I Have Feelings, Momma

“I Have Feelings, Momma…”

I honestly forget who I am sometimes. I think I’m a writer. But writing’s ✍🏽 something I can do. I think of myself as “Mom,” especially because my people call me that – “Mom,” “Momma,” “Mommy,” like it’s my name; but that’s a role I play.

My true identity as a child of God is tied up His purpose in sending Jesus Christ to sacrifice Himself as the Holy Lamb of God, thereby healing me of the consequences of sin 👉🏾death. My identity, an unmerited gift of God’s grace and evidence of His inexplicable love, means a lot of things.

Inside my identity as a saved person – one adopted or, baptized into grace through faith, lives this truth: My source is always, always, always God. LORD Jesus is my lifeline, the Friend I should phone…like when my son comes home and tells me that the kids in his classroom group are calling him “a freak” or that, “no one in my [entire] class spoke to me [for 2 days straight.]”

I had to explain to my son, whose heart was breaking afresh: “We will make it through. Because we’re going over to the other side with Jesus” (SEE, Mark 4:35-5:1.) 

I encouraged my son, saying: “All the mean things that people are doing and have done are not because of them, but because we have a spiritual enemy whose entire purpose in launching arrows by day and laying out snares by night is to convince you that you don’t belong, don’t have a place, and have no reason to hope for your future.” Take note: The Bible actually says, “terrors by night,” which matches my son better, unfortunately. However, I was right when I told him: “We have an enemy who’s trying to steal from, kill, and destroy us.”

I also told my son, “God is taking you I to open places. He’ll give you the ground wherever you step. Remember we’re planting ‘God seeds’ by speaking God’s word, so that ‘God things’ will come up?” I reminded him.

He said with tears in his big, beautiful eyes, “I said it, Momma. That’s what I kept saying.”

My first instinct had been to take pictures of my son’s state – his tears and expression, so I could have a foundation to stand on when I  spoke to someone about the going’s on…

But then I remembered who I am.

22“The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. 23“But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

(Chapter 6 of The Gospel of Matthew, NASB.) The light is understanding (knowledge of the Holy One.) Darkness is anything you don’t know from the Bible about God or anything else – in other words, ignorance; and when we are attacked by principalities in heavenly places, it is only in the sphere of what we don’t know about Jesus and God’s word (and so, therefore, have no discernment or response – in the fashion of Jesus confronting the devil in Matthew 4:4.) (SEE also, Ephesians 3:10, 6:12.)

God is my foundation (SEE, Matthew 7:24-27; I Corinthians 3:11.) And I started asking God the Holy Spirit to show my son the truth of who he is and where God is in his circumstances. I started praying friends and divine connections out of the heavenly dimension. I asked for wisdom for his dad and me.

I told him to understand that the desire of lies is to take hold of your mind and faith. Corruption and death live in every place where there is no light of understanding – knowledge of Jesus Christ and His true will and identity toward you, His power and love for you.

I said, “Lies come to you as young as possible, so that you can be in bondage and anxiety and depression and self-doubt for as long as possible.” 

I told him that I’d been hobbled early and only now (in my early 40’s) really beginning to see how much I’ve been trapped in deception and insecurity and fear. I asked him if he knew who he was listening to when he didn’t tell us the truth about what’s going on at school…or, when he believes the bad, sad thoughts that come. He knew they were lies.

“Listen to God,” I told him. “Keep planting God things with your words. Don’t agree with the lies or the feelings. God will start showing you his good plan sooner, if you listen to Him.”

Because, Friends, LORD Jesus has no plans to harm us, only plans to prosper us and give us hope and a future. And no wisdom, no insight and no plan can succeed against the LORD (Proverbs 21:30.)

I told my son: “I’m hoping against hope, like Abraham when he believed what God said about him and Sarah having a baby into their hundreds and 90’s.” (SEE, Genesis 17:17.) His eyes got big.

“Do you know what hoping against hope means?” I asked, and he shook his head.

“Hoping against hope means you look and can’t see how it could change, but you trust God will do it anyway.” 

Another way of saying that is: Walk by faith, not by sight. And, Call things that be not as though they were.

“I tell them, but they don’t understand that I have feelings,” my son said, tearfully, on another occasion. I don’t ask, Why is there no empathy for a child’s feelings? No. My question is: Will you pray? For hard hearts to be softened, so that no child has to wonder why there is no one around to celebrate a victory (catching his first fish 🎣in my son’s case – a bass) or, to care when they cry 🙏🏾 

Growing Pains: Mom Needs to Grow Up

Isn’t it nice when someone pays special attention to you? On your birthday…or, Mother’s Day…or, just any day? My soul position is alienation regarding certain people – people whom I would normally celebrate or expect to celebrate with me on the calendar days… That happens. But I’m married with kids who still like to do that stuff, so I should get to enjoy brunch or, a movie or, whatever I like with my kids while I can. It’s nice to get that attention.

But what if the someone paying special attention to you is your only son? Your middle child..?

I had the thought: Am I making my kids codependent? Maybe worrying is part of love, but I don’t want my son to be worried about me. For that matter, I don’t want any of my children to feel as if they need to cater to me. Maybe I’m saying: I don’t want my children to be codependent with me. They don’t need to feel like they have to make me happy in order to be happy.

And as their parent, I guess it’s really a big part of my job to make sure that I’m not teaching them to engage “Momma” that way.

