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Archive for the ‘Parenting Teens’ Category

“Celebrate,” he belted out, swinging his right arm in an arc, palm face forward
in a Wal-Mart aisle, walking beside his dad.

“Rejoice,” left arm, swinging in an arc, palm face forward.

Both arms held in a V – just waiting. . . waiting for the right count . . .
“Exalt the name of the Lord,” and his arms shimmied upward, reaching high, words to the rest of the song following.

Little boy singing uninhibited of His Lord, a song from his church musical – overflowing
in Wal-Mart.

My husband smiled, telling me about it – part proud, part sheepish about this boisterous, out-loud
singing of a little boys heart
celebrating the Father
throughout Wal-Mart
His dad didn’t tell him to stop, though – he let it just flow out –

an odd little smile on his face in the telling – an odd smile that I remember today, making me think it was a moment to be stored for days where faith needed remembering

little boy letting out his song
his faith song
planted something deep
with roots reaching
that wouldn’t be so hard to pull out
when the hard times came
the teen times

““For there is hope for a tree,
When it is cut down, that it will sprout again,
And its shoots will not fail.
8 “Though its roots grow old in the ground
And its stump dies in the dry soil,
9 At the scent of water it will flourish
And put forth sprigs like a plant.” (Job 14: 7-9)

hydrangeas2c
and something that once bloomed, was cut to the stump, like my hydrangea
when we transplanted last year
and it looked so lost, nothing but dry sticks through April, May, June, July –
“Just wait,” my husband said. “It will grow back.”
and so I waited, making myself hope, making myself believe
that we did it right
then one August evening, we saw a little green, pea-sized
on a dead-looking branch
Hundreds of days later, this Saturday morning, it stood under my kitchen window, stems and leaves growing tall, strong – not blooming yet but emerging with new life
hydrangea
My prayer to Jehovah-Raah – the Lord my Shepherd, is and has been that none will be lost – and he told me in His word, and all around me –
His creation showing me His promise –
whispering it in the stories of their roots, their leaves, their blooms
My transplanted hydrangea, the butterfly bush, the knock-out rose, the yellow flowering shrub without a name – they told me the story to encourage my belief. . . my hope. . .to trust
butterflybush

the story of the root of Jesse that was cut down by the world that sought to destroy it
and yet it survived – it was as though the trees, flowers and bushes were putting on a remembrance play in my yard, daily for hundreds of days.

I think really, it was a play going on long before I heard it, read it, watched it – since before I was born, even before Eve took the bite of the apple – the play, the chorus was in creation.
butterflybush2

“A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit” (Isaiah 11:1)

God does not forget the roots planted deep in little boy hearts

His word tells of the salvation story of the root of Jesse who died on a tree so that we may live

that He came to die to save us
to save us from missing it
walking away from it
losing it
getting lost from it
but the root remembers
and wants to be found
by
Jehovah-Raah – the Lord my Shepherd,
who pursues
every
lost lamb
who pursues to bring
every root back into the light
shoot through the darkness
into the light
to leaf
to bloom
to become as He designed

butterflybushc

Looking at those sticks last year – it was a chorus in my yard – a message of hope
to rejoice in the pea-size
to do the dance of joy over that pea-size dot of green
and wait
because growing to bloom takes God time
and today – its leaves are bursting green

If you have a teen/young adult who is struggling with good choices – remember the seeds you’ve planted, the roots that have grown deep – God remembers – remind Him, stand in faith on them – just because you don’t see the evidence of them does not mean they are not there.

Jehovah-Raah – the Lord my Shepherd, though, is already pursuing, searching, working to restore – you might not see it – but He does.

“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1)

Little boy and little girl voices bursting in faith songs in Wal-Mart aisles are not forgotten by Him, the God who is my Shepherd.

Unconditional Love # 19

Unconditional Rule #10

Unconditional Love #26

Top 10 Unconditional Love Rules

The Runaway’s Hope in a God-Made Ladder

Still Counting Gifts with Ann at a Holy Experience:

    1. sharing Sfogliatelle over Friday lunch with my husband
    2. 6 a.m. Tues/Thurs workouts outside at my house with a friend
    3. compliments on the work-ethic of my sons
    4. 2 boys deciding to apply for phlebotomy training and the other radiologic technologist because they do not want to take the traditional route through college
    5. my second son and his girlfriend standing beside me in church
    6. and coming to the house to grill afterwards and sit talking over the table
    7. rain fall, rain drops on an at-home day where I can just be blessed – rain is like God saying to me, “Slow down. Relax. Just let it wash your spirit clean.”
    8. each random smile from each random son – at the top of the stairs, across the dinner table, laying across the porch settee, arms wrapped around the puppy – in the rear view mirror – each makes my heart smile right back!
    9. evidence of Jehovah-Raah pursuing each of my sons – evidence of the holy shepherd leading them home

