For My November Pearl

“I will give thanks and praise to You, for [my daughter] is fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works and my soul knows it very well.”

Psalm 139:14 AMP

“So God created [my daughter] in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created [her]…”

Genesis 1:27 AMP

“For we are His workmanship [His own master work, a work of art], created in Christ Jesus [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used] for good works, which God prepared [for us] beforehand [taking paths which he set], so that we would walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us].”

Ephesians 2:10 AMP

When I look into your youthful amber colored eyes, I see uncertainty in who you are and who you were born to be.  I see hope and fear battling for your future as you strive to feel accepted while processing the wounds you’ve already experienced in such a short life span.

When you look into my aging gray colored eyes I want you to see everything I know you are capable of being.  I want you to see the best-selling author, Grammy winning song writer and stage performing guitar player I see whenever I read one your stories, hear you sing and listen as you teach yourself how to play the guitar.   My eyes will forever see you as Bruno Mars describes when he sings, “When I see your face, there’s not a thing that I would change. ‘Cuz you’re amazing, just the way you are.”

When you look into Jesus’ eyes, I pray you see everything He made you to be and most importantly, I pray you see yourself the way He has always seen you-precious, treasured and immeasurably loved.  I pray you know how to look into the eyes of Jesus and seek to see yourself and your life the way He designed it no matter what disappointments may be waiting for you.  Life is full of disappointments.  But life is fuller of blessed joys that make your heart beam with an unexplainable joy.

I remember the night I went into labor for you.  It was one week before your due date and I could not get comfortable.  I was completely over being pregnant to say the least.  I put my hand on my incredibly oversized protruding belly and said, “Baby girl, you need to come out because momma is tired of being pregnant.”  You listen because at 12:30am my water broken.  During labor you and I had another mother/daughter talk.  After 12 hours of labor with what felt like non-stop contractions and pushing for nearly an hour and a half, with shear exhaustion I said, “Baby girl, you need to be born because momma is tired of pushing.”  And you listened-it wasn’t long after the hospital room was filled with screeches of a newborn baby girl and sobs from both your momma and meme simply in awe that you were finally here-all 9 pounds 2 ounces of baby girl perfection.

When you were little I would trace your face at bedtime.  Before I would begin, I would say, “Let me get out my magic crayon and draw a picture of perfection.”  I “drew” your eyes, your button nose, your perfect pink lips.  I would tap my fingers across both cheeks to cover every freckle that God had sprinkled on your face.  I would even draw your chin, eyebrows and hair.  In the end, I would brush my fingers across your whole face and say, “Voila, a picture of perfection.”  Do you know that’s really the way I see you-imperfectly perfect, a precious gem that is completely irreplaceable?  A treasure that is to be loved, cared for, protected and admired for the beauty that she holds within.

My heart breaks every time I watch you look at yourself in the mirror and profess that you are “ugly.”  Baby girl-God does not make ugly.  You are His creation, therefore, it’s impossible for you to be anything less than stunning.  If you would look at the sunrises and sunsets God gifts us every day, if you would take time to gaze upon the majesty of the stars spread across a multitude of galaxies and know the same God who designs these natural spectacles is the same God who designed you, I know you could believe you’re more spectacular and breath taking than any awestruck beauty of nature.  After all, God designed all of us in His image and God is definitely not ugly.

Before you were born I never knew if I would ever carry a child within me or if God would ever make me a mother.   When I was your age, I told God to not make me a mother.  I believe my exact words were, “If you’re a smart God, you won’t make me a mother.” In my defense, this was spoken out of frustration because your uncle, at that time my bratty little 2-year-old brother was exasperating me.  And at the age of 25, findings from a surgery I endured left me with only a 50% chance to even conceive.

Can I just say I am so incredibly thankful that God answered that request with a big “heck no” and blessed me with you and your brother?  You two are the best part of me and since you are my first born all of your “firsts” hold a meaning that cannot be compared to anything else because it’s the first time I have a child experience that stage of life.  Just like since your brother is the youngest, all of his “lasts” hold a different special meaning because it’s the last time I will have a child experience that.  This will make more sense to you when someday God calls you to be a mom and gifts you with your favorite person on this planet, your baby girl or boy.

When I carried you in the womb, I would read my favorite children’s stories, Charlotte’s Web and Corduroy, aloud to you every night before falling asleep.  Sometimes Cinderella too.  I know this reading impacted you even before you took your first breath because you have such a love for writing and reading books and you even wore a Cinderella dress to your most recent formal dance.  That reading time continued when you were a toddler reading Stuart Little to you to get you to fall asleep at bed time. The book had minimal pictures so momma told you to close your eyes and see the pictures in your mind.  I know this helped grow your creativity but can I tell you a secret?  It also helped you fall asleep before I was through one chapter of the book.  Which meant your tired momma could the fall asleep too.

Now that you’re older and striving to be your own person,  you call me the “safety police”.  Do you know how crazy protective I was when you were little?  Girl-I freaked out the first weird virus you had thinking it was like the bubonic plague and was really just something you most likely picked up from touching a grocery cart, similar to having a common cold.  I know you get annoyed with the boundaries I set for you, the lectures I give about drugs/alcohol usage, stranger danger, social media usage, etc.  I know you think it’s because I don’t trust you but that’s not true.  None of us were born with an innate sense of making safe choices.  Wisdom is something that is taught and learned.  My helicopter parenting is only a means to guide you into making your own wise choices with each year you grow but also a way to protect you from all the evils this world holds.  You know I’m a glass half full kind of momma which means I’ve taught you there’s more good in the world than evil but sadly we just cannot look at every person who crosses our path through rose colored lenses.

