Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Running, Remembering & My Redeemer


Julia Roberts from the movie, "Runaway Bride"

Oh that I had wings like a dove, I’d fly away and be at peace! Indeed, I would wander far off, And remain in the wilderness. I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest. David (Psalm 55:6-8)

This is not what I asked
Not what I prayed for
Are you listening now?
'Cause all that I've built,
All that I've bled for
Is coming undone

But what if it had to be broken
Before my heart could be open?

Maybe the shattered parts
Are the places where Your love starts
And now I am closer to where You are
With every beat of my broken heart
Every Beat of my broken heart .....Hawk Nelson

Writer's block? What's that? What I have is....hmmmmm? What to call it? "Writer's avalanche"? "Writer's overflow"?:

My heart is overflowing with a good theme;
I recite my composition concerning the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer. Psalm 45:1

My mind is a swarm, a runaway pony. I wrote about that before: An Unquiet Mind

My problem is having the time and discipline to sit down and organize my thoughts. Come on Susan! FOCUS! Lord, what should I write? I ask. Is this to blog about? Is this for the book? Sometimes I even say, "Lord, I don't want to tell them THAT, do I have to?" Like some posts I've wrote already, I hesitate to even "share" again! Like can I "delete" that Lord? Or at least let it remain "buried" in my archives. God says, "No, there was a reason I had you write that and you need to REMEMBER"

For instance, He's the King of my heart: The King of Hearts

Vulnerability. Humility. Accountability = Victory! How IRONIC! Another True Story: Oh The Irony!

He loves me!: He Loves You Snow Much More

Stop cliff hanging! Cliff Hangers, Pot Stirrers and the Itsy Bitsy Spider

Bob and I were "meant to be": Love Story

I am forgetful- my kids know this- so they remind me about things they want me to remember. Many times I'll write on my hand what I need to remember; like that I have laundry to put in the washer or dryer, that I have to go to the store or pay a bill etc. It's absolutely terrible when I forget to pick up my kid from somewhere! I mean what kind of mother forgets her child?! This is also in the Bible: Can a woman forget her nursing child, And not have compassion on the son of her womb? Isaiah 49:15

I remember once having three Rs on my hand for; Recycling, Returning the library books and...I can't remember what the third one was. lol

But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me, And my Lord has forgotten me.” Isaiah 49:14

A couple Saturdays ago I was hopelessly forlorn (I was crying) and driving on and on into the night. Why?! I forgot....all God has said to me!

I can barely stand right now.
Everything is crashing down,
And I wonder where You are.

I try to find the words to pray.
I don't always know what to say,
But You're the one that can hear my heart.

The Afters, "Broken Hallelujah"

I was listening to the Devil's lies and taunts, "No one cares about you" "Look no one's even calling you or texting you." "Your family doesn't care about you or even misses you and you don't even have any friends" "None of your children respect you. They think you're an idiot" "There's no hope" "You'll never publish a book, ha, your gona go bankrupt" "Your children are mine" The devil is a LIAR. I was also listening to the wrong music which was discouraging me. Yeah, Bob's just gona stand there and watch me burn cause I like the way it hurts! (Rihanna & Eminem). Why am I listening to that?! I drove north and was going to turn around if someone called me, no one called. I got to Marietta and thankfully, "came to my senses" realized my head was in the wrong place, turned around and headed home, thankful that Bob and I are NOT like Rihanna and Eminem otherwise our house would've burnt down long ago!

How can I forget all the wonderful words- That I really believe are from God to me? Why was I in my closet a few weeks ago? Curled up in a ball, crying?

You know the things that have brought me here.
You know the story of every tear.
‘Cause You've been here from the very start.
(The Afters)

Just because my son was smoking cigarettes which reminded me of my brothers. Because I FORGOT the verse He gave me says:

Refrain your voice from weeping,

And your eyes from tears;

For your work shall be rewarded, says the Lord,

And they shall come back from the land of the enemy.

