The Cloak

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It was the cloak, her gate to freedom.
She just needed to reach out
To brush her hand against it
Healing could begin

It was the cloak
He wore it for protection
From the elements and the crowds
But she broke through

It was the cloak
It was the answer to her prayers
Her blind faith pushing her
towards a life of healing

It was the cloak
He felt her touch, every so slight
As if a fraction of energy zapped
from Him

It was the cloak
He knew he had healed someone
Why won’t they come forward?
He found her anyway

It was the cloak
It bound two worlds together
The healer and the healed
Forever woven together

TIDLEWAVE

tgiving 2014

He looks at me with malice
I hurt for him…and me too
If I could, I would take away the pain
But we all must ride it out
The waves of despair can be too much
But the buoy will save us
God will save us
We don’t know how
We don’t know when
The storm has a will of its own
Molding us into the person
God wants us to be.

Let’s Not Forget

photo-5An old friend of mine called this week.  Her teenage daughter attempted suicide.  I am heartbroken for both parent and child.  No parent should have to go through this.  So much anger, regret, guilt and shame surround situations like these.

The child shouldn’t either.  But as my friend said, you see the signs coming but the train wreck is going to occur anyway.  She tried so hard to get through to her daughter.  She tried treatment centers, special therapy.  No one could get through to her.  It took an act of desperation, a call for help, to set the wheels in motion.

How does it get that far even when the parent is aware the child is suffering?  What can we do?  I don’t have a lot of answers.

I do have one though.  Let those of us who have been through the ordeal get in front of the kids and let them know we understand what is going through that depressed brain of theirs.  Studies are showing this is one of the only ways to get through to someone who is in such a deep dark place.  For those of you who are a part of All In, please appeal to the board to let someone who battles depression get in front of these students and let them know he/she understands.

It’s the holidays.  Everyone is supposed to be happy and cheery.  Remember those who are suffering silently.  They may be the person standing next to you at a party.

Merry Christmas

 

Let Go, Let God

M and D
Someone asked me today if I was still writing. I told him I have had writer’s block. That is one reason but I am not going to share the other.
I hope everyone is well. I am better. I hit a rough patch but I am crawling out of the hole.
Part of my problem is that I am a control freak. I remind myself to let go of those things which I have not control. Easier said than done:)
If you are a control freak like me, you know what I am talking about. Everything needs to be just so according to your plan. You hand on to that leash as hard as possible only to lose it and the dog gets away anyway. I think God does this on purpose. Things fall apart the harder you attempt to take things into your own hand.
I was reminded of that strongly yesterday. My son doesn’t want to play baseball this year. He has been playing the game since Kindergarten but he says it is just too slow for him. He was pretty good at the sport too. He decided he wanted to play Lacrosse instead. AS I begin to register, I look at the price. With four kids and one on his way to college, it was just not in our budget. He was dissapointed. I hate saying no to my children but sometimes it has to be done. We did have an alternate plan and so we let go of the situation and looked forward to this new plan.
Well I got a call yesterday from a woman in charge of registration and she wanted to know if Dean was going to play. I told her our situation and she offered us a scholarship. God is good. Now Dean gets to try a new sport and follow a new path.
The rest of my day went downhill because I had no control of the situation. I was miserable. I totally forgot the miracle that happened just that morning all because I let got of a situation of which I had not control. Funny how we forget that God has his hand in everything we do. He holds the leash and all is in order. We just follow him and the outcome is good. It may not be the way we want it, but it is the right thing.
I am not an expert on this topic. I stink at letting go and letting God. This is just the right thing to do. Right now I rarely follow it. I am working on it though. One step at a time. All is good.
I hope each of you takes a minute to let go. That is the best I can do.
Talk soon,
Lulu

MOTHER OF THE YEAR

summer 2003

Lately I have been struggling to be the mother for which I have been striving.  First I admit I have been in a really dark place for a few weeks.  This has resulted in finding my Psychiatrist moved to Mobile and my scrounging around to find a doctor who could fit me in.  The huge practice to which I went which had a plethora of doctors, not one could fit me in.  I knew I was on the verge of hospitalization and I was scared and alone.  My husband was frustrated and my children were taking the wrath of my irritability.  Life was chaotic.  As a last ditch effort I reached out to a friend and begged her to get me into see her husband.  He saw me the next day, made some med changes.  Along with that I am proud to say I fought hard to get out of the darkness.  I was determined to not let it swallow me whole.

