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Archive for February, 2011

Monday Morning Prayer…..

FOR PRESENCE

John O’Donohue

Awaken to the mystery of being here

and enter the quiet immensity of your own presence.

Have joy and peace in the temple of your senses.

Receive encouragement when new frontiers beckon.

Respond to the call of our gift and the courage to follow its path.

Let the flame of anger free you of all falsity.

May warmth of heart keep your presence aflame.

May anxiety never linger about you.

May your outer dignity mirror an inner dignity of soul.

Take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek no attention.

Be consoled in the secret symmetry of your soul.

May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven

around the heart of wonder.

 

I host a book club.  Every month.  Anyone who wants to come can come…..all ages…..just whoever would like to read a book and discuss it.  I love books.  I could read all day……everyday…..and live happily ever after.  However, with six kids, life, this is not my reality.  By my bed are dozens of books….AND….I am reading through all of them…..smile.

February’s book was a pick from Mary who ended up not showing up……which is kinda funny.  The book was, “I Am Proud of You”, “My Friendship with Fred Rogers”, by Tim Madigan.  Yes, Mr. Rogers…..the TV guy…..that my kids watched….and my brother, for that matter.  Would never, ever have read it….which is why I LOVE BOOK CLUB!

You may ask, what does a book about Mr. Rogers have to do with this prayer?  Well, let me tell you.  Presence.  The ability to be present with whomever he came in contact with…..stopping EVERYTHING…..to listen…..love……encourage……he really was quite an amazing soul.  I always thought he took way too long to change shoes…and put on his sweater or take off his sweater…..he spoke slowly…..carefully……methoodically……never in a hurry.  It’s why kids loved him and adults marveled at him.  If you were a person he had never met before….he stopped and took your picture.  He wanted to remember you.  He rose every morning before dawn to pray for countless people….always!  This book find, which I checked out at our local library, is one I must buy for my collection.  And I love how this book….which is why I read books…..reminded me, again, of why I chose a year ago….to slow down.  Which is really, really, really, hard for me to do.

Most of my life I have plowed through…..always in a hurry…..to do what….I’m not sure.  Then I married Rob…..My personal Mr. Rogers, basically.  Rob has this knack for doing EVERYTHING slowly…..EVERYTHING!  The first eight years of our marriage I wanted to kill him.  Not literally…..well….maybe on some days.  I really don’t know how he is a UPS man.  It is a super fast-paced job.  No lolligagging…..you gotta move.  The minute he clocks out and leaves the center and gets in his truck…..he slows down…..to a turtle’s pace.  By the time he gets home….I’m just getting started….smile. Hence, the drama in our family, at times.

Last year, however, I decided to join him.  Most of the time.  If we were both turtles nothing would ever get done.  But, I am learning to slow down….relax…..enjoy…..be present.  It has been HORRIBLE at times……I totally suck at it.  But, there is a peace that comes in looking at your schedule and deciding, “Is that really what I am supposed to be doing?  Is this really what God has asked me to do?  Will this benefit my relationship with God, my husband, my sons?  Do I need to say no? Does this fit into the plan that God has shown me for my life?”  Hence, my schedule has become less chaotic and more peaceful.  I kinda like it.  It allows me to find those sacred moments in my day….those magical times that I missed so often when I was  ‘crazy bent’ on getting EVERYTHING done.

To just be…..to listen…..to love…..be present……Is my prayer for your day.  Happy Monday!

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AT THE THRESHOLD OF MANHOOD

(John O’Donohue)

 

As you leave the blurred wood you entered while still a boy,

And light clarifies around your emerging, manly form,

May you discover gradually a natural confidence in your body.

May your new strength be graceful as you learn to carry yourself

With a dignity that is sure, bringing your gestures and expression

Into an easy harmony and rhythm.

May you never feel the need to be coarse, or force yourself;

Rather, may you receive your manhood with grace and mindful ease;

Then, at one with your own elegance, your presence will claim it’s radiance.

May you awaken confidently to the feminine within you,

and learn to integrate the beauty

Of intuition and feeling so that your sensitivity kindles and your heart is trusted.

