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This Child

This is a re-blog from November 5, 2012.

Here is this one child, whose smile is rare and strained

This one child whose life is stolen by another’s drug abuse

This one child in a wasteland of broken promises

This one child, this child, the child so in need

This child whose hope is nearly gone…

This child needs a voice…this child needs a home.

 

There is this child, whose body is battered and worn

This one child whose life is a bloody canvas of hatred

This child who has felt blows and curses for existing

This one child, this child, the child so in need

This child whose hope is fading fast…

This child needs a voice…the child needs a home.

 

See there is this child, whose stomach twists in hunger

See there is this child who has never known fullness

See there is this child who has eaten the unimaginable

See there is one child, this child, this child so in need

See there is this child whose hope threatens flight…

See there is this child needing a voice…this child needs a home.

 

Hear the heart of this child, whose parents walked away

Hear the tears of this child whose life turned upside down

Hear the heart of this child who does not comprehend

Hear the silence of this child, this child, this child so in need

This child whose hope struggles on…

Hear the heart of this child be their voice…this child needs a home.

 

Here is this child, whose mother’s promises to “get right”

This child, this one child whose world centers on those promises

This child who loves their mother in spite of the pain

This child who is fostered in a financially struggling system

This child whose hope fights to live…

This child needs a voice…this child needs a home.

 

There is this child, whose newborn cries wake strangers

There is this child whose care is provided by underpaid foster parents

There is this child who melts the hearts of many

There is this child whose future depends on a 21-year-olds decisions

There is this child who knows not hope yet….

There is this child who needs a voice…this child needs a home.

 

See there is still this child, this one child “aging out of the system”

See there is still this child whose birthdays are a countdown

See there is still this child who too early understands

See there is still this child who is hard to place at eight

See there is still this child whose hope grows older with them

See there is still this child who needs a voice…this child needs a home.

 

Peer into the life of this child, this one who is part of three

Peer into the life of this child who wants only to be with brother and sister

Peer into the life of this child who tightly holds the others hands

Peer into the life of this child a hard to place sibling part

Peer into the life of this child whose faint hope is times three

Peer into the life of this child needing a voice…this child needing a home.

 

I am the voice of this one child, whose mother choose a man

I am the voice of this one child who was unwanted in a new marriage

I am the voice of this one child who cries bitterly for what she lost

I am the voice of this one child who calls me Mama

I am the voice of this child whose hope is being restored

I am the voice of this one child…who no longer needs a home.

 

Of these others, these other children who ache for families

Of these others, children with special needs and much understanding

Of these others, these other children who are blessings meant to thrive

Of these others, these other children who need voices

Of these other children who will be their voice

Of these others who will speak for them…who will be their home?

 

If not those who will be the voices of children who are often unheard

If those who will band together and say “I will be this child’s voice!”

If those who will open their hearts and open their homes

If those who will for just one of these children, then does for all

If those who will restore hope to one, thereby restoring hope for all

Then all the voices will heard…then all will be home.

-dfav 11/5/12

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Stormy Weather

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It is storming here in the part of Alabama that I live.  Rain is coming down in sheets, lightening strikes all around and thunder booms.  Perfect day for indoor projects.  Only my plans were to drive an hour into the” city” to have lunch with my old boss.

I made the drive hundreds of times when I was able to work, in worse weather than this, because I was obligated.  It wasn’t a choice not to go if I wanted to prove my handicap didn’t stop me from working.  Today I have the option to say, “Let’s do this another day”!

I am choosing to not get soaked getting in and out of my car.  I am choosing not to have my wheelchair get soaked.  I am choosing not to have my niece who would help me get soaked.  I am also choosing to continue my hermit like conditions a little longer. 

Strange in that these are not the same choices I would have made a year ago.  When who I was and my value as a person was so wrapped up in what I did for a living.   So much so that being forced into disability retirement sent me reeling into major depression.

