Five Minute Friday: Worship

worshipthekingweb

The white hot sun is lowering itself in the sky as I aimlessly float on the pool. I look up at the expanse of that deep in the  heart of Texas  blue sky, bleached pale by the sun’s scorching stare. 

The wisps  of clouds look like runaway stray hairs.  

Long.                  Trailing. 

As if God was rearranging it with His fingers. I bask in the goodness He gives – the cool water, the trees-those crape myrtles that flourish and thrive in the heat. Their blooms full-tilt in your face. White, pale pink, hot pink, lavender and my favorite, the deep red ones all painted from God’s palette. The doves  calling to each other as they fly around trying to cool their wings, the squirrels chasing each other up the tree trunks.  

I see all this and more and am so grateful. I am reminded of how much He loves me when I am surrounded by His creation. 
 
This is my worship today.
 
Here.
With His creation that shouts: 
 
“See me? He made me!”
 
Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Luke 12:22-24
 
 

Only Good Memories

Pain, sorrow, grief, sadness to the core; does it affect the things we remember? After my daddy died, my mother began waxing poetic about how she missed him and how good their life together was….nice, but, untrue, really. 

They argued long enough and loudly enough to make a fight between two tomcats look like the social event of the year. For most of my childhood he was a falling down alcoholic, one, who could keep it together for work- most of the time. She, on the other hand, had a tongue that could slice hardened steel like it was warm butter and she would goad him until he couldn’t stand it anymore. Then he would lash back at her-thus starting one more argument that would seem to last forever. She didn’t want the neighbors to “hear” them, so she would make him get in the car and drive so she could yell in the relative isolation of the vehicle. Most of the time I had to endure those trips pretending to be invisible. {and she never understood why my head was always in a book? Well, duh.}

After he died she would just go on and on about him. She loved him. She missed him. She needed him. He was a wonderful man. A wonderful companion. Sometimes I would comment on something that reminded me of one fight or other they had. According to her,  It was an argument, a discussion, a disagreement- never a “fight”. “We never fought.”  

She would vehemently deny the whole point and say it never happened or say that I had it wrong and would then relate the event as she remembered it. I never understood it. I asked her once why she only chose to have good thoughts about him and remember only the good things and she responded that when people die you just remember the good things- the bad part you forget. 

Being a nurse, I remember being in my psych nursing class and learning that the negative events in our lives are those that become the most vivid and enduring memories.  I cannot even attempt to answer my own question as to why she chose her memories. I have no clue. I suppose that was the only way she could cope after a lifetime of conflict.

Sometimes I wish that I could remember the good things about her… but I can’t. It’s the painful memories, the ones where I felt as if I didn’t matter as a child, I was belittled as a teen, and my own parenting was disrupted by her actions. In the end, the memories of the  disintegration into the madness that was our relationship until she died that I remember in living color.

There is a part of me that is so envious of everyone who had a “storybook life” where two parents loved each other well and showed it, where the individual was respected as a child and when a parent is lost, a healthy sorrow ensues. Actually I just wanted a real family, not one where I was an afterthought. 

(point of clarification: my parents were my grandparents who raised me after my biological parents divorced when I was 6 months old. I was dumped on my grandmother- my grandfather was serving in Korea at the time of my birth. They had been married less than a year when he shipped out- he was husband #6 or 7- never knew for sure).

Today she would have been 102 years old were she living; however, she gave up her fight with this world five years ago. I would like to miss her and to miss being with her. But I spent 35 years of my adult life missing a real, loving, trusting relationship with a woman who was irrevocably broken by the choices she made due to her mental illness. I think I grieved enough when she was alive to last the rest of my life.  

Back to the good/bad memories question…living long enough with the negative can extinguish the memory of the good.

 I think that’s one of the reasons Paul tells us in Philippians 4:8- “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

 And this is what I can try to do- fill my heart and mind with the things listed above- truth, honesty, justice, purity, loveliness, goodness, virtue, praise. 

When I am full of these there will be no room for the negative, tainted, ugly, evil, damning thought. I’m not there yet.

Maybe she got that part after all….

Me? I am still waiting for the good memories to surface. 

Maybe they will.

Someday. 

This morning, one of my blogging friends posted this as her status on FB:

“Too often we focus on the negative when there is SO MUCH positive to celebrate! How are you celebrating the positive in your life today? I’d love to hear.”

In light of what I wrote about, Traci, I suppose that I should tell you that the positive I’m focusing on is Life. Birthdays do that for me- We’ve just celebrated the oldest grandchild’s birthday; about to celebrate the next to youngest grandchild’s birthday; and then comes another one’s birthday the first week of September; then we celebrate a new life’s arrival mid-September; and another grandchild’s birthday in October. Whew! So much to celebrate- perhaps those negative memories will fade just a bit.

Restless

Restless

Yes, that is what I am.

I’m looking for You. 

Yes, You. 

The God Whose face I dream to dare to touch. Whose eyes look into mine, looking deep into the depths of me and Who alone knows me for who I am.

Like the writers in the Psalms- I search, I wait, I have sleepless nights, I feel despair, I feel elation, I feel justification, I feel abandonment. I want peace, I want vengeance, I want justice, I want righteousness, I want to prosper, I want to win, I want You to defend me, I want joy, I want rest, I want to be in Your presence.

I want You.

Sometimes, You are close, God.       And then, You’re not.

Sometimes I know You are here.

Sometimes I hear You speak.

Sometimes I hear You respond to me. 

Yet, You don’t even have to give me a twinkle of a thought. 

That scares me.

A little.

A lot.

Yet, Lord, I still want more of You. I hunger for Your Word.

Your Word–

Sometimes it crushes me.

Sometimes it breaks me.

Sometimes it molds me.

Sometimes I am held in the cleft of the rock by it.

Sometimes the right word at the right time makes me come alive.

I wish I was more- a better mother, a better grandmother, a better wife, a better me.

One that doesn’t trip from guilt to guilt over what I have or haven’t done. 

One that wishes she was understood. 

One that wishes she understood. 

But, the want-to and the doing are so far apart in reality.  How can I ever be who I am in You and be content?  How can I stand up and say I’ve run the race, I’ve completed the course, I’ve persevered and pressed on and endured for You when I don’t even know what I don’t know?

This sounds so… so – like I’m rambling or ranting as one on the brink of insanity. And maybe I am.

Maybe we all are?  All of us who follow a Carpenter who left all for nothing and got a mountain of rejection and a nightmare taste of hell just so we could become His siblings and call You Abba and live forever in Your presence.

  “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ ” Acts 17:24-28