Tag Archives: prayer

Put It On The Alter

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Yesterday I was feeling a little low and frazzled and remembered the CD a friend and coworker made me. I turned it on and the first song was Put It On The Alter by Jessica Reedy. The lyrics really resonated with me:

  • It’s been a real hard couple of months, you had enough (mm hmm)
  • But it’s been hard for everyone, you’re not alone, (uh uh)
  • You’ve been hurting way too long, let it go and just move on
  • Make your way down to the altar, hand it over and leave it there
  • It’s gonna be alright (it’s gonna be alright)
  • It’s gonna be alright (it’s gonna be alright)
  • It’s gonna be alright (it’s gonna be alright)
  • It’s gonna be alright (it’s gonna be alright)
  • So everything that you’ve been worried about (put it on the altar)
  • You need him to work it out, he’ll work it out yeah (put it on the altar)
  • All of your burdens just bring them all down and (put it on the altar)
  • You’re gonna get an answer to your prayer,
  • If you (put it on the altar)
  • I know you need a healing (yeah) you sick of being sick, you need relief
  • You’re tired of the pressure (yeah)
  • You got all this stress and you need some peace
  • Come on and get your breakthrough (breakthrough)
  • Or haven’t you been suffering long enough?
  • Make your way down to the altar, hand it over, leave it there
  • It’s gonna be alright (it’s gonna be alright)
  • It’s gonna be alright (it’s gonna be alright)
  • It’s gonna be alright (it’s gonna be alright)
  • It’s gonna be alright (it’s gonna be alright)
  • So everything that you’ve been worried about (put it on the altar)
  • You need him to work it out, he’ll work it out yeah (put it on the altar)
  • All of your burdens just bring them all down and (put it on the altar)
  • You’re gonna get an answer to your prayer,
  • If you (put it on the altar)
  • Oh (oh yes you’ll get an answer)
  • You’ll get an answer (answer from the lord)
  • Oh yes (oh yes you’ll get an answer)
  • You’ll get an answer (answer from the lord)
  • So you need to put it on, put it on, put it on (put it on the altar)
  • So you need to put it on, put it on, put it on (put it on the altar)
  • Oh prayer (oh prayer) changes (changes things)
  • see I know it does (oh prayer changes things)
  • So take it to the lord in prayer (prayer changes things)
  • Ask him anything you want cause (prayer changes things)
  • Listen, you’ve been worrying and crying
  • Crying and worrying
  • But you’re not alone, you’re not alone no
  • See you have a friend in Jesus, and he knows all about it
  • And he’s gonna do what he promised you
  • So everything that you’ve been worried about (put it on the altar)
  • You need him to work it out, he’ll work it out yeah (put it on the altar)
  • All of your burdens just bring them all down and (put it on the altar)
  • You’re gonna get an answer to your prayer,
  • If you (put it on the altar)
  • It’s gonna be alright (it’s gonna be alright)
  • It’s gonna be alright (it’s gonna be alright)
  • It’s gonna be alright (it’s gonna be alright)
  • It’s gonna be alright (it’s gonna be alright)
  • So you need to put it on, put it on, put it on (put it on the altar)
  • So you need to put it on, put it on, put it on (put it on the altar)

Also yesterday I pondered about the dry season in life that I am going through. I had an earnest talk with God. I even googled “living through a personal dry season” to see how others deal with it and stumbled across an awesome blog. This morning I received an email from the Osteens and I’m sure you already know the topic, lol. I am so thankful that God hears and cares about my lamenting and makes sure to find a way to let me know He is listening. Coincidence? Nah, I don’t think so!

Oh, Had I a Golden Thread

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My sweet little niece Jada was born last week.  She is sooooo pretty!  All I could do was stare at her delicate face as she slept.  Jada was also born with Down’s Syndrome.

A week before her mom went into labor the doctor informed them that there was a possibility the baby could have it and that her labor would likely be induced to prevent a stillbirth.  There was also a chance of her being born with deformities. After I heard the news I immediately prayed and asked others to pray with me. 

When they told me she was fine I felt relief.  I had to see for myself so we went to visit her as soon as I got home from work. And she looked perfect to me. She did not have the signs of a baby with this genetic disorder–no flaps of extra skin, the flattened nose, or the almond-shaped, droopy eyes.  I immediately thanked God.  Jazmine was sooooo excited and was talking a mile a minute as she paraded around the hospital room telling me all the things she was going to do with “her” Jada. 

A couple of days later the results came back and it was positive. My heart deflated like a balloon.  What in the world would those two do with a baby with mental challenges? I  already help them out a lot financially.  More importantly, how would they handle it emotionally? 

