Enough is not Enough

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I’ve gotten it all wrong. I thought that if I “loved” them enough, accepted them, held them close enough that I could make them okay enough, loved enough, self-confident enough to then be able to make the choices that lead to life and righteousness, but I am wrong.

Proverbs 29:19 tells me that mere words will not cause change. Understanding truth will not cause them to respond rightly.

Galatians 6:7 “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.”

God has already thought all of this through. He has chosen the best and most effective way to turn wayward hearts back to Himself.  It is His kindness that leads us to repentance. He knows our hearts and the strength of our will. He has set in place laws that lead us to freedom. The law of reaping and sowing. As sure as the sun rising each morning every person will reap the consequences of their choices.

I cannot sow on behalf of my child. I cannot stand in the way of the reaping.  My kindness does not lead to repentance. My kindness is fear wrapped in the promise of happiness.

I give the reward first expecting to see the change in behavior after. My desire to protect my child drives me to coddle, promise goodness, bribe, give, violate my boundaries to try to love that wild donkey into the corral. But my kindness cannot change the rebellion born in his heart.

I can wrap him in the fabric of my best intentions but he will not be changed. He cannot change himself. I cannot change him. Only God’s way leads to a new heart–a righteous choice.

I have been standing in the way of God’s perfect path designed to bring my prodigal to repentance. I will humble myself beneath God’s mighty hand and step out of the way. Reap what you sow, my child. Let consequences drive you to God’s heart.

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The Myth of Motherhood

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We are learning to see the Cinderella misconception and the fairy tale false idea of a human that is able to come to our rescue in shining armor and love us into our happy ending…but today I see another deadly myth: Motherhood. There were supposed to be truths at work here. If I loved my children enough and gave them enough, sacrificed enough for them…they would be okay. They would be happy and they would love me and appreciate me.

Being a mother was my role. I have wanted to be a mother for as long as I can remember.  I gave birth to them and my job was to raise them, protect them, teach them…get them over the finish line in life.

But, in reality, just as no one in shining or rusty armor can heal my heart or satisfy my hunger for love and attention; likewise, I cannot  carry my children over the finish line in life. That’s not how it works. Believe me…I’ve tried. Six times.  What do they say? “work your fingers to the bone, what do you get?  boney fingers!” After years of sleepless nights and endless sacrificing I realize that my helping was hurtful.  My kind of love caused damage and created weakness in my children.

I gave birth to them. check

I fed and nurtured them. check

I loved them. check

I fell short of perfection. check and double check

I damaged them in some significant ways. check

 

But here are some truths that I have learned:

  1. I was never meant to be responsible for their choices.
  2. motherhood is NOT synonymous with Savior
  3. They don’t owe me anything.
  4. They are not my life.
  5. Motherhood is what I did, not who I am.
  6. I am more than a mother.
  7. My calling is broader than motherhood.
  8. Motherhood does not define me.
  9. My identity is in Christ Jesus.
  10. My children belong to God.
  11. I am not connected to  their failures or successes. I don’t get the credit for their success nor the blame for their failure.
  12. I am not their hero. Jesus is the only hero in this story.

I can throw off the guilt and shame, cut the cord, break the chains, breathe.

Letting go and stepping away doesn’t mean that I don’t love them. Allowing God to stand in His place in their lives instead of me is true love.

So I will  “Trust in the Lord with all my heart, lean not on my own understanding. In all my ways submit to Him and He will make my paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6  That’s a real thing.

Casting all my cares on Him, for He cares for me. and for my children.

 

Page by Page

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You can’t have me.

No.

Nope.

No way.

I am fearfully, tearfully, cheerfully made.

Formed by God in a woman’s womb.

Created by the coming together of two souls–one flesh.

God spoke life over me.

Breathed His breath in me.

Brought me forth upon this earth

in His truth,

in His time.

He was there when I was drawn out of the darkness.

Out of the waters He delivered me.

Into the light.

Into  a world more harsh and less forgiving.

Bumps and bruises,

loud and cold–

helpless, I came.

