Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Less of Me, More of You

May there be LESS of me, less of my complaining, less of my demands to know why, to know when;
                        less of my pleas for you to come and fix my life,
                             and more OF a desperate yearning to know you.
                                    When there is less of ME and more of you, I am surrendering.  How can I hold back anything from my Lord who, with tenderest love, looks in my eyes and holds my face in his nail-scarred hands and
                                                     asks, "Do you trust Me?"
"Yes, my Lord.  Help me trust you 
                             MORE.  You can put anything in
                    or take anything out OF my life,
                                                             anything YOU wish — just carry me."
May I drop to my knees in surrender to One who has more glorious plans for me than I could ever obtain by having my own way,
                               glorious plans that are manifested when I make my goal
                                                        Less of Me — More of You.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

As He Kisses Me Good-bye

     This poem is a follow up to my last post.  Yesterday I watched a slide show of my little nephew playing his first year of football in pads.  I wrote about my own son as he played football for the first time and how he grew up so fast.   This is part of a poem I wrote during that time10 years ago.

As He Kisses Me Good-bye

He’s six and plays his football games
on manly, sacred ground.
I’m watching him explore this new
fraternity he’s found.
He swaggers away and I wonder
how a boy can change so fast.
Yet when the game is done, the battlescars
are tended upon my lap.
He hugs his thanks and meets my eye,
as his friends are watching nearby,
and I try not to cry and I’m thankful at least
that he kisses me good-bye.
God has given me this precious boy
to love and keep for awhile.
I did nothing to deserve his heart
or earn his sunny smile.
Lord, take my hand more tightly as
his sweet hand falls from mine,
and You nudge me to let go of his
and cling some more to Thine.
He’ll need me even more as he
sprouts his wings to fly.
And I’ll try not to cry but be thankful at least
that he kisses me good-bye. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

How Do You Grow A Boy?

This morning I was on Facebook and watched a video of my nephew playing his first year of football in pads.  The boys are so little they can barely move around in the pads and helmet.  But this is the beginning of manhood.  This is where it all starts.

My son started playing football when he was 7 years old, and that was when my heart began to feel a little twinge of pain.  It was the realization that he was going to have to grow up.  The sweat, the smell of the freshly mown grass and the growing brotherhood among the boys mix with the magic of the hot August sun, raising them to the next level of boyhood.  They may look the same, but their demeanor and body language change into one of confidence.  They've entered a secret, masculine world where no girls are allowed and realize, "this is what it's all about."  They've used Transformers to tackle anything that came in their way. They've staged army men, who at the whistle, weaved their way around deadly land mines and escaped the enemy in hot pursuit.  Now, with the help of rising testosterone, they can make it a reality.

I watched my little guy, and I felt that twinge of pain because I knew one day he would have to be so manly, so strong and stoic—so different from me.  That would separate us.  Now at 16, he is that young man.  What I didn't realize then is that I would be so very proud of him.  The fact that he grew up so quickly makes me sad, but my pride in the amazing young man he has become far outweighs any sadness.  He takes on responsibility and has a strong work ethic.  He loves his family and is a leader.  What more could I want?  I watch him out the window now mowing the grass and moving firewood, and I'm amazed at how much I love him.  I go to all his wrestling matches which are mentally and physically grueling.  As I watch his muscles move fluidly and then strain,  I'm reminded of how manly and strong he has become—so different from me. Thank goodness.

When he walks out my door,  I'll feel that same twinge of pain I felt when he walked onto the football field for the first time.  But I've learned that my pride will eclipse the pain.  Confidently, he'll enter a different world and realize "this is what it's all about."  Everything he learned in football will help him succeed in his profession.  He'll succeed in life because of everything he learned from me.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Battle Rages

Psalms 55:18,19 and 22

"Though the tide of battle runs strongly against me, for so many are fighting me, yet He will rescue me.  God Himself—God from everlasting ages past— will answer them!"  v. 22  "Give your burdens to the Lord.  He will carry them." (paraphrased from The Living Bible)

     Have you ever felt like there is a battle raging against you?  Your kids are doing everything in their power to push your buttons and they are hostile because you are "making up rules as you go."  Your husband is looking at you as if you had three heads.  And those are the people you love!  You may be overwhelmed with deadlines and saddled with heavy expectations. Or, like David, trapped on every side by people and situations you can't control, you have very few options in life.