So I thanked God that she was at least born with life.  But this diagnosis still feels so heavy.  When her mom told me I didn’t know how to form my mouth to offer some comfort.  What do you say in a situation like this?  All I was able reply was that it was going to be okay and that they had my support. 

I asked her how they were coping.  She said “I’m okay with it, she’s still my baby girl.”  She said my brother had accepted it as well after a few tears.  At that moment I felt such utter gratitude and respect for them both.  I doubt that I would have welcomed the results with an ounce of their graciousness.  Jada is lucky to have parents who love her unconditionally.

Since then I have contacted the local Down’s Syndrome chapter and requested information for them, did some research for myself, and I plan on buying them a book for parents of children with this condition.  There is no way I can “fix” this so I did the only thing I know how to do–help them become informed.

However, I am still struggling with this. Why them?  We get so comfortable assuming that all children will be born completely healthy and that is not always the case. Now I must find the strength to pray that God may equip them both with knowledge, patience, and diligence required to raise a child with special needs.

Oh, Had I a Golden Thread (Eva Cassidy version)

Oh, had I a golden thread
And a needle so fine
I’d weave a magic strand
Of rainbow design
Of rainbow design

In it I’d weave the bravery
Of women giving birth
In it I’d weave the innocence
Of the children over all the earth
Children of all the earth

Far over the water,
I’d stretch my magic band
To every city,
To every single land
To every land

Show my brothers and my sisters
My rainbow design
Bind up this sorry world
With hand and heart and mind
Hand and heart and mind

Oh, had I a golden thread
And a needle so fine
I’d weave a magic strand
Of rainbow design
Of rainbow design

Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction

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Jazmine’s mom wrote on Friday and of course, she failed to mention anything regarding her extended stay!  She did write that the facility was currently on lockdown mode, and out of boredom, she decided to write.  I have no idea what prompted me to call and verify this information but I did.  The prison has not been on lockdown since last summer when an offender escaped. 

I, too noticed that Jazmine’s mom was in a different dorm since she had last written a month ago.  I already knew the answer before I made the inquiry, but I wanted to be sure.  The prison operator confirmed that Jazmine’s mom and Eliza were infact in the same dorm when she gave me Eliza’s  location!  I knew Eliza’s dorm number by heart due to writing her so often.  I was hoping that Eliza had been moved, but no, they are in the same living quarters!

If they had a prior conflict I can’t understand why the facility would place them in the same area.  Each room contains 16 bunk beds so that means they are in close proximity to one another.  Poor Jazmine’s mom!  The devil sure has a sense of humor as my friend Stacy pointed out.  However, I feel confident that God will have the last laugh!  I don’t know what could, but I pray that something good comes out of them being together.

How Dare He?!!!

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I am really incensed right now.  My brother asked if he could keep Jazmine for the weekend so I obliged and dropped her off.  She was very upset and did not want to stay.  We really didn’t want to leave her in such distress, but I thought it was a good thing that he wanted to spend some time with her so we did.

When I called yesterday to pick her up, he refused to let me get Jazmine because he wanted her to stay with him.  He had the nerves to say that I am not her mother and hung up on me!  I was offended beyond belief!!! I was not trying to be her mother!

Of course I was caught off guard because this is not what I expected.  When my husband and I dropped her off on Friday he was not even there.  My stepfather kept her until he arrived home after midnight (he is currently staying with my stepfather who has since returned home).

My brother is not very responsible and spends most of his time chasing women, drinking excessively, and hanging with friends.  In short, he is not stable.

I called him back and let him have it.  I was actually pulling out of the drive way so that I could go her when my aunt called.  My brother called her crying saying that I was trying to take his daughter from him!  My aunt was aware of the “real” situation and was only calling to calm me down.  She asked that I allow her time to talk some sense into him.  We all know that at this point he is not responsible enough to properly care for her.

I talked to my husband as well.  He agreed with my aunt and told me to be patient.  He also said he saw it coming because of how selfish and greedy my brother is. 

My sister told me yesterday that he offered to let Jazmine spend the night with her kids–so much for wanting to spend quality time with her!

My stepfather also maintained that she needed to be with me.  He informed me too that he only wants to keep her because he does not want to give me the measly $100 that he has given me once a month since June.

Unfortunately that didn’t make me feel any better especially if he was only wanting her for selfish reasons.  I could have told him that he could keep the money so that he would allow me to get her, but it is really the principle of the matter.  He wants to have more money in his pocket to waste instead of contributing to her upkeep.  How disgusting!!!

I could contact social services, but honestly, I don’t want to be bothered with CPS again.  The experience that we had with them when Eliza lost temporary custoy of the boys was overwhelming to say the least–and we were not even the neglectful parents!

