Well I want to talk today about a pillow epilogue. We all privately talk about it in our quiet haven but it usually does not become a source of theatrical agony. We had a friend staying with us for a few nights. He took one of the boys rooms and so a jolt of anguish immediately overtook my emotional emphatic child who was forced to share a room with his brother. You see we also took one of his pillows. The one he puts in between his legs. We have couch pillows and pillow pets but they were not his traditional pillow. We needed to use his for our guests. We went through a complete meltdown before I finally left the room completely exhausted and sick at heart. About 30 minutes later I went in to check on him and he was sitting in the same position with the same somber look. I sat with him and found out the main reason for the meltdown was he gets bruises on his knees if he doesn’t have a pillow. How do I explain to a child who sees life through his own needs and desires that there are other simple ways to fix a pickle? At !0:00 at night there isn’t. We laid his head down and he finally closed his eyes.
But, where do those emotions go? He did not get to let them out. How can he continue to live inside of his own head and not feel overwhelmed. I want to know what to do about it when we do talk. How can we describe our feelings and have a release of despondency? How does he feel about my Lupus and watching me change day after day? I am not okay with just explaining my symptoms and living this life. He is described as having a mental illness. No matter how you try to get around it, you can’t. Even your family cannot be truly honest with you having astigmatism like that. When he is mad it is not always because he is erratic. It is a real emotion focused on his judgement. How can we help? We could possibly slant our point of view and become nonpartisan to the simple pillow problems. He got through the night now I just need him to get through the emotions.
“Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong”(Romans 12:9). Why is it so hard to love some people? My mother-in-law, the one who gives me a pounding headache. The one who has the un official authority to say and do anything was ringing the doorbell at my own humble house. I could hear her come in and I smelled the spring air fly through the house like a wave of sweetness. I heard her uneven steps as she navigated over the things on the floor. As I began to apologize for the jeans hanging on the back of the chairs and the shoes scattered around, I forgot about the dishes in the sink. I quickly tried to make it to the sink without her realizing what I was about to do. Her laughter filled the house as the hot water bubbled up and over the soap-filled dish pan. She put her arm around me and reminded me her house was not always perfect. It certainly did not make her a failure as a mother. And she said,” I don’t think that of you.” There is an admiration that comes after we have tried to do another persons job.
When I was a child everything I did had to be perfect. The anxiety that led up to an event was gut wrenching. I did not want ny father to make fun of me or talk down to me. It was my sport and I was sure I knew what I was doing. But I was so used to it. Did he ever tell me good job? I can’t remember. I am sure at times he did. Even now I am the last one out of four girls that he calls if something happens…good or bad. is he embarrassed of me. Does he not trust me? After my introduction to my wild side that REALLY changed things. He did not trust my professional opinion or ask for advise on anything. I always got a lecture on why I needed help or money. There was always a fight. He always had to tell me what I was doing wrong. Not in a good learning experience, but a bad hurtful one. I loved him but now I don’t want to be around him. I needed him. Not to fight, not for him to dominate the conversation but to teach me, to love me. Was I a disappointment? Is that why I am not good at much? Am I teaching my kids that? Am I raising my kids wrong. That is the opinion I get from him.. Why does he hate me so much? How do i break the cycle. Is this why I feel so guilty after I know that I have done some thing wrong? It is like I can never get it back. It will never disappear and it leaves me with a big gushing hole in my heart. Is this why I can’t forgive? It is a horrible feeling to feel as though you are not good at the things a parent expects you to be.
As I go through my seasons I have to remember that God commanded us to love our enemies . I pray that he will teach me how to love difficult people.
Why is depression so hard? It arrises when the truth is not real. It is when you are alone with yourself and you do not like who you are. It is when the weight of the world tumults down on you and the innermost fragments of your head is so broken you do not know how to fix it. All of your emotions are blurred in a big bubble and everything you feel gets stuck together. You cannot differentiate between happiness and sadness. It is a massive sentiment that lingers until one by one the bubbles burst and a revelation unfolds to reveal whatever emotion stands strong that day.
These monsters. Do you mock in that delight? One more day you have my mind and my heart. To live where every step becomes so much to bear. But God keeps me here. There must be a reason I am so weak? I have no one who could understand and I am not strong enough to do this by myself. So, I sit here and I hope God is listening.
You know what feels the worst is knowing that you have screwed up your life. I will never have any opportunities to excel at the gifts I was given. I ruined them.. there is no way to get them back.. I want to be a good person but as a mother there is always something to do, fix or make.
But then all of that changed. I began to yell at the boys for fighting over the XBox because someone was in someone elses room. I threw up my hands in disgust. I sat on the couch and put my face in my hands. The boys quickly came in and in their most serious voice asked me why I was so sad. I don’t know I said I guess I just need extra special love from you now. They brought me a pillow, propped up my feet, brought me my water and with a big hug told me thank you for doing this for us every night.
