The first time I held you in my arms
The first time your eyes saw mine
The first steps you took, your first smile and first tooth
Your very first day at school.
I remember them all with tears and with smiles
Those days will never come back.
I cherish them and remember some well
With photos and papers and keepsakes.
But I remember too some bittersweet lasts,
Though they’re not written in your book
They aren’t quite as clear and sometimes I missed them
In the demands of the everyday pace.
The last time I read you a bedtime story
The last time we said your prayers
The last time you kissed me when you left the car
The last time I signed a card.
The last time I wiped away a tear of pain,
The last time we spoke harsh words
The last time you packed up your belongings
To move to your very own place.
My motherhood role has been folded away
I will never wear it again.
Our places are changed and our dreams are all full
Of remembrances instead of hopes.
But the new hope I have is an unspoken one
That the memories we keep will be real
And the love that formed the foundation we have
Will last through the years that remain.
And when we say our last goodbye
The tears that you shed will be sweet
For you’ll know that I will be watching you
Till we meet again in God’s arms.
Snatched from this earthly plain.
No time for goodbyes, plans, last thoughts
In a twinkling, gone.
Shock – unavoidable,
Pain of loss and unsaid words,
No chance to savor, thank, forgive
Like echoes, dust beams, haze barely seen.
I know logically,
This is what you would choose.
No suffering, no gradual decline.
You leave well-remembered, in your prime.
But how it hurts
We left behind to mourn,
Pick up the shattered that cannot be mended,
Hold onto what cannot be encompassed.
We can only honor you by
Holding tighter to those yet here,
Cherishing and choosing with much better care
And looking past this pain to the eternal.
Something I put together thinking about what I would like to have taught my kids. They are all grown now with kids of their own:
Goals for Kids’ Learning
- Who God is
- Work ethic
- How to relax
- Observation skills (learning from others and your surroundings)
- How to absorb and retain new knowledge
- Drive a car
- Balance a checkbook
- Make and KEEP a budget
- Plan and make a meal
- Hem pants or skirt
- Patch a hole in jeans, re-sew a seam
- Clean a bathroom, kitchen, living room
- Make a bed
- Set a table
- Shop for groceries – and tell what’s the best buy
- Mow a lawn and trim
- Do laundry, fold clothes
- Get out a stain
- Sweep and mop a floor
- Iron a shirt, pants, etc.
- Simple plumbing repair (leaky toilet, leaky sink)
- Find something in the Bible
- Use a computer
- Fill out a job application
- Look for an apartment
- Calculate interest on a loan
- Make a list of values
- Know what you are good at (your strengths)
- Know what your weaknesses are
- Have an idea of qualities you want in a life-mate
- Security comes from God
I’m a princess of Egypt –
My mother was the Queen of Denial.
She ruled her domain
With a scepter of shame
Kept her dignity all the while.
The rules of the kingdom
Not spoken at all
Kept the terror of truth at bay:
Daddy’s not drunk
He’s asleep on the floor
The wolf is not at the door.
It didn’t really happen
If you don’t talk about it.
You are just like everyone else.
The pain that you feel will just go away
If you keep it all to yourself.
Don’t talk about it,
Don’t think about it,
Don’t do anything at all.
Keep it inside,
Hold it inside,
Your home is in Egypt’s wall.
But I heard a story
Said I could be free
If I opened my heart to the truth.
Told all the tales
Let out my fears
And regrets of my wasted youth.
But I’m not going home anymore
Egypt’s a dream I don’t need
There’s freedom to be had
When I let it all go
And face every day unafraid.
And I’m gonna talk about it,
I’m gonna think about it,
I’m gonna do what needs to be done.
Gonna let go of pain,
Won’t live there again,
‘Cause Egypt’s no longer my home!
(this is about recovering as a co-dependent)
Although I firmly believe in the Sovereignty of God, I also believe in God’s designation of man as created in His image with a God-like quality: the ability to make choices. Of course, there are other characteristics of man that separate him from other created breathing beings, including plants and animals, but choice is a critical entry and connecting point in relationship. Problems arise when we either accept all events blindly, as if we had no part in their cause and no ability to change their course. Or if we allow ourselves to be blown about by every wind and not recognize our own power to choose.
My understanding of the Sovereignty of God is that He has delegated powers to us as His image-bearers – and rarely steps in to alter the natural course of events put into place by our choices. These choices have consequences. And often we make choices without understanding the deep consequences of the choices we make – and their very long term impact.
I do believe that God has ultimate understanding – of us as persons including our innermost desires and abilities – and of others and the universe. And, as the master chess player that He is, He can predict how decisions we make will interact with others and what those long term consequences and outcomes will be. He can choose to act in response to prayer or to prevent a negative intersection with some other person down the road. Or He can NOT act because He sees some ultimate good that will come out of some temporary evil.
I don’t have all the answers to the dilemma of evil, the question of how God can be sovereign and NOT the author of evil but yet permit it to exist. I do know that continuing to trust and faithfully believe is my intention for as long as I’m on this planet!
What can we offer to those who come after?
Stories of battle and victory?
Triumphant shouts and accolades?
Treasures retrieved and dragons destroyed?
Sometimes, it seems that the song that I sing
Is more of a dirge than a dance.
The smallest of joys seems forged from great pain
And defeat seems a constant refrain.
The lessons seem to say that happiness is snatched
From the teeth of a merciless beast:
To take for the moment the juice that is there
Lest someone else take it away.
But if I change the view from my analytical chair
To a wider and longer perspective,
I see I have a bigger part
Than the walk-on role in this play.
And little decisions and actions I take
Have an influence on time’s river course
And thought that I use to contain or express
Is noticed, is rewarded, is blessed.
And the child that I teach or the friend I encourage
Can multiply the fruit of my work
If I just keep planting and trusting the One
Who will gather all things in His time.