There is hope in your future, says the Lord,

That your children shall come back to their own border. Jeremiah 31:16-17

I feel I can relate to David (see verse above) in the Bible or Jeremiah who was called "The weeping prophet":

See, Lord, how distressed I am! I am in torment within,
and in my heart I am disturbed, for I have been most rebellious. Outside, the sword bereaves; inside, there is only death. Lamentations 1:20

He has hedged me in so that I cannot get out; He has made my chain heavy.
Even when I cry and shout, He shuts out my prayer. He has blocked my ways with hewn stone; He has made my paths crooked. Lamentations 3:7-9

Remember my affliction and roaming, The wormwood and the gall. My soul still remembers And sinks within me. This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. Lamentations 3: 19-21

You know what forgetting about God does to me? It makes me lose my hope! Some years ago I bought some Superman S earrings at Six Flaggs. I didn't buy them because I think I'm super but because there are two S's for "Susan Story" I do strive to do my best at what I do, which is being a good wife and mother. I've been wearing those earrings lately, since seeing the "Man of Steel" movie and hearing that it's not an S- it's a symbol of HOPE.

I've learned something from my night I spent running away. I should've stayed home and read my own blog! Running

Also Seven Steps to Victory: But What if I Stumble? Because this is warfare! Duh!

I did start jogging again when I became stressed. Bob is OK with it, as long as I stretch first and my feet are OK. And when I jog I listen to music, praise music, some secular (positive) music, just the good stuff. I realized that whatever you are struggling with, be it alcohol or drugs, food, sex...if you are "Cliff hanging" (See my post-the link is above) and the crisis comes (The STRESS), there's a good chance of you falling off that cliff! I am thankful that God says He won't let you be tempted beyond what you are able to bear. (I Corinthians 10:13) And He answers my prayer when I say, "God, every time I see that person, I say (or do) the wrong thing and if I'm gona do that Lord, let me NOT see them." Amen. And I'm also glad He forgives me when I mess up. (I John 1:9)

The other night I noticed what I see when I run to the corner is something else I need to remember: THE TREE! Worn and the Seven Story Tree

The Bible has tons to say about what we are to REMEMBER and what we are to FORGET. Here are just a few of the many verses about it:

Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: “For God has made me forget all my toil and all my father’s house.” Genesis 41:51 Note: God later has Joseph purposely REMEMBER "his father's house" yet FORGIVE his brother's for selling him into slavery.(See: Genesis 50)

And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day. Deuteronomy 8:18

And you forget the Lord your Maker, Who stretched out the heavens And laid the foundations of the earth; You have feared continually every day Because of the fury of the oppressor, When he has prepared to destroy. Isaiah 51:13

Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; Neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame; For you will forget the shame of your youth, And will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore. Isaiah 54:4

Can a virgin forget her ornaments, Or a bride her attire? Yet My people have forgotten Me days without number. Jeremiah 2:32

I got this from Francis AnFuso:

Habits That Will Change Your Life

Here are three habits that will change your life: First, come into God’s presence every day. The key to an effective prayer life is to “just show up.” And when you show up, stay there long enough to create a memory. Satan can’t steal a memory of God’s presence. Second, read the Word of God, the Bible, consistently. Ask God to open the eyes of your understanding so that what your head reads, impacts your heart. And number three. Plan your day. List seven things that you’re committed to do today. Why? Because structure creates growth! The Bible says, “…continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of…you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 3:14-15, NKJV)

I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word. Psalm 119:16

You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in Your word. Psalm 119:114

When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches,
For You have been my help, And in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy.
My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me. Psalm 63: 6-8

So on that Sunday morning as the sun was rising, I pulled my sequoia into my garage, went upstairs and went to bed, REPEATEDLY telling myself I needed to FORGET the Devil's lies and REMEMBER MY REDEEMER:

Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I hope in Him!”

The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
To the soul who seeks Him.
It is good that one should hope and wait quietly
For the salvation of the Lord.
It is good for a man to bear
The yoke in his youth.

Let him sit alone and keep silent,
Because God has laid it on him;
Let him put his mouth in the dust—
There may yet be hope. Lamentations 3:22-33

Surely they may forget,
Yet I will not forget you.
See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands;
Your walls are continually before Me. Isaiah 49:15-16

For I will contend with him who contends with you,
And I will save your children...

