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Wednesday, September 3rd 2014

10:18 AM

Welcome to Momhood

I am a bad mom.

There. I’ve said it. I’ve laid it all on the table.

I have two adult children and I still try to make life all better for them.

Wasn’t I supposed to let go of that role when they were in elementary school? I bandaged the cuts and brushed off their knees, with a kiss to make it all better.  

When did I adopt the role that said, “I have to keep everyone happy”? I scurry around trying to be the peace-maker and hand-holder and all of that scurrying leaves me empty and scarred. As moms, do we enable our kids to grow, when we are the go-to person in their lives? Where is the fine line between being an enabler and being a springboard to launch them into adulthood? In their book, The Cure for the “Perfect” Life, Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory point out that “we live with the illusion that we have some measure of control over how other people behave. We’re like a three-year-old kid strapped into his car seat and using his Fisher-Price steering wheel, absolutely certain that he’s the one driving the car.

It’s crazy feeling that we have all the responsibility for other people’s lives, with none of the authority to make a difference.” (p. 171)

I gave up that authority with each birthday we celebrated. My children entered the pre-teen years with an earnest desire to make their own decisions. They went through the teens with independence as their motto. Letting go actually began the day I gave birth and gave them opportunity to breathe on their own. Why then, do I strive to take back control and seek to guide them still? Isn’t that something I label creatively as nurturing? When I hide my controlling tendencies in nice sounding terms, it makes me sound like a “good” mom. Yet, my whole job description as a parent is to prepare my kids to make their own decisions. (Tweet this!) And that cannot happen when I second-guess their judgment. Is there a better way for me to show them love? Lipp & Gregory say, “there is a love that goes deeper than hurting when others hurt- it’s the kind of love that allows those we love to be in pain so they can become the kind of people God has designed them to be.” (p. 175)

Now, I am the last person to want to leave someone else in pain. I am a people-pleaser with a capital P. But if I understand that I am not to rescue others from their problems, maybe I will embrace their journey to the Throne of Mercy by getting out of the way. (Tweet this!) And that is the best way to be an enabler.

I don’t have this all figured out. I’m sure I will regress and fall back into patterns of habit that are within my comfort zone. So here are two questions I will ask:

“1. Is this the best solution for them?

  2. Is this the best solution for me?” (The Cure for the “Perfect” Life, p. 178)

Lipp & Gregory explain, one way to advocate healthy self-care is to tell myself, disappointment isn’t deadly. When I release my kids to experience pain, they are empowered to reach out to God as their own Rescuer.

Here is my question for you: 

How have you learned to release your adult children to the consequences of their own choices?

Sally

Related Posts:

8 Ways to Increase Mom-Time!  http://6497855.bravejournal.com/entry/37613

The Love of a Parent  http://6497855.bravejournal.com/entry/21459

Praying for our Children   http://6497855.bravejournal.com/entry/23375

 

Link to:   The Cure for the “Perfect” Life   http://6497855.bravejournal.com/entry/141213

I Need Some Help Here! Blog Tour   http://sallyswords.braveblog.com/entry/140739

https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?text=My job as a parent is to prepare my kids to make their own decisions.@SallyJFerguson http://sallyswords.braveblog.com/entry/141327

 

https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?text=If I do not rescue others from their problems, I embrace their journey to the Throne of Mercy by getting out of the way.@SallyJFerguson http://sallyswords.braveblog.com/entry/141327

 

 

      

     Welcome to Momhood

         

        

   

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Thursday, August 28th 2014

12:03 AM

Out of Africa

 

I still weep when I look at the pictures from Uganda. How can a trip to another continent render one so utterly speechless? Maybe it’s the culture shock, but, would you believe culture shock is harder coming back home? If you have running tap water in your house, then you have more than most people in Third World countries. You are wealthy!

One of the home visits we made was to a widow’s in Gulu. She takes care of her grandchildren because their parents, her children, have died of aids. Her home is a tiny mud hut with a thatch roof. Inside, she had a rocking chair and a fire pit. She was thrilled to invite us in, and brought a bench inside, just so she could host us in her home.

There’s no welfare from the government in Africa. People survive off the land and the love of others who have compassion on them. We brought gifts of lotions, soap and shirts, and small toys for the children, as well as beans and rice. You would have thought she received great riches, her gratitude was so profound.

One organization that is making a difference in their lives is Children of Promise, a child sponsorship program of the Church of God. The program they developed for the widows is called TAPP, and is described this way,

“Tumaini Aids Prevention Program is a holistic social program that reaches out to those infected and affected with HIV & Aids. It provides training, Home Based Care, income generating projects, education and social support for a hopeful life which encompasses the entire community.

