What Were You Expecting?

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So I have been forced this last week and a half to slow down. I had surgery on my toe to replace the joint in my big toe. Yes, they can do it, no I didn’t know it was an option either till just recently. There have been disadvantages to it and advantages too. I learned that I can get wrapped up in nonsense, be it the tv or Facebook or Instagram easily and that naps make it hard for me to fall asleep at night.

What? You were expecting some Brainiac insights into my character, or the world today? Ok well here are a few…..

When you say you are going to pray for someone, do you really do it?
If someone asked you who you were would “child of God” top the list or is it further down than it should be?
Do you truly stand on scripture or do you massage it to fit the “modern day view”?
Do you listen to too many podcasts by teachers who only have a message instead of teaching verse by verse and read too many other things instead of the source material?
Is it more important to you to be the “cool kid” on earth instead of the saint in heaven?
If you stood before God right now and He asked, “My child what did you do with the talents I gave you and the gifts that were yours?” What would you say? What could you say?

We are so much closer to Jesus returning than we ever have been in history, but we are also further from the cross than we need to be to hear, “Well done good and faithful servant.”  I plan to do something about that…I am just not sure what it will look like yet.

Scared

french-bulldog-4278114_1920I am going to need surgery on my foot. There is no more cartilage in the joint of my big toe on my left foot. My right foot is headed that direction but hasn’t quite caught up. Funny thing is I am scared. I have had multiple surgeries and even a serious one in my back and none of them bothered me like this one is. I had a peace with all the other procedures, but I am not as peaceful with this one.

I know that God has got this, and yet I almost can’t stop myself from saying, “Yeah, but….” something I abhor when others do. This, what seems minor, problem had caused a myriad of other issues. My thoracic region in my back is sore and I cannot turn to see over my shoulder easily, my hips ache and I am more tired than I want to be. So the fix is necessary…..hasn’t made the scared go away.

Guess I need more quiet time and discussion with “Dad”.

Why Can’t Women Fellowship?

people-2567915_1920Why is it as women we can’t seem to get our acts together? Even as Christian women we still stumble into the pitfalls of the world around us. I see it at various churches. I know of a women’s ministry that is more like the movie Mean Girls than it is about lifting each other up and coming alongside of each other. There is a group in the movie called “The Plastics” and to me these are women who don’t have the ability to really show who they are deep down inside and what they struggle with on a daily basis. It’s like saying you know the Bible, but it’s all head knowledge and nothing is really tucked into your heart.

However, even in other instances we as women tend to develop clicks that can be hard to fellowship within. It seems that we become like the 12 tribes and can’t intermarry if we want to keep our inheritance. Why is it that we display this behavior?

Maybe this is why I tend towards being on my own. My flesh every once in awhile will poke at me and whisper, “Wouldn’t it be nice to be part of the popular crowd?” But then I am given a snapshot of the cost of being part of that group and my conscience tells me that I really don’t want to pay that price; I am stingy like that, and not just with my money.

It’s a shame really. God created us for fellowship yet many of us leave a lot of others wandering alone in the wilderness.

What Am I Worth

gold-1369453I can’t seem to get my act together. I know there are people that write every day. I know there are people that sit down and do nothing but write so that they have content for days or weeks. I guess I just don’t think that what I have to say is that important or maybe I feel I am complaining too much if I talk about the trials I am walking through.

Some days I just don’t think that I can keep all the balls in the air and make it look effortless. I was talking to a young mother the other day and I was trying to encourage her that if she and her three children were still alive at the end of the day and there were no missing pieces-winning! I think I was also talking to myself in a way. If I got up, got dressed and at least managed to cross off one thing on my to do list then-winning!

I  put so much pressure on myself to “get it all done”. I think I need to learn to be more gentle with myself and remember that God does not measure my worth by what I got done today; why should I. If I have prayed, if I have asked for His guidance, if I have asked for Him to help those who are hurting in my life, if I have cried out because my body aches all the time, if I have asked why, if I have told Him I don’t understand, if I have asked for help staying in His will, I have done a lot.

The second half of the definition for the word worth is; the level at which someone or something deserves to be valued or rated. I know that too many times I measure my worth by the world’s standards. How wrong is that? The world expects far more than I can ever accomplish in the manner which they want to see. God expects me to sit with Him and obey Him. He will meet me where I am and I am worth so much more to Him than I ever will be to this world, even if I don’t get it all together. Even if I don’t write every day, even if I don’t think anyone cares what I have to say.

“6 Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?
7 But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.” Luke 12:6-7 KJV

Make It Count

memory-4111092_1920I don’t know if it’s a wives tale or not but yesterday it was proven to be true for my mom; it is said that if you take a dementia patient out of their normal patterns the disease shows up in all its glory. Well, it did.


