There was a challenge on a writing site to write about six different words and then post the daily writings on Instagram.
I don’t use Instagram like that.
I do post there; but it is usually pictures of my cats or flowers or assorted things around the house.
The word I have chosen to write about, after a lot of thinking… is Middle.
She was the middle child.
Second born girl out of three.
I had an older sister, and then a middle sister and I was the youngest.
She was by nature a lost child.
A bit rebellious and maybe in today’s term, troubled.
She as also funny, and caring and confusing.
In today’s world of children she would be attention deficit or a slower learner.
I am glad she wasn’t labeled. She had enough issues to deal with; a ‘label’ would just make them worse.
School was never easy for her and she had no interest in academics.
Junior high and high school was just nothing, not important and she didn’t care.
She didn’t graduate or finish high school. She ran to the streets instead.
They became her family.
Drugs became a friend and an enemy and how she survived them is miracle.
I would see her a few times a year, usually around Christmas and she would stay till her birthday, a few months later.
We were close and when she was gone, she would would often call me, and then I would have to tell our mother her news.
It wasn’t easy for me to be ‘in the middle’… I got the responses after being the bearer of bad news.
It was hard to be the one telling.
I missed her often and so many days and nights; I would look out my window and wonder.
If she was dead or alive.
She was living the words spoken to her. No one expected anything from her and she did not disappoint that expectation.
She actually didn’t have a huge chance at becoming more, it just wasn’t in her ability.
I actually don’t know if given the chance; if she would have proved herself able and praiseworthy.
I do remember she was good at math, and it was amazing to watch her figure it all out.
She was smart on some levels, and simple on many others.
She was funny and pretty and caring, she had thick dark hair and I was very jealous.
She went through many difficult and hard moments in her life and survived them too.
She eventually met a man who loved her deeply and accepted her daughters as his own.
She fell back into the alcoholic life as she aged; and one more time we rescued her again.
Over coming her ‘inner self’ was too hard. We did what we could to protect her, but it wasn’t enough.
She passed away a few years ago.
She was the middle child; the second born of three daughters.
There was a challenge on a writing site about six different words; and I chose the word – middle.
There was a challenge on a writing site to write about six different words and then post the daily writings on Instagram.
Another mothers day is here and we celebrate mothers all over the area.
I remember going to church on this day; and watching the uncomfortable stirring of moms in the pews.
The pastor being insensitive to moms who have lost their children, or who never had any of their own.
Then he would say, “stand up” if you are a mother.
I often felt like it was a slap because for many in recovery, maybe mom was not a good warm feeling.
Maybe this day brings all kinds of deep feelings that try to be buried.
It is a process always.
I often told my own children if they needed therapy to send me the bill, because I would probably be the topic.
To be a mom is a privilege that some don’t get to experience.
Maybe the desire to be a mom is so deeply rooted it has caused a bitter root to grow.
I have known those who have ached for that tiny little gift to be born.
I think we need to be really sensitive on these kinds of days.
I don’t like the expectations of this ‘holiday’.
I remember when we were young married and doing the ‘must do’ list.
We would go buy flowers for my mom, his mom and my grandma.
That was expected and although appreciated; it kind of took the surprise away.
My husband has learned throughout the years, do not do anything over the top for mothers day.
One year HE DID surprise me; and we got all dressed up and went downtown Portland for a very large brunch.
It was nice, but now he knows I am not a crowd person.
I would much rather have scrambled eggs and coffee at home.
I remember standing at the card section for many years trying to find the ‘right’ card.
Never could. The flowery prose was just not my experience.
I told my counselor one time that someone needs to create ‘cards for those in recovery’.
The words just never matched the feelings.
I would finally settle for a flower on the outside, with few words as possible.
How sad, but it was truth.
My experience was not a rose colored picture.
I am very proud of my son and my daughter, and all of their children who call me grandma.
It is something I never get tired of hearing.
If you are a mom reading this, take some time for YOU today.
