Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mean Moms

I have been listening to my daughter come home after student teaching and thought, "What is wrong with people?!?!"

I am glad my chosen path was not teaching and I am so thankful for those who do!!

One thing I have noticed is that some people have stopped teaching their children accountability. In case you don't know what that is, it is accepting responsibility for your own actions.

An example: Your teacher tells you there is an assignment due the next Tuesday. You do not do the assignment. You get an "F" on the assignment that you DID NOT DO. That is the responsibility of your own action, or lack thereof.

But, what happens these days? Parents call the school saying how unfair it is for their precious little Susie to get a failing grade because she didn't do her assignment.

Now, let's recap. What have we learned from the above example?

Little Susie has learned that she can get away with whatever she wants because Mommie Dearest is going to stomp up to the school and "take care of things."


The next generation is looking "promising." We had better get busy building more prisons because that judge isn't going to care how big of a fit Mommie Dearest pitches.

I wouldn't or couldn't ever claim to be a perfect mom.

But let me tell you, I whipped first and asked questions later! If my kids came home with a bad grade because they didn't turn in an assignment they were calling on Jesus to help them out! I didn't play that.

I have had to talk to teachers, but I was very certain before I did that, AND I listened to the teachers side before I drew any conclusions.

Anyway....I wanted to share this old poem. I changed one part. I challenge my children to find it and message it to me....don't leave it as a comment (we don't want everyone to know just how mean I am...hahaha)

Mean Moms

Someday when my children are old enough to

understand the logic that motivates a parent, I will

tell them, as my Mean Mom told me:

I loved you enough . . . to ask where you were going, with whom,and what time you would be home.

I loved you enough to be silent and let you discover that your new best friend was a creep.

I loved you enough to stand over you for two hours

while you cleaned your room, a job that should have taken 15 minutes.

I loved you enough to let you see anger,

disappointment, and tears in my eyes.

Children must

learn that their parents aren't perfect.

I loved you enough to let you assume the

responsibility for your actions even when the

penalties were so harsh they almost broke my heart.

But most of all, I loved you enough . . . to say

NO when I knew you would hate me for it.

Those were the most difficult battles of all. I'm

glad I won them, because in the end you won, too.

And someday when your children are old enough to

understand the logic that motivates parents, you will tell them.

Was your Mom mean?

I know mine was.

We had the meanest mother in the whole world!

While other kids

ate candy for breakfast, we had to have cereal, eggs, and toast.

When others had a Pepsi and a Twinkie for lunch, we had to eat sandwiches.

And you can guess our mother fixed us a dinner that was

different from what other kids had, too.

Mother insisted on knowing where we were at all

times. You'd think we were convicts in a prison. She

had to know who our friends were, and what we were

doing with them. She insisted that if we said we

would be gone for an hour, we would be gone for an hour or less.

We were ashamed to admit it, but she had the nerve

to break the Child Labor Laws by making us work.

We had to wash the dishes, make the beds, learn to cook, vacuum the floor, do laundry,

empty the trash and all sorts of cruel jobs.

I think she would lie awake at night thinking of more things for us to do.

She always insisted on us telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. By the time we were teenagers, she could read our minds and had eyes in the back of her head. Then, life was really tough!

Mother wouldn't let our friends just honk the horn

when they drove up. They had to come up to the door so she could meet them. While everyone else could date when they were 12 or 13, we had to wait until we were 16 and then only with suitable chaperones. We were not allowed to be alone with a date.

Because of our mother we missed out on lots of

things other kids experienced. None of us have ever

been caught shoplifting, vandalizing other's property or ever arrested for any crime.

It was all her fault. Now we are in college becoming educated,

honest adults. We even go to church every service and look forward to it.

We are going to do our best to be mean

parents just like Mom was.

I think that is what's wrong with the world today.

It just doesn't have enough mean moms!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I'll Love You Forever

I received a nice surprise when I woke up this morning. I usually check my email when I am trying to wake up immediately when I get out of bed and right before I get my morning coffee, so my eyes are not completely open.

I noticed I had a message from someone I know of, but don't really know.

The message was about my Dad.

And I cannot express how wonderful it was to know someone else thinks about him, too.

Since I was already misty-eyed I just kept it going by thinking about the day that I married.

My Daddy refused to "Give" his daughters away.

He said, "I don't give MY children away."

So, the minister had to say, "Who PRESENTS this woman to be married?"

And, he would respond, "Her mother and I."

As we stood by the double doors awaiting our time to walk into the sactuary he squeezed my hand and said, "You don't have to do this. The car is running outside. I will just go in and tell the WE changed our minds."

That's how it was.

We were a unit.

And neither love nor money could separate us.

