Simple Journey

I want to know a song can rise from the ashes of a broken life... --Mike Donehey, 10th Ave. N.

Friday, June 6, 2014

A New and Unusual Song

Hi,

It's been a long time. So much has changed and sea-change has occurred. Life is so much different now, more than I ever could have anticipated.

I am going to see what I can do with this blog. I am hoping it will be a fun new adventure for me. I've already begun one that will make me money - housecleaning for a cleaning company. But I want to bring in as much as I can as fast as I can, to pay off debt quickly. So I'm looking in any direction that can possibly make me some money. Maybe this blog can help as well.

I didn't want to focus on money. It's not who I am. But when you're cast adrift with nothing else, you're not hired in the jobs you thought you were able to land, and nowhere to turn, that's what you do. Or at least that's what I'm told. I think it's good, in a way. It means I won't be able to listen anymore to the voices in my head that are really just my "inner critic".

In the book, Cash In A Flash, authors Mark Victor Hansen and Robert G. Allen talk about our "inner winner", as the part of us that knows us best and recommends actions to flesh out our souls, so that when we listen to our "inner winner" we ultimately become the person God intended us to be from birth. I think this is true. I've tried to do this all my life, and it has led to accomplishing much more than I should have had any reason to expect, given my family and financial status in the world.

But what about when listening to your "inner winner" doesn't result in the wins you expected? What about when you suddenly realize your "inner winner" is a bit out-dated or over-the-hill? What do you do then?

I don't know. So I've embarked on a journey to find out how to make a living FIRST, and then listening to my "inner winner". Hansen and Allen say that's the wrong way round. Maybe that's true. Or maybe they are barking at the moon. But either way, I've begun to do both, and I'm not quitting until I find some answers.

When my daughter was about a year and a half, I saw a poster on the wall in a pastor's home with a few, poignant words, and I never forgot them. They were from some writing by the poet Rainer Maria Rilke, and I have always tried to live by them. Here is the passage in a fuller version:

"I beg you... to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer..." (quoted from the front of a greeting card I have in a frame).

I had some questions back then too. I've lived some of them, and in so doing have now wound up alone in the world, and I do not like that. That is not what my "inner winner" would have prompted me to do, to strike out all alone in the world. So I'm going to continue to live the questions I now have, and pray and hope that in the future I live along into an answer that includes another person. It's the only kind of faith I can come up with at present.

Thanks for staying with me all this time. A true friend can be found by applying my father's test: A friEND is a friEND to the END (which is how he taught me to spell the word).

Have a nice day. Now go live your questions, and hopefully that will include being a true frIEND to someone!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

"I'm worn...."


Well, it's been almost a year since my last post. I didn't meant to leave it this long, it just happened that way.

As you've seen, if you've read any here, my life split apart a couple years ago, interrupting my songs and crashing my plans and sending me headlong into a tailspin, from which I have yet to see the light of recovery at the other end of the vortex-tunnel.

The song "Worn", by Michael Donehey of Tenth Avenue North, says it best, and today I'm posting those words here for you. I will post a url so you can hear them sung, and this is now my daily prayer.

I’m Tired I’m worn
My heart is heavy
From the work it takes
To keep on breathing
I’ve made mistakes
I’ve let my hope fail
My soul feels crushed
By the weight of this world

And I know that you can give me rest
So I cry out with all that I have left

Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart
That’s frail and torn
I wanna know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
Cause I’m worn

I know I need to lift my eyes up
But I'm too weak
Life just won’t let up
And I know that you can give me rest
So I cry out with all that I have left

Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart
That’s frail and torn
I wanna know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
Cause I’m worn

My prayers are wearing thin
Yeah, I’m worn
Even before the day begins
Yeah, I’m worn
I’ve lost my will to fight
I’m worn
So, heaven come and flood my eyes

Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart
That’s frail and torn
I wanna know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
Cause all that’s dead inside will be reborn

Though I’m worn
Yeah I’m worn
In an article about the group, I read that this song was generated by Mr. Donehey's recent fatherhood.  A piece of me wants to tell him that if he thinks he's worn now he can just wait and see how worn this child will make him in about 15 years.

