There are dry bones and broken places. Yes. And, there is water , and healing enough for all of it. Cupping my hands to drink this morning, getting down low, the spot where I know …. My breath is prayer, and every prayer changes the atmosphere . There is joy in the small, and beauty in the morning routine , three teenagers dressing, eating, asking, arguing , singing, and walking out the door. There is a small wind and sweet smell blowing in my back door. I inhale as deeply as I can…prayer. It’s as still and as loud as it can be , all at once. There is an army rising but the weapons ,and the violence look vastly different than what I imagined. The weapons are tiny seeds planted, and the fighting is as gentle as that breeze blowing in.
Sometimes it takes everything you’ve got . Sometimes you stumble at the start, but you have heart , and that my lion boy is going to be the weapon that helps you finish well. You are amazing. You are strong , and I am so proud of how hard you work . I knew you were a runner in the spirit, a leader in your pack of peers, but now you are a runner in the natural! A sweaty, beautiful runner. I love you Z!
It’s been 2 years since our last first day. It’s always exciting. Little lion boy is not really that little anymore , he is taller than me now. I said goodnight last night, and his face was so full of hope, his eyes so full of courage. I see you there Jesus, in him. And I feel your love , through him. I am grateful for every day that I have with this boy of mine. He has changed me.
And so we begin again. A new day… Everyday. Walking by faith , and when we stumble, or even if we fall, we are going to be just fine. Our hearts have a hope that is bigger than our hurdles. As I write, love wells up in my eyes , and runs down my face. Fear is a sea that has been parted for me and my son today. We will walk through it. We will need your help again tomorrow Jesus, but we can talk about that then.
I can’t stop. I’m crying, and I’m laughing. It’s like rain on a sunny day. Unexpected , and beautiful. One of my best friends was at the camp with my 3 teenagers this week. She was behind the scenes , interceding and praying for hearts and minds. She texted me to say that she will never get over the things she saw. She had some specific prayers for my kids, and saw breakthrough . I am humbled to have friends that love my kids, that know my heart so well . I am down as low as I can go thanking Abba for his great love for me , and for my kids . They are not alone, he will never leave them. He sees each one. He sees Adam and his mans heart, strong and steadfast, but sometimes rigid, and he sees Belle in all her beautiful light, loud and bold, but sometimes , safe inside her box, and he sees Isaiah , the lions heart, the funny, friendly, creative , open spirit, he knows that Isaiah internalizes things so deeply that his wounds are frightening and fierce, he sees them and he knows. He knows that my heart beats for them. He sees the grown up children too. And the parents. He sees them too. And so I sit, waiting to go pick up my campers, and I cry, and I laugh. And I am not alone.
My past is like a city in ruins, and my future is written in gold script. Beautiful and bold. Which way should I be looking ? I’m looking forward with a firm grip on the here and now. I don’t have to worry , because the plan is laid out. The crooked paths made straight . A hand to hold. Beautiful thoughts that carry so much weight. In every day real life , there will be struggles, there will also be enough grace . There will be sadness, but the joy is there too , every day, little moments like bubbles rising … Joy. You have to have eyes open to see it, you can’t be looking backward . For now , there is wind, and sun, and a sun hat ! There is a boy running around here saying “mom”, there is a girl at school who gets up and faces 9 th grade bravely each day, and a young man who comes home from 11th grade and still holds me tight. There is a young woman who is finding her way, day by day and learning to love in the best way. These are the bubbles of joy rising over me right now , today. I won’t look away.
Nest: to fit perfectly inside each other. Ex- nesting dolls.
Yeshua is mine, he lives on the inside of me, and fits perfectly there. I belong to him, and he carries me in his body, in his heart. I never need to thirst again. Living water is running through the canals and infrastructure of my person. I can operate from a place of contentment out of this knowing that the work is done, we fit perfectly inside each other. From that place of lotus land (paradise) I can feather my nest, give my best, set the stage … For my children, my husband, my family and friends. Simply because the HE, the living well , the prince of peace and provision and even patience …. Is enough.
