Tag Archive | friend

Sierra’s Song

Sierra is from a broken home.   If some thing is broken, most of the time it is pretty hard to fix, and there are times when it is broken beyond repair.  Such was the case in Sierra’s family.  There was no remedy or repair possible for her parents marriage.

The divorce  happened when Sierra was a junior in high school and she wondered if it might have been her fault.  She wondered if her Mom had a boy-friend or her Dad had a girl-friend.  But, she really did not know or understand why it happened until later.  But it had a tremendous impact on her young life.

One of the things that happened to Sierra as a result of the break up was that she began to be a caretaker.  It became her responsibility to take care of her siblings, since she was the oldest child of five.  There were four girls and one boy in the family.

When she graduated from high school, instead of going off to a four-year college or university, she enrolled in a tech. school to learn computer programming.  She was able to take her classes at night, and even though it took longer to get a degree, she was able to fulfill her responsibility to her siblings while pursing a career for herself.

Now you may wonder where her mother was all this time, well, one of the reasons for the break up of the marriage was that her mother had a nervous breakdown and was hospitalized for a month.  She was then put into a group home for another three months, yet it took years for her to fully recover.  Nowadays, having acquired a degree in psychology and having become a licesensed minister, she helps others find their way out of bondage.

Sierra’s Dad was a controller.  You may have heard the term micro-manager, well he micro-managed his wife until it drove her to a breakdown.  He would leave for work and tell her what he wanted done during the day and when he came home at night if it wasn’t done, there was hell to pay.  Eventually,  she couldn’t even think right.  Over the years of abuse she lost herself.

Sierra is very much like her Dad, they understand each other, consequently, when her Mom fell apart, Sierra just picked up her mother’s responsibilities and went with it.  And, because she is like her Dad, she did it the way he wanted it done and they were both satisfied with the arrangement.  They remain on friendly terms today.

You may wonder how I know so much about this situation, well, I met Sierra at church and we became friendly.  I quickly discovered that she loved to talk and she loved to tell people what to do and when to do it.

You should know that I went through a period of time when a friend, I thought she was my friend, controlled me for almost a year; it was the most miserable year of my life.  I vowed when I came to myself that I would never let anyone do that to me again.

So today when we were helping Sierra’s mother move, I saw first hand the family dynamics and let me tell you, it wasn’t pretty!  Her Dad walked in and announced that he was the ex-husband and demanded to know where her mother was.  Wow!  Between Sierra and him things moved quickly and peace flew out the window.

Sierra has no idea what she is doing, she really believes that she is doing good.  From her point of view, everything that she does for and with her mother is for her mother’s own good, and she does not realize that she is dishonoring, controlling and manipulating her.

So, at one point when she was fussing at her mother, telling her that they should move in together, I stood up to her and told her that her mother can make up her own mind without help from her.  As you can imagine this did not sit well.  She accused me of slandering her and told me that I simply did not understand the situation and that I had now ruined any chance of them moving in together.  Wow, that’s heady stuff, I didn’t know I had that kind of power…….

Really?  I can clearly recognize when one person is trying to control and mnipulate another, even “For their own good”.

The human personality can be so deceived, as scripture says, “All the ways of a man are right in his own eyes, but the Lord tries the heart.”  How true!

Sierra was young when her family was broken and because of that, and her life experience since then, she has a lot of hurt and many open wounds in her soul.   She is an angry young woman.  When I told her mother what she said to me, she told me that Sierra cannot take any criticism.

No doubt, as I was the brunt of her anger today for daring to tell her the truth, and she no doubt blamed me for hurting her when, according to her way of thinking, she was doing all of this for her mother’s own good.

Scripture truly says that “there is none good, no not one.”    It is God’s “chesed”, His  loving-kindness, that will heal those hurts and wounds, but we must realize that “in us, that is in our flesh, there dwells no good thing.”  Oh, that we would be able to live and move in the humility and compassion of Jesus as reflected in the gospels.

What happened today was an eye opener, in one sense.   Control and  manipulation is demeaning.  No doubt the controller would hate having it done to them, yet they are blind to their fault.  In fact, the friend I alluded to previously accused her sister of the very thing that she herself was doing.  How interesting!

Dearest Sierra, so many wonderful leadership qualities.  So capable, and yet so needy.

God, I pray that you will love Sierra to life, that she might wake up and put away the pride that parades itself as caring and yet demeans those who appear less worthy than herself.  Have mercy, oh Lord.   Amen!