But another part of me waits on revelations I am newly acquiring in yet another Beth Moore study, as I attend our Women's Summer Bible Study at church. We are studying James, the brother of Jesus, through the eyes of others in the early church, and through his own writing. This is the second week, and already I am understanding a tiny bit about where God might be seeing me on this journey.

But I am worn, oh yes, I'm worn. I had stopped singing, my piano rarely making a noise to disturb the peace of this quiet neighborhood. I only sing when asked by someone at church, really, which is quite rare. Part of my journey is trying to find where on earth I am meant to sing. I am still asking that one.

Lately, a message arrived in the mail announcing the resignation and imminent moving away of my dear friend and pastor, Libby. I merely put that fact on the back burner. I couldn't handle it with any grace at the time, so I left it alone.

Recently I was privileged to help seniors of our church worship in their retirement home, accompanying Libby's leading there. This is a monthly service I volunteer, requested by Libby and finally taken up by me when it was clear my solo "career" was ending. No one wants classical music anywhere anymore, and just barely at church. There I am not needed, really, since there are so many, and a hired soprano is given the limelight. But I don't need the limelight anymore, and that's fine.

My voice suffers. It's an old adage among singers, "Use it or lose it." And it's true. I haven't used it, and I often lose it. And I know I need to get back in it, but I'm worn.

My daughter is on her own journey of choice far away from anything or anyone that might remind her of her family. I leave that in God's lap.

My son is riddled with anxiety and other emotional disturbances, having been diagnosed 6 times over the past 6 years by about 6 specialists, and now has a new diagnosis and a new specialist. He wreaks havoc on furniture and house with intermittent outbursts neither he nor I can control, and for which we have yet to find a source or a cure - and he is the sweetest human being God ever created. Being now 19 years old, I am not allowed to find him help, and so his problems stretch on and on, since he can't see them himself as well as I can. But I have been learning to leave that, too, in God's lap.

I will soon move in to an apartment. The owner of this lovely home decided she wanted to live here instead of Arizona. I can't think why. It's far gloomier here than there in winter. Perhaps it is the heat in summer, though it's been far hotter here than usual, with no air conditioning.... but she can install it if she wants. It's her home. Mine is occupied by my former spouse. I leave that, too, in God's lap.

So to an apartment I must go, as my spousal support was reduced due to my ex-spouse's company folding and him losing his part time position with his former employer (though right now he is working for them in another capacity). He is to inform me immediately when he finds other employment, or so the court decided.  We settled. I thought I was getting the good end of the deal that way. Who knows? I left that in God's lap. I must be done with lawyers; they are too expensive for the resources God has given me.

 I have not lived in an apartment since 1986, when I left one for good, as far as I could see. However, I couldn't see my divorce then, or I never would have left Southern California and my parents and my friends. When I was divorced, I lost my two best friends here, and have had to try and do a lot of things alone for the first time. I suppose it's good for me, or so my dearest friend, who lives in Texas, tells me. But I digress.... some more.

I only got on here to say that I'm worn, and that even so I wait.

"For they that wait upon the Lord will renew their strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not be weary, and they will walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31.

I am worn, Lord, but I wait. Please, let me know a song can rise from the ashes of this broken life.
In Jesus' name,
Amen.

Simply waiting,
Patty

YouTube: Worn by Tenth Avenue North
 Sept. 21, 2012

Simple Journey

Don't we wish! Life is nothing like a simple journey, is it? If it seems so, then perhaps something is missing, like living!

So many of us have extremely rocky paths to traverse, and I am one of them. The first half of my life seemed to go so smoothly, yet I was always finding something to discontent me. Finally I decided to approach life simply, instead of complicating every issue as I went along my simple path of marriage, homemaking, motherhood...

Then everything changed - EVERYTHING.

Now my life is not at all simple, and it is a very, very unsettling journey. Knowing that others also are walking precarious paths, I put here the things I find most comforting, most consoling, most settling, most uplifting. Funny, I almost always find them simple, pass over them in my urgent quest to find The Answer, forgetting He is found in every blade of grass, leaf, or drop of water, if I simply take time to see it again.

I hope these words serve a purpose for you, my readers, especially an encouraging one. For that's the reason I'm here, and that's the purpose of this blog.

Simply sharing,

Patty

Friday, September 21, 2012

Level Ground


 Yesterday was a day of new beginnings, stepping out in faith, and learning experiences.