Life is this way.  We don’t get to choose the weather, the circumstances, and the conditions life gives us.  We do get to choose how we respond.  I took losing my job hard.  I forgot there were choices I could still make.  One of those was to cling more tightly to Jesus.  He had mercy upon me though and He held me when I forgot to hold onto Him.  Gradually I learned,  all over again, a wiser way to make choices.

Today I am choosing to cling and choose more wisely the actions I take.  It’s still storming outside, and inside my heart as well, but my eyes are on the Light that is the same arms that are holding me in the storm.

How are you riding out your life storms?

-Faye

Just Why

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Artwork original to artist, DAVe, all rights reserved.

Do you ever fight the question,
Find you want to but don’t say
Public or private situation
Extraordinary events or every day
The question tips upon your tongue
Your teeth clamped prevent release
As if thinking leaves you so stung
Your heart can know no peace?
Do you hold to faith with trembling hands
To think it, ask it seem a doubt?
Or does asking seem a demand
An admission what you’re scared about?

I do.
I am.
I struggle
I bite.

Denying the desire helps who how?
Do I think Jesus does not know?
The question burns, it leaps, it bows
The aching only grows and grows?
Why do we think to ask this
Is disrespectful, wrong, a sin?
Does silence buy a pass, dismiss
To the truth stuffed deep within?
O Jesus if I am stumbling as if blind
It is true for in faith perhaps I am!
To deny reality is so, so unkind
Denying a blow felt like a slam.

So I ask.
I dare.
I want
To understand.

Why?

Not why me Lord not him, them or her?
Or why Father get me out of this!
Nor do You want me so disturbed
You strike me into nothingness?
But do I suffer for only pains sake?
Why, what glory will You receive
If every good Satan from me takes?
Do I require this to believe?
Why does the pain go so deep?
Why does it never seem to end?
Why does agony haunt even my sleep?
Why do these wounds never mend?

I ask.
In reverence.
Why?
Just why?

-Faye

R-E-G-A-R-D-L-E-S-S

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Regardless will we cling to Our Lord
Even when the price is high?
Gone the freedoms we’ve always known
Arrested and convicted will we stand in one accord?
Realities of the life we’ve known
Destroyed comforts and illusions
Left to the filth we’ve ignored so long
Encased in the lies we’ve never outgrown.
Silenced or we face our death or be
Stopped by the fear of losing family.

Regardless of the cost to us
Regardless will we stand for what America left?

Will we serve Him no matter cost
Regardless of the pain?
Will we rise our hands to say ‘Here send me’
When the front lines say ‘All seems lost’?
Heed this voice of warning now
Share the message far and wide
Regardless now we must pay the price
To serve God not man, wealth or brow.
Jesus bore the bloody path for us
Paul knew the whips, stones and chains
Bonhoeffer died to stand for Christ
Will I be true to God, will I honor His trust?

Regardless.

Regardless!

-Faye

Funny?

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It was shiny steel gray with tall wheels on which rested the extended club cab and full truck bed. Beneath the driver’s side mirror a “killed ” tally was placed. If you look one of the  symbols is of a person in a wheelchair, the symbol used for handicap accessibility.

My first thought was, “Not funny”! 

Then, “Which ‘good ‘ole boy thinks this is amusing”?

Soon we found out.  Up to the truck tottered two ELDERLY women (the last group symbolized on the tallies).  The driver needed the help of the other to get inside. I realized, as the truck pulled away, the head of the driver barely visible, that the tally marks might be real! The truck certainly gave the impression of being more powerful than either of the women should be driving!

Suddenly I am struck by the image of squirrels, bunnies, deer and other animals scurrying for cover as Hot Trucking Granny barrels down the twisty back country roads in our county. That seems funny, a little.

I imagine, then, myself seeing the front of that steel gray machine streaming towards me as I try frantically to get the motorized shopping cart I borrow when available at WalMart to shop, to go faster. It wasn’t quite as humorous anymore.

The image of bicyclists and the elderly being mangled by the oversize tires isn’t funny either. I try to find the humor. I just miss the mark.

