Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Sons & Daughters

I have lately been overwhelmed at my role as mother.

I became a grandmother recently and suddenly my mothering role changes. I am now called to mother my daughter differently and I have an additional son in my son-in-law. While this is all good, it changes me. It's weird how I can't stop calling my grandson "our baby." My husband and I call him "our baby." If there is a crisis in his young life, I call my daughter and ask about "our baby." Now I know he is not the baby of my womb, yet I have encompassed him as if he is. I don't consider myself all that co-dependent, yet I can't seem to force this language out of my lexicon.

This last week, my adult son entered drug-treatment at a Rescue Mission and I find myself in another change in my role as mother. While I have known about his use/problem with alcohol and drugs for some time, I find myself in an unusual role. I am not even sure why it feels so strange and so compelling. When he was a teenager, I facilitated an early intervention for him. Since then I have practiced good "tough love" practices, but now that he is voluntarily getting treatment for the first time in ten years, I have feelings of protection like I have never felt before. If only I could ensure his success.

When I have a crisis or event of parenting, I think of our heavenly Father and how he must feel about us. I wonder if he wants to guarantee our successes and must live with our falling short. I wonder if he thinks of any of us as "his baby" as he entrusts our presentation on earth to lesser beings. He has the benefit of foreknowledge: maybe that helps.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Laughter I

I deal with such serious issues in my work and I take ministry very seriously, but I hope I am not somber. A serious study of Jesus' life on earth reveals a sense of humor, wit and sarcasm and I don't want to forget to laugh. In light of that, here is an anecdote from my history of teaching:

Having taught parenting classes for fifteen years, I have come to realize that parents, as well as kids, “say the darndest things.” I was teaching a class on prioritizing parental authority. In other words, we discussed how not to waste too much energy on little picky things and be ready to confront and address serious and dangerous misbehavior.

 Often, parents waste energy on the little things.

As we discussed learning to redirect or ignore certain kinds of behavior, I explained that most of the “little picky things,” of which we had made a list, if ignored, would go away as part of the developmental process.

One exasperated father asked, “Well, when is my son going to stop picking his nose and eating it?” Before I could formulate an educated response, another father chimed up, “When he’s full.”

Friday, January 13, 2006

2006 Looking Ahead and Looking Behind

Usually when a new year begins, there is much reflection and accompanying goal-setting for improvement in living the details and demands of life. I think the beginning of this year calls for thanksgiving. I know the official Thanksgiving is placed on the calendar as a feast of harvest, yet the beginning of the new year compels me to reflect with a heart of gratitude, also. I consider that it is just a life, yet a life that is quickened and caressed by the Holy Spirit. It is incredible and scary at the same time. What more yet can God do with ordinary days? I look forward to the telling!!

We were ordinary.
We trod through the days like any
We wore clothes, slept some and ate some.
We loved, wondered like any.

Yet, we were extraordinary.
Responding to God’s great invite
made days seem celebrant
and actions deliberate,
though it only be clothes, sleep and food.

We were loved in such a way
that often we wondered at ourselves.
What Vision fired life deep in an ordinary existence!!