Unfailing Strength

Unfailing Strength

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at a proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galations 6:9

Worn Out

Life can be exhausting. It has a way of zapping our strength.

Physically, mentally, and emotionally.

When we are dealing with beyond normal stressors like family drama, financial worries, or career woes, we often wake up feeling more exhausted than before we went to bed.

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Living in Color

Living in Color

“‘Don’t call me Naomi,’ she told them. ‘Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The Lord has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.’” Ruth‬ ‭1:20-21‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Empty: having nothing inside; without meaning or purpose, hollow.

When Naomi cried out these words to her daughter-in-law, Ruth, she believed them. She had lost her husband and both of her sons. She had no one to provide for her or look out for her. She felt she no longer had meaning or purpose.

As moms and family of loved ones who are lost in their addictions, we are also tempted to cry out these words.

Mothers cry because they have lost their children and everything they had dreamed their lives would look like. They live each moment wondering if they will receive that knock at the door. For some, their children have been lost due to death. In either case, grief is a stark reality. Emptiness is so very real.

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Living Satisfied

Living Satisfied

“Let them give thanks to the Lord for his faithful love and his wondrous works for all humanity. For he has satisfied the thirsty and filled the hungry with good things.” Psalms‬ ‭107:8-9‬ ‭CSB‬‬

The Satisfied Life

Are you living a satisfied life?

A satisfied life is a life settled and at peace.

When we love someone struggling with addiction or any other stronghold, someone who is lost and hurting, we just want them better.

“Be whole, loved one, and I will be satisfied.”

After all, they are responsible for our happiness, right? But people and places and things cannot satisfy us.

Our restless minds long for the peace only a satisfied soul can offer. I was not satisfied. I wanted things to change. Not just to change, but to be better. Instead, my life was filled with longing. My list of “if onlys” had become a mile long.

If only my son was healed. If only he was safe and well.  If only he was working and productive. If only he would love and serve the Lord. If only he was free from mental illness. If only there was calm from the storm.

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When Hope Hurts

When Hope Hurts

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick...” Proverbs 13:12a NIV

I often make the snarky comment, “If I knew how selfish I was, I never would have had children”.

Now, in my defense, I think I’ve come to realize that there are times when motherhood really hurts. Nothing, and I mean nothing, could have prepared me for the highs and lows of being a mother.

In reality, a mother's love was meant to hurt. A love this deep bears the weight of all our hopes and dreams. It carries with it the risk of a broken heart.

I have come to find in all my years of mothering that hope comes in two distinct packages.

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Letting Go of Our Addicted Children

Letting Go of Our Addicted Children

"Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them. Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living.” Luke‬ ‭15:11-13 NIV‬

I have never been comfortable with the idea of letting go of my children for any reason; addiction is no exception. Even though they are adults and making grown-up decisions for their lives, the advice to let them go and allow them to hit their rock bottom shakes me to the core.

Ask any mother the hardest decision they've had to make regarding their struggling child. They will most often say it was the "letting go". The same holds true for wives, sisters, and grandmothers. It's in our nature to cling, to hold on tightly.

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Awaiting His Return

Awaiting His Return

And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!”  Revelation‬ ‭21:1-5 NLT‬‬

Homecoming

It’s easy to want to give up. To throw in the towel. We have all said at one point or another, “I just want to go home and be with the Lord. This world is too hard, to painful.”

Let’s face it. Many of you reading this, like me, are the loved one someone struggling with addiction.  Addiction...it scrapes our ears like glass tearing at our skin. It’s hard to find hope when all we see and hear is the enemy telling us that he or she will never be free. Even if it is not addiction, watching our loved one struggle because of poor choices is heartbreaking.

Now add to it the other trials life throws at us, illness, divorce, job loss or pressures, financial crisis, loss of loved ones, and it makes sense that we long to go home.

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The Image of Christ In Us

The Image of Christ In Us

Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.” ‭‭James‬ ‭1:23-24‬ ‭NIV‬‬

It’s easy to forget who we are.

We get up every morning and get ready for our day, but who is that woman looking back at us? Who is that man?

Through all the chaos and pain addiction brought into our family, I lost myself somewhere along the way. I became confused and lost my confidence. I lost my identity.

I used to “feel” close to Jesus. I knew his voice and direction. Addiction in our family changed that. It tested my faith like nothing else before ever had.

I felt alone in the silence of God, waiting to hear him speak. The chaos in my mind twisted every word so that his voice was drowned out by a dull roar.

It reminds me of attending a party in an over-crowded house, much too small for all the guests. With music blaring, each person shouts over the next in an attempt to be heard, to no avail. All they can do is read each other’s lips and leave with a headache.

So, it was with reading the word of God. I would see the words on the page, but they were blurry and illegible. Like steam on a bathroom mirror after a hot shower, I couldn’t see my own image. I couldn't see God's image.

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Sweet Embrace

Sweet Embrace

“So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” Luke‬ ‭15:20 NIV

There is nothing like the sweetness of an embrace. It is especially sweet when the years and miles have separated you from that special someone for far too long.

The story of the prodigal son has been close to my heart over the last twelve years as both of my sons chose to go their own way and rebel and, as a result, struggled with addiction.

The young man in this story was given every opportunity to have a good life but thought his way was better, so off he ran to enjoy a life of partying and squandering everything his father had worked hard to give him.

Sounds familiar, huh?

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What To Do When You Don't Know What To Do - Part 3 of 3

What To Do When You Don't Know What To Do - Part 3 of 3

“Tomorrow march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the gorge in the Desert of Jeruel. You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.’” ‭‭2 Chronicles‬ ‭20:16-17‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Wow. How could this chapter get any better?!!

2 Chronicles is so rich in God's promises to his people, assuring them that He will go before them and fight the battles for them (and for us). Through observation, we have already seen how vital it is when the enemy threatens us that we take his threat seriously.  We are told to pray and fast and call in the troops (our prayer warriors). We are to use our mighty weapons of worship and prayer, and always remember the Lord and his faithfulness when he delivered us in the past. We are reminded of his promises to continue to save and deliver his children, and we speak those promises from His word back to him.

Now, we take all that faith he has given us and we take action!

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What To Do When You Don't Know What To Do - Part 1 of 3

What To Do When You Don't Know What To Do - Part  1 of 3

"Our God, will you not judge them. For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” 2 Chronicles‬ ‭20:12‬ ‭NIV‬‬

This thing called Addiction had me duped for a long time. I have to admit even after growing up in an alcoholic home, I was caught off guard on more than one occasion by my sons' addictions and their resulting behaviors.

Having previously gone through it with one son, I still found myself standing with egg on my face as his brother's behavior became even more unpredictable. Nothing could prepare me for the lies, the manipulation, and the desperation that became a necessary part of his survival as he struggled to satisfy the insatiable appetite brought on by his cravings.

2 Chronicles chapter 20 became an anchor for me during those years of struggling to understand how to fight for my sons, while I tried to learn to surrender the false sense of control I had in their lives.

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