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Better Not Bitter

Responding God's Way to Life's Challenges

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Ask, Believe, and reCeive

“May I see your phone for a minute?”  His request came only minutes after my daughter’s to which I replied the same, “Not now, I’m listening to something.”  It was possibly a full minute before my son asked the same question again.  This time I said, “Just wait. Kayla asked first anyway.  Considering that she had dibbs when I was done,  before I opened the car doors he was already bargaining with her…explaining that his need was greater than hers…that he only needed it for a few minutes.  Kayla relented.  She was more interested in the book she just got anyway.  And again, before I could turn on the ignition, Recco again made his intentions known.  By that time as you would imagine, my tone matched my frustrationso I responded, “I’m using it, just wait!”

“But Why?” (My kids tend to think that anyone over age 30 have no reason to possess such gadgets obviously)

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“It’s my phone!”

Yes, people….quite possibly my son and daughter are the only kids at their schools who do not own their own cell phones!  Well,  not anymore….Prior experience has made me hesitant.  They’ve had two before and my son was the culprit behind the demise of at least two of my prior ones so right now, they are phoneless.

Before we arrived home, he asked at least 3 more times…Completely irrirtated when I parked I plainly told him, “This kind of thing is going to make me not give it to you period!

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Not for him….for me…clearly his behavior over my phone matched mine with regards to a future husband.

When we arrived home, I was done with the phone, but the way he kept bugging me about what I’d already told him he’d receive made me want to keep it to myself anyway.  Yet, as I was convicted over my own spoiled antics with God’s promises, I surrendered quietly and acknowleged how quite possibly I was delaying the manisfestation of my own blessings by being a little too persistent with my request.

Yes, the bible says to keep asking, keep knocking, and seeking—still over the years I’ved learned that if anything my prayers should have been doing so from a perspective of thanksgiving despite the manisfestation because God is faithful.

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Now I admire my son’s tenacity because what at first irrirtated me to know end was the very thing god used to remind me of the way I treat His word.  My actions as were my son’s showed a complete lack of trust.

No parent wants to think that his or her own child doesn’t trust him or her so I see how my constant prayers laced with doubt were not sufficient.  They lacked the confidence in knowing God will deliver as promised.  Now my son, on the other hand had prior experience with me letting him down so I I can understand his apprehension (I tend to forget things)images (1)

I had no excuse.  God has always come through for me and I have no reason to believe otherwise. So while the waiting period is uncomfortable, it’s teaching me to ask, believe, and receive again a little differently.  I know that unless I align myself with his order, I’ll just wait that much longer.  To that I think I’ll pass.

©2015 Nadia Davis.  All Rights Reserved.

 

Grace for the Gay Life

“I’m just letting you know that if I get suspended from school on Tuesday, it’s for a good reason.”

Granted, that is not exactly the greeting I’d hoped to get from my 17 year old son who’d been driving me “nuts” with the way he’d been “flubbing” up his grades lately…

However,  yesterday I knew I needed to listen and say nothing.

So I did and he continued.

He began, “Okay, there’s this dude I know…he doesn’t bother anybody…he rides the school bus with me…Well, we wore a wig to school…and…well, he’s confused…Anyway, he wore a wig to school and they suspended him for nothing so the whole upcoming senior class is planning to purposely disregard the school’s dress code in protest of his treatment. They can’t suspend everybody!”

 

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That was his logic…I almost worried whether he would be the only one brave enough to do it…

He continued “I mean, I don’t condone his lifestyle, but he didn’t do anything wrong so mama, I’m gonna wear a “wife beater” and I’m gonna sag on Tuesday in protest!  So when I get suspended, you can’t say it wasn’t for a good reason”

Hmmm…a good reason…that got me thinking again about all the questions I’ve asked of God.  I was always told of the “good” that would be revealed.  I admit some of those goods have yet to manifest in my life, but given those I have experienced already, I’m yet hopeful.

I imagine that my son assumed that I would have been upset with him for his premeditated rebellion, but I wasn’t.  I was proud.

I was proud because not long ago the first thing he mentioned when he arrived at the performing arts school was that there were a lot of “confused” students and he immediately wanted to go elsewhere.

