Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Nightwatch

   The soft whimpering from the crib interrupts my deep slumber. I roll over sleepily and look at the clock ; 1:50am. "I'm so tired. Father, I'm so tired. It was after 12:00 till I got her settled." My thoughts form a jumbled cry heavenward as I try to waken enough to get to baby's crib. Her cries have increased in volume. I must get her quickly before she disturbs her sleeping 18month old sister.
    I wearily lift my little one and sink into the rocker beside the bed. Her fretfull cries turn to contented sighs and sucking. "Oh, you sweetie". I find my weariness melting away. "Father, thank you, for this precious baby girl. Thank you for her health. Help me be the mother she needs. Give me wisdom to guide her to You."
   My thoughts have turned to prayer once again. "Lord, thank you for all of our children. Draw them to yourself." My thoughts and prayers turn to our oldest struggling with adolescence and to my youngest brother fighting the allure of the world. My mind goes to his friends. I pray for their struggles and thank God for the victories.
    Baby's sucking has stopped. I'm brought back to the present. She is asleep. As I place her gently in her crib, I realize I don't feel nearly as weary now. The time has passed quickly as I spent most of the time in prayer. I realize that happened a lot of nights.
    Then God showed me a picture of all the mommies across the world, awake with their babies and....praying.
     My baby often wakes every couple hours. My sister's baby wakes around 4 am. Another friend has a newborn who rarely settles before midnight. All across the land there are mommies awake with their babies and somewhere else, in the dark of the night, someone has a need.
   My mind began to grasp a beautiful provision for intercessory prayer.
    Through out the Bible we see the role of the watchman, who watches while other sleep, to warn of danger and keep guard against the enemy. The New Testament warns us to watch and pray against the spiritual enemy.
    Spiritual warfare doesn't sleep. It is even more intense during the dark hours of the night. The demons of hell love the cloak of darkness. Many battles are fought at night when no one sees and no one knows.
    Somewhere, every hour through the night, the struggle is real:
 It's midnight, a young man lingers on the street corner, feeling the pull behind the neon lights.
12:30, a Mother and Father anxiously watch for the headlights of a wayward son.
1:00, a Father tosses and turns mentally calculating and re-calculating the figures that just don't add up.
1:30, a rebellious daughter, suitcase in hand, hesitates at the open window.
2:00, the blood-curdling snarl of a drug addict, somebody's child, echoes through the abandoned warehouse.
3:00, a tormented soul pulls a revolver from the drawer and slides  the safety off.
3:30, a young mother weeps while bathing the feverish brow of her child.
4:00, an invalid wakes in pain, yet again.
5:00, a pastor rises early, burdened with the souls in his care.
6:00, a widow awakens to an empty pillow beside her and anguish washes over her once again.
    What if all the mommies were praying?
     I have often been blessed to be part of a 24 hour prayer chain. Now I realize I have the opportunity to be part of God's 24 hour prayer chain.
     Two scriptures in Ezekiel and Isaiah, haunt me with their need and questions.
     Israel was in turmoil, giving into the influences of evil around them and destined for judgement. God needed someone to stand for right and save the people from destruction. He says, "I sought for a man among them to make up the hedge and stand in the gap before me...but I found none." Ezek. 22:30
    Where were the intercessors ? Where are they today?
     In the account of the destruction of Sodom when Abraham pled for Lot, the words stand out, " ...and Abraham stood yet before the Lord." Never underestimate the power of that.
    In Isaiah, again God's people were in chaos, beset by the enemy. The call goes forth, "Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night?"! I feel the urgency of that question today. Are there watchmen who watch and know?
     Jeremiah says, "Make the watch strong, set up the watchman."
Again in Isaiah God says, "I have set watchman which shall never hold their peace day or night."
In Lamentations again, " Arise, cry out in the night, in the beginning of the watches, pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord. Lift up your hands toward him for the life of thy young children..."
     All across the land, Mothers, you are awake with your baby.     Are you praying? Are you crying out?
     What a responsibility! What a privilege!
Mommies, the night watch is ours!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Are You a Feminist?