Despite a friend, whom I love dearly, remarking the tally was tasteless, but funny; I realize I was right initially, it just isn’t funny. It is also tasteless.

Admittedly I am not one who believes hunting for food is wrong, or to protect penned animals a horrible thing. I believe God gave us some animals as a food source. But I also believe killing to kill is wrong.

Roadkill is a sad side-effect of mankind driving wildlife out of their natural habitats into ours. Bicyclists who endanger themselves and motorists are unwise, but they don’t deserve to die! To make light of the value of life is to me sinful.

The thoughts in our hearts as Believers are revealed by our reactions to ordinary daily events. Chuckling over tasteless kill tallies reveals what?

Not laughing,
-Faye

Message to Me

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This is my public forum.  Here I express, confess, ignore, share, hide behind, hide in and expound upon a number of topics.  My goal is to write about what living the life of a Believer is like and about how I live that life even if my only contribution to my local church congregation is as a “pew warmer” these days.

Sometimes I write poetry, share artwork, tell stories, give voice to other people whose testimonies expire me or simply tell it like I see it.  Since it’s my blog, it’s my message, my testimony and my biggest obstacle is ME!

Yes, me!  I can “own” that truth. 

I don’t want to be labeled as a higher than thou Christian.  So I hesitate to say anything that I fear might come across as judgemental. 

I don’t want to be labeled an opponent to any political party, person or platform, so I don’t write about my political views. 

I don’t want to be labeled as pious.

I don’t want to be labeled as a heretic.

I don’t want to be labeled as a reformer.

I don’t want to be LABELED.

Yet, I label myself.  I box myself in.  I limit myself.  I second guess myself, my abilities, my motives, my knowledge, my thoughts; even my own voice.

Why?

Because I am me.

I am the first grader whose mother moved her to the last seat in the last row on her first day of school so the doctors daughter could sit where she wanted.  I am the fat kid so teased and taunted in school she hid in the bathroom to cry.  I am the child whose father ruled with anger and violence.  I am the girl so terribly shy and found friends so hard to make that her families 13 moves in 12 years devastated her every single time.  I am the girl no one wanted.  I am the girl whose innocence was stolen and who never told until the thief died and his threats could not be carried out.  I am the one who has waited in the wings of her own stage, left unpenned her own truth, and unsung her own life.

By these acts I have labeled myself.

For can a 49-year-old woman seriously look herself in the mirror and point at anyone other than herself for what her life is or isn’t?  No, no I don’t think so.

See, my mother placed me in that last row, last seat BUT I have remained there.  Jesus loved me enough to die for me AND I have chosen to think of myself as a person of little worth.

My father beat me, his beatings eventually led me to losing a leg and those events to losing my identity because I CHOSE to make what I did for a living who I was.  The Living Word of God tells me I am the Daughter of God, not a job.

For every act, thought, or deed that a person outside of me did to wipe out me God has done a hundred times more to keep here. I have just been to busy labeling my boxes to understand.

Yes, this is where I am. This is who I am, warts, scars, flaws and all. I do not write like those whose opinions matter too much to me. I do write like me though.

If God’s okay with that, then I am too.

Let it be!
-Faye

The Child, the Teen, the Mother and the Door

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Watching our daughter run from slide, to swing, to bouncy purple dinosaur to the monkey bars I smile remembering other hours at the park.  Smaller hands grasping and smaller legs climbing.  Same short attention span, as if she is trying to cram as many turns in as possible.

Before asking if she could go play she snuck a glance at me and quietly commented, “I love to play at little kids parks like these, but I know I’m to old”.  She pauses then continues, “I like it better being alone, even if it is lonely sometimes.”

I see the child she still is and the young lady she is becoming. I blink. Then I realize that this is what it is like watching her peer cautiously through the open doorway between childhood and adolesence…so beautiful, so frightening.

Now other hands are reaching through the door to grasp our daughter’s, hands that were once flickering shadows are now flesh and bone. Other voices, once faint whispers have now grown louder, more audible and call her name.

