My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Sunday, April 3, 2011

are my roots showing?

I promise... I don't color my hair. What you see is what God has given me and I will continue that until such time as I look in the mirror and wonder who that woman is. I feel certain that there will come a time when I want to cover up the gray so I can continue to look YEARS younger... butI think you reach a point, however, that the game is over and you have to let the gray have it's way. One of my biggest pet peeves is hair color that could never occur in nature... a 90 year old woman with jet black hair ain't foolin' nobody.

But... I'm not really talking about hair color. Not JUST hair color, anyways... you know how when you get your hair colored, after a time the natural hair color starts peeking out, right at the root? What's real has a way of coming out.

And you know how... no matter how good you clean up on Sunday for church... no matter how Holy you manage to be in the sanctuary... as soon as the world hits you upside the head, your true nature starts showing?

Or... if you have a tube of something, if you step on the tube, whatever is inside will come oozing out?

What's inside of you?

The Lord has seen fit to connect me with women who are similarly situated. Women who have, for one reason or another, not had their "happily ever after" play out in the way they had hoped. If you put together a room full of women, married or single or divorced or whatever.... eventually you're going to start hearing a "somebody done somebody wrong" song. Because the longer we live on this earth, the more likely we are to have been disappointed by somebody. It doesn't take long for those roots of disappointment to start showing.

Some of us live through the heartbreak of a marriage breaking up... and sometimes there is heartbreak inside a seemingly happy marriage. Behind every man who has everything he wants in life is a woman who is not feeling like the treasured partner she should be. Sometimes the loneliest place to be is in an uneven partnership... where the world thinks your needs are OBVIOUSLY being met... and they're not.

Yesterday I needed to go food shopping. I cleaned out the refrigerator in anticipation of filling it with fresh, healthy options for Austin and I. He was going to spend the night with his "married" friend and promised he would be home by two to go grocery shopping with me.

Now... here's the thing... I've been living with this back pain, in various degrees, for over two months... closing in on three... for me to work, I can't take medication that will help lessen the pain until the evening... I just suffer throughout the day. I look forward to the weekend when I can stay in the nest and rest and take meds and hopefully, have less pain than I have the rest of the work week. A 2pm grocery run meant that I was going to have to suffer (said with my New York Jewish mother accent) until mid afternoon.

And... because of the pain... I can't really do a big grocery run on my own. I mean, yes, physically I have the strength to do it but it is excruciatingly painful to reach to take things off higher shelves and to bend to put things under the cart and to tote the bags into the house (even though it's only a few steps). So I've been doing small grocery trips and trips where I just get the essentials... and it's costly and time consuming and frustrating to not have our usual inventory.

And... yesterday... because the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior... I knew that Austin's 2pm was likely to come around dinner time... so I went ahead and made another small grocery trip, trip to the bakery, etc. Things that I could do with less pain than a full grocery run. It still was excruciating.

And... as expected... Austin came dragging in around 3:30 and wanted me to go on a full grocery run then. I told him that I had already gone. He went to the fridge and taunted, "Did Ingles have a special on AIR? Because there's nothing in here". He started on a rant about there not being anything in the house that HE likes to eat... which wasn't true... I made sure to buy things that I know he regularly requests... I just didn't have his usual smorgasbord of choices... because I couldn't carry them.

It was absolutely surreal to me... here was this disobedient young man who had failed to do what he was supposed to do... and instead of being apologetic or contrite... he was angry at ME.

It escalated with him, as it always does. Austin's perception is his reality. He can be so far removed from truth that nothing you say makes a difference. He doesn't empathize with the amount of pain that I'm in. Doesn't care about anything other than getting what he wants when he wants it. Like a two year old.

He stormed off with a barrage of ugly text messages and phone calls about how neglected and mistreated he is.

Autism awareness, folks, I'm living it.

So... back to my roots... I've been thinking a lot this week about who I am and where I come from, having gone to the Pennington Reunion and reconnected with cousins and cousins kids and the family elders and such. I've also been able to connect (not reconnect as we've never really been in contact) with a second cousin, Rachel, my great-aunt Bette's granddaughter, the daughter of my dad's cousin Leslie who was tragically killed the week before my wedding to Michael. I've been writing to my Steel Magnolias routinely, my grandma and her sister Bette, and Aunt Bette was sharing those letters with Rachel... so Rachel looked me up and we're now facebook friends! By the way... if you look at my family section on facebook it's HUH-larious how long it is!

Roots. Here I am... this single mom and truly feeling that the Lord intends for me to be single, despite the frequent problems that it causes for me financially, physically not being able to do things, feeling so overwhelmed and alone with Austin. Yet... I've got great roots, not just in my hair... with an earthly family that is so large and diverse... with a church family - my heavenly family , - that is so supportive and encouraging... and with all these sister-friends who daily... DAILY are concerned and involved in my life, even from a distance.

My true nature... my roots... are full of faith. My family - earthly and heavenly - believes beyond circumstances. And these trials and tribulations, frustrations and disappointments require me to go back to my roots and make sure that the very foundation of who I am is properly rooted in faith.

And if I'm looking at these circumstances through the eyes of faith, I can see how God is using my life as an example to others... and I can see how imperative it is that I not loose sight of those roots.

Here are some random notes that I took from the bible study I listened to online this morning, which felt to me like it was written just for me, just for this season of life. As I was making notes a few of you popped to mind and I hope this will be a blessing to you.

from Beth Moore... A Story Fit for a Song...
  • God is not just about making us comfortable but also about giving us a great story worth telling.
  • The only thing you know you can count on is that you are going to have things that you cannot count on.
  • How many great stories have betrayal in them?
  • If you are not with God's people, you are not with God.
  • We have got to nail down the real enemy... Ephesians 6... so that we can put a nail in THAT head.
  • You cannot win if you refuse to fight. If we sit back and let the enemy have his way, he is going to take inch after inch of ground until he has taken everything that is precious to us in our lives... our marriages, our families...
  • There comes a time that no matter how much everyone else has prayed for us... we have to take up the battle ourselves... nobody else can fight for us all the way to our victory.
  • God has to be the main character in our story.
  • It is God's way to protect us from our own ego... Proverbs 25:27 "It is not smart to stuff yourself with sweets... NOR is glory piled upon glory good for you"
  • It is the human condition that if we get good enough at something, we will start taking the credit and we will cease looking to God for it.
  • We become more addicted to the formula than we are in adoration to the father.
  • One of the most important things God can offer you is your pure need...
  • He knows how much success we can handle and He knows what's best for us is a good defeat.
  • There have to be times that we come face to face with our own self-centeredness and THEN the victory comes.
  • We are never going to win a battle we refuse to fight.
  • Our true successes will always be in tandem with other people.
  • Do we get so absorbed in our own worlds that we miss the victory?