Foster – Step – Adopt

As I was reading my Bible this morning Paul the Apostle talked about calling God Abba Father. Jesus called God, Father, and even said we would be able to as well.  As I pondered these things it just hit me. Jesus was the ONLY natural born Son of God. The rest of us are adopted.

As I thought of this it came to me how very different these words and the way the child is dealt with is also very different. A natural born child is held to the standard of the parent.  They are blood and blood is in our hearts…it is a PART OF US. So a discussion about a natural born child is pretty much moot. Granted there are good parents and bad but still…I think you understand where the concept of a natural born child is pretty much understood.

Then I thought of the other options…and the first one I thought of was a Foster Child. A child taken in because of circumstances beyond their control has removed them from their parents home. These children are usually loved and cared for – but not in the same manner as the natural child. Usually, the Fostered child is loved with the knowledge they are going to leave. It is hard (at least for me) to love a child so much with the knowledge they are not staying and be totally invested in them.  The pain of loss would about kill me. This could be because I was never blessed to have children of my own.

Then there are Step children. AGAIN, due to circumstances beyond their control, they are thrust into a position where they are in a family where SOMETIMES they are not wanted and even despised. They are treated as outcasts or worse servants. Yes, I actually know of people who were in this kind of family. It broke my heart that I couldn’t take them and love them the way a child should be loved.

Then there is the ADOPTED child. What do you do with an adopted child?  Some, truly do NOT understand that the adopted child is NOT a fostered child…they are there permanently and are to be treated as one with the blood children. I know of families that this is not understood…but it is still truth. THANK GOD HE knows what an adopted child is supposed to be treated like.  HE created us originally as His children…but because of Adams bad choice we were ripped from Him.

He came to earth as one of us so He could PAY the Price that was demanded FOR that choice just to have us back.  We are LOVED beyond measure.  He is blessed when we choose Him and choose to learn to walk in His presence. He delights in us…we are HIS. We are treated as EQUALS with Jesus because that is they way an Adopted child is to be treated.  Praise God.

 

Broken Roads

How can I say anything about the “mistakes” I’ve made in my life?  Lord, You knew each decision I was going to make before I made them and You knew where each path led to get me to where I am now.  You knew that I was going to be the only one at home to walk the born again life in front of my parents and little sister. You knew the friends I would have and the experiences I would have because of it as well.  You knew the mountain tops and the valleys I would go through and the lessons I would learn in each one.  You knew the people who would benefit from my experiences…and the benefits I would receive from each of those encounters as well.

I am amazed when I can look back at those heartbroken nights when I would walk up and down the street talking to You and crying.  As I look back and remember my bedroom with all the Bible verses I had taped up as I memorized Your Word because I just could not get enough of it.  I remember thinking how goofy I was that I would be so excited or happy that my words started sounding like gibberish…only to find out decades later that YOU had already given me my prayer language, but because of the church I was in I couldn’t know it as a “prayer language” because they didn’t believe in that sort of thing.

You knew though, and You knew the need I had of that language and what it would do for me. You knew the circumstances that I would face that would need me to know how to deal with things that had never been taught to me by my church.  How to “instinctively know” how to stand up to demonic forces.  You taught me how to use the authority You had given me over them, when the church I attended didn’t understand or at least didn’t teach on this subject.  You created in me more desire to know YOU intimately as a Father and friend.

Father, You gave me the desire of my heart. As much as I could handle of it anyway.  But then, but then the sin that so easily beset did it’s best work in me.  I always heard the old saying, “the bigger they are the harder they fall.”  I just never thought that saying would have anything to do with yours-truly.  I can remember telling others not to put people on a pedestal because the other person was, after all, human.  It’s a fact, people will fail us, they can’t help it…they truly are only human…made in Adams likeness and prone to fail. Not by YOUR plan, but because of bad choices (or one bad choice to be completely correct.)  But I had put ME on that pedestal! Talk about a glaringly BAD CHOICE.  Oh how haughty I became.  Looking down from my lofty perch at the “unenlightened” masses of “other” Christians.

