Right after midnight last night, I posted on Facebook that the only thing that had disappeared was the hubby’s phone (he lost it taking M to the park).  I wasn’t the only person poking fun at the Rapture, or lack thereof – Christians and non-Christians alike had a field day mocking Harold Camping and his followers for the next 24 hours or so.  Some of the commentary was pretty darn funny; some of it was quite mean-spirited.  I laughed at the funny stuff early on, but as I went through my somewhat hectic day (which involved not only replacing the lost cell phone but also a tire on my car and then missing an appointment in San Antonio as a result), I began to feel sorrowful.  In no way am I passing judgement on anyone, especially because I was laughing, too, at first.  But I really felt like the Lord was showing me His heart in this situation, and His words had the flavor of rebuke.  This is what He said to me:

1. Did anyone speak over Harold Camping, that the eyes of his heart might be enlightened, that he might have wisdom and understanding, that he would not be deceived?  Did anyone try to show him Biblical proof that no man knows the time or date of My return?  Did anyone reach out to him in sincere love and concern?

2. Can you imagine the different emotions his followers are experiencing right now?  Some of them are truly disappointed because they believed wholeheartedly.  Some are feeling duped, disillusioned, and angry.  Some have suicidal thoughts because they spent so much of their money unknowingly promoting a deception.  Some don’t know what to believe at all and are blaming Me.  Is anyone reaching out to them in sincere love and concern?

I had to confess that I don’t know if anyone tried to speak to Mr Camping.  I also hadn’t thought about the followers’ feelings until the Lord asked.  But the more I considered and listened, the more I felt His sorrow over the whole situation.  These are people made in His image who were first deceived and then they were ridiculed not only by the world, but also by the Church.  What they need is not to be mocked and shunned by their brothers and sisters in Christ but to be shown the truth that will set them free in an atmosphere of love and grace. I have failed to do this.  I don’t know any of these people personally, but since when does that affect my ability to pray for them and speak truth over their lives?  Quite simply, it doesn’t.

I will admit that I’m still not sure of my own position regarding the Rapture of the Church.  I’ve read decent arguments for several different scenarios, and I just haven’t quite made up my mind.  But I don’t think it’s a deal-breaker, especially if I live my life being ready in and out of season and trusting completely in my God.  I know that whether I have to live through part of the Tribulation or not, I’m still His and He’s still coming to get me, one way or another. I do understand enough to know that Harold Camping and his followers had some pretty erroneous theology, but I think in some ways, many of them were just trying to be ready in and out of season, too.  The Bible warns us that Satan will try to deceive “even the very elect, if possible,” (see Matthew 24:24) through false prophets and the like rising up.  I want to be cautious, here, especially in light of what I feel the Lord said to me.  I’m not calling anyone a false prophet, per se.  I am calling them deceived.  And I guess all I’m asking is, what is the remedy for deception?  Are we administering it?

Save the Drama for Yo’ Daddy…or Not

We had some minor drama go down at the casa tonight.  It started after the hubby and M finished reading their nightly chapter together and Hubby promised M a bonus chapter after he took a shower and got into his pj’s.  Unfortunately, my exhausted husband, who rarely gets a solid night of sleep because of his job, fell asleep on the couch while M was showering, and I sent him upstairs to bed at 7:30.  My normally unflappable six-year-old fell to pieces when he discovered this.  In an attempt to divert his attention, I suggested we take a couple of chairs outside and enjoy the beautiful evening before he went to bed.  It seemed to work…for a few minutes.

So there we were on the back porch, talking about finches and herb gardens and the like, and everything was fine until M said, “I wish Dad was out here with us.”  Aaaaand, round 2.

M:  It’s not faiiiiiiir.  Dad prooooomised.  Waaaaahh!

Me:  Dad was super-tired.  You know he works very hard for us, and he just needed to sleep.

M:  I’m so disapoiiiiiiinted!  Waaaaahhhh!

Me:  You’re really upset, aren’t you?  I’m sorry this has disappointed you so much.  Dad didn’t do it on purpose.  His body was just very tired, and he couldn’t stay awake.

M:  This has ruined my life!

Me (dubiously):  It has?

M:  Well, a little.

At this point, I had turned my face away because I couldn’t keep the smile off it.  But M saw it and said, “MOM!  DON’T LAUGH AT ME!  THIS IS SERIOUS!”  [If anyone on the planet can offer me hints on how not to burst into laughter upon hearing something like this, please share.  It’s too late this time, but at least I’ll know for the future.]  I did actually manage not to laugh until M started giggling.  He climbed in my lap and said, “I knew your ninja powers would make me laugh!”

Well, thank the Lord for small miracles, and for Mama ninja powers.   We went upstairs, and as M said his goodnight prayers, I was concerned we were going to have round 3.  I suggested that we say prayers for Dad to get good rest and blessings for taking such good care of us, and M, back to his normal self, did so gallantly and without another meltdown.  One of the things I love best about my kid is that he’s never been prone to temper tantrums.  Even when he was two and three years old, I found that if I gave him the freedom to express his feelings and then explained what was going on in a way he could understand, he would respond in a thoughtful, intelligent way.  I can honestly say that he never once threw a fit in the grocery store or in a restaurant, etc.  So this little episode tonight caught me a bit off guard, and it got me to thinking.