Songs From the Prairie

There are many songs being sung in our world today and none without meaning.  There are as many songs as there are people.

This past week-end I traveled to spend some time with a woman who has been a good friend for well over fifty years.  She was born with a happy song, but with the years, and with circumstances, her song has been diminshed.  Oh, she still laughs and smiles, but her song is now tinged with sorrow and sadness as physical issues require attention, and her strong work ethic is not so easily managed.  Weariness often overcomes her.

My friend and I spent a couple of hours with our god-child, a very successful man who is goal oriented and driven by a dream.  The business he is engaged in is quite lucritive and he has plans for early retirement when he meets his goal.  His pride and joy though are his children, whom he talks about with great excitement.  From an earthly standpoint, he appears to have it all together, but some “worry lines” on his face indicate that even his song has a dark side, perhaps I should say a gray side.  Life is not free of challenges.

I am blessed to have a son and his family in the same area, so I was able to enjoy a few hours with them as well.  The song they sing comes across to me as mostly blue.  As a mother, I wish I was able to wave a magic wand and “make it all alright”, but my Father in Heaven allows me to make my own choices and decisions and some of the greatest lessons I have learned have been because of hard times.  So, I must allow them to sing the blues while I pray that the clouds will part and the Sun of righteousness will shine upon them.

Following the visit with my biological child I enjoyed a visit with my spiritual son and his family.  A visit to their home is always a joy because they have the gift of hospitality.  I feel welcomed and warmed by their kind, gentle attention.  Their home is in the country and because Spring has arrived, at last, in the north country, everything was green and growing.  I love Spring!  I love it because of the new life, the happy song, the hope of harvest, the hope of fruitfulness in the Fall.  I heard Spring’s song and I was refreshed.

Today as I was considering this week-end with the various songs I heard, my thought turned to fruit salad.  Strange you say, yes, I am sure, but then that is how my mind works.

There are many kinds of fruit, each one can be enjoyed individually and yet they can be combined to make a fruit salad.  If people can be compared to fruit, consider this:   You cannot take an apple and turn it into an orange, you cannot take a pear and make it into a banana, nor can you make a blueberry into a cherry.  BUT, you can combine them into a fruit salad that is incredibly wonderful tasting and very nourishing as well.  Throw in some blueberries for anti-oxident power and you are good to go.

Why do we try to make other people into our own image?  Why can we not accept  each other for who we are?  God loves variety, we all sing a different song and that is okay.  He is the author of all of the songs, but what we do with our song is what makes our song a happy song or a sad one.  Decisions matter!

As I thought about fruit salad, I realized that God’s love is the dressing that keeps it all together, adds just the right flavor to it.  It marries all the fruit together into a pleasing delight for the palate.  And yet, each fruit adds its own flavor to the salad.  Wonderful!

That thought led me to unity.  That is what happens when we allow God into our marriage, our family.  It becomes a wonderful blend where each one is loved and accepted as they are, without trying to force one another to be someone they are not, a job by the way, that only the love of God can accomplish.

Uniformity on the other hand is like homoginization, only one distinct flavor.  Milk is homogenized and that is good and right, but homogenized people?  No!

I love variety in food, I love variety in people.  I loved sitting with my friends nephew and his wife talking about their experience in Arizona this winter.  As they shared their time there, I lived it, could see it, could almost smell the ranch, the horses, the mountain air, and that is not my thing, but oh how lovely to be with them and hear the precious song they sang.

You, dear reader, have a song to sing.  You are singing a song in our world whether you realize it or not.  Won’t you consider what song you are singing and whether your song lifts up or pulls down those around you?

Everyone needs hope, everyone needs love and acceptance, everyone needs to be respected and honored, everyone needs to be valued.  As we honor God for who He is, realizing that it is His love that binds all of the different songs into a sympohny of beauty, harmony comes and discord disappears, our lives are changed for the better, the lives of those around us change and we come closer to Heaven on earth.

Yes, I know, Heaven on earth cannot happen yet, nevertheless, unity is the desire of Jesus spoken of in John 17 and each of us can do what we can do to bring that to pass.

Each of us is an instrument and we will play a song.  We must choose if our song will be discord or harmony.  Let us accept others for who they are and allow God to make them into the person that He wants them to be?  He can you know!

I bless you in the name of the Lord Jesus…Joy