Kris Mares

Just a woman trying to love Jesus and others a little bit more…

Loneliness, Sadness and Joy April 26, 2016

Filed under: Motherhood — Kris @ 12:06 pm
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It was a beautiful day. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping, and I was weepy. Have you ever felt that way? Some days, my mood matches the weather, but not that day. That day, my emotions seemed to betray the beauty that was outside of me. That day, I felt sad and alone and wondered if we’d made wrong decisions in our life.

That day, Gorilla and Climber started their sports seasons. As I figured out the logistics of being one person who had two kids playing at two fields far apart, I felt sad. Sad because around me at the fields I saw grandparents and aunts and dads joining in with the soccer moms as cheerleaders for their kids. For us, it’s just us. Racer is off working hard. Blue is now working full-time in the real world. That left me, Professor and Girlie to cheer on the younger boys. And in a need to divide and conquer, I stayed with Climber (the youngest). So Professor was left as the sole cheerleader for his little brother.

And in a sea of people, in a crowd of noise, I felt very alone. As a mom, I wonder if our choices as parents have been what is really best for our children. I wonder if we heard God right in calling us what seems a million miles away from family (really, it’s just a full day of riding in the car). I wonder if we’ve put our own needs and desires above what is right for our children. I wonder if we got it all wrong.

Maybe it’s not a sporting event that makes you wonder. Maybe it’s not a crowd of cheerleaders that makes you feel alone. There are things in life every day that lead people to question their choices, doubt their decisions, feel alone in a word full of 7.125 billion people. If it’s not you, it’s probably the person next to you. If it’s not your family, it’s probably the family sitting next to you on the sidelines. If it’s not your story, it may just be the story of another family in church.

People feel alone in so many ways. And what I feel really sad about is that we don’t have to be. We don’t have to feel like we’re in this journey of life by ourselves. Neighbors, friends, churches… We need to be looking around us for those people who need fellowship, who need cheerleaders, who need relationships with other people.

Later in the day, as I pondered these things, God broke in. I heard the sound of my younger boys laughing and playing together. I thought about Girlie getting to hang out for the day with her friend. I remembered that yes, there are people who love our family, who cheer us on, even if from afar. So although I still felt thesadness, it was mingled with the joy in knowing that our (big) little family has each other and that my kids will know a relationship with each other that other siblings don’t have. Joy breaks in with a reminder that even though our decisions didn’t make sense to others, our obedience made sense to God.

In our obedience to go where God was calling our family, lives the truth of a promise that Christ is with us always. I don’t have to feel alone.

And neither do you. You are not alone. God desires a deep fellowship with you through Jesus Christ and in that relationship, you will not be left alone. You are not abandoned. You are loved.

And if you aren’t the one feeling alone today, look for those who are strangers in your foreign land (meaning, they moved here from somewhere else and don’t have kin around). Do you know how we as the Church, the Body of Christ, are supposed to treat them? Church, we are supposed to welcome them in, celebrate our festivals with them, feed them and treat them like family. So look for the lonely, look for those without cheerleaders, look for those who need a friend and love them. Be in relationship with them. Cheer them on.

Perhaps, just perhaps, we’ll end up experiencing a little bit of the “on earth as it is in heaven” we often pray for.

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Clean up in aisle 7 January 21, 2010

Filed under: Ministry — Kris @ 3:21 pm
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So there is this nasty little 24 hour bug going around that has people throwing up.  Gross I know, but so many I know have had it.  We’ve had 3 kids at church get sick (at church).  I’ve been sick.  My oldest daughter, Blue, has been sick.  It’s not fun.  Mommas don’t like it when their kids are sick.  Daddy’s don’t like it when the mommas get sick!

Sometimes, we can feel the sickness coming on.  Sometimes we don’t.  Then the sickness is here.  We throw-up; maybe it’s only once, maybe it’s a lot of times.  Sometimes the damage is minimal.  Last night, the kid at church made it to the bathroom and the clean up was manageable.  Sometimes we make a huge mess.  Then, eventually, the sickness is gone and all that is left is the memory of never wanting to do that again.  Sometimes there are reminders of the sickness, like when others tease you about your children always getting sick in church – “can’t you keep your puking kids at home?”  But eventually it all fades away until the next time we get sick.

Verbal vomit is sort of the same.  And yes, we’ve all done it.  We’ve all spewed words out of our mouth that have been ugly, nasty and hurtful.  Sometimes, we feel the gross words coming and yet we just can’t stop them.  Someone tries to share a new/better idea with us or an improved way of doing something and many times that “Oh yeah, well if you….” starts to well inside of us.  We then feel threatened and in our heads start to lash back.  Maybe we didn’t get much sleep and then the kids were loud and noisy and then supper got burnt and the poor soul who mentioned it gets 30 lashes with a sharp tongue!

Sometimes, the words just come out with no warning.  We hit our thumb with the hammer and @$*#( comes bursting out.  Someone talks smack about our kids and the momma bear comes out teeth bared.  Someone touches just the wrong chord within us and we snap.

Sometimes the damage is visible to all.  We put it out there, our lips lashed out and people are hurt.  The clean-up is difficult.  We first must recognize the mess we’ve made and then make an effort to sincerely apologize.  But sometimes the smell will remain.  Afterall, we can’t put toothpaste back in a tube after it’s been squeezed out; the words have been said and we can’t take them back.

Sometimes, however, the damage is minimal and not seen.  It doesn’t mean the damage isn’t there, just that it’s been contained.  Maybe we sought out a safe and trusted friend to listen to our “verbal vomit.”  Maybe we journaled.  Maybe we talked to God and gave it all to Him.  The damage was just contained to ourselves as we already thought the thought.

“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.”  Matthew 5:21-22

So how do we stop the spread of the “verbal vomit” disease?  Just like we can stop the spread of other sickness.

#1 – Wash our hands after being sick.  We can’t expect to stop gossip, slander, or hurtful talk if we don’t clean up ourselves first.  Go to God for forgiveness – every time we get dirty.

#2 – Wash our hands before we prepare food and eat.  Before we teach others or learn, have difficult discussions with others or listen when others need to “talk to us”,  go to God in prayer.  Ask for forgiveness and blessing on the conversation.

#3 – Clean up the places we’ve made a mess.  Yep, that means going to the places we’ve “verbally vomited” and cleaning up.  We need to apologize and ask how we can rectify the damage we’ve done.  Embarrasement may remain, along with the stink of what we have said, but eventually it will fade.

#4 – Stay away from people who are sick.  If we hang out a lot with people who are sick, we’re bound to get sick.  If there are people who continually gossip, slander or speak hurtfully of others, we will probably end up doing the same.  We can love people, but not be so close that they become contagious.

#5 – Eat right and exercise.  Isn’t that the answer to many health problems.  As Christians, if we consume reading material, video and music that is “healthy” and good for our souls, our spiritual lives and attitudes will show that.  If we “exercise” our faith muscle and serve Jesus and others in love, we will find that the condition of our heart is much healthier.

So there you have it – my not so great analysis of “verbal vomit” to the really gross stuff so many parents have cleaned up lately.  And know that I too am guilty.  I don’t pretend to stand on a pedestal, clean from all the “sickness” below.  I’m down there too – making a mess and trying to clean it up.

 

 
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