How many times have we overreacted to a situation because we didn’t truly understand what was going on?  I’m not discounting M’s disappointment, which I think went beyond the fact that he didn’t get his way and actually had more to do with the fact that he adores his daddy and cherishes their reading time together.  But M does not have the understanding of how taxing J’s job truly is and how tired it makes him because M doesn’t have to work for anything yet.  M doesn’t know how it feels not to get enough sleep because his world is such that he always does – his mom and dad make sure of it.  M can’t comprehend his father’s heart towards him, which is never, ever to hurt or disappoint him if possible, because he is not yet in a position to have paternal feelings of his own.  Like M, sometimes we find ourselves in situations we can’t comprehend, and we act out according to our lack of knowledge.

I wonder how often we do that with God.  How often do we try to process His big, gigantic plans through our teeny-tiny understanding?  How often do we whine, “It’s not faaaaaaaaiiiir,” or “You haven’t done what you said you’d do,” never realizing that there is so much more going on behind the scenes than what we know?  If you’re anything like me, you’ve caught Him trying to hide His laughter more than once.  And if you’re like me, you realized how silly you sounded and started laughing, too.

I’m glad my ninja powers made my son giggle and feel better.  And I’m even more glad that my Daddy has way more than ninja powers to set my world right.  I just need to trust that He knows what He’s doing, even when the situation makes no sense to me.  If you’ve got one of those situations right now, ask Him about it.  He’ll explain it to you in a way you can understand, if you just listen.  Or maybe He’ll just hold you in His lap, if that’s what you need more than information.  Either way, He’ll ask you to trust Him.  And it’ll be okay.

Birthday Blog

37.  How in the world did I get here?  It seems like yesterday I was baking mini-cakes in my Easy-Bake oven (with the incandescent light bulb, thankyouverymuch)…and doodling for hours with my Spirograph set…and playing football with my guy friends because I was SUCH a tomboy (ask my mom about the time I hid in the closet because she made me wear a dress to school.  Then, once at school, I cried all day, to the point that my teacher sent a note home.)

Those mini-cakes were about the extent of my foray into baking.  I turned tail and went to the savory side (we don’t have cookies), spending much of my career in the culinary world.  I do still doodle, though sadly sans Spirograph, and it’s still a rare thing, indeed, to catch me in a dress.  Other things haven’t changed much, either.  I still read voraciously.  I still question everything.  I’m still quite opinionated.  And I still don’t feel like I’ve settled completely into my own skin.

You would think by now I would know everything there is to know about myself.  I realize we change over time, but surely there are fundamental characteristics about us that stay the same throughout our lives.  It’s these fundamentals I’ve rethought over the past several years.

I heard a lot about the things I wasn’t, growing up.  I wasn’t pretty.  I wasn’t a good daughter.  I wasn’t likeable.  I wasn’t going to amount to anything.  I wasn’t male, so I was automatically inferior.  Ad nauseam, and that is quite an appropriate way to put it.  That little Latin phrase means “to a sickening or disgusting degree, to the point of nausea,” and when you hear that kind of stuff over and over, it does sicken you.  Maybe not physically (or maybe so), but definitely emotionally, mentally, even spiritually.  As much as part of me railed against receiving those descriptions of myself, I was just a kid, and I didn’t know how not to let those words influence me.  So I shut down emotionally – the Lord showed me almost 15 years ago in a vision that this was around the age of 8 or 9 – and mentally, I believed many of the negative things being spoken over me.  I began to understand that no, I wasn’t pretty or likeable, and that no, I wouldn’t ever do or be anything meaningful.  Spiritually, I was sick as well.  I never turned away from God, but I definitely had a hard time seeing Him as a loving father who genuinely liked me and had created me with inherent value.  These, or so I thought, were my fundamentals.

But as I’ve shared in other blog entries, I’ve been in this ongoing transitional state for a few years now.  I’ve been discovering how absolutely UNfundamental these lies are, and I know that the reason I haven’t yet settled into my own skin completely is because I’m still learning what it looks like, how it feels.  It’s still somewhat easy for me to fall into the mindset that I haven’t accomplished anything with my life, but I think that is because my desire is to do great, earth-shaking things.  I haven’t done them yet – but I will, just as soon as I’m out of the learning and training phase, or at least, out of THIS learning and training phase!

So.  37.  (Now, before some of my, er, more seasoned friends howl in protest that I’m just a kid, etc, just remember that you had this conversation with yourself at one point, also.)  I don’t know exactly how 37 is “supposed” to feel.  I know that once you pass 35, you’re “supposed” to eschew certain clothing so as to “dress your age.”  You’re “supposed” to be content watching from a vantage point safely on the ground as your kids ride roller coasters, zipline, parasail, etc.  You’re “supposed” to carry the “mom anointing,” bestowing valuable and timely nuggets of wisdom to the “kids of today,” who don’t know anything about walking five miles uphill both ways in the snow in order to get some learnin’.  Okay.  I don’t want to be the woman shopping in the junior department, but I sure do want to be the one experiencing the roller coasters and ziplines and parasails.  And as for wisdom, I like that, too.  One of the first things I’d like to tell today’s teenagers is that they shouldn’t be shopping in the junior department, either!  For pity’s sake, girls, put some clothes on!  (Didja like that?  Was it “mature” enough? 😉 )

Happy birthday to pretty, likeable, capable me, a woman fashioned in the image of God, who has a LOT yet to do.  If you need me, come find me.  I’ll be the one shaking the earth.