However, after a while he realized that these students were not much different than himself. I shared with him then he was called to minister to them.  He shrugged it off and I almost forgot about it myself until I saw the smile in his eyes when he mentioned what he was going to do on behalf of his comrade.

My son then went on to say that he was more upset with the faculty because they all walked by the young man laughing at him while he was in the office.  He even mentioned how one of the security guards called him a f*#%t-I can’t even bring myself to type the word.

I can only imagine how ostracized the boy might have felt.

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I wouldn’t be surprised if my son came up with the protest idea himself.  I also wouldn’t be surprised if he were the only one to do it.  He’s a born leader and strong-willed in every way.

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I am most proud of my son because he has learned to see this young man, though “confused” as he put it, as God sees us.  I could say that my words of wisdom helped him reach the point of his decision yesterday, but I know that it was the Holy Spirit. Recco is willing to sacrifice himself for the wrong done to another.

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Considering the times this year I’ve been tempted to assume my son was possessed (teen-attitudes-who needs ’em), I could have easily dismissed his decision to purposely get suspended for this “good reason” as reckless.

Yet, I can’t help but smile knowing my son is getting a bit more like Jesus everyday in that he too has an abundance of grace for the gay life.

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©2015 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

 

Embracing the Heart of Forgiveness

Two days ago I arrived at work fuming…I was frustrated beyond everything, but I remained calm as I started a nearly 2000 word post in haste over what led to my issues before 8:30 am….I will have you know that this post is not going to be that long so don’t trip!!!

In fact, I deleted it altogether.  I admit, I have a bunch a drafts just waiting, but this one had to go!  Long story short…my son and I had a bit of a disagreement…I was in my feelings…he was in his…and Kayla was caught in the crossfire…I was late to work…got an email from one of his teachers…I felt the need to take his Xbox 360 load it in a garbage bag…take his baseball bat and bash it to itty-bitty pieces all while telling him, ” This is because I love you!”

The truth is my urge to destroy that contraption was warranted, but severely misguided.

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I’m grateful that God doesn’t allow us to do some of the things we might want to do in a moment of passion…

After some careful communication with my boss and future boss…I realized that when mercy has been given, it’s our privilege to offer it to others no matter how big the offense.

Later that afternoon, I got a call from my son.  He’d gotten out of school early because of semester exams so his call was one requesting that I come all the way home to unlock the door for him.

Yes, I work about 25 miles from home and yes I usually have to pick my daughter up from school another 25 miles in the opposite direction, but I knew he needed me.

We kept playing phone tag for a minute, but when he finally reached me…his words, “Mama, it’s cold out here.  I’m locked outside. ”

I could have just as easily told him,

“I told you to bring a coat” or ” I don’t have gas to waste to pick you up and then go back to get up Kayla and then go back to her concert!”

Yep…she had a concert last night too….and I had less than a quarter tank of gas at the time of his request.  Yet, my heart knew that God wouldn’t do me like that.

 That’s the beauty of a loving parent/child relationship.

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Yes, we get angry with one another, but ultimately, we want what’s best for the other and we don’t intentionally want to hurt the other in the long run.  

It’s taken me a long time to grasp that concept so I’m grateful for understanding.  I’ve had to learn that lesson so well lately with regard to my own mother so what did I do?

First, I received his apology.  He was sitting outside and jumped in my car just to ride the distance from the end of the drive way to the garage and he said,

“I’m sorry for this morning. I was wrong.”

Funny thing is that I completely understood now.  I could see how God deals with my attitudes and disobedience with such mercy and love because while he felt the need to apologize to me, when he asked for my help, my willingness to drop everything to ensure he was okay was evidence enough that in my heart, I’d already forgiven him.

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Perhaps, he didn’t know that.  In fact, I’m sure that he had no idea that  I’d already forgiven him.  He felt the need to tell me how sorry he was.  In my humanness I was satisfied with this exchange.  However, God’s love is much stronger in that. He doesn’t wait around withholding forgiveness just because we haven’t admitted our fault.  Rather, He lavishes us with unconditional love that compels our heart to offer the same to others.

