Category Archives: Praise

At least we’re making progress

Everyone who knows me knows that I have been praying for quite a while about a certain situation with a certain daughter, and most of you have been praying on my behalf for a resolution.  I’ve also expressed my hesitation to get my hopes up at the slightest hint of change, because what usually happens isn’t what I’d expected.  However, I thought I should share with you the most recent development in that ongoing saga because, my friends, prayers are being answered!

Last week about this time, I spoke with the dad-who-will-not-intervene about the daughter-who-will-not-call and asked him once again if he would make the girl call her mother.  I was surprised to find out that he had already (so he said) “had this conversation with her” and that he had warned her that she would find herself living with her mom if she didn’t start doing what she was told.  (Here’s where we pray that he runs out of patience.)

Seriously though, who knew the change we’ve been praying for would be in his heart?  Praise God!

He said if she doesn’t call me, he’ll take her phone (that should put the fear in her.)  I suggested that maybe he shouldn’t let her go anywhere with friends unless she calls me first.  Then I thought if he’d already threatened to send her to me, maybe he’d be willing to follow through.  So I asked if he would, and he actually said that if he was unable to reach her, he’d be coming after her!  (On the other hand, he also said that he didn’t want to make it seem like living with me would be punishment, like I care at this point how she sees it.)

So here’s where we stand:  If she starts calling me, I will have contact with her.  If she doesn’t, I will go get her, and this time, her dad won’t be backing her up (if he meant what he said.)  The best part is I’m no longer fretting over whether she returns my calls or not.  And to be honest, I’m kinda hoping she doesn’t.

Although the issue isn’t fully resolved yet, I am gaining ground – and patience, and for that I am ever so thankful.

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Finally, the Good News

It’s been a rough few months around the Rainbow household – oh, who am I kidding? Years would be the more accurate term. Anyway, you get the picture. I don’t like to sound like I’m complaining, but I’m sure it must come across that way, so I want to take this opportunity to point out the good stuff. And there’s quite a lot of it, actually. I just hadn’t noticed for all the whining.

Several weeks ago in Bible study, the pastor asked if we knew the meaning of “sacrifice of praise”, and as I raised my hand to answer, it dawned on me that although I understood what it meant, I hadn’t been putting it into practice.

I may have given lip-service, but I cannot honestly say that I sincerely praised God with my whole heart for allowing my children to remain separated from one another and from me. Yes, I believe beyond a shadow of doubt that He is in complete control of every aspect of our lives. Yes, I absolutely trust Him to work all things together for our good and His glory. Yet I have been complaining in my heart, begging God “please change their hearts, Lord, or change mine.”

Oh, I am so human. How tempted I have been to give up. How easy for me to forget that the way I would resolve this matter is not necessarily the way He plans to resolve it.

How often He has reminded me that He’s on it, and He’s answering prayer, even if the answers don’t look like I expect them to look. And that, my friends, is good news.

But wait! There’s more.

My wonderful husband has endured all the shineola that my ex and kids have dished out for the duration of our marriage, and he’s still here. Praise the Lord for his love and support.

Just when I think things couldn’t get much worse, they do. Praise God that His strength is perfect and is not limited by my weakness.

Praise Him for walking with me through it all, and carrying me most of the way.

The ex and I have actually had a few civil conversations in which we have agreed on a plan of action regarding The Spiteful One. I know! Amazing. It’s all God. Praise His Name!

The Spiteful One’s behavior has turned most of my attention away from the absence of The Aloof One. Totally unexpected, and not at all what I had hoped for, but I know it’s all under control. Praise the Lord for answering in His way rather than mine.

There really is so much more, but I’ll save it for another post. Have a blessed week!

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!”

Philippians 4:4

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She is loved

Lindsey had been after me all week to schedule her flight to Memphis for her birthday on the 21st. She’s turning 17, and she wants to go spend a few days with her fella. The girl is relentless. I had told her I would think about it, and she took that ball and ran with it.

