Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Child's Prayers

60 solid days in the NICU I prayer over you everyday
Tonight you asked me to pray with you twice. This isn't the first time that your prayers have moved me to tears. Your faith could literally move mountains. When I asked you several months ago after a prayer time whether you had asked Jesus into your heart your response was so what I needed to hear. Mommy, I don't need to ask Jesus into my heart. He has always been there and will talk to me whenever I pray. There is no question in your mind or faith that Jesus exists. One thing that this did bring up in my mind was whether you understood who Jesus was...my answers have been responded to since then, but tonight The Lord spoke to me through you.

Your prayer said so much as you openly poured out your heart telling God how much you loved Him and that He was the sweetest most precious love of your life. You thanked Him for dying for our sins. You purely poured out your heart and told him that you were really sick and just needed Him to make you feel better. You thanked Him for providing (yes, you used that word) your family to take care of you when you were sick. You told Him over and over again how much you loved Him. You then thanked Him for always talking to you when you prayed. Your prayer was so honest, raw, and sweet. 

Bronson your prayer restored my heart tonight. You reminded me that The Lord will direct us how to pray if we just listen to Him. Your daddy and I don't pray this way often, yet you know exactly how to pray. You listen to God and follow His direction. You step out in faith and pour out your heart. I am so thankful for you and your childlike faith. It is so pure, real, and gentle.

I know I will have sweet dreams tonight as I sit up next to you listening to your sweet slumber. When I asked you how Jesus sounded, you told me He always says I love you forever and always. I needed to hear those words.

Lord, thank you for my son. Thank you for your sacrifice so that my entire family has the opportunity to have salvation. In your precious name, Amen.

Forgiveness of Testy

Last night I ran out of reading material and decided to revisit a couple of journals that I had written in several years ago. I ran a nice long bath and sat down to read my Loving Well Journal by Beth Moore that I was given a few years ago at a women's retreat. It is always interesting to read your notes several years later. I noticed that I had made a personal commitment to be more meaningful and forgiving in my relationships. I admitted in the journal that I have several people in my life that I may find "testy," but that I would make the commitment to be more loving towards them. I so needed to read those words on Sunday.

I am proud to admit that over the last few months I have sent out a couple of emails to people in my past that needed to hear the words, please forgive me and I forgive you. In both cases the letters were well received and even though we might not call each other on a daily basis the hurt/anger is completely gone. I felt a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders. I prayed long and hard before sending out the emails and I believe it is because I listened to God's knudging and His answer to my prayer that both situations were so successful.

My new problem is one of dealing with the "testies" in my life. These people are the ones that you may find hard to love; sometimes calling it humanly impossible. I really struggle with this because I feel that I am a good friend to those that are my friends. I have some of the best friends that a girl could possibly have in her corner. I have been blessed this past year with a new group of friends added by small group sessions that are some of the most beautiful women I know. One such friend Jodie is just the kind of friend I need; we are honest with each, pray for each other, there for each other in moment's notice, and a sounding board when things are difficult in life. We both hold each accountable in being nice, kind, and gentle with others. When I am having a really bad day I know that she is there.

I have dealt with too many "testies" in my life and find that I tend to put up some major boundaries when it comes to new relationships with friends. One of my friends put it pretty good when she stated that she really doesn't have a lot of time or room for more superficial relationships in her life. She, like me is blessed with great sibling relationships and the few friends that she does have become very special. After reading this journal over again I realized that Beth is not saying that the Lord requires us to have a relationship with all people that we come across, but to be loving towards them. When those testies come into our life and try to stir the pot turn the other cheek, pray for them, and most importantly be slow to anger or speak ill towards them. This is something I am prayerfully working on in my life. It is very hard to forgive when you have been hurt, but I can definitely practice being loving towards others. The journal says when you are feeling low or at the brink call out to God and ask Him to love on you. The Lord knows just what we need and when we need it. I am going to make some extra time this week to get my love tank full.

Sick Days

You have had a pretty rough patch with illnesses this year. I find that even during these tiring moments of wondering what is wrong with you and if it is anything serious I am becoming a calmer mommy. Before I would have strapped you in the car and ran down to the doctor's office at the first sign of something wrong, but I am now realizing that you are more "normal" than preemie and that despite your very hard start your health/immune system is pretty good.