The Church of God child sponsorship office is located in the Kasubi area, in the city of Kampala, Uganda. As the office doors would open each morning, more and more families were showing up needing assistance. The need to care for families affected by HIV was overwhelming. Soon it was obvious that a separate program should be created. They called this program TAPP. ‘Tumaini’ is a Swahili word meaning ‘hope’ and became the vision of this program.”

We have long been associated with TAPP through the beautiful beads made by the widows. They create the beads with strips of paper rolled into tight balls and strung together, and this is one of the ways they support their families.

Take a look at their work here:  http://tapphope.com/

Read more about our home visits here:  http://www.bustichog.blogspot.com/2014/07/monday-july-282014.html

In his book, Something Beautiful For God, The Classic Account of Mother Teresa’s Journey into Compassion, Malcolm Muggeridge says this about encountering impoverished people: 

Accompanying Mother Teresa... to the Home for the Dying, to the lepers and unwanted children, I found I went through three phases. The first was horror mixed with pity, the second compassion pure and simple, and the third, reaching far beyond compassion, something I had never experienced before – an awareness that these dying and derelict men and women, these lepers with stumps instead of hands, these unwanted children, were not pitiable, repulsive or forlorn, but rather dear and delightful; as it might be, friends of long standing, brothers and sisters. How is it to be explained – the very heart and mystery of the Christian faith? To soothe those battered old heads, to grasp those poor stumps, to take in one’s arms those children consigned to dustbins, because it is His head, as they are His stumps and His children, of whom He said that whosoever received one such child in His name received Him.  (pp. 52-53)

Indeed, we met our brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews in those huts. And we were blessed.

Sally

Related Posts:

Vision for Africa       http://6497855.bravejournal.com/entry/137730

To Uganda or Bust!  http://6497855.bravejournal.com/entry/140960

What difference can two hours make?  http://6497855.bravejournal.com/entry/102005

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Thursday, August 14th 2014

3:34 AM

The Cure for the “Perfect” Life

Quizzes, tips and personal examples punctuate a new book by Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory. The topic? Letting go of unrealistic expectations and perfectionistic attitudes.

Think you don’t have those? Think again, and delve into the deeper issues of the heart where anger can simmer and bitterness stews. The authors remind us that such a deadly combination can be difficult to swallow.

So, what’s the cure? The Cure for the “Perfect” Life breaks down complicated issues of Perfectionism, People-Pleasing, Performancism and Procrastination into manageable tasks. I found out my personal bully belief system and how it expresses itself in crisis mode. I learned about my underlying motives and how they sneak into unrelated situations. I also found epiphany moments of Try Harder Living and the obstacles it presents “to leave the life that’s been expected… and to start living the brave, not so neatly tied up life that God is calling (me) to.” (p. 7)

Perhaps that thought was jarring to you as well? Aren’t Christians supposed to live “perfect” lives? The authors strive to prove Christians aren’t perfect, nor are we expected to be so, by the One who made us. In fact, the less we strive to be perfect, the more we shine as imperfect tools in God’s hand. (But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body.” 2 Corinthians 4:7-11) And I have felt the impact of that truth in my own life, when the Lord has brought people alongside to help in my crisis points.

Imperfection strengthens authenticity. (Click to tweet:  https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?text=Imperfection strengthens authenticity.@SallyJFerguson http://sallyswords.braveblog.com/entry/141213)

One of the many things I like about this book is the fact that it doesn’t just point out faulty belief systems, it goes into detail with positive action steps and illustrations of what braver living looks like. What is brave living? Taking the first step to change self-defeating behaviors and learning to validate the strides you make toward healthier attitudes. I appreciate the multiple examples because they flesh out responses I might not have recognized in myself.

The authors tell us, “Love is at the heart of Braver Living.” (p. 49)

If love is invited in, it dispels fear, and freedom from the bondage of fear enables us to fully experience God’s heart of love. (“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12: 29-31)

We are also reminded, “Loving myself also means obeying God. Obedience starts with lots of listening… The more we learn to hear God’s voice and take him to heart, the better we will understand what he’s leading us to do.” (p. 52)

Isn’t that one of the things we yearn most for? To know God’s will?

Do yourself a favor and get this book. Here’s a free chapter to get started:   http://www.thecurefortheperfectlife.com/downloads/chapter1.pdf  May it launch you on your own road to recovery from a limited belief system that prevents you from being the best you God created. “God is telling us not only to stop ignoring our talents, but to stop postponing our talents. Stop waiting until you’re fearless – you never will be – but do as much as you can with what you have. That’s brave living.” (p. 101)

http://www.Facebook.com/TinyActsOfRebellion

Sally

Disclosure of Material: I received this book free from the publisher for The Cure for the “Perfect” Life Blog Tour. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR Title 16, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/The-Cure-Perfect-Life-Trying/dp/0736957006

Related Posts:

I Need Some Help Here! Blog Tour    http://sallyswords.braveblog.com/entry/140739

Book Review: Unquenchable by Carol Kent  http://6497855.bravejournal.com/entry/138758

Book Review: I Saw The Lord    http://6497855.bravejournal.com/entry/137990

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Monday, July 14th 2014

1:17 AM

To Uganda or Bust!

