Beer Guzzling Baby Repost

I Can’t Believe it
courtesy Photobucket.com

Birthday Party
courtesy free clip art

It was noontime and the hungry horde of kids clamored for their food and cake!

We were at a friend’s house for her son’s third birthday party, but, where was she? All these kids and no hostess!

It appeared that adults were having a better time than the kids. They had congregated outside to carry on and enjoy the summer afternoon and invigorating ocean breeze.

I wanted to be out in the sunshine too, but since my kids were inside and there was no supervision, I stayed with all the kids!

As usual, I was left to make sure the little ones were taken care of. Somehow, she just expected it, and I always managed to fulfill her expectations. Not so much for her, you see, but more for the children.

A myriad of unattended beer cans scattered the living room.  The three year-old birthday-boy wandered, systematically, from one to the other, sucking down the suds.  He went for my can of sprite, but I swiftly grabbed it. He ignored his lunch, and the other kids.

When I finally got his mom’s attention to let her know what he was doing, she just laughed and said, “Oh, he does that all the time”…. like that was normal for a three-year old. “Beer for breakfast,” was her motto.

“What about…” I started, but she was gone again!

Some party. My own kids sat there befuddled, because everyone else was running around wildly, throwing food and getting into things they shouldn’t. Clapping my hands, while starting up a funny song to gain the children’s attention, I passed out paper plates and tried to figure out which food-stuffs were for the kids.

Settling down that large group of little ones down definitely drew on all my mom-tricks, songs, and expectant parental directives. What a drain; I just wanted to go home!

The little birthday-boy had eaten three bowls of applesauce, candy and a huge glass of sugary Kool-Aid.  He refused any other food and started acting exceptionally strange.

I think he was drunk!

Why this didn’t seem to upset his mother, I’ll never understand!  She was just happy that he had eaten his applesauce. Three bowls of applesauce. . . and nothing else substantive.

“He never wants to eat,” she said, “and I don’t force him”

“No he just lives on beer,” I said emphatically! Irritated, I continued,

“No wonder he doesn’t want to eat, he’s got a sugar-rush from his daily beer-bash! …and you wonder why he’s always sick? A body needs food! Who’s the Mother here?”

Oh boy ! Her face turned violet. She was MAD!

Lashing out at me about how my kids were repressed and too controlled, she railed on. Didn’t I know they needed to be less restrained and free to be “kids”?

Really? As though children come loaded with an inward GPS that makes sure they will always go in the right direction. Indeed! Who was the parent here?

This child had her trained – trained to coddle his every whim; not to do what was good for his well-being.

Less restraint!! That type of logic worked so well that this must be why this kid now in his 30’s, has been in trouble more times than not, and has never held down a job!


Earlier, in his teens, rather than getting involved with real hands-on parenting, it was easier for the parents to load this poor kid with Ritalin. Later, he was caught selling it to classmates. What a super plan for parenting and child-training!

At another party for kids, my little half-sister kept running by the candy bowl and had filled up on candy and chips before lunch. I tried to intervene but her mom pulled at my arm, “I just have to pick my battles,” was her limp excuse.

I couldn’t believe my ears. Pick her battles? My ears perked up at the injection of personal selfishness in her tone. She was an older mom and this was her only child.

Admit it – she just didn’t want the conflict that confrontation might bring. She closed her eyes when supervision was needed most.

She had one child; I had five. I don’t remember ever getting off that easy.

These children, no longer, small and cute, are unable to control their thoughts, their words, their relationships, their spending etc, and are running headlong into disaster. One has been in jail, and the other has been in rehab two times.

These parents all professed a relationship with God, yet they tended to pick and choose what part of The Word of God they would embrace.


One woman told me that she thought her children would just pick up Christianity by an “osmosis” of sorts.  She figured that since they grew up in her household, they would automatically just “Get it.” People used to refer to it as “Apron-strings salvation.”


Although many Christian kids seem to be nice kids on the outside, because of a lack of restraint, they feel “entitled,” and become very sneaky and divisive. The parents have no clue, as they are wrapped up in their own drama and weariness.

