When you need to let go…or when life runs full with love, forgiveness and all the colors mingling

GOOD HARBOR DUNES - Copy

These are the moments of our life.

So let’s not waste a single one.

Because they pass as quickly as summer.

Breathe deep.

Think deeper.

And choose wisely.

Know God.

And know that He loves you and me like crazy. No. Matter. What!

Hold tight to all that is dear but know when it’s time to let go.

Say farewell.

Then move forward.

With a tear and a smile.

So much grace.

And gratitude abundant.

For life is a gift in all the thousands of moments, one after the other after the other.

Unwrap each one fully present for they slip away like sand between our fingers.

Vanishing like vapor.

So let’s hold them in our hearts rejoicing more than regretting.

Forgiving all.

And foregoing the grudge so we can be free.

Free to live.

Slowly.

With intention. Like we mean it. Realizing the value of the gift.

Feeling deeply all our feelings yet controlled by none.

Resting.

Letting our hearts be His.

Still, soft and wide open.

Receiving.

So we can give more.

Taking life moment by precious moment as it is not as we would have it.

All glory to God.

Savoring sunrises and sunsets passing in a heart beat.

And life flowing and overflowing like a waterfall tumbling over the edge, spraying rainbows as it crashes below.

Or like a watercolor where broad brush strokes of a thousand tiny dots of color mingle and meld.

Each one touching the other.

Deeply.

And together creating beauty to inspire.

Bleeding into each other.

One.

Blood covering all in Light diffusing softly over mountains misty in the distance.

Rising to meet the sun…

 

The house is sold. Summer is unofficially over. The baton was passed yesterday in a significant shift within our close-knit church family. And after a summer together under one roof my sons {and daughter-in-love} have moved into their next chapters, one flying far away before dawn today, relocating to the West Coast.

BEN TO WASHINGTON 1

BEN TO WASHINGTON 3

BEN TO WASHINGTON 2

BEN TO WASHINGTON 4

All is as it should be even if my heart feels faint.

And what about your heart this morning? Do you feel a tug?

Because letting go can do that to us. It tugs and it tears. And God, He uses it to tether us more closely to Himself.

So are you reaching out to your Lord in your season of letting go?

Yet through all the changes we are under cover.

Banner over us is flapping in a summer breeze, love held high by the One who never changes.

Not in morning sun or evening shadows.

And though my woman’s heart is wistful today, and my Michael holds me long and slow,  and I am tired, physically drained and spent from a season full to overflowing with wonderful, wearying changes — —

I look up and open my hands and my heart. You, too?

Holding on to Him while letting go in love.

Only to receive…

~sheila

If you would like to comment…

In the next few weeks Longings End will be getting a facelift. We’ll be updating our theme and design to better serve you. And we apologize for the current problem we are having regarding leaving comments on the post. Please click over to our Longings End Facebook page and feel free to leave your words there in the interim. Thank you for your patience, understanding and grace. We love you!

 

 

Your child could die! To wives who allow husbands to abuse their children and believe God wants them to stand by their man…

BULLY - Copy

In this life there are little boy bullies in big men bodies.

Mean and cruel.

They hurt their families and justify their actions. They let their anger rip and then they say sorry.

And the wife stands by her man.

Believing God wants her to.

Believing he will change.

Believing lies!

Abusive, angry men, unless they truly surrender their hurting, hardened hearts to Jesus which rarely happens, never change.

They keep on hurting those weaker and smaller than they are. They take out their own inner pain on defenseless women and children rendering blows that break spirits.

And blows that can kill.

Maybe when they were little their daddy or step-daddy beat up on them, or cursed at them heinously, or told them lies about themselves that cut tender spirits turning them savage. Or maybe their daddy sexually abused them. And the hate and anger in their heart comes out all lethal and loveless.

And that little boy broken who grew up to be a bully has hurts that no doubt run a mile wide. But his sins run wider. Yet he runs away from the only One who could ever heal him.

And everything in life is a choice.

We choose to love.

We choose to hate.

We choose to break cycles of violence.