There is something creeping subtly into the minds, hearts and homes of Christian women. More and more , I see, hear and read of it's symptoms and manifestations. It is feminism in it's new ,ungodly form.
    We have always thought of the "women's lib", suffrage, and feminism movements as "out there" , not something that touches godly women, but it is. It has crept in so silently we don't recognize it until it has ruined homes and lives.
    Consider how recently you have seen or heard of a marriage being torn apart of a couple you never would have thought it would happen to. How often are you seeing it even in homes with church backgrounds of a strong Biblical stand against divorce?
    Consider how often you hear a variation of the thinking; "I need my space", "I need to be who I am", I need to go after my dreams", " I know I may need to change but I need to change for myself, not someone else".
    Does that sound familiar? Does that really sound like biblical, godly womanhood? (And incidentally, what's wrong with changing for someone you love? True love will always change a person. )
      What was a woman created for? To be his helpmeet- to complete him. God made man in His image, male and female. In the two, as one, they both become complete.
    When did that cease to be a high calling and a privilege?
     What is the completed oneness of a man and woman supposed to be for? Is there a purpose beyond procreation and the happy, lovey- dovey of companionship? Of course! It is to show Christ and His Bride to the world.
     When did that cease to be a high calling and a privilege?
      The Bride of Christ loves her Groom, serves her Groom, reverences her Groom, changes for her Groom. Her Groom is her joy, her life!!
      When did the earthly manifestation of that, cease to be a fulfillment of all that I need or desire or dream?
       Dare I suggest to you a couple things that have allowed this snake into the garden?
      Firstly, we have failed somehow to hold up and teach the glorious joy of a woman's calling. We have failed to teach and show the beautiful example of marriages like that of Christ and His Bride. So our young women are not catching that a marriage like that is what will fulfill them . That is where their dreams will be met.
    Then we see the "dream catch" syndrome of the world creeping in.
    O, we feel godly because we don't say he needs to be a Yale or Harvard graduate or a lawyer, doctor or have a six figure income. We say he needs to be a missionary or seminary student, involved in ministry, or a Bible College graduate. We want the finest catch for our daughters; forgetting to teach them to be worthy of a man of God, regardless of his family name, his vocation, occupation or income.
   There is, also, another thing far more subtly feeding the snake. It is the teaching that a young woman needs to remember that "she" is so very, very special. Why, she even should look in the mirror and tell herself that! She needs to wait because "she" is worth it. She needs to be very, very sure she finds the godliest man to take care of "her". She needs to be sure that any man she considers measures up to "her" standards and fulfills her list of credentials. She needs to go after that seminary student or missionary because "she" deserves it.
     An attitude like that makes it very hard not to whine or pout the first time you have to pick up Mr. Right's socks. Or when Mr. Seminary doesn't bring you flowers. Or Mr. Missionary neglects to tell you you're pretty or thank you for the supper.
     Of course , some of those things are good to teach but before you think I'm off my rocker for saying that feeds the snake, hear me out....
    Consider the calling of the Bride of Christ. Who is special? Who is worthy? You're right- the Groom!
    We women were created to be "his" helpmeet; to complete "him".
     We keep ourselves special because "he" is! We wait because "he" is worth it!
      Does that make me less than him? No! No! No! A thousand times, no!
     If you want to feel important. That IS important! The man is not complete without the woman, that is why God made you!
     You have a need to be cared for, and protected. The man fulfills that need. There's nothing wrong with that! That is okay! That's not "not being who I am"! That is who you were meant to be. That's God's way. Not mine, not someone else's , God's!
      Young women ( or older women) you need to grab ahold of your calling! You need to seek God to impress it deep into your hearts!
     Parents, you need to recognize the subtle twist the devil and the influence of the  world is putting on your teaching. Be very, very sure your daughters catch the difference!
   Our young women's lives, the lives of many  young men and children depend on it.
   Oh, yes, Young Woman, you are important! You can go after your dreams! Lift up the man in your life! See that you "reverence your husband" if you have one or see that you respect the godly young man that may be your husband someday. Put them first!
     See if you won't find a joy you've never dreamed possible!
     You will, because it is God's plan for women and His way always brings joy!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Do "They" Run or Ruin Your Life?

Years ago I cut this out of a newspaper and posted in our frig. Somewhere over the years it got lost. I have finally located it online. I really, really like this!

Ode to the House of They

Have you heard of the terrible family They,
And the dreadful, venomous things They say?

Why, half the gossip under the sun,

If you trace it back, you will find begun

In that wretched House of They.

A numerous family, so I am told,

And its genealogical tree is old;

For ever since Adam and Eve began

To build up the curious race of man,

Has existed the House of They.

Gossip-mongers and spreaders of lies,

Horrid people whom all despise!

And yet the best of us now and then,

Repeat queer tales about women and men

And quote the House of They.

They live like lords, and never labor;

A They`s one task is to watch his neighbor,

And tell his business and private affairs

To the world at large; they are sowers of tares-

These folks in the House of They.

