathe through the mucous that was accumulating too fast for his little body to deal with.
She texted us to let us know they were going to the ER.
Then she texted to let us know they were admitting him.
We finally got to hear her voice and she was tired and drained and behind her resolve one could here..."I want my mom. I want someone to take care of me while I take care of my new baby boy who is so sick and I am so scared."
Yesterday was Mother's Day...

Mother's Day is a "holiday" that I used to love. Now, I have mixed feelings about it.
My mom is gone...almost five years, but this is one of those "holidays" that for anyone who has lost their mom, has a difficult or broken relationship with her or their child, wishes they were a mom, or anyone who has lost a child feels the pain in their heart not unlike that of salt being rubbed into a wound.

I will go to my daughter if she asks me to come into their struggle over 800 miles away. I will get on a plane and be there with her and her little family of four. She texted in the middle of the night that it was "a lonely feeling to be there with her baby" who was spitting up his entire feeds with so much mucous, then falling to sleep with his little IV in. She said, "I work in this place weekly. I have a deep empathy and compassion for those who must spend weeks and months in the hospital." She is an oncology nurse. You would want her for your nurse if, God forbid, you ever needed one.

Our entire family has a strong faith in God who created and designed each of us and numbered our days. We know he is mighty and powerful and able to save the helpless. We also know that he realizes we are frail like the grass that flowers in the morning yet withers at night. He is a God who weeps with us and holds us and carefully tends our hurting hearts.

There are evidently several nasty viruses that are going around right now. The doctors told our daughter and her husband that the older kids and adults can fight it off better than these new little ones can. Their 23 month old had the virus first, then the little one, and both our daughter and her husband are coming down with it now as well. He let them know that not getting their little guy into the hospital would've had disastrous consequences and the docs were so glad they had gotten him in.

I know that when people tell you that " We went through this" or "My (older) child or grandchild went through this" and "are fine" or "quickly bounced back", they are trying to help and offer some sort of encouragement. However, it FEELS like a dismissal of the real fears and struggles our family is vulnerably sharing with them, inviting them into our moment to just be there with us and offer prayer and support .
How does one let others know that they covet and appreciate their prayers, yet please do not offer platitudes or try to minimize what is going on at this time in our lives comparing this situation to one that is truly not the same, and even if they were, that is not, in my book, the definition of empathy.

I guess what I am realizing is that it is at such times we are called to take the higher ground and exhibit grace, even if what someone unwittingly does feels graceless. I also realize that I have most likely done the same unwittingly and may even do it again (although I hope I only grow in this area).
So, I rest in the knowledge that the only perfect co-sufferer and compassionate friend is Jesus and not expect all of our friends and family to respond perfectly or at times even well.

Thank you God for caring through the long night watches so far for our little Crosby. Thank you for friends and family that "get it" and for those that love us clumsily as well...they do love us, and for that I am grateful. I have loved You clumsily and yet you never alter your love towards me!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

 Complacency and lethargy swirl about the soul like a net entangling our feet. We would swim and leap through the water, gliding as we were created to do, but cannot. We would embrace our days and move through them with purposeful energy, but this lethargy is a shadowy weight that causes mind and body both to respond with a sluggishness that fatigues a person more than any hard labor ever would. What or whom is the origin of such lethargy? Hmmm...Oh, but that we would respond like the Psalmist! 

Psalm 57:

"5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
let your glory be over all the earth.
6 They spread a net for my feet—
I was bowed down in distress.
They dug a pit in my path—
but they have fallen into it themselves.
7 My heart, O God, is steadfast,
my heart is steadfast;
I will sing and make music.
8 Awake, my soul!
Awake, harp and lyre!
I will awaken the dawn.
9 I will praise you, Lord, among the nations;
I will sing of you among the peoples.
10 For great is your love, reaching to the heavens;
your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
11 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
let your glory be over all the earth."

And so in my heart being steadfast to God, I will sing and make music and awaken the dawn! 
Thank you God that you are stronger than our enemy who uses my flesh against me to render me inactive in my pursuit of you and all that you have for me! Just keeping my eyes on you...let's me awaken the dawn! Wow!!!!
"But I will sing about your strength. 

