Tuesday, February 25, 2014

My sweet friend is expecting her second baby in  few weeks- then the United States Navy will send my friend and her family on an adventure far far from Texas.

So-I'm thinking of everything I want to tell her before baby and the move and Aye! time flies.
About mothering, I'll tell her, Aim at the heart!

It seems that our children's behavior is ever before us; we're tempted to target behavior- to reward good behavior and punish bad behavior. But we're not behaviorists -and our children will never come to Jesus unless they recognize the sin sickness in their own hearts.

Watch over your heart with all diligence for from it flow the springs of life (Prov 4:32)

Mothers watch over their children's hearts by probing. . .just a loving probe!
"When you hit your brother, what were you wanting?"

 While my children were growing up, I didn't always aim at their hearts. . .
Thinking about it, a cloud of regret engulfed me, the super charged feeling that sometimes over shadows mothers of grown children.
So-in the midst of my sober reflection, my  youngest called-  she talked to me about behavior issue going on with a child she supervises.
"I need to address his behavior, but like you would tell us, the real issue is in his heart."

"Yah, you're right, and you remember?"

Then I thanked my youngest for a small memory- a seed of  encouragement.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

to love a friend

Last month my friend lost her husband. . . his death was expected- but not in that way, and not then. 
I'm thinking. . . even with the sure hope of heaven, are we ever prepared for the separation, the finality, the gaping, ugly hole? "Death reminds me how horrible sin is." confided my friend.

"She's a strong woman. . .she'll be fine." said a mutual friend.
The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe.
I know. . .but today my friend is weak; today life's edges are twisted, frayed, confused, daily tasks complicated, unfinished.

I pencil my friend's name beside verses in my bible and pray for her.
Answer me quickly, Lord; my spirit fails, let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love. . .make me to know the way I should go. . .

 I call, wait for her to reach out for me, to come close -
Two are better than one. . .for if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. 

I struggle with how to do this well, fumbling to discern how to love my friend in her grief. It's like I'm waiting for her to tell me how to do it- (and I hate that  I haven't figured it out already.)

Finally I say, "I don't know how to help, but I'm coming over."
So- we work and talk and remember- it's good and I'll come again.
Dear friend, I'll stay close. . .even when I'm not sure just how to do it.
I'm thinking how much I have to learn . . .
Make me know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths.

Monday, February 10, 2014


This week's our anniversary- I pulled out the recipe for our favorite clam chowder.
I am grateful for this man I married 42 years ago, but I've discovered about myself. . .
If I don't choose to remember why I'm grateful, day by day, then criticism creeps into my heart, overshadowing anything praise worthy.

John and I enjoy watching films at home together. I usually choose them with our individual interests in mind and my husbands trusts me to line up a varied queue. I know he likes the films where the teacher makes a difference. . .

Last week we watched Temple Grandin, a film about a woman with autism; she grew up in the 60's when little was known about her condition. So, after we moped up the emotion and gave the film our personal 5 stars, my husband shared his own teacher story. . .

You see- one day during his break, my husband climbed into the jumping pit for a bit of a rest, pulled the parachute under his chin and closed his eyes; the gym door slid open and the special education class clamored in with their assistants. So- feigning sleep but peering under eye slits, he observed 2 little ones creeping his way, up and into the jumping pit.

" I felt a peck on my forehead and a slobbery kiss, like a lick, on my cheek, a torrent of giggles. . .those are my autistic kids." he told me.

And I'm grateful for him. . .

Saturday, February 1, 2014

working on gratitude

 Lately I've been thinking a lot about gratitude (and ingratitude). So, what does God-centered gratitude look like?  I'm peering hard into my heart. . .where gratitude is sporadic, informed by circumstances. Ugg.

 So- to start, gratitude is a lot about what I choose to see, like. . .when I visit my Tennessee family in January, I drape my towel over the warm radiator before a shower-
And in the pale morning, I  awake to rhythm, click, click, click as my son guides his bicycle out the door to work . . .I see small evidences of God's grace to me.

Then there's little G. . . I'm a long distance grandmother but I think she likes me. we bake cupcakes, mold play dough, read books, snuggle her wee brother. She calls him "Fort baby".

I see huge evidences of God's grace to me and. . . With my mouth I will give thanks abundantly to the Lord and in the midst of many I will praise him. (Ps 109)

Fortlage Thomas

"Seek to cultivate a buoyant, joyous sense of the crowded kindness of God in your daily life"
Alexander Maclaren