 

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sadiemoose
Sadie and Her Moose

It’s a big week here – one boy with a collar bone broken from wrestling with friends, one graduating from high school – and lots of sweetness inbetween like. . . .

high school soccer games in the evenings (District Game tomorrow night)
sitting with moms I’ve sat with for years
in fold-out canvas chairs

sunlight spilling on my porch,
purple, lavender and orange sherbet johnny-jump-ups
raising their face petals in greeting

hydrangea, butterfly bushes, blue buttons
spiders-knots, zinnia, poppy and daisy shoots
stretching upward, green-ward
promising
something beautiful

“Look at the robin’s egg blue sky,” I told my son with the broken collar-bone,
on the way home from the doctor. I’m avoiding bumps and pot-holes, but what mom can avoid all of them, on the road, in our talks, in the living.” “Isn’t it beautiful?”

“You know – the sky’s not really blue,” He says, and we look at each other.

“What about the fluffy clouds,” I counter, floating across the sky.

“Clouds are just water,” he says, a smile hovering, not quite wanting to show itself.

As the car climbs up the hill, past the water tower, I smile right back at him – one eye on the road, one on him, “But God didn’t make ugly water towers to hold rain – He made clouds to hold water – How awesome is that!”

Two red birds stood together in my yard, near the butterfly bush. A cardinal splashed in my bird bath, flinging water droplets onto my zinnias shoots.

A tiramisu trifle is half-eaten in the fridge, just waiting for one of the boys to stop by and finish it off. A few left over pieces of grilled zucchini with rotel diced tomatoes, mozzarella and parmesan cheese, and garlic are sealed in the fridge for tomorrow’s lunch.

Better Boys and German pinks sit on the porch waiting to be planted, along with dill, jalapenos and cucumbers.

A volunteer carrot and chard are waiting for dinner Friday night – volunteers from last years garden.

Sadie, she’s learning to sit and stay, to ring the bell on the door to go outside, to find snuggly places for cat naps.

Coffee in the pot at 5 p.m. – and my boys milling about – coming in the back door, going out. My sweet Mother-in-Law here for the week.

The sweetness between brokenness and soaring

A little healing, a releasing to soar, family gathering together to celebrate

It’s a Blessings-and-Faith kind of week – filled with things that need to be savored.

cloud3

Still counting gifts – 1001- 1034

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In March, we transplanted one butterfly bush that turned into two, one beautiful blue hydrangea, a knock-out rose bush – not to mention a trunk full of thinned out gifts from my aunt: yellow, white, purple, yellow with purple irises, yellow evening primroses, some little red/pink ground cover, bergamot and a rain tree from my cousin.

Every evening, I water and walk, checking on my 15 baby burning bush root-balls. For the longest time, 3 didn’t look like they were going to make it. Two of those 3 finally have green spouts. I’m not giving up hope for that last one, though.

Around the first of May, the knock out rose bush finally sprouted a few green leaves – and, oh, my how those green leaves are multiplying and growing.

The butterfly bushes and hydrangea, though, didn’t seem to be responding to my vigilance, my hope and my determination – the planting, the watering.

Until, one morning before work, as I was snapping off dead branches of one butterfly bush, I saw an itty, bitty spot of green. One spot of green made all the difference to my heart.

Hope blooming! Dancing in my backyard at 7 a.m.? Well, only the cardinals, neighborhood birds and I know the truth there!

How that hope fired up my day.

The other two bushes? The other butterfly bush in the shade. My husband says to wait. It needs more time.

The hydrangea that brought me such joy with its blue but had outgrown the little spot it lived – the garden specialist at my very favorite garden store told me if it didn’t do anything by the June 1, then it was probably lost.

Tonight, though, we found bits of hydrangea green in places unexpected, not quite where we’d planted. The root system had reached elsewhere by about 12 inches. Not where we expected. Not where we’d planned. But it is growing, growing to the sun.

All around me are messages to not give up hope.

