Friday, July 31, 2015

What's not happening

Ahhhhhh, summer.
The lazy, hazy days of summer.
The long boring, I've got nothing to do, days of summer.
The discontent, disappointing, death that are the days of summer.

The children in my house have reached this point.  In their defense, I agree with them.  It has been an exceptionally boring summer.  The weather has been so off that we have had no beach days, their father has been home since the beginning of May with some mystery illness that has stolen his energy and his fun.  I've had 2 surgeries, and while minor, one kept me in bed for a week recovering.

In times like these, conversations with my kids become a litany of what they don't have:
Why don't we have a pool?
My Ipod is broken.
Why can't I have an Iphone?
There's nothing to dooooooooo.
If I were the only kid, I bet you would buy me an iphone.
Why can't I
the list goes on.

I begin a different conversation along this vein.

Sweetheart, were you scared today?
No, why would I be scared?

Honey, were you sick today?
No, I feel fine.

Baby, were you hurting today?
Nope, I feel great.

finally, were you hungry today?
Well, at lunch time I was a little hungry so I made a sandwich, whenever I'm hungry I just go get something.


My children went years where these were true every day.
Not just scared, but terrified.
Not just sick, but dangerously ill.
Not just hurting, but actively abused.
Not just a little hungry, but starving and malnourished.

With the meeting of needs comes the amnesia of comfort.  While the scars of the past remain to continue with their destructive power, active and present pain is quickly forgotten and replaced with dissatisfaction.

We focus on what we don't have, while failing to see what we no longer have.

It's true of all of us, but for our children from hard places, it is so blatant that it hurts to behold.

I imagine it is even worse for God to see it in us.

He is Jehovah-Jireh- the Lord will Provide, but we live scared, sick, hurting, and hungry because we don't trust Him.  We say we believe it, but our actions prove that we do not.  We don't believe that we are safe in the shelter of his wing, we don't believe that we will be healed, here or in heaven, we are hurting, but we don't ask The Great Physician to heal our wounds. We are starving to be filled by Him, but we desperately chase meaningless pursuits for fulfillment.

Today I want to encourage you to see what is not happening today, and thank God for
the blessing of what is not happening today.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

The Heaviest Day

We didn't go to church today.
Scott is sick with pneumonia, I am continuing to fight sinus issues, Sveta is also medicated due to sinus issues, and so it goes. These seem like valid enough reasons to skip church, and I'm sure that's why my children think we didn't go.

And that's ok.

But there are deeper reasons.

Today is Mother's Day.

I love being a mom. I think I am doing a fairly good job.  But a day doesn't pass that I am not aware that the only reason I am a mom is because someone else couldn't do it anymore.  Death, illness, and worse are the contributing factors that lead to my motherhood.  

All of my children had to lose everything for me to become a mom. I don't mean to say that I am the reason they lost those things.  The truth is they lost nearly everything long before I became their mom, and if I never became their mom,almost all of the things they have lost would still be gone.

The final thing they had to lose for me to become a mom is their original identity.

In order for me to become a mom, they had to give up the final shreds of what made them them.

I contemplated taking all the healthy children to church and leaving the sickies at home.  I thought of attending church by myself. Truthfully there is a lot of pressure to be a Heim at church on Mother's Day.  We take up an entire row.  We stand out.  Everyone knows that I am the second mom.  Everyone knows how blessed my children are and how fortunate they are to have me.  As far as I can tell, no one considers what my children had to lose to receive that "blessing".

But I do.

So I did not ask my children to sit through what I am sure was a beautiful Mother's Day message.  I LOVE the Mother's Day messages.  I think many of my children cannot love them right now.  I think that they are too conflicted to appreciate whatever the message is.  The truth is most feel that they have been failed by their first mothers.  I am not saying that she failed them.  I am saying that this is how they feel.  Imagine living with the constant feeling of betrayal by one mother and resentment that another one needs to exist.  That second one is me.  I needed to exist because someone else could not perform their role.  It is impossible to parent if you are dead.  It is impossible to parent if you have an out of control addiction.  It is impossible to parent if you yourself have been marginalized, abused, and neglected.  It doesn't matter that it may not be her fault that she can't mother, the fact remains that she is not being their mother.  
This is the truth that my children live with.
They are not always doing it well.
How can they?
My destiny as their mother is to hold their hearts together even when they think they don't want me to.  Even when they don't think I am.  Even when it is JUST TOO HARD.  for all of us.

We did not go to church today.
And Jesus is ok with it.
I am too.