     The author, King David, was a warrior familiar with bloodshed, and he was in great distress when he penned this psalm.  He wrote it after his beloved son, Absalom, and one of David's closest aides initiated a rebellion to take over the throne.  David's only option was to run while Absalom and his army followed in hot pursuit.  Rebellious children are still one of hardest burdens to bear, but David's son was out for blood.

     David cries that "so many are against me." Who are WE fighting?—Satan.  He launches deep conflicts within us, making us doubt ourselves.

* Are we doing enough to please those we care about?  What is enough?

*  Are we good enough?  We compare ourselves to other people.  Why can't we finish that project at work and have a home-cooked meal on the table like other working moms?  Why can't we paint the whole house and find time to do crafts with our kids like other stay-at-home moms?  Satan inflicts us with low self-esteem and feelings of inadequacy.  We mumble, "I don't care anymore."

 * Am I doing it right?  Guilt sucks the joy out of life and leads to depression.  To be honest, of course you're not doing it right!  No one does it right!  Everyone makes the wrong decisions now and then in the heat of the battle.  We should've taken time to listen to the rambling details of our child's day.  We should've been more sensitive to our husbands. We need to ask God to release us from the guilt, apologize, learn from it and move on.

* What is my purpose?  All I am is a maid, cook and chauffeur.  No one appreciates me.  What will I do when the kids are gone?   Do I really have any talents?  We complain, "I'm just going through the  motions."

     Satan knows that if he can steal our self-esteem, he can kill our motivation and then destroy our faith.

     But there's hope.  He exclaims, "yet God, himself, will rescue me!"  God, not legions of angels or saints, but God, himself, will rescue us from Satan's clutches.  He may not change our situation, but He will give us strength to withstand the pressure and keep our hearts at peace.  God, Himself, is holding our right hand, loving and guiding us every step of our path.  God's strong hand encircles yours as you face the battles in your life.  He will never let you go.

     Ps. 73:23,24   "But even so, you love me!  You are holding my right hand! You will keep on guiding me all my life with your wisdom and counsel.."  (Paraphrased from the Living Bible.)


Friday, November 5, 2010

Halloween—Chubby Hands and Candy Pails

     I'm a little late for Halloween, but I want to share a excerpt from a poem I wrote about my children when they were about 6, 4, and 2 years old. In anticipation of their magical transformation to pirates and princesses, they donned their costumes about four hours before we trekked out to trick-or-treat.  There they were—my swarthy pirate ready for dangerous adventure, and my princesses twirling in circles in one high heel, clutching sippy-cups, asking me if they look EXACTLY like "Cindawella".  I cherished all of it in my heart because I knew in a moment their chubby little hands would clutch car keys instead of candy pails.
     Ten years later my girls, 14 and 12, still enjoy dressing up, but they're off roaming the neighborhoods with their friends.  My husband and I roam around looking for something to do!

Beware my mighty little pirate,
brandishing his wobbly scabbard,
snarling through his red 
Gatorade mustache.


Pirates and Princesses

* This is an excerpt ----

My little pirate checks his look in the mirror
     and isn't bothered a bit that his black-marker mustache
is eclipsed by his Gatorade one.
     With his trusty scabbard, the world is his own.

My princess clack-clacks down the stairs with a golden gown,
     Barbie high heels, and small sparkling gloves.
She isn't bothered a bit that her crown slips down over one eye
     as she bounds over the last three steps.....

May her every pumpkin turn into a gleaming coach,
     and may she find glass slippers in the most unexpected places.


God bless you today.  May you find magic in the smallest events in your life....