My mama story…

After five years of not being able to conceive, On September 28, 2004, I was told for the first time ever that I had a positive pregnancy test. My heart stopped beating and all I did was sobbed my eyes out.  During my pregnancy there were times I would just sit down and wonder what in the world did I get myself into. The questions would race through my mind, “Am I going to be a good mother; was I really going to be able to take care of this little person; am I going to know what to do;” and of course the list continued forever. As my pregnancy continued, I just had so much love for this little person. Then I found out it was a boy, A BOY!! What in the world did I know about boys. I don’t like cars and sports and boys are stinky (yes, this was all really going through my mind  when I found out it was a boy). Then God did something for me to change my heart. I saw a little girl in a restaurant that was maybe about 3 or 4, 5 at the most, and she looked like a little street walker, mom looked the same way (please know that I was not casting judgment), and in that very moment I told God how grateful that I was having a boy. I have never looked back and wonder what my life would look like with a girl. Then the miracle day came, May 31, 2005, my sweet little baby boy , Joshua Franklin, was born at 1201 am. When I held him for the very first time, I knew what only a mother’s heart could feel, a perfect love.  Now I am not saying that my love has been perfect, but I know that there is absolutely nothing my son could do that would ever make me stop loving him.  Now my baby is nine years old and even though we have been on a roller coaster of ups, downs, turns, upside downs and right-sides wrong, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Now for the earlier thoughts in my life about matchbox cars, sports, and everything boy-I was one car shopping mom (I told myself in the end cars everywhere were so much better that Barbie shoes everywhere). Sports, well, my wardrobe contains Sports Mama shirts like crazy. I have a blinged out chair for soccer and basketball, and I cheer the loudest of everyone. The only draw back is the stinky boy part, not sure that ever goes away.  I have just invested in plenty of Frebreeze sprays.  I do enjoy my boy child and always will love spending time with him. I miss him when he goes to school. Yes, of course there are days that I can’t wait for him to find someone to go do something with so he will leave me alone for a minute. Some days I make my husband take him for some daddy and son time so I can have some quiet time for myself. He can make me smile, laugh, cry, scream and everything else.  Some days I tell myself that I got this mama thing down and I’m doing good. And some days I still wonder what in the world am I doing? Am I doing this right? What if it’s wrong and he is going to end up being messed up? So, i just pray and ask God to forgive me and help me guide my baby down the path that God wants him on.

 

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John1:12

 

 

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“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:” (NKJV)

But as I received Him, to me He gave the right to become a child of God, to me who believed in His name (my version of John 1:12).

 

I love how the Bible is written for me, I love when I take my name and read that because I received Jesus, I have the right to be called God’s child. Not just someone who doesn’t belong anywhere. Not someone who is not worthy, not good enough, damaged goods, a mess, or any other name that the world has thrown at me, or things that I have misread the label on. Knowing that no matter where I go in life, God is always my Father, who is always with me.

 

john 1 12

Spiritual GPS…

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So I am usually not at a loss for words, but when I first read about this weeks’ topics, I wondered what in the world can I say? Then I saw this picture on my FB page and decided this would be a perfect topic, somehow anyway. Then throughout the week, the mess of my marriage became my thought pattern for this topic. From this mess that I am in to what God is doing to turn it into a beautiful masterpiece. I was so excited to share how God was moving and making changes in my life, using Limitless Life in application to what we are studying through church to fix our marriage. How these labels we have read and learned about are actually what is causing our marriage differences.  Then I watched a video and the horror of watching a young woman (in foreign country, not sure which one) beating a little baby, broke my heart so much, that my problems seemed so small compared to what this baby was having to endure. She was hitting him with a pillow, slapping him, kicking him, hitting him with what looked like a phone, pinching him. What made it even more horrible was that there was a little boy in the room watching. There was also a girl, not quite sure if it was an adult or another child and the person making the recording. In that moment, I imagined all the labels this innocent baby, if he survived, would carry for the rest of his life. Afraid-afraid that he is always going to be hit and treated wrongly, addict-he is going to drown out the pain of his life by turning to the streets in the form of drugs and alcohol and anything else that he feels that would take away the pain. Mess-that he will only know that he is a mess because of abuse, physical and emotional, and maybe even sexual. Orphan-never good enough to be loved. Then the Holy Spirit reminded me that God loves that baby so much and that He alone because of the ultimate sacrifice of His Son on the cross, that all of those labels can be removed and replaced with: courageous-as he gets up in front on millions and shares his story to bring someone else to the foot of the cross; free- that the Blood of Jesus Christ has made him free; Masterpiece-because God is going to use him in mighty ways; and finally Adopted-that God will show him what unconditional love really is. As I watched this horribleness, I turned to look at the woman. I saw her hurt and pain and the suffering that she has had to endure. No one becomes an abuser just because they want to be one. They have witnessed it, they have suffered it, they have learned it. I prayed to God for not only protection for that little baby, but healing of this woman, this hurt woman. I never have abused my child or anyone else, but I was a very angry person. I learned to be an angry person because of what happened in my house growing up. I didn’t wake up one morning and decide that I was going to be an angry person. The person that always got angry for everything, however, I did wake up one morning and decide I no longer wanted to be an angry person. I asked God to change the anger in my heart. Did it happen overnight? No! Do I still get angry? Yes. The difference is, now when I get angry, I go to God my Father and ask for forgiveness.  I go to the person that I was angry at and ask them to forgive me for being angry. Is this easy for me, no, sometimes it is the hardest thing to do. The woman in the video is doing horrible and malicious things to that baby, but I am reminded that Jesus died on that cross for her as well. He can heal her infirmities and turn the mess she is in and creating in someone else, into a beautiful masterpiece. Is it okay for me to be angry with her, no it is not. Is it okay for me to be angry at what she is doing, no because she is only doing what she knows how to do.  Can I be sad for what she is doing? Yes, but I have to give it over to God.