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©2014 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

Follow His Lead or Get Bitter Results

Boy have I had the time of my life on this little roller coaster, LITERALLY! No I haven’t gone to the fair yet…that’s scheduled for this weekend, but I mean this Emotional One I’ve been riding for way too long.

Methinks tis time to exit this ride!

 

images (38)  Had a Shakespeare moment!

Have you ever felt like you’ve met “The One” and it would seem that all the stars were aligned and your heart skips a beat when you think of them and then

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LIFE HAPPENS! I mean despite you “knowing” that he or she is “that elusive one,” for whatever reason when you finally grasp the courage to step up to the plate, things just don’t quite add up and you’re left wondering 

Wha Happened??????????????????????????????????????

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Well, for the ladies…sorry guys…if you’re like me…Singleness has the tendency to encourage an addiction to romantic comedies.  Even as I type this I’m realizing how that sounds, but I admit, I’m no hopeless romantic!

 I’m a HOPEFUL one!!!!images (47)

Regardless, I’ve realized today…okay I really realized this weekend that perhaps, therein lies the problem! I guess I can only talk for myself, but I work with mostly women so I’ve heard similar stories, perused other blogs, and it seems the name of the game remains the same:

UNMET EXPECTATIONS=DISAPPOINTMENT

While I’ve been relatively disappointed at times with the way things have gone up and down relationally, this weekend I’ve come to one major conclusion: I’m Impatient!

Now I’d made up my mind a long time ago that when I chose to be chosen again I’d follow where God led me. That makes sense, right?

Sure it does.  Well, I prayed about it for a LOOOOOOONNNNNNGGGGGGG TIME and my prayers were answered about a year ago. Only, somewhere between me reuniting with my Joseph and my present, I forgot all about the reasons I prayed for him in the first place.

I got looped into this “romantic comedy fantasy of “shoulds.”  That is, I was so completely clueless about “dating again” that I allowed my mind to drift back to what I’d seen and heard “boyfriends” should do and say.  Therefore my expectations were skewed from the start.  Let’s face it, I’d learned enough from my past that friendship, trust, and mutual respect were non-negotiable, but when it came to taking things to the next level, I was all thumbs….and even now I’m still a bit fuzzy.

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It really makes no sense to me because when we were just friends, I could go anywhere with him, talk to him, joke with him, and laugh with him without later feeling self-conscious about whether I “said that” or “did that” right?  It didn’t matter because I didn’t care.  It’s not that I valued his opinion of me any less. Rather I just was so at ease when I was with him that I knew he’d accept me regardless of my flaws.  In fact, when either of us so-called “did or said something wrong” it made our time together that more hilarious!

We had a running joke for years on the days I wore my ever-faithful ponytail…apparently I was the only one at work that didn’t have a sewn-in…of course I’m not hating…you be you and I’ll be me…never had a need for weave thanks to my Cherokee roots!

I digress…anyway…truefriends

In my mind and heart for the past few months, I’ve battled within myself to get back to that place with him only to realize that I’m the one who left it in the first place. In retrospect, he hadn’t changed. His quirky sense of humor was the main reason I enjoyed his company.  It was his somewhat annoyingly comical personality that won my heart before I even knew I’d want to give him permission to handle it.

Now I’m stuck with the reality that the way I’ve been the last few weeks with my all in one minute/scared away the next minute antics has him just as clueless about how I truly feel about him as I’d been at the beginning of this endeavor because I allowed a superficial list of ideals set me up for failure….talk about listening to wrong advice.  I should have listened to my heart right after I listened to God whisper, “He’s my son too”

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Go figure…I’d asked for a Godly man…a good father for my children, and a friend wrapped into one, but it never occurred to me until now that God was on his side too…that just maybe, I had the potential to hurt him, but that God loved him as much as he loved me so He’d chosen to protect his heart as well.  Yes, I realize that given some of the hurts and hurdles I’ve had to overcome, the challenge to “get there” has been daunting…

…So I tried to rush things. I made assumptions.  I fell prey to the “shoulds” of a society that…let’s face it…otherwise, I am completely at odds with…so lately I’ve had to ask myself,

“Why can’t I be myself around him anymore?”

“Why do I find it necessary to always wear make up when I see him?”(as if he hadn’t seen me on my worst day before)

“Why do I feel the need to consider what others will say over what I feel?”

