A Spiritual Mother

A guest post by Louise Robertson

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).

When I was growing up my mother would say to her children, “When you are little you step on my toes; but when you are grown you step on my heart.”

I’m a grandmother and a great-grandmother. After the children are grown, instead of stepping on your toes and your heart, they sometimes almost cut your heart out.

After the children are grown, you have to watch what you say to them. Most grown children do not control their tongue. You may want to live their life for them, but you can’t.

A mother gives birth to a happy, healthy, bouncing baby boy or girl. For the first few days she will hug, pat and caress her little baby. She will rock back and forth, and say, “I love you forever,” and “I like you always,” and “as long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.”

When they are growing up you get angry because of things they might be doing, and you might say, “You’re driving me crazy.”

When the child gets to be a teenager, they think they are eighteen going on twenty-one. They like loud music and strange clothes. Sometimes, it would be great if you could put them in a barrel, cover up the hole, and let them out whenever they are twenty-one.

Indeed everyone who quotes proverbs will use this proverb against you: “Like mother, like daughter!”

“You are your mother’s daughter, loathing husband and children; and you are the sister of your sisters, who loathed their husbands and children; your mother was a Hittite and your father an Amorite” (Ezekiel 16:44-45).

Most children today think you can buy love, but you can’t buy love, because love is not sold anywhere.

 

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The Facts of Grief (2)

If you would like to see the first post in this series, before reading this one, click here.

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Clif and Louise Phillips were a 75+ year old couple who brought me to tears. Full, heavy, flowing, tears.

These ordinary people took the time to come up to me and ramble about all the ways they looked up to me. I was truly floored.

Who in your life, with just their speech, not only refreshed your spirits on a good day, but also carried you out of your lowest valley of despair?

Paul says that grief is overcome in Christ (II Corinthians 1:3-7). The main lesson is simple–the Lord’s comfort enables peace. This is because my composure is not powerful enough to overcome grief and sorrow from within; instead, tranquility comes from without me and above me (1:3-5). I must not only engage this power, but also share its ensuing extension of comfort (1:6-7), because Christ did so for me (1:5).

If today you are on the valley floor, looking to the blurry mountaintop, remember: You are not alone. What if you were able to grasp, this very moment, surrounding comfort in all your afflictions? How would your world change if you were able to share that same comfort with those you love and adore the most? Why would you not make the simple switch? The switch to the Lord’s comfort and salvation…will wipe away your tears.

The Facts of Grief (1)

I am very fortunate. Not only can I remember attending the funeral of my paternal great-grandmother, but also both funerals of my maternal great-grandparents. I am fortunate because many people my age have been to more family funerals than I have.

At these three funerals, I remember sitting and listening to the stories my family told about them. I remember sitting and telling myself not to cry. I remember telling myself that everyone would think I was weak if I cried. I remember clenching my fists and tightening every muscle in my body. I remember when I looked away from the grown men who outwardly expressed their grief. I remember…that I wanted to cry.

Those memories flooded to my mind when one of my college professors shared one of her personal life experiences. Before she taught at the undergraduate level, she had directed day care centers for several years. She told us about a boy in one of her programs who had been taught by his father that ‘real boys don’t cry.’ Unfortunately, I cannot recall what had provoked this boy to tears, but I remember that she told us how this boy bit his bottom lip so hard (in order to keep from crying), that he actually bit through his lower lip.

I can’t answer why men in this culture believe crying is a weakness. All I can say is that grief is a natural response. Such is true in scripture’s shortest sentence. “Jesus wept” (John 11:35).

As time goes on, I am attending more and more funerals. Consider, with me, making a simple switch if and when you experience such grief. Rather than holding it all in, let it out!

Be free.

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Click here for the second part of this series.

New “Miss Fabulous” Crowned

For all but the first four years of my life, I have understood what it means to have a sibling with special needs. After my sister was diagnosed with Autism when she was two years old, my family and I experienced the unique joys that come from interacting with other children like her. I was most glad to have gained that experience when I first met the woman I would one day marry, because her brother has always been in a wheelchair with more severe issues. Now my brother-in-law, I cannot imagine what my life would be like without these two, wonderful siblings.

I have found, however, that the joy and relative ease I feel towards children and adults with special needs is not always found in the lives of others. That is why I was so thrilled to find this video. I hope you watch it.

My plea for those who find difficulty understanding the special needs world, is that you make a simple switch in mind and heart. Please, whether in dealing with those who have special needs or those who do not, remember to look as God sees and not as man sees (I Samuel 16:7).

Look at these tender hearts and see how fabulous they are. You don’t know how much good you will do by acknowledging them with a smile. You don’t know how much good you will give to a parent or guardian by complimenting their perseverance. A new perspective and a good deed will change your life.

A Blueprint to Bolster Your Investments

My great-grandpa was a talker. He could talk a fencepost into the ground. He was loud, outspoken, and rooted in his beliefs. To a certain extent, he absolutely terrified all of us introverted great-grandsons with his boisterous personality…even though we killed each other with Sock-Em Boppers.

As capable as great-grandpa was in speaking much with his mouth, he was capable in doing just as much with his hands. Though he lived 92 years, he was one to work in the yard well into his late 80s. There was no match to to him when it came to having the most plump and red tomatoes. Neighbors living both next to him and at least one generation below him could never get their grass quite so green. Great-grandpa didn’t know the meaning of laziness. Each new day was a new day to be diligent.

From his example, I learned that diligence is a trait of good character. At the same time, I must say that diligence does more than just grow green and red foliage. If that is your idea, consider a simple switch in definition. Diligence is an earnest commitment to nurturing our relationships, and administering to them. I desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end.

Your diligence can be administered to those who need it. Just once this week, examine your opportunities to tend to your relationships. By your words, be diligent to encourage; compliment the good characteristics you see in your loved ones. By your actions, be diligent to serve; consider cooking meals or fixing leaky pipes. Your deposits in them will yield a great return for future generations to enjoy.

A Condition Causing Green Skin

Grandparents

Image by rubberpaw via Flickr

My wife’s grandparents are still living. One of my favorite memories with them was when they offered to take us to the local high school play where they live in north Alabama. We got our tickets, went in to the auditorium, and began reading the program to understand what the play was about. The lights went low, the actors came out and went through the scene…and halfway through the first scene, grandpa leans over to grandma and says, “This is the most boring play I think we’ve ever been to.”

As soon as the intermission started, grandpa leans over grandma and asks the two of us, “Do you guys want to go home?” We all got up and went to the back of the auditorium, and proceeded to the car. Then, it happened. As we were walking through the parking lot, my wife’s grandpa–who is well into his eighties–ran a full sprint through the parking lot to the car. You would have thought a sheep-dog had been released into the pasture.

Obviously, life is merely the beginning during the golden years. I am thankful to Grandpa H. Daniel for teaching me that lesson. I’m sure he would join me in this invitation to you. Make the simple switch from feeling inadequate to useful. You who are righteous, will flourish without regrets (Psalm 95:12-15).