Where Do I Belong?

I grew up a bit of a mixed-up kid.  I was born in Canada.  My parents were born in Texas.  That made me a “dual citizen.”  I was made fun of in the States for having a “Canadian” accent.  I was made fun of in Canada for having an “American” accent. 

Now, I knew what an “American” accent was.  After all, our family made a trek to Texas every year from wherever we lived.  Most of the kids in the family “picked up” that Southern drawl as soon as we hit the Texas/Oklahoma border!  But, I didn’t really know what a “Canadian” accent sounded like until I was older and could hear it more clearly.

I grew up learning the history of the United States and the history of Canada. 

I knew all 13 provinces and territories and most of the 50 states.  We drove across those states putting together state map puzzles many times.

I grew up learning French.  I also heard and learned words like “y’all” and “tard”- (translation: plural “you” and “very tired”!)  I knew that soda and pop were the same thing.  I knew that many Canadians drank hot tea while Texans drank iced tea.  I knew in which country to buy “Shreddies” and where to buy “Shredded Wheat”.  I knew where to get “Smarties” vs. “M & M’s”!  I knew what sticky muggy heat felt like and I knew what it felt like to get frost bite inside of my lungs!

I was mixed up though because I didn’t know to where I “belonged”.  Was I truly American or was I truly Canadian?  When I went to Canada I said I was Canadian but if I went to the States I said I was American.  Where did I belong?

I felt like an alien or foreigner no matter where I was.

There are several places in the Bible that talk about those of us who are believers being “aliens” or “foreigners” in this world.  The verses are found in Ephesians, Hebrews, and I Peter.  Ephesians discusses the fact that there was this division between the Jews and Gentiles but Christ did away with that and they became part of one family under God.  I like the verse in Hebrews and I Peter as well because they talk about the fact that though we live in this world, it is not our home.  There is another place far better waiting for us.

I don’t have to feel like I don’t belong.  I know I am a child of the King.  I know that I have an eternal home with Him.  I know that He wants me to spend the rest of my life here and in heaven with Him under the promise that I am His and I belong.

“Dear Father, Thank-You that because of Your great love and sacrifice I belong to You now and forever.  I am not out of place.  I do not have to be mixed up. I am Your child.  Thank-You for this priceless treasure.  May I never take it for granted.”  

 

Have you ever felt like you didn’t belong? Where do you find your sense of belonging?

The Traveling Weed

This is the third and last “discussion” on weeds…I hope.  I guess we’ll see if God has any other ideas next week!

I mentioned my friend’s yard a couple of weeks ago.  She and her husband have moved into a new home to be closer to their daughter and her family.  She decided to relocate some of her plants from the old house so she could have them at the new house. 

She was not familiar with one particular plant but thought it was pretty so brought it with her.  At the new place she found out that she had transplanted a rather healthy and lovely weed!  She had put it in a pot for travel.

 Oh the challenges of gardening for those of us who don’t really know our plants!

The day came when she knew it was time to uproot that weed.  It was a very pretty plant but who wants to keep a weed when you come to recognize that it’s a weed!

She and I had discussed the idea of weeds being a “good” visual of sin and how deceptive it can be.  This weed was a perfect example of that issue.  Sin can be pretty,  inviting and something we might like to hold on to.  But, deep down, there is nothing worth keeping when sin is the thing that will take the place of what is actually healthy and beautiful.

She pulled that plant expecting it to have deep roots.  When she pulled it she was surprised to find that it was quite easy to remove because the roots barely went below the surface of the dirt!  This “beautiful” plant was recognized in enough time that the roots didn’t have a chance to grasp onto anything and cause damage. 

How I wish that the sin that I think of as “beautiful” and “valuable” and worth keeping was as easy to get rid of as her “beautiful” weed.  Unfortunately, that is not always the case.  Sometimes I hold on to them long enough for the roots to get a firm grip on my heart.  I then am faced with a more difficult task of digging up the roots than if I had dealt with it, or allowed the Holy Spirit to deal with it early on.

“Dear Lord, Today, please help me to be willing to let go of the sin issues that I try to hold on to.  They really are not beautiful when they do not look anything like You. Help me be willing to let You uproot them before they have a chance to spread their roots deeply and become caustic to my relationship with You.  You are what makes life beautiful.  I love You, Lord.”