WHY?WHY?WHY?

Because I started out listening to God advice and ended up following my own…I’d failed to realize that God had already reassured me what and who was for me is for me…that He had already authored the end of my story and that every plot twist had been meticulously constructed with both His children’s best interest in mind. Somewhere in the mix, I got selfish…I went ahead of God, went forward and was stuck with bitter water…so now I’ve gone back to My Father and asked for His advice…His word stung as it healed.

2 Kings 2:18 New Living Translation (NLT)

18b “Didn’t I tell you not to go?” he asked.

I admit now that before last weekend…everything in me said don’t go there…delays occurred on both ends, but I was stubborn and did what I wanted to do.

I am grateful for God’s mercy though because like the followers in the text, I looked at the potential and decided to move forward although He’d told me to wait. Yes, this morning, I recalled that the Lord sent me to Ruth 3:18 a couple months ago. Since that time, I dissected that scripture many times, but I never did the obvious. I never waited.  So this morning, I repented and surmised again that God alone knows my end from my beginning.  He alone knows the desires of my heart even when I refuse to admit them.

So while I still enjoy my romantic comedy marathons and I can’t readily erase all the stuff I’ve read about couple “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts,” I’ve learned to rely on a far greater source for my relational advice from now on.  I’ve learned I have the hopeful expectation that He will do me good in my future.  Otherwise I could end up in the right place at the wrong time.

When I consider the consequences of all the wrong advice I’ve followed so far, that’s not a risk I’m willing to take again.

©2014 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

 

The Few, The Proud, The Moms?

Since I embarked on this journey to fully employ the Fruit of the Spirit in my life, oh have I been tested! The past few days have been a plethora of circumstances that anyone else would assume it’s perfectly okay to “lose it.” In fact, I laughed in Bible-study last week when my pastor mentioned that he sometimes “loses it.” I laughed in agreement because I knew I too had that innate tendency. Well, by all accounts if I were a stick of dynamite and my teen son were the lit match this morning, yes, one might conclude my explosion completely justified! Yes, indeed just this morning…wow…I didn’t make it a week since that last post.

  • Now I could say I was frustrated because after the storm, the power went out and when it was restored…every room in my home was lit except our bedrooms, the living room, and my bathroom. That would indeed be true.
  • Or I could mention that I was aggravated because no matter how much I tell my son or daughter, for that matter, to clean their rooms they remain in disarray until I’ve had enough and I go do it.
  • Or I could declare my fury stems directly from the countless times I’ve pleaded with them to only eat in the kitchen and still remnants of corn chips, cookies, and popcorn end up everywhere but the room designed for them time and again.
  • I could state I feel unappreciated, taken for granted, and stressed way the heck out…..YES, ALL OF THOSE THINGS WOULD BE A GREAT START TO THE DRAMA I’VE OBSERVED, LIVED, AND LOATHED FOR WAY TOO LONG!

Well, now that I’ve calmed down a bit…I just scarfed down a Bear Claw from Shipley’s—Ahhh —Sweet Relief—

I’ll go on…as I drove in silence this morning, I wondered why God trusted me with such a responsibility.  I also pondered one of the statements my son made that sent me into that silent mode.

Rewind…As I fed my two dogs and got ready to take them out to do what they do…my son sat at the kitchen table with a look of disgust saying,

“Six months is my limit…mama, these dogs are officially no longer mine!  Can we give ’em back? Can we get rid of them?”

Before I knew it, I said,

“You have never taken care of them!”

After all, he wasn’t the one taking care of them. I was!

I went on to say that he and his sister begged for me to allow them into my home when they were only weeks old….that they would care for them, walk them, and clean up after them…Yet, for nearly three years, I’d been doing all of that!!!!

The whole scenario danced in my head the entire drive to Park View High, but none stuck out more than those words, “Can we give ’em back?”  I considered it of my own children…sure Kayla wasn’t saying much today, but I allowed my anger to fester over all the things that they had done and hadn’t done to spite me…I wanted to get an exchange…surely I received some defective models?

I felt inadequate and again wondered why God felt I was apt enough to be their mom.

