Rebuild the Foundation

I was talking to someone I love about this the other day. I wanted to speak to her about this in our lives, as I could see the enemy destroying our family and the ones around us. He is very clever in his tactics and I could see the deception was taking its toll on all of us.

“Let’s get together and talk, so we can rebuild the foundation.” I told her. I actually left, and mulled those words around in my head. That must have come from the Holy Spirit, I thought. As I was returning home to a kitchen which was about to be demolished. Her son was going to be helping with this project.

I was not relishing the fact, as I have an elderly mother to care for, and a host of other concerns. I do have a teenage son, and his nephews, which is a joy for them. This I thought would be the only bright side of the whole event. And the fact that I would be leaving on a vacation. But then again, I would be returning to this.

Well, as things go, my washing machine, broke down right before I left. I wasn’t happy about this. My pool turned a sickening shade of green, and refused to clean, regardless of how many chemicals I dumped into it. I was calling my pool service back. I had suspended it last year, in the hopes of saving money, and now was forced to look at this out my kitchen window, with the added shame, of having Mike, the Pool Guy, look at me with the, “I told you so, look. I promised him, I didn’t cheat on him with another pool guy. However, he knew I probably spent more money trying to do it myself.

The vacation I have to say, was eternally priceless. I saw the stage I have reached in the care of my mother. I have been stretched by the Lord. She tested me in every area possible. But this was something different. Last year, she refused to sit in a wheelchair, making it impossible to take her to a theme park. I so wanted her to see the things, my brother, Chris had seen, before he died. This was his last wish, to go to Disney. And we were able to take him.

This year, she was much more compliant, and I was incredibly surprised, that she not only went to the Magic Kingdom and spent the whole day, but I went with her, all alone, to Epcot, and she also spent the whole day. I was also surprised, at the closeness, I felt to her. I wanted to see everything through her eyes. I pointed out every detail to her. I wanted her to know what my brother saw, so that she would be excited.

I realized at the end, that I had changed. I wanted this honor to be her servant. I knew this was the highest honor that could be bestowed on anyone. I had never looked at it this way before. I complained and whined. At times, I felt exhausted and resentful. When she was ungrateful, I would be angry that my needs were not met, and “who was taking care of me?” Forgetting that the Lord is always watching over me. Then, He reminded me that if He gives these precious souls to me, why would He not give me the things I need to care for them?

I had a new perspective. As I cared for my mother like a child of mine. I was so protective of her. I cried at the thought of one day losing her. She had become my baby. And my children would one day become my protectors. I wanted them to learn the meaning of empathy. I wanted them to watch and learn.

This is how we build the foundation. And if this foundation is flawed, we must then go back and rebuild this. We are told by the Lord, “to train a child up in the way they should go, and when they are old, they will not depart from this.”

When, we returned from the trip, I had forgotten about the washing machine. I got online and researched what could be causing this problem. I found it would not go through the rinse cycle. Other’s seemed to be having the same problem. In an article, it stated, it was an easy fix. An order from a parts repair and it should save hundreds in repair costs. I talked to my ex husband and we decided to try to fix it ourselves.

I ordered the part. And it looked easy enough. Well, it was an ordeal. As instructions go. They never quite give you the whole picture. I looked at it as an analogy for life. They take you part way there and leave you hanging. And just when you’re about to give up…you decide, whether you want to figure out the rest or not. We had to learn the language of the instructions. And I realized a long time ago, he doesn’t have a lot of patience and a rather bad temperament. So, I pointed out what I thought were the places to remove some things. He is mechanically inclined which is good. But he doesn’t like to give credit to others for knowing anything. But I don’t mind. I just do what I do. We finally took apart the  machine, for the one little part. We clipped it in. Then we had to put it back together. That’s where we had a problem. He was ready to throw in the dirty towel. (Yes, pun intended.)

I said, alright, I’ll just call to have repair come and set it on the frame. This frustrated him. Since we were all the way there. We took a break. And I went in to look at it. “Hey,” I said. It looks perfect. It’s sitting on the frame, the same height as the dryer. Unless, someone supernaturally adjusted it. I see, nothing wrong with it.” He came in and started putting the screws in. He said, “That’s weird. Let’s just put it back.”  He started it up and it went through the rinse cycle immediately.

My son was in the next room, as he heard us cheering. But to me that was the most important part. My daughter said, he turned to her and said, “They must have fixed the washing machine.”

My son has learned sexist remarks, and all kinds of negative things from his father, which I try to correct. He says, he just joking. But there are strongholds which I try to tear down. These become belief systems.

Those are just the type of remarks I don’t want my son making, or believing. And this is the type of foundation, I don’t want him to have.

So the foundations which we give our children are very important. They must be based in truth and I am a believer that God’s Word is truth. We cannot be wrong if we submit our lives to His Word.

He tells us that “the enemy comes to rob, to kill and to destroy, but He comes to give life, and life more abundantly!

