Sunday, November 30, 2008


I looked up this word today online and one aspect of the definition stated, "not feeling part of society." Sometimes I feel like a disenfranchised person, like I don't fit in anywhere. Most women my age are already grandmothers or they have kids in college (I do have one getting ready to go to college next year). My husband has five grandchildren who were all born since we've been married, but it doesn't feel quite the same -- even though I do love those sweet children so much. I do find it difficult at times to relate to those women (who are sometimes 10-15 years younger than me) who have kids the same ages as mine. Since I have been married before, I sometimes find it difficult to relate to those who have been married to the same man for 25 years or more. I find myself comparing myself to other women who have neater houses, cleaner bathrooms, better dinner menus and boundless energy - and I do recognize that this is a danger game to play - to compare myself with others is so destructive - but I do ramble down that road at times.

I don't even feel like I fit in with my own family. I don't believe I'm doing that grand of a job--I'm not that patient and am often grumpy to anyone within three feet of me. I'm not my children's favorite person to be around (like I was when they were young) and I've heard that someday that will all change and that my kids will rally around me and think I'm wonderful (again). Maybe when I'm in a nursing home (ha ha).

Seriously, I can behave myself and be personable and reach out to someone else, no matter where they are in their station in life. It's just during some of these more introspective moments that I lose sight of what the Lord has for me - and it's then when I need to re-focus and regroup and retrain my thoughts to become more in line with His.

Sometimes I do feel like I'm better off sitting on that shelf - knowing that I was valuable to God at one time in my life and to just be glad that at least He did find some good use for me at one point.

I wonder how I will fit in - with this new season of life that the Lord has brought my way. I do believe in my heart that His timing is best. I just feel so out of place, that this outfit is so ill-fitting and uncomfortable, that I don't understand, I don't like the unknown, the mysteries that abound - but He does. And this is the best way for Him to get the glory and for me to get the blessing.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are his ways higher than our ways and his thoughts than our thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I am both brothers. . .

I'm the prodigal and the older brother...

First I believe I started out as the older brother, the good one... the one who never did anything wrong, who looked down on others who made bad choices, who got divorced, who sometimes cussed and yelled at their kids, etc. - you fill in the blank. I basically didn't commit any "big sins" and always asked forgiveness for those pesky smaller ones. I obeyed God, followed his rules; it was easy. I also resented that younger brother who left home early and seemed to get away with everything. It just wasn't fair that he got his inheritance early while I stayed behind and worked hard on the farm with such obedience.

Then almost overnight, I became the younger brother. After over 17 years of marriage I was divorced. I struggled with unrelenting guilt even after I asked God for forgiveness for this "big" sin, the one that I had condemned others for when I was the older brother. Even after many years, I still battled with the persistent guilt and a sense that the father could never forgive me. Even when I knew in my head that my father's forgiveness is full and complete, I would still find myself wandering in the desert in search of my Father's approval and love.

I also struggled with depression (part of the rite of passage that women deal with when they go through "the change of life"). I remember when I was the older brother, how I could never relate or empathize with anyone who struggled with depression. It just made no sense to me. But then as I morphed into the younger brother, I gained a different perspective and could really feel the pain of someone who lived daily with the demon of depression. Fortunately, that part has diminished over time, although it will come back to visit and linger when I least expect it.

I don't really care to be either brother. The older one is arrogant, unfeeling, self-righteous and devoid of any real heart. The younger brother is rash, impulsive and wasteful. But at least he ultimately sees his sin as it really is and he is the only one who finally understands his father's love for him. He experiences the forgiveness he never thought he'd know. I don't think the older brother ever gets it.

I guess I would like to be the middle brother (not specifically mentioned in the story) who sees the problems and issues of his younger and older brother and learns the lessons from both. The whole parable is found in the book of Luke, chapter 15, but I like the verse at the end that says,

It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for
this your brother
was dead, and is alive; he
was lost, and is found. Luke 15:32

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Amateur mom...

It was easier to raise my kid when they were younger.... (1990's through 1998) I would cart all of them around in the van as we went to neighborhood garage sales....they were so easy to handle back then... I don't remember very many issues of rebellion or disobedience. I kind of felt like I was a cool "older" mom. It was a breeze, a piece of cake. I read some of the parenting books and found that I did not have any of those "strong willed children" (at that time). I had it all together - or so it seemed. Looking back now, it feels like someone else's dream, a blur-- too surreal.

