The Many Names For A Father June 16, 2013Posted by Streim in Comforting Others, Finding Comfort, Living in the Real World, The Joy of His Love, Time for Sharing.
Tags: baby boomer, Bible, Christianity, drinking, family, Fathers day, forgiveness, friends, God's Faithfulness, Gospel, Heavenly Father, Hope, Jesus Christ, Joy, life, Love, Salvation, the seasons
Sitting here trying to decide on a title for the post–it came to me that I’ve heard so many terms used for “a father” some I won’t repeat here, but here’s my list and my experience (just a peek into my life) with each one.
In no particular order: Dad…Daddy…Papa…
Pops… Old Man…Biological Father…Sperm donor…Pa… Father and I am sure there are more!
I’m going to start with biological father/sperm donor. This term is sometimes used by someone whose relationship with their father was minimal, totally non-existent or he/she never even met the man. To me, this is the saddest of all. I had one these fathers. My parents married for 5-6 years bringing me and three younger brothers into this world. Divorce was unheard of in the ‘baby boomer’ days, especially in a strict Roman Catholic home. But, my mother divorced him and excommunicated from the church. She dated numerous men over the next 3 1/2 to 4 years. Several of them mistreated me (sexually)…my mother was not aware of this because she was drinking a lot. By the age of 9 I was ‘mothering ‘ my three younger brothers . During those years I did not see nor hear from my bio dad not once! Neither did he pay child support (not sure about this, something mom told me)
When I was 9 1/2 my aunt introduced my mother to a widower from the Midwest who was intelligent, respected in the community, a successful business man and very well off financially. His wife was killed in a car accident and he was raising 2 daughters by himself. It wasn’t too long after they met that he proposed, it didn’t seem to bother him that mom had 4 children; because he adored her. He bought mom a new car and put a ring on her finger big enough to buy another car. In the winter of my 5th grade year we moved cross-country. They soon married and became a family of 8. He was raised in the Protestant faith. Now we attended a Presbyterian church. That meant no Catholic school, which I was familiar with, so it was extremely difficult to acclimate. I was an outsider. But, this is when I first learned what a “dad” was. He took me fishing, just him and me. He was a strict “dad” figure, something my brothers and myself both needed. For 4 1/2 years he lavished my mom with gifts while being the sole provider for all 8 of us. One day he suggested my mother find work because as we grew, so did the cost to care for 8 of us. She agreed and found a part-time job working as a receptionist/secretary for a booming luxury boat manufacturer. All was well, I was happy! Then wham!! The day of the County Fair, about 3 days before my 16th birthday, my mother (out of the blue) tells me “I am divorcing ___ “. Shocked I started to cry. She said it was because of the way he treated my brothers. “We are moving in a few weeks before school starts back up.” I still to this day can’t explain what that feeling was like for me. As soon as I could, I got a hold of my best friend and told her. She said she thought something was wrong because she saw my mother and her boss holding hands in a diner/restaurant in the city a few weeks earlier. I went off the deep end! From hurt–to anger. (never heard from my bio dad since we left the west coast)
We moved into a house in the community where my high school was. I went from a straight A student, involved in everything to a “drunk”. Yup–16 yr old drunk every day by 10 am. Missed almost the entire 1st quarter of my junior year and my mom had no clue. You see she left for work at 7 am, I got my brothers up for school, fed them and made sure I was home by the time they got home from school. I made them dinner, tried to get them to do their homework and even baked cookies for them. Why? Because when mom got off work at 4 pm–she immediately went to her bosses luxurious home until the wee hours of the morning. It was my junior year, I was class president and a drunk! My poor brothers became the town “bad boys”…not having any guidance at all. Something had to change, but I missed my “dad” so much. Thanks to a very caring music teacher and my dear friends I realized I couldn’t keep drinking–it was ruining my life. By the 3rd quarter of that year, I put everything I had into music!. A few friends started a rock band and asked me to be the female lead–I said yes! That’s where I met my first love.
We moved again to another community into a house belonging to my mom’s boss. I didn’t want to change schools my last year of high school, so I rode to school each morning with my mom when she went to work. My poor brothers were so out of control, but I could do nothing. One week after I graduated high school, I married my first love–the male lead in our small rock band. I was only 17, so my mom had to sign for me. I needed out of that house. Soon after that, she and her boss married. He became affectionately known to us kids as “Pa”!
