Sunday, May 13, 2012

Who am I, and who is my family Lord, that You have brought us this far?

August 20th, 2004 is the day I became a mom.  I never aspired to be a mom. Getting married or being a mom would take away from my time with the Lord, I thought, so I really didn’t care about either of the two.  Yet there is nothing like getting in a singles ministry and seeing other girls in full blown crisis mode over the need to get married that will awaken your senses to your own urgency that you didn’t even know you had…to be married.  At times it seemed an all consuming fire to the people around me.  They needed to get married and then of course I thought I did too.  I guess I thought I would get married someday but I was certainly not one of those girls who had her whole wedding planned out as a child.  None of that nonsense for me, I thought!  Maybe it was because I came from a broken home and a dad that needs his own reality show called “15 kids and I lost count”.  Nevertheless, God had a plan for me whether “the Bobster” as I refer to him, was in my life or not.  Marriage was never a pretty picture to me.  As far as examples go the ones I saw made me decide that I really didn’t want to put myself through that. 

Thankfully, I know in my bone and marrow that the Lord is my Father.  It’s not just words on a page to me.  I learned truly that if I was forsaken by the people who should be expected to love me the most that the Lord would never do such a thing.  Tonight I was in the store with Morgan and a scripture from Psalm 91 caught my eye.  I took Morgans sweet little face, stooped down low (not too low as she is catching up with me on height) and recited that passage to her from the well of my soul.  It has meant so much to me.  I stood for a moment and told Morgan about how faithful He has been to me and that even when life has been like really hard the Lord has been hemming me in and leading me on and wooing me closer to His heart.  I began to have a knot well up in my throat and tears began to fall down my face.  I couldn’t even stop it nor blame it on “that time of the month” since I don’t have one of those any more. 

Psalm 27:10 (NIV1984)

10 Though my father and mother forsake me,
the Lord will receive me.

Even during great times of oppression from the enemy, I can speak out one of the psalms of ascents that even if I have been greatly oppressed from my youth , the enemy has not gained the victory over me.  At times I have literally felt that I was in the black dirt and the enemy was plowing over me with intentions of crushing me or making me think nothing would ever grow from what was plowed over…yet through any kind of trenches left in my soul or impressed on my heart or mind, the Lord has allowed my tears and prayers to become seed that was planted and has produced a harvest so that maybe perhaps many will see and hear and put their hope in God.  He is about His children flourishing in their soul whether in a season of trial or maybe a season of rest.  There is purpose in our pain and loss.  Not only has He cut me free from the cords of the wicked, He has made it to where I will not settle for my own children to have to live and see some weak willed woman exist as a victim of circumstance her whole life (what a waste!), because of the Lord and what He has been to me I am anything but weak willed and Lord willing, I want to stay that way.  I praise Him because of His grace that the enemy hasn’t won!

Psalm 129:2-4

New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)

2 they have greatly oppressed me from my youth,
but they have not gained the victory over me.
3 Plowmen have plowed my back
and made their furrows long.
4 But the Lord is righteous;
he has cut me free from the cords of the wicked.

So, I get married and then one morning was praying about having children and again since I decided I wasn’t cut out for it I prayed and was ready for whatever answer the Lord had for me.  I will never forget walking in the bathroom and exclaiming to Rod that I had prayed about the matter and the Lord answered me with the following verse that I had to lookup in that particular homework I was doing:

Isaiah 54:1
[ The Future Glory of Zion ] “Sing, O barren woman, you who never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labor; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband,” says the LORD.

That was that…I was to have spiritual offspring through teaching and discipling and no biological kids of my own.  Of course Rod brushed it off as he continued to get ready for work.  One thing about me is that there was NO way I could ever picture the scenario in my mind so that must have meant it wasn’t going to be a part of my life.  The thing is the Lord doesn’t give us grace for things that we are not even living out.  We also are still called to walk by faith, not sight, nor feelings. 

