Part of My Job

parenting

I am the mother of four girls ages 13, 11, 7 & 5. Drama is nothing new in this household, but sometimes the pain of friendships that are damaged or broken is deeper than usual. My prayer is that every experience with my children will be teachable. I thank God for reminding me that part of my job as parent is to disciple my children.

I write every Wednesday & Saturday for Moms of Faith. Find this entire article herePraying for Our Children’s Spiritual Journey

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Turn the “Light” On

Turn-the-Light-On-When-Fear-Comes-Calling

I admit, I felt a bit afraid during my recent getaway alone. I think I might try a Bed and Breakfast next time – just for the company at night!

Thoughts of fear translated themselves into an article titled, Turn “the Light” on When Fear Comes Calling. I write bi-weekly for Moms of Faith.

“Often, as I lay in bed waiting to sleep, I wonder if I remembered to lock the front door, and I ponder the responsibility that I have to protect my four children if anything were to happen while we slept.” – Me. 

Find this entire article here.

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This is Who I Am

I’ve never been in love with my “About” page and actually changing it has been on my to-do list for a some time. This post will be edited to become the New, Improved ABOUT Page.

This is who I am.

mom 1I am a Mother. From my earliest childhood memories all I really wanted to be was a Mom. Four days after my first wedding anniversary that is exactly what I became. Four little girls call me “Mommy,” and I can’t imagine life any other way, and hey, without them, what would I have to blog about?

I am a Treasure Hunter. I have loved adventure since before I can remember. One fateful day on a 4th grade field trip to UPenn’s Art & Archaeology Museum I decided that I would become an Archaeologist when I grew up. Twelve years later on a rainy day in May I held a degree in Classical & Near Eastern Archaeology. By that point, I had come to realize that I loved people more than I loved dead civilizations and I became a missionary instead. Archaeology did, however, take me all over the world.camel I’ve traveled by plane, ship, boat, bus, taxi and camel-drawn cart and experienced enough adventure for two lifetimes. These days I don’t venture too far from home but I will always be a Treasure Hunter, that illusive beach shell and the local yard sale treasures are always waiting to be discovered. And once in a while, in a magical moment of inspiration, I even find treasure in a string of words.

I am a Go Getter. A Make-it-Happen-er. How many 9 year old’s decide their college major and actually stick with it? Yeah, that’s me. If I set my mind to it, I make it happen.

I am a Wanna-be Survivor Contestant. It’s not about the money. It’s never about the money. It’s about surviving.  Sadly, I fear I would have hygiene related issues – would they let me bring a small mirror and tweezers along? Reality show contestant or not –

I am a Survivor. That may be a tale for another day.

This is who I am. I am all these things and more.

I am one who writes.  I write with no agenda. I write simply, and for no other reason than I am compelled to write. I write because I am compelled. I write with the hope that something I have written would cause my Reader to depart from this silly little blog with a smile on their face. I write to touch a chord in a Reader’s heart and to give hope to those who have little or none. I write to bring light to the dark places.

I am one who writes because my life has already been written by the Hand of the Creator and I hope that somewhere in the midst of these feeble written (often ridiculous) words, He would be visible to those with eyes to see.

I have no goal or prize in sight, I write simply to write and display to the world my Clothing of Joy.

psalm 66

This is who I am.

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What I Want My Children to Be

kind

I confess that if I had a choice between hearing that my child was:

A.   An A+ student

B.   An All Star athlete

C.   An Artistic prodigy

D.  Kind

I would choose D. 

Read to find out more on how I feel about this over at my weekly post for Moms of Faith here: I Want My Children to Be Kind.

I write for Moms of Faith every Wednesday & Saturday.

 

I Don’t Like This, So I Wrote About It

God-of-My-Emotions

 

Clenched Chest. Unclear mind. Randomly upset.

My moods and emotions are pretty steady most of the time, but there are days when my chest feels clenched, my mind can’t focus and I feel upset for no reason. Believe me, I try to find a reason, and often times I don’t. I don’t know why something will bother me more on one day than another – hormones? Maybe. Whatever the reason, I. Do. Not. Like. It.

I don’t like it at all.

I don’t like it so much I wrote an article about it at momsoffaith.com. Find it here. (God of My Emotions)

Be encouraged. 🙂 If you struggle with this, I’d love to hear from you.

I write articles for Moms of Faith twice a week. Find me there every Wednesday and Saturday. PS – You don’t have to be a Mom to visit. I promise, no one is checking. 

One Good Man

one

Once I was naïve.

I thought I could tell if a man were good or bad, kind or mean.

But I was wrong.

I learned the hard way that a man is not always who he portrays himself to be. I learned the hard way that he could hit and slap, kick and shove, beat and rape, subject you to public humiliations and break your heart.

I learned the hard way that the one person in the entire world who is meant to love and protect you is the one person in the whole world that you need protection from.

Recently I was invited to the 60th birthday celebration of a dear family friend, a man I have known my whole life, a man I admire and respect. You know who you are. We were told, no gifts, just a card. As I sat to write my hand and brain seemed incapable of expressing what was in my heart. It came out a mish mash of random thoughts that probably just seemed weird.

What I wanted to say was this: When I was growing up, I saw men who loved their wives and families. My father. My grandfathers. My uncles. My brothers. My Christian brothers. I was not unaware that there was evil in the world, but I had been exposed to men of integrity all my life, so when a man came along who lacked integrity but radiated charm and possessed a dynamic personality, I was easily deceived.

When I was at last free, my heart was broken once again, then a third time.

I can’t help but think of my favorite Christmas Carol taken from a poem by Longfellow.

Christmas Bells

And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said;
“For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

At times I feel like changing the words, “There are no good men on earth I said,”

But like Longfellow, I am reminded,

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men!”

