Sunday, October 25, 2015

My War Room

Have you seen the recent movie War Room?  First, I highly recommend it if you haven't.  Second, prepare to leave the theater (or your couch) with your mind on (among other things) "where can I create my own?"

I've been thinking about it off and on for a few weeks.  An unused closet, as featured in the film, would be ideal ... small, private, quiet, almost secretive.  But in my reality, that is not practical.  Mainly because I don't have an unused closet.  I don't even have a real closet for my own clothes, one downfall of an older home.  Oh, we have closets:  one in each bedroom and one near the front door.  They are small, however.  And since my husband has a professional wardrobe in our bedroom closet, I have delegated my own clothing live at the opposite end of the house in the "attic", as we call it.  It's no a big deal, but no closet War Room here.

Which kept me pondering.  I have an office space that I share with the kids.  Thought about cleaning and rearranging in there a bit, but honestly, the computers would have been a distraction and a temptation (not to mention the amount of physical labor involved).  More pondering.  I could use my daughter's room ... the daughter that is newly off to college.  Nope.  She only just left.  Not an option as of yet.  Ponder some more.  Maybe I can just create a prayer caddie and take it from place to place ... to my recliner in the living room, to the patio in the summer, to the porch in the early spring or late fall.  But then I couldn't get away from the television, or post things on the walls, or count on nice weather.  Pondering over for a while.

Until , in the bedroom the other day, my eyes fell on the vanity.  It was always in the guest room in this, my grandmother's home.  It used to sit near the large window on the opposite wall and was home to a fluorescent-lit, double-sided mirror ... do you remember those ... one side is a normal mirror and the other shows every wrinkle and pore a bit larger than life?  (Just like this!  I loved sitting in front of that mirror when I was little, pretending I was grown-up and making myself beautiful.

Now I am grown-up, or so I'm told, and during the years that we have lived here, the guest room is now the master and the vanity has become home to my socks and slips and other unmentionables.  The vintage lamps remain and I sit in the chair to pull on my nylons on Sunday mornings, but that's about it.  I rarely sit there to do my hair, or makeup, or anything else that a vanity was intended for.  Hmmm ... I wonder ...

Add my Bible, some Sharpies, some Post-Its, a couple of prayer books and devotionals, a notebook, candles, a few of my favorite things ... I've got my war room.  At least for now.  I'll have to retrain brain to find my Bible here ... or get another one ... since I'm used to doing my morning devotional over breakfast downstairs.  This, however, may create some better prayer habits without the other morning distractions.  And it's not entirely private, but it's quiet and relatively cozy.  (Wait, I should add a blanket.)

So, now that my war "room" is complete, I think I've got some praying and growing to do.  And who knows, maybe some more thoughts to blog.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

You Will Never Understand

“Making the decision to have a child - it is momentous.  It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ” ~ Elizabeth Stone

That feeling comes often for me, but so very much this week.  I don't know that, you - my child,  my flesh, my blood, my heart - will ever understand.

You will never know how much I prayed for you.

You will never be able to explain why I will save your baby teeth and that first lock of hair until the day that I die.

You will never comprehend that though I pretended to know all, I really knew nothing.  Nothing.

You will never figure out that I will never tire of taking your photo because I fear that I will forget all of your precious moments as I grow old.

You will never perceive how much I regret showing any little disappointment in or impatience with you - in reality, I was only seeing that in myself.

You will never see how sad I am about the time I wasted doing things I thought were important (but truly were not) instead of spending more time just being with you.

You will never be aware of the number of tears I have cried for you.

You will never believe that your accomplishments are secretly mine.

You will never understand that your pain is my pain - only magnified by a thousand; that your heartbreaks are also mine.

You will never recognize that all I want is to take that pain and the memory of it from you forever.

You will never grasp that your fears, your anxieties, your regrets are my own failures in guiding, teaching, raising you.

You will never make sense of how I wish I would have done some things so differently.

You will never begin to even fathom that my true joy is found in yours.

You will never realize how different and yet how similar you and I really are.

You will never take in how earth shattering it was for me to let go of your hand as you learned to take your first steps, or let you leave for your first day of Kindergarten, or watch you go on that last day of high school ... never mind leaving you at college.

Oh, and college ... how it kills me to not have gone myself only because I don't know how to help you through this new world.

My child, you will never understand any of this.  Never.  Until your heart is walking around outside of your body.  Only then will you understand and know how very much I love you ...

Forever and for always.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Forgive Once

I’ve been asked … repeatedly … how I do what I do; how I keep going; how I’ve gotten through the past several years.  I don’t really have much of an answer right there, on the spot – I rarely do.  So I usually just get all self-conscious and nervous and smile and say something like “It’s all God, not me” or “just one day at a time, that’s all I can do”.

But I think I found a better answer as I was finishing a novel this week.  The author wrote perfectly what’s in my heart but I can never seem to get out of my mouth.

This.  This is, for the most part, my “secret”:

… the memory of a conversation with Frank floated into her awareness.  “But how?  How can you just get over these things, darling?” she had asked him.  “You’ve had so much strife but you’re always happy.  How do you do it?”
            “I choose to,” he said.  “I can leave myself to rot in the past, spend my time hating people for what happened … or I can forgive and forget.”
            “But it’s not that easy.”
            He smiled that Frank smile.  “Oh, but my treasure, it is so much less exhausting.  You only have to forgive once.  To resent, you have to do it all day, every day.  You have to keep remembering all the bad things. … I would have to make a list, a very, very long list and make sure I hated the people on it the right amount.  That I did a very proper job of hating, too. … No,” – his voice became sober – “we always have a choice.  All of us.”

So that’s it.  Somewhere along the way I decided that it was too exhausting to spend my time remembering all the bad things.  I choose to forgive the people, the circumstances, the pain and move on.

I try.  I’m not always successful … not even close to always … but it is something I strive for and, with God’s help, I’m able to achieve for the most part.

It doesn’t mean that I don’t remember, or that I don’t hurt when I do, but I don’t like to dwell there anymore.  At the moment, I’m choosing the here and now; praying and working toward a better day ahead.

We always have a choice.  All of us.  My choice is to forgive.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

He Is Holding Me Together

I’ve read about choosing a "word for the year" for several years now, but have never done it.  Until a couple of days ago.  The word I chose is not a typical word … or even a word that I would have had in my vocabulary until recently.  Let me briefly explain.
This last year and a half ... actually, the last several years ... have been particularly difficult for me.  Through the fear and the trials and the disappointments I have tried to cling to the promises of God and have been blessed endlessly by the love of family and friends.  The days ahead are still uncertain … as for any of us, I suppose ... but I will continue on the best I can with what He gives me.
Over the past week or so, I’ve been touched by a particular Bible verse and a friend sent me the link below to add a little more food for thought.  So this year … at least the beginning of it … I am claiming Colossians 1:17 (in Him ALL things hold together)  as my verse and LAMININ as my word.  Yes, laminin.
You’ll have to Google it … you have to SEE it to understand … like Louie Giglio did in his video here:
This year I will remember:  My Lord truly is holding me together, in more ways than I can even begin to imagine.