On being forged into a warrior mom
If I could summarize our journey from Hell to HOPEISM, it would be in my faith, which I call HOPEISM. It has been my weapon of choice to get me through each battle I have had to fight in my mission to win our war called life with autism and seizures. Vaccine injury to be more specific. It would also be in committing to heart, soul, & mind the words and motto's from Forged, NDCQ, the Lone Survivor, and Levi Lusko in his book, "Through the Eyes of a Lion." I will be forever grateful to the inspiration, encouragement, and mental fortitude found through all of them collectively. Because of that, I am not allowing this tragedy of vaccine injury that has come into our lives to be an obstacle to being used by God. I am instead turning it into an opportunity to be used like never before!
This blog is dedicated to Brandon. His life has been forged by difficulty, obstacles, & all too often because of seizures - pain, blood, broken teeth, & broken bones. Yet through all that he has shown such fortitude. The bravery, strength, & resilience of a true warrior. He taught me that having strength through adversity means that even if you lose every battle, like the Lone Survivor, you never quit fighting until you win the war. That in the words of "NDCQ," you keep "dreaming," keep "daring," & keep "doing." As Team Guppy has yet to be able to escape vaccine injury, we have no choice but to as Levi Lusko writes, "Run toward the Roar." God has indeed given us such incredible power in enduring such impossible pain.
Some days the HOPEISM in that simply takes my breath away.
March 10, 2011
The real sacrifice of Lent...
I don't consider myself Catholic, Methodist, or even Baptist. I don't really have much consideration for religion. For denominations.
But I do have much consideration for Christianity. For Spirituality. For a relationship with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
I don't see Lent as something only a certain group of people participate in, even though it is something most practiced by a certain group of people.
I see Lent as something to embrace as a Christian. As someone who believes in what this season represents.
To me, it represents preparation.
I think that gets lost sometimes in the traditional practice of "giving up" of something. Fasting or sacrificing something. All very much a part of the whole "Lenten" package -- but when taken out of context, dumbs it down a bit.
To me at least.
I fell victim to that yet again. My first impulse was to think of the things that I loved most and vowed to give them up for 40 days. What those things are, is a no-brainer to most. Cigarettes, Soda, TV, etc...
For me, Facebook.
But after spending more time in prayer and studying what the meaning of this season is in terms of the self-preparation, I began to see that what I was "giving up" was not necessarily something that fit in. I use facebook to help people with advocacy issues and to encourage others. And to be encouraged by others.
So not two days into Lent, I'm already having to rethink what it means to find something that truly represents the intention of fasting, sacrifice, self-denial, and preparation, - as best I can in this modern age.
Trust me -- going to the wilderness for forty days, if it were an option, would be welcome. Anyone caring for someone with autism, let alone autism and seizures, and a typical teenage son, would agree! In fact, I think if any typical family would like to truly experience some of the harsh conditions Jesus did during that time of temptation in the wilderness, they should move in with the nearest family like mine for the forty days of Lent! In one fell swoop you would fast from sanity, peace, sleep, eating, cleanliness, worldliness, selfishness, pride, etc, etc, etc....
Ok, I digress...
Back to Lent.
Lent is about Gethsemane. About a garden near Jerusalem where Jesus prayed.
No, where Jesus struggled in prayer. Where he agonizingly released his burden, his will, to the Father's will. His Father's will.
My daily prayer doesn't ever compare to that. My Lenten season prayer definitely should.
Giving up Facebook, caffeine, eating meat on Friday's, -- doesn't quite compute with that struggle. I'm not sure anything could. I think those things symbolize more the obedience to how we should better use our time and treat our bodies everyday, than a sacrifice during one period of time in preparation for the crucifixion and resurrection of the Savior Christ!
And so I think it's not so much sacrifice from doing something, it's sacrifice in doing something.
Jesus said to his disciples: "So you men could not keep watch with me for one hour?"
So you can not even pray to me for one hour out of the twenty-four I give you each day?
So you can not even read one chapter from the book of life I've written for you to live abundantly by?
So you can not even give up one hour of serving self to serve me by serving others?
So you can not even give up one hour of spending time with friends and building those relationships, to instead focus on building our relationship?
Lent is about the temptation of Christ. About forty days in the wilderness where he went to prepare himself for the mission the Father sent him to accomplish. It's where satan did his darndest to entice Jesus to do his own will over the will of his father!
I can relate to that as a sacrifice for sure! How many times daily are we tempted to do our own will, versus the will of the Father? How many times daily do we fall victim to our own flesh? To our own emotions? I barely survive one day, let alone forty!
In that short paragraph above, there are three things that are more often than not, impossible to give up!
Makes giving up caffeine seem pretty easy in comparison! Something possible to do in the face of those impossible things mentioned!
Yes, I'm rethinking my "sacrifices" for Lent.
I don't ever entertain hopes of being known for my scripture memorization or how well I radiate what a "perfect" Christian would look or sound like.
But more-so during a focused season of Lent, and carried over throughout the year, I do want to entertain hopes of being known for attempting the impossible.
And perhaps in the attempt of the impossible, the possible happens.
It seems pretty impossible for a man of flesh to survive forty days in the wilderness with no food, being tempted and tempted and tempted again, each day weaker, each temptation most likely stronger.
How did a carpenter, how do we, survive such temptations?
By being fed by the Father's words.
By being in continual prayer.
Lent is about preparation. Of mind, body, and soul. About a period of time representing forty days and how over and over in the Bible that preparation led to some special action of the Lord.
For 40 days and nights Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, and then his ministry began.
For 40 years the Israelites wandered in the desert, and then they entered the Promised Land.
For 40 days and nights it rained and flooded the earth destroying everything and everyone, and then new life began.
After sealing of the covenant at Mt. Sinai, Moses spent 40 days and nights with God, and then the covenant was renewed.
Elijah fled for his life traveling for 40 days and nights, and then God strenghtened him to resume his ministry.
For those of us who are Christians, the 40 days and nights of Lent prepare us for Holy Week, and for the Resurrection of Easter.
For me, more than giving up something that hasn't necessarily been a negative thing, doesn't quite fit!
I think the sacrifice for me for the rest of Lent, needs to be the excuses for not doing that which prepares my heart, mind, and soul to receive what the Lord has for me!
That means putting scripture first. Reading it, studying it, meditating on it. And not just the sound-bytes I get between doing this or that.
It means then praying for a focused amount of time about what I've just read. Struggling in that prayer. Agonizing over prayer. In addition to the continual sound-byte prayers that get me through the day.
If that means those other things I thought were the ultimate sacrifices need to be adjusted, that will occur; but to just not do those other things without the preparation of why I'm not doing those things -- then it's all in vain.
It's how I should have better prepared for Lent.
And it's the real sacrifice of Lent.