I am happy to say that things are calming down.  My anxiety and irritability are still prevalent but the blackness has turned to light.  Of course I have to deal with the side effects of my meds. My hands shake a lot.  Putting mascara on is an effort in futility.  I have kind of given up on the make up thing.  Luckily I work at Alabama Outdoors and the grungier the better there.  Work has been a saving grace as well.  It helps me get out of my head.

Where am I going with this in terms of motherhood?  We are in a whirlwind of activity.  It has been a fun fall with high school football.  John is really shining on the field and Maitland is dancing up a storm on the field.  Elizabeth has chosen to dance her nights away and Dean is participating in rec league football….on the sidelines.  This is where mother of the year comes in….

Dean made a wonderful catch in the end zone of the first game.  He was part quarterback part tight end.  After that play he started limping.  I thought he had twisted his ankle and pushed him to keep playing.  And he did.  But by Monday it was obvious it was not his ankle.  After an X-ray the doctor deemed it was a bone bruise because no fracture showed up on the film.  So, I took him to practice and pushed him to play.  We thought he wasn’t trying hard enough and he needed to push through his pain.

A couple of days later when he showed no improvement we had another doctor look at the film and still it showed no fracture.  We decided to put him on crutches to take the weight off and help his healing.  Still no improvement.  Finally I had had enough and took him back for another X-ray.  Guess what?  Fracture.  At this point there was nothing to do because it was half way healed.  So the poor guy is hobbling around on crutches, trying to put weight on it and writhing in pain.  We are pushing him to put more weight on it because the doctor says so.

But through this I wonder when you listen to your doctor and when you listen to mother’s tuition.  I knew it was broken from day one.  But no one would listen to me.  I kick myself for not pushing further.  I curse the doctor’s for not being more aggressive.  And most importantly I kick myself for not listening to mother’s intuition.  I failed him and he is suffering.  None of this helps my depression.

Motherhood is all about intuition.  You of all people know your child better than anyone.  We mothers can sense our children’s moods as soon as they get home from school.  No amount of books can beat that.  And, as a mother, we instinctively know how to respond to their moods, their ailments and their hurts.  We have to tread very carefully and listen to their body signals but ultimately we can help them heal and face another day.

And then there is the dynamics of how each child treats the other.  They pick on Dean because he is the youngest and I do more for him.  Funny thing is they have forgotten how much I did for them at that age.  I fussed at one of mine and threatened to go into a diatribe on his woes as an 11 year old.  He left the room rather quickly.  Partly because my temper got the best of me.  Needless to say my morning didn’t get off to a very good start.

Once again I am all over the place with this post but I hope I somehow brought it together.  Mothers, good luck listening to your children.  You know you have their best interests at heart.  It isn’t always easy and can be down right impossible, but listen to your heart and your gut and you will probably get it right.

FREEZING TIME

This is a point in my life where I want to freeze time.  John is a senior now and is having a wonderful year in football.  Maitland is now in the high school and a Dorian.  Elizabeth is spending time with her friends and Dean is my Dean.  I call him my labrador retriever.  He is happy all the time and will do just about anything I ask.  He got hurt in his first football game of the year and is unable to play right now.  That is hard for him because he loves the game.

Motherhood is a miraculous thing.  We as mothers work endlessly to raise our children to be responsible, kind and just plain old good kids.  We start early to instill discipline.  We encourage them to mind their manners, be kind to others, and just simply behave.  It comes with a lot of time outs and for some kids spankings.  The times I tried to spank one of my children totally backfired.  She was just too strong willed for it to have any effect.

