My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Saturday, April 16, 2011

my treasures...and my prayers...

It was a dark and stormy night but the storm has passed and I can see the first hint of daylight starting to peek through.

I was supposed to keep a pain diary yesterday but I left the paper in my brother's truck.

God bless my sweet brother. He has such a heart for ministry, I am so glad he answered the call and has spent his life doing what he's good at. Jim is a soft-spoken introvert. He's the kind of person who sits back, observes a situation and then makes one very astute comment on the subject that settles it. I'm an extrovert so the whole process of assessing a situation is done out loud so that the whole world can participate in my thought process. I think we have remained close throughout our lives because that introvert/extrovert combination serves us well... and because we learned in childhood how to communicate. I always joke with my sister-in-law Angie that he learned how to deal with girls by growing up with a Drama Queen of a sister.

There are a lot of wonderful people in my life who minister to me in several ways... but when you escalate the need to the extent of what I needed yesterday... someone to sit and wait for several hours... and then drive my extremely nauseous and dizzy self home ... and mercy, me, I had not realized how curvy the road between Gainesville and Cleveland is! Well, it was a big sacrifice for him.

I don't have to keep a pain diary to remember the pain... I will never forget this. Again, they said it would take a couple of days... but last night it was impossible to get comfortable. When you see people who get addicted to pain meds due to chronic pain, I can see how that could happen. I have not been on any narcotic pain meds since the end of January when it was determined that my pain was not related to a kidney stone. I've just been able to do the nerve block at night ... but it doesn't relieve the constant pressure. The nerve block doesn't do a thing for the muscle spasms... the muscle relaxers help some... but again, only at night.

But I believe that God is a compassionate God and I still believe that this pain is transforming me into the person He destined me to be. Let's just call them "growing pains".

I caught Austin doing something he should NOT do yesterday. He had the sense to be contrite and quiet and not rage at me... but it hurt my heart to see the depth of the grip that the enemy has on his life. Remember earlier in the week when i talked about recognizing your enemy... and the fact that we battle not against flesh and blood? Yes, there are people who serve to do the work of the enemy and seek to draw us into the path that they have chosen which is not God-serving. God has told us that what is not for Him is against Him. But the sin... the desire to do that which pulls us away from the grip of God... that is the real enemy. That's what we have to battle.

My enemies - pain, physical limitation, financial pressures, etc etc... they are what I battle daily. My child's enemies are even bigger, as I suspect is the case for most teenagers. If the enemy can get these kids in his grip and in his service during a time when their whole lives are before them... he could change the very course of their life and leave them in a position where it is difficult to find the road back... and therefore impact their children and their children's children and so forth. I want my descendants to know the Lord and to have the hope that I have. I have a legacy of faith that I want to pass on to the generations that come after me. That's a big responsibility.

All of this makes me even more grateful that 1/4 of his school day is spent in a Christian environment. After our "storm" passed and my confrontation with him ended... I found a folded up piece of paper on the ground that had this verse typed on it: If possible, live at peace with all men, as much as it depends on you. Romans 12:18

And ... if possible... live at peace with your crazy mama who is weary... and battling her own enemies... and doesn't have enough strength to take on yours too. but I will... because what affects my child affects me. Please stand with me on this, believers... there is spiritual warfare going on in my home and I KNOW that we have the authority to overcome.

I have a dear friend who is in the kind of transition I faced when I moved here... needing a place to live for her and her three kids... needing a job... there is a lot of uncertainty for her. Please keep her in your prayers.

the weather in the southeast has been violent over the past day. many people lost their homes and their lives. Many are facing difficult conditions and interruptions in their lives. I'm grateful that the storm that raged outside didn't breach my little compound here. My nest is still safe and sound.

My steel magnolia (my grandmother) may have had a minor heart attack last week. I think my dad is going up to see her today. She lives in Hayesville, North Carolina which is just over the mountain from us... about 45 minutes. It's more of a hike for Pop since he lives below Atlanta. If I were able to sit up for any length of time, I'd go with him.

I have a friend who lost her father last week to a long, agonizing battle with Alzheimers. I know she's glad that he is healed and whole and has his mind restored in Heaven... but I know she misses him here on earth.

Ironically, I also got word that a man who was my 5th grade sunday school teacher is in that final battle himself. His wife pampered me like I was her own little girl when I was little - she's the one who took me to get my ears pierced when I was 9 at the little Merle Norman store at the Riverdale Plaza. One time when i was really young... maybe 6 or so... she took me home with her after church and bought me a new dress to wear to a reception of some sort they had to attend. I don't remember a lot of details but I do know that this couple was very instrumental in my young life and i know they showed me a lot of kindness. Having just witnessed via facebook my friend's journey with her father's final days, I am even more aware of just how hard this can be.

I guess the point of this entry is that we are all standing in the need of prayer or ministry in some way or another. I once heard a sermon that said you are always in one of three places: either about to enter a crisis, in the middle of a crisis or just getting out of a crisis. In all three circumstances you need to be fit for battle with whatever your enemy is. Even if you're not a believer in Christ, you can understand what it means to gather your resources and make sure that you have what you need to get you through... whether it's making sure you have financial resources for any crisis... or building relationships so that you have emotional support... or making sure you have good insurance, one way or another you're putting together an arsenal.

Maybe I'm lazy... it's easier for me to hope in Christ than to try to gather my own weapons of warfare. My arsenal is the group of people that God has placed in my life to minister to me through encouragement, prayer, support, financial blessings, acts of service, being my family and friends and just loving me. Knowing that I matter to people, knowing there are a couple dozen people who start their day by reading my blog is what drives me to live a better life.

My treasures in Heaven are the relationships I've built and nurtured and the people I've prayed for and ministered to and loved. Oddly, those are my treasures here on earth too.

Let me know if there is someway I can pray for you... let me know if I can make you one of my treasures or be one of yours! Happy Saturday, y'all! Sending lots of love and hugs to you!