I've had a couple of dreams for almost all of my adult life. One was to be a writer, and the other was to create quilts I could sell for real money.

Yesterday I entered into both worlds for real for the first time. I spent most of the day up by the Columbia River at the Portland Expo Center, viewing a dazzling array of art in quilt. At the end of the day I attended a Christian writers group at a local church, hearing the story of a real author's journey of faith and writing. Then I came home and thought about it all, and went to sleep. When I woke up this morning, the two had melded into one huge, grace-filled learning experience.

First I'll tell you how I came to be at the Expo Center. A few years back I was bitten with the machine quilting bug. I took quilting classes, following up my beginnings at In The Beginning, a quilt shop in Seattle, when my daughter was not even a year old. This time, I was transported suddenly out of my singing self and into a new me I didn't even know. I found myself in Tacoma, Washington, at a quilters' convention called Innovations, with a focus on machine quilting. I had come with only the thought of trying out the machines, but while I was there I began to think this was the direction my life should take. But the costs are astronomical. And so, I used the machines on display there to practice, wanting to see if I could justify such a purchase. One of the sales women got disgusted with me spending so much time at her booth and made a comment which sent me flying back to the familiar life of singing for about 5 more years.

Simultaneously (as always, I cannot stick with one thought until it's completed), I was working on becoming a writer. I took two online classes through the community college, and thought I might publish an article or two. Sadly, they were rejected by all five magazines to which I sent them in such hopes, and I went back to my familiar world of singing. After all, I knew God had called me there, but these other areas might simply be larks, passions that needed taming, therapeutic hobbies, or simply yet two more symptoms of my theoretical ADD. So I stuck with the sure thing awhile longer.

Until my world completely came apart last year.

When you are crushed, sometimes everything gets squished out of you. I mean all my soul was drained, my spirit seemed dead, my dreams buried, and the future non-existent. Having lived 30 years married to someone I completely depended on for my livelihood and a lot of other things, I now had to learn to live on my own at the age of 51, to build a career at a time in life when most people were winding down into retirement and learning to rest on their laurels. I had to do this at a time which was for me the absolute worst time, having had my rug snatched from under me, my safety net evaporating, my friends retreating, my purpose obfuscating. My children both dove into vortexes of self-defeat, my husband utterly refused to even discuss reconciliation or counseling, my home was taken from me, which meant my son as well, and my confidence was rocked to pieces. My old self died and was buried with the marriage. I hung at the end of a very long rope, of which only the tiniest thread persisted to remain, and that was sheer will to keep the faith of my fathers and mothers.

I've said many a time over this past year and a half since my daughter went away with a con man:
If the LORD had not been on our side—
   let Israel say—
 if the LORD had not been on our side
   when people attacked us,
 they would have swallowed us alive
   when their anger flared against us;
 the flood would have engulfed us,
   the torrent would have swept over us,
 the raging waters
   would have swept us away.  (from Psalm 124)
If I had not had an extremely firm foundation of faith in a loving Father in heaven in my Baptist upbringing, I have no idea if I'd be alive or dead, in this lovely rental home or in a gutter, seeking a career now or a drunk on Skid Road. I know one thing, I might well be in a crazy ward somewhere, living in a made-up world in my own mind rather than face the dreary reality of this world and winters in Oregon alone. But I did have that upbringing, I did have those two loving parents to model my loving God's attitude toward His children, and I do have His word, every word of promise in the Bible on those days I feel completely defeated.

And so, winding back around to the purpose of this blurb, yesterday I took His promises by the horns and attended those two events. I had known for some time now just what I told God He was planning for me to do with my "widowhood". I was going to buy one of those unGodly expensive machines (nobody should charge so much for a machine!), and I was going to quilt for His people. And in the process I was going to be discovered and win awards and people were going to line up to have me quilt their works of art. Oh yes, I knew He would provide if I would just go and choose a model, and actually order one on credit. I knew it in my bones. This was the direction He wanted me to go, because I wanted to go that direction so much myself. God provides when we step out in faith, oh yes, and so I knew all I had to do was go there and purchase, and the money would flow in. I still believe that, when God is at the helm.

