Saturday, May 19, 2012

Leaning on Jesus

What a fellowship, what a joy divine, leaning on the everlasting arms;
What a blessedness, what a peace is mine, leaning on the everlasting arms.

What have I to dread, what have I to fear? Leaning on the everlasting arms.
I have blessed peace with my Lord so near, leaning on the everlasting arms.

Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarm;
Leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms.

That song came to mind on my way home from church last Wednesday night.  The first and last verses are very relevant to my present circumstances.  I am in a battle right now.  Who isn't, right?  It seems this battle I'm in--we'll call it "Battle 1" has been going on forever.  Then there's "Battle 2," which has been going on for several months.  Suddenly this second battle is now raging in full force.  It is starting to look doubtful that this second battle will come out the way I had hoped. Today I started to give in to this fear after hearing some rumors that were unsettling. 

I remembered that in Psalms 138:8 it says "the Lord is perfecting that which concerns me," but I also know that He is shaking everything that can be shaken in my life. I prayed about it on the way to church. In the end, I told Him "Your Kingdom come, Your will be done in my life."  We had a really powerful worship time; the presence of God was so strong. So I know He is with me; I know He is in control of the situation. All this didn't sneak up on Him.  He knows what He is doing, and I think He just wants me to trust Him.

So on the way home I sang that song, over and over, as a declaration of faith. I am not going to dread or fear, because He will do what is best for me.  I have to trust Him. 
He is my only hope. He alone can calm the storm in my life right now.  Actually, the storm continues to rage, but He has calmed me in the midst of it.  "You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You." Isaiah 26:3

When this battle is over, I don't know what will be left after all the shaking.  I know one thing that will remain; Jesus my Rock.  I will be clinging to Him with every fiber in my being.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

In Memory of Mama

The following was a facebook note that I wrote in May 2009.  On this Mother's Day weekend, I felt it fitting to repost this in memory of my mom.
"Maw" with the kids in 1986
"Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.” (Exodus 20:12) On this Mother’s Day weekend, I would like to honor the memory of my mother. She died in February of 1996, but the impact that she had on my life and my kids’ lives continues. She was a Godly woman; a prayer warrior grounded in the Word. She was not perfect of course, though we tend to forget the bad the longer a person has been gone. She made mistakes, as all of us humans are prone to do, but the good things she put into our lives far outweighs the mistakes she made. She worked hard when I was growing up to help make ends meet; a working mom in an era where that was the exception and not the rule. She did not complain, but instead worked alongside my dad as the helpmate that God intended she be. She retired at 62 to be home and spend more time with my dad, whose health was not the best. Three years later, he suddenly died. She remarked to me once that though she took a smaller pension to retire at 62 instead of 65, she had no regrets because she got to spend time with the love of her life for those 3 years.

After she retired, she got to spend a lot more time with my kids. Sometimes when they were small life could get overwhelming for me. That’s when she would show up at my house to lend a hand or just to talk to me. From the time Jeff was born in 1982 until he started first grade in 1988, I was a stay at home mom—without a car of course. Did I need to take one to the doctor? Mama showed up at my house to take us. Did I want to do some PTA volunteering at Jeremy’s school ? Mama showed up to stay with Jennifer and Jeff and let me take her car. My mom was such a tremendous help and friend in those days. I’m sure she never took a love languages quiz, but I know what hers was. Her love language was gift-giving, with quality time as the secondary language. She lived to buy stuff for the kids, which of course she really couldn’t afford. I’m not talking stuff like iPODs and computers (which didn’t exist anyway). No, she totally spoiled my kids by buying them necessities of life, like clothes and shoes. We took lots of shopping trips which for several years included one in a stroller, and we always ended up at Wyatt's Cafeteria in the mall. When they got a little older, she and the kids started playing board games. I still have the Monopoly game that they just about wore out. She was delighted to have them come and stay the night with her. They would play games or watch movies and just have a great time.

This may sound a little random, but I’m typing as I remember. When I awoke this morning, it was just in my heart to write a tribute to my mom. Her love language was not physical touch or words of affirmation. I don’t remember her saying she loved me, but I know she did. However, she instilled in me what was important in life, taught me manners and rules of politeness by which to conduct myself, and guided me in how to relate to others. After I became an adult, she became my best friend. A greater or more trustworthy soul never existed. If you told my mother something and told her not to tell, she didn’t. She literally took those secrets to the grave with her. The most important legacy she left, though, was her love of Christ. She brought me up to love and honor God and read and obey His Word. She was a great lady, and I didn’t tell her that as much as I wish I had when she was living. So on this Mother’s Day weekend, here’s to my mother: I love you, Mama.