The fall was/is hard…and oh so painful.  I used to be confident and secure in what I knew. Now, not so much. I feel very unsure of myself with others anymore. I know You are with me and You will guide me when I seek Your face. I just have forgotten how to do that with all my heart. I have the want to but the how escapes me anymore. When did I become one of the faceless masses? I don’t want to be pitied nor do I want to be worshipped. I just want to feel a part of something. I distance myself at work to stay away from the office politics and cattiness that happens in an office full of women. I want to connect somewhere…but it hasn’t happened.  Lord, even this evening when I was at the Bible study…I found that everyone else had someone to talk to except me. Why am I distancing myself from other Christians?! I don’t understand. Father I need Your help. I need YOUR understanding and direction. Please Lord, let me find someone that I can relate to.

I say with my mouth that I want to be in Your presence…I say with my mouth to be more like You is what I want…but with my actions. With my actions I am saying much louder – feel sorry for me…but DON’T try to teach me anything. I still know more than you because I have “walked with God longer.” Still stuck on THAT treadmill. This needs to stop and now.

Meandering

Funny, you don’t hear the word meandering much anymore. I wonder why that is. Hm, guess it could be that it is not the kind of word that comes up in many conversations today.  What with microwave ovens and instant life. (Just add water!)  That’s kind of sad. Kind of like the smell of fresh cotton that has been hung to dry in the sun on a breezy spring day.

I used to love “meandering” all over the store when my Mom worked at JC Penney. I was in my early teens then. Even then I was good at meandering…the world seemed a lot safer back then. I could walk aimlessly and just ponder life. Since the store was only a couple miles from home we would walk there often. Sometimes laughing and kidding around as a group of cousins or friends would, other times I would just walk around the new housing development that was taking shape just up from my parents home.  I think the way we were able to explore so many of the new homes as they were being built gave me a real love of architecture. I am pretty sure that is where I came up with the overwhelming desire to draw floor plans in all my stories.

I loved to write back then, I wrote a lot and really enjoyed it. I even wrote a  really good story that I let a friend of mine read, and he, being the supportive brotherly type was very encouraging of my work. Ah, but I never thought it was a real gift. Writing was just an outlet for all my frustrations and in my stories my heroine was always everything I wanted to be, but wasn’t.

And as short as this piece is…I’d say it is a great example of meandering. Have a great life y’all.

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

Tears stream down my face. No reason…no idea why. Too many people I want to be able to help. To be there for…and yet…I fall short every time. Every day…every day I need to be there and I am not. Every time I think of my little sister…and the many ways she is ALWAYS there for everyone, just like my Mom had been.

I always wanted to have a home where people could come and know they were welcome and safe. I had a vision of that place and even shared it with others. I had a few times when others came and it seemed as though my hearts desire was starting to be realized. And then, it wasn’t.  Veer from the path, even an inch and you fall in the pit a mile away.

What I always wanted and truly tried to make a reality in my life has been realized in so many other people…just not me. Just not me.  Sometimes it just makes me shake my head. I remember sharing hopes and dreams with friends…and the next thing I know, they are doing what I always wanted to do…working for a vet. Having a small farm with the animals I would have wanted – and making it work. Working with a dentist as an assistant. Opening their home to take care of others that really need the help, love and comfort that only can be given by someone who truly loves you. In some ways I see my life lived in others that I love…and in others I feel a tinge of jealousy because I always wanted to achieve what they have. Not so much a destructive jealousy…more of a lost dream being realized in someone else.

Living alone, I felt like people didn’t want to come visit me, at first, because my home was “not in the best part of town.” Then it was because they didn’t know where to park even though the one time anyone came they really thought the place was wonderful. Then it was a matter of too small an apartment with very little parking – then a nice apartment but still…an apartment…so there ya go. I didn’t have a nice home out in the suburbs where they could feel “safe” or comfortable…and hey, it’s easier for Kim to come see me.

Now I live with a friend…at least we have someone who will miss us if we don’t come home after work. Still…I miss what I very rarely ever had…people who WANT to be with me.

