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Lessons from the past!

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Bobby on the AT

Somewhere on the AT, Autumn of 2004

The Lanes Machu Pichu

Visiting with our son at Machu Picchu 2008

   

The night before my son was to set out to hike the Appalachian Trail, he informed me that in one year’s time he would be leaving for a two-year mission trip to South America. Admittedly, that was quite a jolt! For it had not been easy to process the fact that he was about to solo hike this 2,000 plus mile trek! Now, this 2 year mission trip????!!!! I was beginning to feel a bit (nope, I was a lot)overwhelmed,

until God gave me the following council:

   I am really big on making positive memories (hey, even when you are having problems you can handle it in a way that will make the memory a positive one) . I have been deliberate about it as I raised my children.  Therefore, when the time came to say goodbye to my son, I knew that I DID NOT want to look back over that year only to recall a downcast mother, sighing over being separated from her one and only son. God reminded me that if I would only but cooperate with Him, He would see to it that every moment I had remaining with my son would be memorable. I decided the smart thing to do was to cooperate with God so I would be able to look back on that time with joy as I recalled those memorable moments we shared. That would be the best remedy for the inevitable sadness that would come AFTER my son’s departure. 

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   Now I realized I was to put that lesson learned 12  years prior, into practice in a way I had never expected. For here I am again, facing a situation all too familiar. My son, daughter in law, and two small grandsons are home for a short while (having returned from 4 1/2 years in a foreign country. The aftermath of that experience found its expression in this missionary’s mom blog). In about a month from now they will be leaving for my son to study abroad.

   Therefore, I don’t have a lot of time to make memories. So remembering the lesson from when my son was to leave for his first mission trip,  I realized I must not  waste a moment feeling sad over having to be separated from him yet again (only this time a daughter in law, and 2 grandsons are added to the mix). Experience has taught me the best remedy for the inevitable sadness that is sure to come once I have said good-bye is to have a store of joyous memories upon which to focus. 

Lessons learned from the past, continue to serve me well in the present.

 

Safe from Fear!

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     In light of the horrors inflicted upon innocent Christians, Jews, and now US citizens in hotspots across our globe, it seems safe havens are in high demand. Those in dangerous areas are seeking places of safety and security, uprooting their families and enduring hardships beyond imagination to find it. Yes, the temptation for me to fear for the safety of my loved ones and friends living in these foreign lands weighs heavily upon me.

 

A dear lady came to me yesterday in church and asked me, “Wouldn’t you rather they just come home?” 

Whoa! good question but consider the following?

 

     God began teaching me how to deal with fear as my first born daughter  (9 years of age at the time) was home recovering after being hit by a car. I became afraid to let any of my 4 children leave my sight. Fear debilitated me until God got through to me with the realization that I simply couldn’t live in a state of fear! He reminded me, He had a better plan. (Jeremiah 29:11) 

     Then again, as my son through-hiked the Appalachian Trail, He gave me fresh insight on how to trust my child’s well being to Him and built again upon the lessons that released me from the suffocating grip of fear. (Isaiah 41:10)

     Now, God has added new instruction on how to resist the debilitating force of fear. First, He helped me to RECOGNIZE that fear is a fiery dart, a weapon of the evil one to undermine my faith. Second, He empowered me to RESIST it. Third, He supplied me with a Truth thought to REPLACE the thoughts of fear seeking to manipulate me.

 

The Truth Thought that extinguishes the fiery dart of fear?

 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.2 Timothy 1:7

 

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     It is a scary thing at times to place your children in the center of God’s will!  The fiery dart of fear will attempt to convince you to do otherwise. But I have learned repeatedly throughout my parenting life that being in the center of God’s will is the safest place on earth for them. I have tried God in this and He has proven over and over that He’s got their well being foremost in His plans. 

     Yes, I am tempted to fear and plead with God to bring my son and his family safely home, but knowing they would have to step outside of God’s will to do that would be asking God to remove His protective hand.

No, I am not willing to ask God to do such a thing. 

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