Friday, December 31, 2010


When I look back at my mothering years, I get lost in the memories of just how broken I was as a mother.  I didn't really notice it in my early years, when babies were first born and motherhood was just beginning.  In fact, things looked pretty good from the outside.  We looked like a sweet little family.  And God knows, I tried.  I've always driven myself to do it right.  I wanted to be the best mother, the best wife, the best everything. 
But, I lived each day carrying around ugly baggage.  This baggage, this brokenness, drove me in the way I made decisions.  It was the force behind ways I protected myself, ways I interacted in relationships.  It shaped my behavior and the way I related to my children and husband.  It wasn't until my 2 daughters were preschool age that circumstances in my life forced me to begin to face my brokenness.  So, many of my mothering years were spent trying to raise children (added baby #3) while much of my focus was on dealing with my 'junk'. 
How can a broken mom raise not-broken kids?  I can see the brokenness in my children.  They are amazing, talented, smart, funny adults.  They love with commitment.  They are kind.  They are sensitive. They are engaged in life.  They are hard workers.  They are passionate and individual thinkers.  But, they are broken.  They have scars and hurts that are deep in their hearts.  They have ways of protecting themselves.  They have fears.  As a mom, I want to rush in and fix it.  I don't want my kids to hurt.  I don't want them to struggle.  But I can't fix it - in them or in me.
Broken.  Isn't that why Jesus came?  God knew of our brokenness.  God knew we couldn't fix it our self.  God knew we would come up with tons of ways to try.  And we still do.  We try to be good enough.  We try to do it right.  We try.  But we can't.  This, to me, is the simplest message of God's love gift to us:  I am broken.  I can't fix it.  God sent His Son.  Jesus.  Jesus fixed it. 
In God's eyes, I am not broken.  My kids are not broken. We are perfect and complete, because Jesus gave himself as a sacrifice for us and fixed forever our brokenness.  To walk in that truth is freedom.  The brokenness is there, yes, but that's not what I need to focus on or carry around feelings of regret about.  I am whole.  My kids are whole.  Not because us our efforts - even though the 'dealing with stuff' still continues - but because the 'fixing' is finished.  It was finished on the cross. 

Saturday, December 18, 2010

SURVEY REQUEST: Loosing it .... without loosing it.

I have a curious subject that's been rolling around in my head.  LOSS.  It hits everyone.  It hits in very different ways:  financial loss, death, illness, pain, unfaithfulness, divorce, missing child, job, relationship, miscarriage, not able to get pregnant, homelessness, foreclosure, bankruptcy, business, fire, natural disaster, jail-time, and on and on.
Some people handle loss through:  suicide, murder, drugs, alcohol, divorce, anger, depression....and never come out of the darkness.  And yet, some people handle the very same loss and survive.  They may go 'through the valley' and experience true darkness on their journey...but they survive.  They come out stronger than they went in.  They come out of the darkness....somehow.

Have you experienced significant loss and come out of the darkness?  I would like to hear about it.  If you are willing, would you share your story?  Here are some questions I'd like for you to answer in your sharing:
1.  What was your loss?
2.  What were your darkest days like?  (your thoughts, emotions, relationships, etc)
3.  What did you believe about God when the loss happened and during your dark days? 
4.  What kept you from staying in the pain and began your journey out?
5.  How long has it been since the loss?
6.  How is life different now than before the loss?
7.  What do you believe about God now?

I'd love to hear from you.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

FREEEEEEDOOOOOOM (to quote a famous movie line)

We 'humans' were given a very special gift.....choice /freewill.  It was given to us by our Creator.  It was His design.  Shouldn't we be extending and encouraging that same 'gift of choice' to the people in our lives?  In fact, isn't it a way of 'honoring' His creation to allow others that same freedom?  Yet, why is it that we work SO hard to control others - especially those we are closest to?  We work overtime to control our spouse, our kids, our friends, etc.  Why are we like this?

Our intentions may be good.  For example:  maybe we've 'been there' and know the dangers in the road ahead and we want to protect others (especially our kids) from those dangers. Many times our intentions are a little more self-centered.  We secretly think, "Maybe, if I can just get them to _________,  I will feel more secure and loved."  Even as I write this, I am struggling with my insecurities over conflict that I feel in my own family.  I hate conflict.  I go into a panick mode emotionally when I think someone is upset with me or my husband.  I think and plan, trying to figure out how to solve any uncomfortable situation.  I put pressure on my husband to 'act' a certain way - to always keep 'peace' and not say anything to upset.  I am overly sensitive to it.  If I can keep a person from getting upset with me or disappointed with me, I feel secure - safe.

Here's the confusing part:  We are instructed to help, come along side, encourage, love, pray for, cry with and laugh with the people in our lives.  Love does get messy sometimes as we get involved with the lives of those around us.  We are to pursue peace and get along with each other.