We choose to perpetuate cycles of violence.

And the wickedness continues to the next generation and the next for those abused often become abusers themselves. Or they marry abusers.

ANGRY MAN

Angry men who had issues with their own fathers, or mothers, are allowed to hurt children and teenagers because they can.

The women that they married are as broken inside as they are. As needy for someone to love them as the next broken heart. And in her neediness, fear, ignorance, and in her choice…she stays.

And stands by as her husband physically harms her son or daughter. Making her guilty, too.

And those precious babies that grew in her womb and were fed at her breast, the ones she says she loves with all her heart forever, are abandoned to the monster living in the house.

Year after year. Decade upon decade. Marking anniversaries that are a sham overshadowed by anger, violence and unrepentant sin. And she prays and quotes scripture, and screams and cries and threatens. One day she hates him. The next day she tells herself and anyone who will listen that he is the best husband and dad in the world. And the dysfunctional, co-dependent cycle continues.

Even abusers can sometimes do, say or buy nice things for their families and behave appropriately.

But mostly they steal from their families joy and peace. robbing children and teenagers of the security and stability of growing up loved.

And some abusive men even claim to love God in one breath, and then in the next spew evil words of death to their children or wife demanding that everything go their way.

The craziness perpetuates and wives justify their husband’s actions, refusing to acknowledge the truth.

Abusers are fearful, little men who wreck big havoc on their families.

They throw their weight around and throw punches that one day might kill a child. Or a wife. They kick and scream and through temper tantrums like the hurting, sinful two year old they are inside. Kicking wives, children and maybe even the dog, rendering internal injuries that one day may prove fatal.

Fatal!

Narcissistic, they only love themselves for shame and pity’s sake, having no real idea that God loves them very much while hating their terrible deeds.

And a wife who stands by her man as he destroys the souls and bodies of herself or her babies, whether they are newborn or 18, is unwise and mislead about her role of following her husband.

God will NEVER call a wife to submit to torment and terror. God NEVER says it is okay for a man to beat or abuse a woman or children. 

NEVER!

Please wake up, Wife.

This man that you married for better or worse is not a godly husband or dad.

He may wear a mask in public and at church, he may even go forward for altar calls all teary eyed, but the changes are never lasting. He may be kind to neighbors and friends who believe he is a great man but behind closed doors — watch out!! Nothing EVER gives a man the right to physically or verbally harm his family.

Dear wife my heart cries out to your heart — all hurting, fearful, and angry inside — You claim to love your kids with all your heart. And I know you do, but the love got twisted long ago and you are allowing abuse.

Parents are called to protect, nurture and guide their children to successful adulthood. And there is NEVER an excuse for an angry man to ever lay a finger on a woman or child unless life is at stake.

But the only life that is at stake is the life of the one abused.

GRAVESTONE

Do you really want to attend your child’s funeral someday, Wife?

Try to imagine for moment how you will feel the day they lower your son or daughter’s coffin six feet under and you realize you had the power to prevent their untimely death. And no amount of tears will ever bring them back to you.

If you truly love God and your babies, then leave. Today.

Get out and get help before it is too late.

And in your leaving — not going for counseling again or asking the pastors to pray again — you just might shake your spouse awake so he can see how evil and broken and small and hard he is inside.

And you will save the lives of those you love.

Reality is that you live with a ticking time bomb.

He doesn’t respect you, but exploits you.

He doesn’t love you, but uses you.

He’s not proud of how lovely you truly are, but flaunts you to boost his own fragile ego.

And you let him.

But God.

DAD SON

God truly loves you and your children so let Him be your Maker who is your Husband and the Father of the fatherless. God will never leave you, He will make the way, He will provide and protect you and your babies if you will only let Him be the One that you cling to.

Please open your eyes to the hideousness at home and be warned that more than four children DIE EVERYDAY in the United States as a result of abuse.

Abused children are 25% more likely to experience teen pregnancy.

As many as two-thirds of adults in treatment for drug abuse report having been abused as children.

LEAVE the abuser that you live with and let God deal with him.

