The aftertaste of sorrow lingers. Still existent but no longer all consumed by its grip I manage to gasp for breath. Moments at a time, life begins its return. Coffee with a friend, here. Date with my husband, there. An unforced smile manages to break through on occasion. The thickness of grief prevented it before. But Light has broken and darkness is not so black as it was. Deep gashes and slashes in the soul begin to merge together again. Because this place is not foreign to me, I have confidence that time will heal. First one step, then another, each stronger than the one before. Though a sense of “why” may never be made, purpose will be found. He promises it. I trust. It’s faint, but there. This pain will be a gift.
Live by Example
Subtle Lies that Haunt Us!Standard
The tone of the tall grass merges with the dirty yellow of his mane. No movement, no sound. None are aware of his presence. He observes. A moment of weakness rises as one prey lets his guard down. Predator edges closer. No cracking of dry grass beneath his feet warns imminent danger lurks. The prey, oblivious to his surroundings, is hit as predator leaps to attack. He never saw it coming.
I relate to the prey, often unaware that a beast hides in the shadows. He detects, more than I, my vulnerability and my doubt. He waits for it, then feeds on it.
Laughter Through Tears is my Favorite Emotion!Standard
Secret struggles plant hidden seeds of anguish and distress that, when never faced with the light, remain grounded in a darkness and spread and infect the rest of our soul. Laughter is to this bruising, as light is to dark; the latter always succumbs to the presence of the former.
Lights flash, people stare, their imagination fills in the story from their 10 second exposure as they drive by the 911 scene. Being in the middle of this reoccurring scenario has made me numb to the onlookers.
Left leg crossed over right knee, I bounced it out of boredom, partly, and partly out of irritation. The clock behind the receptionist counter revealed the Pediatric Ophthalmologist to be 30 minutes behind schedule and nothing in the pages of the Health magazine between my fingers was to hold my attention or the attention of my 3 young children in tow.
Grace, Teresa, have some grace. (Sigh)
Be Careful Little Eyes…Standard
He was 16ish! “ALL” of his friends were going, making me the over-protective dictator for my “no” for the 3rd year in a row.
“It’s no big deal. It’s fake blood, pretend dead people in costumes. It’s not that bad.”
Just a Little Venting!Standard
“Do everything without complaining and arguing.” Philippians 2:14 NLT
Blatantly obvious words that leave little (actually zero) room for negotiation. Don’t consider, but a direct command to just “do.”
Little or big things, hard or menial tasks all categorized into one lump sum of “everything.”
Exclusive of, not partaking in or allowing an exhale of grief to cross lips during said “doing,” equals “without” and is mutually exclusive with non-existence.
Three “all or nothing” directives offer no wiggle room, “what if” scenarios or “but I was just” excuses.
Why does He have to be so stringent and uptight? What’s a little whine before dinner done to harm anyone?
Venting our annoyances is therapeutic, right?
Guilty! I justify my “arguing” in ways that could turn a jury’s vote. But God’s word lacks an addendum that rights my wrongful attitude of grumbling.
I texted my 19 year old to find out how it was going. His reply, “sitting in these stupid lines for the 5th time is not cool.”
It wasn’t a painful process and he had no where more important to be, as I did, so I implored him to accompany his sister, a freshman in high school, to her “essentials day” by walking her through the picture line, locker assignment line and “pay for everything line.”
Lines are annoying, waiting is cumbersome but his expression of dissatisfaction was more than venting. It stung. What I heard was “you’re not worth my time, Mom.”
All has been resolved since this first text began an elevated discussion on complaining where I threw this verse in his face while, myself, complaining that he isn’t more sensitive. Crud! It’s so annoying when God convicts me while I’m convicting my children. Oops, did it again.
Truth…complaining ALWAYS takes our eyes off of opportunities God may be placing before us to serve and encounter others.
Blinded by our own selfish desires for comfort, whether it’s a mountain or a mole hill, we will stunt our growth in Christ if we focus on the annoyances or grievances of a task or obstacle that blocks our path. . We become stumbling blocks with the contagion that is complaining by breathing negativity rather than the joyful spirit of Christ. God cannot be glorified in the midst of whine and pessimism. Only if we reflect His nature in EVERYTHING we do will true joy be found in all circumstances.
So why risk it?
The Challenge of Being Challenged!Standard
Challenge Completed! (Read Day 1 “OK, Honey. Challenge Accepted!”)
Yesterday marked the final round of a throw down challenge with my husband. His was a physical cleanse, mine was an emotional purge, figuratively speaking, as I blogged each of those days. He lost 27.5 lbs. and I gained awareness to 27.5 (at least) character defects I must now work on. Seriously!
I’m obsessive, insecure, prideful, anxious, overbearing, timid, empty, doubtful, complacent yet never satisfied over every single syllable. More than daily, I threatened to withdraw, press into lies and excuses rather than press into growth. Grateful for the accountability stamina of my cohort, I pushed forward and learned some valuable lessons.
DAY 27 (Read Day 1 “OK, Honey. Challenge Accepted!” Post)
Alarm sounds, eyes pop open, a kick with the right foot and sheets uncover all of me. Legs lift and carry me to the bathroom containing baby soaps, baby shampoos and bleached white towels. First of four women to take the shower, with embarrassment I confess, the last to walk out the door.
When Mom Throws the Temper Tantrum!Standard
DAY 12 (Read Day 1 “OK, Honey. Challenge Accepted!” Post)
Not a proud moment, nor a memory easily erased when a new gouge in the car interior upholstery now haunts me each time I drive. Realistically, it won’t be the last one and obviously wasn’t my first Mom tantrum.
In a moment of weakness, I failed. Now what?
The Golden Moments when my Teenager Messes Up!Standard
DAY 8 (Read Day 1 “OK, Honey. Challenge Accepted!” Post)
Character development is a constant conversation between myself and my teens. Eye rolls occur, “I know, Mom” are spoken words and sporadically, on remote occasions, there is a remorseful apology given without prompt when a mistake has been uncovered.
“I’m sorry,” he said, with tears in his eyes. Tears not from getting caught, not from the consequence poured out, but salty drips of remorse from the disappointment he sensed over his choice.