All flesh shall know
That I, the Lord, am your Savior,
And your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob. Isaiah 49:25-26

Broken Person

Why am I always drawn to you?
Cause I'm a broken person too?
Why do I think that I can fix you?
You just hurt me and I hurt you too
Manipulation, lies and games...
I no longer want to play.
I'm learning about myself from day to day
My Great Physician heals all ills
He even created doctors who prescribe pills
He loves you just the way you are
He loves you with all your scars
He was broken for our sin
But you have to let Him in
He can heal your broken heart
But you must give Him every part

For all these poems and more buy my first book! "The Seven Story Tree; A book of Poetry"

The Prodigal

Of course this is all my fault,
Eve had two sons, one killed the other,
She must have been a terrible mother!
Esau was his father's favorite,
But Jacob was a "Mama's boy"
Of course they didn't get along,
Leave them alone and they'll come home,
Jacob did but his mom was gone,
Having favorites is not wise,
Just read about Joseph (Genesis 37:4)
He was despised,
Train them up in the way they should go,
Your work shall be rewarded,
Trust God with them,
He loves them even more than you.
Don't give in to wrong behavior,
Love must be tough.
Show them you love them enough to say, "No"
When they are old they will not depart.
Keep loving Him with all your heart.
God had a prodigal son too,
Didn't you know that son was you!

I wrote a poem later called, "Remember the Redeemer's Rainbow" which goes well with this post; See: Video Bible Study-Storms Part II

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Dreams Part 1: Sowing and Reaping

This is the field of wheat across from Claire Bear's high school where I went Monday to bring them her gifted portfolio.

Lately I've been thinking about how my slow progress of; "two steps forward one step back" really annoys me! Lord, why can't I take two steps forward and just skip the one step back!? Like my dieting. I love to tell people I lost 30 lbs in 2008 but I hate having to add, "but I gained 20 of it back"! Or how about keeping my house clean and orderly? I don't think I'm being a good steward of what God's blessed me with when my house is a mess. God is not the author of this confusion! When I get down on my knees and pray and see my dirty carpet and decide to vacuum when I'm done I think perhaps it's true, "Cleanliness IS next to godliness"! And of course there are other things also.

Why do I do this? Well, this condition is not unique to me. In Alcoholics' Anonymous when a previously "dry" alcoholic goes back to drinking it's called "falling off the wagon". In the Bible, especially the Old Testament when the Israelites turned away from the One True God back to worshiping idols it was called, "backsliding":

Why then has this people turned away in perpetual backsliding? They hold fast to deceit; they refuse to return. Jeremiah 8:5

God says to us, “Return, you backsliding children, And I will heal your backslidings.” Jeremiah 3:22

The backslider in heart will be filled with the fruit of his ways, and a good man will be filled with the fruit of his ways. Proverbs 14:14

I have stretched out My hands all day long to a rebellious people, Who walk in a way that is not good, According to their own thoughts...Isaiah 65:2

Earlier this year I finished Joyce Meyer's book, "Change Your Words Change Your Life". It was long ago I read and have since reread Joyce's book, "The Battlefield of the Mind" because to change your words we must first change our thoughts. She also says this in her brand new book, "Making Good Habits- Breaking Bad Habits" . It's a "trickle down effect" that starts in the mind. Ralph Waldo Emerson said it like this:

Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an action and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny.

I just saw this on Joyce Meyer's facebook page: Your thoughts become your words; your thoughts become your actions. Your thoughts become your life. 
And the photo below I saw on facebook:

Oswald Chambers asks, "What are you haunted by?" "My Utmost For His Highest" June 2nd

I've been haunted by my past, by my own negative thoughts and those of others.

I've been wondering which way to go. I wrote about this last August.

Which Way Do I Go? It Depends On Who Am I Trying to Please?

