Friday, February 27, 2009

Witnessing - It is a God-Thing!

I have learned the long and hard way, that I just invest in the heart and life of people and don't ever try to push them into church or Bible or anything else like that.
Being a Christian is truly living your life faithfully, openly, and compassionately with others….it is not about following the latest witnessing tool. God is great - just like He is. He does not need me to come up with a clever sales campaign to show people how wonderful He is. He does a fine job Himself of displaying His wonders everyday.

The best witnessing method is no method at all – it is just loving others and being involved in their life as much as they allow…I find God opens door for Himself when He and they are ready. It is quite natural.

But that comes from someone that can find something spiritual in just about any situation (I am laughing at myself)…it just never fails, I am always saying, “Well, look at that, isn’t that a God-thing!” or “Don’t rush, everything is perfect in His timing, it will be just right when it happens.” Or “I keep hearing over and over ‘You are either with me or against me’ what do you suppose that could mean?”
That latest one ‘You are either with or against me’ happen Wednesday this week.

My boys were talking in the kitchen while I was taking a nap (I haven’t felt the best this week – had some ultrasound and gi test today). They came and got me up all excited. “Mom, David was getting water in the refrigerator and walked right past the oven. When he did the door to the cabinet over the oven opened and the glass corning ware lid flew out. David jumped out of the way and the lid crashed to the floor scattering glass all over. Then the cabinet door shut…it shut on it own.” Man, were those two teen boys spooked! (They have seen enough ghost, haunting shows to know it fit that category!)
I sent them to their room to do school and started sweeping. As I swept I heard over and over “You are either with Me or against Me.” (Forgive me if you are not use to hearing God speak so openly, it becomes normal over time if you just learn to tune into His 'station'.)
So I gathered my boys together in David’s room and told them what I heard and asked them what do you suppose God was saying…We talked about it. I told them we have to be together. We can’t be standing behind one another tearing each other down. We have a real enemy. Sometimes we get to see something happen in the physical (visible) world that is usually only going on in the invisible, spiritual world. I think this cabinet door opening, a glass dish flying out and the cabinet door shutting is one of those times. So I continued, we have to be watching each others backs. We are in this together.

A few seconds later, Andrew confesses to me, “Mom, will you forgive me for talking about you behind your back.” (Note- He has never confessed for anything that he didn’t get caught red handed first in his life!) Of course I forgave, then he says to David, “David, will you forgive me for not talking nice to you earlier.” (Again, a first)
We talked a little about that being repentance, what was preached on Sunday night at our church…Godly sorrow, instead of manly sorrow of being caught. And we talked a little more about taking care of each other and praying for each other.
This is just one of the many God-occurrences in our life. I guess it is just to explain how even a glass dish cover crashing is a God-thing if you allow God to use it. This is the way God has shown me to witness. It can’t be planned by me, it just happens by Him. And I have to be ready and listening to follow God's plan for using it.
What about you? How do you witness? Do you hear God in everyday situations?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Facing Anger, It is a strong difficult Emotion.

Being real about being angry isn't nice or easy. Anger is such a strong emotion, and it is the kissing cousin to hatred/murder. I am learning to work through my emotions without hurting others in the process. Here is the struggle I have had this week with severe anger.

I am so angry I physically hurt on the sides of my ribs and right below my center rib cage. I guess it has been building for a while, maybe two weeks. I am dealing with my 15 year old son, who is quite disrespectful. He flat out lies. He does something right in front of me. I call him on it and try to teach (instruct) to correct him and he looks right at me and says he didn't do what I just saw or heard him do. It seems he can't tell the truth even if it would be the best thing or easiest thing possible for him to do.

I am also angry at my husband of 25 years. He has left most of the parenting to me. My counselor tells me the passive parent has the power in the family because he undoes everything you try to do in raising up your children with boundaries, consistency, and consequences.

For way too long, it is like a game being played. My son acted and respond horrible. He irresponsibly doesn't do his school work, house chores, or interact with us in a loving, Christian way. He pushes and pushes me while I am responding in a loving, responsible parenting way...trying to be firm but also compassionate...try to keep an attachment between us. All I get back are robot frozen hugs and selfish gloomy comments.

Then when he pushes me over to being angry (honestly, really boiling with hatred), he becomes all sweet and loving. "I love you mom," he says in a happy cheerful voice almost like tossing salt into my pain. "I did my math lesson, I listened to the instruction again and now I understand it," like it was really an understanding problem instead of a rebellion problem of not doing it in the first place.

And then in comes my husband who resists taking his fatherly, husband role, to save the day with the rebellious son turned sweet, my husband starts to chum up with my 15 yo, taking his side, feeling sorry for him that his mean ole wicked mother is upset.

To top it all off, my 15 year old blames me for him not being able to do anything....I screamed at him when he was little, I made him not like schooling, I raised my voice and now that is why he can't be just reminds him of the negative past....even though I am a completely different person and have been through 7 years of counseling and 2 years of social work help inside the home. It always goes back to my fault.

Of course, this hurts me because I was the young mother trying to take care of three children coming out of a horrific abusive childhood. Giving motherhood and being a wife every ounce of energy I had, with no assistance from my emotionally disconnected husband that was so totally not involved in anything we did as a family. His football following/watching, guitar music making for himself (never does anything with the hours& hours of writing/playing), and TV watching is still almost all he is when he is not working. I still have things I love to do, but I have had to lay it all down for be a single parent. I asked for help, help in the home, help in my mental care, help in visiting my sisters in other states, but my husband gave me no help. We couldn't do mothers day out or travel because we couldn't afford it. He didn't believe in getting medical care for emotional problems so he never contacted a doctor or counselor. He didn't get me someone to come help me in the home even though I found an exchange student that would be willing to come in and help, he wouldn't hear of it.

It is hard to know that I did my very best with what I had been given. I kept close to God and clean before Him when ever I messed up with my emotions (being still responsible for sin). And now my son gets to turn for a short lived time to the sweet, butter melt in his mouth child for show....because I know if I embrace his love show and thank him or praise him, he will turn on me, use his behavior to get what he wants, even resort back to being ugly and disrespectful. I see it in his fake smile. It is a game to him.

He told me and my husband about two months ago that he wished he could have killed me so instead of killing me he decided to push me over the edge every day and make me fall apart wasn't enough until I was crumbled on the floor in tears, ripping at myself. I suppose this is why I don't trust him, and to be honest I really don't trust my husband to protect me. He is so duped by the good boy image.

I know I don't need to stay in anger, and hate. I'm making an appointment to see my counselor. I need to release this and give it to God and forgive. I just need to learn how to do this and at the same time set up a loving, firm boundary so that I don't get destroyed.

Of course, it crosses my mind that it is not my son's game at all by Satans. I know he has and he will continue to use even my children to destroy, whittle away at the healing and joy God has redeemed from the painful ashes.

It is just hard to stay aware of what may be really taking place when you hurt so much you have physical pain. You just want the hurt to stop and you want to stop making yourself open to being hurt.

So I am open for support, wisdom and love (yes, prayer), does God give you a word for me, or can you just let me know you are praying for me. God is my hope. For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.

love you,