|ready to bake|
“That’s it!” So, while it was a sweltering heat going on outside the house, I tried to make the concoction, tweaking the recipe a bit, because I liked vanilla and cinnamon with baked products.
|plum crisp anyone?|
|light rain fell|
The rain came down lightly and for some reason, the traffic was busy but hardly stopped like the usual “snail-like” movement we knew. My husband was following my son’s car as I rode with my son who volunteered to drive, instead of me driving my car. I felt comfortable that he was watching us from behind. With many careless drivers around, it was minus one concern of worrying who was behind my son’s car.
“Are you okay?” I asked my son who quickly replied, “Yes, Mom,” as he tried to focus his attention on the road ahead. I noticed my husband maintaining his distance from behind. I called him on his cell phone if he was okay. That was just how we are. Always asking each other if we were okay, whether it was smooth sailing in our daily lives or if there were bumps on the roads.
|my husband's car behind my son's|
“Did you guys notice something?” I asked when we arrived at the place.
“Thank You, Lord,” were the first answer by two men.
It started raining when we arrived and quickly, we finished cleaning the place and wrapping the remaining things. We enjoyed a good lunch. And we met a mild downpour on our way home before the rain became harder when we got home.
|a hearty lunch for "joyful" movers|
My family and I had sailed stormy seas these past two weeks. My son did not expect the sudden change of weather as he just started to set his sail and embarked on pursuing his passion in a school he thought would give him the best opportunity. He did very well during the first quarter. But when the next came, there was a sudden shift with the wind and became rougher the more he tried to steady his boat of college life. The stronger waves of confusion tried to shake him and caused a lot of fears and worries. The soft winds of the adviser's words were a disguise to the threatening howls of vague instructions that created a poor vision and sapped my son's energy and love for Graphic Design. Poor vision was what he saw, instead of clear, smooth horizon.
We had a lot of talking. In the morning. Noon. Midnight. All the in-betweens. We tried to gather our remaining hope and kept on praying for God to increase our faith and remove the darts of confusion aimed at my son. Like a weary child inside God's armor, many times my son rested his head on my shoulder and that of my husband's.
"It's okay to cry. But you will never know how much more it hurts us," I whispered, paired with countless hugs and kisses. Of unconditional love. Fiery reassurances.
|Saw a rainbow while driving once|
Do you know how good it feels that no matter what age, your child or a loved one can literally rest their heads on your shoulders? I know as he does that, I can feel his burden lightening up. And though it causes more pain on my part, I know through those warm tears, healing starts.
I have to be honest. There were a couple of times I told my son that I didn't know how much longer I could be strong for him. But each moment I surrendered to a quiet time of prayer, I knew I would always be strong. My husband would always be strong. My son would be strong and remained so.
Because there is a Shoulder Who is always welcoming us when we need that to cry on. Whose Voice is always calling to cast our anchors in the deep and vast ocean of His mercy. Who is the Beacon for all those lost out on the open, rough seas.
Have you tried leaning your head on His Shoulders? On Jesus' shoulders?
It was a blessing to hear that one of his mentors was a brother in Christ. But like us, he could only offer his best encouragement, prayers, and his own life's lessons. The decision or making a not so easy choice would still fall on my son alone.
Each slow, tough day and sleepless nights, did nothing but rubbed more salt on his already wounded mind and heart. I knew life's events could turn upside down without any warning. But experiencing it was different and even harder if it involved your own flesh and blood.
How much advices could my husband and I give that would soothe the painful sting to a heart stabbed so deep?
Last night, each time my son would emerge out from his bedroom, my heart would beat faster, anticipating the interventions I could offer. Yet, I felt of being the opposite. No help!
He sat down next to the couch I was sitting. Meeting my gaze, he started disclosing what he felt was a possible door God was leading him to. I knew it was time for me to just "listen". Through his words, I was the one helped by his sharing instead. As a man now, I was blown away by his selfless intention of wanting to help others by using the talent God gave him. Reflecting on a few incidents that transpired, I felt God was revealing His confirmations to his wounded heart. In his short moment of solitude, as he lamented the "Why's", God met him in that silence & showed him an option to where He wanted him to go.
With my son's trial, I have learned a lot myself. That when we feel we are being attacked by our spiritual enemies, we shouldn't be paralyzed. Instead, we should try to focus on God alone. Instead of thinking we are being attacked, we should ask ourselves first... "God, where do you want me to be? What do you want me to do for You?"
I could tell you now that having a taste of my son's own pain, how in a flash, putting his ordeal in God's light gave him hope and a purpose.