Someone who WANTS to be with me…where have I heard that before. Hmmm…

God, created man to be His family. God wanted children. No where else in the creation story do you see where God created any other creature and made it in His Image and likeness. His image and likeness. So, not only did Adam and Eve ACTUALLY LOOK like God, but they were able to act like Him too.  He came and walked with them daily.  He came down to be with them and talk to them. Can you imagine the joy He got out of hearing Adam name the animals?  How about when He introduced Eve to Adam? For anyone who has been ANYWHERE with a child and heard their exuberance about their BIG finds (that to you it’s just a dandelion) they just HAVE to show you! Think about the Creator walking with His children and seeing His creation through their eyes. How much joy…how much love…what peace. As much as God (our Father) loves music, He did create it by the way, He loves the sound of His children laughing, admiring His handiwork, giving words of encouragement to someone in need. A hand on the shoulder of someone who just needs to feel the touch of someone who cares. A shoulder to cry on. A simple hug in the time of need.

God created Adam and Eve to be eternal beings. They were never supposed to die. They had the LIFE of God on the inside of them and God created the container of His life to be able to handle ALL that His life involved. Think of it…now don’t get me wrong…God did NOT create Adam and Eve (and us in them) to be little gods. But He did create us to be able to do WHATEVER He wanted us to do and/or whatever They/we wanted to do. He gave them/us free will. Unlike any other creature that God made, God gave man Free Will. God wanted to KNOW if man would choose to come into His family…or if he would turn away to his own destruction. Guess we all know where THAT is going don’t we?

God mentions 2 trees in the Bible…but if you read in Genesis…He only tells Adam that he can not eat from only 1 of them. The tree of Life was never out of bounds for them. Adam and Eve were immortal creatures so it was no big deal for them to eat of it.

Have you ever read any scripture about what God looks like?

In every one of those verses – God is a light. A light so bright it would blind you to look at it. And yet, Adam and Eve walked DAILY with Him and were not affected by this light. Ever wondered why? Have you ever been around a welder when they are welding? They were very heavy helmets with extremely dark glass so that they can see what they are welding but the light from the welder doesn’t affect their eyes. Looking too long at a welders arc will cause extreme damage to your eyes to the point of blindness. God’s light is brighter than that and it doesn’t shut down. Ever.

So, why? Why were they not affected then?  It’s really rather simple. They were made in the IMAGE and LIKENESS of God. They were light too. Have you ever tried to look at a spotlight at a theatre? If you I guaranty you saw dark spots before your eyes for at least a little while because that bright of a light AGAIN damages your eyes if you are not careful around it. IF you tried looking at the spotlight…were you able to see the actual shape of the bulb or just be dazzled from the light? Being dazzled isn’t so bad. Talk about a real head turner. “Whoa Father! did you see that?! there is someone JUST LIKE US here!!!” “That’s right Adam…what would you like to call her…she is your mate.”

Now that’s a vision isn’t it? Talk about a match made in heaven.  Well…not really…it was made on earth…um actually made OF earth.

Amateur or Professional

Having never seen “High School Musical” before (yes I realize how sheltered I have been.) I seriously had low expectations of a high school drama club actually DOING the play. Well, I guess my expectations had been blurred by the shoddy and lifeless “productions” that I saw from a local high school. This high school was far and above BETTER than the afore mentioned local school. The play was done with polish and style. The acting was superb and the lines delivered flawlessly. (I did, after all, go to the LAST showing and if my thought runs true…by that showing the group are either SO tired it will be a total screw up, or they will have worked all the kinks out – it was nice that the latter was the rule that night.)

I wasn’t always so judgmental about high schools and the drama clubs, why the high school that I went to while growing up really were VERY well put together. Even though they were from 16 to 18 years old they actually had talent and obviously exquisite guidance with the production. When I saw “professional actors” doing plays later in life I found that the productions that my high school had done had ranked quite high as far as quality in both performance and ability.  Before you think I have gone on off the deep end patting myself on the back…I was not part of the drama club…and although I did try out once (thank GOD) they had the GOOD sense to squash that little flame out in one fell swoop. No, I’m not upset that they did that…granted I was then, but life has taken me to places I am sure the theatre would not or could not have taken me. I do love watching quality plays being performed by talented actors whether they be 16, 17, 18 or a seasoned ADULT PROFESSIONAL actor. If a play is well done…it is worth the price no matter what it is. I’m so glad the young lady at the “not so good” high school is having her LAST play in her LAST year of school and we will not have to endure that agony of sitting though the abomination that they call “drama.”

