Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Mom's Melody


I knew the music of family, the mom’s melody and I loved being immersed in its sweet sound.

But my music makers are off now leading concerts of their own. The memory of our music together sustains me. From time to time we gather again and I smile at the joyful noise in my heart.

I think of moms still in the midst of the music. Fall approaches, school begins anew. Ready or not.

There is a rhythm to life that only the Lord knows, a time for babies to be born and educated and a time for children to be transformed into adults. I don’t know how it happens with such speed and precision. I only know when I try to play my own family’s life melody it becomes clangy but God makes it all so beautiful and right.

The giving, the getting, the loosing, the stretching, the tying tight and the hard releases.

Lord, I watch my old expectations fly away and wonder why were they once so important. Breathing You, absorbing You, exuding You seems the only meaning that stands true.

My fingers dance, my eyes glisten, when I try to write words that show Your You-ness as the great I AM and the FOREVER-WILL-BE and the presence that permeates reality with joy.

For belief to exist, unbelief must be temporarily suspended. One must be willing to wade into the huge unknown of possibility – just maybe God is real, and knowable, and wouldn’t that be extraordinary? Especially if God really can grasp loved ones from evil and work ugly things for good.

Which is why I can trust the grandchildren and the babies-turned-adult into the invisible arms that never fail to protect them.


Change and transition, I am bigger than these foes. I can embrace every new note of Now. Love within a family never ends it simply gets lived out differently.

God’s plan is good, really, for sure, ultimately and so I can be content if my nest is full or whether it’s empty during hours of the school day or for a lifetime.






The music plays on. I need only listen.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

What Might God Say To Us?

I've been thinking a lot about America this past month of July as we celebrated our independence and am wondering what God might say to us about our country now.


Might God say: “I made you free. I gave you fire, wind and water – and all that you needed for survival. And more than that I gave you the capacity to know me, live in joy, and celebrate life with loved ones. Your desire to worship me was repressed in Europe so I established a country founded by men who knew My name and my power. They came and shared My truth, guided and inspired. America the great nation soared.”

Now you block me from your children’s minds and hearts. Schoolteachers dare not speak of my mighty deeds for humanity. Memorials to me are smashed.”

“Your latest laws have taken what is natural and scoffed at my creation, my plans for life. You flaunt sin and stifle holiness. You criticize the rescuers I send and mock My anointed when they share My truth.”

“America the great crumbles before your eyes. It’s never too late but as time passes it becomes difficult to rescue your moral traditions. I watch as you step back from conflict and remain silent lest you annoy your friends or isolate yourself. Your tolerance of evil reeks. Look around!"

I have looked and listened.  Is this the world we want? The new August 2015 Family Circle has a feature article about a seven-year-old girl who said at age two she’d rather be a boy so her parents renamed her as a him and insist she be treated like a boy in school. How many young girls were tomboys as children?"  (I was a tomboy. I’m so glad it never occurred to my parents to transgender my identity or I would have missed the joys of heterosexual marriage and motherhood.)

Might God say “This is not the traditional family life I designed. My heart breaks. Also some people exalt not working and doing nothing – failing to use the giftedness I placed within them. Angry, empty people abound – grumblers who take without giving to others.”

I wonder. Are these things God might say to us today? Perhaps He’d conclude with: “Depend on me, respect my commandments and honor one another, descry the spiritual stereotypes. I am the living, loving God on whom the institutions of this greatest of nations were founded. If you choose to fall you have the freedom to do so. The choice is yours…America the free or..."

What will we make of America? Will it be the once-greatest-nation upon the face of the earth or…?

What do you think God might say to you? What might God have us do?




Man in Command contains principles for being a strong man and raising godly children in today’s world. http://amzn.to/1zMzrSK


"Leave your country and your people,’ God said ‘and go to the land I will show you."

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Death Comes

“Come back here. I never said you could die Alexander Graham Rolfs.“ We gave our chocolate lab a prestigious name because his large brown eyes and regal fur coat required it.