I was looking for a job. I wanted to substitute teach, but that didn't work out. Then I was going to maybe clean houses and I thought I had one house to start out with but that fell through. There were suggestions for a weekend job in Perry. But week ends are when your college kids come home. Also Bob doesn't want me to waste gas driving to Perry for minimum wage. Meanwhile, I have so much going on with my kids here at home when I thought about working, even part time I felt over whelmed. I'm writing my book, finally. I've finished the introduction and I'm in chapter 1 which is on faith. I'm also still doing my writing for teens and children correspondence course. Bob had been saying I should go back to school but when these furloughs come that will really cut his pay! So I thought I should wait to go back to school. God will lead me. What am I writing about? Oh yeah FAITH. I figured if God wants me to get a job, He'll give me success in finding one. What have I been writing about in my heart posts?

The King of Hearts
The King of Hearts Part 2: What Would You Ask For?   

Oh yeah OBEDIENCE. Even to Bob?! Lately Bob keeps saying, "Go back to school." I want to take nursing. I said this long ago after I graduated high school barely passing Chemistry because of my undiagnosed BiPolar which was similar to ADHD in the Spring when I was manic, not to mention in mental turmoil over my latest beau (the tall dark and handsome boy next door:). It did not help the Father- daughter relationship much when my dad said something to the effect that you should know Chemistry if you want to be a nurse and it would probably be too hard for me. Mom tried to "save" this by saying something like, "what he meant was, 'it'll be hard but you can do it'" or something like that- Thanks again Mom for trying to clean up Dad's messes but the damage was already done.

Sara Barielles sings,

"Nothing’s gonna hurt you the way that words do
And they settle ‘neath your skin
Kept on the inside and no sunlight
Sometimes a shadow wins..." ("Brave")

So for years I've struggled with this. Not really had time the past 27 years with raising five kids and all, to go back to school. God called me to writing. God uses the foolish to confound the wise. I don't have to go back to school. Certainly not just to show someone I can. Joyce Meyer didn't go to college. But what if God DOES want me to? I would LOVE to be an obstetric nurse- helping deliver babies would be so cool! But I didn't really like school. I wasn't very good at it. What is that rising up in me? The antithesis to faith: FEAR. Fear of failure, fear that I AM too stupid to be a nurse.

Right now I'm reading, "One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp. I feel as though Ann's a "kindred spirit" and I love this book! No, I am not the first woman to feel this way. "...all these mornings, I wake to the discontent of life in my skin. I wake to self hatred. To wrestle to get it all done, the relentless anxiety that I am failing. Always the failing.....I live tired. Afraid. Anxious. Weary. Years, I feel it in the veins, the pulsing of ruptured hopes. Would I ever be enough, find enough, do enough?" I read this paragraph to Bob and start to choke up, I can't even say it, read it the words Ann wrote that I feel! I had a disagreement with Bob about school, I thought it was that I don't want to be a nurse anymore- I want to write and Bob doesn't want me to. I went in my closet to pray. God was like, why don't you want to go to school, Susan? I want to write, God. You want me to write. Why are you mad at Bob, Susan? He doesn't want me to pursue my dream of writing. Remember when your dream was to be a nurse? Bob doesn't think you're too dumb to be a nurse. He supports your writing. Who did your website? I went to Bob and apologized. So many have inspired me. Hydi my sidekick in the Peach county soccer concession stand is in nursing school. Brooke's mom, Tracey is a nurse at the Medical Center where Sarah works and then there's Sarah- my own daughter inspires me.

Then, of course there's always Mom. Mom went back to school when she was 50 years old and got a degree in Sociology.

Back in the day- The wonderful 80s. The Electric Light Orchestra sang a song that went like this; "Hold on tight to your dreams...." Mom held on tight to her dreams of keeping my Dad, going back to school and especially the most important one; Seeing her children in heaven.

And God says to us, "Listen to Me, you who follow after righteousness, You who seek the Lord: Look to the rock from which you were hewn, And to the hole of the pit from which you were dug. Look to Abraham your father, And to Sarah who bore you;"  (Isaiah 51:1)

Yes, Mom is the rock from which I was hewn!

