Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Memory Loss

What is it with our past that draws us in and makes us feel as though the ceiling is collapsing on us? Especially if our past is something we don’t want to dwell on? Or remember. Perhaps there is a highly guarded desire for truth, for justice. Or perhaps, part of us, the part we don’t even recognize ourselves, wants to know what really happened.

I remember a question my brother asked me once. He said “Darlene, why can’t I remember our childhood? I can’t remember anything? Why?”

I have thought often and long on that question. What is the answer? Why can I not remember my grade school years? My teachers, my friends…I have nothing. I am blank. I don’t remember Christmases or birthdays. I have no recollection of happy times or favorite family meals. I have no family traditions to pass on to my children. I have no pieces of wisdom, no life changing advice, to give to my daughter as she is about to embark on her own life. I have nothing.

It’s like my mind has willingly blocked everything. Every hurt. Every pain. Every feeling of inadequacy, gone, like it never existed to begin with.

Then, as I am about to become discouraged, I think on this. My life is about what I make it. My life is defined by me. My choices say who I am. Not my past. Not my childhood. As a child, I was not responsible for the actions of those who should have been responsible. Someone else’s pain cannot dictate who I am to be, unless I allow it.

I have been adopted into a family that is full of love. I have wonderful memories of great times with this family, and I do not question my standing in this family. My Father loves me enough that He died for me. His gentle and patient ways teach me how to mother my own children. He believes in me. He encourages me. He wants me to live a full and happy life. He protects me. He loves me. I love Him.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Days Like This

My momma should have told me there’d be days like this! I should have known it would be “one of those days” when I unfolded the terribly folded towels and redid them to my liking. I like my towels folded “just” so. A long time ago I resigned myself to accept badly folded towels because if I was going to accept help in keeping the house or doing laundry, I was going to have let go of my perfectionist ways.

Today, when I put the towels away, I regressed. I’m sorry to say, the towels were terrible. Some were folded in large uneven squares. Some were long thin rectangles. How could there be any order in the linen closet? I had to redo some of them. They wouldn’t stack. What is a woman to do?

I only refolded the long thin rectangle ones, so, I only partially backslid. It took all of my resolve to leave the rest, but I did. I over came the need for perfect rows of color-coded towels neatly lined up in rows. It was tough, but I managed!

Eventually, I came to realize towels are not going to change the world. Badly folded, neatly folded, tri-folded, it really makes no difference. As long as they are clean, they are acceptable. Isn’t that what God looks for in us? When we stand before Him, it won’t matter what side of the tracks we were from, how rich we were or what color our skin is.

Hebrews 10:22 says Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

God wants us clean. He wants us to draw near to Him and allow Him to wash our minds and our bodies clean from the grime and yuck of the day. He wants us to stand pure and fresh before Him. Totally cleaned by the blood that Jesus shed for us on Calvary. He wants us all; neat, messy, tall, short, fat, thin, you get the idea. It matters not how we are “folded”, only that we are clean.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Letter To My Husband

Dear Daniel,

I am writing this letter to let the world know, I love you. You are an inspiration to me. I see what you do to make this family successful. Because of you, our relationships are strong and love is easily identified in our home.

I want you to know, that in this past season of testing, I have looked to you for leadership and you have not failed me. Your perseverance has been an example to us all. Those few times that doubt found it’s way to your tongue were few and far between and rarely lasted more than a few moments. You have consistently looked to God for answers to prayer and led us, your family, to do the same. I am very thankful that you were by my side during this time of trials in our lives.

In this next phase of life, during our building time, our working side by side time, I am looking forward once again to your leadership and decision making skills. Your business acumen and abilities will prove to be priceless in working toward the end goal that God has placed in our vision. I am looking forward to working with you, serving others as God has given us both a desire to do. I look forward to hearing your ideas and your dreams. I trust you implicitly. I will go where you lead me, because I know you follow the One who will never let us go astray.

Once we accomplish the goal, together we will reap the benefits of all our labors. Together we will experience the desires of our hearts. Together we will build our family and take in those who need a home. Together we will reach out with the gospel of Jesus Christ, in both written and spoken word, and in song. We will be able to financially help every cause God has placed upon our hearts. We will travel and see God’s great creation together. We will build our dream home and constantly fill it with our family and friends, making our home a place of love and warmth, where the ones we love come to relax and enjoy life. We will sit together, cups of coffee in one hand and the Word in the other, asking God to lead us daily. We will end each day together, on our knees, thankful for each other and the blessing and favor of our God.

In the home stretch, just before we go home, I will enjoy sitting on the front porch with you, watching the sun rise. Perhaps we will speak, perhaps we won’t. It won’t matter. We will be as completely at ease with silence as we will our memories. Our conversations may be one word, for that is all it will take to convey the passing thought. We will finish each other’s thoughts, for our conversations over the years will have taught us to think alike. And when the days end, and we reach the ultimate prize, when we hear the words “well done, good and faithful servant,” I will know it is because you were at my side, that I was able to accomplish the will of God in my life.

With all my love,