Dependent, I lay.

Needy, I cried.

And You, God heard my voice.

You God knew every day before me.

The ins and outs,

the ups and downs.

Nothing surprised you.

You walked beside me.

I was blind, I couldn’t see what You could see.

I had to live only in the very moment I was in.

But you could see me walk in victory

in the very places where I laid bare,

broken to the core.

You could see me standing filled with strength and glory

You never left me.

You walked with me

while I wrote the story of my life

page by page…

you wrote with me.

You wrote of freedom and victory.

I walked in hell–you wrote of heaven.

Your words were written over mine as I lived them.

The past has passed

and it cannot have me.

You have written your life on mine.

I will keep moving until I reach the edge

of the final page

that you have created for me.

There I’ll find you right beside me.

You will draw me out once more

into a greater light–into forever more

eternal life.

In that moment in time.

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I sat on the bed

near the window,

pressing my forehead against the glass.

I sat staring at the trees across the street–

full green, blowing,

swaying in the clean winds of Spring.

I heard the familiar barking of my best friend’s collie.

The way the light filtered through the leaves

moved something deep within me,

like a lost memory just out of my grasp~

a longing making its way up

out of the darkness that flooded my soul.

The thought was barely a whisper–a vapor,

“There must be more.”

More to life,

more reason to live on this earth.

More than a nine year old could see

in her helpless sadness,

her empty despair.

That moment is forever etched in my mind.

Now older and wiser,

looking back through the years

I see where God was working,

planting a hope in my heart

A stirring in my soul.

A gentle hand beneath my chin

lifting my head–bringing my eyes up to see

outside that window,

that room,

that house,

that tomb.

His creation was testifying to my young broken heart,

telling me of of His faithfulness,

His goodness,

His beauty.

It was a tiny, tiny, tiny seed,

but it found root in the deepest part of me.

“There must be more.”

There. must. be. more.

Something bigger than the confines of my life

in that moment in time.

Something worth waiting for,

living for.

I couldn’t call it faith for I had no words,

no understanding.

Just a whisper of a longing

as I watched the light flickering

on the leaves of the trees across the street,

changing shadows into brightness before my eyes

as I rested my forehead

against the glass

of  the window

by the bed.

@2017 belinda

It’s not a small thing.

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Just you, Lord. And me. No big stage with lights and people watching. Just you. And me. That is enough. All the songs and dances expressing the deep passion of my soul are for just you. And me.

My heart is your stage. My life is yours to command. To direct. To use.

Between us there is the love that I lay as an offering for you…to you. It is small and human and weak, but I pour it out on the stage trying not to judge myself harshly when I know it is so paltry.

Compared to you. To your love that is so strong and deep and loud and soft like a melody and like a waterfall. Like the ocean and like the wind.

But my love pours out like drops of dew and rolls about upon the stage.

But you don’t hate it.

Like all of my tears, you gather my love and you give me yours.

Your love in my heart is like a rain on the desert. So grateful am I. I receive it. And it isn’t like water at all. It’s like oil and perfume and power–like life. Electric and full of strength.

Not at all like my human love that is mixed with need and wanting and sadness. Confused and polluted by my desires and the questions and the lies lodged in my heart like a rotting thing in a desert stream that taints the water as it flows.

Your love is clean and life-giving, healing and beautiful. Changing everything it touches. Life springs forth from Your love.

Your love is not a small thing, not a weak thing. It is everything. I mean it is the most important thing. All that I need. I wish that I could explain it better. I wish that everyone could understand and know Your love.

A Mother Wound

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My children~

you have created a mother from a girl

demanded everything I am.

And I came willing

turned myself inside out to find enough to give you.

My mind, my heart, my will, my strength was needed

every moment from that first piercing cry~~you needed.

I searched and found a love to give you, to feed you, to keep you.

In a broken heart I found it beating

and gave it all, not retreating

left my walls and dropped my guard

because you needed.

my life was needed

I was defeated

by the innocence

those tiny fingers and chubby feet

You touched me

In the dark you found me

turned on a light inside me

I built my world around you.