At the Expo I signed up for credit on two different machines, not wanting to limit myself, in case one wouldn't give me credit. I didn't want to limit God either, and having a hard time knowing which machine I liked better I figured that way God could decide better for me, since I'd narrowed His choices to only two. I know this sounds contradictory, but it's me, so that's par for my course. I both thought I was giving God a free hand and limiting His choices to save Him time.

Then, exhausted and hopeful, I went home and got a drink of water, let the dog out, fed the cat, and then went off to my writing group, pen and notebook in hand. I took some of my writing, but hadn't had time to review it, so I'm glad she didn't call on me! The group ended up sitting in a circle and listening to a self-published writer tell her story. It was interesting, and sounded somewhat like my own Christian journey through self-doubt, to confidence in my plan for God, to....

And this is the surprising thing that is causing me to write all this loooong account: that author shared one thing that stayed with me all night, through all the deliberating of my brain over long-arm machines, debating which room would be best to put one in, whether it will even fit in either of them, how they should be configured. She shared how, every time she receives a letter from a publisher after submitting a book, she gets on her knees and prays a prayer of acceptance of God's will, whatever the message in the letter. The reason she shared this is because one time she did not, but sent off her response to an editor who was taking too long for her, and lost the contract.

This made me think about myself: was I taking time to pray before making the decision to spend so much money I don't have on one of those machines? Was I willing to accept that I might not get a loan, and what that would mean? Would I be able to get down on my knees and offer my work to God for whatever He sees fit to reward me with, even if it's nothing monetary?

This was an eye-opener for me. I had been there before, when singing for church. It was easy then, because they never pay, but was worried about my reputation. I mean, if I hit a bad note, it would never be forgotten, I thought, and my future as a singer would be in the toilet. So I had to give my performance to Him as an offering in order to become what my favorite teacher calls transparent, so He could shine through regardless of my failings. Could I do that in a business though?

It seems I have to. As a matter of fact, this morning I realized that all the plans I had decided for God to have for me would just have to give way to physics. The long-arm sellers and their assistants all said I need to purchase a frame large enough to quilt at least a queen size quilt if I'm going into business. But the physics of my room say, Oh no you don't! Not only that, but the numbers on the order sheets say the rest: You don't have the money, girl.

God says, Do your best for Me, and I'll take care of the rest. Right? So this morning, I may go back to the Expo, but I am not planning to purchase a machine there. I will go there to listen, listen to God, and to the quilts I see that have already been quilted, and to people other than the vendors, such as other quilters. I am going to just be there, listen for the Song of the King, so I can learn it well enough to sing it when it's my turn.

"Let your good Spirit lead me on level ground"*, was in my mind when I got out of bed this morning. I don't want to follow the Pied Piper of my own desires and ambitions. I've done that already and made a huge mess of the greatest treasures God could give me, my family. All I want to do now, for the rest of my life, is follow that good Spirit.

Thanks for reading. May your spirit be blessed by this simple song.

Simply following,
Patty

*Teach me to do your will,
   for you are my God;
may your good Spirit
   lead me on level ground.
                       Ps. 143:10

Friday, June 8, 2012

Kaleidoscopic Living



This has been my life since November 30, 2011, when I walked away from my marriage and my home.

Each day I face a kaleidoscope of choices and decisions. My life has begun to look very much like the pieces of a kaleidoscope, instead of the patchwork quilt I saw it as in the past. The patches have come unsewn, torn, ripped from their neighbors stitches to lie strewn around me in tatters. They present a colorful walk, sometimes, but usually they just present a mess.

I spend all day everyday trying to pull them back together. I try to make sense of the messes I stumble over. Sometimes the wind blows the pieces in my lap and I seem to be required, alone, to judge whether they are fit to keep, or to be purged from my life forever. This is a weighty responsibility when you learn that these pieces I speak of are actually people and career steps.

Long ago my kaleidoscope was filled with beautiful threads of all different shades of color. It was my job to put them together in a design that was pleasing. But some of the pieces I could never quite place. They just seemed to drift around in the viewer on the periphery of the ones I'd fitted into the design of my life. But they didn't go away.

