Saturday, August 17, 2013

Crying at the sight of a Uhaul full of dreams

It has been almost three months since the Uhaul pulled out of my driveway.  I managed to keep my smile until I could no longer see the car and trailer.  I had forced a smile and promised myself "no tears" on this exciting day--my youngest heading out on a great adventure.  But sobs racked my body as I stumbled up the stairs and fell into the recliner where I call on my Father every morning.

"How will my heart handle TWO of my sons being 5 states away?" I cried out.  Only the cats were here to hear me, but I mumbled out my questions anyway. "I don't want an empty nest!"  The quiet house just confirmed my despair.

But then, despite my sobbing, a still, small voice...."What did you ask me for when they were young and rowdy?" That they would be friends, my spirit answered.  "And what is the image now being played out in your head?"  Two brothers packed up to live together as young adult bachelors!  You did answer me!  "And what other requests did you make for them?"  My sobs were being quieted now.  That they would be independent young adults who knew and trusted you.  "Have I answered your prayers?"  Yes Lord. And in my rational brain I was excited for him to have a great adventure far from home, just like my parents had allowed for me as a young adult.  I knew in my head it was what I wanted for him.  But, oh my heart was aching.

And then He ended my pity party abrubtly. "Don't you have Kingdom work to do?  Get up and get busy."  And it has been a busy three months!  Sometimes the house is still MUCH too quiet.  And I look forward to their long phone calls full of the latest exploits.  But my task now is to be a prayer warrior for them each day.  And it is a good task.  My role has changed, but it is vital.  I remember one of the losses I felt so deeply at my mother's death was knowing that my greatest intercessor was now gone.

That little Uhaul trailer carried their dreams into the southwest and was the symbol of my final child successfully launched.  But I have a new role to adjust to now and it is precious as well. Grandmother......

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


it is always a part of my prayers "I am yours to use today in any way you choose, Lord.".  Some days I think He has appointments for me in my tasks as a church staff person, or on others perhaps as a friend or family member.  And then there are days like today when I am at home......alone.....and sick.  I will likely see only my husband and have few, if any phone conversations since I have bronchitis.

But I am still His to do with as He directs. To school me.  To test me.  To reveal to me something new. To review something I thought I already knew. Most biblical characters we see for only a short burst of their lives. During the other countless days God was schooling them--building character, refining lessons, teaching through difficulties and even life's pains. Elizabeth suffered quietly waiting on God through years of barrenness. Yet her recorded words in Luke 1:43 are "But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?". No wonder Mary stayed with this wise cousin as she awaited the changing of her own life!

So today is not wasted.  On this ordinary day, my response needs to be that of Mary in Luke 1:38, " I am the Lord's servant. "

Monday, April 16, 2012

No memories

I have absolutely no memories of April 12 or April 13, 2011. The evening before I had been rushed to two different hospital Emergency Departments in two different ambulances. These trips were not on my calendar and I did not even request them. On both of those days I had surgeries on my brain without being on the schedule.  I was assigned an awesome surgeon without doing research online about him. I was given a bed in Neuro ICU at North Carolina's Baptist Hospital and treated like an honored guest.  The nurses who cared for me were kind and gentle, even when I complained.  My family and friends came from great distance just to see me although I wasn't able to entertain them.

People at my church covered my jobs without complaining and the children prayed earnestly for me to improve and be able to return to church. All of this while I was unconscious. People also sat with my husband and sons during hours of waiting to see if I would even recognize them when I woke up. These dear ones used their God-given gifts to comfort, pray, and encourage. Some were shocked when they finally saw me since my surgeon had shaved my head (poorly by the way) and had slit my throat without even asking!  My face was swollen, one eye sagging. I looked rough! That alone slayed my vanity!

But God used all of this and 21 days in ICU WITHOUT GETTING OUT OF BED to prove to me something I studied in 1997 in Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby.  God is always at work around me.  He cared for my needs and sent His children to be His Hands and Feet.  I have never felt more loved.
And as Jesus reminded us in John 9:3  "...this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his (her) life." 

I still see and meet people who say with astonishment "You are a walking miracle. We prayed for you every day. God is so good." My life was not the only one touched.  God was at work all around. And we all marvel at God's plan to allow me to resume my life after a three month "rest." (another lesson: how to rest) I saw love in action through visits, cards, meals, prayers, phone calls, and tender smiles. Never doubt that God knows your needs and can meet them through the simple acts of His children. I have no memories. But never fear. He never sleeps (Psalm 121)

Friday, June 10, 2011

A Sharpened Perspective from a traumatized Brain

two months ago today many things in my life changed.  I am grateful to God that my life was built on a rock, a fortress that NEVER changes--Jesus Christ.
tim and I are so grateful for the support and love of our church family and friends over the last two months.  You stood in the gap to pray while I was unconscious  and prayed for strength for Tim and our sons.  Through God's mercy even with a bleeding anuerysm and two more discovered, I never had a stroke. Thus my recovery at home over the past five weeks has been from brain trauma and difficulties from 3weeks of being immobile in Intensive Care at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.  50,000 people die in the US every year from  traumatic brain injury so I have a new thankfulness for awakening to each new day.  