Nobody knows the struggle I am going through. But It can never be too late to excel at the gifts God has given you. Will it help to talk about my past? Will it help to talk about all the wrong in my life? I like to see stories of recovery don’t get me wrong but I hate to hear condescending people who think they could never go back to being a user. Watch yourself because you will fall again. A changed life gets a person’s attention every time. (Liz Curtis Higgins)
It was a typical Sunday morning.I came downstairs for breakfast but my husband had already eaten. I was tired and still drunk from the night before so I was mad that he had not waited for me to eat. . He was preparing a bag to leave for work. He normally went out-of-town on Sundays to get set up for his week ahead. His phone rang and he carried it outside. I could see him laughing and enjoying the conversation on the other end of the line. He came back inside and told me he was leaving for work. I was shocked because he normally left around dinner. I started the typical fight and the day dragged on. That night when he called me from the hotel the fight continued. Out of the blue I asked if he wanted a divorce and to my complete hysteria, he said yes. Just like that. He did not want to talk. I did. I begged for some kind of connection but his voice was cold and numb.
So this is how it started. It came on like a gun, only it left me wounded and begging for death. I could not move. I felt a creepy burst of anger clawing its way in but at the same time a guilt of selfishness overcame me so intensely that I wanted to justify every painful feeling and dysfunctional behaviour. But there was no one to justify it to. My side of the story did not matter anymore.
I was unpleasant to be around. I was embarrassing, irritating and basically rude. But I was sad. I was gasping for air. I had strong cravings for anger and bitterness. This lead me to lash out at anyone who stood in my way. Some nights I would lie in bed and call out his name but no words would come out. I felt like I was in a room with no ceiling or door. It had hurtful characters covering the walls and I scratched my way up the wall only to fall back down into the hurtful pit that began to devour me in the first place. The agony paralyzed me for years. I just could not take responsibility for my actions. Bitterness and jealousy impelled me. jealousy attacked my heart. It raided my emotions, motivations and relationships. This can cause an irruption in your relationship with God.
Does God give us more than we can handle? My answer would be yes. 2 Timothy 3:17 says: It matures me and equips me to be ready for every good work. Most of us willing to follow our own hearts not God. Lead your heart to God. The heart can sometimes be untrustworthy. Our problem might have a redefining purpose. It might hurt so bad that the pain will draw you nearer to God. We could also be being tested and purified. Others can see your faith and strength through your distressing times. How are you handling it? It is not up to us to judge what purpose God has laid out . If it hurts, tell him, cry to him. He is the only one who knows why trials have crept into our lives.
Italo Calvino said: The more enlightened our houses are, the more their walls ooze ghosts. Image credit: “love Don’t live here anymore…” – © 2009 Robb North
I look at this house and see the western sun filling the windows with a warm amber glow. I see the loving family embracing the children running in and out. I also see the family very rich in love while only providing the bare necessities of life. My 10 yr old sees sadness. He cannot see passed the dilapidated house with no windows whose previous owners cold not have enjoyed the supplementals of life.
How could I as a mother have failed so much? I thought I had taught my children about selfishness, and having a proper attitude. Not to see things from the outside in but to look at a person’s heart to find their true identity. I write this as I hear my boys fighting in the next room as they are playing on their newest hankering, their “precious”. My husband calls the xbox the “precious” because if left up to them, my boys would play on it day and night. They began to plan their days around it. If I call them for dinner they eat as if they are mesmerized by the hum of the power button in the next room.
I begin to think though why not love this game? My son does not have to change who he is to play it. He does not have to please a loving member of the family so that he can hear them say I love you. He does not have to face the pain and rejections that occur when we are around family that may not have the patience to see him for who he really is. He sees this old house as a self-portrait. A strong sturdy shell but hollow inside.
My job seems to be a little harder at times. Every day is a challenge to keep him from slipping into a depression that others see as controlling and demanding. It hurts to be alone. It also hurts to walk into the lion’s den. Imagine the fear he feels not being able to spend time with family because he is afraid of what might be said to him. My younger son just knows that something is not right. But each of them know about sharing and love. We have a unofficial cookie ministry for their friends. If someone is sick or in need, we bake. I have one that cooks and one that gives them out. I truly have the best of both houses.
There was an old man with a vast art collection. It grew year after year with van Gogh, Picasso, Matisse, and Monet. He loved collecting art and loved the beauty it brought into his home. After his son became old enough to delight in his father’s work he began collecting also. For years the two employed a vast assembly of art pieces and objects, The pieces hung magnificently displayed in the house. The son soon went off to college leaving the man to tend to the art himself. As he walked by the paintings he was reminded of his son.
