The “Bad Guy”

Once upon a time there was a little family. They weren’t sure how to do life, but like all families – tried to do their best. As the family grew up the mom, and dad realized there were a whole lot of things they could be doing better, and they discussed working together towards common goals, so their children could do the same. However, the one parent who always spoke up, was still the same parent that spoke up. The other parent who was always quiet, was still the same parent who was always quiet. This doesn’t seem like such a bad thing, but eventually the outspoken person became the “bad guy”.

The problem with the “bad guy” scenario is that there isn’t one “bad guy”,  there’s two, the one who wears the label, and the other one who lets it happen.

The good news is, this little family didn’t stop talking. This mom, and dad didn’t stop trying to work towards common goals so their children could do the same. Eventually both parents found their “together” voice and decided to wear the “bad guy” label together, and proudly, because suffering for saying the right thing is the best kind of pain there is.

Remember parents, you are your children’s parents, not their buddies. Always speak the truth in love, regardless of the response, and pray more than you eat, drink and sleep.

To God be the glory

 

 

 

The God Substitute – Temporary Infatuation

I remember the crowded coffee shop and the shoulder to shoulder line up.  I remember seeing her and an army of history marched through my head.  She was the black sheep in her family, but even black sheep deserve to fall in love.  She did and they were great together but a few weeks before her wedding her husband had an accident at work involving industrial chemicals.  She knew something was wrong but went ahead with hope and ended up marrying a stranger.

My eyes scanned the bobbing heads and animated faces who were already sitting down enjoying their morning java, when I saw him, my Father.  Even after all we’d been through my heart skipped a beat, it was the ever-present hope for change. I kept hoping one day I might see who really lives behind those blue eyes.  One day I might see laugh lines.  One day I might see a child’s faith commitment reborn, I might see a life surrendered to God.

I watched the megaphone bumble across the floor to his table.  Her voice was louder than the forty some other conversations going on.  Then I felt him, God’s presence,  The Holy Spirit stood right in front of me, leaned in and pressed his finger on the ear of my heart.  I listened and I knew more than coffee was brewing that day.  Trouble was just around the corner.

I got my coffee to go but walked over to my Dad’s table before leaving.  I waited for the perfect moment then leaned in and gave him a left arm hug.  He smiled and I left praying that God would give me the place and time and courage to give him the message I had just received, even if parents don’t like to get advice from their children.

Not long after, we did have that chat and I told him what I heard God tell me in the coffee shop.  Dad was no stranger to that kind of talk, because his Mother, my Grandmother, breathed that talk all the time.  She wasn’t perfect, I’m certainly not perfect, but if God gives you a message, you need to give it.

My Dad and Mom were separated, it was his idea, but something he kicked himself for every waking moment.  Actually, he probably fought those demons in his sleep too.  They loved each other but couldn’t live together at least not without a whole lot of divine intervention.  Here’s the thing, divine intervention doesn’t happen unless you ask for it, and pride doesn’t ask.  And even then, both parties have to want the same thing.  To  make matters worse, sometimes a life time isn’t long enough for a person to heal.  Sometimes you live apart and love from a distance.

The gal in the coffee shop had been separated for quite some time and by God’s good warning I could sense she was thinking my Dad could be her prince charming, a second chance at a future.  When my Dad finally heard what I was trying to tell him, he laughed.  “As if someone like her would be interested in an “old fart” like me” he chuckled.

One week later, the spiritual battle ended, just like that.  Not even a fist fight.  She moved in, in more ways than one, and any chance our father (or her for that matter), had at surrendering life over to God’s plan, was obliterated.  The hope of putting God first for just once, the hope for a personal transforming relationship with God – was substituted again for temporary infatuation.

If God is warning you about something today, take it seriously.  It is so easy to live in the “now”.  He wants us to live with an eternal perspective.  This life is over in a blink!  What might look promising today, could break your heart tomorrow.  What might look like a warm blanket for you, might be the loneliest move you make.

In loving memory of even the painful lessons, because with God’s help we can learn from the pain.

 

 

Those things called; Feelings!

Depersonallization disorder

Sometimes discouragement comes from not being the “real” you, you’re tired of having multiple personalities, different faces for different people, someone for your Mom and Dad, someone else for your friends.

 

Then there are those times when you know who you are, you have the spouse, the family, but someone in your inner circle doesn’t like you.  They second guess your smiles, mistake your work for “making an impression”, question everything you do as if you’re their latest science project rather than their Mother, and hear things you’ve never said.

 

I thought it was tough trying to figure things out when I was in High School.  College brought a new kind of scary.  Now that I’m a Mother, everything would be just great, if I didn’t have those things called; feelings.