Friday, February 27, 2009

Seared and Soothed

Today is a day when there is double stuff going on in my heart. It is this sort of thing that only a mother can truly understand. If you are a mother, you will experience it if you have not already.

On one hand my heart is seared. Seared because of the burning ache lingering there. For the first time, my oldest son will not be with us for his birthday. In four days he will be nineteen years old. He lives in Atlanta about 1800 miles away.Last September when my husband was offered a job here in the Phoenix area, our oldest son announced that he felt as though he was to stay put in Atlanta. Some wonderful friends offered to let him live with them while he worked and saved money. At first my heart was seared. I heard so many voices that were internal as well as external. Some were loud, some were whispered. And five months later to this day, I struggle from time to time with the suggestions of why he did not move here with us. I heard things like, "He is rejecting you and all you ever taught him." Or, "I do not blame him. He has been the oldest for so many years. He needs a break."

I have honestly battled some force of rejection feeling like my oldest son just wants to flee from our family. However, this is not true. When the voices come I stop and ask, "What is the truth and what is the lie?" The true Voice within me always straightens out the twisted facts.

For a son to want to separate from his family is a very healthy thing especially if he is taking independent steps to live responsibly, to search for his purpose, and to even tread out within reason into some areas of life he has never experienced.

My heart is seared because it is hard to let your babies go. It is difficult, yet sweet and exhilarating at the same time, to see them beginning to spread their wings. Yet the mother in you wants to cradle that child forever. And I do cradle him in my heart even though he is now too big and too far away to be cradled in my arms.

Yes, I am seared because I want him here with me on his birthday. I want to make him his favorite ice-cream cake and give him a hug. However, I am soothed because God has provided comfort in so many ways. I have little arms around me right now and little lips and cheeks to kiss. And I have an honest voice within me that is reassuring me that my now grown baby is in the care and covering of the Lord as he drives to work, travels around the city of Atlanta, and lives his life as a wonderful young man seeking his purpose in life.

What a bittersweet season this is. Today my heart aches yet rejoices at the same time. How can anyone understand other than a mother!

And I want to add one more thing. I am proud of you Bradley. I rejoice that you heard God's voice and chose to go against the norm. You did not cave into pressure and you are touching lives right where you are. You are in no rush to fit into a mold or to be a man pleaser. But you wait on the Lord allowing Him to steer your life. Happy Birthday son. Your life is and has always been a priceless gift. Love,Mom

Saturday, February 21, 2009


This morning was sad for me. My father in law, sister in law and brother in law left to go back to S.C. They were with us all this past week. We had a wonderful time together. I miss them! Since yesterday was their last day we took them out to the local regional park to see more of the local desert sights. The sky was crystal blue and the temperatures were in the high 70s. We took a walk along one of the trails and Kerry took some beautiful photos of blooms, cacti, and he even caught some shots of a little desert hare.

I learned that the word desert is derived from the latin word "deserere" which means "abandoned". However, if you venture out there you will see that the desert is far from forsaken. I am amazed at the abundance of life found there. I cannot wait until spring to go back out and see more flowers. I think God gives us sweet messages from the desert. Sometimes my heart feels abandoned or empty like the desert. However, if I ask Him to fill me up with His presence, He will come and cause beauty to grow in the most barren places. Our God is full of surprises and I am blessed by His creation! Enjoy the photos!

Mexican Gold PoppyThese little beauties bloom in the desert from the months of February through May. They carpet the desert floor with their yellow and orange hues.

Indian Paintbrush Flowers

Abundance of life in the desert
Kerry took this great shot of a little rabbit playing in the desert

There are already signs of spring in the desert.These little blooms have two sets of leaves. One set is for cooler weather. They are deep green which enables them to absorb more sunlight. In the intense heat, paler green leaves with little white hairs appear which acts as a sunscreen for the leaves to help keep them from getting burned.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

We decided Saturday evening to "bite the bullet" and get up early Sunday morning to travel up to the Grand Canyon. We made reservations for one night a little south of the Canyon. What awaited us was like a wrapped gift. As we traveled further North, the ground became more and more blanketed in pure, soft, white snow. It was the most beautiful snow I had ever seen. There was none on the road, but there was at least one foot in some areas and even more in others. There was snow all over the Grand Canyon. I felt as though I was looking at something unreal. But real it was.

We awoke the next morning to a beautiful view of a snow capped mountain out of our hotel window. Afterwards, we traveled approximately one hour south to my most favorite part of the trip....Sadona, Arizona. In the photos below, you will see pictures of large red rock mountains. The beauty of this place was so unique . I just fell in love with it. There were beautiful cacti growing out of the side of the rock. As I gazed upon the unique lovely landscape of Sadona, I could not help but giggle as I had a picture of God sitting around the rocks chiseling out His own designs! I am amazed at the gorgeous scenery in the state of Arizona. From the valley of cactus,palm trees and rugged mountains to the snow capped peaks, red rock formations, and the endless depth of the Grand Canyon. I am so blessed to have been able to experience the handiwork of God here!!!