Matthew 6:25 - 27

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?"

Sunday, July 29, 2012


Lying down means 
Giving up control.
Handing everything over 
including when -- or if -- or how -- 
to get up again.
- Saturdays with Stella

I've recently finished listening to the audio-book version of Wild at Heart by John Eldredge. I chose to listen to this because I have boys - boys who lost their dad 16-1/2 months ago, just before their 13th and 18th birthdays. Boys who are on a quest to know what it means to be a man. I learned so much from this book ... about men in general, my own father, my husband (and his father), about women in general, my own mother (and her mother), about myself, about God's intended purpose when He created "them, male and female He created them", and about the effect of sin on men and women and their identities ... but mostly, I could finally begin to understand my boys! 

I can see their journey to know themselves and to become "a man" so much clearer. They are both running ahead, full-speed, charging into that unknown place called "manhood". The other thing I learned from the book is this - masculinity cannot be imparted from femininity! It must be conferred by a man.  There is nothing I can do now, as a single mother, to teach my boys to be men! I might be able to help draw out their God-given masculinity through my femininity, but that is unknown territory for me right now, and very scary! You see, my feminine identity has also been changed by sin ... but that's another blog (and so, now, I'm listening to Captivating by John and Staci Eldredge, to begin my own journey of healing for my feminine wounds).

Concern for this journey of my sons' is the primary focus of my life right now. I am both encouraged to see that they continue to define their individual identities and scared to death where it may lead them! I am terrified that it is leading them away from God (who has promised to be a "father to the fatherless" and is the ONLY one who can impart the true sense of masculinity and identity that they seek) and that I will lose them, too. I pray for them, I plead that God will protect them, guide them, shield them, lead them, defend them, give them wisdom, etc. But I want to DO something. I feel like it is my RESPONSIBILITY to do something; after all, I am the only parent they have left! And yet, I don't know what I can do! Punish them for choices I don't like or don't think are wise? That's never been an answer. And, truthfully, I have very little power over either of them anymore. I feel like I've failed as a parent because of that...but deep inside me is a little voice that keeps saying "this is the way it should be, the way it is, it's time to let go".

Letting go has never been easy for me! I'm a first-born. I need to be in control! That's always been an issue for me and one God has already done a lot of work on, but I sense that there is a much deeper work beginning in me ... one that goes to the core of the wound of my heart! I'm only beginning to see the root issues and am no way ready to share it with you now, so I am listening to Captivating and trying to keep my external and internal world quiet enough to allow God to take me to the place where I can be healed and restored to the woman He created me to be. What that will look like, I have NO IDEA, and I am truly trembling to take the journey! 

After being in the valley of the shadow of death for so long, I'm beginning to feel the need to get up and go on ... pick up my bed and walk forward (as I said in my last post). I'm ready to start putting energy into that forward motion, to jump up and GO ... but now I hear the Lord saying "DOWN"! Didn't He just tell me to "pick up your bed and walk"? And now He's saying "down"? Is He contradicting Himself or am I somehow to do both at the same time? That's always been my dilemma with surrender - I can't just lay in my bed all day, day after day, and do nothing! Life has to go on ... I have to be doing something! I don't get it!

In her book, Saturdays with Stella, Allison K. Pittman shares a very clear picture of what the command "down" looks like, in the context of dog-training and in our lives. In her experience of trying to train Stella to obey the command "down", she had to literally knock her feet out from under her to get her from "sit" to "down"! And isn't that what happens at some time to all of us - we feel as if God has pulled our feet out from under us? Everything we had been standing on, building our life on, is suddenly removed? And haven't we all heard story after story about people who had to "hit bottom" before they turned to the Lord? To say that God does that to us seems at least cruel, if not evil, doesn't it? I thought that too. But now, I'm beginning to understand, that God loves me so much that He won't let me stand on any foundation that will only crumble in the end, other than the "sure foundation" He has given me in Jesus ... He won't let me cling to any "worthless treasure" as my source of security other than the true treasure of Himself!

"Down!" is a pose that intends to keep her in her place for a while -- still and ready for the next meaningful instruction.
Recently, I've come to understand that this internal pull to separate from the normal busyness of life, to quietly decline invitations to run here and there doing this and that, is my Father calling me to come away with Him for a time ... to "retreat" and be still and listening for His instruction. As Ms. Pittman points out, dogs have no sense of time, no picture of what the future looks like. There is only "now". Likewise, the master has infinitely more knowledge of what the future holds for the dog, and must be the one to give the commands ... to lead.  Again, we do not know what God has intended for our lives - apart from His word ... His commands. He has infinitely more knowledge and understanding of where we will find our true "selves". 

And so, He calls me to "down" ... to surrender ... to give up control of everything, including when -- or if ---how -- to get up again. 
And why not hand it over to the One who holds everything in His hand?
In the meantime, when I'm "Down!" -- face, feet, and belly on the floor -- I need to remember that God will lift me up in due time (see 1Peter 5:6). 
 For now, I remain "down" ... still ... quietly listening for instruction ... learning to let go.


  1. Don't give up on your 13 year old. I had a hard time with my daughter during her teen years. They do hear what we are saying, and even if they agree with us, they won't admit it or show it because of peer pressure. Talk as much as you can with him, not complaining or yelling but just sitting around talking about things, he may roll his eyes or want to walk away, but some of it will stick in his mind. Good Luck. And I like the other things you have written today. I think I read one of the Eldridge's books. I think I may read Wild at Heart now.

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