Another mothers day is here and we celebrate mothers all over the area..
I love to read the promises of God.
11 For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.
12 Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you.
13 When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart,
14 I will let you find me, says the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.
I love the promises that show us His compassion and concern for us.
Read it again, [surely I KNOW the plans I have for you]
[Plans for your welfare…(safety) and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.]
But there is a condition that is mentioned.
[When you search for me, you will find me; IF you seek me with all your heart.]
Then a promise again.
[I will let you find me, and restore your fortunes and gather you from everywhere] My editing.
Plus HE says He will hear us. Don’t we all want someone to just listen?
It is so easy and so manageable.
SEEK HIM and search for Him and HE IS always available.
I find this such a comfort and such an easy promise to grasp.
The conditions are not that hard.
The direction is very clear and the promises are very solid.
He says, YOU do your part and I will do mine.
Hope is a big word within the Bible. If we do not have hope we have very little to stand firm on.
It is found 202 times and as I did a quick search I found another wonderful promise.
[and you will have confidence, because there is hope; you will be protected and take your rest in safety.]
I find these words to be very comforting and solid.
There is a plan and there is a concern; we just have to trust.
I love to read the promises of God and allow myself to take them into my heart.
In life one of the most important things that matter the most to us, is something we so often don’t even think about.
It’s our breath.
The capacity to breathe in and breathe out.
Genesis 2:7 then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life,
and the man became a living being.
Ezekiel 37:5 Thus says the Lord God to these bone: I will cause breath to enter you and you shall live.
It is so important yet we often don’t think about it.
Every day we wake up and breathe, and then go to sleep and still breathe, not even noticing the rise and fall of our lungs.
In church we sing a song that says, “It’s your breath in our lungs, and we pour out our praise.”
I really thought about that when my dad had COPD and was on oxygen.
It allowed him to breathe more intensely and in comfort.
I also remember the only two times in life we record the taking of breath is in life and in death.
When a baby is born, the clock is noticed and recorded. When someone dies, the clock is noticed and recorded.
Time of life and time of death.
Mark 15:39 Then Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last breath.
The bible talks about breath 109 times.
God has the power and the ability to create breath or remove it.
The testimony that breath is so important was noticed, in the New Testament after Jesus came back to the disciples,
John 20:22 When Jesus said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘receive the Holy Spirit’.
It was a power given through breath.
In life one of the most important things that matter the most to us, is our breath.
When you rest your sleep will be sweet.
Proverbs 3:24 gives us this promise.
When you lie down, you need not to be afraid, when you rest, your sleep will be sweet.
Have you ever had a nights sleep where you woke up and felt so unsteady, so unsettled and not rested?
I think we all have had those nights.
I tend to do this occasionally if my blood sugar is acting up.
I can feel my heart race, my feet hurt, my mind is going a hundred miles an hour it seems.
Oh my we get ourselves into a tizzy sometimes.
I have found if I have a glass of wine about an hour before I go to sleep, I sleep very well.
Now I know they say not to do that, but it’s organic healthy, no sugar and no sulfites.
I cannot have ice cream or other treats because I am pre-diabetic, but the glass of wine relaxes me.
(Don’t worry, my doctor knows about it.)
In my past before I was married, going back a LONG time, I used to not like night time.
It was not safe for me and I tended to sleep very restless.
When you are used to a trauma filled environment; even when it is not present, it can still affect your rest.
I am healed now and it took me YEARS to figure out how to fall asleep and stay that way.
A good routine is helpful. A quiet cool room is helpful too.
We just purchased a new mattress that is amazing and we have cool crispy sheets and a soft comforter too.
Anything one can do to get that rest our bodies need.
I am not into pills, for a while I had a prescription while I was in therapy, but I did not like the way it made me feel.
I like the promise, ‘when you lie down’… not IF… but when.
Because we all know… we must stop and rest our bodies.
I am not one for napping although sometimes it would be a welcome addition to my day.