Even when I said "I do" I was still Jim Merritt's baby girl.

No words or piece of paper changed that in his mind (and in mine).

I have made mistakes, taken some tumbles, gotten into some scrapes and cried some tears.

No matter what, my Mama and Daddy were still there, even when the problems I faced were caused by my own hands.

I may have had to listen to "I told you so" but it was laced with love.

So, I thought about that "Prodical" son.

When he asked for his portion and took off to find his dreams I am pretty sure his dad did not celebrate.

Nope. But the Bible does say he celebrated.

He celebrated, not when his son came home in a jet, with gold dripping off every part of his body.

It says he celebrated when his son came back after living with the pigs of life, broke and broken.

Because no matter what, he was still his son, and he didn't pay him off to get him out of his hair.

That daddy didn't give HIS son away.

Neither did Jesus give me away.

Even when I took all the riches He had given me and walked away.

Even when I came back broke and broken.

He celebrated and restored me so I could celebrate, too!!

My Daddy may be gone, but I have no doubt that he loved me. I was still his baby until he drew his last breath. And even now, when he is gone from this world, I still belong to him.

And I am holding on to that love that I received from them, even in the bad times, because they gave me something that will last as long as I do, and beyond to my children, and their children.

And so on, and so long as the Lord taries.

I know, beyond a doubt, that love will carry on as long as times lasts.

As long as I'm living....their baby I'll be.

Your Personal Exodus

God is the great conductor. There is no area of life that He does not control.

When you read about Jacob in the book of Genesis you can see that very easily. As Jacob lost his beloved son, Joseph, he was actually receiving a blessing because through Joseph's trials and faithfulness he was able to save his entire family during the time of great famine.

His position in Egypt would make him able to provided for the children of "Israel" during this very dark time.

God had a plan.

And through that plan a nation was sustained.

They remained there many years and from that small group of about 70 men (plus women and children) would grow under these times of prosperity in Egypt into around 3 million when they finally headed for the wilderness.

This fulfilled God's promise to Abraham that He would make his seed as the stars and the sand.

For about 100 years God's chosen people lived as aristocrats in Egypt. But there came a time when a Pharaoh that did not know Joseph was in place and saw the abundant Israelites as a threat. He believed they could join with some enemy king and defeat Egypt.

So these people of the Covenant became slaves.

God had promised to care for them and make them prosperous, but they had neglected their covenant obligations to the Lord.

During this time of oppression while they felt the taskmaster whips upon their backs they began to cry out to the Lord. And He heard their cries.

Why did God's chosen people have to suffer? If they had never been through this time of oppression and slavery they may have never wanted to leave Egypt. And through all of this labor they were prepared for those years in the wilderness and released them from the hold their prosperity had on them.

Today, right now, there is someone reading this that is in bondage to their own "Egypt."

I don't have a fortune teller's ball to call out whatever it is that has you bound, but I can guess a few things.

And I know that there is "pleasure in sin for a season," but somewhere down the line, seasons change. And that thing that made you feel warm and fuzzy in the beginning becomes a hard taskmaster, wielding the whip of oppression over God's chosen people.

What needs to happen when you find yourself groaning and crying out to God?

Certainly He could cause whatever situation you are in to end. He could have killed Pharaoh when he would not let the Israelites go.

You have to be willing to enter back into that Covenant relationship with Him.

Repent (turn from your sin)

And if you have already been Baptized in Jesus' Name then you should seek to have that Promise (the Holy Ghost) refilled in your life.

God never meant for His people to be in bondage. He never meant for us to be slaves to sin.

We were meant to reap the blessings of having the King of Kings for our Father.

There may come a time in your life when you have to begin your own personal exodus out of the land of bondage and into the promises God has for you.

But in order to do that you have to be willing to move. Maybe the problems you are facing now are what will drive you to that place where you call out to God for deliverance.

Without problems, we would never need a Deliverer.

Think about it.

Our afflictions can produce wondrous results if we allow God to work in our lives.

Maybe it is time today for someone to begin their own personal exodus out of sinful situations and begin to walk toward the promises God has for you.

It all begins with you. Are you willing?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Can You Keep A Secret??

I have noticed something over the years: People like to talk, especially about other people.

When my children were little it was always painful when they would come home from school hurt over something someone had said.

I had no explanation that could make them understand how someone could be hurtful except to explain that most of the time when someone says something to hurt you it is because they are hurting themselves and somehow when they hurt you it keeps them from feeling their own pain.

Now my children are grown and I still find myself searching for explanations as to why people can be so cruel.

I know, He never promised us a world free of pain and strife, but when those that you trust hurt you, the pain is harder to explain away.

