A Mother’s Heart

Being a mom is a special gift. Being a mom is challenging. Being a mom of a child who has been your prodigal most of their adult life is tough!

When most of us knew that we were expecting a child we were excited. We could not make time tick off fast enough so we could hold that new life in our arms. Those months seemed like an eternity. Then the great day arrived and the journey began.

I know when I look back on the years when my boys were growing up it fills me with such sweet memories. I really did enjoy those young years before one was in 2nd grade and the other in kindergarten. They were the cutest little boys.

Of course, before I knew it those preteen years came and so did the changes. The oldest was a timid, tenderhearted son and the youngest was an adventurous, strong-willed son. They were two years and four months apart in age and different as dark and light! I believe from the time the youngest was 10 and the oldest was 12 they fought 75% of the time. You know the stuff! “He looked at me!” “Momma, he touched me!” “Momma, he won’t leave me alone!” It seemed to never end. I was the mom that could not wait for summer to end so I could have a break!

Before I knew it one was in college and the other was preparing to leave for Army basic training. I was so proud to see my oldest start his freshman year although I wondered if that timid eighteen year old would ever make it in the big fish bowl of a university campus. This mom was truly nervous. He was not my cute little boy anymore but a young man taking the first steps towards his goal of an art degree.

Then there was my youngest. The crazy kid who always asked a thousand questions in a twenty minute drive to church. The little boy who wanted to be a backhoe driver when he grew up. Then the next week he was going to be a fireman. Even to this day I believe he is searching for what he really wants to do.

A mother’s heart beats strong with love for her children. We watch them grow, we watch them reach their goals. Sometimes watch them fail, or make a costly mistake but through it all we are there. We give encouragement, comfort, correction but most of all we give them love.

However, there are times when we are tested as mothers. Especially when they are grown and you cannot instruct, you can’t send them to their rooms, or tell them they are grounded. Nope, they are on their own and their mistakes are all theirs! You wouldn’t mind so much if they came and sat down beside you and cried on your shoulder but they rarely do. So you pray. You pray a lot! They don’t see you pray but you do it. I pray constantly for mine.

Then sometimes you have a situation with an adult child that is more than challenging. He is the child that has driven you to your knees in desperation more often than ever expected. I have been in such a crucible with my youngest for fifteen years. So many times I am weary and overwhelmed with grief at the long stretches of no communication. As a mom I hunger for that “little” boy to call home and say how much he loves me and his dad. I long for him to make right the wrongs. I hope and pray daily that God will send an angel in flesh to minister to him and remind him that choosing God’s path is better than his.

Do you find yourself in such a situation? Do you lament the loss of a relationship with a prodigal son? Do you look in the distance as the prodigal’s father did to see him running home? My husband told me several years ago something that I will never forget. He said “The father never went after the prodigal, the prodigal came running home on his own.”

I understand your mother’s heart. We have big hearts and they feel BIG pain when it involves our children. I know that only God can bring these children around. As moms if we could fix it, we would. But our hopes must be anchored in the prayers we say and the God that hears them. Don’t quit, keep praying. God hears your cry!

Luke 15:20-24, “So he returned home to his father (or mother). And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. His son said to him, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his for his finger and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.

Living by the brook,

Marilyn

Waiting On God To Move

My husband and I were waiting on God to move……..literally! We had lived in our previous house for just over 21 years.  We had been doing some upgrades on the house for the previous two years.  During those two years we were growing impatient because we really wanted to move but we just did not feel it was time yet. So we just stayed the course.

At the church my husband and I attend I am part of the leadership team in our ladies ministry. As part on that leadership responsibility I have books that I am required to read. This time last year the book I was reading focused on taking the next step, getting “unstuck” from whatever has a hold on you.  As I was reading I positively heard the Holy Spirit speak to my heart that NOW was the time to move.  While reading one of the chapters I stopped, put the book in my lap and uttered the words…”Yes, we are stuck!”  I knew this was the moment…the time was here that if we wanted to see things happen we had to take the next step.

As soon as my husband came home from work I told him how I had been prompted in my spirit that we needed to call our real estate agent immediately. I made that call but I had to leave a message. Eventually she returned the call but she was on vacation in Mexico. She said she would be back in town in a week and we would meet then. So I waited. That week could not go by fast enough for me.

On June 20, 2016 our agent, Mike and myself signed a six month contract to sell our house.  Two days later after she had everything loaded into the MLS system for our county she came and put the sign in the yard.  That was on the 22nd and on June 25th we had a signed contract on our house for only $2,000 less than our asking price.  We found a brand new home twelve miles away in a more rural setting and moved in to our new home on August 4, 2016.

I share this because it is so very important to wait on the Lord and then when He answers…..take action!  I knew it was the Lord speaking that day. But what if I had not taken action?  Well we would have missed what He had in store for us.  John 10:27 says, “My sheep listen to my voice, I know them, and they follow me.”

God wants to bless us. He wants good things for His kids but sometimes we must wait. We wait because the good things He has planned for us are in His timing not ours. “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14.  I will say that I was not always patient but I was fearful to move without hearing Him speak now was the time.  I am so thankful for all He did for us. I am still in awe of the enormous blessing He brought our way.

If you are waiting and to be honest who isn’t, right?  Don’t give up, keep praying, keep listening and when He speaks……move!

Living by the brook,

Marilyn

 

 

FIGHT OR FLIGHT

Some of us are fighters and some of us are not.  Everyone faces a crisis in different ways. Perhaps you are the kind that instantly wants to run. Maybe you are completely overwhelmed or intimidated by the circumstance that is looking straight at you this morning. I get that! You know the devil is hoping that you will run.

I Corinthians 15:58 says this “So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.”  I love this verse!  Nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.  Thank God that we who are truly loving and serving Him are not doing this in vain. We have a purpose and influence, therefore, all the more of a reason for the enemy of your soul to try to put up roadblocks.

The devil’s job is to stop you dead in your tracks. If you are serving the Lord with purpose and passion most likely he has devised a plan and instructed all his little devil minions to target you so that you will give up.  John 10:10 says, “The thief comes to steal, kill and to destroy, but I have come that they might have life and life more abundantly.”

When I was a young girl one of the few good things that I can recall being taught was that when you get knocked down get back up. Don’t just lay there in shock. If you stay down….you lose. So, okay, you’ve been knocked down by something. We all have been knocked down a time or two. Get back up and fight! Remind the devil that he is a loser and you are a winner. Take the fight to him. Ephesians 6:10-13 tells us how. “A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.”

Maybe everything in your life is not the way you would like it to be. Like me you are engaged in some battles. Perhaps you are getting a little weary. I get that. I get weary too but I also know that in the long run there is no way I am going to lay down and play dead for any devil!  So, stand up, go look in the mirror and give yourself a pep talk. Remind yourself who you are. You are a devil stomping Christian and you are a fighter! I am right there with you my friend.

Remember, we who endure until the end win the prize. So let’s run the race set before us and let’s jump over those hurdles while shouting “Take that devil..you lose”!  And when our feet land on the other side of that hurdle the devil is under our feet.

FIGHT or FLIGHT? It’s our choice.

Living by the brook,

Marilyn