I needed to talk with his mom first to make sure that she was aware of the plans and is, in fact, willing to take responsibility for my daughter. In other words, had she been invited, or had she invited herself? She assured me that Lindsey is welcome to come and stay with her while BF (boyfriend) stays with his dad. They will not be unsupervised.

I asked her how she felt about BF driving to Memphis to meet Lindsey at the airport (I can’t afford tickets to Little Rock), and she suggested that a friend accompany him. I agreed, since Lindsey had mentioned that she would be concerned about his making the drive alone. That was Thursday.

Lindsey talked with BF to find out the best time to schedule the flight, and he told her that his step-dad will be coming with him to meet her. The earlier the flight, the better, so he can get back to work. She wants to fly out on Wednesday and return on Sunday.

When I checked the flight schedules Friday morning, the Sunday flight was almost double the price of the Saturday flight. I suggested a Tuesday night flight, returning Saturday instead, but BF’s step-dad had already made arrangements for Wednesday morning. When I got home Friday evening, BF wanted to talk to me. He offered to help pay for her return flight so she can stay until Sunday. I accepted.

That’s when he told me that his mom is also taking off work Wednesday so they all can spend the day in Memphis. And, just like that, any doubts I had about letting her go vanished. Completely.

I’m not sure they know how much their kindness blesses my heart. But I am sure Lindsey knows that she is loved.

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Little Victories

Lindsey and I made the trip to Arkansas last weekend, without knowing exactly what to expect when we got there. She was interested only in seeing her beau, and I wanted to spend some time with Sarah. I had told her that I didn’t feel right about allowing her to see the boyfriend behind the dad’s back. While I don’t agree with his tactics, I do not wish to undermine his authority. Nor do I wish to endanger the life of another human being. What’s a mom to do?

We left Friday shortly after midnight and arrived at her dad’s at 9:40 am Saturday. The first hour of the drive was spent passing the phone between us talking to Sarah and her dad. It wasn’t pretty, although he didn’t seem too upset that I was going to allow her to see the boyfriend. I guess he was too busy trying to convince Sarah that she should be afraid to get in the car with me. She went along with it, telling me that she would rather have her dad take her to Grandma’s after he gets off work. Lindsey told her that she should be willing to spend 24 hours with her mom, especially since I had to drive 10 hours to get there.

I pointed out to Lindsey that she had told her dad she didn’t want to see him, and she replied, “But, Mom, you aren’t threatening to kill someone she cares about. She doesn’t have a good reason not to spend time with you.”

Sarah did change her mind about getting in the car with me, and we followed Lindsey and her beau to his mom’s house. I wanted to visit with her to discuss allowing our kids to see each other only as long as there was adult supervision. She agreed, of course. I also let her know that if she felt it necessary to seek legal protection for her son, I would stand behind her decision. The dad may be bluffing, but there is no telling what he might actually do.

From there, we went to my mom’s then out to dinner and back to my mom’s. It was beginning to rain and the temperature had dropped below freezing, so I suggested that the boyfriend go on back home. Lindsey asked if he could stay the night, and I had to say no. She said she would sleep in the room with me, and he could sleep on the couch, but I didn’t budge. So she called her dad and asked if she could stay the night with him. I took the phone and informed him that she wanted her boyfriend to bring her over. He said he didn’t care how she got there. I told her to make sure it was okay with him if he came to get her for church in the morning. Again, he said he didn’t care.

Sunday morning, Lindsey and her beau met me and Sarah at church. We decided to visit the little Baptist fellowship near my mom’s house. The sermon was part of a series on the fruit of the Spirit. That morning, the focus was patience. The pastor talked about anger and the psychological damage that results from taking it out on your kids. I handed Lindsey a pen so that she could take notes on the outline provided, and Sarah surprised me when she took my pen so that she could fill in the blanks. I was pleased with both the timeliness of the message and my kids’ behavior.

