The Fence.

In the spirit I saw a Fence  fencerowky
And it was without end.
I considered my defense,
But I could not judge.

As in my youth, I pled,
My appeal was not heard.
Who has my heart?
Where is my Love?

Then I heard Him from afar
As He came nigh,
“For I am on the Right side of the Fence
To make your paths straight.”

©RevKMarple

Ministry of Minimalism

I do not believe for one minute that Christians understand anything about proper stewardship. Of course no one is perfect, but it’s as if no one is trying to stay out of debt and give as God wants us to. God wants to bless us but instead we want to BE God and bless ourselves with the newest smartphones, cars, clothes, jewelry, etc. Christians need to think in terms of what God has provided. His provision is perfect while our expectations are hugely inflated: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you,Matthew 6:33.

A homeless man asleep on the steps of a Church - their doors were closed.

A homeless man asleep on the steps of a Church – their doors were closed.

Want to live debt free? God wants you to! Jesus didn’t have a place to lay His own head, but we clamor for the latest and greatest…in His name:

“No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon,” Luke 16.

Hmmm there it is….are we a servant in Christ or just shrugging along from church service to church service?

Conversely, we’ve held onto things for fear of not having enough. Again, it’s a symptom of not trusting God. But when God gives you to overflowing, it’s because He has plans for it! As Christians we are to ‘love our neighbor‘; God gives an abundance for us to use to help His children, not keep back from them: ‘But God said “Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?” So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God’, Luke 12.

I have to admit, I love our minimalist lifestyle. I feel free of the world and it’s traps. I can’t stand the frivolity of the way some Christians live; we are at war with the devil himself and we clamor for more clutter. And more clutter dims the view of our Savior.

We can’t have it both ways.

Love your neighbor as yourself, give to give, and God will Bless you more and in more ways than you ever could imagine. Minimalism will show you what you need rather than what you think you deserve; Christian minimalism shows you who you can help with the abundance you actually have.

Don’t be religious…be a Christian. And love.

On the OTHER Side of Addiction

We hear on the news, internet, and other media sources about addiction, the addict, what the addict did, etc. Addiction is ugly and deadly. But I’m on the OTHER side of addiction, I’m his mom.

What seems like a million years ago, I was married to an addict. Saw it all with my own eyes…and so did my kid.

Every day I wondered if this was going to be THAT day. Will I find him dead? Will he crash his vehicle again? Is he in jail again? Will he come home? Will he hurt us again? Again and again, over and over…I waited for the other shoe to drop. It’s a surreal thing watching someone slowly commit suicide with drugs and alcohol and be completely helpless.

And every day of this marriage my young son watched and was witness to this daily chaos. As parents we want to protect our kids and home, but when you are married to an addict you’re too busy dealing with the addiction than trying to keep a home and family and a job. And for that I have begged God for forgiveness that my sweet child had to see this horror when all I had to do was just leave. I had to find out many years later that the cancer had spread.

The last day I saw him was 25 years ago, TODAY.

I won’t go through all of the gory details, that’s for me and God to know. But I do want to address what it’s like on the OTHER side of addiction….because that addiction spread like a cancer to one of my children.

Unlike a very bad marriage, you can’t just ‘leave’ your kids. An addicted adult child is much harder to understand and deal with because they are forever your children, not a bad marriage. I truly thought that after seeing with his young eyes how bad addiction was that it would be the absolute last thing that would happen to him. The cancer spread anyway and without any fanfare…yes, I was totally blindsided because I was never a drug user. Remember this the next time you think your kids aren’t paying attention to what you are saying or doing.

About thirteen years ago, I gave my life to Jesus and eventually became ordained…all before I found out about my son’s addiction. Now I have different eyes to see through and a different heart to love with. The hard thing for my kid to do was confess his addiction to me, the hard thing for me to do was accept the fact that it happened.

Just like with my ex-husband, I have to deal with codependency and enabling. I don’t want to make his addiction worse, I want to make his recovery extraordinary! But isn’t that just like a Christian, wanting to give the devil a great big ole black eye? Then what does a person do, on the OTHER side of addiction? Every day for me I struggle with wondering if I’ll get THAT phone call and every day he struggles with the real pain of detoxing. It’s harrowing, it’s hard and it’s exhausting.

Certainly I am NOT alone, although for the rest of you I wish it were just me. But as people on the OTHER side of addiction, we have to band up with the LORD and each other to face that precious face of our addicted adult child. This is a love I never knew I had but God is GOOD! He gives us this supernatural strength to see our kids with His eyes.