On our nine month wedding anniversary our first daughter was born. That ended the big dreams of the two of us going to California and making it big (lol in retrospect). I had no idea how to be a mom–he had no idea how to be a dad. We floundered. Right before her first birthday he decided to enlist in the military. During this time, my brothers all had their moments of total confusion, drinking, trouble making, etc. When my husband left for the military, I moved into the house I’d lived in my senior year. The oldest of my three younger brothers was kicked out of the house for drinking, so he moved in with me and my daughter. The relationship between me and my husband went down hill fast–he wasn’t sent overseas to Vietnam; but he wasn’t home. Soon after my daughter’s 2nd birthday I heard from my brother-in-law that my husband was seeing a woman on the West Coast where he was stationed and she was pregnant. I filed for a divorce (back then you had to have a legit reason–mine was adultery) and started singing in the band again. That did not work well. My mom and Pa forced me to quit singing; threatening to take my “baby” from me if I didn’t get a real job. So…
I moved into a small trailer home and got a real job. There was a guy I worked with who came from a well-respected Christian family with a large family. He would be the perfect guy to be a “dad” to my daughter (since her bio dad was like mine), or so I thought. Well, we married when I was 21–he was 18.
That’s when I met my “Father” (and my daddy)
My Father is the point of this entire post. Everything I felt a father should be, I found in Him through his saving grace and my receiving Jesus Christ as my Savior.
He would never leave me, never hurt me and he honestly “LOVED ME”!! He would correct me when I needed it, guide me when I asked for direction. That was a wow for me. I never knew love before!
Today, after this little jaunt down memory lane, I can say with all confidence that if anyone reading this does not know what a Father is–pick up a Bible and just start reading the Gospel of John. I will forever thank Him for everything in my past, because as His Word promises ” old things are passed away(dead) all things are becoming new”.
May I be a delight and pleasing to my Heavenly Father this day and always! Now I know what a daddy is! Praise Him for sending us His only Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins, so we could be reconciled to the Father through Him!
Romans 8:10-20 “ And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors–not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs–heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope”
Three Lessons Learned From Brokenness April 30, 2013Posted by Streim in Finding Comfort, Listening To God, Living in the Real World, Security in Jesus, The Grace of God.
Tags: back problems, brokenness, C.S. Lewis, Christian living, chronic pain, Encouragement, Exhortation, friends, God's Faithfulness, Heavenly Father, Holy Spirit, Hope, Jesus Christ, Job, Joy, Praise, prayer, Psalms, the Word
For any who read my most recent post, I told you I learned three extremely significantly beautiful lessons about our walk with the Lord during times of unbearable pain and mental/emotional suffering. The lessons: 1) how to deal with the flesh during an experience like this 2) how to continue in our faith 3) how to KNOW our Lord’s ever-present love/care for us.
Since this incident happened on the heals of my posting 2 very passionate messages about standing on the Word of God, I believe it was a “baseball bat to the back” done by one of the enemy’s minions. I still believe that and I KNOW why the Lord allowed it. I believe all things in an adopted, blood bought Child of God’s life are controlled by Him. He is Sovereign above all! Now some of you may think/feel/believe differently but I’ve experienced too many storms followed by blessings and too many valleys which led to mountaintops with the Almighty waiting there… just as His Word promises!
Before I go any further, I must tell you the day after the epidural steroid shot I physically felt great! The next day not so great, with recurrent pain and interrupted sleep again. By day 3, I was worse than before the shot. Agony doesn’t express it… and the pain wasn’t just the lower left side of the back and left leg, it was from the waist down–both legs, lower abdomen and behind! I could not sit, walk, lay down… none of the medications worked! So there I was at 4:00 am walking outside in tears. I came into the apartment, sat in the chair and prayed. “Heavenly Father, I feel like Job must have felt with his boils. But, I thank you for this… I praise you for this… and may you be glorified and honored. Your will be done, in Jesus name. Amen”. I sat there asking myself where did that come from? It came from a place of complete brokenness! Then I heard that still, small voice “lay down on the couch and sleep”. I didn’t question it (even though that couch helped cause the problem) I just did it. I fell fast asleep for 2 hours…
That time with the Lord God Almighty, Savior Jesus and Holy Spirit is the answer to how to deal with the flesh during an experience like this, how to continue in our faith and how to KNOW our Lord’s ever-present love/care for us.
Matthew 26: 41 “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
James 1: 2-6 “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.”
Psalm 33: 20-22 “Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in Him, Because we have trusted in His holy name. Let Your mercy, O Lord, be upon us, Just as we hope in You.”