This all returns to the picture I added. My way screams that I want to hit, slap, kick, punch, throw things at her so she can feel what she is doing. God’s way says she already knows how it all feels, because it was done to her. God’s way also says that I loved her so much that I sent My only Begotten Son to suffer at the hands of man, to die a gruesome death on the cross, to walk into the pit of hell and fight the enemy for the rights of all the sinners, past, present and future, and then walk out of the tomb on the third day to show how much I loved her. My way will have me going in circles about this awful video. God’s way says I can and am willing to take this mess and turn it into the Masterpiece I already created!! God’s way is so much better that my way.

Please know that this was not an easy post for me tonight. I hurt for that baby because it was one of the biggest questions I asked God when we were trying to conceive and were told that we might not ever conceive our own child. “God why are there so many babies born just for the abuse that they will suffer at the hands of those who don’t care? God why can those women or young girls have babies and people like me who wants a baby so bad and we could love this baby and give it a good life.” God’s answer, always the same, “Be still and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10. Side note, we did finally conceive one baby, my sweet baby boy.

Thank you Father God for the love You have for me. Thank you for the reminder that I am not judge and jury of this young woman. Father, I left her up to you that she will come to a saving grace and know that you are her Father God.. I pray for Your protection on this baby and all the other babies in this same situation. Please forgive me my anger that I directed to this unknown woman who I know nothing about. Please forgive her Father for she knows not what she is doing.

Addict to Free/Afraid to Courageous…

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So this is me, a big scaredy cat. The one that everyone sees and no one knows how afraid that I really am. This picture encompasses a whole that I have struggled with for years. The first two chapters of the book for actually go together. My addiction to food as gotten me to the big part of life. I would never have admitted to anyone, let alone myself, that I was addicted to food. Truthfully, not really the food part of eating, but the dessert part, and not just at dessert time. I actually could live off of sweets and I would be just fine. I was uncomfortable with who I was, so I ate more. My husband wanted me to lose weight so I could fit into the image of who I was when we first got married, so I ate more. My mom would tell me that I needed to lose the weight, so my response, eat more. The doctors and the list can go on forever, wanted me to lose weight, so my coping mechanism, eat. I never could make myself sick after eating, so I was not bulimic, nor could I ever starve myself. So I told myself that I did not have an eating disorder. Then I went to work for Adult Probation and I realized that the only difference between my addiction and their addiction, was my was not illegal. I finally realized that I truly did have an addiction. I do have a lapband (did really well with it when I first got it), I do not eat nearly as much as I ever did before, I still love my sweets, but I now know that I have to have limits on my sweets. I kw exercise is a huge part of it, hence when I stopped working out, I gained weight. Now some are thinking just go exercise and everything will be ok. In theory yes, in reality no. The reason that I stopped working out, I got injured and had to have right knee surgery. Then I had to have a second surgery on the same knee to fix another problem. From there, let’s say bad knee plus a flight of stairs equals an ugly fall resulting in a dislocated and fractured (in two places) right ankle. So surgery one was to fix that and surgery two to fix another problem in the ankle. So now because of the knee and the ankle, I am limited. Then because of said bad knee and ankle, I have sprained both my knee and ankle so many times, that I am not functioning at a full level, my brain doesn’t think so, since I forget to slow down and take care of my ankle. So I eat less and cut back on my sweets. I moved into the label free once I started to admit that deep down I was an addict.