If there is one thing I would say to ANY addict, it is this: YOU HAVE NOT BEEN FORSAKEN. You are NOT an accident or mistake. Your life is NOT over. You are important to GOD! And here’s why: The Bible says “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” This scripture says that we are all known by God since the beginning of the world with a purpose and path already assigned to us. There is no mistake or accident, God does NOT make mistakes! God cannot lie! We are all His, and He is ours. 

If there is one thing that is foremost on my mind about my addicted adult child is that I never want him to feel hopeless or worthless. That kind of desperation paralyzes me; and if it does that to me, I cannot imagine what that does to him.

As a mom, I have said that I would die for my child if it meant saving theirs. I’m sure you’ve said the same thing. But One mightier than I has died for him, and died for me! Jesus is the only way to true salvation and restoration! I could die for my kid but that would do nothing for him when Jesus can give him the true love that will save his life!

Addiction is forever, so is Eternity. And for as much as I LOVE my son, God loves him even MORE!

Every day I wake up giving my kid to Jesus and trusting God to heal and restore him from drugs, then I ask God to keep my heart full of love and understanding with the right balance to help my kid, not hurt him. After that I thank God for a husband who cares for and loves my kid and me. I can’t imagine my life without either of these guys.

Recovery…restoration is one day at a time, for all of us, even on the OTHER side of addiction.

“To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” Isaiah 61:3

TRUSTJESUS

 

A Prayer of Praise for the Mourning Christian

Though You say You delight in me,
I find no comfort.
Though You say You love me,
I cannot feel.

And through my sorrow I see dimly
Because the enemy seeks me;
I loathe my encompassing skin
And know the serpent is watching.

What of the night, where is the Watchman?
My soul quakes in joy and apprehension.
Where is my Salvation
In the darkest of hours?

While I mourn and lament
Your promises come!
As You have pledged,
I will have peace.

Even through a renewed affliction
I hear Your voice;
Even in the darkest of the day
I have Your assurances!

O Lord, I am not alone and I am not forsaken;
For I am Yours forever and You are mine.

I will Praise You forever!
I am Yours!
My prayers have been answered
In the midst of my mourning.

©revkatherinemarple

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The Prayer of the Sojourning Christian.

I cried, but no one heard.
I was hurt, but no one helped.
I fought alone to no avail,
I waited, but no one came.

I saw, but couldn’t remember.
I heard, but couldn’t discern.
I held out my hand, but it came back empty.
My heart hurt, and no one comforted me.

How can I love when I receive none,
Where is the delight in life?
Is it in the mirror looking back at me
Or is it in the eyes of another?

Lord! Come closer, be near me
Because my fight is harder than ever.
You are my only Joy, my Salvation
From a life of tears and remorse.

I have lost so much and gained little.
This world has spewed me out
But it won’t let me go.
Let me go, world…I am not yours.

But I look up and see my Abundance
In a face I have not yet met.
His beauty is infinite, His love is unmatched.
Just a little while longer, He says, You are not done.

I hold my hands up to Him in Praise
and seek His warmth with sweet tears.
I am yours, I say, I am yours!
Touch me today, Lord…Touch me today!

I am a stranger, a sojourner in this world.
My woes are His, but the consequences are mine.
I look to Him, I Praise His name!
Until I cross that River, I will rest in Him!

©revkatherinemarple

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” [Matthew 11:28]

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The Day After Mother’s Day

You may have noticed that I did not post anything for Mother’s Day. To me, Mother’s Day is not what it is for everyone else.

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I have learned a long time ago not to wait by my telephone on Mother’s Day. Sometimes it rings, sometimes it doesn’t. This is why my husband and I usually take a day trip that day. We really love to get out and drive the countryside, see and hear God’s creation, give Glory to God….because sometimes, my telephone doesn’t ring.

It doesn’t ring for everyone else, either. I know too many moms who have been rejected by their adult kids. I have grown accustomed to the disrespect and hate, I can’t change them. So, I have to change ME.

As I mentioned a bunch on times during the 30 Day Parenting Prayer Challenge for our adult kids, parents have to not look back but blaze a trail FORWARD. If we are forgiven by God, then who are they to keep us in THEIR subjection? That, my friends, is being held hostage. And I won’t live like that….anymore.

There are other victims of Mother’s Day: post abortive women, women who miscarried, mom passed away, kids in foster care, adopted kids, the brokenhearted, etc. A victim stays a victim until you escape. A holiday does not identify who we are to God. We are His, we are forgiven; if our kids can’t forgive, then too bad. I can’t live in the memory they have for us for the rest of THEIR lives.

My husband honors me for Mother’s Day. He always has. He knows that this day is really about MOM, they one who gave life, the one who loves unconditionally, the one who is there when she’s not needed or wanted. I have made mistakes just like every other person in the world, but I certainly don’t need a holiday to remind me of it.