Or would you rather wait until your child dies at the hands of a man who is no man at all?

Pick up the phone, Wife, and make a call to change your life for the better.

Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline
1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453)

For adult survivors of childhood abuse these resources can help.

And here’s an article When Fathers Kill Their Kids

Other information can be found at ChildHelp.org

May God our good Father bless you and keep you and give you grace and courage to leave. Now.

Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline
1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453)

~sheila

Photo credits:
Bully
Angry man
Gravestone
Dad and son

 

An open letter to my niece on her first Mother’s Day…and to moms everywhere words of encouragement for the journey of motherhood

allie-pink

My dearest Allie —

I remember your birth as if it were just a few days ago.

Gazing at your tiny face and those little fingers and toes.

Holding you as you slept.

Changing your diapers.

And now you are changing his, your sweet little man.

5 MONTHS

The journey of motherhood has just begun for you, but you will blink a few times and Easton will be all grown up.

For time never stands still, Allie, never waits. And moments lost are lost forever.

So make every moment of mothering your son — every moment of your life — count, packing them with purpose and lots and lots of love all patient and kind.

SLEEPING

And mothering a child will take everything you’ve got and even more. And when you reach a moment where you don’t know what to do — or you’re so exhausted you cry right along with your baby — remember that God is watching over all.

He tends his flock like a shepherd:
    He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
    he gently leads those that have young.
Isaiah 40:11

So to you, my dear niece all grown up, may your very first Mother’s Day hold all sorts of special blessings that you will long treasure in your mother’s heart. I love you, Allie.

And if I could turn back time to when your three cousins where little boys there would be a thing or two I would do differently having the wisdom and experience of this side of motherhood, nest now empty.

Hindsight yielding the greatest lessons.

So for you and moms everywhere, may my humble words be of value as you shepherd your children’s hearts and celebrate Mother’s Day — words gleaned from having done much wrong in my early years of first marriage and mothering, learning the hard way, and losing much. And my babies losing, too.

hands-frame

>>When a woman becomes a mother her entire world changes as she falls deeply in love with this new little person who grew under her heart. She fills with all consuming love and joy and everything is full of wonder. And no matter how old her child is, he or she will always be her baby.

>>Yet motherhood is a holy calling, a sacred privilege, entrusting a woman to raise and mold a baby to become a fine, upstanding man or woman. There are times when this will scare you to death and you will wonder if your stumbling on the path is ruining your child. But God’s grace is bigger than all our mothering mistakes and messes.

>> The most important gift you can give your child is to love and respect their daddy well. And to work at creating a strong, marriage. A woman is usually a wife first before she is a mother and that will always be her primary role.

>>Strengthening communication with your husband and spending special time alone together dating each other your whole life through will go a long way in growing a lifelong marriage. So will praying together. A solid marriage gives children security and a firm foundation upon which to launch their own lives.

>>When it’s you and him against the kids make sure you are always in your husband’s corner. Present to your children a unified parental front.

>>Discipline your sons and daughters in agreement with each other and settle your differences in parenting behind closed doors. May neither you nor your spouse forget this. When parents are pitted against each other, children can use the opportunity to their advantage. And that will ultimately be their disadvantage.

>>More is caught than taught so teach your children well by your own example. Some mothers instruct their children to do as they say, but truly it’s more important that they see you doing the right thing consistently. You are their first teacher.

>>And sometimes we have to play catch up and grow up right alongside our babies. God is a good Father and wonderful Counselor who gives us wisdom and courage to change and for all the challenges along the way.

>>Spend time and lots of it with your babies for babies grow up much too fast. Careers are wonderful and important and women have much to offer in that arena but childhood lasts only for a heartbeat in time. One hundred years from now what will matter most is that you made a difference in the life of your children.

>>When you mess up, and all mothers do, humble yourself and tell your children you are sorry, that you are wrong for having overreacted. Ask them to forgive you. And older moms, it is never too late to do this. Children are wonderfully forgiving and tremendously loving.

>>Remember to breathe in all the moments and record them in your heart. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Laundry can wait till tomorrow.

