Just another WordPress.com site

Archive for April, 2012

Another Day, Another Chance

Well, I am excited today to once again wake up and have the opportunity to write for my Lord. This is a luxury that many Christians take advantage of. Waking up! Some folks did not wake up this morning. I remember when I was about 8 years old; there was a gas leak in the apartment my family lived in. They say natural gas is odorless; however, I smelled something odd and alerted my parents.  I have always had a very sensitive nose. If anything in my own place smells “odd,” I have no problem with getting down on the floor and sniffing around for a good while until I find the source. Well, that night my nose saved my family’s life. I should say God saved my family’s life because he gave me this nose for a reason. Although I probably would have gone to heaven at that point, God was not done with me yet. He had something he wanted to do with my life. Would you believe that as an adult I once again sniffed out a natural gas leak at another home I was living in? It was a gas leak outside that was seeping into my children’s window due to the roots of the plant life in our yard breaking through the line. Or so I was told. That is two times God saved my life with this Toucan Sam nose of mine. He must really have a great purpose for me. He has a great purpose for all of us!

Image

A lot of times people feel abandoned by God. Or maybe they have let sin into their life and it has placed a barrier between them and God. This happened to me as well. There was a point where I was not living my life for God and became completely numb. This has happened on more than one occasion unfortunately. However, God went the extra mile to show me that although I had moved, he was still where he had always been. I was standing in church with my aunt feeling sorrow. My sorrow was from the numbness I felt towards God. I thought he had given up on me at this point. As I listened to the message that was preached, I noticed out of the corner of my eye that the lady sitting next to me kept looking over like she wanted to say something. She had this look on her face like something had come over her. Indeed it did. That something was the Holy Spirit. I cannot remember her exact words, but the message was clear. God wanted me to know that he had not given up on me.  He knew my pain at that moment and used this woman that I had never met to tell me this. She could never understand how badly I needed to hear those words. I had believed a lie. Satan is the master of lies and he had numbed me to the point that I could no longer feel for God. However, God unthawed me at that moment and gave me hope. He loves me! He really loves me! He didn’t have to go the extra mile to reach me, but he did. He could have waited for me to come to him, but he reached out. That is how much he loves us. God has no pride. We as humans will stop talking to those who offend us (GUILTY) and wait for them to come apologize or make the first move. However, God does not work that way. He wants so badly for us to be a part of his kingdom that he is willing to take a step towards us rather than waiting. Amen to the loving God we serve.

Image

If you read this blog and it speaks to your heart, know that it is not by coincidence.  I have done some terrible things in my life. I have hurt people that I love which was the greatest shame for me. Everyday Satan whispers in my ear that I cannot have that relationship back with God. He reminds me every day of things I have done and puts doubt in me. However, God keeps speaking to me and through me. Even Jesus, the most perfect person to ever walk this earth was confronted with Satan’s lies. I look at it this way; the moments you are under attack are those moments when you are doing something right. Why should Satan attack those he already has a grasp on? It’s those he is losing that he comes after with full force. It’s those who can do the most to enhance God’s kingdom that he takes the most interest in. A pastor at my church described Satan best when he said that he is “like” a lion. He is not a lion, because if he were, he would devour you. However, he does not have that power. He stated “He is like a kitten with a megaphone.” We hear “RAWWWWRRR” and become frightened, when his power is really that of a wee whittle kitty (Pastor Jamal of Chapel Hill).

God has given each one of us unique gifts to use for his glory. He doesn’t bless us so we can bless ourselves. Many people play the lottery and say that they will give a large portion of money to charity if they win. Whether they will or not, God only knows. However, I have heard many people say “Why is it that the people who will do good deeds with the money never win?” I wondered that myself for a long time. Then came the answer! If you read the scripture you will find a quote from Jesus saying “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Why is it so hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God? Think about it. When do people call on God the most? In times of need! As people gain money and worldly success, they become more dependent on that money for happiness and less dependent on God, if at all. God can work better with someone who is humble and broken. A preacher at a church I used to attend said that his favorite place to preach was at funerals…..Broken and humble hearts. People were more willing to listen because they were hurting and looking for comfort. God sees the big picture that we are incapable of seeing. He knows what we have in store and nothing on this earth can compare to it. He asks us not to place such a big emphasis on worldly things which is like trying to grasp hold of the wind (Eccles).