That you may slowly grow to trust the silence of the masculine

As the home of your stillness.

Though it will be always difficult to find the words for what you feel,

May you find ease in that awkwardness, until gradually from beneath

The gravel of stuttered sounds, the pure flow of you emerges.

Be gentle with yourself, learn to integrate the negative,

Harnessing its force to cross the boundaries

That would confine you.

Love the life of your mind, furnishing it ever with new thought

So that your countenance glows with the joy of being alive.

Be vigilant,

and true to an inner honor that will not allow

Anger or resentment to make you captive.

Always have the courage to change,

welcoming those voices that call you beyond yourself.

Beyond your work and action, remain faithful to your heart

For you to deepen and grow

Into a man of dignity and nobility.

 

Twenty years ago, at the moment I am writing this, I took part in giving life to my third son, Dustin Mark Hake.  That I have been allowed to be an integral player of “his story” has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life.  I celebrate with him today the end of his teens……as he embarks on his 20’s……manhood.  This is not an easy place for me or him, I think.  I work daily at trying to see him as a man….his own person.  To encourage him…..as he figures out who and what he is to become.  But, I must say, that he will always be my curly-headed, curious, sweet, stubborn, little boy.  There was a time when I could not leave his sight or he would become distraught that I was not returning.  Only I could make it better…..and I must say, selfishly, I kinda miss those days…..smile.  Now, he is planning his own life, where he will eventually live, on his own…..what he will do.  So, today, I will be thankful that I can hear his alarm going off…..and he will begin the process of getting ready for work….and maybe he will be home for dinner….or not.  BUT, he’s still home…for now!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MY 3RD D…..

I LOVE YOU MORE THAN YOU WILL EVER, EVER, KNOW!

 

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My Sweet Love…..

AS HE APPROACHED JERUSALEM AND SAW THE CITY,

HE WEPT OVER IT.

LUKE 19:41

 

Brennan Manning writes, “We have spread so many ashes over the historical Jesus that we scarcely feel the glow of His presence anymore.  He is a man in a way that we have forgotten men can be:  Truthful, blunt, emotional, non-manipulative, sensitive, compassionate – His inner child so liberated that He did not feel it unmanly to cry. He met people head-on and refused to cut any deal at the price of His integrity.

The Gospel portrait of the beloved child of Abba is that of a man exquisitely attuned to His emotions and uninhibited in expressing them.  The Son of Man did not scorn or reject feelings as fickle and unreliable.  They were sensitive emotional antennae to which He listened carefully and through which He perceived the will of His Father for congruent speech and action.”

I grew up in church…..Southern Baptist to be exact……and somewhere…..I’m not really sure where……I left behind the bible stories told to me of a loving Jesus who cared for me and every part of His creation He had made……to a God who I needed to be perfect for in order for Him to love me.  I became afraid of failing Him…..which I did often anyway.  Naturally, this carried over into all my other relationships……this need to please……be perfect……never have conflict……never fail.  And so I would try harder…….do more……be better……I knew He loved me in my head…..He is God…..but my heart…..my soul…..felt something different. If I could just have a special “in” with Him…..if I could just love Him better or more…..then this “uncomfortableness in my spirit …..it would go away.

Well…..the beautiful thing about being uncomfortable…..I mean……REALLY uncomfortable….. is that it forces us…. and in my life…..catapolted me to not just desire change…..but I, literally, had no choice.  I could no longer live with the anxiety of being perfect……I could no longer take one more day of the gripping fear that I woke up to every morning and that plagued me throughout my day.  Something had to change.

And so….the last year or so…..this Jesus…..the one from my childhood…..the one who, I believe showed me that He wept over me…..not out of sadness, disappointment or anger…..but compassion…..deep compassionate love for me…..wept because He had a better way for me to live…..and out of my desperation…..I ran to Him like a child and jumped into His arms where He held me closely and sang over me all the things I needed to hear.  And, He has faithfully continued to do that.  He, lovingly, backed me into a corner where I had no choice but to grab hold of Him and stare Him square in the face and choose to believe that His perfect love covered me and that He NEVER asked me to be anything other than His sweet love….His girl….because He adores me just as I am.