I know that your daddy and I will struggle to remain calm always when it comes to your health as both of remember the time when you looked at us through plastic and tubes, but we are trying to make your childhood as normal as possible. This past weekend has been pretty rough. Just when we think enough time has passed in between vomiting sessions (over 20 hours) you start throwing up again. I feel in the pit of my stomach a sense of worry, but know that you are in good hands (those of your doctor and more importantly the Lord.)

You are one strong little boy and even when feeling not your best you never stop to tell us that you love us and when feeling a bit better over the weekend spent several minutes making a mommy song to the tune of "Jesus Loves Me." You are the sweetest most precious gift that God could ever give your daddy and I.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Empathy and Sadness

Yesterday was a hard day for you, which meant that it became a hard day for me. It was one of the only times in your life that I can truly say that you were unbelievably sad. I sat and held you for awhile as I began to realize that this was the first time that you had truly felt a loss. For some reason in your 5 year old mind you thought we were going to keep Oaklen forever. I am so proud of you for being such a sweetheart to your cousin this past week. With your cooperation and help with him it made me realize that perhaps someday it wouldn't be too hard to add another Deets to our family. Bronson, I pray that you continue to be a sweet and kind boy throughout your life. You make me so proud.

Categorization of Sin

James 2:10

"For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it."

Kyle and I had a deep and meaningful conversation the other night about sins and Christianity. We both had been having a rough week and were quite sick of all of the political debates in our personal lives and Facebook debates about marriage equality and same-sex marriages. Kyle is not a Facebook user, but sometimes finds it interesting to look at my account while scrolling through the iPad. He asked me what all the fuss was about the equal sign and red cross. I explained that there was a huge debate about same-sex marriages. Just to mess with me he began to argue for the opposite side of where he stood. I didn't even know how to respond. He then concluded his statement by asking me if I had ever thought about the fact that so many of us try to categorize sin. We both thought about the fact that as Jesus died and went to heaven that he promised the thief next to Him that he would also be in paradise that day. 

Under the bible's lessons are all the sins the same? Is it our place to place an importance on one sin over another? Why do we get so bent out of shape about the fact that someone wants to marry their same-sex partner, but don't even shake our heads at the fact that members of our own church live together in sin for years without getting married. When did we decidee that one sin was so much more worse than another. Please don't get me wrong I am not saying that I am in agreement or disagreement with any of the above I am purely stating that I am tired of listening to people judge each other. I am tired of people turning a blind eye to what is completely wrong. I was introduced to the sin and sinful lifestyle statement this week and it made me think again. Yes, we should save our brother/sister from death of sin, but I firmly believe it is not my place to make someone feel like they are committing the worst sin possible because I don't agree with their lifestyle. Perhaps I will end with the greatest commandment, Love one another.


Thursday, May 2, 2013

Golden Rule vs. Iron Rule

Yesterday I had the amazing opportunity to sit with my husband at his company's 75th anniversary. I was moved to tears a few times as I heard stories of children and families that needed basic services and how the company could provide them with continued funding from donors. The current leader of the company shared the golden rule, "One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself." He also spoke of the iron rule that my husband has mentioned a few times at home, "Never do for someone what they are capable of doing themselves." This is a tough one for me as I struggle to wanting to help people and sometimes struggle with where the line should be drawn.

I spoke with a friend today and we talked about demanding respect from people even during their hardest times. I am one that struggles with mean people. It hurts my feelings and I don't easily brush it off. I also hate to see others treated with disrespect for no reason. It is not loving and it only makes more division. Honestly I don't care how bad your life, job, health, or marriage is you have NO reason to treat others horribly. I will call people on this because it is not okay and I ask for others to call me on this too. I know that it is hard when you are tired, stressed, and grieving to always be in the best of moods, but you can still be nice to others. You don't have to be happy all the time; just be nice.

I shared this story with my sister once...I personally lived a nightmare for several weeks. It seems a little morbid to mention it, but I was pregnant for an additional 6 weeks after learning that I was carrying around a dead baby inside of me. Yes, this was a nightmare. Was I angry and hurt? Yes, very much so. Did I lash out at others and treat them with disrespect? NO! It is never okay. Yes, it is a bad day in my neck of woods and I choosing to write rather than scream. It is one of those days that I am really struggling to see the good in some people. As I write this though I am reminded of the sweet girl from my small group that has lovingly taken my nephew for the past week so that I could work, of my dear friend Jodie who insists on bringing me dinner and of the numerous people that I have in my life that treat me with respect and love. Hand out love, not hate to others. That is my message for today!