I turned my Mary Engelbreit calendar over to June and it had this quote:

You are never too old to set another goal or dream another dream. C.S. Lewis

I have a little fortune from a cookie on my vanity it says: Keep true to the dreams of your youth.

Sometimes I have to distinguish between the voices in my head. Sometimes Satan speaks to me; "What a waste of time trying to help that person was! You really blew it with them. They'll never take to heart anything a hypocrite like you said to them!" Sometimes unknowingly we even speak the devil's words for him! Like my Dad, we discourage people from their God given calling, but we don't even realize we're doing it! Oh be careful little lips what you speak! Hawk Nelson sings a song called "Words"; "Let my words be life, let my words be truth, I don't want to say a word unless it brings the world back to You!" So someone said to me, "It's not up to you to reach that person." Who are you to say that? Are you God? We must be very careful about saying stuff like this! But God said to me, "You've sown a bunch of truth into that person, you've fed them, you've been real in front of them, you've shown them compassion..." Margaret Becker used to sing a song called, "Never for nothing"; "So light your candle in the darkness cause it's never for nothing"

When the devil tries to beat me down with his lies, I more than ever need to run to the Word and God always builds me Up. He never drags me down!

Wow! It's 2015 now and being a nurse? Not sure exactly where that dream stands. If I go back to school- it may be to be a Pastor. The dream of becoming a published author HAS BEEN FULFILLED. Check this out: The Seven Story Tree  

Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. For in this the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors.” John 4:34-38

So God says, "You've sown, Susan but someone else will reap it" And you know what? I'm OK with that!

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. Galatians 6:7

But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 2 Corinthians 9:6

Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness....2 Corinthians 9:10

And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint. Galatians 6:9

Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:62

"You gave your life for mine, to have me by your side, I won't look back anymore, I am Yours." The Afters

They who sow in tears shall reap in joy and singing. Psalm 126:5

Finally, from another of Mom's favorite devotionals, "God Calling", June 4th:

Courage. That is in itself a sign of progress.

Patience, not only with others, but each of you, with herself

As you see the slow progress upward made by you, in spite of your longing and struggle, you will gain a divine patience with others whose imperfections trouble you.

So on and up. Forward. Patience - Perseverance - Struggle. Remember that I am beside you, your Captain and your Helper. So tender, so patient, so strong.

Today I will......

Praise Him because He is worthy!
Pray because He's listening
Enjoy the life that He's given
Even while you make a livin'
Exercise- Just do it!
Spend time with family,
You never know,
When it will be their time to go,
Write a poem,
Write a song,
It really doesn't take that long
Clean something- make it shine
Be thankful for all that's mine
Read the Bible,
Let God speak to you
Because you really haven't got a clue
Be excellent in all you do
Show love to all
Trust Him
He'll catch you when you fall

For a Season

My resume doesn't look too good down here
Just serving God for 29 years?
But up in Heaven it'll all be clear
Just a cup of cold water
To him who thirsts
You may end up being first
It doesn't matter all you've known
But into whose life you've sown
Compassion, prayer, wisdom
to friends who've come and gone
Some of them may have moved on.
But they'll never forget He was the reason
You showed them love
just for a season...

This poem was inspired by the classic devotional by Oswald Chambers, "My Utmost For His Highest" Oswald asks the piercing question, "What are you haunted by?" and states that we should be haunted by God.

The Haunting

I could just run away,
Try to live my way another day,
But what would be the use?
Wasted time, a wasted life,
But then again,
I could give it all to Him
And He transforms it,
If I turn to the left or to the right,
You're half way there
Or perhaps not quite
I hear Him all the time,
I open my eyes
And He lights up the sky,
In a song I see Him
In a tree He's there
What is this love?
He has for me?
Wherever I go
To a movie or a show,
There isn't a thought He doesn't know,
He is the great I Am,
And yet He is my friend?
It's too wonderful to comprehend,
He'll always be there 'til the end,
When we've been there ten thousand years,
His voice will echo in my ears,
Still His praises I will sing,
Always and forever He is my KING!