So this place I find myself is filled with deep emotion at times…..beauty……gratitude……rest…..transformation…..with this intense desire to listen for Him at every point of my day.  I long for time alone to be with Him…..to just be….that’s it.  All the “ministry and doing” I did throughout my life never made me more lovable or valuable……I am lovable because He says I am.  I am beautiful because He formed and fashioned me out of a deep place of love.

Has the desire to be perfect gone away you might wonder?  Not yet.  I am mindful that this destructive, wretched way of thinking that comes only from the pit of hell, drove me for years.  Of course it will not just “go away”.  But, like all bad habits that we want to rid ourselves of, it must be replaced with truth.  And so I work daily…..sometimes hourly…..at replacing lies for truth.  And I mediate on the fact that I belong to Abba…..and that His Son madly loves me…..to the point of death…..that His Spirit woos me…..teaches me….. and constantly reminds me that I am more valuable than I could ever begin to imagine….and I must choose daily to believe in the truthful, blunt, emotional, non-manipulative, sensitive, compassionate Jesus…..The I Am….My Sweet Love.

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Any child can tell you that the sole purpose of a middle name is so he can tell when he’s really in trouble.

Dennis Fakes

All my boys names begin with the letter D.  People always ask me why, and did I always plan it that way.  The answer is no. Can you plan anything that amazing when you are just 21?  And, why?  I had Daley and then had Dylan.  How cute….Daley and Dylan. Then I was thinking maybe a Delanie, but had a Dustin instead.  By the time you have three “Ds” you can’t not name the last one a “D”….so along came Davis.

Fast forward nine years…..different husband…..new life…..a love child…..and we decide we will call him Caeden.  Caeden because the tattoo on my back says, “My Four Ds”…..and I can’t change it…..and Caeden cuz I like the name.  You would not believe the flack we got for EVEN thinking of naming this poor child a “C” name.  He had to have a “D” name….He would feel so left out…..different……jaded……SIGH…..so he remained nameless for a day or two…..cuz I was just plain out of boy D names. Even though I pride myself in not being swayed by the masses, I thought they could quite possibly be right…..and who can live with that kind of guilt?  Right?  So, after much agonizing and contemplating…..we had nothing.   However, one of Daley’s friends, after hearing our plight, suggested we just slap a D on Caeden and that’s how we ended up with Daeden. Pretty profound, right?

Last one of the bunch came at the age of 40.  Can I just say that devastation is not an accurate enough word to describe how I felt. Can I just point out how embarrassing it was to tell my 19 y/0 son that his mom was knocked up again?  Yeah.  So….I am thinking this HAS to be my girl, right?  God would not play such a cruel trick on me AT THIS AGE. I’m too old!  To fragile!!!  Five boys….poor woman…..I will give her a girl to even out the estrogen and testosterone in this wonderful family. (Insert loud laughter.)  Nope!  Last one a boy!!  Again!  So, let me just say that by the time you are 40….some things just don’t matter anymore.  My dad’s name is Deke.  He always TOLD me….”you may NEVER name one of your children after me”….but, like I said….I’m 40 at this point….almost 41…..and I just don’t care.  Hence, the name Deke….Dekon on his birth certificate, cuz I do adore my dad….but we call him Deke.  And he is fabulous….. and I see God’s sovereignty in this little boy….he completes our clan.

So you can imagine how crazy six “D” names can get when I am calling or occasionally yelling for my boys. Daley, Dylan, Dustin, Davis, Daeden, Deke….sometimes I am looking at Dylan and say Dustin….but I mean Dylan….but then I call him Deke…..sigh!  Socks, you may wonder…..how do we do socks, underwear, personal items…..they are all marked with THEIR MIDDLE NAME INITIALS!!

Those, of course, are all different….Daley Thomas, Dylan Jesse, Dustin Mark, Davis Anthony, Daeden Robert and Dekon Joseph…..and when they are in trouble….I ALWAYS add the middle name too!!!!!  It’s a parental necessity on some days!!

FYI…..My sweet mom…..to this day…..will still, occasionally, call me ” Cynthia Jo”….and I always know…..I’m gonna get it! SMILE!

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Monday Morning Prayer…..