The day you were born forever changed me because I no longer could make any decision that would impact just me-everything I did and continue to do I have to think about how it will affect you and your brother.  I know I fail often kiddo-but I do strive to put you guys first and always have your best interests at heart.  If I could wish anything for your life, it would be that you would seek Christ above all the things you chase after in this world because although the things you pursue you think are saving you, Jesus is the only one who can truly save any of us.  I would wish that you would understand how loved and valuable you truly are so when rejection rears its ugly head it won’t crush you because you’ll be standing on an indestructible foundation of secure love.  Lastly I would wish for you to chase after every dream you aspire never letting fear or self-doubt keep you from at least going for it.  After all, you simply will never know what will happen if you do not try.

I thank God for you and your brother every day.  I thank God for giving me the greatest job in this lifetime which was to carry you, give birth to you, raise you and to forever be your mum. Every day since the day I found out I was going to be your mother, you and your brother have always given me a thousand and one reasons to smile.  Until Jesus calls me home that will never change.

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Once Upon a Time Anger Blackened My Heart…

“Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:21‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Ever been so angry you could spit nails? Or better yet has anger fueled inside of you that felt like fiery volcanic activity? What circumstances or situations trigger this type of anger within you?
Anger is a normal feeling or emotion.  Even Jesus displayed anger during His short ministry.  When He saw that people turned the house of God into a shopping mall He “knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves.” (Matthew 21:12 NLT)  In verse 13 He displayed more of His anger by accusing the traders of turning the temple into a “den of thieves.” Clearly the people in His time were doing something wrong and Jesus took action to right that wrong.  Clearly too, His anger was quite justifiable.

But what happens we we see or we experience wrongs being done and we feel helpless to be able to right it but acting out in anger, no matter how justifiable we think that anger is, would only make matters worse.  What do we do then?

There are many ways I have handled my anger over circumstances I cannot control.  Some ways were more positive or godly than others.  Some were downright dishonoring to God.  I’ve struggled with unforgiveness and allowed roots of bitterness to nearly suffocate my heart.  I’ve definitely allowed the enemy to bring a total eclipse over God’s light within me covering me in darkness and blackening my heart.

The concept of a blackened heart reminds me of the show Once Upon a Time. I’m a huge fan of this series.  If you’re not familiar with the storyline basically this show entwines fairy tale characters from the Enchanted Forest into other characters portrayed in a “real life” small town setting.  The first season of this show started out with Snow White’s step-mother, the evil queen, casting a curse on the entire forest and banishing everyone to this new realm with no memory of their fairytale lives.  In fact, they were all given new identities with only the evil queen knowing who they really were and continuing to be the “puppet master.”  No matter what storyline unfolds, each episode teaches a lesson about goodness and love always conquering evil and hate but never without a battle or a heartbreaking sacrifice.

In one particular episode, Snow White learns the truth of how her mother died and she’s immediately filled with such heart break that she starts to feel hatred toward her mother’s killer.  This angry state weakens her faith in good overcoming evil and she commits an evil act.  That evil act blackens her heart. For several episodes she battles with depression and despair but the love of her husband, family and friends lift her out of that pit and restores her faith in light being victorious over darkness.

When I am angriest, I pour out screaming prayers to God spewing disappointment and even questioning His love for me.  I think unforgiving and hateful thoughts and many times I hold a grudge for far too long.  Tonight was a night of tears and angry praying.  There are circumstances occurring in my life that I don’t know how to change and I’ve reached a point where, just like Snow White,  I’m lacking faith. It seems evil doers are getting away with spiteful acts and that’s not ok in my book.   I know God is in control and that’s frustrating me even more because I don’t see Him intervening.  Tonight I felt Him reminding me that David praised God and would continuously remind himself of all God had done for him but I refused. I was so angry and disappointed that I refused to praise God.  In my anger I sinned because I responded to hate by blinding myself from all of God’s goodness. And God is good-all of the time.  No matter the circumstances God is good.

In researching my Bible app to find the verse about the den of thieves, God led me to some verses on anger.  Here are a couple that stood out to me immediately and broke up the hard black stone that formed around my heart:

  • “Fools vent their anger, but the wise quietly hold it back.”

          ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭29:11‬ ‭NLT‬‬

  • “Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.”

          ‭‭James‬ ‭1:20‬ ‭NLT‬‬

  • “Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper— it only leads to harm.”

          ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭37:8‬ ‭NLT‬‬

  • “Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs.”

          ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭19:11‬ ‭NLT‬‬

These stood out to me because they didn’t speak to the requests I made or to my lack of faith-they spoke directly to my heart.  Isn’t that  just like God to allow us to throw tantrums yet also provide correction at the same time.  It’s as if I was pointing my finger at these circumstances and asking God where He’s at in all of this and God was pointing His finger at me saying “Get your anger in check girl!”  To be honest, these verses humbled me faster than any verse I’ve ever read about peace and forgiveness.  These verses also motivated me to give thanks to God for His correction and to write this post because during my angry monologue in fits of sobbing, I confessed that I was too angry and too disappointed to even write for Him.  Good thing God is omnipotent and knew I would end up writing this post less than an hour after saying that.

Whatever you’re dealing with-pour out your anger to God, confess every feeling you’re experiencing to Him and if you happen to sin in your angry-allow God’s correction to humble your heart.  No matter what keep, believing in His goodness, His deliverance, His provision and His perfect timing! He promisss in Isaiah 41:10 “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”
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