And as my husband pointed out, I should not have to go through such a process with my own brother.  I was doing something to help him.

So what can I really do?  I am not her mother as he so astutely pointed out.  I did not even have guardianship over her.  I didn’t think it was necessary considering that I was not trying to take her from her parents.  And I trusted my brother enough (my major mistake) that he would not pull a fast one.

I just hate that Jazmine has to be in the middle!!!  She is the one who is going to suffer the most.

I am calmer today, but still upset.  I can’t think about anything else.  I prayed last night that if it is God’s will that he will find a way to bring her home.  If He does, I am going to take the legal steps necessary to ensure that this does not happen again.

Pray Back

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Even though Rhonda wisely cautioned me not to open Pandora’s box, I did.  When writing the post Her Footstool, it wasn’t enough for me to recall the hurtful comments that Eliza had left on our voicemail three years ago in her “footstool” sermon.  And because I have quite a memory for detail, there was really no need for me to dig out the old tapes and listen to that message or any of the other ones that I did for that matter.  I guess in a way, it was a test.  I wanted to see if I was truly “over” the past.  Unfortunately I did not ace the test.  I only listened to five or so of the messages, but it was enough for the old wounds to fester and burn.

 

Listening to her biting lies and fanatical commentary really cut me.  It was like reliving the nightmare over again.  I recalled many of the things she did, not only to me and my husband, but her crazy attempts to involve Nicholas as well.  I contemplated how and why things got so bad.  I wondered how one person could have so much hatred for another.  I was indignant at her nasty, superior tone laden with accusations.  In her “footstool” sermon she declared “my kids don’t even like you.”  That instantly upped my ire.  She knew as well as I did that they were conditioned not to like me.  In short they were forbidden to like me.  I finally had to put the tapes away.  I had heard enough.

 

 This past Sunday when I took Ethan down to visit her; I was in a weird kind of mood.  After they chatted for a while I sent him to gather snacks for the three of us. I took that moment to share with her something that I thought she needed to hear.  In a sober tone I said “Recently I came across some of the old voicemails that you left for me.  Those tapes have further confirmed for me that it is only with the grace of God that we are sitting here today.  It has been nothing but God behind this.”  This wasn’t what she expected to hear.  I figured she would rapidly change the topic, but she responded by agreeing with my statement.  She also admitted that she probably has done some mean things to me due to my loyalty to her ex, my husband.  She also said that she did not know me back then.  Eliza finished by preaching about Matthew 7:5.  Touche, I stand corrected. 

 

For the rest of the visit we played our customary game of Scrabble.  I allowed her and Ethan to carry the conversation.  At the conclusion of the visit I gave her a heartfelt hug just to let her know that I did not hold anything against her.  She hugged me back tightly and told me for the first time in person “Morocco, thank you for bringing Ethan down, thanks for the snacks…I appreciate all you do.”

 

I was not expecting any grand revelations from her about what I said to her.  I knew she would be too proud to apologize.  Believe it or not, an apology is not what I wanted.  I think I wanted her to simply acknowledge the things that she did.  Once Eliza is released from prison I’m sure I will never have her ear again.  She won’t have to listen to me.

 

I experienced a lot of emotions on the drive home.  I felt so vexed that I had to email a good friend for her support and advice.  Stacy, formerly of the Perfect Blend, really helped put things into perspective for me.  She also suggested that I do an exercise creating a timeline of the events that transpired with Eliza.  With each event she suggested that I write about how each one made me feel.  I started working on it yesterday. 

 

I don’t know why it has been so hard for me to forgive Eliza, especially when Jesus so freely forgave us and still continues to do so.  There is no sin that can’t be forgiven…70X7 is what I believe he said.  With this in mind I have made up my mind to let go of the past once and for all.  I know that I don’t have the right not to forgive her. 

 

Initially after hearing the tapes I felt a surge of vengeance.  I could hear James Brown in my head singing his song about retaliation.  I wanted payback.  But after having the space to think about things I realized that I don’t really want to pay her back.  That would just keep the bitter cycle going.  Besides, she is already suffering enough and wanting her to hurt more is just cruel. 

 

 

Instead I am choosing to “pray her back.”  After my exercise is completed, I am going to pray her back for each incident on the timeline.  I am going to pray consistently that God change her heart.  I’m praying that she experiences the true glory of God. But I will be praying for myself as well.  I am going to pray that God gives me the strength and grace needed to be as quick as He is to forgive others.  I am praying that I am finally able to release the hurt that has caused me to have an unforgiving spirit once and for all.