 
God has been very clear about one thing. Our flesh needs restraining. Our minds need to be continually trained and renewed, otherwise mind and flesh won’t behave properly!

In short……..God has a lot to say about this in Proverbs 29:18. Where there is no vision, the people cast off restraint: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he!


Parents or children, the only thing we have to help our minds stay on track is The Living Word of God.

We won’t pick it up by osmosis, that’s for sure.

 
This post is shared at:  “Tell Me a True Story” http://letmetelluastory.blogspot.com/

Also shared with Laura at:  Play Dates With God at the Wellspring

 
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Broken Teeth and Broken Promises

Courtesy photobucket.com
 
“Can you please help me?  Please!   Everybody else keeps cutting me off and can’t take it one more time. I don’t know what to do – – I’ve called and called – – “

Shrill urgency, and desperation diffused with pain,  colored every loudly spoken word.

I was nearly out the door when my phone rang.  Hesitating, I only answered because of a Holy-Spirit prompting.   With every fiber of my being, I restrained a hurried, staccato-type answer and infused my voice with as much cheerfulness as possible.

My errands beckoned, but promptings from above beckoned more loudly.  It’s never convenient, so I settled my briefcase on the floor, put down my purse and sat at my desk.

“I’ve been calling all over the place for the last four hours and can’t seem to find anybody to help me,“  the voice continued, still pleading.

“It’s okay – – – calm down and tell me what the problem is,” I spoke in deliberate, empathetic tones.  

“Take a breath and I’ll do what I can once I understand what you need,” I said further.

A couple of halting sputters, and then some breathy sobs were the only responses.

Apparently, my caller’s tooth had broken that morning while she was in conversation with another mother.  Horribly embarrassed, she told me that this time it was a front tooth. 

For the next many minutes, I heard about her plight, an abusive husband, abusive father, the divorce, broken promises, her relocation to the Central Valleyand no job.  Medi-Cal wouldn’t pay for all her broken, decayed teeth to get fixed and she didn’t know where to turn. She indicated her desire to work, and that job applications had been turned in. Now the call-backs were starting to come.

Panic rose in her voice as she expressed her fear of being turned away if she showed up for an interview with her teeth in such poor condition.   She took another breath to continue, but I stopped her.

My notion was that I had better get things under control so she could receive whatever God had for her.

Instructing her to take another breath, I indicated that she should close her eyes. When she was still, I began to pray.   Halfway through, muted sobbing echoed on the other end of the phone.  I continued on anyway.  When the Amen finished the prayer, she sniffed and cleared her throat,

“Thank you for praying for me.   Thank you. I was raised in church, but since all this stuff has been happening, I don’t even know where my Bible is anymore.  My sister said I just had to have enough faith and things would turn around.”  She told me to watch a lady named Joyce Meyer.

“But, HOW LONG do I have to wait? HOW LONG?? I have been like this a long time and I’m so exhausted that I never seem to get a break.  Most of these thirty-seven years have been nothing but struggle, struggle, struggle!!”

A bundle of other negativisms flowed and I listened. 

“Alright, I hear you,” I spoke in unhurried tones, softly, yet with authority.

“You haven’t reached someone who doesn’t understand. I do.  I understand about being abused and neglected as a child. I DO understand rotten teeth and dental pain.  I understand a husband who doesn’t take responsibility and leaves. I understand going hungry.  I understand not being able to fix my own teeth, or getting medical care for myself because the kids take priority. I understand your frustration and your feeling of being without hope.”

“But…there is one thing I understand more, and that is that Jesus didn’t come to this world to give you more faith so YOU could do something about your sin and your problems.   You have it all backwards.”

Many gentle words fell more graciously and powerfully than I knew I could manage on my own. Thank you Lord.

“I know this: if you give yourself and your problems to Jesus, that doesn’t mean the problems will vanish lickety-split. It took a while for you to get yourself in the mess and it will take a while to get out. “

However, it DOES mean that Jesus will get in the middle of the problems and bring His peace.  Once your heart is peaceful, you will be able to see more clearly and God’s Holy Spirit will be able to act in your behalf without you getting in the way trying to solve everything on your own.”