John 10:28-29 “And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand”
“God, who foresaw your tribulation, has specially armed you to go through it, not without pain but without stain.” C. S. Lewis
“The full acting out of the self’s surrender to God therefore demands pain: this action, to be perfect, must be done from the pure will to obey, in the absence, or in the teeth, of inclination”. C.S. Lewis
I share these Bible verses, quotes from C. S. Lewis and my story in the hope that not only will Our Almighty Lord and Savior be glorified, but that you, my brethren in the Body of Christ may rejoice knowing nothing ever happens in our lives that He hasn’t prepared us for… IF we stay in His Word, in His presence and pray without ceasing. ♥ Streim
He NEVER Leaves Us! April 25, 2013Posted by Streim in Comforting Others, Everyday News, Finding Comfort, Living in the Real World.
Tags: Christian living, chronic pain, doctors, Encouragement, friends, God's Faithfulness, Hope, Living in the Real World, neurologists, prayer, The Truth
As followers of this blog you may have noticed I haven’t posted anything since my April 7th message “Are we a people of the WORD?” . We, as Christians have all heard or made the statement “If you’re going to talk the talk; then ya better walk the walk”. I say with honesty I will not post anything on this blog that I don’t live by myself. Thursday April 4th as I studied in John chapter 10 (The Good Shepherd), Scofield referenced Jeremiah 23:1 with John 10:1 so as I often do, I went to Jeremiah 23 and began reading. I got so caught up in the message, I read through the 28th chapter. I looked up at the clock— WOW 1:10 pm — I missed my noon medications and snack. I got up quickly from the couch (too quickly I realize now), my feet went toward the kitchen and my torso stayed in a forward position. I heard a snap; like a rubber band being stretched to its limit, ready to pelt someone across a room. I walked two steps before I experienced a twisting, tightening muscle spasm. Down the leg on the outside, across the toes and up the inner thigh– one humongous ‘Charlie-horse’ (have no idea why they call it that). I attempted to walk it off and stretch, but nothing helped. No let up… this thing was constant. Anyone familiar with the 1-10 pain scale… this was a 12! I’ve birthed 7 children, and this was like being in labor. By Friday evening I knew something was wrong (duh) so a friend drove me to the ER. One of my herniated lumbar vertebral discs decided to “pop”… diagnosis lumbar radiculopathy. After giving me 2 shots (dilaudid and tordal–the strong stuff) the doctor wrote out 3 prescriptions for some heavy-duty stuff, let me rest some and sent me home with a referral to my family doctor on Tuesday. My family doc sent me for an MRI, scheduled an appointment with a specialist and I had to retrieve any previous MRI s to take with me to that appointment. Now, I am not a pain wimp; but even those super meds did very little to alleviate the constant, excruciating muscle spasms and loss of feeling in my toes and lower leg area. For two full weeks I lived in sheer agony with little sleep (maybe 24 hours total) until I saw the neurological pain specialist last Friday the 19th. The specialist I’d seen 7 years ago for my back issues, so he remembered my condition. He looked at the new MRI, did some reflex and feeling tests and told me “Well, I don’t like to do surgery until we try shots”. So the next thing I knew I was in the surgical pain unit of the hospital being prepped for a ‘epidural steroid injection’. The entire procedure was like an out-patient surgery. They sedated me, used an x-ray machine to locate the precise spot for the injection, and kept me until I ate a cookie (smile) and drank something. I was given a follow-up appointment for May 3rd and told by Doctor D. that I’d be back to normal within 2-3 days. Whoopeee… I would be able to take care of myself again! I must tell you I have wonderful neighbors and amazing children. One neighbor loaned me a recliner and brought me a few meals, another gave me a special pillow and checked up on me 2-3 times a day. My daughter’s called often and even helped me out with washing my hair. I must stop here for today because sitting on this office chair is quite uncomfortable, so I’ll finish up tomorrow. I learned three very important lessons during this time about our flesh, our faith and God’s caring love. I will share them with you (hopefully) tomorrow.♥
During that time, my prayers were simple… Father I love you! My Bible reading was nearly impossible because of the pain and medications, but I did read John 10 everyday on my phone’s KJV app.
Genesis 28:15 ” And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest , and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.”
Hebrews 13:5 ” Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said , ‘I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.’ “
May your day be blessed with the power and knowledge of His continual presence in your life as His adopted child through the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ! © Streim