Saturday, June 20, 2015

My parents were not perfect

We were young.  Too young to know what it meant to be a parent and have a baby.  I thought to meet my children's physical needs meant I was a good parent.  It is all I wanted in life was to be a good mom and wife.  Danny wanted four children and it sounded good to me.  I had no idea what that in tailed.  Meeting my kids emotional needs never occurred to either of us.  I kept the home and he did the work.  That was the way we were raised and it seemed to work.  Or did it.  Did I know my own emotional needs or was I training a family all about the law.  You do the right thing and you are a good person.  Be sweet and look pretty and handsome, act right and things will be ok.  It took all I had to just keep the tribe together and where they needed to be.  Talk about life and God and dreams and heart issues was foreign to me.  Just do what you are suppose to do and life will go well for you and me.  Yes I love you...but what does that mean?

I remember the day I discovered my parents were not perfect, they did not know everything and they did not do everything I thought they should.  This was a rude awaking.  I always loved my parents dearly and they loved me.  But there came a time I became my own person.  Their raising affect me and my beliefs and many were good.  But I had come to the place of having my own beliefs and thoughts as a young mother.

The truth of the matter is, so did my children also come to this realization.  I think they thought I was perfect, saw my dysfunction and flaws, and then came to appreciate me for who I am and my love for them no matter how flawed it was.  They became thankful for me and my husband as parents even though we failed in many ways.

It is funny how when your parents are gone, you don't think on the wrong things they did usually, but your love and appreciation for them grows.  Oh you may have to work through certain things they did and how the influenced you but as a whole they are a blessing from God, no matter how they messed up.  They did not mess you up though.  Keep yourself from blaming your father and mother for your life.  See your own life now as you must take responsibility for it.  Life can be hard.  I know it to be true.  I am sorry for those who had parents that disappointed them but we all are sinners.  We grow into knowledge not out of it.  I know better now how to be a parent than I did when I had children.  That is why it is important to have an older couple guide you.  I have always thought God did it backwards.  We should have had kids when we got old.  But no energy right!

There is only one perfect parent.  If we do it right, we are a representation of the Father to our kids.  If we don't, He steps in and is the perfect parent we were not.  I came to the realization that all parenting is seen as grace when you come to the end.  None of us do, a great job.  The truth is great parents have messed up kids and messed up parents have good kids.  There is no rhyme or reason but it is all of God.

The best thing we can do as parents, no matter how old our kids are is to tell them we messed up and God is their only perfect parent.  For them to see His faithfulness in their lives to bring them to Him.  That it does not depend on the parent but on God.  It is for God to parent our kids.  I heard it said once that our kids are His but only on loan to us.

Have you told your kids you love them lately no matter what they do as far as being a success in finances, beauty, sports, jobs,  or whatever they have poured their life in?  It is all fleeting.  Only the life we have in Christ of glorifying Him and loving others is important.  Just out right enjoying God in the small things of this life.  He is our joy and peace.  He is parenting us all and it was His desire for a family that drove Him to send His Son to rescue us from ourselves and from evil.  We do not have to be self centered and self focused.  We can love God and love others more than ourselves and know it is only the Spirit working in our hearts that do this.

So reach out and hug some dad tomorrow.  Yours if you can or someone else's, or someone that has fathered the fatherless.  It takes a village to raise a child.  We all need each other no matter what our parent circumstances are.  We are a family.  The body of Christ.

I have to believe there is a special blessing on those with no present father, widows, those with an angry father and those awesome moms who chose to be both.  God will not leave our children alone but parent them and love them in ways none of us can.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

What if God never heals my mind?

In Every circumstance give thanks to God for this is the will of God for you who are in Christ Jesus.

Yesterday was a good day.  My mind was clear and fears did not over come me.  I was not sedated or overly medicated so I was able to be alert and sane in my thinking.  I was overcome with thanksgiving and joy.  How could my God give me such a gift?  Then I paused...I said Lord I don't want to be more thankful for a sane mind than I am for your Son.  I want to be more thankful for your gift and Jesus death and life than anything good that might happen to me.

I don't think if I had not had the struggle of mental sickness would I appreciate such a good day.  I don't take them for granted because I know how hard a day can be when you are fearful, confused with intrusive thoughts and oppressed.

This morning, I woke very early.  As I sat on my porch, sipping my coffee, the birds had begun to sing of a new day.  The light was still on the post and the sun had not found its place in the morning sun rise.  The trees seem to burst forth in the sky as a sparkler on the fourth of July.  It was me in the midst of Gods creation and I was thankful for yet another day.  I paused and said...God I cannot believe I get to be your child.  I was overcome.

It seems we are always striving for what we don't have.  We wouldn't express it but we are dissatisfied with the life God has given us.  We have our dreams and expectations and when they are met in the perfection we demand or expect we are disappointed.  We have a lack of contentment and thanksgiving.  

