This is a difficult post to write.
Our children and our elders are lonely – growing more lonely every day. I’ve met more than one elderly person recently that are either unable to recall the names of loved ones or unable to tell what day or time it is….and yet they are living alone. No one to protect them from predatory phone calls or visitors. No one to protect them from accidental harm. No one to be there if they fall or suddenly have a heart attack.
This grey-haired and wrinkled person that we love so much – is living alone, vulnerably alone.
Oh but wait, you say the neighbor checks on ‘Mom’ or ‘Dad’ every three days and the bills are getting paid. To this I say, ‘but what about the two days neither you nor the neighbor is there. ‘Mom’ or ‘Dad’ was there every day and night to care for you – but you leave them alone when they need you? I don’t understand this. God tells us to respect our elders; to treat others as we’d want to be treated; and to think of others more than ourselves. I ask ‘Why are we neglecting the needs of our elders? Why?’
Our children are suffering too. All the hurry and stress are ingredients to overstimulated and under-rested children. There are children without parents – either the result of abuse, neglect, poverty, or trauma. Now there are children displaced – refugees in a foreign land. God calls us to love the orphan and the widow. God commands us to give to those in need. There are many ways to care for the orphan and the widow. I see families living in large and luxurious homes – enough bedrooms and bathrooms and square footage to welcome in a football team…and yet, tragically no orphan is living there.
Communities are being asked to provide shelter for refugee children. I’m seeing communities saying ‘no’ and closing their town to ‘the least of these’. Yet, God commands us to give – to welcome the orphan.
Why are those – who profess to be Christ-followers – not following in His steps? James admonishes Christians not to be hearers of the Word only – but doers. Put feet to your faith. Let your walk match your talk.
Disturbing trends around us. Let us who profess to follow Christ be found faithful to care for the orphan and the widow – and the elder. We are to tend to His sheep. There are lonely people all around us that need to see and touch and hear the ‘hands and feet of Jesus’. The time is now. We can not afford to wait – or think someone else will do what He has called us to do. The time is now. What will you do?
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There are some trends being set around me. The first trend is that of divorce among those who profess Jesus as their King. I’m speaking of two people equally yoked in the faith on the wedding day…. then years later call it quits. In just this last year alone, my husband and I have grieved as we saw 3 marriages around us end in divorce.
“Is it mate selection?” I asked the grey haired balding man. “No, it’s too easy for people to walk away from their marriage. People are becoming too selfish and greedy”, he declared.
“Do you have Christ?” he went on. “Then you have everything.”
Proverbs 5 poetically talks of the tragedy of forsaking the marriage bed.
Why my son, be intoxicated by another mans wife? Why embrace the bosom of a wayward woman? For your ways are in full view of The Lord, and He examines all your paths. The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare them; the cords of their sins hold them fast. For lack of discipline they will die; led astray by their own great folly.
The husband and wife who cling to what is good, rejoice in the spouse of their youth, and protect the investments deposited into their marriage will reap abundant blessing.
Praying today for Christian couples to not give up and not give in.
…may you always be intoxicated by the love of your spouse.
paraphrase Proverbs 5:19
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I’ve just read “Lies Homeschooling Moms Believe” by Todd Wilson. Excellent! So excellent in fact, I told my husband after reading him several excerpts that this was begging for a blog post. Mother’s Day is only a week behind us and school nearing the end of the year…it seems timely to write this post.
Wilson highlights several lies and then follows it up with the truth. This book while addressed to homeschooling moms really applies to all moms.
- You can do it all.
- Others are more disciplined or spiritual than you.
- Everyone else’s kids are better than yours.
- Everyone cooks better meals than you do.
- Everyone’s house is cleaner than yours.
- You are the only one falling apart and feels the way you do.
Wilson interjects much humor as he reviews these fallacies. Completing my 2nd year of mommy-hood and that of a homeschooling mom, I can relate. It didn’t take long for me to see that no, I could not do it all. That did not, however, stop me from giving it my all. So I stayed up late working on our finances and business stuff with my husband, then rose early each morning to eat breakfast with him and release him out to work with a lunch and kiss. Then I worked hard all day trying to be a Number one Mom. I listened to other moms – looked at the bar they set – and kept trying to reach for it. It didn’t take long and I was exhausted. Soon, my eyes just would not open enough to drag my near-dead body out of bed to commune over breakfast with my husband. Eventually life did settle down and we gained a new family routine, but sadly my husband is still lucky to get a kiss in the mornings.
Wilson recommends we moms do two things. One is be REAL with each other and allow others to be REAL with us. Second, if you are a Mom that rises early to fix a hot breakfast for your husband, spend 30 minutes in quiet time, bake your own bread, have manicured children filing obediently out of the new mini-van, and look like June Cleaver when your husband arrives home from work greeting him with a kiss….don’t mention it to the rest of us.
I have endured listening to moms that ‘seem to have it all together.’ I have also had the privilege of being blessed by some awesome REAL moms. One of the biggest gifts to me as I embarked on this new journey of life – motherhood – was the fellow Moms and Dads at church that look at our son, smile and say ‘We enjoyed having him at church today – He’s a great boy and you are doing a great job.” I’ve read this somewhere and I believe it – and hope to give this same gift away – the greatest thing we can do for kids is to encourage their parents.