On the other hand – the younger sister, who has moved to be able to go to the “GOOD DRAMA” department is only a Sophomore so we have 3 glorious years to watch this talented young lady soar to new and exciting heights as she is taught and as she submits to instruction both in acting and in signing (she has a WONDERFUL voice). I am looking forward to the day when I can say – “I knew her when” and smile.

Another Sleepless Night

Wow, insomnia…who would have thought. So much on my mind. I’m not in pain and the thoughts are a jumble.

One of the many things I have learned through  the years I have walked on this earth is: Don’t hold onto anything too tightly. Do not count on yourself, even, to be your everything because you will fail yourself often and sometimes even with remorse. Other people come and go either for a short season or for reason…and sometimes they come to stay. Well, stay is also relative. We all have an expiration date…we just don’t necessarily know when that expiration date will be met. Love each one as much as you can. Give what you need to give and receive what you need to receive so that when the time to say good-bye comes – you will be ready.

Call a loved one on the phone just to say “Hi, I was thinking about you.” Or write a letter or text…send a card just to lift someone’s spirit a bit. Go see them and give them a hug. Small things yes…but so much larger than life at the right time. When we seek God’s face our timing will be impeccable.

For God so loved the world, us…people! That He gave His ONLY BEGOTTEN Son so that WHOSOEVER – that doesn’t mean only the good, tidy, neat little packages who are “perfect” in every way – that means EVERYONE…the good, the bad and the ugly, can come. God in all HIS GLORY in heaven didn’t want just beings that were created to worship Him…he wanted someone who WANTED to worship and FELLOWSHIP with Him of his own will and decision. God wanted sons and daughters who would choose to become HIS children…on purpose and with forethought. He doesn’t want a long list of “DO’S and DON’TS” He is not a fan of religion. WHAT?! It’s true…religion smothers the life out of relationship. There is freedom in relationship if it is healthy. In a good and true relationship, you can be totally yourself with each other.

Have you ever noticed, when you spend time with other people, you begin to be more like each other. I have found being around certain people that many times things that I say a lot start being said by others – and I know that other people rub off on me as well. It is what we do. When we spend a lot of time with our friends we all start becoming more and more like each other. Well, I know that the more time I spend alone with my heavenly Father…the more like Him I become. And alas…when I choose to walk farther away than I ever intended from His face…the more like the world I become. I am on my journey back to closeness with my Creator…my Father…my BEST Friend, who never forsook me and is always near when I need shelter in a storm to hold me close and let me sob and cry into His chest in the wee hours of the morning.

Lord, YOU know the path I must take. Though I walked away…your arms are open wide to take me back. I have picked up so much junk in my life I know I need to be purged of the dead stuff so that like a newly pruned fruit tree I can look beautiful in Your sight and produce the fruit of YOUR Life. I trust You Lord to take me there again and deeper still into Your presence.

Thoughts in Insomnia

Thoughts in the middle of the night when insomnia hits, yet again.

I’m so glad I got to spend time with my Mom before she passed, she was and is a real inspiration. I hope I got at least a little of her love of life and family. She was totally with us until she went home…less than 24 hours before she died she was sitting on the edge of my sister’s couch having conversation with her Pastor’s wife and to see this (if you didn’t know she was sick) you would not have guessed that she was dying.

Molly looks so much better when she is groomed, so why do I not keep her groomed…it’s not like it costs me anything, I do it myself. Laziness has to go…that is all I’m going to say about that.

As much as I love organization why am I so disorganized in my schedule? If I would take the time to plan how my days should be spent I could get so much more accomplished. I mean I do a good job at work keeping priorities in order…but when I am home that all goes out the window. I guess, maybe I am afraid that too much organization removes any spontaneity…you have to have flexibility or you become so rigid that you can’t bend. But I also don’t want to be a wet noodle either. There is a mid-point somewhere and I will, with God’s help, find it.

Panda Pop is addictive…I need to walk away for awhile. There are so many things that are SO much more important that I leave Undone because I waste time on that stupid game. So…starting now…I’m officially done with it for the next month I will NOT play that game. Period.