Here's the video of me saying that Poem.

For Part 2 On Dreams see, "The Glorious Story"
For Part 3 On Dreams see "Dream Home"
Here is the link to Ann Voskamp's blog: A Holy Experience

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Like Mother Like Daughter (2001)

I wrote this for my Mom for Mother's day 2001.

“Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” Proverbs 31:30

I don’t know who took this picture, but I guess it was taken about 1947. My mom was about 17 in it. I could ask my mom, but I ‘m not telling her I’m doing this because I want to surprise her. My mom was born August 16, 1929 in the Philippines. She’s not Philipino, her dad was in the army. She was an army brat. My mom married my dad when she was 19 years old. I also married my husband at 19.

In 1999 Mom and Dad celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Although the years were not all “sweetness and light”, my parents relationship had “been through the fire” and they emerged still committed to each other. After all had they not promised “for better or for worse”? In 1951 my oldest brother (Timothy) was born. She had three more sons in ’53 (Mark), ’55 (Christopher), and ’57 (Paul). You bet they were excited to FINALLY have my sister (Rebecca Ellen) on December 30, 1959! My oldest brother was only 8 years old! I have five children but mine are 3 and 4 years apart! There’s a big difference there, if I have to run out to the market to feed this crew, I can leave them with my oldest who is 14. Then mom and dad had another boy in 1963 (Jonathan). I’m very proud and I think Mom is too, to say my brother’s dream to be in law enforcement finally became a reality last year, despite his age. Who would have ever thought when we were growing up watching “Adam 12” that Jon would one day actually be an officer with the L.A.P.D.! I am the “baby”, and 2nd girl,born in 1966.

When I was about seven years old, I can remember waking in the middle of the night. I was gripped with fear. My sister had turned off the light, it was on when I went to sleep. If I could just get to mom’s room I’d be O.K. So I ran down the hall. I never felt safer than right there in between mom and dad. But this soon became a nightly ritual. Mom became weary of her 7th child waking her in the middle of the night. The next night I came to her room she took me down the hall to the family room, we sat down in my dad’s big green chair, I was on her lap- she prayed for me not to be afraid. This also reminds me of myself: how often is prayer the “last resort” when it should be the FIRST thing we do!? Mostly, I wearily tell my children to make a bed on my floor when they come in my room scared at night.

The contest on the Christian radio station said to write about the best advice your mom ever gave you. I asked my mom when my oldest two children were young, “How do I get them to clean up?” Was there a hurricane through here or something? Mom said “You have to help them.” Teaching by example is the best way. My mom had taught me a great lesson by example, although I don’t think she realized it. The lesson was: Forgiveness: In 1978 my parents began having marital trouble, my dad went to North Carolina and was thinking about getting a divorce. We lived in the San Fernando Valley in California. Yeah, I was almost a “Valley girl”. But, thankfully, my parents got back together and my parents, my youngest brother and I moved all the way across the country to Boca Raton, Florida. [my dad worked for IBM, you know I’ve Been Moved?!] This is what Dad wanted. I think my mom still feels some guilt over leaving my sister, then 18, in LA (with her older brothers). But your marriage is MORE important than your children! Because marriage was originally intended to be for LIFE.- “What God has joined together, let not man put asunder.” However, our children are only “loaned” to us for a little while.

The “guilt trip” seems to be a thing we like to send moms on. I recently went on that trip myself. On January 28th I had our 5th child. I was going to nurse her, like my others. I had nursed my other four until they were 2 years old! My precious Lydia Ellen had weighed 10lbs. 1oz., and was starving that first night home! She would nurse, go to sleep and wake up 10 minutes later, by 5 A.M., I was sore. I had been through this before but didn’t give up nursing. That’s me-Martyr Mom. I woke up my husband to go make the sample formula from the hospital. Lydia Ellen is a healthy, happy bottle and breast fed baby. Mom told me not to let anyone make me feel guilty. However the “Pediatric Nurse Practitioner” said to me “nursing is still the best thing for them”. This woman is pregnant with her third and was criticizing this homeschooling mother of five! I later thought “Well the BEST thing for them is staying home with them for the first three years of life, who’s watching YOUR children while YOU pursue YOUR career?” I know a woman who just had her 6thchild the same week I had Lydia. Tina’s little “sweetie pie”, Jordan, has cleft palate. It is IMPOSSIBLE for him to nurse! Yet, STILL Tina was sent on “mom’s guilt trip”. Why? I think we’ve “strained out a gnat and swallowed a camel” in this country when it’s O.K. for one million woman to “choose” to kill their children by abortion every year but “God forbid” you bottle fed!!! If you have been a victim of “choice” and had an abortion or talked someone into one please know that there is forgiveness and healing in Jesus. I highly recommend the book “I’ll Hold You in Heaven” by Jack Hayford.