Image

God has a great purpose for us and this life is only a whisper. Once it is over, there is no chance to do it again. You must make the most of the time you have been given. Any moment you waste is a moment you are accountable for. So much suffering exists in this world and each one of us can have an impact on someone’s life. The best way to show others God’s love is to love them when they are not so loveable. That is a hard thing to do, but what God calls us to do. Don’t waste your time listening to Satan’s lies. Seek out God now as if tomorrow will never come. Seek him out as if you may not wake up tomorrow morning. Be thankful that he has given you another day….another chance.

Image

Advertisements

A Step in the Right Direction

I remember being a little girl and having what I would call a “healthy fear of God.” This seemed to be a fear my own children were lacking and I was becoming concerned. From the age of 5, I was well aware of the consequences of a lie. Not only was it wrong in the sight of God, but it would earn me a good swat! However, I took “no lying” to an entirely different level. “Veronica, were you just picking your nose?” my mother asked.

“Yes mom, I did. I don’t want to lie.” Yes, that’s right….honest Abe! There was nothing I wouldn’t tell my parents for fear of offending the Lord if I withheld information. I remember standing in the kitchen with my mom and grandmother telling them about my first breakup. I was in kindergarten. “I had to break up with one of my boyfriends. I didn’t think it was right having two.” I remember how stunned my grandmother was that I had said these words.

“She’s honest.” she said. As a mother, I can imagine all of the laughter my own mom had held in as I acknowledged each one of my 5 year old crimes. I didn’t even understand what Heaven truly entailed at that age. In my mind I visualized fluffy clouds and streets made of gold. I would have wings and a cheerio floating over my head. However, it sounded better to me than the ladder. As I grew older, that fear would subside a bit and I would see it’s affects on my own children.

The past five years of my life have probably been the busiest. I graduated from college, had my third child and moved all the way across the country, started a job…..only to quit that job and move down south!  However, in the time that I was doing ALL of these things, God was never included. I didn’t have time for him. Therefore my life became chaotic and in shambles. My marriage was a mess and my children were now becoming a product of all of that chaos. Worst of all, they were lying to me! Lying was like breathing air to these little monsters! They were lying because they feared the punishment if I knew the truth, but not the punishment from God for not telling it. “Gabbie, did you hit your sister?”

“No!”

“Then why does she have a big red hand print on her arm?”

“I don’t know!”

“Are you lying to me?”

“No…”

“Stand in the corner.” Clearly the evidence was enough; yet, as a parent I wanted her to tell me the truth. I wanted her to realize that lying and hurting her sister was wrong. Still, as a mother I was no living example of how a person should live their life. As I grew older, I grew further away from God. Lying became much easier for me as a new feeling of numbness set in. So how could I expect my children to live a life that I myself was not living? Something had to change and that something was me. What a tough pill to swallow as a parent.

I had recently rededicated my life to God. I asked him to take the numbness away and help me lead my family to him. However, one of my greatest failures in parenting came recently when my child mimicked something she had heard from a movie I had allowed her to watch. Then again, she could have heard it from me as my husband and I were not trying very hard to filter our language. It was late at night and the girls were supposed to be in bed. Nevertheless, they were fighting as usual. Gabrielle was trying to go to sleep but her sister would not quit talking. I was sitting on the computer when Gabrielle walked into my room and said “Mommy, Christina just said a bad word to me!”

“What did she say Gabbie?” I asked.

“She said she was going to kick my (edit#$%^&).” It was that moment you see in the movie “A Christmas Story” where Ralphie has a slip of the tongue in front of his dad. NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I thought.

“Christina! You come here.” I said.

“I don’t wanna come here.” She said. So I then proceeded to walk into her bedroom and probe her about “the word.”