A few years ago things were different…they both were so respectful and well-mannered…I wanted to scratch my head, but I knew what I needed to do…God had been showing me for at least two years…first I needed to step back and stop being soooooo busy.  I did that, but God also showed me that I needed to remove the pacifiers! 

Yes, I had a teen son and a pre-teen daughter who had morphed into these monsters that I sometimes didn’t want to even be around.

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How on earth could this be?  Well, a while ago.  God led me to the verse,

A wise woman builds up her house while a foolish one tears it down by her own hand. 

Before, I suppose I had been that wiser woman.  Before I’d been the peculiar parent who was overprotective and wouldn’t allow them to go where they pleased without my approval of the person they traveled with or without a thorough inspection of that person’s home life.

Convicted!  I’d become passive in my parenting!  I’d stood idly by while my son’s grades slipped and his attitude did the same.  I’d once been the mother of all the kids in the neighborhood.

If they stayed over we all prayed together.  I pondered in the few minutes of the drive back and forth between then and now and again wondered how I, the Bible-thumping believer, had allowed the enemy to take hold of my children and perhaps me.

In a moment, I almost let the enemy condemn me for what I hadn’t done because I grieved over what my children had.  I almost allowed satan to think he was running my home.  Time after time I’d retreat to my bedroom for solace…for peace and quiet while technology babysat for this single mom.  I’d planned to take them to the park, skating, to the movies, to play cards…I’d planned to pray for them and with them like we used to do.   I needed to get back to that place, but before this morning, I admit, I really didn’t know how.

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Feeling like a hypocrite, God knew what was in my heart though I was too ashamed to utter another word from my lips.

After dropping my son off at school, I happened to get stuck behind a van that had been mottled with bumper stickers all over the back window and door.  One stood out:

The Few, The Proud, The Moms!

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I tskd and rolled my eyes still sick with contempt.

As I entered the highway, a truck drove by with one bumper sticker in bold red lettering:  MOMS ROCK!

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I sighed to myself considering very literally that rocks are strong while I’d become so weak. 

I noticed my daughter never uttered a word like she normally did when I listened to the Gospel stations…She usually begs me to change it.  Today, she was eerily silent too.  As she exited the vehicle, I had an urge to take a different route. I knew traffic was already hectic the direction I was going so though I was unfamiliar with the area, I been there before and was sure I could remember an easier way out of this mess if I put my mind to it.  I noticed everyone was headed that usual way…so everybody was stuck in the waiting game and getting more frustrated in the process….so with that, I veered left.

And am I glad that I did!  I was able to jump right in where I needed to be.  Until typing this, I hadn’t realized the magnitude of that decision as well as the subsequent reminders God provided me on my journey.

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God wanted me to take a new route to get me where I needed to be….where I’d been before, but had forgotten because it had been so long since I’d traveled it.

God didn’t stop reminding me of His mercy and that He’d made the right decision when He decided to bless me with my children.  In fact, He confirmed it over and over.  As I drove I saw one billboard advertising the marines state: Service comes with Pride and immediately I recalled the bumper sticker I’d seen prior that stated: The Few, The Proud, The Moms!

That’s when I realized that I kind of used to run things in my home like a marine some might say, but despite the normal stuff…my children were well disciplined!

….Discipline…Discipline…the word sounded vaguely familiar, but I knew I could no longer pretend like my lax attitude wasn’t the culprit behind their behavior.

I knew that I needed to not just unplug my ears to listen to what God had been telling me, but I also had to literally unplug the many devices I’d purchased over the years to maintain my own selfish sanity.

I thank God for His patience with me during this Prodigal period.  So with that, I inhaled and as I came to my senses, realized that I had not only been given permission to give my children back to Him but that I’d been obligated to do so.

What’s Your Response to God’s Ability?

Two years ago, I lost my job.  I thought I had faith then, but what I really had was a nice little 401K cushion so I wasn’t worried about losing my home or whether I’d be able to keep the lights on…I was okay when that very month, the child support that I’d been receiving faithfully for over 8 years stopped…I assumed it was God trying to tell me something.  He was.

I had the opportunity to track down and pursue the matter, but when the letter arrived to report address and phone number information about the missing link in my son’s life, I had an overwhelming urge to discard it. God then placed it on my heart to not worry about the “child support.” I was obedient then and in the trash went the letter.