Through all your years I stumbled, fell and struggled.

Lacking strength and wisdom

running in the dark,

I tumbled,

dropped the ball and bumbled

But my heart beat on in wonder

at the wonder of you~and all you could do.

Your eyes they sparkled

set my heart on fire

they’ve undone me

You are my child

from your life’s first moment

I adored you,

gave my heart right to you,

loved that I knew you.

You were my sunshine in the rain

I dared the world to to hurt you

stood against the storm that came near you

Heard the thunder,

felt the pain,

knew the lightning when it came

I tried to save you.

fought against it all to keep you

didn’t see how much it hurt you

wanted to protect you

but lost the battle…

on my knees I watched as it broke you

swept you out beyond my grasp

I watched you tumble

my heart went under

ripped asunder.

An empty quiet sits inside me.

Where are my babies?

Don’t they need me?

Oh relieve me

my mother heart is weeping.

I once was everything you needed

I thought you loved me

The story in my head was different

from the one I’m hearing.

I was less than you needed

all my efforts are found lacking

and I see your faces

so familiar

and your eyes accusing

and your words are searing

and my heart is breaking

as you pull away forever

~~no longer needed

Just an empty hull

as my child emerges

grows wings and separates completely

I stand there bleeding

beyond repair

my soul despairs

my heart laid bare.

A mother wound is precious

I can still see your impression

where you laid upon my heart

and where I loved you.

You are gone now

but I still hold you

in my heart I see you

Those eyes that sparkled when you saw me

loved me

when I was your world.

I ask forgiveness

not of you, but of God

I had six idols whom I worshiped

not on purpose

but no excuses

As I emerge from beneath the surface

Gasp for air and then release it

God forgive me

and I thank you.

you let me have them

to love and know them

forever changed, I gave them

good and bad

I laid my heart before them

and how I loved them.

@2017 belinda

becoming me

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Dear Belinda,

Dear Belinda. This month you are turning 55. I have seen the days of your life play out before you through all of these years. While you have focused on your failures and unrealized expectations, I have  watched strength and beauty take root in you.  You have fought your way through depression, anger and self-hatred to find acceptance, forgiveness and surrender in the truth of Jesus. You bravely laid down your wall of protection and let God shine His light on your wounded heart. All the love you worked so hard to give to others passed through your festering pain. Until you yielded. You invited God to search your heart and find any hurtful way in you. You admitted. You accepted responsibility. You confessed. You did the hard work of surrendering your will to obedience to Christ. And God met you at every point of surrender. As you laid down each idol and turned your face towards Him, He was there. His gifts exceed every expectation. His perfect love in exchange for your selfish love. His protection for your wall of pride and denial. His Word, living and active, piercing and separating, revealing and setting you free. Free to forgive. Free to love. Free to set boundaries. Free to let go. Free to trust Him to know everything and justly rule on your behalf. Calmly laying down your flesh wrapped in grave clothes, no longer a slave to sin. A child of God. Working out your salvation every moment by searching for His footprints and placing your feet in His path. Not to find salvation…that is completed by Jesus. But to learn to follow Him and to grow up into the fullness of Christ by the power of His Holy Spirit working in you. To allow Love to grow in your heart. To humble your SELF before Him as He sits on the throne of your heart. You have found your place at His feet where you can freely worship Him and pour out your grateful tears at His beautiful feet that stepped down into the ugliness of your life without flinching, without scorn, and lifted you out of the pit where you laid helpless and wretched in your sin. He washed you. Laid you beside still waters and restored your soul. Now I look at you and the beauty blooming in your heart and can’t help but smile. You are beautiful. Like a cloud at sunset reflecting the light of His glory. And I say to you, dear belinda, rejoice in this 55th year of life. For He has made you glad. He has prepared a table before you in the presence of your enemies. He walks beside you through the valley of the shadow of death. Goodness and Mercy shall follow you all the days of your life and you will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.