With all that said I’ll get down off my “soap box” and get back to my mother: Things went well in Boca for about 3 years. Then my dad “went off” again. Despite what my Dad says all the evidence points to Bipolar Disorder [Manic-Depression]. He seems a totally different person when he's in his "high" moods. He was unfaithful to my mom. I was an idealistic teenager and mad at him. I wanted mom to divorce him because she had biblical grounds [Matt.5:32]. She said “I promised to love him ‘in sickness and in health’ and he’s sick”[Mental Illness]. My mom didn’t sign the divorce papers and my dad eventually “came to his senses” and came back to her. I wish that was the last time he did that but it wasn’t : he did it again in 1994, however he didn’t have an affair this time. After he came back, my mom told him I was still hurt about before and he later apologized for what he did when I was a teenager and reassured me that it wasn’t going to happen to mom again. When I was a teenager and mad at dad my mom told me a story to appease my anger: Dad was supposed to go for a vasectomy after my brother, Jon was born but chickened out, then I came along. It did help, a little, but I needed to forgive him regardless.

Mom and I in the 80s when I was a teenager

Let me tell you about my husband. His name is Bob and he is a wonderful husband and father when he’s around. Bob is an electronics engineer at Warner Robins Air Force Base, here in Warner Robins Georgia . They say you marry someone like your father. The longer I’ve been with Bob [married since 1986] the more I realize how much like my dad he is! They’re both smart: my dad was a technical writer with IBM , frugal and not big on praise because both their fathers weren’t big on praising them. Would Bob be unfaithful to me, like my dad was unfaithful to my mom? And if he was, would I be able to forgive him and take him back, like mom did? I am glad to say Bob hasn’t been unfaithful to us, at least not the way my dad was.

In 1997 we had been looking for a bigger house. We were a family of six then. Bob bought an investment house for us to rent out. But WE needed a bigger house. Then my friend Becky and I found one-it was perfect! Four bedrooms, 21/2 baths , a pool and a workshop! All for the low, low price of $119,000. Bob didn’t really like the house and said we couldn’t afford it. I was very upset and we fought about this house for many weeks. Finally, I had to “submit” to my husband . I struggled often trying to homeschool my head-strong daughter [where does she get that from?], then 10, who wanted her own room! I had taken her to see “the house”, that was a mistake! Sarah and I BOTH had to “give it up”! Bob wanted to build. I said to him ; “They say you have to have a very strong marriage to build a house frankly, I don’t think our marriage is strong enough.” I was homeschooling our children then and I still am. I had wanted Bob to take more time to help me with homeschooling , instead he would be spending less and less time with all of us. I knew Bob would want to do much of the work himself, to save money. He had started on a shed in 1995 and just finished it, how long would a house take him? Once again I had to submit much like mom reluctantly moving across the country away from her “babies”. My parents had moved back to California [Arroyo Grande] in ‘95. Mom wasn’t real “keen” on us building either. Her and Dad wanted us to move out there near them. In the fall of 1998 we bought land in Byron, Ga. across the street from where our friends had just built their house. Bob was already consumed with “the house”. We were looking at many house magazines, plan books etc. But Bob had “analysis paralysis”, so my friend Becky and I called and ordered the house plans. Bob called and changed them. We finally “broke ground” in June 1999, right before going to Ca. for my parents Anniversary. We had applied for and received a building loan for $160,000. The builder we hired said it could be done by October of that year! The builder is gone and it’s STILL not done! It has been a rough two years! I felt this house was Bob’s “other woman” and I was growing to hate “her” more everyday! In April of last year (2000) I met a [handsome] young man and I told him that my husband and I were building a house. He said he knew a couple that started building a house and then divorced. I thought “Yeah, that’s where we’re headed.” But Bob and I had decided we would always “work things out” and divorce would NOT be an option. This young man I met also met my then 3 year old daughter and he said she was “pretty”. “Like mother, like daughter, right?” I thought. Would “someone else” pay more attention to me and the children? Mom could have found “someone else”. She is a beautiful woman , despite her endless battle [like mine] to lose weight! I’ve also been blessed with Mom’s “photographic memory”: wasn’t there something in those vows I said 14 years ago about “forsaking ALL others” [no matter how handsome]? I realized that Satan was out to destroy my marriage much like he tried to ruin my parents and this was ONLY the beginning. But God had blessed me with yet another trait of mom’s: TENACITY.