I kid you not, a couple of days later I found out I was pregnant.  Like all three times when I found out I was pregnant, I fell to the floor and wailed before the Lord and told Him there was NO WAY I could be a mom!  No way!  Then, as soon as I called and told Rod he quickly and sarcastically reminded me of the “so called word” I had from the Lord as he chuckled.  I had some really hard pregnancies and many of you know that my sweet Shelby Hope is in heaven.  I became a mom the day she was born and the day she died.  I remember the panic when hearing the news that she was not going to live.  Then, holding my child only to release her to the One she belonged to anyway.  I was a steward of her for such a short time, yet it was too my Fathers glory that her life be what it was and every day was written in His book before one day came to pass.  I then began to beg the Lord to not let Isaiah 54:1 hold true for me. 

June 24th, 2005 and 11:38 pm the Lord brought Morgan in this world and praise Him, I was a mom again.  Words can’t describe what it felt like when they put her on my chest.  If I could recreate the moment I would but the Lord allowed feelings to be invoked in me that I didn’t even know I was capable of.  I was smitten to put it lightly and drunk on love for that baby girl.  The Lord has continued to use her life to show me that as much as I love her on a good day, I can’t even fathom a drop in the bucket of His love that surpasses knowledge…for me.  Me.  It’s so humbling.  I also began to feel sorry for some people that I know that never were able to show their children that they were loved.  They are so handicapped in their heart that they just don’t have it to give.  Also, love comes from God and we love because He first loved us…yet if we are not seeking to abide in Him we really have nothing to give to anyone that’s authentic and flowing from His Holy Spirit.  I then knew what it meant that I was the apple of Gods eye because that baby girl sure was and is the apple of my eye.  Whoever touches her is touching the apple of my eye.  Just like several episodes where other kids have been ugly to her (and I’m not saying she is all innocent and never been ugly) I have wanted to snatch them bald headed!  No lie!  The other day even I witnessed how rude little girls can be but it was being dished out to my baby…and I never knew how bad I might want to hate a 7yr old (but only for a minute…wink wink).  I don’t really hate…but I walked out of her school talking outloud to the Lord, thanking Him that part of the work of the Holy Spirit is to restrain and had I not had Him dwelling with me, I would have been on the 10 O’clock news for beating up a 7 year old!  LOL.  I’m kind of kidding.

So, again I never imagined being able to love another child like I do Morgan until July 28th 2011…my baby man child came into this world!  He was as stubborn as can be about getting here and was all about causing trouble.  Of course I asked the Lord over and over what I was going to do with a man child?  Me, the mom of a boy?  How in the world?  His daddy is VERY independent so I was scared from the day I found out about the little mister that he was going to come out being independent of his momma.  He came in this world with some mean little expressions and that boy is as sweet as can be when he gets up in the morning, and when he is around “the ladies”…

He loves his mommy but he is indeed polar opposite from Morgan.  And he has a tude.  No doubt about it!  Yet I am so overtaken with love for him.  I only wish he would quit trying to over achieve and stay a blasted baby for me!  He thinks he is SO big. 

Being a mom has definitely had its challenges.  I can’t tell you how needy I am for Jesus because I really realize in my parenting that apart from Him, I can do nothing.  I’m seeking the Lord over here and trying to live this life out before them the best I can and praying like crazy that they would embrace Christ for themselves and see that He is not just a number on a list of priorities, but that He will be their life and the length of their days, because that is what He is for me. 

I fall SO short, but oh I am so thankful to get to do life with those two.  I kid you not when I told you earlier that I was afraid that marriage and kids would take away from my time with the Lord.  I don’t get to spend as much time as I once did when it was just me and Jesus but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  I have come to know Him more intimately because of them.  There are so many days I am racked with guilt or conviction for being snappy with Morgan that day…I have even been known to wake her up and apologize and she is so gracious. 

Yet my heart does ache for those that want to be a mom, and for whatever reason they aren’t.  Or for those who may have a mom but she’s never been a mom to you.  Or for others whose mom is no longer living…

I pray that the Lord would give you your hearts desires and fill up the places that lack.  I pray that you would come to know Him as El Roi, the God who sees you in your barren land and may He meet with you in that place and provide a well of living water when you feel like you are about to die of thirst in this world that we live in (which is so bent on keeping us discontented).  If your answer doesn’t come in the form you wish it did, I pray that you would have such spiritual offspring that your heart is so full and the people too numerous to count. 

