Search and Never Yield…until it is secure within you

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Contentment.

It can’t be explained because the understanding has to be earned.

Some things we have accepted as automatic, really aren’t. We must be grateful and never take God’s wisdom for granted.

Contentment belongs, and therefore, comes from God. The enemy tries to pawn it off as personality traits but it’s far more than that.

Contentment is a treasure we find while reading His word,
Searching for his guidance on bended knees,
Reverencing his presence in song.

It is as if foraging through an old treasure chest and coming upon the rarest of gems. It must not be belittled. Phil 4:11-12

I hope you find it, Oh do I ever.

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My Mother, My Cross

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You have not loved until you have loved the unlovable, the ugly, the undeserving,
like a mother strung out on drugs and drunk all of the time.

Every ounce of her; you know, the part that held me at night, read to me, bathed and fed me, is absorbed in this addict that reeks of booze.

I know my mother is in there somewhere, because this addict calls me by name and expects me to love her like I love my mom.

This addict plays nice at first.
She laughs where my mother would’ve cried; she does where my mother would’ve slept.

But with every drink…and, taken in secret, a pill here and there, this addict loses her like-ability and fast.

She does not care about me or my children, or even the woman she overtook and is now portraying.

With hatred and selfishness, using my mother’s mouth and body…she destroys everything valuable my mother holds dear, with the words she spews out, the way she moves my mother to stumble and fall.

The daughters she bore, no longer responsive to her need for them, the son disgusted in the mother that allows this to happen.

My mother became just another woman to me. I learned to acknowledge the addict in her, and no longer the mother that gave birth to me, in order to lessen the pain.

If she didn’t care enough to stop, why should I care to be there for her, to respect her and love her?

It just became easier to accept the addict and forget the mother that’s hardly ever there anymore.

Until I grew in my faith, until my views were made to align to my makers, I knew love by what I got from it.

I loved my children. I loved my husband. I loved friends and family. I loved books and music. I loved afternoon naps. I loved them because they gave me something in return.

Until God opened my eyes to my sins and showed me how He loved me in spite of them, I would have gone on in my ignorance.

I thought love was supposed to be easy, but love is hard. Love is dying on the cross…

I have since learned each of us have our own cross to bear, and mine so happens to be to love my mother through her addiction.

When she smells of booze…when she can’t stand…when she is sick from pancreatitis…when she is lonely…

I will allow her to hug me and I will focus only on her touch and not the smell.

I will hold her up and not allow her to fall, and if she falls I will help her up with no condemnation.

I will not run the other way; I will not ignore her and act like I don’t know her.

I will talk with her even though I can’t understand what she is saying.

And in my quest to carry my cross, I will have loved the way He first loved me.

I will have done it and not just spoken of it.

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Woman to Woman

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So many things are running through my mind and my throat has entirely swelled shut.
I’m sure, an allergic reaction to the words it will have to allow through.
I’ve prayed for this time for some time, not really expecting such a “time” to come.
Secretly hoping the prayer would be placed in God’s treasure chest of unanswered prayers,
Prayers people think they want answered but God, knowing best, saves them from.
She has been so distant for so long, nothing more than an empty vessel.
Empty vessels make the most noise, and she no different.
Every effort to reach her ricocheted within her, and I found myself cringing in preparation.
She had figured out how to exist within her own realm, and such a sad world she had created.
Then – I thought she wanted to be “there”.
It wasn’t until today I learned different.
“You remember when I dropped the coke in the car and I cried? I thought you’d make me tell you then. I thought you would make me talk to you …but you didn’t”?
My sweet girl was stuck in quick sand and with every effort to free herself she sunk deeper…
And I failed to save her, to fight for her.
Eliminating anger in all its excusing glory, she shared her most dark secrets.
Excuses were no good to her.
She had become thirsty for change and was tired of the bitter drink of defeat.
She had altered her thoughts and allowed God to align them to His will.
Alone. Without me.
She told me she didn’t want secrets anymore, between her and I.
She needed her best friend back…me.
She ended her letter with “Mom, I’m sorry I’m not your perfect little girl.”
And she wasn’t anymore. At that moment I was forced to come to terms with that fact.
It had tried to creep up like ivy on a wall, her woman curves, mature demeanor.
But I wouldn’t let it, I couldn’t.
I needed her to stay little. She’d need me still.
Though not little anymore, but still perfect, always perfect.
She was my young lady, in all her beauty and demand to be seen.
And today I would have to tell her my secret in respect of this new found relationship,
A secret that would prove I wasn’t so perfect either.
She sat in front of me.
Her brown eyes puzzled by my struggle to speak, and tears, oh so many tears.
Once, the cozy coffee shop we had been sitting in, had now become consequently confining.
I asked to move outside, as if that would make the words easier to say
… “After I had you, I had an abortion.”
There. I. Had. Said. It.
I feared she had distain for me in her once-loving eyes, and I dare not look up.
I spoke of that mistake, that sin, not to excuse it or explain it, but to keep her quiet.
Her questions scared me too much to give her the opportunity to ask them,
And when I had said all there was to say, and the unknowing had become greater than the fear,
I looked into her eyes and I said, “I am sorry”…
But there was no disdain, no surprise.
With a mixture of sympathy and love, my beautiful grown young lady answered,
“I’ve known…I read it in your poem book years ago.”
We left the same people we had always been, but truer to the love for one another,
For we had taken off the ill-fitting “Mother” and “Daughter” costumes we had made.
The costumes that hid our “unlovable” mistakes and imperfections,
Dwarfing us into something lovable, all along never really feeling loved.
We had removed our mask and garment as if Halloween had finally ended…
Still we saw love in each other’s eyes.
Now when we hear the other say “I Love you”,
There will be no voice that follows saying…
“She wouldn’t if she knew”,
Because she does,
And still she loves.