Happy Day After Mother’s Day:

v16 Thus says the Lord: “Refrain your voice from weeping,
And your eyes from tears; for your work shall be rewarded, says the Lord, and they shall come back from the land of the enemy.

v17 There is hope in your future, says the Lord,
That your children shall come back to their own border.”
Jeremiah 31:15-17

30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: Day 30

As I wrap up this 30 Days of Parenting Prayer, I am inundated with so many emotions…most of which I brought up during these 30 days. If there is one thing that I can’t say enough [well, maybe two] is that we are parents to our kids forever. They were our children since the beginning of time [Jeremiah 1:5] and will be even into Eternity. The second is that prayer should be the FIRST thing we do, not as a last ditch effort to save the day.

Being a parent is has been the one thing that people take for granted as if it’s a right rather than the privilege that it is. I am PRIVILEGED to be their mother, whether they give a darn or not. It is I that has to answer to God for being their mother, it is I that will ultimately bear the day when I have to answer to God for my parenting.

We take advantage of the system by allowing our own dreams supersede those of our kids; once we do that, we fail. When you hear “You’re pregnant!”, your private, comfortable life is over and a new life is about to embark. We are but vessels, not God.

Secular/worldly feminism has no room in motherhood, but a God-intended feminist does. It’s true: there is such a thing as a God-intended Feminist. She was profiled in the Bible, Proverbs 31. She wasn’t perfect, in fact Bathsheba FAILED…but she was used mightily by God and was blessed to be the intended mother to Solomon.

Bad women do not have to be bad mothers. In other words, I have failed, you have failed…but through the Grace of God we are given chance after chance after chance to do it right. God knows our kids depend on us so He is quite willing to help us to be better. And, IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO BE A BETTER PARENT.

v17 “You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; v18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.” 1Peter 3:17-18

Pray for BALANCE. It’s been a great 30 days of reflection but I certainly see how I can do better, even after all these years. God Bless you all.

30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: Day 10

Have they come to the end of themselves? Have our kids gotten to the point they HAVE to look to the Lord? I wish I knew the answer to that. I HATE that my adult kids have not learned that their way isn’t working. It’s like watching a train wreck in slow motion.

I see why God made parents the Pastor of the household, I understand the succession of authority and the learning curve. Your home isn’t just where you live, it’s also your church. But just because I see it plainly doesn’t mean they do or will or even care. As parents we are their support system that teaches them to support themselves financially AND spiritually….but are they listening? I promise you…they listen. That’s why they battle us.

All that being said, adult kids have misunderstood the hierarchy of family and take it upon themselves to disband…to ‘quit’ being our children and part of the family God created. It is a hardship, it is heartbreaking, it is NOT of God. But my dear parents, we can never lose hope!

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Are you the Pastor of your home? Are you like me, your kids have grown and left and still maintain a worldly lifestyle? In my house, my husband and I are still the Pastors of this home, of this family. We will not relinquish our Godly authority to anyone. It is our desire to teach our kids to pastor their own home.

Dear parents, PRAY and diligently seek Him no matter what! Our kids need us whether they say so or not.

30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: Day 4

Is it just me or do these adult kids never really grow up? I had sons and it was my job to raise MEN. What was really sad is they had no real men to look up to, not even their own father. Real men stand up FOR their family and the ‘least of these‘. Instead, we see smartphone and Minecraft gurus. Young men sit in front of computer, tablet and smartphone screens not knowing one thing about real life outside of the box they created.

Adult kids think they can parent US when they’ve had NO real life training to even garner an opinion. I don’t need parenting, I need children that are doing their best to be better adults and somewhere along the line to find salvation through Jesus Christ. Ultimately, I answer to my Heavenly Father.

Sometimes when I think this verse of Scripture is for me, it really isn’t…it’s for those that try to throw a speedbump right in front of us:

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” 1Peter 5:8

People have NO idea that they are being used by the devil all the time. Of course the loftiness of people would never agree with that, but using your spiritual eyes you can see it coming from miles away.

Persecution: Jesus said, “v21 “Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. v22 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved,” [Matthew 10:21-22]

‘To be put to death’ is literal; it not only means that kids will physically murder their own parents and families [we see it all the time on the news] but also means they are being used to break down their own parents by means of their Christianity; to question it, to leave it, and even to apostatize. The devil himself uses people closest to us to hurt us and to kill us simply because we chose Jesus Christ as our Savior.

My prayer today is for the adult kids that pit their love for us by what we do or provide for them rather than respecting our position as ‘parent’. I do not quiver wondering if I’ve earned their love, my love for them is that they are my children regardless of what they do to me or anyone else. Love does conquer sin:

Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins,” Proverbs 10:12.