UNPLANNED MOMENT OF PRAYER

Brennan Manning

Jesus…..

Human words cannot bear the weight of Your mercy and compassion.

My union with you is like being so attached that life seems impossible without You.

Detached from You, during my days of sour wine and withered roses was a shadow life.

I have no sense of  myself apart from You.  My bones say thank you for this now moment.

Amen

 

I love this prayer…..the brevity of it….yet so full of what my heart really feels and longs for.  I don’t know about you….but as dreadful as my “sour wine and withered roses” time was…..it brought me to my knees and the realization that I really do have no sense of myself apart from my relationship with Christ.  Everything I tried to fill that void with left me empty….lonely…..scared.  Life, literally, did seem impossible to manuever without Him…..so much so…..that I can’t ever go back…..I pray I never would go back.

Life can be so messy….I’ve maintained for a while now …..because of some huge betrayals from people who I loved deeply and trusted…..that no matter how bad it gets…..only I really know about it…..to share with community what I really am feeling….struggling with…..would be incredibly risky and I just couldn’t do that again.  But, ya know….I really do believe that risking “my messiness”  in front and along side of a community of trusted others…..is what it takes to bring about real change and transformation.  And so I continue to pray and walk in forgiveness of those who broke my trust in the past and left me unwilling to give of myself competely…..and for the courage and boldness to display my “junk” or rather “my imperfect self” to others….and for that community that God is in the works of making just for me and my family…..I long for it more than you know.

For now….I will enjoy this moment…..this day…..my incredibly complicated self….knowing that my “messiness” is ok…..and that I can find joy and peace in the midst of it!

 

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They’re Looking…..

WHEN YOU THOUGHT I WASN’T LOOKING
Author: Unknown
When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I saw you hang my first painting on the refrigerator,
and I wanted to paint another one.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I saw you feed a stray cat,
and I thought it was good to be kind to animals.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I saw you make my favorite cake for me,
and I knew that little things are special things.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I heard you say a prayer,
and I believed that there was a God to talk to.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I felt you kiss me goodnight,
and I felt loved.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I saw tears come from your eyes,
and I learned that sometimes things hurt,
but it’s alright to cry.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I saw that you cared,
and I wanted to be everything that I could be.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I looked….
and I wanted to say thanks for all the things
I saw when you thought I wasn’t looking.

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I’m Learning…..

The transition from being a kid to becoming an adult is painful…..painful for the kid in a young man’s body…..painful for the parent that watches on the sidelines.  It’s beyond hard to not want to get in the game…..but you realize you are not being asked to play anymore.  Hence, the pain!!

What’s funny is that I really do remember what it felt like to think that 18, 21 or even 25…..was GOLDEN.  Everything would change once I got there.  What’s more, anything past 25 was just plain old and so tragic.  Sigh!  The thing is that nothing really magical happened in turning any of those ages…..but you can’t tell your child that.  They just wouldn’t get it.

I am finding that most of the time with my older sons…..I just have to smile and shut up (and pray like I never have before). Not because I don’t care…..but because I do….the shup-up part:-)  Not real good at that one….but I’m learning.  I wish someone would have told me that this part of parenting is the most difficult.  Give me a baby and no sleep any day over having to watch my kids make decisions that leave me baffled, to say the least. The question arises often lately in my mind, “Did I not tell you to NOT do that”.  Was there some miscommunication on my part…..uh….I think not.

So, this transition…..this uncomfortable place I find myself in….. I’m being phased out of a life that I’ve been doing for a long, long time with four……and staying put with two……who have quite a ways to go yet.  Gone , for the older four, are the days of Bactine and bandaids that fixed a booboo…..kisses that brought smiles and sweet laughter….and snuggling that brought reassurances.  To be quite honest…..I’m not real sure how to navigate through this place on some days.  But, I’m learning.

Mostly, I am learning to give myself permission to grieve this place….do some crying…..admit where I failed…..face it……celebrate it….. and eventually begin to embrace it.  I’m gonna get it!

And even though they are all taller than me now and don’t need me like they once did….they are still my children…..will always be my sweet little boys…..and the only thing, I think , I ever really did right!

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