“Did you tell your sister that you were going to…..”

“No! She’s lying!”

“Christina, you better tell me the truth!” I said angrily.

“I didn’t mean it! I’m sorry….I’m sorry!” she yelled with tears coming out of her eyes. At that moment I realized that this was my fault. My kids were a product of me and their words reflected my parenting. I had her stand with her nose to the wall as punishment and then sent her to bed. When I walked back into the room my husband was laughing. “I can’t believe she said that!” he laughed. He was trying to do so quietly though because he didn’t want her thinking it was funny or ok. I knew why she had done it though. She didn’t have that same understanding that I had as a child. It wasn’t the punishment of my parents I feared the most, but disappointing God by disappointing them. I had not instilled that in her.

So finally discussion day came. I sat with my girls and read passage after passage out of the Bible about obeying your parents. I wanted them to understand that I am not just asking them to obey us because it is pleasing to me, but because it pleases God. I also explained to them that I knew they were lying when they did so and that they would be in less trouble if they told me the truth than if I caught them in a lie.  A little time had passed and I had finally seen the positive results of that discussion. Gabbie had not told me the truth about something. However, I knew in the back of my mind that she hadn’t. The difference from every other time she had lied was that this time I didn’t have to drag it out of her. She came to me and said “Mommy, I didn’t tell you the truth.” She could never understand how much that meant to me. She finally understood and I as a parent put an imprint in my child’s life that was positive. There are still many more years to come, but I finally felt as though my parenting had taken a step in the right direction.

Amen…………….

“But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.” Matthew 15:18

Pot Pies, Shots and Open Eyes

Yesterday I found myself having one of those moments where I was ready to crawl into a corner, lie in the fetal position and suck my thumb for a good while. What was going on? My life felt so chaotic. My oldest daughter was working on her homework and kept saying “Mommy, I need your help with this.”

“Gabrielle, read the directions honey. You know how to do this.” Lately I had become increasingly irritated with Gabrielle and her homework mishaps. I felt myself going into micromanage mode. “Why do you write so neatly here, but not here?” I would probe her. Then of course there was the day before when I had told her to fill in the correct missing letters for each word…..AR, OR and IR. The word was “Forty,” but as I reviewed Gabbie’s homework I noticed that she put “Farty.” When I pointed it out, she laughed which then lead me to laugh. She knew exactly what she had done. How do I get this child to take her homework seriously? I thought. She had not been working to her potential in school and I was frustrated to see her making the same mistakes over and over again. I remember the day her teacher sent some old assignments home. On one of the assignments Gabbie was supposed to write her teacher’s name, Mrs. Humes. Well, instead she wrote “Mrs. Humps.” I had been questioning if I was doing enough. Am I a bad parent?

I have to make dinner. I thought to myself. Pot pies it is! I feel like having a VERY simple meal tonight. At this point I was waiting on my husband to walk in the door with my younger child Christina. He took her to the doctor’s to get her shots. However, she did not go out the door with this knowledge. Some might say that is cruel, however, they have not had to deal with the super human strength my children obtain when they hear the word “shot.”

At the age of 4, Gabrielle was experiencing some bone marrow issues in her leg and needed her blood drawn. It’s hard enough to get this child through a shot. I thought to myself. Having her actually sit still with a needle hanging out of her arm long enough for the nurse to get what she needed was just not going to happen. However, like every mother I had high hopes. I will just hold her down. Or better yet, her daddy will hold her down! Yes, he is much stronger. Doomsday had arrived. I sat in the waiting room very pregnant with my son Logan and holding on to my daughter Christina who was at the age where she wanted to explore every ounce of territory she could walk on. Lord, give me strength! Nick had already taken Gabrielle back and I was waiting to see any sign of life from the back room. Finally, Nick walks out with a very distraught child in his arms. The next thing I see is Gabbie’s hand come across her daddy’s face. SMACK! I could tell my husband was very angry. “You stop that!” he scolded her. She wanted down and was ready to make a break for it. “She smacked the nurse.” he said to me. He further explained that the nurse had gone to stick the needle in Gabrielle’s arm and she smacked the nurse’s hand and told her “no.”