Only a dog, only a constant companion, twenty-four, seven.  Our chocolate lab Alex would come with us everywhere. He’d jump into the car, never caring where we were heading; being close to us was his delight.

Every time I moved  from room to room in our home, we became a parade because he jumped up to follow me, all ninety pounds. How crazy is that? In the last year of his twelve years of life this wasn’t easy. I’d try not to get up too often so he could stay put.


How do you lose a spouse, a brother, sister, or, gasp, a child? I can’t even tolerate the death of my dog. I’ve lost my parents, brother and our precious grandson. I learned back then grief has no final chapter, only death does.

Sobs come from some place in my body that has an ability to produce sound I wouldn’t know how to create. Like a pit within me erupting.


So why death God?

Does growing older mean we only increase the number of deaths we must endure?

Lessons, yes we got them. The value of love and loyalty – daybreak to daybreak - two qualities we could depend on no matter who else disappointed us. Our chocolate lab never would.

Oh Alex could be naughty, if we left the garbage can lid unlocked, his nose got him in trouble every time. He didn’t always come when he should. But he’d prance back as if he’d done no wrong, just a bit delayed in executing his response to my command, tail wagging with innocence.

How can you love a dog so much?

How can God love us so much? I know beyond doubt I understand God’s love better because of Alex.

The evening he died the family members who could come arrived. We shared our memories as Alex lay dead in the center of our circle on his favorite rug in front of the fireplace he loved. We cried and laughed together because that’s what people need to do. Celebrate and mourn.




Then four dog-bearers carried Alex on a carpet to his outdoor grave in our woods alongside the house.

Our adult daughter Pam carried the lit candle, which was needed because ritual mattered – it signified the solemnity we all felt. The commemoration of a life that brought so much joy to us all had to be very special.


We placed his favorite stuffed toy alongside him, circled his grave and said an Our Father. Surely Jesus’ favorite prayer was right for this.

I was asked by my husband to toss the first spade of dirt. Three times I tried and stopped, I said, I so don’t want to do this.

How could I cover up the body that lay next to our bed on the floor every night as we slept, the body under the dining table on which I rested my feet during every meal? The one who sensed my every mood.

Finally I fought off the dread and did what needed doing. Isn’t that what the living are always left to do?

Where, what could ever replace any human life or beloved pet? Nothing replaces what was. Knowing this is what makes death so wretchedly hard. We can only wait.

Are there animals in heaven? Does anybody who knows God intimately need to ask that question?


The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job 1:21



BOOKS FOR YOUR LIFE JOURNEY

Love Always, Mom  is a story of life, love and healing.

Unforgettable Stories For Kids – For summer time fun with your children or grandchildren read one of these unforgettable, purely imaginative stories aloud and encourage your children to write a story of their own. Maybe plot a story of your own along with them. My ten-year-old granddaughters favorite is The Wodgets.

Keep Breathless Minute Meditations on your phone or Ipad for quick inspiration or a God moment when you’re in nature.

Secrets To Being A Super Grandparent will give you lots of ideas for memorable activities.



   

Books available through amazon, Barnes & Noble, & select local bookstores.

INTIMCY REVIVER FREE Help for healthy marriage at website:
www.judithrolfs.com






Monday, May 25, 2015

Who Remembers?


Memorial Day. Yes we celebrate but what do we remember on this day? And does it still mean something?

Once upon a time this great country called America was founded like none other upon the principles of God. The most basic was freedom of worship for which men and women crossed a perilous ocean.

Americans fought and bled and died to protect our right to live free under God. Through numerous wars men and women were willing to risk their lives because it was an honorable thing to serve this nation and protect the endangered around the world. It still is. And not just in war.

Men and women among us daily risk their lives – firemen, policemen, those in service careers - mental health counselors and doctors work long hours and often sacrifice personal pleasure to help their fellow human beings.