Watching a demolition crew tear up a sidewalk outside my window at work, digging holes and dumping dirt on the bushes outside my window that had been pruned back, those bushes that gave me so much joy with the living things that came by. Then one morning, the destruction crew pulled my bushes out, huge rootballs and all, shaking the dirt from their root system – leaving nothing.

A squirrel happened by later, looking bewildered, probably chattering mad about what they’d done to his nuts in all their hiding places.

But someone dared to ask, dared to ask about those bushes.

“They have a plan,” came the answer. Probably for the bush with the huge root system and for the emptiness left behind – the plan wills probably start with bits of green.

All around, are these messages – to not give up. There’s a plan, both original and contingency plans.

I saw it this week in the lives of my teens – little bits of growth. I knew the root systems were there. It’s just the waiting, the waiting for the bits of growth to reveal itself.

A Facebook message from a son thanking God for something nice that happened to him.  That’s one of those green specks on the root of his soul.

Another son realizing a wrong and taking the initiative to make it right – that’s a green speck on a soul root!

Watching someone you love build a dream – a branch snapped off – but those little specks of green keep showing up. That’s hope. That’s a message from God to not give up!

And, so I danced in joy at hope revealed in words, actions and bits of green.

As I danced with joy over the green, I considered a soul, a soul many thought empty, no growth and no one cared to hope.

I considered a soul people walked by, excluded because there was no godliness to detect, nothing beautiful to ooohhh and aaahhhh about, nothing redeemable seen.

How like my butterfly bush was this soul – and so many other souls.

Given up on by so many people.

“Later when Jesus was eating supper at Matthew’s house with his close followers, a lot of disreputable characters came and joined them. When the Pharisees saw him keeping this kind of company, they had a fit, and lit into Jesus’ followers. “What kind of example is this from your Teacher, acting cozy with crooks and riffraff?”

Jesus, overhearing, shot back, “Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? Go figure out what this Scripture means: ‘I’m after mercy, not religion.’ I’m here to invite outsiders, not coddle insiders” (Matthew 9: 10-13)

We are called to pour Holy Spirit water on the seemingly dead souls like butterfly bushes transplanted and struggling for survival.

We are called to continually walk beside the seemingly dead souls like butterfly bushes, ministering hope and faith for God’s plan for life.

We are called to unconditionally love on those who do not live like we live, make choices like we make, who cannot grasp for some reason a Hope and Faith God because one  day some green specks of life might just sprout.

A Hope and Faith people should believe green things will grow from a seemingly worthless soul, like a butterfly bush thought dead.

“Who do you think Paul is, anyway? Or Apollos, for that matter? Servants, both of us—servants who waited on you as you gradually learned to entrust your lives to our mutual Master. We each carried out our servant assignment. I planted the seed, Apollos watered the plants, but God made you grow. It’s not the one who plants or the one who waters who is at the center of this process but God, who makes things grow. Planting and watering are menial servant jobs at minimum wages. What makes them worth doing is the God we are serving. You happen to be God’s field in which we are working” (1 Cor 3:6, The Message)

The above post includes 429-435 Vintaged Blessings.

436) Weeding my new garden with my husband. Sitting on my garden stool, pulling too hard, I tipped backwards, falling
437) and we laughed,
438) laughed through him grabbing my hands to heft me up out of the garden dirt
439) showing my sons sweet friend how to make my garlic bread from biscuit dough, butter, garlic and salt
440) laughing as my littlest one came outside with a biscuit in his mouth, talking about how his brother’s sweet friend made tastier biscuits than I did
441) yellow flowers on green tomato plants
442) high school soccer on May evenings
443) hanging out with my oldest on and his friend before a soccer game
444) family roots in a community that saw your children grow up, graduate and come back to see a sibling on the same soccer field they played on. Good roots are a blessing
445) sitting outside with my husband in the evenings, listening to him make dove bird calls – and listening to them answer.
446) the joy in a school year ending
447) hot and spice chinese soup for a son with a cold, along with eggs rolls and hot mustard sauce
448) knowing that even when I feel lost in the current of life, unsure of where I am going, knowing that God has the plan. I like that!
449) orange mango, papaya and carrot juice smoothies
450) green celery and green grapes in chicken salad
451) green broccoli salad with crunchy bacon and brown raisins seasons just right
452) GaPow to go on Friday night along with 2 pizzas and bread sticks
453) ome on a Friday night
454) God with me, every day, every minute, every breath and in every prayer this past week, during the laughter, the challenges and my soldier son’s stitches

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