I spent some time today with someone who was relating a conversation they had had with someone else.

They were speaking of a situation that had risen and suddenly they began to relate to me the reason they heard the situation had come about.

And as I listened to why this person I did not even know had lost everything I felt sick inside.

The details were so insidious that they rang in my ears. All I could think as the one who bore the news finished with a twist to their mouth like they had just imparted me with some tantalizing secret knowledge about someone I have never met horrible...

The fact is, if this was true, this person's life is ruined forever, covered in a disgrace that soap won't wash off.

But....what if it's not true?

What if there is no basis of fact at all in what I was told....yet people are still telling it?

This person's life is still, more than likely, ruined forever.

I know how people think. Unfortunately, it is more entertaining to believe the worst.

There are people in this world that thrive on carrying tales. I would that I could write this today and say I have never listened, but I can't.

And I know that there have been times that I have heard words coming out of my mouth and thought....**wait a minute....what am I doing?**

What does God say about gossip in His Word?

"For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I wish, and that I shall be found by you such as you do not wish; lest there be contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, backbitings, whisperings, conceits, tumults"
(2 Corinthians 12:20).

"You shall not go about as a talebearer among your people; nor shall you take a stand against the life of your neighbour: I am the Lord" (Leviticus 19:16).

"And besides they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not"
(1 Timothy 5:13).

"For I heard many mocking: 'Fear on every side!' 'Report,' they say, 'and we will report it.' All my acquaintances watched for my stumbling, saying, '...we will take our revenge on him'" (Jeremiah 20:10).

"Likewise the soldiers asked him, saying, 'And what shall we do?' So he said to them, 'Do not intimidate anyone or accuse falsely, and be content with your wages'"
(Luke 3:14).

"Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and destroy. Who are you to judge another?" (James 4:11,12).

"Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone..." (Matthew 18:15).

This **tale** that I heard today could cost this person their job, their children, and possibly their freedom. Yet, it was delivered with a smirk.

I recently spoke with someone who has been the victim of gossip at the hands of their **brethren.**

I had no words to make it better, just as before.

But I wept when they told me, "I don't have friends in the church. They have hurt me, turned their back on me, said things about me that aren't true."

I thought of Jesus, kneeling in the sand, while those that had accused the adulterous woman were called to come forward, cast the first stone.

In the end, there was none left, except the woman and the Lord.

John 8:10-11

10When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?

11She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

There have been many times in my life that, for whatever reason, I have learned something as I did today. I can be real and admit that I have probably thought to share it with someone else, and even, at times, I have.

And it was wrong.

There is something painfully broken in a soul that would derive joy from purposely hurting another, after all, words are a powerful thing.

What did I say to this person that was hurt recently?

I said, "I love you."

I said, "When all the gossips are gone, He is still there."

I said, "It really doesn't matter what anyone else thinks about you, all that matters is what you KNOW."

Now, can you keep a secret??

Good. Keep it.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Yesterday, Today....Forever

I remember still the warmth of your hand as it held mine, the strength you had as you would lift me like an easy burden to gently carry me to my bed and tuck me safely inside.

You, with those eyes so blue, your heavy step as you entered a room, announcing to everyone YOU had arrived.

All those memories of you float in my mind.

There are so many things we never say until it's too late, and although I know you cannot hear the words today my heart feels lighter to say them.

You were a man that I was proud to call my Daddy.

Did you always do everything right? No. But then, neither do I. I am your child, after all, born of the flesh.

Did you ever give me a reason to not be proud of who you were?

Absolutely not.

I spent my younger years in awe of you, because you were larger than life to me.

But then time happened, and you became not only my powerful Daddy who could fix any problem and answer any question, you became my friend.

I could confide in you, call you with any problem, and you would listen and advise.

And it is so impossible for me to comprehend you are gone, even a year later.

How can someone like you suddenly be gone? Even with the sickness, with the loss of physical power, you were still my first crush, the measuring stick that no one could ever fully measure up to. And I guess, that's the way it is supposed to be for little girls.

Yesterday I said goodbye.

Today my heart still aches.

And I still hear you, whispering in my heart, you still walk the halls of my dreams.

I think of how it must have been for you, at the end. Even though I know you were ready to go, I also know that you hated to leave us, hated to leave your sweetheart who hastened to join you.

I sit here today missing you, just the same as yesterday.

But I have memories that sing in my soul....

The memory of you, being baptised in the Name of Jesus, just like in the Book of Acts....

The memory of you, receiving the Holy Ghost....

The memory of you raising your voice in praise to the One who gave you all.

And I have that HOPE that someday I WILL see you again.

I will see you again forever.

I love you, my sweet, precious Daddy. I will miss you till that day.