Monday, December 18, 2017

Our Children


In the midst of all of this hell, the kids, as always, make me laugh.

Yesterday the girls all went shopping. So David was left with Baby Rose, and John was in charge of Romeo Paul, age 3. I had laid down with Rose. So John, Dan, and David went for a walk with Romeo. I call them the 3 stooges in charge of Romeo. Well, they all walked to this old cemetery in our small town. John, when he was 16, had jumped off a cliff there on his skate board … so they were just walking around there with Romeo.

At home, I am trying to get Baby Rose to sleep. BUT David forgot to bring Rose’s doll Emily and her blanket. And trust me, Rose ain’t gonna settle without her baby and blanket. So I called David on his cell and Jim was going to take him home to get the doll and blanket. Tiff had David’s car. David says, “Well, Mom, we were all stung by bees here at the cemetery. We are trying to get settled here and then we will be back home.” David is so calm about it.

I said, “Is this a Johnny story for being late?” John, now 30, used to have more excuses as a child here at home as to why he was late getting home. He lost his watch … his watch mysteriously stopped? His friend had a watch but it was broke and told John the wrong time? Someone lied to him about what time it was?

Anyway, Jim gets in the car and goes after the boys and, yes indeed, they had been stung by a horde of bees. Well, I got out the baking soda and made a paste with water and daubed it on John, Dan and Romeo. David didn’t get stung at all, that he knew of. But Dan got stung a lot on his head. So he took his shoe off and beat his head with it to get the bees off. Dan had such a headache.

I mean to most people, this stuff ain’t funny? To all of us, we are rolling in hilarity. It wasn’t funny that Romeo, age 3, got stung on the ear and his ear was so red and swollen. Also on his hands. Gram doctored him up. But we have all congratulated Romeo because he was a man and didn’t cry. Romeo said that when they went into the cemetery there was a sign that said “Keep Out.” But no one would listen to him because he is just a kid. The smartest one among them was Romeo. Well, Romeo will never forget that and will tell that story many times in his lifetime. Who could ever take the place in his life of Uncle Dan and Uncle David and Daddy? And Grandpa who came and picked them up and brought them home? But oh, what a lesson here to Romeo to take life as it comes. To laugh at yourself and be a man and not cry.

Romeo is young. What will life hand him?

Today is Dan’s wedding … a joyous day. And tomorrow, the hardest day of my life, will be to bury Chloe Faye. And yet, I will have my children about me to ease the pain. The Lord doesn’t give us more than we can bear.


Another very funny thing happened, too. John stayed overnight at Dan’s house Thursday night. Well, Suzie was asleep on the couch but Dan thought she was beside him and it was John? Don’t ask me why. Well, John is a heavy sleeper. And Dan, thinking he was Suzie, cuddled up to him. Then when John started to wake up, Dan caught his hand and told him he loved him and kissed his hand, thinking John was Suzie. Well, John was then awake and flew out of the bed and asked Dan why he kissed his hand.

Well Suzie is sooo funny, too. Suzie couldn’t wait to tell this story. So when they came to our house Friday, she ran ahead into the house and acted real mad. She says, “I don’t know if I want to marry Dan or not — I think he is more in love with Johnny.” Well, we have laughed and laughed over this.

Dan’s only comment is, “I am disappointed in myself.” We will all tease Dan about this for years to come.

I tell Dan, “Quit kissing up to Johnny.”

Yes I am disappointed that Dan and Suzie have lived together before they were married. But all in all, I must receive their love and comfort and go on. They are my kids. Sometimes rotten to the core, but they are Papa’s seed … my own children. “They are yours, Lord. I am not taking them back.” And God will make it alright, huh? He walks with us through the valley of the Shadows of Death and we fear no evil for He is with us.

Today is Dan’s wedding day. A day of joy and happiness.


Yesterday morning, John started talking to me at the dining room table as we were sitting there drinking coffee. As soon as he started to talk, Dan came up behind him with his guitar and started to play it as hard as he could. I said, “Dan, I cant hear John with you playing the guitar like that.”

Dan stops a minute to say, “Well, I know what he is gonna say and I don’t want him to say it.” Johnny wanted to talk about the Lord and Dan said he didn’t want us to be serious. We were all so sad and Dan wanted things to stay upbeat.

But I said, “Danny, I want to hear what Johnny says.” Johnny is coming back to the Lord and I knew he had an opinion about the news and the hurricane. Finally, Dan put the guitar down and got in the conversation.

Johnny said, “Mom, you are the strongest woman of faith I have ever known. I don’t have to try to find someone spiritual to talk to — I have you. And Dad is more of the world and the flesh. He is the strongest man I have ever known.” And Papa sat there playing with one of the babies and half listening. John said, “Mom, us kids are made up of you and Dad. Dad is my self and my realness in this world. You have been, at times, my conscience. Mom, you always knew when I was doing wrong. You didn’t know, but something inside you told you. And you would catch me red handed so many times and you didn’t even know it. You are so innocent. And Dad usually knows whats going on in a different way.” Of course, the whole time he is saying this I am doing a bunch of stuff. Lots of interruptions and coming back to the table to talk. I, of course, long to be able to sit with John with things quiet so that we can really talk.

