Sunday, May 12, 2013

Moms, Memories And Mothering

I was thinking that after almost 6 years without my mom on the planet, I may have another perspective about my my mom, meaning who God chose to mother ME.  As I have needed to become increasingly aware of how pain affects us, I have also learned that without our ability to understand or even process (sometimes for many years), we become who we are and even HOW we are as a result.  I also realized that it is not what we are when we begin that matters most, but how we finish our life's journey of purpose that matters most.

There is comfort in that for me as beginning this life as a young child, I remember being lonely above all else.  Other than lots of pets, a lot of unused land to distance me from a curious world,  a grandfather that over-indugled me with himself in an effort to stay clear of an over-worked wife, an absent mother who I knew loved me but didn't know how to love because she didn't experience true and committed love herself, I was a child of a divorced and single mom, and I only had one true friend all through elementary school who found her next best friend when we went to high school in 7th grade, I have finally begun to more clearly understand how it is the repeated disappointments in life that, while not intentional, leave us incomplete for ourselves...and others.

Learning how to leave the guilt for what you are, and why you are not all you thought you would be and RELAXING in the process as you become sanctified from the journey at the foot of the cross, are just a few of the challenges that I have begun working through with greater anticipation of God healing within my soul...finally and completely.

While each battle we are called to fight takes something from us that never returns, what and how God replaces "it" with Himself and His appointments and approvals are constant reminders of a faith that is being lived out and a God who lavishes mercy and purpose upon us.

I can especially relate to the challenges of circumstances that change everything about your life.  I have experienced life-altering events more than a few times, but if there is one struggle I have above every other, it is how to be the "substitute" mother to Dylan and Olivia.  While I have never desired to replace Lisa, I always knew that what God called me to was unique and going to be the greatest challenge of my life.

I didn't think about it,  I just jumped into it and allowed my faith to take over...after all, He put that mindset there too.   It was not and is not as if I am able to focus on that role independent of the others I am simultaneously immersed in and also often challenged by, but I had to and continue to adapt..and adapt quickly, but not always most effectively.  There are times when I also realize how God knew that.  He knew what I was, what I wasn't, who I was, and who I wasn't...and still He chose ME!

Nearly 10 years into this journey, I have become more dissatisfied with myself but more satisfied with Him.  I have let go of the expectations of others and continue to look for and find peace within the journey, that is lived out each day.  I have found that the most destructive thing I can do is listen to the voice inside...or even those outside.  Regardless of where it comes from, it is the voice of the father of lies that presents itself in the recesses of our heart that allows our wounds to be magnified...both to ourselves and then consequently to others.  We find ourselves sensing the disapproval of others as everyone has an opinion of how we should handle our challenges and how it should be perceived so that it is an instant blessing and  benefit to what God is up to in our lives.   If we embrace the opinions of others, we are left wondering why we are not "better" at  it and we get "stuck" there and consequently we often make excuses rather than try a new approach realizing that it is in new approaches (that are often created and recreated with new seasons of life and maturity) and we learn what He wants for our lives is NEVER easy to accomplish, but it is FILLED with blessing and favor and grace that sees us through and leaves us more satisfied than we ever would have imagined.  I have also learned that the key to the progress is accepting that we have no idea what we are doing...and trusting Him to lead us through it.

I am not nearly where I hope to be within my journey, but I am more aware, more surrendered, more thankful, more forgiving and more understanding that what God allows into our lives has purpose that will transcend all pain...and it always occurs in the areas of our lives that need the most healing.

Trusting Him at a level that began in my own life with depletion and lack early in life, eventually to what I thought was satisfaction with a solid marriage, to shattered expectations when Danny got sick and then when we gave up what our family was for what God chose our family to be, and loss once again through the malicious efforts leveled against us due to another's bitterness, anger and resentment, and now to living the promises of God on the other side of the pain with a completely new understanding of being satisfied and complete with a journey and even greater purpose still ahead.  The journey and the learning and the reality of God within it is absolutely indescribable.  It has allowed my faith to not only have feet but also wings.  I have believed God for many things, many times over, but what is on the other side of pain that robs your heart and steals your soul is absolutely without adequate words to articulate when your trust is ONLY in Him.

That is what I keep in mind when I struggle with daily challenges of what should come naturally...under normal circumstances.  I always said I didn't want to live a normal or average life and I now know why...I am not normal...or average and therefore to produce from me what God wanted, He had to take me through certain paths that stripped me of self and reminded me of my utter dependence upon Him and my need for Him as well as my reliance upon Him to carry us to our destination against all odds.

