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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Love Me or Not…I’m Still Mom

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Why does loving you have to be so hard?

It is as if you think, since I am a parent I lose the ability to hurt. I have stood in your line of fire for longer than I have wanted, in hopes you would either tire or notice the gaping hole in my heart and seize fire.

…hasn’t happened yet.

I watch you as you share your day with me. You tell me about the fun you’ve had with friends. I struggle to hear through the noise jealously creates. As you continue with your story, I scroll through memories on a projector that has spontaneously formed in my mind, memories of when you spent time with us, your family. You know the ones that love you, believe in you, and need you. I look for the smile I see on your face, the excitement I hear in your voice, but there is only sarcasm, frustration, and boredom. I feel my heart heavy with anger as you continue with your story.

We haven’t been what you have wanted for a long time now.

I still love you even though you aren’t what I want. My dream for you was not one of drugs and a fast food job, nor of a heart that is unwilling to love the God that made you. You are my son, and although I have three other children, you are my only “you”. You are a permanent fixture in my life I need there. Some things you can’t trade in or throw away at will. Some things are deserving of a place in your life simply because of what they are.

Kinda like me, you know, your Mom, the one that birthed you, protected you, loved and cared for you.

I listen and muster up as much interest as I can to hide the disgust and pain I feel. I know that to explain how much it hurts that you want nothing to do with us, or how all we want is for you to love us and want to be a part of us, will only push you further away. At least you are sharing something with me, and so I shake my head, smile, chuckle, throw in a couple of “wows” and try my hardest to see this as a special moment between you and me.

Maturity and experiences have a way of putting things into perspective, and so I dig in and wait, much like a soldier would to prepare for battle. He knows what he’s fighting for. He accepts the inevitable for the sole purpose of winning the battle.

Bring all you got son, I’m not going anywhere.

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.