Wednesday, March 01, 2006

He was there from the beginning

Okay ... I just ran down, grabbed my very sweet, very warm cup of cream with a splash of coffee, my beloved everything bagel (mmmm - a girl needs her salt every now and then) with cream cheese and have returned to my computer so that I may jot down all these things floating in my head right now -- and you might want to get your own cup of coffee, because it may be a long post ... after all, there's a lot of room up in my head ... so ... excuse me if I speak with my mouth full.

It all started (these thoughts in my head) when I read a couple of posts -- and if you haven't seen them yet, you really must take a few minutes to read them so that you understand where I'm coming from. One post was from yesterday, in fact, it's a video clip, and you need sound to appreciate it, because the actual video means nothing without the story behind it. Trust me, I know. So go over to Lauren's Blog and have a look-see... just make sure you come back...

Now, the other posts that really struck me hard were found on momRN2's Blog... she did three amazing posts on her beautiful daughter, which they lovingly (and with God's grace can) refer to as Turnip ... remember ... it's a three-parter ... so start here with Part 1 ... then go here for Part 2 ... then go here for Part 3 ... Do I need to remind you to come back?

These women are just two of the many wonderful Christian blogs I read... and love. And they really get me thinking. Hard. Which can be exhausting... for me anyway ... because that usually means I'm UP ALL NIGHT thinking. Like last night. Thanks, ladies!

When I saw the video on Lauren's blog, I had the volume muted, and I just didn't get it (duh! it's a vi-deee-ooo). So I had to watch it again. And then, I re-watched (or rather, re-listened). Then, I started thinking about it. It must have been a segment that was distributed widely, because all day, I have heard people all around me (including our local Christian radio station) talking about it... (or ... they could all be reading Lauren's blog - which is a distinct possibility). Any way, the comments I've heard all range from how brave the young man was, to how brave the coach was, to how inspiring this young man is.

Yes. I got that too. But as I commented in Lauren's blog, the thing that struck me the most was the parents and how proud and happy they must be for their son. Now, you may be scratching your head, and saying to your self, "huh?" -- well, just hang with me for a second. It all started with momRN2's posts about her daughter. She just opened her heart to us and shared God's miracle of life, and all the struggles she experiences with her little girl. What struck me in her posts, was that her little girl struggles, her little girl fights like a champ, her little girl goes on with life. And, mom and dad have a daily struggle, too. A battle of questions looming in their minds - will my child get lost? Will my child be safe? Will my child be frightened? Will my child pass milestones normally? Will my child be able to lead what we would consider to be a normal life? But they face each day with God as the center of their day ... wow! WOW! I know it must be hard for them, and possibly heartbreaking. But God sees them through each day - step by step.

I think I saw pretty much the same things when I viewed the video at Lauren's ... a young man with his own personal struggles, and insecurities, but, my thoughts went to the parents. Are they Christians? Do they know about God's amazing GRACE? How do they handle their own fears and expectations for their child?

You see, the world puts labels on us ... what is normal, what is acceptable, what is right. If you're not wearing one of those labels, then you can pretty much count on having a tough go at it. Acceptance is so key in this world. But the parents -- oh, the parents. As a new mom, I can only imagine what inner turmoil a parent must have for a child that has health issues and struggles. I know that I would be feeling thoughts of fear over my child's safety, anxiety over their acceptance, and would have questions running through my head, like... Will my child be loved, will my child have friends, will my child succeed in life. I know I would, because I have these same thoughts about my son even now, and he's only four months old. Our hearts as parents go out to our children. They break. Over, and over, and over again. Even when the child faces a struggle or disappointment and bounces back -- I'm willing to bet it's much, much faster than the parent can! We hold our children so dear and near to us.

Last night, my son was crying. He was unhappy. He refused to eat. I think he wasn't feeling well, and his gums were hurting from his first, and very stubborn tooth coming in. I could not calm him. I couldn't soothe him. I was there for him, I was holding him, loving him, cuddling him, but I couldn't make it better. I was so close to tears, when suddenly, he was a happy baby again. Cooing, laughing, and slightly medicated with Tylenol and Hyland's Homeopathic Teething Tablets (thank you Shannon for your sage advice ... you ROCK!). I sat back feeling slightly dazed from that experience, and upset that I couldn't take this pain away from him. Not 30 minutes later, he was crying, cranky and upset again. We tried Mylanta for his acid reflux. We tried feeding him. We gave him a bath. A bottle. I rocked him, cuddled him, loved him. He fought me, sleep, and comfort. But, as he started to drift off, and as I prayed over him, it suddenly hit me.