I know that as I continue my journey substituting for the loss of Lisa in Dylan and Olivia's life, I will find that the more I learn, the more I do not need to try. I just need to trust. I will again receive that same understanding of how God rewards our faith...a process I often struggle to understand, but one that He honors.  And as I have learned in many other challenges, God does not disappoint us even though His ways are not ours.  Nonetheless, He exceeds our expectations...time and time again.

God uses time to give us peace with Him. ~Jon Nellermoe

Take time to follow what God has put in your heart.  Be willing to be inconvenienced.  You don't know what kind of impact it will have on another person.  ~Joel Osteen

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Mom For Tomorrow

Mom, I think of you often...even today.
It was you who came to my mind,  I quickly should say.

You left on another journey and your will not be back,
But regardless of your leaving, I still know no lack.

I wrote these words today, not for you but for me, 
And I share them with you so that my heart can be free.

I learned yet again, as I do when I write,
That I don't blame you for what I am not, if I stay focused on His power and might.

I am not dissatisfied with all that I am not, 
Instead I see great value in all I was taught.

This moment in time would not be complete, 
Without reminding myself that it was YOU who was perfectly chosen for ME!

You taught me His ways, as He chose you to do,
You honored Him greatly, despite what you knew.

I think of you now with a smile on my face,
And wish I could hold you for one more embrace.

I want to say Thank You for doing what you could
And to tell you how He has finished your work, and that it is Good.

I have a feeling this is something you already know, 
But to share my heart as it heals, I know would impact you so.

Our relationship could finally have all that it lacked, 
Which was compassion and maturity and a love that wouldn't hold back.

So I write this today, knowing you already understand,
The moment you entered that Great Promised Land.

I am now living in mine after much pain and sorrow,
But I am writing to testify that God is not just a God of tomorrow.

He is with us today, Sitting upon His Great Throne,
Looking to have the final say and teaching us to trust Him even as we groan.

Whether we struggle, or stumble and fall,
It is Him who ultimately is in control of it all.

So I thank Him today as I honor His plan, 
And thank Him too, that I released my pain to a far greater plan.

I miss you and love you and wished you too received more,
But God allowed it perfectly for what was in store.

For more reasons than I yet even know,
But it is YOU I still carry in my heart wherever I go.

To heal from my hurts is yet another gift I have been given,
It didn't come packaged or contained in a small slice of heaven.

It came instead through adversity and much pain and sorrow, 
But I am beyond thankful that there is always tomorrow.

It shines more brightly now with a greater understanding of more,
And it comes in the form of goosebumps that purge pain from my pores.

God, I marvel at Your ways and hear Your Great voice, 
It sounds like fresh and rushing water, and no longer noise.

The lessons I have learned are taught in no other place,
And the gift is like the feeling of winning a race.

There is much preparation and blood, sweat and tears,
But the Victory is only understood by those who are near.

Thank You again from well within my Faith-Filled Soul, 
I will continue to remind myself again and again what it is that is making me whole.

I will share of Your goodness and Your promises given,
Beyond that,  my broken heart has now risen.

I live with a new found awareness of the pain and the sorrow, 
But I wrapped it all up and released it and I call it Tomorrow.

God can accomplish in a moment what would take years on your own.  Seek Him and His path - watch Him open the doors to your Destiny. ~Tony Evans

Wednesday, May 1, 2013



Our son Simon is a beaming and bright light in our family.  Since he was able to speak he asked questions constantly about everything.   He also asked them repeatedly to be certain our answer didn’t change.  

Simon was born at home and that evening was quite an experience for us all.  With Daniel only 5 at the time and Izik 3,  they were quite excited to witness such an amazing event. By being part of the birth, I wanted them to see the most amazing miracle of all in life…a baby being born into the world.

With yet another boy in our home, we instantly knew he would be called Simon.  Since Izik didn’t have a name for 2 days after being born as I expected to have a girl (for no reason ;), when I thought of how much I liked the name Izik as did my husband, I also thought of (at the same time) and liked the name Simon. Instantly, we called him by name.  I always say it was the experience of the day he was born that created such energy in him…and clearly it and he is here to stay J

When Simon was just a baby, he would throw food all over the place and make the biggest mess of any of our kids…he would also have the biggest smile on his face while doing so.  We had a sweet woman that spent a lot of time in our house named Esther and often fed Simon and no matter what he did, she always called him “an angel from heaven.”

