Sunday, June 30, 2013

Tested

My Bubbas and I some dozen years ago, now they're huge, all taller and heavier than me, all shades of half grown, in that their bodies are large, their emotions - not so much.  That's gonna take a lot more time.

CW did point out last night to me, "I'm not swayed by peer pressure," in response to my warning words about a friend of his.  True, that.  He knows who he is, he isn't much swayed by fashion or coolness, he's low key, very self-confident, and trustworthy.  I'd given him my last two twenties for the month when he went to work at Kroger yesterday,  "Buy as much Kroger brand milk, bread and cheese as you can."

He did great with his employee discount, unloading it all, and putting it away for me.  "You sure do spend as lot of money on stuff you don't even eat," he remarked thoughtfully.  Dude, that's what Moms do.

He'd stopped on the dirt road, picking up four high quality paintbrushes that must've fallen off of someone else's truck, they'd been laying there since he'd headed off to work.  "Ha!," he crowed, "Saved us some money."

I like that kind of thinking.

I got my Fiscal Year Retirement Pay Cost of Living Increase, at a whopping $48.00 a month addition, and glad for it too.

I decided I'd do my own version of a Fiscal Year, and try to complete reading the Bible yet again before Jack's next birthday.  He turned 13 yesterday at Forward '13 and had 15,000 folks sing to him when he got called up on the stage by Reggie Dabbs at the Gwinnett Arena.  In their downtime they'd gone to some mongo-sized mall in that same metro Atlanta area, and strangers - teens from Forward - were recognizing Jack in the mall and wishing him a Happy Birthday.

Sabrina had set that up, twice now Reggis Dabbs has come through for my family in a very big way, last time via a phone call to one of mine who wasn't in good shape emotionally at the time.  Words of encouragement and love at just the right time.  Thank you God, for using these folks to bless us.

The kids had a super wonderful time all weekend, exhausted beyond belief, Nando slumped over in my lap in church this morning, snoring and wiped out, but he sure had fun.  He seems so little to be in middle school youth group but there it is, time moving too fast for me right now.  I treasure every minute spent with him.

I spent from Thursday at 5 p.m until Saturday night at 11 p.m. - 55 blessed hours doing what I wanted to do - a mini vacation with just four kids at home - not cooking, not cleaning, only one load of laundry - Pure T garden time, never leaving my land, pigging out on that which I'd grown, blissfully working, and cognizant of my need to be alone to regroup mentally, emotionally and physically.  I've taken such a beating for decades.

I've always been this way though, a loner by nature - retreating to woods, creeks, rivers, beaches, garden areas or long walks to gather my thoughts, to pray, to pep talk my own self.  It's my job.

One of the four, refusing to go, now almost 18, he's the one who called me Psycho for cramming my religion down his throat.  Honey, that's what Moms do.  It's because I care.  When you're on your own you can choose not to go, but not here at home.  We go to church.

Deep sigh.  Nearly every kid rebels against church, not so hatefully and rudely though.  Every kid rebels against me too - adopted children are even more angrily rebellious against the adoptive parents than the general population, but it still hurts, even though I brace myself for it.

But rare has been the rebellion against youth group by a high school kid.  A youth group is fun and gives kids a sense of belonging.  This might be the first blatant one to scream a refusal other than JoJo's complete laziness in going.

From Pastor Brandon this morning, exactly the words I needed to hear, specifically, " Exodus 20 Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.”

Have I been super turbo-charged tested, or what?

In my case sinning isn't carousing with someone's husband, it's anger, or mean thoughts, it's covetousness or selfish ambition, whatever - it's human nature, left unchecked and uncontemplated.

My fear of God is intense and it's a happy awesome fear, full of love for the Being that has so strengthened me for so long through so much.  I just wanted to help kids.  That's all.  No other agenda.  No desire for a reality show or attention, just my own inner pride and satisfaction - a sense of purpose that feeds me.

Period.

And it's been Hell at times or, more clearly, I've been tested.  I've come up short on occasion, sorely lacking, angry, hurt, dismayed, shocked - a thousand descriptive words come to mind, but I've also been very, very blessed, and that's all I wanted.

Why do I feel led to read the Bible again?  Because it's been a long time since I've done so, because God told me to do so this morning, because I need to do so.  Gonna start in the New testament though, hope that's OK.

This picture below is of Lily, 16 next month, Tony now 17, and his birth brother Martin inside the door, now 19.  Good kids who don't remember not living here, Martin and Tony were two angry, frightened toddlers with two older severely acting out siblings when they came nearly 15 years ago.  Lily was born here.

I'd bought that play house for either $10 or $20 at a yard sale, can't remember exactly, they sell for a crapload of bucks at Toys R Us.  I think it's the same one we later passed down to Hazel.

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