“And, by the way, all those negative things that keep rolling out of your mouth? You are canceling your own blessings every time you speak.  Let’s ask God to help you turn those negative thoughts around. Every time one comes, stop yourself and say, ‘Thank You, God, that You are meeting all my needs.“

I paused,   “Can you do that?”

 
“Y e s “ came a tiny, sincere voice.

“Then I am going to pray with you again and you are going to get God involved back into your life.   You didn’t call me or reach me by accident.  God knew where to send you so you can get what you really need.”

In brief, she gave her life back to God and received some more instruction from me.  Impressed that it wasn’t ALL on her, but understanding that she did have a part to play; my caller thanked me with voice that had found its footing.

What a change! 

It took the better part of an hour and I only had enough time to do the last thing on my list – get on the road and drive to my meeting!

Later that evening, I located some online info and resources.   Before popping it into the mail, I marveled at God’s love and I gave thanks!

The kicker is that I had been cleaning my office and ran across a stack of Joyce Meyer CDs that I had already enjoyed several times over.   They waited on my counter while I waited for God to show me who needed them. 

Before letting my caller go earlier, I asked her if she had a CD player.  She did.  I told her that I had a stack of Joyce Meyer CDs and that I had just asked God who needed them before she had called.   When I mentioned that I knew who should receive them now, she burst into tears.

“You already took so much time with me, why are you doing this?” an incredulous voice queried.

“Because God loves you, and He wants to show you that He will take care of you.”

“Remember?  I said your call was no accident.  God knew right where he was sending you.  Use these CDs to help keep yourself encouraged, and give God the time it takes to get help to you.”

Broken Teeth, broken lives, and broken promises.

Only God can heal our Humpty-Dumpty messes.  

 
This post has been linked with Joan Davis at: Sharing His Beauty

Also shared at Hazel’s:  “Tell Me a True Story” http://letmetelluastory.blogspot.com/   

 

Salmon Patch Kid – Repost

Angel Kisses
courtesy photobucket.com
 
You’ve heard of a Cabbage Patch Kid?  Well, my newborn daughter joined the ranks of the Salmon Patch Kidswhen she arrived.

Someone laughed at her,  “Oh, she’s got a Stork Bite!”

A nurse, said, “Don’t worry, it’s just an ‘Angel’s Kiss’.”

What?  I was dismayed!  What WAS a Stork Bite? What WAS an ‘Angel’s Kiss’?  To me, they sounded like polar opposites!  Was it harmful?  Was it permanent? 

Damaged goods.  My new little baby wasn’t “perfect”?  My saddened heart quivered.

How insensitive people can be, especially to a new mother whose hormones are wildly vacillating!  After I cried, I wanted to scratch out their eyes!

Unlike today, there was no access to a computer or internet via phone, and no one was helping to explain what was on my baby’s face!

As I stared at my newborn, the strawberry patch on her forehead seemed HUGE.  Her little eyelid was also involved.  The trauma of birth had already left her tiny face and nose flattened, and now she was discolored.  

I’m a sure it was my imagination, but every time I looked at her, it seemed like that the patchy-pink blotch was spreading!  Of course I couldn’t help but see the irregularities on her face, but I had to quit thinking about it!

Allowing certain thoughts in can be unsafe for God’s kids.  Mulling them over and over, is detrimental!  Thoughts really DO have to be curbed and redirected. It’s easy to say, but harder to do.  Nagging worry likes to hammer at one’s inner fiber. 

The age-old and familiar Psalms 23 kept coming to mind.  THE LORD is my Shepherd [to feed, guide, and shield me], I shall not lack.     He makes me lie down in [fresh, tender] green pastures; He leads me beside the still and restful waters. He refreshes and restores my life (my self); He leads me in the paths of righteousness [uprightness and right standing with Him–not for my earning it, but] for His name’s sake…..”  It ended: “Surely or only goodness, mercy, and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life, and through the length of my days the house of the Lord [and His presence] shall be my dwelling place. ( Amplified)

While I am not exactly sure why that was comforting, it just was! 

I had to make a decision. Settling myself down and getting to the business of caring for my little girl, as a whole little individual, was what I needed to be about.  Everything else about her worked, and SHE didn’t know she was “defective”. 