When Simon was 3 years old on a warm spring Sunday evening in late May, the boys were outside playing baseball.  They had school the next day but they asked if they could stay out just a bit longer. I agreed as the weather was so nice and they were having a great time.  Within just a few minutes Daniel came running into the house yelling that Izik hit Simon in the mouth with a baseball bat.  Simon lost his first front tooth immediately and his dad (being the doctor that he is) pushed the one that was dangling back into place but a few days later Simon tripped on the carpeting in the hallway and it didn’t survive.  He was front toothless for more than a few years and one grew in when he was about 6 but it took a little longer for the other one to come in.  But as you can see, they are just fine.

 I always say that Simon has a brain like my husband:  filled with curiosity and wonder of how things work and what makes them work…and do they work well enough to be satisfied with?  If not,
he will likely come up with another idea to improve upon what isn’t working according to his understanding or expectations.

Simon was (and is) a busy boy:  he was the one who got into EV-ER-EE-THING!!  He would try on my shoes when I would take them off (which had no less than a 4 inch heel) and try to walk in them when he was not even 2 years old and usually wearing nothing more than a diaper.  When he was 3 he had a yellow bike and pair of yellow Hunter rain boots and he became recognized by everyone in both of the neighborhoods we lived in by his yellow boots ;)  He wore them so much that he wore holes in the bottoms of them (even with just a diaper on) and I still have them and I will keep them forever!!

Simon wasn’t interested in reading books when he was young but in swimming and fishing and catching toads and biking in the woods with his dad and brothers.  He wasn’t much for video games or TV but preferred to build things out of legos.  He enjoyed it as much as his dad and he would wait until he got home and force him to make airplanes out of legos.  He always wanted to make a bigger airplane than the one before…and there were times when they almost looked ridiculous.  Simon didn’t care though and he would begin adding to them and rearranging their parts and when his dad would come home the next night from work he would often have to take them apart and redo them because he couldn’t let them be the new way Simon designed them ;)

 When Simon was in Kindergarten our family went through a big change and we moved to the mountains about an hour or so from where we lived in Pennsylvania.  This was in February of 2010 and the drive was about an hour and a half from where Simon and the other kids went to school.  Simon and his brothers and sister had a few months left of school still, and we didn’t want to put them in a new school so late in the year so we drove them every day to their school.  We spent a lot of time in the car each day and because Simon had morning Kindergarten and the trip to school was 70 miles, he was often late.  I didn’t know that he wasn’t learning to read and his teacher didn’t tell me. Ever since, until this year and him coming to Park City, and having Mrs. Ingle, and being in a great class with kids that make him feel welcome, Simon struggled to learn.  I have begun to understand that while Simon can learn to read (and has), because he doesn’t think in a way where text books interest him, it takes a special teacher and a special class to bring out his unique learning style and enable him to thrive.  Many extremely intelligent people often do not learn so easily in a classroom unless they have a teacher like Mrs. Ingle.

The information in this letter is to be about Simon and what a special kid he is, but I would not be sharing the complete story of Simon and his success in this classroom as a new student in Park City if I didn’t also tell you all how amazing Mrs. Ingle is. I have interacted with many teachers having 5 kids, and I want to tell you that teachers like her are to be celebrated and forever remembered and thanked for their selfless devotion to their class.  It is because of her investment into Simon (and all of you) that he now has the confidence to read and to feel that he can learn anything he wants to. 

 God did not make us all the same and we all have different strengths and weaknesses and remembering to help those who may appear to be struggling with something is always a way to feel good about yourself and also to remember there is sure to be a time when you may be that person needing help as we cannot all be good at everything all the time. 

You will meet Simon’s dad tomorrow morning and while he struggled to read until he was in 6th grade, he is now a brilliant doctor who helps people all over the world.

Simon is now making up for lost time with his learning and he is excited to come to school each day.

I want to say a big THANK YOU to each of you for welcoming Simon into your class, which isn’t always easy part way through the year.  You are all very special and I am quite sure you are all going to do very amazing things in this world to make it a better place.

And to my youngest and incredibly special child, I know for certain that every hurdle you have overcome was a choice.  You chose to not let the areas of weakness become stumbling blocks in your future but to become the reasons why you will become successful…because as you have already learned, when you discipline yourself to be greater than what you struggle with, you will always come out on top!!

I love you bunches and bunches and more bunches and I am beyond proud of you!!!

And will you succeed?  Yes!  You will, indeed! 98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.  ~Dr. Seuss