I need to jump in here – to this blog post of mine – and say, I’m not even sure I’m defining codependency accurately – that is, for psychological or, psychiatric purposes. A friend of mine shared this idea with me. “Idea” is as precise as I can be about what I understand as the term and definition of codependency… She learned through therapy about this idea – this notion, codependency.

I’d heard of codependency before and had always been curious about what it actually looks like. And when I heard: Codependency looks like one person trying to please an incessantly unhappy/unsatisfied/needy person; I started to see it everywhere. I saw it in my children’s relationship stories. I saw it in friendships. I never expected to see it relating to me.

But then I started looking up in the middle of conversations – especially when I was berating my husband… You shouldn’t berate people, especially your husband, unless you want to see things like I saw: My son or, possibly, our other children…looking back and forth between us. He or they would be considering us. And at some point he or they would decide: It’s time to jump in here and please my mom – before she decimates Dad.

Imagine my horror.

All because of my intention to be transparent as well as my childish need to express my feelings right now, I’m putting pressure on my own kids to perform for me. In order to calm me down… I write about this elsewhere, and I’m beginning to learn: I have to use the self-control and restraint that I have inside of me, because Jesus lives there. I abide in Christ, and because of what God the Holy Spirit is teaching me – through the therapy close relations are receiving and, moments of self-awareness that God’s wisdom gives me – I can grow as a parent.

I have to be honest: I just responded with the middle finger to my husband over a comment he made about my food giving him a stomachache. So… It’s quite obvious. I have some growing up to do!

Tough Day, Friend? Let God Handle It

I saw a post on Facebook that summed up my inadequacy…and here I am. Writing to you.

It was an admonition to ENJOY today.

But… Early on, the onslaught began: One of the kids opened my door without knocking first. They don’t understand privacy yet. Then, after I asked one of the kids to ask one of the other kids to 1) start breakfast and, 2) pick up whatever was strewn over the foyer area…F I V E times…he proceeded to TELL his DADDY to start breakfast. Then he went back to his morning television entertainment. They still don’t understand that honoring and obeying their parents means they don’t tell US what to do (Ephesians 6:2-3.) And we’re inconsistent about television, iPad, and video games in the morning.

Before I came down, I got some encouragement from Christian television about resting in God – allowing supernatural peace to exist in the midst of doing life through faith, which was repeated in a Christian podcast. That felt like confirmation. Then came the yelling from the den.

That felt like chaos. Tightening in my chest and, 23 weeks into my pregnancy, tightness in my belly…

I reminded myself to keep my voice level as I demanded the presence of the kiddos. Keep this mental picture in mind: Daddy was circling. My oldest was pursuing hair things and a little chair, so I could do her hair with 8 minutes until the arrival of her bus.

I also reminded myself as I confronted a deeply emotional and tearful pair (my two youngest until this fourth child comes along): If you allow yourself to get too distracted with lots of things, that is a breeding ground for worry. When you see all these things coming at you, it’s really just one thing – the devil. And there’s always only One Solution – resting in Jesus Christ.

So, after I put the young duo in time-out on opposite sides of the kitchen table and creamed some product into my oldest daughter’s hair (keeping my eye one the dwindling minutes), I prayed aloud: “Let me see you in this situation, Lord Jesus. Let me see you in my role as mom to these kids right now.” And I looked into my middle child’s overflowing eyes and felt myself beginning to sink, like Peter on the water. But when my son gave me the dirty look he was wearing toward whatever wrong he’d interpreted, I prayed again: “In the name of Jesus Christ…” It wasn’t even a complete sentence.

It was just me looking away from the strong wind of emotions swirling around our kitchen – back toward Jesus Christ. Me. Laboring. To enter into His rest (Hebrews 4:11.)

I’ve realized that my tendency to dredge up things from the past and stack them against “my opponent” when I’m upset isn’t “a girl thing.” It’s a type of person thing, and my son displays this same tendency. I told him that I understood that he was having some emotions and that I cared about his big feelings, because I care about him. I also told him that his feelings weren’t my fault – that I hadn’t been rude to him (this morning). It wasn’t mommy and daddy who’d been destroying what he was building in his game. So dirty looks and rash (unthinking, angry) words weren’t fair to us or, acceptable. At that, a fight broke out between our two current youngest – from the breakfast bar to the kitchen table stool. Ugh!

I had to walk my oldest to the door. She presented a cool and pretty dramatic foil (contrast) to the heated accusations flying in sweet, angry voices. The bus was about to pull past our house, but the driver waved her hand when she saw us, smiling. I had to take that cool breath back to the table for peace discussions.

So many things can show themselves as completely out of our hands before the morning can even BEGIN to draw to a close: This morning my prescription wouldn’t go through. I couldn’t get hold of Hubby. I needed to get someone to help us opt-out of some refill insurance issue. And if it wasn’t resolved, like NOW, it would put my pregnancy at risk.

As I’ve said before, the devil loves us to either throw a tantrum when we’re stuck, or throw up our hands and give up; the option we have in Christ is to enter into His rest, going forward and allowing Jesus Christ to bridge the gap between what we know to/can do in our own strength, and whatever our needs are.

Bottom Line: He’s a good, good Father, who gave this momma words for her kids, brokering peace. Aaand, He got my prescription refill issue fixed. We CAN rest, y’all. It’s hard work to put our emotions and control freakery to the side – to look away from the strong winds of life, but we can. While you may not technically enjoy it, you can get a lot out of ANY day.