Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Lift Up : Praise the Lord, O My Soul
The last chapter of Jennifer Rothschild's "Self Talk, Soul Talk" has us shift our focus.
She first has us examine our hearts. I have to say I loved her honesty in the story about the lab tech who asked about Beth Moore.
She quotes Helen Keller "Many people have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose"
She then prompts us to open the door of our thought closets to look inside. What consumes your thoughts? When you have an idle moment, where do your thoughts wander? When you talk to yourself, what are you usually saying? This is to help us determine what we consider a worthy purpose.
The large majority of my adult life has been characterized by motherhood. Four children in 8 years. I have joked about the mini mid life crisis I had when I turned 35.
I had the first of my four children when i was 21 and the last when i was 29. All through my twenties my life was consumed with babies and small children. I was either pregnant, just out of pregnancy or thinking about getting pregnant again.
I awoke one day and said to myself "where did my twenties go?" I promptly went out and got my belly button pierced and eventually got a tattoo. This made me feel much better.
I realize now that the reason I had missed my twenties slipping away is that I was consumed with caring for our children, building our family. A worthy purpose!
I recall being very happy for the better part of my twenties, (minus an extended cruise my navy husband had to take in which he missed the birth and first three months of our daughters life.) For life then was filled to the brim with children, ministry, and fellowship. God had blessed me with another navy wife who was a christian. We shared our parenting challenges, our hopes and dreams for our children our sorrow over our oft missing husbands. She looked out for me and I looked out for her.
Oh for that time in my life!
Now as I look into my thought closet I see ....
My son, heroin addict. Jail. An uncertain future. Penitentiary? Along side of that is the collateral damage. My family, my husband, daughter, the boys.
Certainly he is a worthy purpose. Interceding for him through prayer, encouraging him, visiting him. The problem comes when I focus on the pain all of this brings to me, my sorrow over his mistakes, my fear, worry, etc...
I remember telling Brett once, I can no longer allow your life to dictate MY happiness.
How do I do that?
I think here in this chapter is the answer. I must get the focus off of myself.
I don't think there will ever be a day that my child's pain will not bring a certain degree of suffering, but I do believe that if my eyes are firmly fixed on the Father there will be a hedge of protection and comfort that will extend through any hardship that may come.
Jennifer quotes Dag Hammarskjold "When we lift up God, we open the door of our inmost being to that warm, steady, beautiful radiance. Lift up the Lord, Honor Hid name, give Him praise, sing in concert with the angels, and a little bit of heaven rubs off on you."
If ever I needed a bit of heaven it is now.