We snuggled – she made her baby sounds.  Off to sleep we went.  Who cares, anyway?  She’s mine and I love her.

Before we checked out of the hospital, a doctor mentioned that I didn’t have to worry about her “Salmon Patch”.  It was a normal occurrence in babies 35-50% of the time. 

Really?  Salmon Patch? The name seemed so much less-threatening than the others.  Go figure.

My baby’s  little tow-head and porcelain skin accented the mark tremendously!  The doctor informed me that these types of marks should fade as she grew.  The news was good!  I breathed just a bit more peacefully.

For the next many months, rude people stared and some made awkward comments.

I paid them no attention!  My daughter never knew and I got tired of explaining about what was wrong with her, so I didn’t!

Sure, there was nothing devastating or life-threatening about my daughter’s condition, but, I didn’t understand that at first.    

I’m glad I had stored encouraging words in my heart before my daughter was born.  The Word of God is powerfully alive and when I needed them, they came up quickly to keep me secure.

Even before I heard the doctor’s re-assuring words, I had obtained peace, and resolve…no matter what I might have to deal with in the future. 

Besides, I had my very own Salmon Patch Kid with the brightest, most engaging blue eyes, ever!

I love you Terra!

 

This post has been linked to Michelle’s Thought Provoking Thursday

Also shared at Mary Beth’sWork in Progress

On the Road (repost)



Courtesy photobucket.com
 
 
I was traveling for work, out on the road

I stopped for a bite to eat
I was worn out and tired, about to explode
And had to get out of the heat!
 
Back to the car, I buckled up tight
And braced for the rest of the trip
I needed to go, before I ran out of light

Fatigue had me in its grip
That’s when I noticed, things were all wrong
I nearly started to panic
I was uptight and far from my calm
You could say I was frantic!

I looked and looked for something I’d lost
Right in front of my face!
The more I looked, the more I tossed
And started to run out of Grace!

Anxiety took over and worry was dear
Frenzied to find it was I
The more I thought, the less I was clear
And then I began to sigh,

“Why me? Why me? What have I done
To deserve a problem like this?”
Pity ran rampant, life was no fun,
I forgot every moment of bliss

Then quietly prodded, the sweet Holy Spirit
“You haven’t even asked me”,
“I tried to speak , but you couldn’t hear it”
“I know where you put that key”!

I felt ashamed, I was all out of steam
I had blamed everybody in sight
I couldn’t believe, I was so mean
By now I’d run out of fight.
 
“God please forgive me, I’m sorry I failed,
To use my faith instead”
And as I prayed, my soul, un-jailed
The shadows that brooded, fled!

I looked and looked for something I’d lost
You know, it wasn’t my key!
The more I fretted, the more I forgot
How Jesus has made me free!

Thank God I grew up…and…. Thanks for stopping by, Nancy


This post is shared at:  “Tell Me a True Story” http://letmetelluastory.blogspot.com/
And at Sharing His Beauty Monday   http://www.thebeautyinhisgrip.com/

 

Good Morning Father, I Need You Close Today

(Prayer)
Good Morning Father…

I need you close today.  Invigorate me as I spend time with You.
Energize me for all the tasks at hand.  

You have already obtained everything that I need, so fortify my mind.
Thank You that I operate from a position of power ,
because I am seated in the Heavenlies with Jesus.
                   ∫∫∫

Keep my heart convinced of Your love, so I will stand firm and
not grow weary.
Never-ending peace is mine and Your forgiveness has made me guilt-free!

Thank You.

                   ∫∫∫

Help me tune in all my senses. I want to hear what You are
speaking to me today.
I know I need Your insight to function properly.

I choose to speak the words that stir up overcoming faith in my heart!
I know it is Your Word that helps me stay in the center of Your will and not waver.

I Praise YOU!
                   ∫∫∫

Strengthen my resolves.  Place the correct desires in my heart.
I will receive them gladly and set mine aside.

I know that it’s not over until it’s over, so help me proceed without fear.
I am convinced that You will move any mountains that stand in my way.