>>Speak positive words of truth in love. Never punish your children in anger only discipline in love.

>> Little things mean the most. Laugh easily and often.

>>And hug your babies all. the. time.

~aunt sheila

Please share this blog with other mothers.

And read some of my nieces stories of how she combines motherhood with the world of fashion on her blog, Diapers and Dressforms.

Linking with Serenity Now

Words to heal any mother’s heart this Mother’s Day: We did do good! And an empty nest refills…

BOYS And MOM

I cannot tell you how much I owe to the solemn word of my good mother.
Charles Spurgeon

From the moment we discover new life living inside our wombs we have no idea how having babies and raising them and watching them grow into young adults will stretch us.

How motherhood will squeeze our hearts with love oozing out all over and so much joy.

Or sometimes how pain like a knife will stab hot with so many tears flowing.

And all along this glorious way we can doubt ourselves, or blame ourselves when things go wrong with our kids, when they get in trouble or get their hearts hurt.

Feeling like a little girl lost trying to figure out a mighty and holy undertaking for which we are often inadequately prepared.

And how we worry all through the years!

Did we do anything right?

But God.

Him always, always holding us through the ups and downs and days at the soccer field and nights cradling little ones feverish and us trying to get it all done. Running, running, running and huffing in the hectic yet always with time for hugging.

And needing to be still and just breathe.

Breathe in the Holy Spirit, breathing in peace. And our Perfect Father picking up the broken pieces and growing us up as we watched them grow.

And in moments unexpected pulling us close to Him with whispers of love straight from the Father’s heart.

MY LITTLE BOYS

Driving recently with my second oldest son the conversation turned to when he and his two brothers were very little and I was raising them as a single mom.

Times were tough.

My heart was shattered.

I was attempting to get my life right with God and stumbling along the path.

And so many times lying awake late into the night recounting what I had done wrong that day and chastising myself to do the mothering thing better. To do the daughter of God thing better. Wondering if my mistakes were ruining my kids.

Have you ever felt that way?

Yet all the while He was leading me — just like He is going before you — as I was trying to lead them. His grace, and tender loving care overwhelmingly good and filling in all my cracks.

Him the head of our household down one, holding us together through all the years of good and bad and everything in-between.

And after coming through some rough patches, I bless and thank God that my three sons are all okay. Finding their way and figuring life out one day at a time, tucked in Father’s hands.

BEN KIMMI ME

And then Ben’s words to me in the car that day.

You did a great job with us, Mom, you really did. We all turned out good because of you and the sacrifices you made. You spent so much time with us even giving up your career to raise us and be at home. And even though you have no 401K or retirement savings now you did the right thing. You made the best choice by devoting yourself to me and my brothers instead of a job.

Wow! Am I rich!

Speechless for a while, taking in the magnitude of his words, I silently thanked my God who had walked with me through all of it and my heart humming with sweet confirmation.

And there is therefore now no condemnation and my son’s words like a loving pat on the back from Father to daughter and Him smiling down on us.

And me so very humbled and tears brimming.

And your kids probably thinking the same thing about you, Mom. So rest, my friend, we all do the best we can.

BOYS 5-6-14

DINNER

And Mother’s Day is any day and we celebrated last night at Longings End with not one, nor two, but all three of my sons, and my beautiful daughter-in-love, and all of us sharing a meal — living, laughing and loving together.

The empty nest filled, but differently now.

CHESS KINGS

With Son #2, who returned in December, trying valiantly each time he visits for dinner to close the gap of his loses to the Chess King’s wins.

Dan 1

And my baby boy stepping off the train a week ago after a red-eye brought him east and me just holding him.

Just holding.

And finally the first born and his bride the last to relocate back to New York getting here yesterday and staying with us while they search for an apartment before grad school begins.

MOVING 1

MOVING 2

SOFA

My heart and home filling and overflowing.

And after the last two and a half years of adjusting to all the empty and grown children far from home establishing their own lives, we are back together again at least for a season.

Empty nest tears all dried. Heart stronger for having traveled through it. Hands more open to the changes that life and time bring.