Fast forward into the years 2005-2008 - when I realize that there are three ADD people in my house, including me (and we all take medication for it!) When all three of us are raw nerves early in the morning before the medicine kicks in and then late in the evening when it has worn off. Our sin nature kicks in... mostly selfishness, wanting our own way, laziness, pride (I'm talking about all of us!) and we forget "who's we are."

Add into the mix - puberty and menopause. Something about that dreadful combination sounds (and is) very combustible. Children are definitely for the young... It IS harder now than when they were younger. It seems I didn't "need the Lord" as much back then and that I could do it on my own, thank you very much... and now I am constantly falling on my face (and figuratively on my knees) daily, sometimes several times a day, asking forgiveness of my children (and my Lord) and my husband. But this is the path that the my heavenly Father has ordained for me, and I am learning what it means to follow hard after the Lord -- because it is so hard. But He knows that I can handle it.

I Cor. 10:13 - No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

Why is it harder to be a follower of Jesus the older I get....

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

another blog to read...

I recently learned how to use the Google reader to help me manage the blogs I enjoy reading every day. Sometimes a particular blog will recommend another person's blog. I found this one called:

This woman's tribute to her daughter Audrey literally took my breath away - I was in awe and in tears of how the Lord has been intricately involved with this family and the trial they have endured this past year with the birth and subsequent death of their daughter Audrey Caroline, a precious special needs baby who only lived in this world a few minutes before she died in her mother's arms....

My heart ached from reading what this mother felt through-out her pregnancy, from the moment she and her husband learned of the severe physical issues her daughter had while developing in the womb... to the time her daughter was born and died.

Most of what I marveled at was this woman's faith in the Lord and how this incredible trial only served to strengthen and deepen her relationship with the Lord. It put so much into perspective for me. Who am I to complain about what hardships the Lord deems appropriate to bring into my life? This mother's story does not minimize or trivialize my own pain and difficulties; but it certainly helps me to keep an eternal perspective and to realize that the Lord allows trials in our lives in order to conform us into the very image of Christ....

II Cor. 4:16-18 states: So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

Thank you Lord for helping me to see things through your eyes.... and for giving me the exact portion of your grace that I need to get through each day....

Monday, November 17, 2008

Be gracious to me Oh Lord between the land of two extremes

I was reading this morning in my new ESV study bible and I chose to look at Psalms. I found this verse:

Psalms 31:9-10 Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress; my eye is wasted from grief;my soul and my body also. For my life is spent with sorrow,and my years with sighing; my strength fails because of my iniquity, and my bones waste away.

That's where I'm at about now....some of what I am experiencing is due to my own neglectfulness and choices...some of it is just life....

I know that God is being gracious to me, and I do see His providential hand in my life, in spite of my choices and decisions. I sometimes wonder where punitive action ends and grace begins.... I don't believe that I intentionally presume upon His grace; I don't believe that I take it for granted, but it does seem that I continually struggle between these two extremes-- 1) of thinking (wrongly at times) that I am being punished for my sins, even though I have confessed them over and over, but I still live with the guilt and live accordingly, in that guilt and the other 2) of thinking that God's grace will cover and overlook my sins and that He understands what I'm going through; He knows the feelings of overwhelming chaos I feel at times.... some of that is true, but the part where he "overlooks my sins" - He cannot overlook my sin for He would cease to be God.

More on this later as I ponder...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

First posting

I've been wanting to become a "blogger" for some time now...I've been reading others and have found them to be quite "addicting" and I finally learned how to use the Google Reader so I can organize my favorite blogs.

I guess I wanted to have a chance to share what's on my heart...hence my title..desparate for His grace....which is where I am in this season of life... I know that grace is no respecter of persons and that all of human-kind experience hard times, disilluionment, discouragement, hopelessness ... it's what you do with those feelings is what counts.... right now I'm in the sulking, pitiful stage as I attempt to analyze what's going on and determine how I will deal with it.

I'm going through some very confusing and difficult times right now and I don't understand how to process any of it...except through the filter of God's embracing love and grace for me...I have use His filter, otherwise, I would become too subjective, too self-centered (more than I already am), too easily led by impulsive solutions that do not solve or resolve anything...

So far...I'm not doing very well...but I remember the people in the psalms, much of the time David, shared his very soul before God, lamenting, crying out, even sometimes his anger towards God..and I noticed that God was always able to handle it.... so I guess I'm in good company.

more later as I contemplate some more....