My Happy for Your Happy

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He left without asking for much.

Crazy but I didn’t fear him leaving, I feared what he’d look like next time I saw him.

The sins of “fun” ages us faster than suns’ rays ever could, and I knew he had a craving for that kind of “fun”.

Sunday.

The day I have always set aside for thanking my heavenly Father…now an anniversary of when my prodigal son left home.

One week. Two weeks. Three weeks. Four weeks. All seemed to drag on. Then, in between taking a breath and blinking an eye, one month turned into eight.

I’d talked to him. Once or twice…each time ending in an argument. I asked him why he hadn’t called, a question I knew he could handle. Not like the underlining question which was too direct, “Why didn’t he love me…us?” His answer, he was happy and I would just ruin that for him.

As a child he expected fairness. I wanted to cry to him, just like he had to me. I wanted to tell him he ruined my happy and I expected fairness.

And I would’ve, had it not been for the dial tone.

Baroque Perfection

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I am your Mom. How does that not mean anything when once it meant everything? Your memory of my mistakes is that of an elephant, but instead of in your mind, they have been burnt into your heart, making numb your ability to feel my love. They are the demons in my closet that keep me up at night, they are the walls built around you, keeping us separate.

As your mother, I know your worth and your worth is worthy of perfection, but this is above me. I know, Son, because I tried. As a sixteen year old mother of two, daughter of an alcoholic and drug addict mother and a child molester as a father, perfection was as unattainable as turning back the hands of time. If I could but keep from becoming my parents, then surely I would uncover perfection, as easily as one uncovers a pearl by prying open an oyster. I truly believed this to be true, until you looked at me like I looked at my mother, the day you left and never looked back.

No one told me it would take a certain environment to produce this rarity, an environment of fresh water or salt water, clean, healthy…all I had was that of contamination. If only the irritation that comes from a foreign substance was enough, because I was made completely of irritations, irritations of abuse and neglect, foreign substances to some but all too common to me.

They say not all pearls are perfectly round, but the round ones are the most beautiful, less than the baroque pearls, uneven in shape. I wished you could see my love and desire to be enough for you, my baroque of perfection, as sufficient. Then maybe you would overlook my convoluted flaws, see them for the will behind them. Just as a runner, hurt and in pain, still able to complete the race, all spectators cheering, not because of victory but because of shear determination to not quit.

I am sorry I could not give that which you deserved, perfection. Not even in my mind do I allow myself to compress your hurt with my excuses. My only source of comfort, even this I do not deserve, but still the truth remains, I am comforted knowing I tried my best.

Your memories keep you from having compassion and empathy for me. They keep you from missing me, like an underground shelter protects during a storm, so do your memories of me. But my memories, mine, keep me from healing. Like cancer in the bones with no hope for a cure, are my memories of you; your laugh, your need for me to rub your forehead, your love for music, your love for food, your spontaneity, you, all of you.

God says forgiveness is free. He said he paid for all of our wrongs, and yet, you and I are paying for my wrongs still. I pray God’s promise comes true for us. I pray for a willingness to accept this free gift, not because I deserve it but because you do my son. I love you.