Monthly Archives: April 2013

For a split second I wished I could step back in time…

As I lay in my bed alone, trying to sleep with a cast on my foot, I glanced at my wall beside my bed and something happened that has never happened before….I felt very old.

And for a split second I wished I could step back in time and be the mama to these little ones again. What would I do different?

children

I would recognize they were unique little creatures designed by God and embrace them as they were. I would not compare them to others which resulted in me worrying too much and trying to fix everything and anything that I thought might hinder them in their future adult life.

Son

I would work to connect with their hearts and understand them as individual people. I would challenge them to figure out what God designed them for rather than mold them into what I thought they should be or what I wanted them to be. Spanking would be a last resort, not the first option.

ReeHee

I would have savored each moment, realizing they actually do grow up, they do quit wetting the bed, stop sucking their thumbs and all those things I spent so much time trying to change and fix.

I was well intended. I loved my little ones. I feared for their safety and desired to protect them. I wanted to be a good mama and to the best of my ability and knowledge at that point I was a devoted mama. My children sanctified me. They changed me and I am grateful for that.

Drewgie

Well, really it was the Holy Spirit using my children to sanctify me. http://bible.us/114/rom.15.16.nkjv

I know now that they are uniquely designed and created by God for His good plan and purpose and it is wrong to compare them to others. http://bible.us/116/2co.10.12-13.nlt

Doodlebug

I know now that children don’t have to be “fixed” to fit a mold, they just need to learn to be able to function in this world of ours and they do learn…each one in his or her own way.

Timmers

I also realize that even though I am called to protect them, it needed to be done in faith in their Heavenly Father as the ultimate protector, not in fear. http://bible.us/114/heb.11.6.nkjv http://bible.us/100/luk.12.4-5.nasb

Dorable

I would have told them more about who Jesus is and how awesome He is, rather then how I thought Jesus wanted them to be and act.

Perhaps I am a little melancholy because there have been so many life changes…Andrew & his darling buying their first house, Timmers living in Seattle, Dora – the baby of the family growing up and moving out, my mom having a stroke, Marie & family living part time with us during their furlough, Sarah marrying her beloved Tanner, Addysen and Mercy moving back across the globe, Aaron & Cacey celebrating a dozen years of marriage…and now I am left with a very quiet house and pictures on the walls.

When I look at these pictures, my heart wells up with love…I guess I just wish I could hold their little soft bodies once more and take that extra time to cuddle them. To kiss the top of their head without scolding them, “How did you get so dirty?” But I can’t.

Thank God there is the joy of being a grammie… tonight my little grandson sleeps in the room next to me. He’s been with me most of the day. I have listened to him. I have been able to say yes to him many times and only a couple nos. His eyes lit up and his socks got muddy and jeans dirty as I let him water the plants today. I have read with him, and had him read to me. I have kissed the top of his head. Oh how he reminds me of his daddy.

cropped-580145_10151317450415672_408714578_n.jpg

And tomorrow evening he will be back with his mama because I really am old. My days for being the mama have passed but I can be a grace-filled Grammie….for this is my season now and I must embrace it and choose to live with no regrets.

 

 

Depression, Mental Illness and the Christian

If you have ever had a headache (pain in your brain) and taken a Tylenol or Advil for relief; then I appeal to you to humbly consider reading this entire post.

Having suffered from chronic fibromyalgia pain for almost 20 years, it is a challenge living in this broken world and yet living a victorious, grateful Christian life.

Over the years there have been subtle accusations of being a hypochondriac, lazy and the idea that fibromyalgia is a pretend auto-immune disease. Just because we don’t understand the “why” doesn’t make something less real. Chronic pain has been a major tool the Lord has used in my life to humble me, make me compassionate and also to teach me how to pray. I am now thankful for this “thorn in my flesh.” (2 Corinthians 12:7-10) http://bible.us/59/2co.12.7-10.esv

I have been fortunate to have a humble doctor to treat me. He knows that the human body is fearfully and incredibly formed. (Psalm 139) http://bible.us/59/psa.139.13-16.esv

Consequently, he knows that even though he is a very knowledgeable doctor that there is much unknown to him, so he is willing to think out of the box. He is compassionate.

There has been a division within the Christian church with whether “mental Illness” does truly exist. I’ve been thinking about this a lot since Rick and Kay Warren suffered the tragic loss of their youngest son, Matthew to suicide. Rick said Matthew had struggled with mental illness for most of his life.

Matthew Warren

What do we know about the mind? Can it become ill? Can it be born with deficits? Do you believe there are Migraines and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome?