Since that time, my world has changed tremendously with regard to my finances…I refused to worry about the “child support” because I’d gotten pretty good at this “single-parent” thing over the years…including those when I was married…things were okay, but struggles of which bill I’d skip to pay for this and that has taken its toll in the past few months…before I’d learned to be resourceful…at times even making bread from scratch to save a buck…at the time, I figured that was what I had to do so I did. I learned to get more comfortable with eating less or some days not at all to ensure my children didn’t have to do the same. The benefit then was weight-loss though ill-gotten…I could fit in clothes I hadn’t been able to before so I was again okay.

Later that year, I decided to enroll in school…yet again…With a Master’s degree…you’d think I’d be tired of school, but I guess I liked the idea of being a permanent student or something….Though I had time on my hands to pay full attention to what God had planned for me without distractions (my writing), I decided to do other things. I had the time to attend my children’s events when school started and I enjoyed the freedom to come and go as I pleased without the hammer of Corporate America badgering me into submission to “their” rules. I still had some money available so I really didn’t spend my days like I’ve been trying to juggle them now.

Yet, somewhere between the day I lost my job and the day God blessed me with this one, I discovered that my faith hadn’t actually been in God as much as thought ….I’m sick with conviction now to admit that…but given all I’ve faced since that time, I realized that God had been weening me from myself!

In retrospect, I suppose he’d been doing that well before I lost my job because when I got sick, I wasn’t able to work as much so my funds were chopped anyway….

I digress…Well, this morning after I finished writing checks to various utilities, I almost forgot to listen to what He’d told me a couple years before…

…I’d seen the text from my son’s dad two days ago, told my son about it…yet Recco never asked for my phone to return the favor…I looked at it this morning a bit “pissed” for lack of a better word.

School started this week and all week my son was pretty bummed. My daughter’s school thankfully were required to wear uniforms. So when I could, I snagged one and had a couple shirts that would suffice until today, I’d supposed….but as I calculated and deducted, the others in layaway would have to wait yet another 2 weeks….but this week I’d gotten used to the wash, wear, and repeat routine so to do it another few weeks would again be okay for me I suppose….It didn’t really dawn on me if it would be okay with her though….well, not until I finished balancing the remnants of my funds…I didn’t want her to see me “have to do that.”

Kayla hit a growth spurt far sooner than my son so I suppose that’s why I hadn’t paid much attention to the changes he’d undergone in what seemed like overnight.

I’d been praying for him to grow for years along with him I’m sure.  He been so self conscious about his height…so tiny even at birth, the nickname, Lil’ Recco, sort of stuck in more ways than one I guess.

It was okay for a while in our favor since he’d been able to wear many of his clothes for a few years without them fraying…only last night…when he came to me excited about the prospect of going shopping this weekend, I could only grimace at the reality that was in front of us. My frown then matched his silence this morning. As I went through his closet of what seemed like so many items, I realized now the reason he’d been “choosing” to wear the same things over and over.  He hadn’t made the choice at all.  Those supposedly “favorite” pieces were the only things that fit him now.

I bagged them this morning and the trunk was full…All the while, I’d assumed that he’d just been set in his ways and didn’t want to wear certain things because just a year before the same shirts, jeans, sweaters, and even dress shirts had been too big.  I tried to justify my decision to wait to shop a little longer with this assumption, but the imploding trunk of clothes I’d noticed he’d modified in various ways over the passed few months wasn’t done so out of preference, but one of necessity.

I now understood his tears when Tuesday night youth choir rehearsal turned into a praise and worship session…why as I corralled my tears with my hands I felt his arm around me beckoning me to stand up and walk the pews with him as he proclaimed, “Lord, you know what we need!”

At least then, I was sure that my son hadn’t fully abandoned his relationship with our Father as his behavior sometimes made me assume.

His words, “Lord, help me to put a smile on my mother’s face!” stung.

First, because I didn’t want him to feel like he alone had to shoulder that burden. Second, no child should feel like they are responsible for another person’s happiness like that…I couldn’t help but wonder how he felt when he knew he’d disappointed me.

Did he think I loved him any less?