                   ∫∫∫

Allow my life to be an inspiration to those around me, so they
will seek YOU.
Thank You for releasing
                                      … Your Revelation
                                                     … and Your Grace into my life.
                   ∫∫∫


Prayer place, by Nancy Kehr
                                                                         



This prayer has been shared at these lovely sites
Joy’s Wednesday; Flaws and Nakedness
Mary Beth’s Work in Progress

He Had No Teeth!

courtesy photobucket.com
 
Cavities, cavities everywhere,  and not a drop of dental care!  

As a kid, there was no such thing as regular dental care for me.   There was little regular about my life. Even “regular” meals remained as irregular as doctor appointments or dental visits!  I’m pretty sure nutrition (or sad the lack of it) played a big role in my poor dental health.

Dull aching always plagued me. Fitful sleep, earaches, sinus pain and throbbing teeth, left me in tears at night.  I couldn’t tell anyone because if my father found out, the rants would begin!  I thought it was normal.  I remember trying to fall asleep – all night long.  From sheer exhaustion, I’d finally get there only to be awakened for school a couple of hours later.

School?  That was another issue. I loved school but got in trouble for falling asleep from time to time.  There was no one to tell and no one who would listen and understand, so I bore a lot of unnecessary discipline for that . . . and for absences.

My thoughts trailed.  This afternoon had been spent at the dentist.  Even though I know exactly what is going on, those long appointments and hours of being numb bother my neck and grate on my nerves.

Just before we finished up, the dental assistant made fun of the insistent growling coming from my stomach!  With these types of dental appointments, there is little time for bathroom breaks, so I fasted breakfast and lunch.  Now I was in search of something soft to eat before I had to return for the dental assisting class. 

Vegetarian beans-and-rice did the trick, and all for just $1.99.  I loaded it with a couple of types of fresh salsa and called it a meal!

While I had to cock my head to the side in order to chew the food and not my cheek, I noticed a fellow come in and order the same thing.   He seemed to fumble around to find enough money.  Thin, scraggly hair and a scruffy beard outlined his face.  My gaze kept being drawn to him.  He didn’t seem especially dirty or needy from what I could tell across the room.  I should be familiar with this routine by now.  That’s how The Holy Spirit always starts with me.  He points them out and we go from there.  Instead, I pretty much dismissed it.

Time raced and I needed to bust a move in order to get back to the dental office before the students arrived!  As I walked to my car, a dull throbbing sent me back into time once again.  I was the little kid with … toothaches.  One whole side of my mouth ached, and my tissues were on fire!  Evidentially some of the hot salsa from lunch had remained, and I was no longer numb.

Lost in thought, I bemoaned the fact that no one cared for my teeth when I was a child and kept thinking about how much time, expense and upkeep it takes for me to stay out of pain and be able to chew properly as an adult. 

Then the Holy Spirit dropped something into my heart that I always share with others.  “Thank God for tools”.  

So I did.   Without these crowns and bridges, I might be toothless! The thought made me chuckle.

Just then I saw the fellow from inside the restaurant. There he sat, in the middle of the street on the island, holding a sign asking for help. 

Traffic forced me to pass him and stop several feet ahead.  My previous assessment of him was that he didn’t look “too bad off”. 

His clothes didn’t appear too worn; neither did his shoes. I wasn’t making any real effort until the Holy Spirit prodded me,

“There is $5 in the glove compartment”. 

I looked at him again thinking he was probably a schemer. Pushing away negative thoughts, I retrieved the money anyway.  When I hailed the fellow’s attention, he ambled over.

Humbly, he thanked me. An up-close look revealed his surprisingly frail condition.  He was dirty and his clothes were thread bare.  His shoes, which appeared clean, had little in the way of soles.  Then he smiled.   Oh dear!  There it was,  another of LIFE’S lessons for me.

No teeth!  He had NO teeth! 

I wanted to kick myself for not following my spirit and praying like I usually do in those situations.  He definitely had a need.

Here I was feeling sorry for myself because of all MY discomfort and dental work.  At least I had teeth, or parts thereof, on which to fashion a crown or bridge. 

He had nothing. Just a gummy smile and bad breath. 