And I remember those men, the ones that I have witnessed all my life, who love their wives. Who love their children. Who love their God.

And I am thankful for them. They are my own bells that chime to remind me that all men are not bad.

Motherhood, Magnolias and Missionaries

I rarely struggle for inspiration. Actually, I don’t struggle at all – sometimes I just don’t have it. We’re halfway through the A to Z Challenge and on most days I know well in advance what I will be posting for each letter. But not today. Not “M.”

M! Motherhood, Magnolias, Madness. So many Ms! But I wasn’t feeling it. Was. Not. Inspired. At. All.

stockvault-magnolia-tree121131I care about you, dear readers. I do. I never want to post – just to post. When I read A Living Flame’s post this morning I realized instantly why I was not inspired – she had already written the post meant for today. Voila! Missionary. (PS – I loved this post. PPS – She also wrote the recipe for Chai in my post The Art of Chai.)

A Living Flame

Some days life on the field is easy. Then there are days when it is hard. There are days when I climb to the rooftop and singing praise songs over my neighbourhood and then there are days when I feel like hiding in a quiet corner of my house and listening to the voices that tell me I am not good enough and will never accomplish anything. When I want a close friend to take me out to coffee and pray with me I am reminded that I am alone.

But there is encouragement. There is a way that I bring myself back to reality and realise that my obstacles are small, my friends many and my situation hopeful.

In the past few years I have found great joy (and sorrow) in reading of the lives that have gone before me. When I read about Amy Carmicheal and that she…

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Identity – Who Am I?

“I miss India a lot today. The foggy weather outside reminds me of it. I miss the smell of spices and riding with the wind in my hair on the back of a motorcycle. I miss the old mommas in the streets selling their goods. I miss the high pitched singing ladies that were on the radio in every car. I miss the colors. I never thought I would say that I miss India. But today, I really miss India.”

My niece, who lived with me for a time in India, wrote me this a few days ago.

For a long time I found my identity in being an Indian wife or a Dweller in the land of India.

India 3Then one day these things were Gone. Over. Done. That part of my life was Finished.

And I suddenly had to figure out, Who am I.

The answer didn’t come in a moment, or a day, or a month. It came as I journeyed forward. I’ve written about this search for my Identity here.

 

* I write for the online publication, Moms of Faith, every Wednesday & Saturday. (You DON’T have to be a mom – or even female – to visit. Stop on by.)

Turn it up!

music

God used music to heal us.

Every Saturday and Wednesday my articles are featured on Moms of Faith – Mom blog, but you don’t have to be a mom to visit, no one will check you at the door for mom parts. 😉

Over there you’ll find a different side of me than is usually present here at clothedwithJoy and it’s been a growing experience for me to push myself in this way.

This week I’ve written about music, worship and the healing that it has brought our family. Check it out at the link provided here – “Turn It Up, Mom!”

Thanks! – Rebecca

 

death. Life, Living, Everlasting Life and ETERNITY

It’s Sunday afternoon and my neighbor was found dead this morning. This is not the first paragraph of a crime novel, it really happened.

A little after 8:00 AM I was on the way to the basement to get the clean laundry so we’d have something to wear to church. As I passed through my office at the front of the house I noticed police lights flashing outside and that an officer was walking toward my neighbor’s door. As I moved in for a closer look out the window I saw the body of my neighbor lying in the rain next to the trash and recycling buckets.

I ran through the kitchen and opened the front door and saw that poor Bill was not passed out as I hoped, but that he was dead in a puddle of water.

Let me pause to explain our bizarre living situation. I live in a 120 year old Victorian that at some point mid-century was divided into two apartments and offices. This unique division means that several parts of the house are inevitably shared living. So Bill was not a “far-away” neighbor but a man I saw and spoke with almost daily. The door to the basement which led to the clean laundry that we were about to wear to church, was in his kitchen.

In fact, I was the last one, to my knowledge, to speak to Bill, in person at least. The oven in my kitchen has been broken for months and it has just been easier to come downstairs and use Bill’s oven for all my baking and cooking needs. He didn’t mind, he never used it. Last night I was pulling out pork chops and baked potatoes and Bill came stumbling in from outside.

He was in his late sixties, a life-long smoker and was deeply depressed. He was alone in the world except for a daughter and a ninety year old father. Last week my dad and brother had to call Bill’s family to look in on him because it was clear to those of us who saw him on a daily basis that he was unwell, not eating and fading away. This wintery winter had been hard on him.

His daughter took him for a full check-up last week and the report was good. Bill even perked up for a few days! But last night he was not right. Dizzy. Unstable. I helped him to his seat and talked with him a bit. I asked if the medicine was making him dizzy and he said it did. I told him to call me on my cell phone if he needed me, I would come.

That’s the last time we spoke.

After the events of this morning I wish I had called my dad last night to come and check on Bill. In hindsight, I would have done things differently, yet I will live with my decision. He had been so weak for so long that his appearance was not as alarming as it should have been to me.

I am saddened that his body had to be found outside in the rain by a passerby. I am sad that he seemed to have nothing to live for and chose to fade away.

I am glad that his body was found on a Sunday morning and not a weekday when my children would have been walking to school and witnessed it. I’m thankful he died in an open place where he was found and not in his bed so that after a few days myself or my brother (who works here) would have smelled his remains.

This is raw. And this is honest.

Bill did not have a relationship with the Healer of Hearts, Jesus Christ.  That is the saddest news of all.

His death, as with all situations of this kind, has opened a door of conversation with my own children about life, living, everlasting life and eternity, so I will treasure and nurture these conversations. If there is only one glimmer of sweetness in this tragic, bitter end, those conversations are it.

death

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(E for Eternity & Everlasting Life)

 

PS – this was written last Sunday.