Thursday, May 26, 2011

Friends and family...

I was flipping through a book this morning and was reading the account of when Jesus told John, from the cross, to care for His mom. Such a tender thing to do. But why? I mean, it's not like Mary had no family. Her sister was standing right next to her. Why didn't Jesus trust his mom to His aunt and uncle? Kinda makes you go "Hmmmm?" don't it?

Odd don't you think? I mean shouldn't family come first? Always? Blood thicker than water and all that. Especially in the time we are referring to. A widow would be the responsibility of the closest family. So what is it with entrusting her care to a friend...even a BFF like John?

Since the entire council of God's Word is seamless, there must be another reference to it. I mean, Jesus didn't just pull it out of no where, did He? Consider Proverbs 27:10 as a point:

"Do not forsake your friend and the friend of your father, and do not go to your brother's house when disaster strikes you--better a neighbor nearby than a brother far away."

Well we know Jesus was not talking about vicinity here. Like I said, Mary's sister was with her at the cross. No, I think it goes to that "yoking" again. Both Mary and John knew who Jesus was. They both had the same call to adore the Savior, even as they watched Him suffer and die. I am using pure conjecture here, but we have no reason to believe that Mary's family was supportive of the idea that Jesus was Messiah. If that was the case, doesn't it make more sense that Mary would be left in the care of John....who could understand her grief in a way not even her own family could?

As I write this, I got to thinking on this point as well, "For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother." (Matt. 12:50)

It matter "who" we share "what" with. Not every friend needs to hear every bit of our heart. Not very often will you find one that you can share it all with. But there is One. You can tell Him everything...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Gifted and blessed....

That is what I am. I have been blessed by gifts beyond compare. I was teasing John this morning about his work schedule and the fact that he is never home at the moment. He reminded me of my post about him being home like the plague....evidently he reads here! No, I am never satisfied. Sigh.

But yesterday, I found myself blessed just to be. Nothing extraordinary happened. Yeah, the usual. Five week reports, and who needs to step up the grades. Ministering to my Brennan~remember Junior High? No, me neither. Never went. I was suppose to be protected in that little school I went to. What I do remember is being called fat, ugly and stupid every day. I think it gave my girl some comfort to know, mommy was not the queen of the ball. I was the kid that hid in the bathroom during lunch. Yup. I was that kid. She knows as much about who I was as she needs to. Not because I am trying to show her up...so she can know that only our God can create beauty from ashes. And He so did in me...no, not in how fantastic I look~ that is the given, duh~but in the scandal my life must be in the Heavenlies. I am a woman, blessed by God with the most amazing life. Glory. Now to get her through one more year of this junior high. We have Jesus, we'll make it.

We mommies have a fight on our hands. I am grateful my kids know I am paying attention. They know, they will get caught just as easily being good as they will be by being rotten. I pray they know that I pray...

And that has been a struggle of late. I have felt as if all I do is come to Him to complain. What I am learning slowly in the season, is that He waits on me. He rises to meet me...wow. He rises to meet me!

"Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you;
He rises to show compassion.
For the Lord is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for Him." Isaiah 30:18

That is a win/win! If he "rises" to meet me and I am blessed to "wait for Him" how do I lose? Each morning when I come to Him...He rises. Wow.

There is no formula to being a woman of prayer. It is just a matter of doing it. Not hit or miss, as we have all done. Not just in the shower or the car....but actually waiting to meet a God who promises to rise to meet me to show me compassion. Yeah, that is what a mom needs to hear right now. Not a bad way to meet the middle of the week. Not bad at all.

Friday, May 20, 2011

On the outside chance...

I was under the impression that we are supposed to live like Jesus might return at any moment. I think, I mean I am pretty sure I read that in the Word. You know, you never know...except of course for the crazy pastor out west who says he does. Oh. I guess the Father decided to let him in on it, but not the Son, since Jesus said only the Father knows the time or the hour. This pastor must have some kind of special pastor power, don't ya' think? Yeah, that must be it.

Well it has made for some great fodder about not doing the laundry and stopping my diet...hey, eat drink and be merry right? Ah, not so much.

I made the decision to lose some weight when I wore a Spanks for Easter...and it fought back. I am so loving the fuller skirts and the A-line style dresses out in the stores that I went ahead and got me some...except I didn't look like Doris Day I looked like Mrs. Cunningham. I can happily report that I am now 14 pounds down with only 10 more to go...and oh, how much I miss bread, just so you know!

Liz has played personal trainer and she has done quite well at kicking her mom's butt...and she seems to enjoy it way too much. When I told John I had gone running, he asked if I was being chased....Yeah, nice guy I married!

But more to why I have not blogged so much you ask? Just life. Some of it far way more private to my heart. Some of it for here, some of it for my journal. Some of it just plain running with five kids, two dogs, a cat and a top of the list husband. No, not my fecal list, the good one!

God is always the number one priority.  He has just asked that life be more focused on the family right now. That is the first ministry...'cause family is never an obstacle to ministry, remember?

