Tag Archives: Family

Oh Momma, When You Just Have to “Give it Up”

Oh momma, are you at all like me? A bit persistent, strong-willed and stubborn. Although I am starting to get it, I have had to learn the hard way through lots of disappointments that it just isn’t worth the battle.

As my kids grew up and left home, got married and then returned for their visits during holidays and then with their children, my comfortable home began to feel a bit tight. We have a small dining area just on the other side of an island of counter that is approximately 12’ by 11’, and this where meals are taken. It sufficed for years with three kids, mom and dad. But now the table for comfortable five has had to become stretched out into the living room to accommodate 10 – 12 at times. Yikes, we are in on the living room rug!!! (Bless your hearts those who say what’s the big deal!)


I would pray and ask, then pray and ask some more…only to get ‘for the few times we are all together we can make it work.’ I even drew out the plans to push out our kitchen and dining room to make an L-shaped house from its regular rectangle. (I love planning things like this!) I had even drawn the cupboards and was going to have just a lovely dining area with the space to safely keep us all on the tile floor for meals and include a nice large island for cooking times when my small counters get easily crowded.

As my husband drew nearer and nearer to retirement he was more and more determined that this would never happen. God and I would talk ‘cause I knew that God delights in giving us the desire of our heart, even a larger house…and sometimes He does. However, I found with every no that I was getting more and more determined to make it work.

Then God spoke to my heart and showed me that I was fighting a losing battle, and if I persisted in demanding my way (to which I thought was for the best of reasons!) that I was only going to get more and more angry at not getting my way. Wow, did I have a lesson to learn. I was going to have to resign myself to the fact that this just wasn’t ever going to happen!

It was at that juncture that I could stomp, connive, deceive and work my way into a tizzy trying to get my guy to change his mind. This would certainly drive us all nuts! Or I could give it up and…let it go. My Father was asking me to “let it go”.

I can be a fighter! I had pushed this thing and of course had everyone on my side to make it happen, but I couldn’t change his mind. I remember being very frustrated, very resentful and not feeling very nice about the whole thing.

Line Break

Have you ever been called to give something up? How difficult was it for you to just say ‘I resign’?

There are times in our life that this is the call and as hard as it can be I have learned that my world didn’t fall apart, AND that I have more peace in my heart because I gave it up. One less source of agitation between me and my husband, with less resentment brewing and stirring up all kinds of unpleasantries!

2Cor13-11Remember Paul and the thorn in his side? You can read of it in 2 Corinthians 12:7-9 where Paul had to contend with a “thorn” in his flesh. Reminding me of a sliver one sometimes gets. It is not pleasant. And God’s reply to Paul was merely that “His grace is sufficient for you…”

In the long and short of it, peace in my home was worth finding through my giving up my desire to be more comfortable. If the juice gets spilled on the rug, then I am going to clean it up. And life will go on and we will enjoy many wonderful family meals even if we have to eat IN the living room. I have realized that time is short. Many memories are made when we engage around a cramped dining area and that really is what counts as important.

2014 Sleigh Ride
This is what it is really all about!

I didn’t lose the battle here…I gained, through the grace of God, a heart that is content with what I have.

A New Kind of Normal at My House!

Mom & Elsa
Momma and her grandpup Elsa

Have you ever wondered and asked, “How in the world did I get from here to there?” Boy oh boy, I am shaking my head lately and asking God, “Huh, God, how in the world did you do that?”

Every day over these past few months I find myself amazed as I look around my home and the changes that have taken place and I am in awe! I suppose there is a part of me that has realized that life just ain’t what it used to be—not at all!—but also it is a new kind of comfortable. As I try to find the pattern for this new kind of normal in my home.

In July my sister brought my mom up for another ‘few month’s’ summer stay (or so mom was told.) My sister and I had been discussing that if she could stay up here for good it would be better for my sister and for my mom from the stand point that she would have more one on one time with her love ones. (My sister has a very pressing job that takes way too many of her hours!) While she was still here we looked at and discussed some options for where our mom could stay that would be financially feasible and the best fit for her and her minimal needs.

Fast forward to late August…mom was informed that she would be staying up here instead of returning to Orlando where she has lived for almost 18 years. We have asked her over the years when she stays in her ‘trailer’ for summer months to consider staying permanently to which she abruptly retorts ‘no way, too cold for me!’ You see this little five foot tall woman is barely 84 pounds! No body fat to help keep her warm. However…she is here and for her, this was a pretty rude awakening for her to “be told” that she would not be returning ‘home’.

Fast forward to October…my mom moves in with us!  And really, except for the cold, she is in a good place. Enough said.

This is a move that would never have taken place if not for a husband who has a soft spot for elderly mom! He was pretty close to his own mother who hasn’t been here for quite a few years now. So he was 100% on board with having her move in with us or believe me it wouldn’t have happened. We all know how the son-in-law, mother-in-law thing goes and the animosity that can build in those situations. No, not my guy who has been over the top kind and loving (well he can be a bit gruff at times but she knows how to read him) not to mention willing to adjust to accommodate her needs!

August end and September kept me very busy, trying to figure out where to put a room full of stuff so mom would have her own space. This and a few cupboards in the kitchen and pantry and drawers in the bathroom…oh my, what a chore! But…we have accommodated this dear woman as best as we can and she has now been in residence with us since October 10th.

For the most part I am over-the-top thrilled to have her here with us. My mom and I haven’t ever been this close (well maybe when I was a child, then it was just the two of us!) I am thrilled to be here for her, to ‘minister’ to her needs and have her see Christ in me, my hope of glory. And I want to make this adjustment for her as smooth as possible and it is going well. But there is also a part of me that looking back, forced me into an adjustment I might never have been ‘ready’ for. Caring for an elder person is time consuming. It is so not about me and my needs right now which means I find myself doing a lot of things quite differently. So in the process of laying me down to take up the needs of someone else has—let’s say—been very interesting!