Then one day, I decided it was time to make sense of ALL of the pieces. Only, that meant I'd have to undo the ones I'd already fit together in the center of the picture. I fell to ripping and shredding, and eventually was rewarded with a blank space once again and lots of little, colorful pieces, though ragged edged, lying around the outside from which to choose for my design.

I stared at the blank space a long time, trying to get an image in my mind of what the design should look like, with ALL of the shreds included. I stared and stared. The longer I stared, the less certain I was of my decisions; and the less certain I was of my decisions, the fewer pieces I began to see on the periphery; and the fewer pieces I began to see, the more I began to realize I was still left with those I'd had all along in the middle.

And when I looked again in the middle of my blank space, I realized that the only pattern that made sense there, with the colors that were left on the periphery, was the pattern I'd had all along.

Then someone shook the kaleidoscope, I woke up the next day and found a completely different view , all the pieces lying on the sides, and the blank space waiting.  Once again I was being required to make decisions I had never had to make on my own, deal with problems that had not been only mine in the making, but now seemed were only mine in the solving. Then again, the kaleidoscope was shaken, and the view changed.

This happened over and over and over, for months. Each day I found a new pattern in the kaleidoscope, confusing, yet if I stared long enough I could see it made some sense, somehow. But the next day I'd wake up to a new arrangement of the pieces, and I'd have to come up with a solution to the puzzle.

This is my life now: a kaleidoscope of problems and solutions that don't often match up into a picture that makes sense. But when it does, most often a day passes and the entire picture changes, so that I am constantly on my toes, waiting for the other shoe to drop, wondering what the next day will bring, knowing it probably won't be good. I never move, but the view constantly changes day by day.

I turn daily to my God, his Word, my faith experiences of a lifetime, my fellow pilgrims in The Way. Seldom do I find answers in any of those places.

Lately I've had a block between me and a choir anthem. "Children of the Heavenly Father" has been a lifetime favorite of mine ever since I first heard it and sang it with the Bethany Church choir in Sierra Madre, California, way back in the 70's. It must have been Father's Day. That's when churches use that hymn, it seems, as pastors and music directors search for hymns and songs to accompany the perennial "God of our Fathers". That's when our church is using it this year. And I can't sing it. I even signed out for that Sunday, and don't plan to attend.


I have no father of my children to sit beside that day. I no father of my own to celebrate that day. And most of all, I have no children of their father to show him honor that day. This is a part of the kaleidoscope. My daughter ran away with a con man a year and some ago, my son has moved out away from both parents and will not speak to us because he didn't like the way we tried to get help for his emotional disturbances. And there is no hope that either one will ever be with us again, at this point in time. They have written off their parents entirely as evil beings who want only to harm them. And friends and would-be counselors have reinforced this perception, it seems.

So can't I be forgiven for my unwillingness to mouth these words that one day of the year?


Children of the heav’nly Father
Safely in His bosom gather;
Nestling bird nor star in Heaven
Such a refuge e’er was given.

God His own doth tend and nourish;
In His holy courts they flourish;
From all evil things He spares them;
In His mighty arms He bears them.

Neither life nor death shall ever
From the Lord His children sever;
Unto them His grace He showeth,
And their sorrows all He knoweth.

Though He giveth or He taketh,
God His children ne’er forsaketh;
His the loving purpose solely
To preserve them pure and holy.

How can this be true?? With my once zealously Christian daughter claiming to be a Pagan, my son refusing to think of anything else at all except where he will live when he has to leave my friend's home, so that he is failing school. And he refuses to go to church at all or be in any way involved with God's people, like his earthly father. How can I believe that God protects them, when my daughter was scooped up by the Pied Piper of Manzanita last year, and saw fit to take out restraining orders on her parents so that we had to go to court against her to get them lifted? How can I believe God is watching my two sparrows when my son's anguished wailing over his uncertainties, even in the high school in front of girls, reaches my ears and I know that the only thing I can do, since my presence seems to cause him fits, is simply walk away and let my friend take him home to her place? How?? Where?? Where is this so-called loving Father God now? I mean, is there ANY Scriptural basis for this outrageous claim???

Worse, where was He when millions, MILLIONS of children died of hunger in West Africa, and when so many die of war, or basic inhumanity??! Totally innocent!!!