Loving your kids is risky since we don’t know what tomorrow holds, yet what a waste to self-protect and live in fear when we can know the Lord more by loving them heart wide open?

So, today I am thankful for all that they have taught me and how I have learned of the goodness and unconditional love of the Lord because of their sweet lives.

Morgan and Blair, I pray that you will look past mommy’s short-comings and failures and see Jesus the One I so desperately want you to give your life to.  He is so worthy of all of you.  There is no better place to be.  And to my precious Morgan, you are already so much more than your mom has ever been.  Your heart is so tender and sensitive to the Lord.  I pray that when you hear His voice, that like the boy Samuel you would reply, “Here I am Lord!”  Morgan, what I would give to know Him like you do already when I was your age.  I pray you never take your faith for granted and that you take hold of it for yourself…and I pray that for both of you.  The love I have for y’all is something I never knew I was even capable of.  You’ll never know what you mean to me.  But maybe some day you will get a glimpse for yourself. 

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Jennifer said...

Hello Jenny! I haven'g been posting, but I have been praying! And reading. Lately it's been Fenelon. Never heard of him before in my Life, but pulled out a tiny little leather bound volume from the bookcase and discovered amazing riches =) And then I started to see him quoted here and there in other things I read. Funny how that works, isn't it! The piece i first read was all about silence. I will cut and past that here one of these days. Here is what is bouncing around in my head from him today.
"Self Renunciation - the only way to Peace"

"So long as we dwell with ourselves, we shall be a prey to the opposition, the malignity, the injustice of men. Our temper brings us into collision with other tempers; our passions clash with those of our neighbors; our wishes are so many tender places open to the shafts of those around; our pride, which is incompatible with our neighbors, rises like the waves of a stormy sea;- everything rouses, attacks, rebuffs us. We are exposed on all sides by reason and the jealousy of our pride. No peace is to be looked for within when one lives at the mercy of a crowd of greedy, insatiable desires, and when we can never satisfy this "me" which is so keen and so so touchy as to whatever concerns it. will find the children of Adam tormenting on another; half of mankind made unhappy by the other half, and rendering them miserable in their turn. The only remedy is to come out of one's self in order to find peace. We must renounce ourselves, and lose all self-interest, that we may no longer have anything to lose, to fear, to contrive. Then we shall enjoy the true peace reserved for "men of good will" that is, for those who have no longer any will but God's , which becomes theirs. Then men will not be able to harm us; they can no longer attack us through our hopes, our fears; then we are willing to accept everything and we refuse nothing. We may be worried, inconvenienced, distressed; but God causes it, and that is enough. We love the Hand which smites; we find peace in all these trouble,- happy peace, which follows us even to the cross! We wish what we have; we wish nothing of what we have not. The more perfect is our self-surrender, the more perfect is our peace."
On Leaving All To Providence

Nothing is so trying to nature as suspense between between a faint hope and a mighty fear; but we must live in faith concerning the extent of our trials, as in all else. Our sensitiveness often tempts us to believe that our trials are beyond our strength; but we know neither the strength of our heart nor the trials of God. Only He knows the whole - both our hearts, which He Himself has made, with all their secret folds of which we are ignorant, and the extent of the trials which He gives us - knows how to proportion these two things. Let us then leave all to Him, and be content to suffer without listening to ourselves. What we believe impossible is so only to our softness and cowardice; what we think overwhelming overwhelms only pride and self-love, which cannot be too much crushed.

Andrea said...

Hi Jenny,
Im glad to see you are still posting on your blog....:) I saw you go missing from Facebook and hoped all was well. You made a great decision concerning Facebook....I have been posting less and less. I think it is highly addictive and many people spend their days living for social media instead of living for the day. I found myself spending way too much time there. I have enjoyed the many biblical pages I have found there and I am pretty much sticking around there for that and to keep in touch with many out of the area family members.
I hope you plan to keep your blog going...I have been reading it for YEARS! :)
Take Care,