Today’s the day. We’ll pack the vans and head to Toronto.

Are we ready? Checklists double-checked, extras packed, suitcases weighed.

But, are we ready? Hearts in tune? Prayed up? 

Our Team of 13 will conduct Eye Clinics, Hygiene Clinics, Workshops for Pastors and their wives, and share the love of Jesus as His hands and feet in Africa. 

Right now, I feel like Martha; busy with details but missing the point. But the light bulb came on for her at the tomb of her brother, when Jesus asked her to trust Him. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+11%3A38-40&version=NIV

 

Okay Lord, open the tomb of my heart and bring forth new life.

Now I’m ready. 

I’ll be blogging with the Team here for the next three weeks: www.bustichog.blogspot.com

Join us for the journey! 

Sally 

Related Posts:

Vision for Africa      http://sallyswords.braveblog.com/entry/137730   

Travel Tips            http://sallyswords.braveblog.com/entry/47176

A Visitor From Africa    

http://sallyswords.braveblog.com/entry/34950

 

 

"Ears that hear & eyes that see-

The Lord has made them both."

Proverbs 20:12

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Tuesday, June 24th 2014

3:41 AM

I Need Some Help Here! Blog Tour

We try to do everything right as parents, and then find out we still miss the bull’s-eye. But author Kathi Lipp says there are gifts to be found, when we’re in the dark days of parenting. Gifts? Like me, you may find that to be an incredulous idea when you’re in the midst of another child-rearing crisis. But Kathi reminds us to hold on and look for the priceless treasures along the way.

Those treasures may come in the form of a group of supportive moms who can relate to where you’re at, or in a new perspective on the important things of life, when your child doesn’t arrive in the package you had hoped for. Kathi relates stories of moms who struggle to find the perfect formula for raising kids, and instead find the God of perfect grace. And she reminds us, “When you are brokenhearted, you are broken open for other people to see into you and see what they need. When you are broken hearted, God can do so much more with you than with the one who thinks they have this whole parenting thing down. You are teachable. You are humbled. You are attentive to the workings of God in your life and the lives of your kids.

            And this, my friend, is a priceless gift.” (p. 26)

Kathi’s book is a priceless gift, where she uses Scripture to reignite hope in this mom’s heart and provides examples of prayers that have calmed her own anxiety in the turmoil of raising four in a blended family. Haven’t I wanted to protect my kids from bad days? Kathi reminds me that God is their provider. God wants to provide for my kids in more ways than I can imagine, and when I step out of His way, He can grow them into the adults He wants them to be. That means I have to let go of control and choose instead to be “a strong advocate, a prayer warrior, an encourager, a hoper.”

Kathi has met her goal of letting me know that I am not alone. She has provided not just a parenting manual, but stories from the trenches of life and practical steps to turn my desperation back to inspiration from the heart of God. That puts me, and my kids, in the best possible place we can be:  in the hands of God!

Disclosure of Material: I received this book free from the publisher for the I Need Some Help Here! Blog Tour. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR Title 16, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Sally

Related Posts:

Am I the only Mom to cry during Toy Story 3?  http://sallyswords.braveblog.com/entry/49909

Is your child a follower or a leader?  http://sallyswords.braveblog.com/entry/36926

Fundraisers, Concerts and The Lawn Social   http://sallyswords.braveblog.com/entry/31482

 

To purchase on Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Need-Some-Help-Here-according/dp/0800720784

 

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Wednesday, June 11th 2014

1:10 AM

Book Review: The Proof by Cheryl Colwell

  An artist travels to the home of the Italian grandfather he has never met, and becomes embroiled in a family secret that endangers them all. Weaving present day stories with medieval ones, Cheryl Colwell has produced a mystery that draws readers into the characters’ inner turmoil and the moral dilemmas they face. The suspense raises  interesting questions for a Christian, in the relevance of ancient artifacts and their importance to the faith. It also highlights the role of greed, in altering the course of history, and the struggle for power, even within the walls of the church.

The author makes good use of dialogue and descriptions to propel the story forward. You experience the hairpin curves of a mountainside in Italy from the passenger’s seat of a Fiat, and observe the vibrant colors and shapes of the pastoral countryside through the eyes of an art connoisseur. We’re shown, “Lining both sides of the long driveway, Italian cypress stood tall like sentinels assembled to assist Gabe on his quest.” (p. 171) And we cringe, when seemingly, he reaches another dead end. As protagonists fight each other in search of clues, details are pulled out that complicate relationships. Are they family, or are they competitors for the lost treasure?