"Come to our church..." I remember him telling me someone invited him to be encouraged, maybe even prayed for...
That is a nice gesture. But it also reminded me...We don't need to go anywhere especially if unable to move when a fierce storm and gigantic waves seem to topple the boat of our lives. We are His church. His people. To which He addressed that "We must always be joyful, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances to our God." We can pray. Right there. Right at that moment. Not a one time thing to do. But continuously. Not only for ourselves but much more for others.
That is His will. In Christ Jesus!
I'm writing about this because I want to praise the Lord. True! He is always quick to save.
May we all focus, not on the waves about to drown us. Focus. On the mighty right hand reaching out to you. Because His grasp never lets go.
I love my son. So much. My husband and I always say "We are proud of you." But I don't have the right words to say what he has become and about to become...As a "man of God". To all of these hurtful things that God is turning around, he serves as an inspiration to me and his father.
Lord, I want to thank You. My son said he was used to having directions with his work and passion. I know now that those directions are not the ones he heard at schools. Not from us as parents even. Clearly, he faced a conflict because he knew the directions that come from You. Without chaos. Without confusion. Please guide him and give Him your discernment. To You be the Praise and glory. May You increase in this family and us, to decrease. May you be glorified in everything that my son does. Please protect him wherever he goes, whatever he does. May people who will come and go in his life know You through him. Lord, I also pray for those who are facing their own storms. Draw them near to You. Thank You Lord for Your love. Your grace. Your mercy. We love You Lord. But thank You for loving us first.
"For God is not a God of disorder but of peace, as in all the meetings of God's holy people." -1 Corinthians 14:33
The Attacker (5/15/09)
The sun was just peeking from the Eastern skies.
Out in the prison’s yard, some huge Sheriff’s buses were illuminated by the soft glow coming from the lights all over from the tall lamp posts. Their engines were turned on, warming up, before the buses would take the inmates to the different courts where they would have their trials.
Orange-uniformed men were lined up in pairs, joined together with handcuffs and chained, forming a long line. They already had their breakfast and had their morning medications prior to going to courts. Some were fidgeting, as they waited to board those buses.
All of a sudden, all hell broke loose! Two men were engaged in a fight, using weapons they made secretly for a while. Deputies called for help on the radio, both for custody back-up and medical staff, as well.
When the air was cleared and the other inmates were secured, one man was down on the floor. He sustained multiple gashes but two of them were deep. One cut was vertically etched from his left ear going down to the jaw line. The other dangerous cut was horizontal on his left neck, close to the jugular vein. Pool of blood dripped all over the floor. Holding his bleeding neck, he was pointing at the other inmate few feet away, being guarded by the other deputies.
The other man being accused was not hurt. There were no lacerations nor any other signs of trauma. He was obviously very agitated as he was being questioned by those deputies, while the medical staff started treating the other man on the floor. They cleaned the wounds and controlled the bleeding. That man was sent to the nearby hospital.
When the investigation was finalized, it turned out to be that the “downed man who was accusing the other inmate” was the attacker and the other one who didn’t have injury was the one attacked. The deputies found out that it was the second attempt to attack the unhurt man. Both attacks on him failed. He was well-prepared after the first attempt on him, that when the second attempt was done, he was able to defend himseld and ended up injuring his attacker severely.
[Source: Life Application Bible]:
We also have an “accuser of the brethren.” Satan and his army of demons are the enemies of God and of everything good.
“Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death.” –Hebrews 2:14
Because of what Jesus had done [dying on the cross], we, who live in constant fear of death shouldn’t be afraid anymore. Jesus had freed us from that fear so we can live for Him. When we belong to God, we know that death is only the portal that leads into “eternal life”. [“Thank You Lord!].
Paul warned us, too that we also battle against the evil forces of Satan, who is a vicious fighter. But to be able to withstand their attacks, we must depend on God’s strength and use every piece of His armor. We face an army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s church. When we believe in Christ, they become our enemies. They will try any device to turn us away from the Lord.
Fear not! For God has provided His supernatural power to defeat Satan and his army, through His Holy Spirit within us. So, arm yourselves with God’s armor.
Let us be strong in the Lord's mighty power. Let's put on His whole armor to resist the enemy's attacks: put on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that we are well-prepared. We will need faith in every battle as our shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed by Satan and his army. Let us put on salvation as our helmet, not forgetting the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Let's pray at all times, on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. We must stay alert and be persistent in our prayers for all Christians everywhere. [Ephesians 6:10-18].