May we be Moms that encourage other Moms – use our gifts to bless and not to shame others. So let’s be REAL!
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Yesterday, I shared my experience with depression and subsequent discovery of my Anchor, my only Hope.
Dark clouds still threaten. New griefs come and I must choose where to place my eyes. Is it on me or on God?
I’m aware that people will come and go. People can not be our source of hope because people are disappointing. I must hold people loosely and rather cling to God, the only source of hope and healing.
In Hebrews there lists the mighty men of faith. When believers are discouraged, they can look at these men of faith from ages past as encouragement to keep running the race.
I’ve found this helpful in my life, too. When I feel alone in my new mommy role, I think of my grandma raising 5 kids without her mother to mentor her. When the money is tight and the world looks shaky, I think about my great-grandparents raising 11 children through the Great Depression. If they can do these much harder things, then surely I can fulfill the demands of my life that pale in comparison.
Recently, I had the honor of meeting an older generation Mom. She told of a child’s funeral and another child’s wedding occurring all within about 4 weeks time. She then testified to His faithfulness as she declared that she lived through it all only by His strength.
Father God, may our generation carry on the faith of our forebears. May we tell the next generation of Your praiseworthy deeds. We may find You our all in all. Amen
Posted in Faith, Wounds | 1 Comment »
Depression. The big hole. The big black hole.
That’s how I would describe it. It’s difficult to get out of bed and keep going every day. You cry because you feel alone in your suffering and you’re convinced that no one cares. Even God seems silent and far away.
I’m a nurse and they say nurses make the worst patients. In my case, it means I’d rather research how I can treat myself without medications. That’s exactly how I handled my big black hole.
I cried lots of tears. Lied around on the couch. Slept in and moped when I didn’t have to work. I went to work because well I had to…bills had to be paid…but also because the staff I worked with were a comfort. The staff and many of my clients were like rays of sunshine beaming down into my big black hole. Often on the hardest days, a client – lying in a hospital bed sick themselves – would tell a joke or say something really encouraging to me. Unbeknownst to them, I soaked up these words. My soul needed refreshing rain.
I cried out – Lord, I know you made me for more than this. Lying around and moping isn’t bearing fruit. I’m miserable. I hate this!
I searched the world over for Biblical based counseling. I found CCEF and Ed Welsch’s book: Looking Up from the Stubborn Darkness. I learned that I was angry. Angry at God because life hadn’t turned out as I had planned or expected. I also learned that indeed I had lost something I valued – the idea of having a family. While having a family is a good thing, I had erected it high above God. I idolized having a family. I was jealous of other women that effortlessly (or so it seemed to me at the time) got pregnant. I wanted a pregnancy and a newborn to snuggle so bad and when it didn’t happen I sank down and down into the big black hole. It was in Ed’s book that I first learned of my longing for God. Depression – the big black hole – was merely a symptom of my separation from God. I had a hole in my heart meant only for God to fill.
I chewed on Ed’s words for quite some time and continued to hobble along in my misery. Bobbing my head out the hole at irregular intervals long enough to get a glimpse of sunshine.
Then Ann’s book: One Thousand Gifts came out. I devoured her words. She, too, pointed to my lack of Christ – the big black hole in my heart. Her book took on a practical approach. This was a ‘got-off-the-couch’ and ‘raise-your-hands-in praise-for-everything’ type of cheerleader book. Her words were authentic having experienced the big black hole herself. Life was hard for Ann, too, having lost her baby sister during her childhood to a tragic accident. So, I began putting praise into practice – looking for God’s gifts to me and writing them down. That’s when this blog began. I began putting thanks-living into practice and journaling it here in Multitudes on Mondays.
Steadily, as I focused on all the gifts He had given me each day – my eyes lifted up in praise to God.
If you are suffering today in the pit of the big black hole, I invite you to look up. Start the hunt and look for His gifts to you each day. Write them down and praise Him. As you look to Him, His glorious rays of light will penetrate the dark.
Praying for you today.
Posted in Faith, Wounds | 4 Comments »
Our bike riding slowed over the past couple of weeks. It did warm up nicely last week long enough for us to enjoy a ride to the library. This brings our bike riding mileage up to a grand total of 12.8 miles during our Ride with a Reason challenge. We’ll be sending in our donation this week. It’s not too late for you to join us in supporting 147 Million Orphans’ Love +1 projects. To donate go here: http://grouprev.com/reimerfamily?saved=1%C2%A0
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We are seeing the sunshine and yet still feeling the remnants of winter chill outside. This makes our hearts restless as we are itching to be outside. We got another 5 miles in our Ride with a Reason this past week. This brings our mileage total to 10.6 miles. If you are just now joining us, we are clocking our miles on our bikes until April 12. Why? To raise money and awareness for one of our favorite orphan ministries: 147 Million Orphans. Money raised on our Ride with a Reason will go to support a Love +1 project. To donate online here’s our website: http://grouprev.com/reimerfamily?saved=1 It has all the information about 147 Million Orphans and the Love +1 projects.
Our Ride has taken us to the hospital (work-related visits), the post office, and the library. We are hopeful for warm temps this week and more bike riding fun.
Blessings to you,
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