Digging my own well

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I don’t know why I keep running back to it.  You would think that I would have learned by now.

When my emotions overwhelm me I run back to the edge of my very own well.  The one I’ve gone to for years. It is overgrown with grass and weeds and the stones are crumbling.  I look down into its darkness and feel the pull.

A voice, still and gentle warns me not to jump.  My feelings yearn for the comfort offered in the familiar darkness. The depths call out to me promising relief.

I move my feet closer, teetering on the edge.  Pieces of broken stone scatter over the side and plunge down into my well.

I hear the echoes as they fall.  There is no splash.  My well is empty, dry, water-less.  My thoughts turn back from the darkness below me.  I hear the small voice beckoning me.

I remember now the times I’ve found myself at the bottom of my own well.  Bruised, bleeding and trapped surrounded by the darkness that promised relief.

I am the woman at the well.  Looking for relief in the refrigerator, on-line or at the movies.  Pulling the covers over my head to escape.  I end up more empty and alone and depressed.  And so thirsty.

I remember who rescued me and healed me and loved me.  The sunday school song bubbles up in my heart, “Deep and wide, deep and wide. There’s a fountain flowing deep and wide.”

He has made provision for me.  He is the living water.  He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul.  His well is not dry.  His promises are trustworthy.  I turn away from my well and fall to my knees.

His well is as close as a whisper. Jesus. I pour out my soul to the One who loves me. I take a drink of His living water.

visiting with Michelle, Laura, and outside the city gates

When You Think You’re Failing

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My highlight for today?  The place where I hammered  the spike into the side of my mountain? It was that moment when I had provided food for everyone.

I made breakfast for Jerry.  He got “toad-in-a-hole” made with the new biscuit cutter I got at Brookshire’s.  I made some for my fifteen year old, Rebekah, too. I brought them to her in bed with a glass of orange juice.  Michael got French toast with powdered sugar and syrup. Matthew walked into the kitchen sleepily just in time to get the last set of French toast and a large glass of O.J.

 I fed and watered Trixie, my rescued miniature poodle.  She follows me everywhere I go.  Her gratitude knows no bounds. I cleaned out the bird’s water and replaced his food.  He is a beautiful, and happy cockatiel who sings and talks and makes us laugh when he flies around the house and lands on our heads.  

Out on the cold back deck, I poured out cat food onto the wooden railing where India and Violet like to eat.  I filled the ceramic dog bowls for Jackson, Ginger and Sam.  They are laid out in the grass exhausted from patrolling our land through the night.  A rottweiler and two husky/golden retrievers keep all wild things from our yard.

I returned to the warmth of the house where I cut up an onion and chicken for tortilla soup.  I gathered all the ingredients and blended and chopped and sauteed and seasoned until, finally, it simmered.  I placed the lid on the pot of soup, breathed a little sigh and began helping my ten year old, Michael, with his school work.

I don’t always make their breakfast.  They are all very capable.  But today it met a need in me.  It surprised me really. It grew in my heart and made a safe place for me to stand. Then, when the pressure rose inside me and that voice began niggling at me that I am failing, I didn’t take the bait.

When I caught the piles of backed-up laundry from the corner of my eye or the messiness growing in my closet, I suddenly remembered the look on their faces when they saw the snow-like sprinkling of powdered sugar on their french toast and the tiny silver pot of syrup on the tray.

I’m doing alright.  I am not doing everything I want to be doing.  My house is far from my ideal. I spent too much time on-line, looking at Imgur, when my 18 year old son sent me the link on Facebook, even though  we were sitting in the same room.  But I fed everyone. The thought grew brighter and filled me with a warm confidence.  I fed everyone.  And today, I did it with love.

visiting with laura, jennifer lee, emily, outside the city gate

where He finds me

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Here I am again.  I’ve run hard and fast to get here. I’ve stumbled in the dark.  I’ve slipped and lost my footing. I’ve stopped cold, paralyzed by my fears.  I’ve found the courage to take another halting imperfect step.

Beauty has emerged from a shattered heart.  Trust forged stronger.  Everlasting truth traded for shaky hopes wrapped in my best effort.  I have seen facades crash to pieces all around me revealing what was hidden from my striving eyes.  My horizon spreads out in beautiful vulnerability.

I am n0t perfect.  Nobody but me was ever confused about that.  I am not in control of anything.  So, I stop running, stop trying to hold all the pieces of my life together. I reach down and find the ground.  There…there is where He finds me.

I cry out as each piece of my broken heart shatters around me.  Pain etches truth into my soul.  How can a mother forget her child?  How can I let go? How can it be right to ask me to let go now? Let go?  It is not possible.  My life has been holding on. protecting. keeping.  My baby is being ripped out of my arms…my heart…my soul.

My failures taunt me.  Grief overwhelms me.  I look straight into the eyes of God.  I am afraid but I do not flinch.  I find I am challenging Him.  Can I trust Him with her?  If I let go, will He really catch her?  The answer I know is yes but my heart, my broken heart fights like a wild thing.

I don’t hear Him promise.  He requires trust. Trust forged through the fire of sacrifice. This is not about me. I have been the vessel He used to bring these beautiful, amazing people into this world.  They are not mine.  They are His.

The night I stood over the crib of my first born almost 30 years ago, He told me that it wasn’t me who kept them safe.  That didn’t keep me from trying with every fiber of my being to protect them.

Now I am seeing truth. My mothering was really more about me trying to protect myself as a child.  I projected my pain, my fear, my experiences onto the lives of my children.  Overprotecting in my ignorance, my fear driving me.

His reproof is gentle and life-giving.  I have to trust Him to be faithful.  I have to let go and let Him walk HIS children on their own journey.  I am not their hero.  I am just me. I simply walked my path.  imperfectly walked my path.  with fear and trembling.  I know God is good.  I believe Lord, help my unbelief.

visiting with Jennifer.

hero mother

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Waiting at my daughter’s ballet class, I chatted with another mother.  She was married to a man from Russia.  She had lived there and shared with me that in Russia they give money to families with lots of children…they considered three to be a lot.  When I told her that I had six children, she told me that in Russia they would call me a “hero mother”.  I liked the sound of that.  Something in my heart stood up a little taller.  A hero-mother.  Yeah, I like that.