As I finished the bills, I was bombarded with a similar accusation, Does he think I love him less because I haven’t bought him new clothes…because I’m asking him to wait…to understand…to be patient again?

Even in writing this I know the answer…worse yet…I know who really was asking the question…it wasn’t my son…it wasn’t me…it wasn’t even the Lord…you see because God doesn’t accuse…there is but one accuser and his name is satan…He would love for me to break down and forfeit the blessings God has already shown me that are in store for us.

Right now, God is working behind the scenes to provide more than enough….I know because He alone gave me this reminder right before I almost responded to my son’s dad’s text.  I almost typed the words, “Hey this is Nadia, Recco needs some school clothes, can you wire a couple hundred?”

Thankfully, I stopped before I typed my name and asked God to show me His will…I vaguely remembered the ” You have not because you ask not scripture, but in my heart…I knew that wasn’t it…So I opened my bible and the scripture unintentionally highlighted was Isaiah 8:11-14a…

Isaiah 8:11-14 New Living Translation 

A Call to Trust the Lord

11 The Lord has given me a strong warning not to think like everyone else does. He said,

12 “Don’t call everything a conspiracy, like they do,
    and don’t live in dread of what frightens them.
13 Make the Lord of Heaven’s Armies holy in your life.
    He is the one you should fear.
He is the one who should make you tremble.
14     He will keep you safe.
But to Israel and Judah
    he will be a stone that makes people stumble,
    a rock that makes them fall.
And for the people of Jerusalem
    he will be a trap and a snare.

Since this was my study bible…there were some little symbols alerting me to additional info…to the next section I needed…The footnote stated that “The Lord warned the people to not rely on Assyria(see 7:1) So that’s what I did…I flipped the page over and realized what I actually had highlighted instead of the first verse.

I said, “unintentionally” earlier because I’d never read that passage before…yet, I’d highlighted the passage on the opposite page a while ago…it bled through and showed what I needed in that moment of doubt…I turned the page to reveal the rest of God’s letter to me…three separate passages in this order…Isaiah 7:4, 9b, 12…

Tell him to stop worrying. Tell him he doesn’t need to fear the fierce anger of those two burned-out embers, King Rezin of Syria and Pekah son of Remaliah.

Isaiah 7:9-12 New Living Translation

Israel is no stronger than its capital, Samaria,
    and Samaria is no stronger than its king, Pekah son of Remaliah.
Unless your faith is firm,
    I cannot make you stand firm.”

The Sign of Immanuel

10 Later, the Lord sent this message to King Ahaz: 11 “Ask the Lord your God for a sign of confirmation, Ahaz. Make it as difficult as you want—as high as heaven or as deep as the place of the dead.[a]

12 But the king refused. “No,” he said, “I will not test the Lord like that.”

I realize now that in this scripture, God was requesting that Ahaz ask Him for a sign and he refused…but God had been willing to strengthen his faith through a sign so I’m not doing like old Ahaz….

Dear Lord,

I know that You are able to provide as You have over and over again so at Your request, I request You provide that sign for my son to see Your glory.  In Jesus’ name I pray Amen!

Your Daughter

So with that…I’m thanked God for His intervention…erased the message I started…recalled the many times the Lord had provided exactly what I needed when I needed it before and renewed my faith in the God of everything for allowing me to abundantly lack nothing!

©2014 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

I Stand Corrected

Last week, I vented. I remembered. I cried out in my soul on my son’s behalf. I’m glad to know that my candor helped someone other than myself. I, however, would be remiss in my ministry, if I failed to share how wrong I’d been with my assumptions. He did call. Rather, he actually sent a text requesting that my son call him.

That night after I’d posted my frustrations and God’s resolution, my daughter noticed the message first. She excitedly ran into the living room where my son was glued to his Xbox spouting tactical procedures to his team on Call of Duty,

Recco, your dad texted you! You gonna call him back?