In a nanosecond she is poised to leave the coziness of childhood to stand in her newly and wide open to her teenage years, doorway. Tentatively she touches, faintly, briefly but firmly, those outstretched hands. Softy and shyly she answers the beckoning voices of invitation to walk through the door. “I’m coming,” she says!

My breath catches. My heart pumps madly. Never have I regretted my inability to run as I do now. To think I have been grateful to lose my leg after she knew how to look both ways crossing the street, not to dash into the street after a ball or from between parked cars! Oh how I long for it now! As if I might physically restrain her, somehow stop her, freeze time until I know she’s ready…but I long for the impossible.

For long bittersweet minutes, as she remains one foot in childhood and one poised in her teen world I understand an old wisdom saying. The one that says, “A parent must give their child two things, roots and wings.”. I see almost visibly how that notches in with the Proverb so often quoted about childrearing, “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it”. The life verse we gave claimed for her, Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.”

Roots. Have we given her good, healthy roots? We know, for we were not blessed with our child until she was four, that some of her roots started off weak, so we’ve tried our best to strengthen those and help her grow roots in deeper, richer, better soil.

Wings. I see her wings shaking as the breeze ruffles them. She turns back to me and our eyes lock and we cry each others tears. Her hand touches mine and she grasps tightly. She whispers, “Mama”! I hear the first time she called me Mama eight years ago in her voice.

I touch my chest, exactly over my heart and she mirrors my actions. In silence without words we speak what we’ve often said aloud, “Always in here we are connected. The bond cannot be broken. Wherever you are, whatever you do we are together here!”

Wind. Wings need air to fly. Air currents. My actions, reactions, my words…they will set her free…they will lift her in prayer, by praising Our God for our forever family her wings will grow and strengthen beneath His breath.

For a moment I think of her birth mother. Of her difficult choices, her gift to us. The child she blessed us with is barely recognizable. Oh what she has missed!

Oh, thank you Jesus for what I have not been deprived of! Thank you for every tear, every frustration, the years our daughter hoarded food and things afraid they’d disappear, every therapy session, every broken, bleeding memory she pulled forth, every teacher conference, every worship service, every pillow fight, every dandelion, every rose and every thorn! Thank You Jesus for these, the last minutes of her childhood.

Roots and wings. You, Heavenly Father gave me mine. For my parents just didn’t know how! And You are also giving our daughter her roots and her wings, whether through me or her father they come ultimately from You. You are the vine with deep healthy roots and wings that cover, protect and soar. You are our Rock and our Savior and You have these moments of our lives, our brief existences, in the palm of Your hand.

The child, the teen, the mother and the door…You have us all

Let it be!
-Faye

Singing the Ugly Out

Artwork is original to author/artist. All rights reserved.
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Growing up my dad was country music all the way.  Mama mixed in Elvis.  Loretta Lynn, Lynn Anderson, Johnny Cash, Dolly Patton, Conway Twitty…all familiar names whose music helped set the soundtrack of my childhood.  I wanted to be just like them.

Problem?  I just couldn’t sing!  The family joke was how bad my voice was all the time.

God was mysterious to me then.  I didn’t quite trust Him.  My brother’s early surrender to God’s love, gift and call made me nervous.  If we couldn’t trust our dad, how did we trust an invisible Father?  I knew God knew us, He had a plan for each of us.  But, I just didn’t get the salvation message because it wasn’t yet my time understand.

When Daddy moved us 200 miles north my fifth grade year I fought back.  Daddy wasn’t much on girls getting an education but my struggle with math embarrassed him.  So I set about to fail.  I did the first six weeks.

But two things turned it around. One, my math teacher figured out what I was doing, understood and in turn helped me see a larger picture.  Two, I had to take either P.E. and purchase the uniform, band and purchase an instrument or choir and sing.    My mother said, “She’ll take choir.”. Later in the hall she told me to just mouth cornflakes or watermelon over and over and not let the choir teacher know I couldn’t, “Carry a tune in a bucket!”