I thought I had laid all these questions long, long ago. But when it's your own children hurting, you realize they will always recur. I thought I had put on the full armor of God early on so that I would be able to withstand these onslaughts. But I find I am caving under them. Sure, I know the right answers. But what good do they do really? Aren't they just a balm we throw over the fires of people's confusion and pain to make it easier for ourselves to endure? Aren't they just lovely words that soothe and calm and pacify long enough to get through this miserable life, after all?

Oh, this is heresy!! Especially on a blog that purports to be encouraging, right?

Yeah, I know. I agree. That's why, before I came here to write my confusion, I first took a minute to check in with the "heavenly Father" of the poem by Kar­oli­na W. San­dell-Berg. And what I found, when I sat alone in my room, listening for the answer, was an answer that worked for me.

It might not work for you, but it works for me. Does it make me able to sing that hymn this Father's Day. Not at this time. But it does help me make sense of this kaleidoscope for today, at least.

Here's the answer I was given:

*I* am a child of the heavenly Father. I can review my own experiences:

1. Has he been there for me all my life? Yes, he has.
2. Has he tended and nourished me? Yes, and I can list ways he's done that.
3. Has he spared me from evil things? Yes, I can name some evil things that should have come my way and didn't, by his grace, and some that did and I was spared from, ditto.
4. Though I can't tell about death yet, I can certainly say that life has not been able to sever me from him, and even when I turn my back, he has been there for me, providing for me, making sure what I need is always attainable, always within reach.
5. He has shown me his grace, and he sure seems to have known my sorrows, at least at some very poignant times, and he most definitely has given me jewel-like gifts at key points in my life along the The Way.
6. Has he ever really forsaken me? Apparently not, as I find these answers here today just because I sat down and asked for them. I have felt his presence like a warm, heavy comforter in the cold night, and like a vibrant joyful electric surge hanging in the air around me, just because I asked and decided to believe the answer.

He has never forsaken me, even when I could not feel his presence, even when evil seemed to be all there was in the room, fear and terror and death. I know that he was there with me, because his words rang in my ear the next day, and do still. When I asked the question, "I needed him, but I couldn't feel his presence, why?" The answer came: "But he was there." And that's all the answer needed, really. That was the promise. That is the answer. And that's the answer now.

I can't sing that last verse right now, because I can't see how it's "his loving purpose solely to preserve them, pure and holy" when he allows my sweet little girl to grow up in him and then lets her run off into the sunset with a bad man more than 20 years her senior, an adulterer who's made this little one to stumble. I can't see that as part of his "loving purpose". But I don't have to understand (as I was reminded only yesterday by a close friend). I just have to keep on walking, keep on walking, keep on walking, walking, walking. This was his word to me a year ago, just after my daughter left, while I waited, ridden with fear for her safety; and that is still his word to me. "What is that to you, you follow me," he says when I ask about my children's lives and his purpose.

Looking up the words to the hymn, I found the story of the poem's author.  Look it up, perhaps it will surprise you as it did me. I also found the Scripture that it appears to be based on:

" See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are."
1 John 3:1a

And the last two verses, usually left out, just illustrate further how intimately involved our heavenly Father wants to be in our lives:

Lo, their very hairs He numbers,
And no daily care encumbers
Them that share His ev’ry blessing
And His help in woes distressing.

Praise the Lord in joyful numbers:
Your Protector never slumbers.
At the will of your Defender
Ev’ry foeman must surrender.


Someday I will be able to sing this hymn again, I know now. And when I do, I will be sure to include these last two verses. How I love the imagery of the Defender making every "foeman" of mine surrender! I believe it will be so. And the first will be my own human intellect, requiring visible evidence; requiring that life go pleasingly for me if I'm to believe all my heavenly Father has promised.
 
 My question last evening during rehearsal, as I stared at the statue of Jesus with the child in our courtyard, was this: Even if they push you away, heavenly Father, you are strong enough to stay in their lives for their own good, and you have promised to never leave us nor forsake us, so where are you now???

His answer is: "I am there. And what is that to you? You follow me."

In my mind's eye, I see Him smiling as He says these words to me. He has a place for me, and it's only myself I am to be accountable for now that my children are grown and making their own decisions. They will always have him to turn to. I will pray that they turn to him. That's my job. And I intend to do it.


Peace,
Simply Patty