In the morning I will joyfully sing 
about your mercy." Psalm 59:16

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Why IS Enough Not

It is crazy the way we consume and then consume to store what we've consumed and then have sales and make donations to make more room to consume more!!!!!
STOP! I want off!!! 

I have been hungering for space in my life since 2004. It's in my prayer journals and in my devotions and written on my heart!
Then why has it taken this long to let go?
Because I didn't want God more than anything or anyone else in my life, plain and simple.

I so often have felt like this... 
but... all I do is this...

It is, was , will ALWAYS be my's a heart problem. The more cluttered my life gets the more distracted I am from what really matters.


that's a good coping or defense mechanism, but ULTIMATELY...

I miss the real life I was meant to live and lose touch with the real person I was created to be because...

I have lost sight, I have lost touch with one true, faithful, forever LOVER of MY SOUL!

He always is here.
He always is in love with me and calling me.
He always wants to just be with me and to bask in one another's presence.

I  have filled up the empty times, places, spaces, and seasons in my life with STUFF...good and bad STUFF.

Well, I am tired, fatigued, and weary because nothing, no activity, no person, no ministry, no addiction can replace the very source and Love of my life.

It's funny. I am a creative artistic type, but have a strong desire for order. I have never been able to figure that out...and maybe never will...but MAYbe...just MAYbe... some of that is because I have been unsettled and distracted like Martha. 


Luke 10: 41-42

"Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "You are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed - or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her."

Martha wasn't wrong to serve, but she was possibly motivated not out of love and devotion to her Jesus, but perhaps for baser reasons. Reasons such as approval, acceptance, prestige, and on and on. We've all been there and done that! 
I have lost much time with that mindset far too often. I sense my God has been grooming me to quiet myself and let go on so many levels that it has been scary and difficult, and yet exhilarating and freeing. The things of this world, this life we think is oh so has been slowly losing it's flavor for me, like gum that's been chewed too long. 
God knows me and knew just how long I would dawdle. He knew my tolerance for staying with "fillers" and "fluff" and the idols that would never fill me up or quench my thirst...and He just waited and loved me and gently spoke terms of endearment to me. Sigh! What a lover He is! What a pursuer of my heart he has been. finally broke through and into my numbed out mind and heart and said, "I'm here, I've been waiting. What a sweet journey we will have in this life and after!" 
I will stray back sometimes. I will heed the call of the sirens. I also know, that it is less often and that I more quickly find myself back at His feet, letting Him stroke my hair and speak truth and light and life into me...filling me up. 
Psalm 63:1-8
(When David was in the desert)
You God,are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you, 
My whole being longs for you,
In a dry and parched land where there is no water.
I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and glory.
Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.
I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;
With singing lips my mouth will praise you.
On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of the night.
Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings.
I cling to you,
Your right hand upholds me. 

What more could I need? He is enough.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Once Again It's 4 a.m. 

So many things could be waking me up.
Is it the 12 hour decongestant I took at 8 a.m. yesterday morning?
Is it my "time of life"... again?
Is it the "blue light" stimulation from being on the computer too close to bedtime?
Is it the recurring back stiffness and at times pain from this herniated disc?
Do one of these things awaken me, but then my mind switches to the "on" mode?

Images and thoughts come unbidden into the half awake/half asleep place.
I finally realize I have been awake too long to stay in bed and go back to sleep.
I have to get up, make my beloved fragrant hot Aveda Comfort Tea/ Sinus Soother Sleepytime cocktail, sit in the semi-darkness of dimmed lights and get the thoughts out of my head.

The images and thoughts are so many things...
Too many things to write out here...
God, You know I desire to sleep deep and undisturbed. You know that it has so long been an issue, so I trust you in this...again.

I feel secure in you when I fall to sleep and what can I do but turn to you when I "fall awake"?
I lay my sighs before you and all those things that make up those sighed prayers...all those concerns, all those images of people I love, people I know or have met, and those murky images of the past or of an unknown future.
I know you hear me, I want to wait in expectation, but I also want to sleep...the deep restful sleep that I seem to remember from some time a very long time ago.

The furnace cycles on, the house creaks as cold areas warm up, I have finished my tea and and as David the Psalm-writing king did I also I offer my words, my sighs, my cries, my prayers, my voice, and my request to You O Lord.
Help me to wait in sit with you a while and just be in your know you.