Wednesday, May 25, 2016

These are a permanent fixture in my kitchen.
It seems like I always have a wipe in hand, constantly running one over the crumbs and spills that collect on my counters. They are an easy fix so things look nice on the surface.     Today, my hand stuck to the underneath of my countertop! Yes, literally stuck! I'd been so busy wiping away the grime that was noticeable to the eye, that I'd neglected everything else.
My spiritual life is a bit like this. My friends see someone who appears ready to live out her love for Jesus and his Word, but I wonder what they might think of me if they swept more than the surface. Would they flinch at the selfishness, the judgement, the unforgiveness...the lack of faith, the false idols?
I never want to get stuck in my walk with Jesus. I am reminded, wipe in hand, of the importance of constantly guarding my heart and asking God to create in me a new one, renewing a right spirit in me. 
How deep am I willing to let Him test me and examine my heart and mind?
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Matthew 5:8
I want to be the one with clean hands and a pure heart, oh God. I want to see You in all of your Glory!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

It's been almost three years since the Beast invaded my family's life...
Cancer.  As the third anniversary of Rob's diagnosis looms over me, I find myself battling the toughest depression to date.  
From the very beginning of this journey, I promised God that I'd let Him use my transparency for his purposes. I struggle with this as I prefer the closet. Who wants to be labeled: Stuck in Grief
Yet, too many of us stuff deep our private battles with pain, preventing our circle the privilege of real community and embarrassing others into quiet suffering. That's simply not God's plan for his children.
  Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 
Galatians 6:2 NIV
I'm guilty as charged; the casual observer sees my functionality but not my daily paralysis. Friends laugh with me, but I rarely let them hold my buckets of tears. Is that your modus operandi, as well?
Truth heart hurts and I think I'm in good company. If you aren't relating, we worn warriors cheer your tidy lives—but for many of us, life is more than messy. We trudge through emotional mire: impossible marriages, broken children, crippling fear and anxiety, chronic illness, devastating loss—it's a fierce battleground!
The good news—Paul reminds us:
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships,in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NIV
It's my daily battle cry!
I am weak. I have no other place to run, but into the strong arms of my Savior.
Peter Blackburn says it better than me...thoughts from Psalm 84:6.

Valley of Baca

I do not choose
the valley of Baca -
place of dryness,
place of tedious
without my choosing,
has a way
of taking me

I do not enjoy
the valley of Baca.
I have no desire
to linger there
or to revel
in its desolation.

Yet my Lord
has promised
to be with me
all the way,
even when
I must pass
through this valley.

Because he is here,
even the valley of Baca
can become
to me
a place of springs -
from strength to strength
with him!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Funny, how my perspective on Mother's Day has changed with passing years. I must be honest; it used to be about me! I cherished the crafted love of little hands, a day off from kitchen duty (oh, those glorious trips to the Blackeyed Pea and Wyatt's cafeteria,) and even the orchid corsage from Randall's floral cooler. 
But life has more hand prints to liven up refrigerator doors, no more reminding little boys that one dessert from the cafeteria line will more husband!
 Instead of dining out, I cooked a BBQ feast for two, spicy St. Louis style pulled pork with all of the fixings to share with my oldest son. I held vigil over the roast throughout the wee hours of the morning; I wanted it just perfect! 
Bobby arrives with flowers and dessert, just like his father.  We lunch over small talk laced with a few pinches of advice. A chance to mother again; that's what I really wanted on this Sunday in May, an opportunity to make my son's day filled with served on Grandmother Moore's "fish dishes"!

Two adults, who shared the darkest moment of our lives, sit at a table built for eight, but not large enough to hide the elephant in the room. Our best friend is missing; he's always missing. 
Two hours later, I sit alone. I look to see if my elderly neighbor is by herself; no, her daughter's car is still parked in her driveway. I suppose daughters find more stories to retell. 

I reach for a vintage baby doll perched in the corner, a present from my grandmother decades ago. I hold on to it much too long; cloth and stuffing make empty arms survive in some quirky way. 
I hold on to love sent from far away...

Happy Mother's Day, Mom. I just wanted to say "I love you and I'm sorry we are apart. I hope you have a fantastic day. Thank you for always thinking of me and always coming up with fun ideas for the kiddos to keep in touch with them. They appreciate it and we appreciate it and we all love you very much.  Alex via WhatsApp

To my mom this Mother's Day:

Thank you. Thank you for showing me kindness and compassion for others in action. Thank you for teaching me acceptance for all people.

Thank you for making me finish that forever-long term paper on our typewriter. Thank you for the balloons on the mailbox when I made the dance team in high school. Thank you for introducing me to strong coffee and sharing many a Saturday shopping marathon.

Thank you for sending me into the world with confidence, and letting me cry on your shoulder the night I before moved to New York as you stroked my hair and said "You're gonna be great. You're supposed to do this."

As a mother myself now I truly get how hard it is to raise three young children. You sacrificed so much to make sure we were well take care of. You gave it your all in ways I'm not sure I know how to.

And now you are both Mom and Dad. Thank you for keeping Dad alive for all of us. He would have loved this picture.

Wish I could give you a big hug today. So much love, even if virtual.

Lindsay via FaceBook