So should we be raptured by Jesus before my next post, see ya' there!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

"Bright Light! Bright Litght!"

"The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it." (John 1:5) NIV

Have ya' ever? I sure have. What? You don't see where I am going yet? Okay, hang on.

I had no intention of having a deep moment with from the Word one morning on Spring break. I was waiting for Liz as she went on her first job interview. I went to sit in the car and picked up a pocket bible left in the car. I was just flipping pages when I came to the Gospel of John. I had read it a million times. But that one line jumped off the page at me and it felt like I had never read it before. As Beth Moore would put it, "I got me a fresh revelation of The Word!"

I've come to the conclusion that if I can't understand something, it is one of two things: either I am in sin or God has not chosen to explain it. Darkness is confused by the Light, not the other way around. Ours is a God of order. There is no chaos or confusion. He may simply be teaching you something new or you may have to ask Him to check your heart for any sin you may not have noticed. I wonder if it is like when I tell the kids to clean their room and they forget to check under the bed...I've met some powerful dust bunnies under there! I wonder if our God looks under the artery and tugs at a vein and yells, "Hey Mair, you've missed something!"

Sometimes our biggest problems come when we are standing in that Light and people we love are in darkness. That light can be pretty darn bright! Kinda' like Gizmo shouting, "Bright light!" it can repel people like a gremlin.  What should not shock us is when said gremlin tries to confuse us back. Don't be surprised at the lengths he will go to either. Every form of manipulation and offense just might come hurling your way. Your own words may be twisted, your actions questioned and your decision making brought into play.

"For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." (2 Timothy 1:7) NAKJ

That sound mind, I think gives us permission to pop that gremlin into a microwave and watch it blow up.  I suppose this all means that we should know the Truth when we see it. But being all flesh and such, we'll miss it sometimes just because if we were already perfected, we wouldn't be here anymore. In the meantime, get out the blender and hit puree....

Friday, May 6, 2011

Dear Mom...

If I could write a letter to Mom, it might say some of this...

Dear Mom,

It's May. In my world that means a whole month of missing you. Your anniversary, birthday and to boot, Mother's Day. Sigh. I remember how it annoyed you to have all three in one month because you were often short changed on gifts...know the feeling. I got married two weeks after Christmas but I was smart enough to marry a man who knows not to forget! 

I have this amazing life here, dirt side. I wonder if you get to watch at times, in between singing, "Glory to the Lamb!" and I wonder if you still sing off key too! I know that would have gotten me a dish towel thrown at me!

I sometimes look at this wonderful brood of mine and think what a shame it is that you missed it all. How could I have five children and a husband that never met you? How could they have no point of reference when I talk about our house or you being my softball coach or their Auntie Annie's religion teacher? I miss  our talks about Jesus, reading poetry together, and watching the CMA's with you. Remember how I use to run into your room and put on the radio because, "you just have to hear this song!" My girls do that to me too but my music is better. ;)

I know how you would fuss on my girls and Jack. You would have thought John to be way better for me than you expected I could do. That whole, "marry a civil servant" advice worked out quite well. Thanks.

Mostly I just miss having a mom. I know that sounds silly. God knows we had so little to agree on, except Jesus and fashion. But than I think you would have shaken your head at me for not being a size four anymore...reminding me you went home from the hospital, after giving birth, in your regular clothes. Aha...and that would have gotten a dish towel thrown back at you! I have no doubt you would drive me crazy if you were here...kinda' wish you could.

We would have had some fantastic theological debates! I would have made you so mad because I would have been right. Ha! Remember, you wrote the words, "I love your spirit! I love your fight! I love your smile when you are right!" And in the end, we would have loved each other harder and deeper.

I've had quite a year, Mom. Some of it has been "to the moon" as you would have said and some of it has just made me weep. I still remember how hurt you were when you lost so much in such a short time. Sure wish you were here now. I understand that season better now. Hard to lose a friend you have shared Jesus so deeply with. I am the exact age you were when you went through the same thing. It would be good to have a very good cry with you over it.

But I want you to know something perfected that came out of watching you in that season so many years ago. I have dug deeper into my love of Jesus. I asked Him to give me His love...because I learned that some hurts force you to beg Him to let you love like Him...or you would simply never love again. Learned that from you Mom.

Sometimes the Light of the world can make me cry over the brightness. But life in the Light is nothing short of very good. I don't pretend to have all the answers but I do know the One who does. Fell in love with Him standing next to you. I watched the most conservative woman in Yonkers as you threw your hands up in the air to praise our Jesus. I sat as you anointed my head with oil and prayed that the Holy Spirit would drip down over me like "osmosis" whenever I took a test. And I held your hand as we sought His kingship over our lives.

I just plain miss you. You were right, I'll give you this one: I do miss you now that you are gone. I know I will see you again, soon enough. And I know my kids won't understand just how much they need a mom, even as grown ups, until I am sitting next to you and Jesus. Kiss Rose Marie and Sean for me.

Your sister-in-Christ,
Maryellen

Or as Daddy called me,