Empty

During this corporate season of prayer I have filled my journal with hundreds of entries from my personal prayer times. Here is one of the thoughts I have been contemplating since Jan. 26.

We are only empty vessels. The sooner we recognize that, the sooner we can stop trying to accomplish things in our own power and we can allow God to fill us and flow through us with His power. In His power we can accomplish eternal things if impossible magnitude.”

I am aware that God is bringing me into a place where I recognize my powerlessness. This sense of my own fragility is the key to operating in the supernatural power of the Living God.

Are you becoming aware that you are not equal to the task in front of you? What is your answer to it?

Shift To So Small

Dear Evan Hansen is one of my favorite musicals. It’s a modern day commentary on: family, peer pressure, truth telling, rejection, fatherlessness, and well so many other things.

A few days ago I was working on the church’s prophecy board (more on that another time) when I just felt I had to listen to the music from the musical again. I knew as I did, it was God telling me He was going to reveal emotions I was not being honest about.

So many of the songs resonate with me even as a pastor/prophet. This time, though, the songs that hit me hard were “So Big So Small” and “Does Anybody Have a Map”, which are the mother’s songs from the musical.

In the middle of both songs I began to cry. SUPER UNEXPECTED! I actually closed up shop and went home because I couldn’t take it anymore and I couldn’t figure out why. The next day I told Amanda about it and then I played the songs again for her and… Yep!…. You guessed it. I started crying again. I realized I had work to do.

I have spent many hours in prayer over this and I think I have a bit of revelation. I am relating with this lady…not because my son is in trouble but because Brenda, Amanda and I are becoming parents by increments to my mom.

It has hit me that Brenda will soon be heading back to her mission, I think I am afraid of this. When Brenda goes back to The Netherlands I will be a “single parent” : I will make the meals. I will pay the bills. I will make sure Mom takes her showers. I will do the doctors and the dentist appointments. I will do the laundry and…. and….and….and … this house seems so big and I feel so small.

Does Anybody Have a Map?

Mother’s Day At the Vicarage: The New Normal

Here in America, we are celebrating Mother’s Day. We have two Moms to celebrate today.

Great Grandma
New Momma

This is Melanie’s first Mother’s Day. Since she lives an hour away and since church and lunch for Mom will keep my day pretty busy through day’s end, I will not get a chance to see her until my day off tomorrow (weekends are not weekends for pastor’s they are more like Thursdays and Fridays). I am looking forward to spending time with Melanie, her husband James and my granddaughter Dani.

Mom does not go out anymore. I don’t mean by that, she is a happy homebody. I mean she doesn’t like to go out on the front porch for more than a few minutes. Getting her to sit on the lawn for a midsummer’s picnic is major event and going to the doctor is something we have to begin talking her into two weeks in advance. So for us Mother’s Day is going to be low key.

I remember my grandmother (Mom’s mom) went through this as her mind weakened in her later years. I am watching as my aunts go through this same thing and as my cousins fight to keep their moms from becoming total recluses. It is one of the many facets of this disease that is very hard to watch…the disconnection from the world.

Part of working through this process of slow loss is in embracing what is in the moment and making that special. We may not be able to take Mom out for dinner or to the beach or on any other family outing but that doesn’t mean we cannot celebrate. Brenda, Amanda and I have decided, we will bring in Chinese food and then later go pick up Sundaes from the local ice cream stand she loves so much and bring them home. If it stops raining I may even get outside and get some more of the yard done so that even if she will not go out and sit in it she can view it from the window.

Our family is one of the many coming to terms with dementia or Alzheimer’s. It is not the easiest of walks but we are blessed to have Mom with us for this year long experiment of complicated living.

What are you doing for Mother’s Day?