God is there. Whether we can 'do' anything or not. He never, ever goes away. He is in control. Even if the outcome isn't what we want or what we're looking for, and momRN2 said it best ... He was there from the beginning. Wow. Yes -- he was, wasn't he? Why does it take some of us so long to realize this? (ummm ... that would be me - memememe)

God is so amazing. He is faithful to us. He loves us so much. And I began to think how sad he must be when he watches us struggle... or hit our heads against the wall... or wander around in circles... or try to be the Lone Ranger (ummm... again, that would be meeeee!) and not turn to him. He holds us, tries to soothe us, calm us, and make things better, but like my son, we fight against him, because we think we can do it better. Us... do it better ... Yeah, RIGHT!

I don't even know if I'm really putting all those thoughts in my head in a clear and concise format, or if I'm making any sense to anyone else but me... or if I relayed how precious momRN2's story is to me, and what an awesome reminder it was that our loving Father is there for us. Many times, I feel alone. Deep in my heart, I feel discouraged and not appreciated. I feel inadequate and many times, I feel judged by others because I feel like I'm not living up to their expectations. I know one day, my child will feel like this too, and maybe even you feel like that? But isn't wonderful to remember that when we are feeling like this, GOD IS THERE ... and not only is he there, but ... He was there from the beginning. Isn't that amazing?

One last think I want to share with you... the words to Indescribable by Chris Tomlin. I heard this song this morning, and it brought tears to my eyes...

From the highest of heights to the depths of the sea; Creation's revealing Your majesty; From the colors of fall to the fragrance of spring; Every creature unique in the song that it sings; All exclaiming --

Indescribable, uncontainable, You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name. You are amazing God. All powerful, untameable, Awestruck we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim, You are amazing God.

Who has told every lightning bolt where it should go; Or seen heavenly storehouses laden with snow; Who imagined the sun and gives source to its light; Yet conceals it to bring us the coolness of night, None can fathom ...

Incomparable, unchangeable, You see the depths of my heart and You love me the same, You are amazing God, You are amazing God.

(Man! Why can't I write like that?)

My wish and prayer for you today is that you have an awesome day, and that you take a moment to revel in the love God has for you. He is there to comfort you, love you, hold you, rock you. And remember, that no matter what you're facing ... no matter how trivial or monumental it may be ... God is there for you, and as momRN2 pointed out... He was there from the beginning.


Grammy said...

Thank you so much. This post was amazing.

At this new stage of life, mother to adults and grandkids, things have not changed that much. I still worry over them and cry and pray for their struggles.

I sometimes wonder if that's not how God feels about me. He can see that some of my problems were brought on by mistakes I've made myself, but He loves me nonetheless. He sees the big picture and knows that the things I worry and cry over may not be that important in the eternal perspective...but He feels my pain and comforts me anyway. I am so thankful to know that He is there and to be strengthened in my faith by the testimony of others.

Thank you.

GiBee said...

Oh, my goodness, Grammy! Thank you for coming over to Kisses of Sunshine and leaving such a lovely comment ... and I'm honored by your comment on Shannon's blog -- but I must say that your entire family just CRACKS ME UP! I'm so glad you started blogging. And tell your hubby to keep the CAN CLOSED and on his desk!

Someone will need to start a 12-step program soon, because blogging is so addictive! We're all going to know each other so intimately that we'll know when one person stubs their toe, or the other one toots before the telephone lines are ever fired up!

Blessings to you.

Carol said...

Girl, I am so humbled that you chose to open your heart up to us like that. Thank you!

And you're so right about....well, so many things. Especially that He's always there. He'll use nights like the one you had with your baby to His glory - like teaching you something that you can share with some frustrated mother some day. Or maybe, just so you could share it with us.

Thank you, GiBee!

Leann said...

I LOVE YOUR BLOG!!!!! This post was so amazingly encouraging to me... Thanks for visiting me today. I am so glad to meet you and I will be adding you to my reads. I must come back and read more... Thank you!!!

Lauren said...

Truly beautiful.

"Many times, I feel alone. Deep in my heart, I feel discouraged and not appreciated. I feel inadequate and many times, I feel judged by others because I feel like I'm not living up to their expectations. I know one day, my child will feel like this too, and maybe even you feel like that? But isn't wonderful to remember that when we are feeling like this, GOD IS THERE ... and not only is he there, but ... He was there from the beginning. Isn't that amazing?"

Yes it is amazing! It's also the only thought that gets me through the day sometimes. Thanks for all your thoughts. :)

momrn2 said...

What a beautiful, breath taking post!! I have been sitting here for a VERY long time trying to even get my thoughts and feelings put into words. (and wiping the flood of tears from my eyes so they don't ruin my computer and so I can see to even type! :-) )

What a blessing, what a BLESSING this was to me. Would you believe I debated for weeks before I posted about my daughter? And even when I decided to, it was very tenatively, not sure of the response.

I didn't want it to be about me. I wanted it to be about God and His mercy, grace, love, and power. His goodness, faithfulness, patience, and peace. I didn't know for sure if I was getting my point across.

And then, here you are! And your post has encouraged me, supported me, and incredibly blessed me! You put so many thoughts into words that I just couldn't seem to find.