Sunday afternoon, we celebrated my sister’s 40th birthday a day early, then we had to get going. Lindsey still had to get some stuff from her dad’s house, and Sarah wasn’t ready to come home with me, although she did promise to pray about it. Lindsey rode with her boyfriend to her dad’s, and when we got there, Sarah and I went inside while the two of them said their goodbyes. The dad asked where Lindsey was, and I told him that she was in the car with her boyfriend. He said “he better not come in this house, or I’ll pop a cap in him.” I went back out to call Lindsey inside, and when I came back in, her dad had taken his pistol out and laid it on the bookshelf. A couple of things occurred to me. One, now this makes for an excellent illustration of today’s sermon; and two, I wonder if this could be why Sarah is afraid to go with me.

Lindsey and I got back on the road, and we talked almost the entire trip, when she wasn’t on the phone with her fella. They both said they liked church, and what Lindsey told me next sent my heart soaring. She said, “You know how you’re always listening to the sermon and trying to see how it applies to you? Well, I did that today, Mom. That stuff the pastor said about anger made me realize that I need to work on my temper.”

Sometimes they do pay attention.

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Do You Smell What the Rock is Cooking?

This is pretty much a token post because it’s been almost a week since my last post, and I’ll be away until Sunday. Thought I’d make that little announcement in case the Ring of ThievesTM wants to pay a visit to my humble abode. Maybe whoever-you-are wouldn’t mind tidying up the place a bit? I’d be ever so grateful.

Okay then, on with the randomness.

You won’t believe what I’ve been up to. Barb, are you sitting down? Y’all, I’ve been cooking. That’s right! Every night for the past week. Please, hold the applause. It’s nothing, really. Seriously, it’s not that I don’t like to cook or that I can’t — I’m pretty good at it, if I do say so myself. And our dogs LOVE it. — it’s just that I’m not real fond of cleaning up afterwards. Since it’s only the two of us during the week, it’s been TONS easier just to go out, but that gets expensive. So in order to save money, I’ve decided to get back in the habit of preparing meals myself. Nothing fancy, you know, unless you’re rilly impressed with Hamburger HelperTM, but hey, it’s a start. And I’ve figured out that I don’t have to deal with leftovers because my dogs will eat anything. No kidding. I don’t get the whole underwear thing, but I digress.

Well, I did cheat tonight and got heat’n’eat chicken from the Kroger deli, but only because I had to make deviled eggs for a luncheon at work tomorrow. I’m on a roll! Kinda makes me feel like a mom again.

Lindsey asked me if I would make baked mac’n’cheese and green bean casserole when I get to my mom’s for Thanksgiving. I told her that someone else probably would, and she said “but I like yours better.” No mention of the car though, so I’m inclined to believe she wasn’t just buttering me up. We did talk about it a few days ago, and she asked me if I would bring it to her this weekend. HA! When I told her that I was thinking of letting her have it when she comes to stay, she said I was bribing her. She wouldn’t feel that way if she knew I was thinking of removing the battery.

Just kidding.

It does need a lot of work, though. I’m not about to turn her loose in a car that needs new shocks and brakes and who knows what else. She’ll have to wait.

By the way, she told me that she and Sarah got their phones taken away (again!) because they didn’t give their dad their report cards. I don’t know why Sarah didn’t, but Lindsey’s reason was that she didn’t want him to know that she got a C. Funny that she would tell me, because that’s one of the bajillion-and-one reasons I’ve given her for insisting that she needs to be here. So he took away their phones and quit Lindsey’s job for her. I think that’s an answer to prayer.

You see, I’ve been contemplating homeschooling. Lindsey is in 11th grade, and I’m concerned that if she stays where she is, she’ll end up dropping out like her older sister did. If we homeschool, I’m sure I can motivate her to put forth the effort to graduate. It would solve a few other problems as well, such as dividing their time between both parents more equitably, and I can make sure they get regular Bible study as part of the curriculum. I mentioned it to her, and although she’s not completely sold on it yet, she said she would think about it. The idea of graduating early really appeals to her. I pointed out that I’ve been praying that God would show us how to work all this out. The fact that her dad quit her job for her means that she can’t use that as a reason not to come. And I had nothing to do with it! That excites me, because I can see God’s hand in it. It was no accident that I began blogging and have met so many other moms who homeschool. I believe that He’s leading us in that direction. Will you pray for us?