What is the spark that makes one sign up, volunteer, choose a career that is not about self-grandeur?

Isn’t it our inkling of divinity, the very nature of God within us makes us care, sends us forth, christens us as do-gooders? Only the spirit of the living God can make us love like this.

May we remember that it is God who is great and He imparted His vision for a country founded on respect and love. We’ve sometimes gotten the message wrong, but we tried to right the nation as best we could. May we do so again.

My concern is that the young among us don’t know that being a taker never comes close to the sweet delight of being a giver. That sacrifice isn’t stupid but fulfilling.

One nation under God is still the basis for our greatness. Forget Him and America crumbles.

Might Memorial Day be a good time for a brief history lesson for our children? What do they remember on this day?




Psalm 33:12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,the people He chose for His inheritance. 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Best-ever Mother's Days! What are yours?


I remember my best-ever Mother's Days. Twice I was eight plus months pregnant. About to deliver in less than three weeks, I marveled how could this miracle of a real live child be happening inside me! June 3, 1963 and June 5, 1967 were the birth dates of two of our four children.

Another best-ever was being at 
University Hospital in Madison, WI on  the oncology floor sitting with our eighteen-year-old son celebrating as I hovered over him after his bone marrow transplant. David had to be in semi-isolation, and his brother and sisters lovingly wanted me to be with him and gladly sacrificed our Mother's Day together.

I smile at the thought of all the love that’s going to be expressed Sunday– 

the cards and flowers that will change hands. The moms occasionally taken for 

granted will hear the love song that’s always within their children’s hearts.


And then I think of other moms like those I meet through my volunteer work - unwed moms who courageously gave their babies to other women’s arms yearning to have the sacred joy of nurturing a child. To them I say don’t mourn – your little ones will praise you face to face in heaven.You're heroes.
I also think of single moms who struggle financially and emotionally but say it’s worth it all to mother my child(ren)  and make a life for them.
I know divorced families for whom Mother’s Day can be complicated and I hurt for these moms and I pray.


I can't forget the women who longed to be moms but never could. God chose another plan for them to use their giftedness to nurture life but for them Mother's Day can be hard. 
I think of elderly moms who sit alone in nursing homes. May none be totally forgotten this year. For these moms we all pray.
I’m mindful of all the Moms like me who didn’t do our Mom-ing perfectly, but we did it wholeheartedly and had a ton of fun along the way. Our children know we tried our best and rise up and call us blessed.
We moms know, don’t we, that ordinary family days are fragile and fleeting and the most meaningful days of all.
So Happy Mom’s Day to you, me and all who facilitated our roles. 

Children we celebrate you, too, for the great blessing of watching you grow in delightful ways.
Royalty is a devotional prayer poem from my Breathless book. It's about dinnertime with children. Do you ever have similar thoughts?

Royalty
The table is set,
They’re about to arrive.
How awesome Lord -
These sons and daughters
You've given me to teach and guide.

Drawn from their play and chores
Your princes and princesses
Shall dine at my side.
Help me remember each meal is a sacred time
An interlude for training and loving. 
These little lords and ladies,
Are the royalty You’ve sent to our home.
And entrusted to me.
May I be mindful Lord,
And tender and wise
It’s a mighty role.
There is no responsibility holier,
Certainly parenting is the greatest work I do.
Lord, they’re imperfect in their natural state,
But eager and willing to learn.
You’ve made me a model, they’re ready to follow.
Help me, Lord,
These royal youth must be raised with truth and grace 
And become in every way honoring to You, precious King.

I like this Scripture with it: 1 Peter 2:9-10 “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

BOOK UPDATE:
Breathless Minute Meditations including the prayer poem Royalty is available through amazon and nook. Readers have told me they like carrying it on their smart phone for instant spiritual refreshment.
n amazon: http://amzn.to/MZtUBA
On Nook: http://bit.ly/1qAw0nZ