So just when your life seems stuck, and you can’t get it to move forward, don’t be confused by those messages that you are getting. They’re like the instructions that come with a washing machine. Meant to confuse to rack up bills. You call on the Lord. He keeps things simple, His burden is light. “Behold, though your sins, are like scarlet, I will make them whiter than snow.”


No Child Left Behind….

I was so sad to hear about the suicide of another person yesterday. Russell Armstrong, a Hollywood celebrity. Yet there are so many others, which receive little or no attention.

My eyes  immediately drawn,  to the sweet, little girl who seemed to be gazing out of the television at me. Her eyes, so full of life and promise. Her daddy and mommy at her side. A total secure package.  Oh, the pain that is in store for her. I could only think. Her life will probably be full of more pain than she can imagine, or even begin to understand. She will probably not make the connection to this, single violent act.

Without a constant attention to her spirit, she will probably take the blame in some way. Feelings of worthlessness and low self-esteem, which attach themselves to children of suicide. I can’t even imagine, if there have been any studies, in this area. Yet, I’m quite sure, that I am not the only one who has had to struggle most of my life as a result.

Picture after picture, I have in my mind, of these children. Yes, I have gone to many funerals, of friends, who have died in this way. I always look at their children. The pain in their faces. I can see it, when others cannot. They think they are hiding, but the stoic looks, only make it more convincing. The act is only holding up long enough until the cracks begin to show.

I have a picture of my friend’s son. There he was, wearing his father’s baseball cap. Long hair. He looked just like his father. My friend had shot himself. Now, we are all together at the wake.  All the adults, moving around his son, like shadows. I know how he felt. Invisible. The  thoughts in his head as he heard people comment, “Oh, he looks just like his father!” “Well, that’s great. My dad left, and all I got was a baseball cap!” Yes, I’m sure, he has grief, but he has a lot of anger. I’m sure he wishes people would stop comparing him to his father, right now. He’s angry that his father has abandoned him. He’s thinking, “If I had a son, I sure wouldnt’ do to him, what my father did to me!”

And it isn’t just someone who has committed the act. I believe just being in a home long enough, with the threats of a suicidal person, is a powerful tool, in the destruction of a child’s psyche.

My mother reminded me of something as we were discussing this. “Yes, remember when I had to call the police when your father and I were together, because he had a noose, he made with a cord, in the basement. He said he was going to kill himself?” “Yes, I do remember that.” I said. Yet, I must have been only about 5 years old.

I also remembered an argument they were having, and my father included me. “Oh, don’t be so stupid,” my mother said. “Suicide means to kill yourself!” “No, it doesn’t, does it?” Then he looked at me to give an answer. Of course he was completely drunk, as he usually was.

She said, “Remember when he locked me out of the house and he wouldn’t allow you kids to let me in?” “Yes, I remember that as well,” I said. These are vivid memories, I have. If you think your children don’t recall events, and they aren’t watching, you are wrong. The see and feel much more than you can imagine. To watch at the door, and cry, as my father locked my mother out of my house. He screamed at us, to leave her out on the porch, or we would be beaten. Yet, I was the oldest, and I’m not sure how much my siblings remember, of these events.

Their fighting escalated until they eventually split. That’s why, I knew his suicidal tendencies, had never really left him. He had just taken them to someone else’s home. He made sure to share the burden with me though.

And now, I think, what a devastation this is to our society. To do this to our children. What about “No Child Left Behind” How about these children? Does anyone ever try to deal with this great epidemic? We have therapy for the rest of our lives, to deal with the craziness, we have inherited. I’ve always said it; people go to therapists to learn how to cope with the crazy people, who refuse to go!

Then I started to realize, after reading a blog; Yes, I believe the lack of my father’s influence in my life has been a pivotal role in choices I’ve made. But more importantly, I believe the short amount of time he did spend in my life was so critical to my development, that either for  in a positive or a negative way, his behaviors, shaped my life.

My father and mother divorced, when I was only five, but the rest of my life, I can look back until he left, and see, that I did, indeed, choose men like him. I did seek approval and would swing from one extreme to another in my life. I had a wan ed  love and remained in relationships, even while being abused. How did I know what love was? I had only seen it between my mother and father. And that is what I witnessed.

I would become cold and detached. Without a desire to allow anyone too close, for fear of rejection. At times, using men, as though they could be discarded. This was an easy way out. No one could hurt me.  At one moment, the obedient child, and the next, full of rebellion. Testing everyone’s limits. How much can you take? What will it take to drive you out of my life? Then, when it finally happens, that’s all the proof that I need. You’re just like my father. You didn’t really love me, anyway.

I always thought I would never let anyone treat me the way my father treated my mother. But in one form or another….I did. When I look back and see that my ex-husband also, threatened suicide many times, and I was heartbroken to see my daughter’s fear in her eyes. I was sad to think, I allowed this. He was so convinced that I gave him his identity, that he would use this against me. When we had been  married, he was outside of our marriage, and when I wanted out, he couldn’t be more in. He would manipulate me, with threats of suicide,  in the same way that my father did to my mother. But then, why wouldn’t he? I picked him for this reason, didn’t I?