I said nothing. I just remained in the kitchen noting the events in my heart that would transpire.  The volcano erupted.  Like lava his anger bled and sought to destroy all in its path, but that night, my daughter was the target. Instead of gleefully grabbing the phone as he had in years past, I don’t know if he ever grabbed it. I just know the shouting began. I also know that my daughter was hurt. She’s always been the one to step in and try her best to cheer others up. She assumed that by telling her big brother that his dream of speaking with his father again had been answered and she was the one responsible for letting him know would be just what her heartbroken sibling needed to make him better some how.  That night, however, she learned why the phrase, “don’t shoot the messenger” may have been coined. The pain in her golden eyes sent a surge through me. I was tempted to double over, but I stood still reminding myself that the labor pains had long since subsided.  Her eyes told one story as her tongue followed through with feeble attempts to defend her stance.  My daughter’s mouth could be lethal as mine had been at my age, though, I believe much of the cutting remarks were only shared to redeem some part of her heart that had been broken.  She remained in the kitchen with me after the lava slowed and again my son was enthralled in a world of teamwork and gunfire, one where I know now, he felt he mattered.  But he mattered to me too!  I just hadn’t the strength in that moment to make the words surface so I stood mute.

The night passed like a flash. The next afternoon when I arrived home from work, I noticed that phone shattered on my living room floor. As I knelt to pick up the pieces, I reflected on the night before. It hadn’t been a nightmare after all. The hurt I felt…he felt…we all felt had been real. I pieced it back together while I pondered how I would do the same for my family.

I wondered if the pieces I’d reassembled were the result of an accident. I hoped, but knew the truth. It remained powered off for the next two days.

I began Saturday with a relentless pursuit to make them better.  Yet, after an early morning workout, I’d left my son alone with his thoughts.  He’d figured our plans were too “babyish” to be fun.  He’s a teenager so I agreed that maybe he was too old to participate.  I wish I hadn’t.

Quality time was my motive and laughter was my method…he could have used a good laugh, but I wanted him to have the opportunity to call his father without the responsibility of admitting that he didn’t answer again.  Well, I didn’t want him to feel that he needed to admit that to me anyway.  That’s what his explosion a couple days prior had been about.  He had attempted to call him back, but neither did he answer nor did he call back that night.

So yes, I tied my leg to a complete stranger’s and waddled down a field in a 3-legged race, supervised as Kayla tossed a water balloon to her partner snagging 1st place, and gritted my teeth in an ultimate tug of war that proved “Girls Rule!”as suspected:-)  I laughed out loud with her until I dropped her off at her grandmother’s and upon my arrival home, my son seemed proud to have me all to himself.  I actually attempted to understand the point behind the game that fascinated him, but I’d never imagine picking up the controller for that one.  There had already been a consensus of one who wouldn’t tolerate me messing up his record.  So I folded clothes and watched. He beamed.  I was satisfied.

At church on Sunday, my son was by my side and extremely courteous…I mean he’s a teenager! He held the door as he’d been taught since he was younger, this time without a reminder (he seemed to have gotten amnesia every now and then since he hit “teenville”).  He was quiet but while I praised, he stared.  That evening, I thought to power on that phone. A new message came up.  Again, Kayla rushed into the living room with the news, but stopped short at the door, turned toward me, and her eyes said what she couldn’t.  Taking her cue, I told Recco, “Come in here son and call your daddy back.”  He entered immediately with a gruff, “that message is old.”  My daughter’s excitement couldn’t be withheld any longer so she spouted, ” No it’s not it just came through today!”  He took the phone, left my presence and slowly marched back to his seat, and pressed the “send” key to return a call to the one who’d apparently texted him only hours before.

I smiled and wondered at his words. “What’s up dad, man Bro’ I haven’t talked to you in a long time…”  began my transition.

He may have talked to him only 15 minutes, but I knew that my son was happy if only for those few moments. He felt loved again by both parents and I was grateful for God’s mercy and felt no resentment for his father’s absence. Instead, I realized the power of forgiveness.

I realized that God had forgiven us before we were born, yet who are we to not forgive those we see or talk to (or not so much) everyday?

This truth was further corroborated when I arrived to work and listened to the broadcast.  The message was so profound that I finally understood how God had been testing my faith and my heart as to whether I could refuse to make someone else pay for what had been done to me or my child.  So with this, yes my last post was candid, painful, and a lesson in God’s grace…so I’m humbled, grateful, and yes folks, I stand corrected.

©2014 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

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