One of our verses from our church's summer session scriptures this week spoke anew to me. Matthew 6:34. "Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of it's own."
We need your prayers for wisdom as we consult with the neurological team at Baptist next week to assess my progress.  I appreciate so many simple things that we easily take for granted:  a hot shower, walking, driving, eating.   There may be things I will never be able to do again-- but the things that really matter, I have not lost. my previous post wondered about this year. God is still on the throne!

 A grateful  gaylin

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Renewed focus

I have had about as much success making resolutions as I have blogging on a regular basis. So it came to me this year that it may be more advantagous for me to think of the new year in terms of my overall focus. So here we are on the first day of a new year, taking measure of where we stand and I want a renewed focus this year on things that are unseen.

A quote from Al Bryant on those who walk by faith "they think visible things to be of small value, because they pass away like a dream; but on the contrary they account invisible things to be of high value because they will never pass away."

Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title-deed) of the things we hope for, being the proof of things we do not see and the conviction of their reality--faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses." The Amplified Bible

I keep reading Hebrews 11 to be inspired. Instead I must determine to copy their faith by starting with the truths God has revealed and making them my standard-- not looking at my experience as the standard. I do not know what this year holds. And I will likely have experiences this year which I will be tempted to misread. I must stay focused on what I
cannot see--God's unconditional love for me, His promises, His providence, His grace. That is where I must stand to view my life and my experiences in 2011. God, enhance my spiritual vision this new year!

So I have great anticipation of a new year armed with Hebrews 11 and Colossians 3:1-3
"...keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God."

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Learning to RELISH

I have been practicing the art of RELEASE all this year-- especially with my sons. First Ryan left for the military, and now Kevin is in Africa for the summer.  The dictionary makes it sound like a simple thing: release--to set at liberty.  It sounds like what I want to do, but my mother's heart resists.  It reminds me of the day of Nate's wedding when I said to another  parent  "it's hard to give up my oldest son."  "But you don't have to give him up!" was his response.   I knew that this parent didn't understand that to set someone free is to step out of the driver's seat in his life.  It is to relinquish the role of molder of his character and FINALLY admit by my actions that he is God's child and no longer "my" child.  It was always true; yet I clung to the role of #1 director in the drama of his life.  Release for me has been a gradual thing; I must often pry my fingers off the object of my love. I am now learning to be a friend to my sons; one who accepts, celebrates, loves and gives advice only when asked.  That's quite a change when you have been in a parent role for 27 years!!!

Now that my children are grown I cannot demand to be the first place they will turn for care when they hurt or advice when they struggle.  As they marry, I abdicate that role so they can create a new bond with their spouse.  It must be prominent if their marriage is to be healthy. If my sons are to be strong and confident men I must decline to make choices for them. I am no longer to interpret for them what the bible teaches, or what God wants from them.  They must learn to hear His voice for themselves.  I must move out of the way and release them to discover His wonderful plans for their lives.  God's creativity and love cause to pale any plans I may have dreamed for my children or myself!

So, my new word is RELISH--to regard with great pleasure or approval.  I am so blessed to have lived long enough to see all my sons develop a personal relationship with Christ whom I also love and serve. I can enjoy and celebrate their lives as believers and find a new freedom in serving Him myself as we all release to Him our expectations of what our lives "should be" and follow His lead into the future He has envisioned for us!
"I know what I'm doing.  I have it all planned out--plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for." Jeremiah 29:11  The Message

Friday, February 5, 2010

A military Family

We are now a military family.  When I hear the word "troops" now I understand that means someone's son or husband or father.  I listen carefully to the news because the world situation now affects my son's life.  For the next 6 years he will have to ask permission to come home, or travel far from his assigned base. He will move wherever in the world he is assigned.   He has willingly committed himself to serve his country; to provide for my safety and yours.  I miss him, but I am proud.

I have a new understanding of mothers across the centuries whose sons have left to serve their country or a cause.  It is a mix of sadness and pride.

Every day this week my son Ryan reported for duty in his uniform to an Air Force Commander.  He isn't always sure from day to day what will be required of him.  He only knows he will do whatever he is asked to do"as a good soldier".

II Timothy 2:3
"Endure hardship with us like a good solider of Christ Jesus."

This verse reminds me of my service too.  I willingly follow Christ, not knowing from day to day what will be required of me.  I have staked everything on my King, my Commander Jesus Christ.  Hardship? Sadness?  I accept it all for the joy of  knowing HIM!