Some of you know exactly what I am going through and some of you might say that you would never get in a situation like this. But as I talk to my Father about this big adjustment I have heard Him speak to my heart that this isn’t about Kimberly…this is to show Joan who I am. I have made the decision to lay down 80% of my ‘me’ time to take care of, minister to and just be there for this little woman of 83. She doesn’t know Jesus! One of the biggest confirmations that we were doing the right thing was one evening when she looked over at me and said, “You know, this really feels like family” and I had to hide my tears.

I may be doing things I haven’t done in years or never done before, like watching the “Voice” (a weekly TV program mom loves to watch), or rubbing her back with lotions and fixing a different kind of menu because of her own dietary needs. But I know that God has this all planned out. For such a time as this my calling is to be Jesus to my little momma.

Father, sometimes you call us to go to the ends of the earth to bring the Good News to those who don’t know You. And sometimes you call us to adjust our comfort level in our own home to bring the Good News to one who doesn’t know You. When we surrender our wants, desires and plans, you pour out grace where needed and help us to make the uncomfortable adjustments to accommodate all you are doing in the midst of a ‘new kind of normal. Help me to continue embracing the change and trust the outcome for Your glory and in Your Name!

Generational Sins

Proud parents are continuously acknowledging–from the moment of birth–just how much their children look like either mom or dad.  They might see characteristics of grandma and grandpa too, such as the nose, eyes, forehead or mouth.  As the

Grannie and her Grandson Isaac
Grannie and her Grandson Isaac

children grow and develop, the opportunity may arise to begin to see familiar temperaments as well.  They may be positive or they could be negative.  You will hear comments such as “look at her, she is such a girly girl, just like her mom” or maybe “boy, has he got a stubborn streak, just like his dad.”  It is inevitable that we will take on similar looks and characteristics as genetic dispositions.  If only it was just the positive, good qualities that were evident, unfortunately that is not always so. 

If we look at this a bit deeper, we can also see how it is possible to “inherit” those good and bad tendencies.  Let me give you an example from my own life.  Divorce is not a pleasant thing to think about and go through.  Unfortunately in my family it is a prevalent occurrence. Not only has my mom been divorced twice but my grandmother once.  I recently had it pointed out that my great grandmother had been divorced three times!  That was extremely unusual and frowned upon in that day.  Sadly, I too have also gone through a divorce.  Now as a Christian, it makes me sorrowful and guarded to know that my three children could have the ‘tendency’ to fall into this unfortunate pattern and as a matter of fact one of my children has already succumbed to the divorce solution.  It is interesting yet sad that my father too was also divorced twice.  Therein that has only made for a double whammy for our family, argh! 

So how can and do we break this vicious cycle? 

God is teaching me many things right now and for the most part He is showing me how to learn to be dependent upon and put my trust in Him.  I only bring this up because my “independent” nature has gotten me into so much trouble through the years!  The world tells us that independence is good and I really do believe there can be a positive side to it.  But God calls us to lay down our independent spirit and to take up complete dependency upon Him. Generationally speaking, our family has a problem with that.  We have had to be survivors and have done just the opposite of what the Word tells us in Proverbs 3:5-8

“Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.  In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.  Be not wise in your own eyes; reverently fear and worship the Lord and turn [entirely] away from evil.  It shall be health to your nerves and sinews, and marrow and moistening to your bones.”  (Amplified version)

It is so ironic that God includes the healthful benefits of our being dependent upon Him!  (The first thing I thought of when I read the ‘moistening to your bones’ section was how arthritis is deterioration of our joint cushioning and once again, our family as they age tend to develop this condition!)  I am diligently learning to work through and break the habit of leaning on Kimberly Dawn’s understanding and lack of wisdom! 

The key focus here is that–while it is obvious that not everything we inherit is bad–there are or can be some debilitating ‘bends’ or ‘tendencies’ that affect our living the abundant life.  Do you ever wonder why you only move forward with baby steps?  Or why you might keep doing and revisiting the same negative habit over and over?  It is possible that it could be a generational sin or tendency.  After all the Word tells us the sins of the fathers will revisit to the third and the fourth generations!  Now that is a scary thought and I am living proof that it is so.  But the good news is we do not have to stay there! 

While it is wonderful to inherit the wonderful and admirable qualities of our family and ancestors, when we are earnestly seeking God we need to allow Him to show us our short comings.  That might involve a painful look into our past.  It might be that you can recognize your stronghold as an excuse to continue to behave in an un-Christ-like way.  The old “devil made me do it” mentality just does not fly for the Spirit led, abundant life.  God really does have a better plan in mind for us and He has called us to go higher, and challenged us to a deeper level in our walk with Him.  In Romans 6:6 we find that we are no longer slaves to sin.  And that means that I really have been given the power to overcome every bad tendency–even if it goes back to the 100th generation!

1 Peter 2:9,10 (NASB)

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy but now you have received mercy.”

Abba Father, I want others to see You in my life.  I want them to see the difference You have made in me.  It is because of You that I am alive!  With all that You have brought me through and healed me from I can publicly rejoice and declare Your faithfulness to me and to my next generations.  I am not who I used to be because Your love broke through the darkness that once bound me and caused me much pain.  Let me continue to make myself available to Your refining fire then others will see how truly marvelous and in love with Your children that You are.  I rejoice and praise You as I walk in Your marvelous light.

For a look at another stumbling block visit Blocked Goals.