Lessons in loving and letting go learned and learning still.

And thankful for such a loving husband who held me through it all.

Like the day my second oldest left for Hawaii — enroute to Salt Lake City several months later — with just the clothes on his back, a tree hammock, a little bit of money and no cell phone. And God gently teaching trust.

Me reduced to a crying mess who called into work and drowned my sorrows in an extra bowlful of gravy at the diner my Michael dubbed The Farewell Cafe, a place of refuge and comfort food following each son’s leaving.

Then my oldest and his wife next to travel west and my mother’s heart bid them a tearful goodbye. And then my baby boy, at 19, leaving since his brother-best friends were in Utah and he wanting to join them.

And I ran on empty some days.

Mother’s heart aching with longing.

HALLWAY PICS

And long ago wisps of them everywhere I looked in our home from pb&j fingerprints on glass doors to socked feet sliding down long hardwood hallways to tea parties in a snugly warm kitchen on snow days complete with chocolate chip pancakes and at the end of all the busy every 24 hours tucking in sleepyheads with prayers, stories and always Goodnight Moon.

Then my sweet Michael driving us 2,200 miles with sinuses completely blocked before surgery so I could see them for a birthday to long remember and ribbons of love and so much grace knitting all our hearts close even though many miles separated us.

And other mothers who had gone before me soothing: We let our chicks fly but they come back eventually, you’ll see.

But some of those empty nest days — and especially the nights sleepless — were hard and I wondered if I would ever adjust.

God’s grace is abundant and we hold His hand one day at a time in each new chapter of life as He leads us into what He has next for us.

Filling us in new ways very fulfilling even as our mother’s hearts linger on all the little things long remembered.

FIRST GRADE PAPER

Tiny treasures locked forever in hearts grateful.

But the deceiver always wanting to steal every good gift. And lies leading us astray focusing on what we may have done wrong.

God’s amazing grace and love covering over the multitude of mommy messes.

And if we listen very closely we will hear Him whispering words of love and comfort regarding our calling as mothers.

We did do a lot right.

As right as we could at the time and children so forgiving as we humble ourselves before them, asking forgiveness. Being the best examples of love that we can be as we journey forward learning to love better all the time.

Lessons in the moments.

And Him continuing to heal our hearts one day at a time.

Life of Child

Setting us free from a mother load of guilt so there’s room in our hearts enlarging to welcome new daughters or sons, gold bands binding them to our children’s hearts and them into our hearts as if they themselves had grown under our hearts long ago.

Then some day in God’s good timing, God willing, the pitter-patter of little feet, and tiny sticky fingerprints and finger painting on the deck in sun warming and splashing in puddles and splashing in bathtubs and cookies baking.

And chubby little arms once again wrapping themselves around a mother’s heart that never grows old…

~sheila
All our longings end in love

Linking with Holly at holleygerth.com and these lovely blogs at the end of this page.

Trying to raise godly children when mom is all broken…

SIngle mom and sons

I did so much wrong that sometimes I have a hard time accepting I did a lot right.

Yet my sons now grown gracious and forgiving readily tell me what a great mom I have always been.

But when they were tiny treasures in earthen vessels entrusted to my care they got broken because I was broken. And God had to raise the hurting little girl in me as I was single-mom-raising three little boys.

He had the harder job!

Before my former spouse left — helped out the door by my disrespectful, loveless, hot tempered and controlling ways – we looked like a picture perfect Sunday morning church family, masks worn well, filing in and out, knowing all the right things to say or not say while in the company of the body.

What I didn’t rightly know then was how deep and wide and high is the love of Christ for me. Or how my life is to be a living example of God’s love for others.

Without knowing this perfect love by heart, fear and trembling took control, guided by perfectionism and her cousin legalism.

And raising godly children revolved more around rules than teaching them how to deepen a relationship with the One who loves them best…

Please click over to Womanhood with Purpose
where I am a contributing writer for the rest of this post.
And it would be a blessing if you left a comment
or shared the post. Thanks.

~sheila