Yes, I am starting to realize, that unless this pattern is  broken somewhere and we see the damage left behind, by this selfish act, we will continue to hurt our children. And they will hurt their’s. We will pass this  down, one generation to another.

I have heard those lies spoken in my head. That you cannot break free. You are your parents. But I know this isn’t true. Jesus Christ has told me, I am a new creation. He’s shown me that the past can be changed. “recreated, if you will.” I am not a product of my past. I do not have to be held hostage to this curse.

I feel such compassion for these children and adults, who have lost their parents to such an act. It is something we cannot comprehend. On one hand, we feel rage at their selfishness, and on the other, we have such grief at the tremendous despair, they must have felt. But I think the one feeling, all of us deal with, which is the most difficult , is guilt. Oh, I know. It is not ours to carry. Yet, whether as an adult, or as a child, we all feel, if there was just  something we could have done or said, we could have prevented this. Or perhaps it was something we did. It doesn’t matter. We will find a way to carry this load.

Th is where the Lord came in to my life to remind me it is His burden. If I would only let Him carry this. He is the only one who can. Yes, I find myself taking it back, many times, only to have the Lord speak to me through some kind soul.  I have found that in my deepest grief, when I cry out to the Father, He reminds me over and over again, He is the Father to the fatherless.

It is not to say both mother and daughter are not equally important, but the Lord has shown me that He placed the Father as the head of the household, to be an example. And we have all been broken because of the absence of his presence.

No matter the reason, divorce or death; every child needs a Father’s love. It is imperative for healthy development. And it is the gift we can keep on giving.

I called my ex-husband and told him, that no matter what has happened, our children love him unconditionally. I reminded him that I have been so hurt my whole life, as a result of the loss of my own father. And he can change things for his children. He still has time to change the course of events. He thanked me and I believe he understands. Our mistakes, are not their mistakes. To them, we are their parents, and they love us in spite of ourselves.

Now I am praying that I can use my pain and touch the lives of so many others. I know His promises. He has told me that “by His stripes I AM healed.”  It is not ‘past tense.’ He is a “very present help in our time of trouble.”  So I refuse to allow the darkness to surround me. I am fighting against it. I have the sword of truth, and I will strike down every lie.

Just today the two repair men came by. Well, there really two angels, disguised as repairmen. They reminded me that I am a daughter of the King of all Kings, and I cannot entertain the lies of the enemy. They said, “don’t let him steal your joy and every good thing that the Lord has planned for you.”

Once again, the Lord sends His messengers, to lift me up. I realized, that although my earthly father is gone, my heavenly Father’s hand is always holding me.

“And in the end, I will send  the prophet Elijah, before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse.” Malachi 4:5

Regeneration: to be Born Again

Yes this is what Nicodemus was so perplexed about as he was a teacher of the laws that he had studied for so many years and when Jesus came along and threw all the natural and super- natural laws into chaos, he knew this was no ordinary man. He snuck into the night to meet him. Being somewhat of a coward, but just having a need to meet with Him, and that is exactly what  takes place in all of our lives in order  to meet the Saviour, he asked the pivotal question, “what must I do to enter the kingdom of God?” “I tell you the truth, a man must be born again,” Jesus answered, just as simple as that.

And as natural minded as he was, Nicodemus answered, “how can a man enter his mother’s womb a second time?” “That which is flesh is flesh, but that which is Spirit is Spirit.” Now of course, Jesus was speaking of the Holy Spirit and the regeneration. An experience that takes place with a confession of faith that cannot happen in a religious experience, which is based on a person trying to work out their salvation by covering up their discretion by works, which is a useless exercise. Dead ritual, which the Lord referred to when He spoke to the Pharisees many times. He hated these attempts of hypocrisy because they lead so many others astray. “White washed tombs filled with dead mens bones.”

The real experience is evident because it will show the new life. “Behold the old life has passed away and the new life has come! ” How many have entered into the baptismal water only to walk right back into their same life? It’s ridiculous. This is not what the Lord has asked from them. The Lord wants their whole life. This is what others want to see. Then they try to use other people as the example. The reason for this is they haven’t been sold out. They’re still holding on to self. We can’t hold on to self and be born again. The Lord expects us to give it all.

Paul said, “imitate me as I imitate Christ.” We are to be the epistles being read. It is our lives that our followers are reading. We will be the example that others are  to follow. Pray with them to receive Christ. You don’t need  a pastor to do this. We have been given all authority, that’s right, in heaven and on earth. Our Lord gave us this power when He left this earth, which means, we are ordained. Yes, give them the drink of water that they are longing for . The spiritual drink that every person needs Then they shall never thirst again!!!