Dan said, “Mom, you are like an angel of wisdom?”

Oh, how our children encouraged Jim and me. They gave us courage to live and to breathe and to go on. How could we make it without the prayers of the body of Christ … and, oh, our dear children. Our dear Suzie and Christine and Tiff … the daughters-in-law. Oh, such precious girls. MaryL says, “Connie, they were attracted to your boys — they have to be special.” They are special!!!! And, oh, at this age, as they are young adults, it’s the hardest time for a mother and grandmother. A mother’s wisdom is shaken, again and again, as if the house will fall down completely.

John said, “Mom, you are the temple of God.”

I said, “Yes, we all are as we house Jesus Christ.”

John said, “Mom, Jimmy thinks you are for the preachers on TV. But most of we kids understand that you have a personal relationship to Christ … it’s not all about money and the church building … it’s all about who you are and what makes you tick.”

I said, “Yes, it’s all about your reality. Who guides you? What’s in you?” John started to say that we can believe in other gods. I said, “John, that is a step to Christ. We find out as we chase other gods that they fail again and again. But often, ya gotta find out what don’t work in your spiritual journey. Finding Christ is a whole lot more than running down a church isle and saying, ‘I receive Christ as my personal Savior.’ Sure, that is part of it? Only Jesus can save us … not our works of righteousness. Only His blood and death at Calvary can save us. But Christ is not a theory. And the word of God is not to be read as a set of rules. The word is the voice of God. It’s a spiritual book. And we find the true and living Christ as we seek the Lord. No one is gonna get it all right in one day. I mean maybe some folks do. But life is a process? We die daily with Christ. We learn to take up the cross and follow Him.”

I thought that, since I had told the kids about the Lord and told them to pray the prayer of faith in Christ, now they would be perfect. I did all the right things as a mother with my children. But oh mercy, dear Mothers. Life is a process. Just as I had to seek the Lord to find Him, my children must seek Him to find Him. Our children are a part of us. But God’s first.


And ya know when we feel we have been good mothers and our kids do something wrong? Oh, we feel that we did something so wrong. Especially we homeschool mothers who are dedicated to the Lord. But ya know what? The word says that we are to bring our children up in the Lord and when they are old they will not depart from the Lord. That scripture doesn’t say that our children will be perfect at 18 years old.

You know, when we are done homeschooling them? I would have home schooled my kids through college. I would have, if they would have let me. I never wanted for them to leave this house. And I think their hearts grieve over the sins they get into. They know that they have broken Mama’s heart. But these children are not mine. They are only on a loan from God. They must find the living Christ as I have. We can’t make someone know something they don’t know. We Mothers must wait upon the Lord and trust in Him. We have prayed for them and been diligent to guide them. But it is only Jesus Christ who can touch them in their souls and spirits.

It is a supernatural thing to know Jesus. We Moms are not supernatural … we are just flesh and blood and beggars, ourselves, for His presence. My children see my strength and think its Mom’s strength. No, it is Christ’s strength. I have learned to know Him through the school of hard knocks. And my children will have to learn to know Him, too. And mistakes will be made along the way. But we, as older moms, should be strong enough to take it. We should be mature in Christ. Able to take the disappointments and heartache. The kids are young … they will learn to walk with Jesus, as we learned.

I think almost every day of Billy Graham’s son Franklin. Oh, what a bad boy he was. And yet, he learned the compassion and the love of Christ as he watched his Mother’s and Dad’s patience with him.

When we Mothers pour prayer and forgiveness into our children when they are being awful, it is a building block for their spiritual lives. We get their attention as in no other way. They hear our hearts speaking. We etch our words upon their hearts through turning our own hearts around to forgive and to trust in them again and again. We help them carry their loads of guilt and shame. We told them all the right things. And then they fail as they didn’t mind us. And then we help them pick up their load that they made because they didn’t listen to us. We suffer with them. We willingly humbly suffer. Not because we sinned … but they did. And we take our place at Calvary’s cross as mothers.

Jesus never sinned but died for our sins. Only He can do it. Now, as Mothers, we sin in many ways. So when our kids do wrong, then we should understand. If Jesus, who never sinned, can forgive all of us? Then we Moms should forgive our children. Who are we but forgiven sinners? Except for His grace, we would go to hell. He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We are only flesh and blood. Can we not learn to forgive and help another beggar pick up his burden of sin and carry it? Maybe that beggar is or own son or daughter? Or our husbands.

Jesus forgives us for His own Name’s sake. We must forgive our children for our own sake.

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