Just a few days I realized this discontentment in me.  What if God never heals me in this life?  I confessed this to the Lord and told the Lord that if I never had a sane mind, He was good, with me always and worthy to be praised.  I was sincere.  I let go of thinking I would ever be well again.  Gods ways are not our ways and it was just not happening.  I had tried everything to manipulate God and to take control to make my life easier and it was still a struggle.  Job said are we to only accept the good from the Lord and not adversity?  Could I give God true, heartfelt praise in my confused and troubled mind?  It did come.  There is a rest in surrender of yourself to the living God.  In presenting yourself a living sacrifice.  We think we want a good thing, and we do.  We think God must want what we want, a christian marriage, obedient children, successful life with no worries of job, in laws, health and finances.  I heard it said, people with mental illness are weak.  The truth is they are much too strong, in their own strength.  God gives us things we cannot handle so we will turn to Him and depend on Him for the things we cannot do or cannot understand.  We are finite and we cannot understand the ways and mind of God. 

We think we are to have a ministry or to do something big for God.  We want to be important or remembered.  We find our significance in what we do rather than what God has done.  I saw it was in the little things of everyday life of living to the glory of God is where we meet with Him and know Him in ways we would have never known before.  It is in our struggles even.  When we grow in knowing God more and who He really is, not who we think He is or should be, we come to know who we really are.  It is when we accept our failure that we come to experience the life in Christ that is bigger than any struggle we may have.

So, today is another day where the things of my mind is clear and I am thankful. I don't ask for God to heal my mind today.  I have ask it more than 3 times.  I give myself to Him, ask the Spirit to fill me, to take control of my mind and pray to give Him glory throughout my day, whatever it holds. He teaches me new and mysterious things everyday though, even my sick mind.  It is His surrender to the Father that is mine.  It is His grace that works it in me.  I am learning how to trust God with my fears and not let them control me more and more.  Peace did not come easy today.  Several things happened this morning that was hard and I went straight to bed.  Then the Spirit nudged me and I said I will not run to my security today but to Jesus.  It may not be easy tomorrow and I will still praise God and give thanks, Lord wiling.  But God will be glorified in me because of who He is.  I love the saying, when you cannot see His hand, trust His heart.  No matter how hard things get in this life, God is never changing.  He is always for us, even when we cannot see.  This life is but a breath, but eternity with Him is forever.

I am not trying to be some kinda hero.  I am sure I will fail.  But God has put this love in my heart and has drawn me to a life of worship.  It is where He is glorified and I am happiest.  I have so far to go in this life called faith but it is so sweet knowing Him in the process!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The mind of Christ

The thoughts run through my tooth hurt yesterday.  I have had so much work done in my mouth, what now.  Something bit me last night on my back.  It still stings this morning.  What shall I do about it?  Wonder what it was?  I am to give my story to a group on Thursday.  It has been so long.  Can I do it?  One child was troubled last night, another had a bad headache and the list goes on and on.

As I have come out of denial and began to live this life, I had to come to grips with my fears and anxieties.  I was told the walls of your mind are down and all the thoughts come through, good and bad.  Usually we keep unwanted thoughts out of our mind, but you are unable to do that, I was told.  What did this mean?  Where did these horrible thoughts, that tortured me come from.  They were so huge, magnified my doctor said.  I never knew I had these thoughts, before I got sick.  Did others have them too?  Were they fearful and even anxious at times?  What did they do with them?

I began to learn to take every thought captive.  I would bring the truth of God's word up against these intrusions to my mind.  Many times they would stop, until another fear would come to mind, at another time.  We are told to not be anxious, but to bring our fears to the Lord and I did.  I knew fear and and anxiety was unbelief and therefore a sin.  That it was not understanding some truths about God, but thinking of Him wrongly.  I had to correct my thinking according to Gods word and who He is.  Sometimes I would just change my thinking from a bad thought to thinking on whatever was good and lovely.  I would think on Christ.  I would claim that I had the mind of Christ and that was where I wanted to be.  I prayed the Holy Spirit would fill me each day.  I would ask the Spirit to take control of my mind and only let thoughts that were glorifying to God enter my mind.

I have stated before, we have all kinds of thoughts enter our head.  We are to discern the Spirits and reject the thoughts that do not line up with scripture.  These thoughts can be from the world, the flesh and the devil.  We are not to act or entertain the thoughts, that are not from God, but reject them.  I will write more on this another time.

My thoughts are clearer, much clearer today.  I am so thankful, but just a few days ago I prayed...Lord if my mind never gets healthier,  you are still so good, with me and worthy.  I will praise you.  Please teach me the things you would have me to know.  I want to know you better, deeper and richer by the power of your Spirit.  Sanctify my mind, wash me clean and give me the thoughts that honor you.  I reject anything else.  Please discipline my mind Holy Spirit.  Let me have self control, the fruit of the Spirit.  May my mind be full of you and your goodness and will.  May your will be mine Lord, even if it gets no better, may I trust you more.  But it is not about my faithfulness but yours.  It is not about what I do but what you have done, for me.  Jesus obedience and righteousness is mine.  I just want to go and tell somebody.  Please Lord, renew my mind.

Perfect love cast out all fear.  This is where He meets us.  It is an invitation to encounter God once again and again.