Friday, July 07, 2006

I have seen myself and it is ugly…

Having a lot of kids is the best thing to me! I always wanted to be a mother and have a big family so when people ask me what’s it like, I can’t really explain it. I don’t have a hard time keeping up with them or anything and 5 isn’t a lot to me. So, I really don’t understand what they are trying to ask me. Once you have two adding on is easy. Don’t laugh, but I still expect to add to this clan. One day. (hey, I’m still young).

Now, Each of my children are different yet they are the same. I know you are wondering how is that so I’ll explain. With each one the pregnancies are relatively the same and the last two even came out in labor the same--with their right hands up. (yeah--I have been trying figure that one out too). Victory? Overcoming? No one knows but them and G-d so far. They all for the most part look just alike. They all love books and writing and anything crafty(they get that from me).

But ummm…lately I have noticed that the baby is bossy. I don’t mean just bossy but the bully kind of bossy. To the point where she has her finger all in the other children’s faces and pushes them and when they don’t share their stuff she has been known to jump on the boys and wear them out. Now, right now they find this funny, but she’s not a little girl now, so imagine in 6 months. Where did that come from? You have to really get on my nerves to get me to fight because I walk away from ignorance. And it is definitely not her daddy because he is far more patient than I am. (He thinks everything they do is funny).

Back to what I was saying, the baby girl B.K.A "Baby Diva", is an absolute mess right? I mean she is 18 months old and I have to argue with her! She has decided that it is her mission to keep everyone in line and she does not take no for an answer. Now, where is she getting all of this from? I mean I can be bossy, but only at home because 5 require upkeep in the discipline department. I do jack my kids up anywhere because some times an ounce of embarrassment goes a long way. Besides when you are busy, you can forget to spank later on. I can’t tell you how many times I have gotten home and gotten busy cooking and forgot and then have to resort to a lesser punishment because the spanking point has passed. And I hate that. That whipping cements my words.

But today, I realized that this girl is me up a few notches. I mean she kept jacking the boys up when I said something to them. Telling them to shut up, and popping them. She got on my nerves! And then it hit me, if this is in me, it’s ugly. I think G-d was simply trying to show me what is in me. He knows what really in there, I know I don’t. Proverbs 16:2 says All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits. He sees this in me. This is an early alert.

I need to keep myself in check. And consequently I have to keep the baby in check too. The sad thing is that I realize now, that all of them have been this bossy at this age. It’s a shame it took me this long to see it. The great news is that I know this is a phase. This bossy thing is always replaced by the sweetest disposition. And I don’t say that because they are mine, but because they really are all sweet kids. They do stuff like all other kids, but they are genuinely all sweet. Another great thing is I am on the watch now to make sure I don’t go the 5 notches that I see in the baby right now. See, I tell people all the time, G-d has an incredible sense of humor.

Be Blessed.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Appreciating life’s trials…Understanding their purpose.
To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. John 18:37b
Every day I learn something new. Whether it is about G-d, his word, or myself. I am always grateful because that’s an area in my life that no longer consists of darkness but now has light. I can’t tell you how far and how long it took me to get here. I used to hate having to go through anything because I felt like now that I am the kingdom I should be exempted from any form of suffering. I understood that Jesus was our example, but he volunteered and I didn’t feel as though I had signed on for that.
Over a period of time I have come into the understanding that within everything there is a greater purpose. In understanding that It allows me to turn my focus from what I am experiencing now so that I can look forward to where I am going. Meditation and imagination are very important to the faith process. When G-d formed the world her never focused on what was, only on what he wanted to see. Likewise when we experience things, the first thing we need to ask G-d is to ensure that I get the lesson from all that I go through. This has been a great challenge for me as the first thing I tend to do is try to figure out what I did wrong first and then of course I come back to myself and begin the process of faith. With some things, I have been known to complain as well. I have to catch myself, because for me I have a tendency to ask G-d “Didn’t I go through enough as a child?” Dang! At this age I should be enjoying peace and quiet. But I am reminded in Hebrews 5:8 that even Jesus learned obedience by the things that he suffered. If he’s my example, then these things have a purpose.
But my trials, setbacks and experiences have a greater purpose. You see the only way to truly trust someone is to have experience with that person over an extended period of time. That’s the only way you can truly be sure of who they really are. Likewise, with G-d the only way I can learn to truly trust him in all things is to have experience with him in all of these situations. With each new thing, I learn a different aspect of his character. That’s the purpose. I remember in Job, all of his friends were attempting to tell him what G-d would and would not do--they knew the law and what he had written. (If you check the record Job experienced Deuteronomy 28--the good first, and then the bad.) But because they lacked true intimacy with G-d, they didn’t truly know his character. I realized through those chapters that if I lacked real intimacy with him, his word would simply be a book--a historical document. I knew that I too would be able to quote some scriptures and really not understand what they meant because he told me. That’s the purpose.
Now I have the ability to give people a testimony with scriptures to back it all up. I was privy to a lady’s personal testimony of overcoming just the other day with the things that I am going though now and it really blessed me. Here I was expecting to be cleaning the bathrooms at church by myself, and here she comes. I knew that G-d placed her there just for me. Her testimony gave me rest in my spirit. When my SF got up the following night and went a little further in what she said, I not only have rest, but I have peace. Someday, I too will be sharing mine with someone else. That’s the ultimate purpose.
I can’t tell you how grateful I am for this time even if things get to a point of being uncomfortable. You see, I have made my relationship with G-d the model for all other relationships. Time and experience first--then trust. I had that thing backwards and I have come to regret those times. Besides, I realize that I have to want him in my corner more than anyone else. I used to look for validation in all the wrong places. Now, if G-d said it to me--the hell with what others think. His validation is all I need. All of it has shaped me into the person that I am. It’s shaped me for life and equipped me for ministry. Now, I truly understand the purpose.
Be Blessed.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Mama made the difference…