I look back and try to remember when I just took some time and enjoyed them when they were younger.  I was so busy shaping their character.  Everyone always laughs that you finally get to enjoy your grandchildren not your own.  I remember always being “on”.  I do recall sometimes just sitting back and enjoying them.  But I remember always ready to “teach” them the rights and wrongs.

All that work has paid off.  If I do say so myself, I have raised some pretty good kids.  They are not perfect and have each messed up some.  But they know right and wrong and have learned from their mistakes.  They are teenagers now (almost all of them).  Teenagers can be surly.  They were pretty surly about a year ago.  Now something has changed in the past month or so.  They come to me of their own accord and tell me about their days.  They have been coming out of their rooms, doing their homework with me in the den and talking.  They tell me funny stories about their friends and what is going on in school.  I have not asked one question except to get a clarification on what they are saying.  It has been glorious.

It is John’s senior year.  He didn’t play football last year.  I think coming from a 3A school to 7A  was overwhelming.  But coach called him and asked him to join the team.  He is having a wonderful year.  I tell people with younger kids who are sitting on the bench that John was a bench warmer until his Sophomore year.  Moving in the middle of high school was hard on him.  Having this experience has really helped make this year memorable for him.  He has also formed some amazing friendships that I know will last forever.

I guess just right now and these past few weeks and the upcoming months, I want to freeze time.  I have all mine under the same roof and they are essentially all getting along.  The snide comments are few and far between being replaced by gentle ribbing and a lot of laughs.

I posted on FB about not being a helicopter mom.  I just don’t have the energy to stay on my kids 24/7.  Right now, they have to be able to stand on their own, make some of their own decisions and learn from their mistakes.  Now, I have their back every step of the way but I figure if I am on top of them all the time, they are more likely to sneak around.  I have to trust them enough for them to want to come to me when they are having trouble.  Right now this has paid off because they are coming to me.  I wouldn’t change these moments for the world.

I also realize that if my last attempt had been a success, I would never have these moments.  I am so grateful for this time with my children.  I love them so much it hurts.  But the pain warms my heart.DSC_1561-2

Mother Love

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This was my devotional at the prayer group for mothers of football players Friday morning. I thought I would share with all the mothers:)

“Children are a gift from the Lord” Psam 127:3-5.
Philoteknos is Greek for loving ones’ children, especially mothers. According to Titus 2:4, As mothers we are called by God to love our children Titus 2:4. It is a strong call. God doesn’t request things lightly.
I am a mother of four and far from perfect. I am an even less perfect mother when it comes to raising teenagers. I am out of my element. I have tried to read “how to” books on it but I just end up wanting to throw them out the window when the first tough situation comes up with my own children. When they were toddlers I was the master mom. They were dressed well, their manner impeccable to me and others. I had a tight reign and they seldom dared to escape my tutelage.

The teenage years have the terrible twos beat by fathoms. Your limits are tested daily and by much stronger willed minds. They are testing their wings of independence and it is hard to let go. It is hard to let go and let God when it comes to raising children at this age.

But I am reminded that God demands us to love them; even when they mess up. I think we all know from experience that they mess up. They are testing their wings and make mistakes but all we can do is love them and lead them into a different direction so that they learn from their mistakes and approach the next iffy situation with a little more experience under their belt and hopefully make a better decision. And an even better understanding of God’s love.

Sometimes I don’t like my children. I will be honest. But I will always love them. Maternal love is a scary thing because you love them so much your heart hurts. You want to take all their pains away and catch them every time they fall. Unless we lock them in their rooms 24/7 that isn’t going to happen. But we can be there for them when they fall. We can be the shoulder they cry on. We can be their rock of Gilbralter and we can be their North when they are trying to find their way back home. They will always find their way back home as long as we do what God asks us to and love them.

Dear Lord,
Because we sit here today as a group we are showing our boys and each other that we love them. You gave us these boys as gifts and our spiritual gift is to love them unconditionally. Thank you for these gifts and guide us as we show these boys who are turning in to men the right path.
Amen