Shortly after he was informed that his son had died in action. He was visited by a solider who knew his son. The soldier presented the man with a painting he made while the two were stationed together. The painting was far from professional but it became the man’s favorite. He displayed it proudly and bolder that all the priceless art. Soon after the man died. He left his collection to be auctioned off. The auction started with the painting of his son. All brokers from near and far came to get a glimpse of the priceless paintings so they were shocked when the auctioneer started with such a simple painting. The bidding started with no gavel raised. Finally a man in the front row raised his hand and bought the painting for $10. When asked why, he said he knew the boy growing up. The auctioneer closed the gavel to the astonishment of all the collectors. In their amazement they asked what about all the other paintings? The auctioneer said the man made it clear in his will whoever got the son’s painting got the whole collection. No one comes to the Father except through me…….. compliments of Heritage Baptist Church..
One of the most frightening things for me to do is to share my faith. It is not necessarily hard from a worldly view so much as it is with my own children. I have a child who lacks the social development of the children his age. How do you explain faith to a child who cannot look you in the eye and feel the emotional response that comes from trusting God? How do you explain to other families in church that your son does feel loneliness. He does not mean to be spontaneous or not respond to your emotions. The measure of his friendships are based on quality not the quantity. The quality of his relationships are strained daily even though everyday of his life has been a lesson in behavior or in social interventions.
I have to explain it in the easiest way I can for him. You see he knows that Jesus died for his sins but he has a hard time grasping the beauty of that concept. He hates the pain that Jesus suffered but, visualizing him on the cross between two criminals is the most powerful display of love he feels. Just to know that Jesus, while on earth could forgive sin and immediately assure one of the men eternal paradise shows him what he needs spiritually. I do not know if he feels the warmth and beauty of having God’s word to hold on to but I thank God that the bible gives us stories of unbelievable courage and love that I know he reads over and over.
My life has become as an old oak tree that has grown wider than the arms can reach. Its roots buried deep below the surface. It sits alone in a field surrounded by tall grass and views of nature. It has grown tall and its limbs climb and stretch toward the sky. But it still sits alone. At the end of each limb is an abrupt end but its leaves can become intertwined and connected to other twigs on other branches. As I travel down a branch have I learned what was intended for me? Why are some branches so painful to go down? Why do others seem so easily traveled? Some branches may break under the pressure while others seem as sturdy as the roots below.
I always thought that walking with someone down the harder times in life would weigh me down but having someone walk beside you and being able to let go when you need to is a gift only God can bring into your life. Anger can become such a storm in life that it can pull, toss and shake until its leaves and branches break and shatter under the tremendous force. It can become an unseen act of nature that is completely out of control and it will not stop until it exposes all the naked branches underneath. Do we get too comfortable with our surroundings? Do the birds coming and going take our focus off of the things we hide?
I try to look up from time to time and remember what it’s all about. As the wind pulls the branches apart and the leaves rustle to the ground I remember that it is a climb I cannot do alone. I can only slowly pull myself back up the tree and continue to navigate the branches again.
Have you ever gone through a divorce or separation? Sadly, right now I feel as if I am in the middle of a bitter, difficult resolution of my relationship with God. Fortunately, i know that loving God is a lifelong individual journey that I will embark on for the rest of my life.
When I was 18 this journey with God began. I was very naive and did not know how to grow as a Christian. I knew something inside of me had changed. I wholeheartedly gave everything I had to worshiping Jesus. I felt love and peace. I followed Jesus faithfully and boldly. I wanted to learn everything I could about the bible. I was excited and I energetically tried to serve anyway I could. But, nobody taught me how to be a Christian.
Before I knew it, my selfish controlling attributes started sneaking back in. The devil got a foothold. I grew farther from Jesus but I still felt his presence in my life. God allowed me to do things my way. I began to make one bad decision after another and completely stopped growing in my Christian life. All the time something had a hold on me. God never left me. I began a complete downward spiral. Fortunately, he knew when I had enough. I spent years doing it my way then God drew the line. Everything around me crumbled. He began to show me he wanted a relationship with me personally. He gave me strength. I began a new attitude in my relationship with him and others around me. I began to see things God’s way. Many times I took baby steps or turned away all together but God remained faithful. He showed me he had bigger plans for my life,
Many parts of my life have changed since then. I became a humble servant and God began to work through me. Then, my health began to change. This is when I slowly started to feel my relationship with him trying to unravel. It is amazing how quickly you can stop spending time in his word. How you may disagree with his plan. I became stubborn and as I defended my individual rights, it started to take away my worship and my time-serving him. Once again I was stranded. I was lonely. My relationship was crumbling right in front of my eyes. Divorce could be imminent. But, for a man who willingly laid down his life for me and endured such torture I am willing to go through some pride and discomfort to have a lasting, loving investment in this marriage. I will not go through the pain of divorce again. I challenge everyone to practice unconditional love and develop intimacy in whatever relationship honors you in your life.