It is wholly useless to follow a They

With a whip or a gun, for he slips away

And into his house, where you cannot go;

It is locked and bolted and guarded so-

This horrible House of They.

Though you cannot get in, yet they get out,

And spread their villainous tales about;

Of all the rascals under the sun

Who have come to punishment, never one

Belonged to the House of They.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Mothers and Life


Mother's Day....mixed emotions....that I really don't know the words for, or even know for sure if I want to put into words. .....cause , you know, putting something into words makes it more real somehow...and I realize that I have been trying to not make it real.

It is a funny thing to be a grownup and to know that life has cycles and change and inevitables and that being "grownup" you know that is ...just with it.

No amount of wallowing in the confusion and funny feelings and allowing the tears and memories etc, etc, will change any of it.

So my personality is -deal with it.

But sometimes I feel like there are realities that I tiptoe softly over like walking on eggshells.

Like aging, death, empty nesting, change,

This is the first Mother's Day of my life without a Mother. This is also the first Mother's day ,of my life as a Mother, without almost half of my children at home for the day to celebrate.

It feels ...kinda.....strange......I really have no words ...and I realize that searching for the words only brings me far too close to that place where I can no longer tiptoe over the feelings .

And somehow I feel like if I get to that place it would take me too long to make my way back.

I kinda feel like I'm hanging suspended over a chasm of time on a thin cable that is flinging me forward to the change on the other side and there is nothing I can do about it

As a grownup with my own full life it doesn't feel like it should feel so much like a house without a foundation to face a Mother's day without my Mom. does......

I'm not an overly sentimental person. I don't get into mushy displays of family affection. I never really gave the whole "Mother " factor that much thought . It was just life. It was a given. Mothers day rolled around and as a kid I always picked out or made some little gift for Mom. As an adult moved away from home, I always called or visited. That was really all it was. I loved Mom. I appreciated her. But...she was just ...there....I really never thought about it, that in the very basic-ness of life she was a foundation.

I want to hold on to my kids. I want to be surrounded by them freeze this time.....somehow it seems like it would fill the surreal, vague, empty space that was ...Mom.

But like I said putting it into words brings tears to my eyes moment....this celebration...I choose to focus on what IS, not what Was...That is LIFE...and that really is the only way...the best get through it, until .... day we part no more...

Friday, February 15, 2013

February Thoughts

The piles of snow are melting, making funky patterns on my deck

and making my mind want to dare to think of Spring. Which, if you live in the Inland Northwest, is a very pointless exercise! But I can always hope! :)

Valentine tulips make me smile.

The circle of life goes on and in February one tends to think about it more. Nature hangs waiting, seemingly dead and still, for the warmth of life in the Spring breezes.

I sit waiting on my first grandchild. I never imagined that I would feel almost as impatient as when it was my own. I will fly East on the 20th,my Mom's 71st birthday...if she were still here....I will leave to see my first grandchild, her 23rd great life, not replacing the old ,just continuing the cycle of life...carrying on the heritage of what went before.

Today is all sunshine and bright, blue skies.

I received a gorgeous bridal shower invitation today...another happy reminder of the goodness of the cycle of life.....

I now am the (not so) proud owner of new pair of reading glasses. A not so happy reminder of life's cycles.....

I got a funky purple pair. Not because they look good on me. I'm not sure they do...but I have determined that "when I am old , I shall wear purple"! :)

Mom's Menu- Chicken Fried Rice, Corn and Applesauce

Saturday, February 2, 2013

The truth About The Weight Issue

Wow!! This really hit home!!

I'm ashamed to admit it....but I think it's time to....

For far too long I have looked in the mirror and compared the woman there to the 18yr old girl I used to be.

Crazy , yes, stupid, duh, but I have . I have moaned and groaned about the fact that I was always determined to never gain weight! I would somehow stay slim in spite of 9 babies, 3 miscarriages, my gene pool and middle age!!!!!

Well, yeh you guessed it I didn't and I have hated myself for it! I have obssessed about the 30lbs I've gained since I was forty. I have dieted incessantly and tried to lose the 50 lbs overall that I have gained since before I had kids. I never, ever ,ever just enjoy a tiramisu. I have one maybe once a year and can't even enjoy the taste because I feel so guilty. I am constantly on a diet..constantly!!!

I never let my candid pic be taken if I know about it. And if someone sneaks one I delete if I can. I try to ignore it when the kids tell me if I died I they wouldn't even have a recent pic of me. I tell myself that's better . Then they would always remember me thin. I look at pics of others who if I am honest with myself they are in fact heavier than I am and I wonder how does she even pose for a pic and....deep inside I envy her.