Every day is different, just like every child is different. Little lion boy, the baby of four children , was always a joy and a handful. I have spent the better part of 10 years asking myself questions and reading books. Is it his gut? His ears? Believe me when I tell you there have been prayers. And more prayers. Prayers of desperation, and prayers of hope. He is 13 now, and with no relief in sight , we sought help. Before this , I didn’t really want help. I didn’t want medication or labels. He is beautiful and bright, he is stormy and hurtful. Easily frustrated, and impulsive. Our home can become a war torn territory where everything has been shattered to bits in a matter of seconds. That’s the truth. Hear me all of you well meaning parents and friends…. It is not about discipline ! Yes, boundaries and routines are cornerstones of civilization , but in the middle of war we all become quite uncivilized . Our parental hearts are shredded, the lights in our eyes … Dimmed. We listen to our son tear down the very walls of respect we take time to build . We get mad, and at the same time…. So sad. We live, we keep on, heart beating, seasons changing. Our son has adhd, and auditory processing disorder, and a learning disability in math…. Which leads to the roaring beast that we see on a daily basis as we try to teach him. Homeschool. It has been the best for him, but I have been battered . We are rebuilding now, with new tools and new hopes. I am understanding the stimulation that his body is constantly looking for, I get it. He needs it , good or bad. If his work, his reading, his drawing, his music, his pogoing up and down the stairs are not enough stimulation , he will pick a fight… With anyone in sight. I am armed, as I always have been , with the love of a good God. I couldn’t love my son any more than I do. I am amazed at his strength, his spirit, and his ability to love. I am on a crooked path, that God promises to make straight. I’m faithfully walking , and I’m trying to share . This is barely a glimpse. This is a beginning. Our story, unique to our family. Yours will be different. The common ground for us to stand on is love, and the courage it takes to look deep into someone and seek out answers, all the while faithfully trusting that this story is a masterpiece in progress.
The word bird came into my spirit with the new year. It made me smile. It brought my mind to a place of singing, melodies, feathers, flying, freedom, and ….nests. I clearly heard –feather your nest. I started collecting feathers, and holding them close, like prized possessions . I even started planning changes to my house. After all, that is my nest , right?
All along the way, from the new year and even before, I’ve been dealing with parenting issues. Problems and prayers turned into pleading for breakthrough. I was and am walking out the steps God has given me. And then tonight a friend got a word for me. Nest . Ok. Redundant much ? Somehow there was more for me in this word. It is a timely word, and ever evolving to show me what God is speaking. She sent me the definition because she knows that language is magical to me.
Nest- the place where birds lay eggs and take care of their young .
I read it, and then I layed down in it, this word …nest , it covered me like a blanket. And it was there wrapped up , that I heard this again – feather your nest. And this time I knew, it had nothing to do with my kitchen! And everything to do with the environment around my kids. I need to place patience and encouragement in my nest in equal measures. And then I need to layer the atmosphere with laughter and love. A soft place to land . The baby birds will not always be in the nest, but they are now. I will do my best to feather it with beautiful things: prayers, and tears, seashells, and river rocks, memories and stories, truth, justice, and grace that leads to kindness. Feathering my nest, taking care of my young.
the power of laughter.
The value of sitting down to a meal with good friends.
The word of God.
Sunshine on your face.
A clean house.
Fresh flowers on your table.
Peace that comes from deep down inside your spirit.
Finding treasures big and small.
Art… Especially if your child created it. This sketch by Isaiah leads me to the next…
Encouragement …. And this is the one I want to talk about. Sitting down with a friend the other night , I opened myself up, took a chance on hearing her say- get over it, move on. It takes strength to be vulnerable , and it took strength for her to lift me up. She spoke to me in a way that breathed life into dry bones. Her encouragement was oil to my brittle places. She reminded me who I am. She gave me courage. I hope you all have a friend that encourages you. Not with empty words, but strong life giving words of power. I worship with words and I get broken, never underestimate the power of someone calling that out in you.
Do not underestimate the power of Holy Week, the goodness goes on an on. His body and blood set aside for us. His crucifixion , love in action. His resurrection , holiness …. revealed.