I was reading before I went to bed tonight as I often do and I decided to pick up a book I recently ordered which is Bishop T.D. Jakes' new book “Mama made the Difference.” Mind you at this time I am reading several other books, (Yes all at the same time) right now because I am trying to occupy my mind. Reading has always been my thing. It was the one thing I have forever been able to depend on. When I had no one or nothing I would always find myself in a public library checking out books if I had no money to buy them. Ever since I latched on to, and resale book shops I have been able to afford to feed and nurture my love of books. I derive such pleasure from buying a new one or getting one in the mail. But the whole book thing is another post.
In the first chapter of this book, Bishop Jakes discusses how his mother taught him how to believe in G-d. At the end of the chapter he asks how our mothers taught us to believe in G-d and there is a prayer. Now my mother and I have a very strained relationship. I love her and I believe that somewhere in her she loves me. It may not be what I need it to be now or what I needed as a child but I think that she still loves me. I realized of late that it is not that I don’t forgive her for all of her mistakes or even understand that surely it was not her desire to make those that she did, it’s just that my heart has been severely affected by them. Her continuous mistreatment of me even as an adult now, keeps me and her at very far arms length. She believes everyone but me, hooks up with people who do not like me and truly just treats me as if I am the dumbest person walking the earth. Believe me, I wish that I was exaggerating. I have forgiven her, but forgiveness does not mean that I have to allow her back in my space nor put myself in her path to hurt me again.
With that said, I was totally prepared to answer that question at the end of the first chapter by saying that she never taught me about G-d as a child. She never took me to church or prayed with me or over me--to my knowledge. But Father reminded me that I was wrong.
You see, it was her that taught me to believe in G-d. In her periods of abandonment of me someone else was allowed to send me to summer day camp where the Catholic nuns gave me pictures of Jesus and sang songs about G-d. In her mistreatment of me, it was him that I learned to cry to and talk to. It was she that kept me on my knees to him as a child desiring that he would help me. It was her that taught me that if I had no one else, I had him. That was her way of teaching me about G-d. She may not ever know it or realize it, but she gave me the greatest gift possible in all of that mess.
To go even further, it was her that taught me to be the voracious reader that I am, to treat my kids differently. To hug them a little tighter. To tell them constantly that they are loved, wonderful, beautiful, intelligent, and destined for more than they can even begin to imagine. What looked like a curse, really isn’t. The enemy wants me to believe that it is. But in that is the paradox of the blessing. Now I know how Joseph felt and what he meant in Genesis 50:20 when he said But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
Whole generations have been affected by my love for G-d and my all consuming desire to serve him. So when it comes down to it, My mama truly did make the difference. And I would not change a thing.

If you don’t have the book or have read it already, get it--as I have skipped through and looked at others chapters and I know that neither I, nor you will be disappointed with it.
Be Blessed.