I try to ignore it when dear hubby tells me he'd rather have me happy , than thin. I try to swallow the words when  I want to remind him that I'm too heavy , when he tells me I'm beautiful. Just this morning, I told him I didn't want to go somewhere because in spite of being in a weight challenge with some friends the last 3 wks I have GAiNED a pound and half and so I don't feel like going to a neighboring church this Sun. cause I don't want people to think he has a fat wife! Yeh ....Pitiful!!!

And he just pulled me close and said, "I just want them to know that I have a happy wife." Wow, It had never really struck me like that before. Yeh, that is what is important to him. He wants people to know that he has made his wife happy. How am  I showing that if I hide out because nothing in the closet fits the way I want it too. How can people see that if I pull away from people and the outgoing personality I used to have???

Then I read this blog!! Yep! I'm very, very thoroughly convicted. It won't be easy but I am determined to accept my self, ALL of me.

So there you have it ...the whole sordid truth...

Read this blog, She says it all wonderfully!!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

A "good kid's testimony"

A simple answer in my son's Bible curriculum stopped me short.

".....I guess I don't have much of a testimony. I was only 12.......but I'm glad I didn't waste half of my life procuring a 'good' testimony."


Yes, Son, I'm glad too, you didn't!

But the issue he addresses here is a serious one.

How often are our "good- christian- home -raised" kids made to feel like this? How often does the "hell raising sinner's" conversion story get repeated over and over and glorified??

We carefully guard our children's environment. We teach them of Christ before they can talk. We read the Bible to them and then teach them to read it as soon as they can sound out "God". We teach them that we are all lost souls in need of a Saviour . We teach them the story of Adam. We tell them that through disobedience the whole race of mankind has lost a relationship with God and must find it only through the saving power of Christ's blood . We stress there are no Christians by inheritance and God has no grandchildren and clever things like that to try to instill in them that they are lost even though they are being raised in a Christian home.

We tell them never to do "those bad things"!

We rejoice when they give their heart to God and acknowledge to Him that they are lost and doomed for punishment without Him. We rejoice and baptize them and we praise God with them.

And then....then what??

Who ,outside of their parents ,(if we even do enough)encourages them, walks beside them, reminds them they were a sinner saved by grace!!!? Who affirms to them that they are remarkable , a set apart holy vessel unto God, special in His eyes and ours because they chose Him!!??? Who looks close enough to notice when the dark temptations of this world try to allure that "good kid" ? Who is there to remind him of the reaping and the sowing and how very very blessed he is that he will never have to live to regret???

Does He see or hear enough of that?

He sees the "new convert" that everyone flocks around. You know the one, the drunk who lived under the bridge who now sits in the church pew. He hears the exclaiming about the mighty power of God that worked in that man's life.

He listens to the testimony of guest speaker who spent in his life in riotous living and now found the answer to his soul's cry. And he hears the Amen's and hallelujah's roll when that man says he stands here by the grace of God .

He watches when the fatted calf is killed for the rebellious son who returns after years of running from God.

He attends all the returned missionary film shows about the amazing work of God among the sin darkened heathens.

He sees. He listens. He watches.

And somewhere along the line , he begins to feel that his conversion didn't really amount to much. He begins to question whether he really knows the grace of God. He wonders if maybe a person does need to continues in sin in order for grace to "abound".

He feels insignificant. He's just the "good kid".

And when the tempter whispers that there are good things out there to see and experience, he listens...because he has heard it sound so exciting.

And when the discourager tells him "who cares" , he listens.... because he's not sure anymore if anyone does.

And when the dark one taunts 'hath God said" , he wavers, because....he thinks ,maybe ,just maybe, he's not saved.

And while the saints rejoice over the prodigal and while the missionary recounts the conversion of the demon possessed, the good kid slips outside the door.

He becomes the runaway, the sinner...

Then we all pray...we mention his name at every prayer meeting. We rock heaven's gate with our fervent prayers for his salvation and his return.

But what if he doesn't ...then what...what if the lies and whispers grow so strong ,he takes his own life, as a "good kid", my son's friend, did just yesterday.

What then?

It is too late for that "good kid" but then...maybe then....

....will we gather our children around and tell them how blessed they valued they in the sight of God there is no respect of persons? Will we remind them that we are so very blessed by their godly, right choices and tell them how special a sanctified vessel is in the service of God? Will we tell them they are so wise to feel "glad that (they) didn't waste half of (their) life procuring a good testimony"?

Will we.....then...NOW....??