 

A Mother’s Touch, A Mother’s Legacy

I couldn’t believe this little one they handed me was actually mine to keep!  He was so little and so beautiful.  I slept for many nights with him on my chest with both of us in a recliner for fear someone would come and take him away.

I finally relaxed and let him sleep in his own bed.  It has been a wonderful 25+ years of motherhood.  He is a blessing and a joy to my “momma’s heart”.

My mother is a wonderful woman of God.  She cares about people.  She listens, counsels, is self-less, sacrificial, and kind.  She has always desired to point her children to God.  She has been a good example of living out her faith.

My mother-in-law who is now with the Lord, was funny, kind, dry-witted, caring, and strong in her faith.  She was a loving mom and mother-in-law.  I was blessed with her friendship before anything else.

Motherhood is one of the greatest gifts God created.  There is no other relationship quite like it.

A mother’s touch gives comfort when a little one is ill.

A mother’s touch gives warmth when a child is in need.

A mother’s touch gives strength when a kiddo is struggling.

A mother’s touch gives help when a teenager doesn’t think they need it.

That touch guides, cares, and gives, loves, nurtures, consoles, cheers, reassures, and much more.

She aids, gives solace and security, trains, disciplines, encourages, supports,

And then gently releases.

That’s one of the hardest parts.  We know, when they are born, that children are on loan from God.  We know that they are gifts and He has a calling on their lives.  But, oh how we hold on to them while we have them in our homes.

I know that when God blessed our lives with the son He gave to us, He desired that we raise him to love and serve his heavenly Father.  I pray that through the touches I, as his mom, have given him, that he will always remember and know how much God loves him and desires to walk with him.  I pray that the spiritual legacy of his mother, grandmothers and their mothers before them will live on in and through him.

“Dear Father in heaven, I have not been a perfect mom.  But, I pray that through the things I did correctly by Your design and through my mistakes, You would work in the life of the one you loaned me.  I pray that he will grow into the man of God You created him to be.  May You be glorified through every touch every mom shares with her children today.”

And The Weeds Grow On…

This is my second “installment” on weeds.  Really now, do we ever get totally finished with weeds?  I wish it were so.

Today my husband and I were cleaning out our front flower bed to prepare it for some “newcomers” on the scene.  We have what I call daisy bushes, though the garden expert at Home Depot had a different name for them.  We have a Gerber daisy plant that I’m trying to decide about planting.  We also have a tomato plant, which may have to find its home in the backyard due to the need for more direct sun.  We also are trying our hand at Cilantro and Oregano.  I’ve never grown herbs before so we’ll see how we do.

But, before we could plant the newcomers, we had to get rid of the unwanted guests…you guessed it, the weeds.  Now, I had cleaned this flower bed out…or pretty much cleaned it out when I planted bulbs last November and then again when those bulbs sprouted and became beautiful flowering plants.  But, still weeks after the last cleaning out there were many weeds with which to contend.

 

My favorite tool for this project is the “hoola hoe”.  I just simply attack that weed and the hoola hoe does the hard work.  But, interestingly enough, unless I go deep on the attack, all that happens is that the weeds rip out at the top of the ground instead of coming out at root level.

I could hear some of the weeds ripping apart as the visible weed was torn away from the roots.  It was quite a raw, gashing, torturous sound.  But still, though the flower bed looked better, the roots of those weeds remained. 

How very much like my life is that flower bed with it’s now hidden weed roots.  The surface may look good but if, when dealing with any sin issue in my life, I don’t let the Holy Spirit go deep enough and rip out the sin at its very root, the sin weed will assuredly grow back. 

If I don’t let Him deal with the source of my pride, it will continue to show its true colors at some unexpected, unpleasant time.

If I don’t let Him deal with any deep issues of pain, hurt, and bitterness, they will come right back and will do so even stronger because the roots will have had a chance to get stronger while they’ve been hiding unseen and unchecked.
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“Oh dear Father God, Holy Gardener of my heart, today please attack the roots of any sin that stands in the way of You having full and complete control in my life.  Don’t allow me to just let You have access to the surface of my life but to go deep and dig deep to remove what is not of You.  In the empty space that remains, fill me with Your beauty and make of my life what will be a sweet aroma to You.”