Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Still On a Serious Note - or Honest Confession -

Before I return to my memorabilia - and "stuff" from the 50's and 60's, and even the 1900's or 30's and 40's - I feel compelled to comment on my recent 3 posts which were much more spiritual and indepth than my usual journaling. There's so much serious stuff out there, so many wonderful resources regarding God in our lives, my insight hardly makes a ripple.

There was the post in which I ended quoting 1 Peter. The following is exactly what I wrote:

I am God's elect. I am a stranger in the world. I have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit.
I have been chosen and am being sanctified for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by His blood:
I can expect grace and peace in abundance.

When I wrote that I understood, full well, that there would be things which would "clog" the peace available to me. I have other things in my life which I still "cling" to for peace. Crazy!

I've known for a long time that it is the mental and emotional health of my 4 daughters which rival my loving God with all of my heart and soul and mind and strength. My flesh still wants them to always be "com-fort-a-ble!!!" Which, that can be a bit confusing - because God continues to use me foremost in a maternal capacity. I've no doubt that He's used me as a mother in their lives to pray, direct, point, teach, influence, love, etc. - but with a lot of error as well. Now I have the pleasure and opportunity to grandparent. MAN! What a blessing!!! What fun! But exhausting, as well.

So - last night - here it comes - I don't know if it was God - or the enemy - or just flesh - or all 3 - but I did receive a phone call which needn't have been any kind of threat to the mental and emotional health of any of my children - it was from one of my daughters - but I heard something, translated it, and felt "threatened" for one of them in two ways - and I began to react.

Imagine this - all the available peace and grace of God, and then imagine my walking right past that - saying a defiant NO! - and choosing to trust the elements of this world and my brain. It was my decision to control people and things. Again, crazy!! Well, what happens, when Elizabeth gets so sock up, knee deep, in her flesh, sinking in the quicksand of flesh and human strength, is that Elizabeth begins to start flinging stones at everyone visible. I was throwing verbal darts at Charlie, my daughter and the people around my daugher. I trusted noone and I certainly didn't trust God. In that moment, at its worst, I was choosing to be the savior of my children and myself. again - absurd.

The way it would look from any passerby who might happen to listen in on the Rhodes' home - Elizabeth is speaking ever so harshly to her daughter over the phone and it doesn't sound good.

We ended up crying - Charlie was ironing and I had him return the call to her to check for emotional damage I had done - He did - but because he didn't have a complete informative rundown on the whole situation, his words were stumbling over a hurting child - so with calmer emotions I got back on the phone. Thanks to the spiritual and emotional maturity of my daughter, and enough loving through the years, we were able to put a Godly and stable spin on the whole thing, each of us confessing our failures - still- the wreckage. We got off the phone. I had my husband to support me. She had noone. So I called her back in 10 min. She was better, but yes, had been crying. So had I. We talked for a long time, in lieu of her having a person there to be with her. She and I both ended that conversation with an amazing amount of peaceful, calm tones and in harmony - understanding the true heart's desire of the other one. I checked on her today - checking for emotional "stability", feeling responsible for damage I'd done -

I have just been very wide open about all of that to say - in reality - the peace of God depends on trusting HIM - leaning on HIM - knowing HIM and the power of His resurrection. Again - I can expect grace and peace in abundance. BUT - when I find myself in the opposite of peace and cannot navigate my way out of the situation - as in last night - my daughter and I both knew we just needed to get off the phone - then I need to go back to the starting place.

It's like getting lost - Either go back to where I began - or if it's more efficient - navigate from that place -

In my dreams, I am this calm, older woman who leans only on the Lord - and as situations enter my realm of thought and vision - I am able to remain wise and broken and leaning on the everlasting arms - I regret that at age 57 I still have way too much human fight in me. My desire is to lay it all down - be the trusting child and know that my heavenly Father has an answer for this. Again - there is always grace and peace in abundance.

Besides looking to God and His promises, His word, His truth in these situations - I also begin to reflect on the past and my family experiences.

My grandmother, Ella, was the mother of my mother and my mother's 3 sisters. Do the math and you see that Ella had four daughers. I have four daughters. Those are unusual dynamics.

It was Ella and Elbert and their 4 girls. They were all close, close, close. I do remember drama, but I also know that until the day Mom and Lucille went to heaven, they all remained close. They have always been fiercely loyal to each other - Florence and Mary are the two who remain. They continue to communicate, regularly. Each of them have their family, their children who care for them - but there remains a love and respect between Mary and Florence - it's a tremendous thing to have in old age. Anyway, besides the kingdom of heaven and the glory of God being foremost - on this earth I desire to make every effort to preserve the unity of family and sisters and the love and respect of extended family.

Above all of that I really do desire to be out of the way of God in my life. I desire to lay it all down, trust Him with the situation - allow Him to live in me - It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me - Oh! may it be lived out! That I not only have the peace of God, but exude the peace of God to those around me.

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