  • The mind is what separates us from other living animals, as we have been created in God’s image with the ability to feel, love, choose, etc. (Daniel 4:16) http://bible.us/59/dan.4.16.esv
  • We know the mind / brain is an organ that is our body’s central control system and we see that eventually it can fail and become diseased like the rest of the body.
  • When we receive salvation something supernatural happens that affects our minds. (Ezekiel 36:26-27) http://bible.us/59/ezk.36.26-27.esv
  • We know the mind is closely tied to other parts of our body. (Prov.15:13) http://bible.us/59/pro.15.13.esv

The Bible talks about a “double-minded man”, “being out of your mind”, “puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind” and also “people who are depraved in mind”.

It also talks about demonic attacks on the mind. In Luke 8:35 – Then people went out to see what had happened, and they came to Jesus and found the man from whom the demons had gone, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid.

Just as I am commanded to give thanks in all things http://bible.us/59/1th.5.18.esv including chronic physical /emotional pain…we are also commanded throughout the scripture to set our minds on the Lord.

But he (Jesus) turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me.         For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”                 Matthew 16:23

I have days that I do this well (setting my mind on the things of God) and days that I don’t do so well. All Christians have this challenge. I suspect Matthew Warren did too.

Thirty years ago before blood bank testing, a close male friend named Richard had a blood transfusion because of surgery complications. He never was well afterward. He contracted two types of Hepatitis along with the new strange HIV virus. How did the church respond? Poorly, like a child might respond.

They didn’t want to believe that God in His sovereignty would allow such heartache to one of His own, even in this broken world. So they concluded the only thing that made sense to them…Richard had to have been a hidden homosexual, probably never was a real Christian. They slandered my friend. I believe it was rooted in fear and self-protection, but it was still very wrong.

Do I believe in the power of Jesus to set people free from illness? Absolutely. Do I believe in the power of Jesus to heal me from fibromyalgia? Absolutely.  However in this broken world, often healing doesn’t come and most of the time sickness makes no sense.

On Richard’s deathbed he quoted Job 13:15 to my husband, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.” http://bible.us/59/job.13.15.esv    It made no sense to him, but he knew his Lord.

Let’s not be so arrogant that we think we understand it all. Right now we see in a mirror dimly (we don’t have the whole picture), but one day when the perfect one (Jesus) returns, we shall see face to face! Let’s give up our childish ways….let’s love.

Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away;

as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.

For we know in part and we prophesy in part,

but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.

When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.

When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face.

Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

http://bible.us/59/1co.13.8-13.esv

Also See:Shedding Light on Depression and Thoughts of Suicide by Randy Alcorn http://www.epm.org/connect/quarterly/2013/Feb/7/eternal-perspectives-spring-2013/

 

 

See You in September….

Ecclesiastes 3:5 says – “A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing…”

Jan 2012 Marie & mom compressed

It looks like my time has come. Tomorrow my missionary kids head to SoCal for the final week of their furlough from Moldova. Because of my foot surgery yesterday, I will be unable to go with them and join Danny in giving them goodbye kisses at the airport. My “refraining from embracing” will start a bit early.

Jan 2012 goodbye compressed

However I have much to be grateful for…not only have we been blessed by Christian and Marie and their precious girls the entire visit; Marie encouraged me to see if I could reschedule my surgery early so she could help care for me. It was such an comfort to have her with me. Even on her last days of furlough she is serving and I am blessed.

When they left last January Danny & I had bought tickets to visit in May. It really helps to have a ticket for your next visit because you can look forward to “a time to embrace”. And so my dear husband encouraged me to buy a ticket for September, even though he cannot go with me. Perhaps this is where Marie learned her sacrificial love.

I thought I’d post this fun song for Christian and Marie. I’ve had to slightly change the lyrics (in bold italic) to accommodate Moldova!

Song: See You in September

See You in September!

I’ll be alone each and every night
While you’re away, don’t forget to write

Bye-bye, so long, farewell
Bye-bye, so long

See you in September!!!!!!
See you when the summer’s through
Here we are (bye, baby, goodbye)
Saying goodbye in the morning  (bye, baby, goodbye)
Summer ministry (bye, baby bye, baby)
Is taking you away (bye, baby, goodbye)

Have a good time but remember
There is danger in Moldovan wheat
Will I see you in September
Or lose you to Moldova’s humid heat
(counting the days ’til I’ll be with you)
(counting the hours and the minutes, too!!!!)

Bye, baby, goodbye
Bye, baby, goodbye
Bye, baby, goodbye (bye-bye, so long, farewell)
Bye, baby, goodbye (bye-bye, so long)

Have a good time but remember
There is danger in Moldovan wheat 
Will I see you in September
Or lose you to Moldova’s humid heat
(I’ll be alone each and every night)
(While you’re away, don’t forget to write)

See you (bye-bye, so long, farewell)
In September (bye-bye, so long, farewell)
I’m hopin’ I’ll See you (bye-bye, so long, farewell)

In September (bye-bye, so long, farewell)

Lord-willing  I’ll See you (bye-bye, so long, farewell)
In September (bye-bye, so long, farewell)