When I was 10 I would NEVER have believed that my phone would be my navigator and be better than I could EVER have been even with a map! Technology is a good thing but I don’t want to become so dependent on it that I can’t do anything on my own again. I used to do math (ok simple add and subtract) in my head…I need to cultivate that again, along with using a real map – not a virtual one. I need to be more disciplined about EVERYTHING again. My finances being a big priority. Ric did me no favor when he coerced me into giving into every little whim. That needs corrected too…and NOW.

 

 

Picture This

Blah, blah, blah, waa, waa, waa good grief our world is so full of NOISE! The roar of 18-wheelers  on the highway and the road-rage faces on drivers waiting impatiently at stop lights. Oh if you could only HEAR what is being said in that car next to you. You have NO idea what they have been through today and then that person had the audacity to cut in front of them has pushed them to the limit! Horns honking because pedestrians are making their way across a busy intersection looking at their phone and not the walk/don’t walk sign. Everyone in such a hurry to be someplace beside where they are and do not seem to care who knows it.

Now, breathe…just suck in that clean cool spring air into your lungs and close your eyes. Breathe out. Do it again with your eyes still closed breathe in slowly and breathe out just as slowly.  Feel the cool fresh spring grass under your bare feet as you sit quietly on a small hill under a dogwood tree. Tilt your face up to the sun, like a blooming sun-flower. Feel the warmth. Listen to the birds twittering in the trees near and far…a constant conversation light and sweet. A light breeze lifts your hair just a touch and it tickles your neck. Shh do you hear the swishing and gurgling of the small stream winding near by. Cool clear water, so inviting. A small glimmer just under the water as a tadpole zips close to the waters edge looking for a dark place to hide. You smile as you watch it back into a small coverlet under a water lily. Peace abounds.

Thank You Lord, You can take us away for just a moment when we need it most. I simple closing of our eyes so that we can SEE You. Let us breathe You in and be submersed in Your presence. Let us show the world that this is NOT all there is nor is it as good as it gets. You are AWESOME God.

Gripe Session

What goes in…must come out. It’s inevitable…the way things work. Good in…good out. Bad in…bad out. Like the computer geek said, garbage in, garbage out. The same holds true with the living. If we are at all concerned about our lives and what impact they will have on our circumstances and other’s lives, we need to guard ourselves to the things we allow into our lives.

Try as we might to make the right choices it only takes one bad decision to start us down a path so dark we end up wondering how in the world we got there.

Have you EVER had a moment when you just wanted the whole world to stop and let you get off? Eh, sometimes? Ha, it happens more often than I want to admit. Life just gets too loud and hectic and crazy. A deep breath and a hot bubble bath are often what is truly needed to de-stress.  Right now, for example, I am going through sugar withdrawal and it is not pretty. I have pain issues because of Fibromyalgia but when I got my new job a lot of my pain subsided…so I decided to start losing the weight that I gained and finish my weight loss program so that I can be as healthy as possible. Yay me! Uh-huh…the exercise is good for me and I know I will eventually get in shape enough that I won’t hurt from it (as much) but the lack of sweets is really hard…I mean…really hard. I totally understand people who are quitting smoking…I am NOT a pleasant person right now. I believe if I could just sleep through the next few days it would be SO much better on the rest of the world and me.

So I eat…and I chastise myself for being weak. Surely Raisin Bran can’t be that bad for me…right? I mean there is fiber and milk for calcium…but alas…the weight stays and the spiral goes down even farther.

The beautiful thing about a tirade on your computer is this…there is this little key on my keyboard called delete.

When is Old

I am 60…I’m not old…I laugh when I remember my mother telling me at 75 that she didn’t think she was old yet so she would push “being old” out to 85…at 84 she smiled and said, “well maybe 90″…my mother passed on to heaven last year still “not old” at 90. I loved my Mom and she was a wonderful mother. Such an example of a strong woman who loved her family and GOD FORBID that ANYONE hurt her babies. It didn’t matter that her baby at her passing was nearing 60 and I only had a couple months before I (her next to last) was to hit 60…we were still her babies and she loved us as fiercely then as she did when we were babies. She didn’t accept Christ until I was nearly 40 but when she did – she (like me) loved Him with all of her being. True she wasn’t at the Church every time the doors were open…but you could sense Jesus with her ALL the time. She walked with Him as surely as the apostles did while Jesus was here on earth. I miss her so very much.