But this amazing God I didn’t yet trust, gave me the desire of my heart, He gave me a voice to sing with.  Knowing how my parents felt about my singing I kept the news to myself.  Banned from singing in the earshot of my family it was easy to keep my secret.  Imagine my parents shock when I forgot to keep silent and belted out “Mine eyes hath seen the glory…” and it was good!

From then on I was asked to sing.  At home, at church and at school. God’s gift gave me an inroads to survival, even if I never fit in. I passed math.  I even won the science fair award and one for most improvement in math that year.

That was my first answered prayer, God loved me enough to gift me with music. But I never lost those voices telling me I couldn’t sing. To my ears I sounded no different than the years my family groaned when I opened my mouth.

I was a lonely, miserable, misfit who had to undergo our dad’s sudden decisions to move us around repeatedly. God, who I didn’t yet trust or truly know, gave me something our father couldn’t take away. He gave the gift of voice to His child in dire need of something of her own along the road she had no choice but travel.

I’d never be a star, except in God’s eyes, but His gift is always with me.

-Faye

Scurrying Toward Adolescence

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(Photo the original work of this blogs author.  All rights reserved.)

Today is a special day in our home. Our daughter who in less than 60 days away from turning 12 is going to her first concert, Veggie Tales excluded. Appearing is one of the Nickelodeon/Disney boy bands and another female artist. We watch their T.V. shows and she adores one particular guy in the boy band.

Going means a 3 1/2 hour drive to an amphitheatre in a neighbouring state. A trip I could be making but choose not to so our daughter can go and not have the burden of my wheelchair and needs. Instead my oldest niece has taken the day off to take her.

Her first trip this far without Mom and Dad and her first concert to see her first dream crush, that’s a lot. We trust my 22 year old niece. We trust our daughter. This is a rite of passage into adolescence.

Have we given her roots deep enough to support her wings to fly? Has our training in God’s ways been enough to help her follow them faced with new choices?

Yesterday, it seems, she was a tiny baby asleep on my chest. She was learning to walk. Saying her first words, sentences and developing her own personality. Didn’t we just walk her into her first day of school? Witness her decision to ask Jesus into her heart and believers baptism?

I won’t cry today, at least in front of her. For she is still our daughter who is anxious for this day to proceed and asking if we have a baby bottle for her Pooh bear. True she is scurrying toward adolescence and I can’t slow her down but God reminds me of His instruction and His promise.

“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”. -Proverbs 22:6

Our daughter’s days of testing her faith against the world will come. They must come. And then too with prayer cover and our own faith we will cling to God’s Word.

Our daughter too must learn to cling while hurrying toward adulthood.

-Faye

Potential

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Our daughter is crazy over squirrels.  She sees them as cute, furry, clever, nut eating friends.  I have a very different view.  To me they are rats with bushy tails and are not my friends.

Our daughter sees all nuts as food for squirrels and a few types of nuts as edible for humans as well.  I agree on the fact particular nuts are tasty treats but I also recognize that nuts are at one point, potential trees.  The squirrel sees them as food and security against the lack of food in winter.

Two humans and lots squirrels, all with differing and similar ideas about the potential in a simple nut.  The outcomes for all the nuts from one single tree are limited by what circumstances they are exposed to.  Is it different for humans?

Yes.  As a person with free will we have choices.  Our life exposures shape our thinking, often our physical persons and how we come to think and believe about ourselves. 

But, we can change ourselves.  Even better, we can invite Jesus to change us.  Whatever our circumstances, whoever we’ve become in and with life, Jesus can change us.

Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:17 that we are new creations in Christ when He is our Lord. He also tells us in Romans 2:12 that we can be transformed by the renewing of our minds.  Our potential, unlike that of nuts, is unlimited because Christ is unlimited for good. 

I would like to live to my fullest potential in Christ.  Would you?

As a parent I want to teach my daughter to live up to her potential on Christ.  Not to be conceited, but to spread her wings and soar in the grace of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

-Faye