It's never too late to begin the healing process from childhood sexual abuse. It's never too early to fall in love with the person God created you to be. Long ago someone made a choice to take away your innocence, but today that someone can't touch your freedom to heal.

Friday, May 29, 2009

When a Few Words Are Enough

Okay, I'll admit it...I'm a Jon and Kate Plus Eight fan. I started watching their show last fall, curious to see what all the fuss was about. One episode and I was hooked.

Was it those eight adorable faces, the fact that I'm a people watcher (most writers are), or the drama between Kate and Jon that found me in front of the tube on Monday nights? I'm not sure. I do suspect that having three more children added to our family in September, bringing our count to Ken and Carolyn plus seven (Doesn't quite have the ring to it, does it?), might have had something to do with it. Mothers of many children form an instant bond; we need all the help we can get. We trade survival strategies, share kid-friendly recipes, compare chore charts, etc... I got to watch Kate balance it all on Monday nights. I was encouraged. But now...I'm sad.

Because my heart has been pierced through the years when I've heard it said "Christians are are the only ones who shoot their wounded", I won't write one word about my thoughts regarding Kate and Jon, their marriage, their parenting, their decisions. And I pray that I won't speak my opinion either (I will need God's strength for this lips move before my brain thinks too many times). After all, that's all it would be--my opinion. Enough said.

So what will this fan be doing on Monday nights when I'm tempted to see what's going on at the Gosselin house, and when I see Kate's and Jon's pictures plastered on yet another magazine? I'll be doing what God has called me to do--praying for my christian sister, her family, and my family... in all humility. Enough said.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Wisdom at High Noon

It was a showdown of the parental kind. Our pistols were drawn. Who would be left standing?

He sat across the table from me at the local luncheonette. It was a time for just the two of us, a lunch for my second-born son and me.

He was barely nine months old when he first crossed his arms, stuck out his bottom lip, and drew a defiant line in the dirt. I knew instinctively that teaching him to honor his father and mother would be at the heart of many of our confrontations. Sometimes I wanted to declare, “This house just ain’t big enough for the both of us, Partner.” And there were many times that we engaged in a face-off, each daring the other to make the first move. Yet, even I was startled when my five-year-old son gave voice to match his obstinate body language.

It was high noon. Peering up at me from behind his turkey and cheese sandwich, he made the challenge, “You know, Mom, I know I can do anything I want to do and no one can stop me.” I mentally stepped a few paces back and resisted the urge to fire back with my “Oh no you can’t just do anything you want to” pistol. I was tired of that argument anyhow. It never seemed to work and as I sat pondering my next move, I had a Holy Spirit moment--the kind where words start flowing out of your mouth and you recognize they came from a power much wiser than yourself.

“You know Ben, you’re right,” I hesitantly agreed. “You can do anything you want to do and even I can’t stop you.” But my next words came like bullets in rapid fire, only pausing enough to cock the trigger and take my next shot. “You can steal a piece of candy from the store, but I’ll make you return it. You can say something nasty to your little brother, and I’ll make you sit on time-out until you’re ready to apologize. You can…” The list of bad choices and consequences continued until I nearly ran out of ammunition. I took one final shot. “Ben, you can do all of those things, but there is one thing that you have no control over and that’s my love for you. I lowered my pistol into my holster. My opponent sat speechless. He had met his match.

The showdown ended. Oh there would be many more to come, with a strong-willed child that is one thing that is for certain. But the Holy Spirit would continue to be there to give me the words of wisdom and in the end, my son and I would both be left standing.

Father, you care deeply about each conversation we have with our children. Help us to listen for your wisdom. Amen.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I Can See Clearly Now

It's when I see a hug I know we made the right decision.

Bounding down the steps on his way to school, my eighteen year old stopped. Three little faces peered up at him, large backpacks engulfing their little bodies. With one arm he gathered them in and gave a squeeze. Their bronze faces brighten; their easy smiles widened, and in unison they giggled, "Bye, Ben."

Last year they didn't have a big brother. This year they have three. And they love them...refer to them all the time as their big brothers.

You see, it has been almost a year since we said yes to the call to bring these three little girls into our home. The details of their history, their story, will be theirs to tell one day...if they so choose. But for now, I will simply say, their past was troubled and they needed a home.

And today I see clearly what God already knew--our home needed them.

Monday, May 4, 2009

It's Raining...Again, Mama

I've heard it said, "A mother is only as happy as her saddest child." Well, if that's true and I've got seven kids (three of whom are healing from a troubled past, 4 of whom are female with hormones raging, and 3 of whom are dating with all of its ups and downs), where does that leave me?

Now I'm no mathematician, but I suspect the statistics for this mama having a happy day are slim. Very slim.

Today is one of those days. Yeah, those days. Child Z is having relationship issues. (I could cry a river over this one.) Child Q has to stand up against a wrong at school, knees shaking, but doing the right thing. (I'm so proud, but yeah, my knees are shaking too.) And child W, well, she's mad that it's cold and rainy and she can't wear shorts. She left the house with a scowl on her face and her nose in the air. Poor thing. I'm such a mean mama. (But I kid you not, some days, I can even let her scowl get the best of me.)

Truth be told, I hate it when my kids are sad. I like happy kids. Smiling kids. Giggling kids. But today I've got a sad kid, a nervous kid, and a mad kid. I know; I can do that math...three out of seven--not good.

Well, this morning I heard this woman encouraging the sad kid, praying with the nervous kid, and giving the mad kid a little sermon on anger. It went like this...

W, I understand that you're angry. There's nothing wrong with being angry, but it's what you do with your anger that can be wrong. And no, you don't get to speak to kid P disrespectfully because you're angry. And besides, you don't have to act angry's your choice.

Hm, it's her choice. Oh, I hate when that happens...I'm preaching to the choir...ahhhgain.

So where does that leave me? With a choice...
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