We have a massage bed and if I am feeling the need to rest, I lay down on that and it works well.
It is a 45 minute warm massage and just what my body needed.
I also like the words ‘your sleep will be sweet’.
What an amazing promise. Sweet gentle sleep.
[When you lie down, you need not to be afraid, when you rest, your sleep will be sweet.]
Spring is coming soon and I am excited for warmer days and opportunities for planting flowers.
We bought our vegetable plants yesterday but we won’t plant them until the nights are warmer.
I am so looking forward to fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet peas in the pea pods.
We also purchased a blue hydrangea, pink and white one too. My favorite is blue.
We have been purposefully trying to watch our diet and finding time for a walk.
Even if it’s just a few miles it is better than none.
I have been increasing my water intake, they say if you weigh 150 you should drink half your body weight.
No wonder I can’t go far from the little room :o)
I also need to get back on the recumbent bike that sits in the garage.
It is so good for us to get our bodies moving and it’s good for our mental state too.
My heart has been heavy with prayer needs for a few friends.
One especially who thought her remission was solid, only to find out she has to do more radiation and chemotherapy.
Another friend has surgery coming up and treatment.
Another friend has leukemia and is stable but it’s always a concern for me.
It is always something and there are always needs around us.
Our neighbor just got home from the hospital with severe breathing issues.
We live in a senior community so there will be health concerns all the time.
I am trying to remain positive and helpful when I can.
God is still one who heals and I know for my friends, he is not going to give them more than they can deal with.
The key is to be a friend and a prayer warrior.
We all could use prayer.
Spring is coming soon and I am excited for warmer days.
Sunday comes and brings a new resurrection.
The disciples had all seen Jesus die, and taken away to be buried.
They felt the heaviness of the moments that they had just experienced.
He had told them he would return but how could they ever really believe that?
Very early at sunrise the two Mary’s went to the tomb and they chatted on the way over there.
Who will move the stone for us when we get there. it is too heavy for us to move?
As they arrived closer to the tomb, they realized the stone was already moved and inside they found a young man clothed in white,
sitting on the right side. The angel told them, “don’t be afraid or alarmed, you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth and He is not here.
He has risen from the dead. See where his body had laid down? He is gone.
Go tell the disciples, especially Peter, that Jesus is going to Galilee. You will see him there.”
I would imagine he mentioned Peter specifically because he had denied Jesus three times.
It would be Peter who would be deep in grief and deep in repentance, should he see Jesus in person.
The angel mentioned him; so I think that is very significant for this part of the story.
The women fled, it said they were trembling and bewildered, and they said nothing to anyone because they were too frightened.
When they found the disciples they told Peter and the others as the angel had told them to do.
After Jesus rose from the dead Mary Magdalene was the first to see him.
She didn’t know it was him until he spoke her name.
Can you imagine? Her love for him so deep and she thought he was gone, and now right before her,
he says her name in a way only he could say it.
Such love, such tenderness.
She told the disciples he was alive but they did not believe her.
Later it says he appeared to the eleven disciples as they were eating together.
He rebuked them for their stubborn hearts and unbelief.
Thomas did not want to believe it unless he saw the nail marks in his hands and his wounds on his side.
He told him to come look, come see for yourself.
He then told them to do ministry in his name.
He stayed with them a short time, then returned to the Father in Heaven.
Sunday comes and brings a new resurrection.
The three day wait begins at the start of good Friday, leading into Sunday the resurrected Easter.
We are not told anything about Mary and how she responded, or even Joseph.
They knew the birth of Jesus was significant and miraculous and they also knew it was going to end.
No one is prepared for a death on a cross. No one is prepared for the death of a child loved.
Especially a parent who has watched their child grow and mature and do ministry that they understood, but maybe didn’t.
Mary knew he had abilities to perform miracles, she had seen it.
I cannot even begin to imagine the horror of seeing YOUR child however old he is, being killed in a chaotic crowd.