One last thought before I go…

I got a call today from a guy who had found Mr. X’s cell phone. Apparently, he had left it in the break room where he works. The guy asked if I could tell him whose phone it was, and without hesitation, I told him. As soon as I got off the phone, I had a George Costanza moment, and thought “Man! I shoulda told him the phone was stolen and that since he found it, he could keep it if he would dispose of the SIM card.” No, I didn’t call back, but I did enjoy the moment. It’s a good thing I didn’t because Lindsey had to use it to call me.

I’m telling ya, the Lord is at work.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving, y’all!

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More Good News!

Lindsey seems to have changed her mind already about coming at semester. Her dad rescheduled her orthodontic appointment, on his own, and she got a job at Sonic. Some things are just too good to be true. Still praying that she’ll come around.

Sarah went to church Wednesday night for the “Heaven’s Gates, Hell’s Flames” drama production that they put on every year at this time. Following the play, several people made decisions for the Lord, including Sarah, who told me that she rededicated her life. God is answering my prayers (and yours)!

Praise the Lord!

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A Light at the end of the Tunnel

Most of you know about the situation with my girls and have been lifting us up in prayer, and I am ever so grateful for your caring hearts. More than that, I am thankful for God’s faithfulness to His children. You may recall the word of encouragement I received a few weeks ago at my women’s retreat from our speaker, who shared with me her vision of a train as she prayed over me. She felt that it meant to stay on track and keep moving forward. While I don’t know for sure what to make of her method, I do know that the Lord ministered to my heart through her teaching of His Word.

A few things have happened since then. First, before the retreat was over, I was invited to join the handbell choir, and I accepted the invitation. My first performance with them is next Sunday. Also, I have discovered a need for a prayer ministry in our school district, which is where my heart is. Unfortunately, my children are not in school here, and without them, I have no access to the names of the children who are enrolled. I shared that little bit of info with my girls, to make them aware of an opportunity to be useful, you know, a purpose other than having their own needs met. Of course, it meant little to them, as they seem perfectly content to stay right where they are. That hasn’t kept me from praying that God would give them a desire to be obedient to Him and to follow wherever He leads.

I have continued to encourage them to go to church, to read their Bibles, and to pray, without much response. However, I called them Saturday and told them not to make any plans that would interfere with church attendance on Sunday, and to be sure to go to church. For the sermon, not to work in the nursery. I had doubts that they would, but when I called Sunday morning, they were getting ready to go. Praise the Lord! I called again Sunday night to discuss the sermon with them, and Sarah had time only to tell me what it was about before she left to go to the store with her dad.

Lindsey called me just a little while ago, and though she couldn’t remember the sermon, she did inform me that she wants to come back here at semester. To stay. Y’all, I’m about beside myself! Further inquiry revealed that she and her dad aren’t getting along well, and I let her know that while I want more than anything for her to be here, I’d rather that not be the reason. She replied, “Mom, I need to be there. Dad isn’t taking care of me. He wouldn’t take me to my orthodontist appointment because he was mad at me. And I lied to you about him making the appointment. He didn’t. I did.” I had to bite my tongue to keep from saying “I told you so.”

I asked her to pray about her decision, and she told me that she was pretty sure she wouldn’t change her mind again. We shall see. I also spoke with Sarah, who actually said “yes” when I asked her if she would consider coming to stay. I encouraged her to pray that God would give her a willing heart. It seems that they are beginning to see the light.

I ask you now to continue praying that God will draw them to Him and return them to the care of their mother.

God is so good, and He is faithful, and I am rejoicing through tears.

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