“So did they get the blood?” I eagerly asked.

“Not all of it.” he said. I was very disappointed. This meant we would be making another trip back only to go through this horror once again. I just couldn’t understand how these two adults could not hold down a 4 year old. However, it wasn’t even two adults that had tried to hold her down. From the back room, I see a very large, male staff member walk out. His description is very similar to that of Michael Clarke Duncan of “The Green Mile.” Wait a second. That guy was back there too? I thought to myself. She had fought them all off, including him. Was she possessed? Where was this strength coming from? The last time I saw a display of strength like this from her was when I took her to the dentist.

So now here I sat, three years later waiting for my younger daughter Christina to come in and give me the look of death and betrayal. I wonder if she will even want to talk to me. I thought. Then I heard the door open and up the stairs my little Christina ran. I picked her up and looked into her little sad, brown eyes. I waited for her to say something and out of her mouth came the words “I have to pee!”

“Ok. Go ahead.” I said. So when she got done, I was given the horror story.

“They poked me in my legs!” I saw her Band-Aids when she had pulled down her pants. Then I asked my husband Nick for the report.

“How did it go?”

“Well, when we got there, I told her that she was getting shots. I laid it out to her. She said ok. They gave her the first two shots in the one leg and she did fine. When they got to the second leg, she did cry.” he said. I felt the warm tears filling up my eyes. “Oh, don’t cry babe. She is fine.” he said. Indeed she was. She was running around later that night pulling off her Band-Aids and showing her sister the battle wounds.

“Look Gabbie! That’s my blood on the Band-Aid.” she said. I couldn’t help but laugh. I got the kids their pot pies, but was feeling very rushed at this point. Gabbie needed to get her homework done. I had a Bible study group to attend at 7:00pm. I needed all of the kids to be fed. Logan, my youngest child, had been running around the house making as much noise as possible. He grabbed his sisters chocolate milk and ran up the stairs shouting “It’s mine! It’s mine.” I grabbed the milk from him as drops splashed the floor and gave it back to his sister.  I picked him up to carry him upstairs with his legs and arms flailing about. I set him free, only for him to run back down the stairs and do donuts around the kitchen and living room area. I’ll put him in his chair. I thought. That I did!

“Sit here and let me get you your pie.” I said. He was really happy to hear the word “pie.” I knew in my head how disappointed he would be when he saw that this pie was filled with carrots and chicken, not apples or cherries. I went upstairs and sat down to read my cousin Nicole Swort’s latest blog titled “Digging for Laughter.” At that moment, God really spoke to my heart about my children. Here I sat so irritated with my very wound up child and my cousin was going through the same battle thousands of miles away. It’s not just me. So I then go to check on my son to see if he has made any progress eating his pot pie. I notice that he had poured his orange juice into the pie shell. He hadn’t eaten a bite. I couldn’t even get angry. I just turned my head and laughed. It was as though he was trying to send me the message that the only pies he would be eating around these parts is those with fruit in them…..hence the orange juice.

This morning I got my little Gabrielle ready for school. I wrapped myself up in her giant monkey blanket and sat on the front porch watching her as she stood and waited for the bus across the street. I felt myself having an emotional moment. I thought back to the days when she was a curly haired, fat little babe who would drop her stuffed animals to the ground outside of her crib so she could hoist herself over and land on them in an attempt to escape confinement. It didn’t seem like that long ago. It wasn’t that long ago! I have been so hard on her. Here I was trying to make sure that she was living up to the standards of this world, when God’s standards were what really mattered. At that moment, I said a little prayer. “Keep your hands on my child Lord. Make her what YOU want her to be.” I had finally realized that I was stressing too much about the small stuff. God will take care of my child. He will give her strengths in the areas he wants her to have them. My child can pass every test this world has to give her, but at the end of the day, she does not belong to this world. She belongs to God. So now as a mother, my job is to prepare her and all of my children for his tests. My eyes were open.

Amen…….   

“For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” Matthew 16:26