When he said,  “God bless you so much. I really appreciate this”, I knew he meant it and that he wasn’t sitting around preying on the public. 

The light changed.   There was no where to pull over,  and the cars behind me made it clear they wanted me to move…..NOW! 

If only I had listened sooner, he might have been blessed with a few more benefits than the piddly amount of money I handed to him.  A shirt and a pair of tennis shoes from the storage container in my car would have been a nice replacement for what he was wearing.  

How I hate missing cues!    As I drove away, I prayed,

“ Lord, send someone else to help him.  Let ME be QUICK to HEAR your voice, (discerning properly),  and …slow to speak (coming up with my own take on things).

O Lord, Help me to put some more “teeth” to my obedience!              Amen.

 
This post is Linked to Shanda’s On your Heart Tuesday
And at Hazel’s Tell me a Story: 

 

 

Outcomes are God’s Specialty!

Let Me Pray for You
courtesy photobucket.com
 
“Dear Nancy,

            Thank you so much for the prayers.  I’m holding up. Thank you for taking your time to check up on me.  It’s nice to know that people who aren’t even blood-related care about  my well-being.

            I haven’t heard from my Auntie in Stocktonsince I moved out. I lived in a couple of places and then with a family friend in for bit – – had to change my plans.

            I couldn’t find a job, and since my Aunt didn’t keep her promise, it was hard finding one without a car – – Most jobs were not close by.

            All that said, I’m back in Hawaii now, a little disappointed – – doing a plan B.  I decided to enroll in a college here. It’s just that there were no jobs available in Hawaii and I felt I would  have a better chance on the mainland. That is why I came originally.

            Well, anyway, if you are ever in Hawaiiyou are more than welcome to stay here. Thank you again. It means a lot.”

This was a note I received today from a girl that I interviewed almost a year ago.  I’ll call her Cece.  She had recently moved from Hawaii to her aunt’s house in California because of an invitation to attend school and work here.  She found my dental assisting school and was ready to attend when suddenly the help she had been promised, along with her place to live, dissolved into thin air!  

She was very distraught and couldn’t understand what happened.  She had barely had time to establish herself in a new place and now, with no resources, she had to move!

Cece was far from shiftless and she certainly wasn’t a troublemaker.  In fact, her mother’s sister had been using her as a maid, chauffeur and babysitter.

There was money for her keep sent by her mother, but Cece told me that she didn’t mind helping family.   When it became apparent that she was actually going to start classes, everything got ugly.  The Aunt told her it “wasn’t working out”.

Poor thing….  She called me, sobbing. 

Although it never came down to it, we offered her a bed until she could contact her family.  I kept in touch with her over the months and prayed with her for God’s direction. After encouraging her to get into a church, she received some temporary help while planning her return home.

No, she wasn’t able to attend my school.  In fact, the majority of the people who call about the school are not able to follow through for one reason or another.  Each one has a story and God seems to energize me with just the right encouragement for them at that time.

My phone rings incessantly with calls from people needing dental work (which we don’t do), so I do my best to route them to the nearest clinic, non-profit, or Smile-Day that my research can discover.

Yesterday, one very elderly fellow bemoaned the fact that he worked hard for over forty years and never thought he’d find himself in a place where he couldn’t pay for an extraction. I listened quietly as his frustration burned.   When he finished, I heard myself saying,

“Close your eyes, because I am going to pray for you.”

 “Wha-wha-what?   Oh!   Thank-ya… thank-ya…thank-ya”, he kept repeating.

You would have thought that I handed him a load of money.    Well, I guess when you get right down to it, what he got was better than silver or gold, after all.

My husband once told me, “ Hon, for us,  it will always be ministry over money.”

I know he’s right.  When people do call, I am but the nameless, faceless voice that God can use to bring information, direction or comfort.  They all have a need and the Holy Spirit knows just who to send.  I let God be in charge of all the outcomes.

 
Although I had no expectations, the invitation to Hawaii sounds wonderful.  Who would have thought?  Maybe I will get back there one day if God lines it up. 

 
But for right now, I’ll do whatever my hand – – or, voice – – finds to do. 

 
This story is entered in “Tell Me a True Story.”