So moving on from afraid to courageous. I did it in this order because until I released my addiction, I was living a life of fear. I was afraid of what others thought of me and how others saw me because I was not the ideal image of what other thought of me. So what does my picture have to do with me being a big scaredy cat.  EVERYTHING!!! My church was getting ready to have it’s annual women’s conference. I wanted to go, however, just the thought of it sent me into a spiral of anxiety. I was in the car with my husband and I just could not even imagine me going. Being with that many people, sharing a space with strangers, and oh how the list could go on forever. The next morning, my sweet friend invited me to go to the retreat. I told her the truth that I would love to go but I was TERRIFIED!!!!!! She said that I can ride with her and that I would be with her and it would be ok. I didn’t answer her then, I just started praying, “God please take this fear away from me. I am not a scared person, I want to go on this retreat because I needed it. God, I call up the peace inside of me that is given by Your Holy Spirit.” I kept reminding myself that the spirit of fear was not from God. So, I took the plunge and registered for the retreat. Then even bigger, I went to the retreat. Talk about moving from fear to courageous. I am so grateful that I went. I had a blast, and received so much that weekend. This picture was taken of me at the retreat at the beginning of May this year.

Now on a quick side note about the stamp “NEW” on my arm. That too was moving from fear to courageous. I have a “thing” about my hands or being touched with dirtiness. I don’t shake hands, unless I know you or it is something important. I carry hand sanitizer every where, I have to use the wipes to clean shopping carts. Ok, I think you are getting the picture. I saw everyone getting that stamp. I said absolutely there is no way I am going to allow that thing on me after it has been on all those other women. Ewwwww gross. They made an announcement that you needed the stamp to have dinner that night. Me cringing the whole time, I went and got stamped. One huge step for me to walk in the land of courageous and not the land of the scaredy cat. (Found out later that you really didn’t need the stamp, but God didn’t let me know that until afterward)

Parenting…

Today’ devotion was based on Parenting. I loved this devotion. As a parent, it gets frustrating when everyone tells you to enjoy while it lasts. Yes, each year my child gets a year older, finishes another school year, and continues to grow. Do I know that the time is going fast, oh yes I do. Does it make me sad, in the moment, it makes me sad. I love watching my son grow each day. I love the person he is and the person God wants him to be. When people ask me if I am ready for him to be 9 (in 8 days), my always answer is no. I tell them I am not ready until that day. I want to enjoy each day that he is eight. When he turns nine, then I will be ready for that age.

When I hear parents say they can’t wait for school to start, it drives me bananas. Enjoy every minute of summer vacation, school will start again too soon. Then it is a brand new school year and then one year less before he goes out on his “own”.  When it is time for him to leave, I am going to be sad, absolutely, no doubt, but it will be time and in that moment I will be ready (at least strong enough until he leaves, then I can cry my eyes out, I do this on the first day of school every year ).

I won’t ever forget when he started kindergarten. To me he was so small and not ready, but he was ready. I missed him during the day (and I still do even though he is now about to finish third grade) running errands with me. Sometimes I pull him out of school a little early and just hang out with him.

So to answer the question about time flies, enjoy it while it lasts, is not entirely true. Yes, time flies, but don’t wish it away by can’t waiting for the next stage, for them to go back to school, for them to start walking, start eating without your help, sleeping through the night (I believe I get even less sleep now that he is older than when he was a baby because of how busy life is). Don’t wish it away, enjoy the moment you are in.

Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8 talks about there is a season for everything. Enjoy the season that God has put you in. Make every moment count. Now the, enjoy it while it lasts, the moment is gone, however, the memories of that moment are always a part of you. You and your children will have a memory of that moment. Some are bad memories and even more are good memories. Learn from the bad memories and remember the good. But never live in the bad memories and never live in the good memories. Live in the moment and enjoy!

I love my very almost 9 year old. He is my one and only and I can not have anymore children. I do not want to waste the season he is in for anything in the world. He is a gift that God the Father has given to me.

Community…

When I think about community, I think of many different types of community. No one ever the same and important in each way. We all belong to several communities and they make us and shape us and define us.  I belong to the community I live in, the school and activities my son goes to, my husband’s work, my family, but most important, my church community. I need a safe environment where i can go when i need encouragement, a good laugh and even sometimes a good cry. I can return to my community my willingness to serve and to give of myself. When my son’s school needs help with any number of projects, they call me. My church needs help in the baby suite, I am there. My neighbor needs me to watch their house while out of town, i am the one to do so. My husband needs something for a luncheon at work, he knows where to get one put together. Each community gives what you need or if it is not, then you have to leave the one you are in (sometimes this can be very difficult) and find a community that can give you what you need and what you are able to give to the community.