And as far as the parenting thing... rest assured my dear friend, God will never give you more than what His strength, peace, and power can NOT see you through. You are right to be scared, concerned, and protector of your child! That shows you love him with your very being! But, keep in mind, God loves him even more than you could think or imagine. He created Him.

Would you mind reminding me of this next time I am in that "panic" mode? Your post has so encouraged me and I feel very supported and strong. That is not always the case. I need these words now and then too. (more now's than then I'm afraid. :-) )

So, once again, thanks so much for being so honest and vulnerable yourself! For opening your heart to us! For allowing me to be a part of such a spectacular, insightful, powerful post from you. This was truly "kisses of sunshine" into some dreary parts of my heart today. THANKS!

And sorry my posts made you lose some sleep! :-0 That was not one of my goals. :-)

Peach said...

You said it beautifully, sweet GiBee. Thank you for following your heart and pouring it out like a balm onto my soul. God chose to use you to complete a thought He planted in my heart earlier today during my Bible study. Thank you for allowing Him to use you to speak the truth to so many others --hurting, anxious, tired, but most of all -- loved. You are obedient and you are blessed.

Shannon from Rocks In My Dryer said...

You girls are all so wonderful I'm just sitting here with big ol' chills up and down my spine. Never could've imagined something like the blogworld could have been a source of such friendship and encouragement. Thank you, GiBee, for writing this. This was so beautiful.

Chaotic Mom said...

Thank you for sharing, thank you so much. I found your post through MomRN2's, and a comment she left on mine. What none of you could have known is that I struggle over my boys, too. I've been on a bit of a search for peace in this house, and I think God's been steering me back to Him, quite possibly through some of your blogs. :)

Heidi said...

Now THAT was a word of encouragement! (smiling)

GiBee said...

FINALLY ... I'm back on line ...

Oh, my goodness! I am so blown away. I don't even know where to start.

First of all -- I need to go and get some more tissues, because I just pulled the last one out of the box, and I am simply flooding all over the place! And it’s a good thing, too, because my internet has been down all-day-long… so instead of visiting all of my beloved blogs written by all of you (and many others) I’ve only been able to read, re-read, and re-re-read what I had up on my screen when we went down. Bummer.

Grammy -- I have to agree, that many times I wonder if God cries over the mostly self-imposed struggles I have! I can picture him begging me to just let go of them and let Him take over!

Carol - I just had an opportunity to share some teething lessons I've learned (and some that Shannon shared with me) with someone in the blog world, and I was soooo excited to be able to turn around some advice that was shared with me at one time!!! I felt like BIG STUFF!

Leann -- come back often and stay as long as you need to (hehehe), and likewise … you’ll see me lurking on your blog, too! And prattle on, sister… prattle on. (For all those interested, Leann’s correct link is )

Lauren -- it gets me through the day too! And -- is that a real picture of you?!! I thought you “didn’t do that” (I don’t know – something about not being as photogenic as Heidi Klum or something like that) -- Awesome! You look great!

MomRN2 -- If I hadn't used my last tissue just now, I'd try to squeeze it through the wires so you could save your keyboard of any water damage ... but ... can't do that now, can I? I know how you feel about being tentative about posting certain things, because I too struggled with that yesterday. But God always has a way to bless us back, even when we mess up what we’re wanting to say … And ... your message about your little girl came through Loud & Clear ... it's not about you. It's all about God. PTL!

Peaches -- I haven't had a chance to go to any other blog yet, but I hope you post about your thoughts from your Bible study. I'm anxious to read them!

Shannon -- come ON girl!!! It was INSTANT friendship when I met your blog! And then, you of course... Your deep thoughts always provoke thought in this small brain of mine! Even when they are thoughts about lady bug poo!

Momma M -- What you are just discovering is... that you are not the only one that struggles with your children. Nor are you the only one that searches for peace in your house. And I'm so happy that we can each share our experiences and encourage each other with "been there done that -- and you'll survive" or "GASP! You did WHAT?" (just kidding about that one)... And I'm just overjoyed that you are feeling the soft and gentle prompt from God to turn back to Him. Just lay it all at his feet, and He will lighten that load for you!

Heidi -- I'm glad that my ramblings not only encouraged you, but others too. I'm certain God is smiling down on us because we are forming a wonderful community of love, support and encouragement.

Faith said...

What an amazing post. I came here from momrn2. I too, loved her posts about her precious little girl. You were able to put into words what many of us were thinking. Thanks for that. God IS faithful to take care of us and our needs. We just insist on struggling anyway. It is always a "kiss of sunshine" when we let Him reveal Himself!

tam said...

thank you momrn2 for sending us to kisses of sunshine...

kisses, thank you. your words are so totally helpful, so totally soothing. Absolutely used by God.

the gift of love by the gift of motherhood is so powerful it's mind shattering, praise HIM for providing those that can put it into words.