I picked this book for its medieval settings, but any reader will be drawn into the connection of history with the present. It has exciting twists, clear to the end!

Disclosure of Material: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookCrash.com book review program, which requires an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR Title 16, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Sally

Related Posts:

A Man Called Blessed    

Delightful Books!   

I, Saul    


 


Book Review: The Proof, by Cheryl Colwell
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Wednesday, May 28th 2014

6:21 AM

The Lord Says

Come, come close.

            The Lord says,

Your sin has been paid for.


            What sin? The sin that says, I don’t need God.


            How was it paid for? Through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.


Make straight in the wildness of your heart


            a highway for our God.


                        He wants to walk with you!


The glory of the LORD will be revealed,


            And the whole human race will see it.


                        We are invited to the Feast!


For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.


Come, come close.




Related Posts:


I Saw The Lord 


What is the kind of love that God honors?  


Shine The Light!  



The Lord Says
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Wednesday, May 21st 2014

2:28 AM

Retreat Debrief

Do you take an emotional plunge after a retreat?

Anticlimax is really not so unusual. Elijah had a big showdown with the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel, but when confronted by one woman, he ran. What happened to that powerful man of God? Didn’t he just beat out 850 false prophets? Didn’t he pray until God ended a drought?

Take a look at how Elijah made it back to the land of the living.

Read more here.

What do you do, to ease back into your daily routine after an emotionally-charged, high-energy event? Leave your comments here!

Sally


Related Posts:


How do your retreat numbers measure up? 


Need a Retreat from Life? 


How do you get feedback from your event? 



Retreat Debrief
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Saturday, April 12th 2014

5:13 PM

Book Review: Unquenchable by Carol Kent

Unquenchable asks honest questions about disappointment in God and uses illustrations fleshed out from Scripture to look for purpose in suffering. It doesn’t try to resolve disillusionment with pat answers, but provides reflections on suffering that draw the reader deeper to the heart of God and to a faith that is unquenchable.

I could not put this book down. It brought a soothing rhythm to the ebb and flow of faith and a reassurance that God’s love for us remains strong when circumstances state otherwise. (Click to Tweet) Carol Kent shares from her own heart-wrenching story as well as that of others who encounter the unthinkable and have to find a new way to carry on with life. She provides steps to feed your faith and to overcome our natural inclination to complain in the midst of strife. She illustrates the importance of tending the fire, in order to have a faith that can step into the unknown and trust that God will be there. Kent reminds us that the Refiner’s fire is life-giving, though painfully so, and that suffering drives us to our knees, where we can find the secret of wildfire faith.

Get this book! It will be one of your cherished go-to-books in times of despair and for times of growth!

See this product

See other reviews of this book 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”  

Sally

Related Posts:

Is God Sovereign? 

When You Grieve 

When Forgiveness is Hard 


I review for BookLook Bloggers Book Review: Unquenchable by Carol Kent
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Friday, April 11th 2014

9:39 PM

Why a Bible Study Expo?

Why do I participate in the Bible Study Expo? I am a teacher of God’s Word, and am constantly on the lookout for tools that will facilitate that study. So, when asked to help get the word out about new books on the market, I am an eager participant. At the last Expo, I tested the waters on a new-to-me author, and ended up using two of her studies with my women’s group. Yes, it was that helpful! So here are a few of my top reasons to jump in and get involved with Marnie’s Bible Study Expo:

  1. To see what’s new. Isaiah 43:18 reminds us that the Lord is making all things new. A forum provides an opportunity to learn about fresh materials, tackling current issues from a godly perspective.
  2. To hear the author’s heart. Writers take up a topic because something has captured their imagination or piqued their interest. I want to know about the passion for a topic that has driven them to research it.
  3. To find out if a particular study is right for my group. Every small group has its own personality and purpose. Do you meet to encourage moms or a singles group? Are your retirees dealing with health issues or looking for new purpose? God uses the words of others to prompt our growth. Author Carol Kent says God’s “Word, when we meditate on it, reshapes our thinking; and fellowship with other believers brings growth and spiritual development.” (Unquenchable, p. 158 ) 
  4. To be exposed to a different topic. Get out of a rut! Get educated about global issues. Let the Lord stretch your comfort zone to a world in need. When we expose ourselves to the heartache of others, we touch the heart of God! Micah 6:8  (Click to Tweet)
  5. To get free prizes! Who doesn’t like a giveaway? We all like a bonus to perk us up, especially after a long hard winter!

How can you participate in the Bible Study Expo?

  1. Register at www.BibleStudyExpo.com
  2. Tweet at the www.Tchat.io party page: #BibleStudyExpo
  3. Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/658234407571303/

Come to the party, we’re expecting you!

Sally

Related Posts:

Bible Study Expo! 

Why lead a Bible Study? 

Speaking Tips 



 

Why a Bible Study Expo?
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