Helping is one thing....but being a helper can easily slide into our 'mission to control'.  How are we to know when we have morphed from loving, helping and caring to controlling?  Ask yourself:  who is doing all the work here - me, or the person I am trying to help?  Is the one being helped taking initiative, or just basking in the warmth of being the 'center of attention'....and demanding more and more warmth?  Am I working to control something that I can't possibly have control over (like someone else's emotions and thoughts and choices).

Bottom line:  PEOPLE WILL DO WHAT THEY WANT TO DO.  You can't change anyone.  Only God can.  You can't force it - long term, anyway.  Let God be God.  He's handling the role just fine.(Do you believe that?  If you are 'controlling' probably struggle with that truth.)  Usually, we end up getting in God's way when we step over that line and are now trying to do His job.  He really can handle it. Use your strength to choose to surrender to Him and trust Him to work.  That takes real strength.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Do you want to hear a really wild thought?  I'm still considering it as I write this.  Here it is:  The other day, I thought about going back and visiting a church I had spent several years at.  It was a church I had not only attended, but given many hours of service to.  The church experience ended with many hurt feelings and several broken relationships.  When we pass on the street, we are all polite, but our eyes tell the story of hurt feelings.  My thought of going back to that church held a lot of fast memories pouring through my brain:  people I know that either hurt me or probably feel as if I hurt them.  Misunderstandings.  Disappointments.  Polite, but strained relationships.  Then, I had another thought.  This is the thought I mentioned at the beginning as a 'wild' thought.  THIS IS WHAT HEAVEN WILL BE least at first.  There I'll be....standing before the throne.....shoulder to shoulder with other believers....and as I look at the faces of these other believers, I will see someone that hurt me...I will see someone that I assume thinks I hurt them.....I will see someone that disappointed me...and then I will see someone else that I will be sure looks at me with the same hurt.  I know the Bible says God will wipe away our tears....I think some of those tears might be dealing with these kind of things.  Those people, that go to church each Sunday...that I spent many 'working' hours with.....that hurt me....that I hurt....will end up spending eternity together.   Interesting.  Let that thought sink in for a minute.  Maybe.......maybe.....those broken relationships should be bridged today.......????  Maybe......???? 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Do I have to do something, or can I just watch?

My granddaughter asked me to come with her and 'see something'.  I quickly asked, "Do I have to do   something, or can I just watch?"  Then I paused and laughed out loud.  "This is exactly how I approach life...." I said to myself....."Do I have to do something, or can I just watch?"  It's much less scary to stand back and watch -  then to stand up, step in and "DO SOMETHING".  There's no risk in watching.  There is risk in getting involved.  I'm just sayin'....

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Freedom Journey Report

One of my favorite books is titled "What was I thinking?   Things I have learned since I knew it all." by Steve Brown.   I feel like that so often.  I look back at my 'mothering' years .... during most of them, I was trying to raise 3 kids and I hadn't even begun to deal with my own growing up issues.  Looking back, I see myself as a hurting, defensive, confused kid on the inside trying to be a mature wife and mother on the outside.  I always felt pressure to 'do it right' and encourage others to 'do it right'....but so much of the 'right' was more of a pretend facade' 'I've got my life all together' picture for the world to see.  I always felt pressure to 'be an example'.  But, how can a kid even know how to 'be an example'...and then, an example of what?  My perfectness?  huh  Where do we get these ideas?  Living with this pressure is exhausting.  A lot of my life's journey, I have felt like God is slowly.....very slowly....working to set me free.  Free from wrong beliefs of who He is.  Free from pressure I put on myself and everyone else to BE something...not sure what, but something.    Free to actually love and trust people.  I could go on and on listing all the areas that I've been and still am bound in wrong thinking.  I've gone through so many life situations that challenged what I believe....made me go back and rethink things.  It's softened me.  Made me more compassionate  to the pain and struggles of others. Made me more honest - to deal with my own junk. Given me a desire to stop pretending.  Be real - honest - open with others.  I guess that's what age does, if you let it.  I always figured that by the time I was a in my 50's - I'd have life all figured out and be very strong and solid in my opinions and beliefs.  But....not so much.  I want to keep going on this freedom journey. 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Lighten the Load

I'm doing this right now.....again.....and it feels like FREEDOM.  Did you know that the same things that feel like "security"....things, more things, prettier things....  Can be the same 'things' that make you feel bound?  I also heard that most hoarders also struggle with weight issues. Interesting isn't it.  Hanging on.  Drawing 'things' close to give comfort.  'Things' can bring comfort - of course. (Like a thick soft pair of slippers!)  But they can also become a trap that keeps us from 'dancing'. 
I choose.....dancing!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Is It Perfect Yet?

To all of you ladies out there:  moms, grandmothers, girl-friends, sisters, wives,
....remember....Thanksgiving has nothing to do with trying to make the day perfect.  You can't control that anyway, even if you try.  So relax.  Let the day flow and enjoy it as it plays out.