The disciples disappeared fearing for their own lives.
The intensity of the cross was all too common in the time and era, but Jesus was different.
They drug him through town, he was brutally beaten and then mocked.
The cross was horrific in every sense. Not one part of the body was ignored.
Pain and sorrow were hand in hand as the followers watched him hang there.
At noon the word tells us that Jesus called out with a loud cry, “My God, My God, why have you abandoned me?”
It was all a part of the original plan, but the reality was so intense and so isolating for him.
When he finally died the temple curtain in the sanctuary was torn from top to bottom.
Witnesses observed and said, “This man truly was the sun of God!”
Darkness covered the entire area in a very surreal way.
Those who were there knew something was different.
Even the thieves on the two crosses beside Jesus, before he died, knew he was different.
It was a sorrowful day.
The man called Joseph of Arimathea was allowed to remove his body and prepare him for burial.
The two Mary’s watched and followed, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Jesus.
The leaders were unsure of Jesus power, so they placed a very LARGE stone in front of the entrance of the tomb.
The three day wait begins at the start of good Friday.
The week of Easter for Jesus had to be one of intense loss and anticipation.
He had built a relationship with the disciples and soon that would be ending.
He knew his time was coming to a close just as it was meant to be.
The last supper in the upper room was in a way his closure.
[In the evening Jesus arrived with the twelve disciples. They were at the table eating, Jesus said,
“I tell you the truth, one of you eating with me here will betray me.”
Greatly distressed, each one asked in turn, “Am I the one?”]
Then he went on to a teaching about the wine and the bread and the significance of it’s meaning.
He had established a betrayal, He had spent time teaching them, He had a hymn to share with them.
It was all a part of the final story and the final night.
Soon he would go into the garden and pray to the Father for another way.
“Father let this cup pass from me, take this cup of suffering from me.”
A different way was not possible.
He told them, [“My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. stay here and keep watch with me.”]
He prayed to the Father three times in the garden.
Intense prayers, blood spilling prayers.
He knew his betrayal from everyone was coming and also the intensity of the crowds.
I am not sure anyone could be prepared for that kind of chaos.
Emotions ran high on that night, as Jesus was taken away.
The disciples ran away and hid, fearing for their own lives because of their association with him.
They deserted him.
Then Peter was close enough for them to ask him.
[“You were one of those with Jesus of Nazareth.”]
Peter denied it. Not once, but three times.
Then Peter broke down and wept.
Jesus had told him that before the rooster crows twice, you will deny three times that you even know me.
It was a prophecy fulfilled, just as many others would be as this story unfolds.
The week of Easter for Jesus had to be the hardest for him.
The week of Easter had deep meaning for Jesus.
I would imagine HE knew this was his last few days to do ministry.
He spent time with the disciples. He tried to teach them what was going to happen.
In the home of Simon a man who was healed by Jesus, a woman came in with a beautiful alabaster jar of expensive perfume.
She broke it and poured it all over Jesus head. The disciples were upset with her and scolded her harshly.
But Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. why criticize her for doing such a good thing to me.
You will always have the poor among you, and you can help them whenever you want to. But you will not always have me.
She has done what she could and has anointed my body for burial ahead of time.
I tell you the truth, wherever the good news is preached throughout the world, this woman’s deed will be remembered and discussed.”
He was aware and KNEW his death was coming and the meaning of the oils and perfume was a prophecy of what was to come for him.
Around the same time as this Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples, went to the leading priest to arrange to betray Jesus to them.
He began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus because the leaders promised him money.
Can you imagine? I am sure HE did not understand or know what was to take place in just a few days.
What would cause someone to betray someone, who you had been following for a while?
He had seen the miracles. He had full views of the many things Jesus had said and done.
The sad part of this story is Jesus knew too.
He knew someone would have to get the leaders angry and HE knew it had to happen soon.
Betrayal is such an evil thing.
The week of Easter had deep meaning for Jesus and the story of the cross.