In May of 2000, I found out I was pregnant. [by my husband, in case you were wondering] This would be our 5th child. I was so happy! FINALLY something I wanted! Bob wasn’t sure we should have any more children. “Now he HAS TO finish the house in 9 months!” I told my friends. Well, he didn’t. I was also very ill all Summer because of my pregnancy. We had checks bounce and big credit card bills because of all the house expenses. I had wanted our baby to be a boy. My mom had told my sister that boys were easier to raise. My sister who doesn’t have any children, yet, thought this was ridiculous. “She may be right” I said. My girls, then 13 and 3 [both are head-strong!] were giving me the most challenges then. I began taking a poll: The overwhelming majority of mom’s with both boys and girls say the boys ARE easier! My friend who is the mother of 8, expecting her 9th [yes, they’re Catholic] said “the girls were fussier from birth and seem to challenge our authority more.” Right down to even having worse “morning sickness” with the girls! Then, very queasy, I thought “Maybe this baby’s a girl?” In September we found out by ultrasound that “baby” is indeed a girl. So Bob and I named her Lydia Ellen-FINALLY something we agreed on? When I told mom baby’s middle name, she cried. In August we had put our oldest daughter in public school out where we’re building. The house was “almost done” anyways. It’s been “almost done” for a year now! I accidentally told the school board we weren’t living in their county yet. So they kicked Sarah out of school! I’m homeschooling my challenging daughter again. I think I appreciate a little more what mom went through raising my sister and I! Even Dr Dobson said “There’s something about mothers and daughters”. Mom and I haven’t always gotten along great, do any mothers and daughters? That doesn’t mean I don’t love and respect her, though.

Mom holding Ian. 1993

In early 1996 my mom had a blood clot go to her lung. She was in the hospital for longer than she had ever been before. This [blood clot in her lung] enlarged her heart. Now she is on oxygen 24 hours a day. Mom always came out here when I had a baby, but our house wasn’t done and we’re short on space. She hasn’t seen her name sake yet. Lydia Ellen has big blue eyes much like mom’s! Mom and dad are also very burdened about my brother in Arizona. He’s been in jail over a year , awaiting trial. My parents were going to come for Easter, surely the house would be done then? It wasn’t. There was a hearing in Arizona, so my parents went there for that. This was physically and emotionally draining for them. I called them on Easter and spoke to mom about it. Summer is so hot here, she said they could come in the Fall. Then I had an idea- “Mom, you want me to bring Lydia there?” She cried again, that meant “yes”. We were to leave on the 16th , but things didn’t work out. I trust that Mom and I will get together soon, though. Some years ago mom gave me a book mark with a poem on it entitled “A Christian Mother” by Ramona K. Cecil. It was supposed to be about me. But I believe it is about her especially the last line which says “Her children love and bless her, and in their lives we see the lessons of the Savior that were learned at Mother’s knee.”

Mom and Dad came in October 2001

This one gets me every time!

Like My Mother Does