My mom had fallen a few days ago and apparently was still complaining about the pain from the bruises she sustained, so my father took her to the ER on Sunday. The doctors decided to keep her overnight for observation. My illogical resentment reared its ugly head over this development. When I was growing up, I was never allowed to really be sick. I was always told that it wasn’t that bad, or that I needed to stop complaining so much. So, when my dad called to tell us he had taken her to the ER I had flashbacks to all those times, and I was not very nice about it.


My dad had to have a dental procedure and not too subtly asked me to go sit with my mom at the hospital till he could get back there. I got there early and they occupational therapist was helping her to move to the chair instead of sitting in the bed. The therapist was asking all kinds of questions that my mother was answering as if it were 15 years ago and she was not in the world she has been transported to lately. If I tried to correct the answer, I was told that she (my mom) did not want to be called a liar and I was to be seen and not heard (yeah like I hadn’t heard that growing up).


My mom’s attitude wasn’t bad, she was cranky and a bit snappy at times, but overall it wasn’t horrible. Yet, I could see that my dad at 84 and with a fib could no longer take care of him by himself. However, my parents have been stonewalling me at every turn when we discuss any next steps to be taken. As an example, I don’t even know where their paperwork is for the cremation they paid for ahead of time.


The physical therapist showed up and started asking me questions in front of my mom and she was becoming more adjugated, so I asked to speak with the therapist in the hallway. I let her know the situation at home with my parents. I also let her know that they don’t listen to anything I say.

The physician’s assistant then came in and we essentially repeated the same process. She said they would be having a meeting about the patients in a little while and maybe if they spoke to my dad, things would change. I felt horrible going behind his back, but to them I am still very much the child to them. 


When my dad got there, it was like a switch had been flipped in my mom. She became combative and belligerent. She was rude and outright nasty to the people that were trying to help her. I spoke to her much like you do a child that is misbehaving telling her that she was being rude and that was not appropriate. I tried to negotiate her making a choice so that the nastiness would stop, but my dad looked at me and said, “Cool it right now!” I picked up my stuff and I left.


On the way home I realized I still had my mom’s cell phone in my purse, so my husband (who has been my rock in all of this) called my dad to let him know we would get it back to them this evening, since I did not want to speak with him just then. We found out that at least the hospital heard me and refused to release my mother unless my dad signed a paper stating that a home health care nurse would come to the house every day. My dad told my husband that he supposed he needed to apologize (haven’t heard from him yet).


All I can say is that my prayer is that this trial counts…..just make it count.

Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That

quotes-933816_1920I haven’t had any time to sit down and write at all really, as evidenced by this blog. Life seems to be swirling at an unimaginable pace and I am having a hard time keeping up.

My mother is disappearing at a rapid pace. The dementia is evident most days. She is always looking for confirmation from my father when telling a story or relating information. She also asks the same questions many times even in one conversation. It’s hard to watch and difficult to not lose my patience.

My father went in for his third cardio version. I DO NOT like his cardiologist, but he does and refuses to listen to any of our concerns about the treatment he is receiving.  This particular doctor does not like women much, so when my husband asked a question, she began speaking solely to him forgetting that my mother and I were in the room. She also discussed my father’s condition in a waiting room with others present (a clear violation of HIPPA) and then proceeded to tell us she missed the window to see my father’s heart back in sinus rhythm after his last cardio version. Really lady? It was 6 months ago, how big of a window do you need?

My sons are facing challenges in the adult world that I as a mother would like to make go away, but they are grown and I can’t. We always thought that the hardest challenges came while they were in school with their learning difference, but I think this season is much more difficult.

Then there is my mission trip to China on the horizon. I feel totally ill equipped to do what I am being called to do. Wrapping my head and my focus around what is needed to reflect Jesus in my words and deeds and still be able to help teach spoken English at camp is a daunting task to me. Praise God for friends and family that are helping, but I really need the help of the Holy Spirit and divine intervention to get me through.

Isaiah 41:10 
“‘Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’”

Is It All About Me?

ball-and-chain-2624325_1920So many things have been conspiring to keep me from the things that I know I should do and the things that I want to do. Wind storms and snow storms and just life in general in our family. However, there has been one thing that keeps coming up for me, rattling around in my brain and just being a general nuisance.

My husband, not too long ago, said that he felt a calling to be a pastor, that he had been studying as if that was the path he was to take. My first thought was, “No way!” I don’t feel that I am pastor’s wife material. I am not soft-spoken, and I usually plow through things like a bull in a china shop, I am very blunt and I don’t suffer fools gladly. Plus if you hurt my husband I will come at you like a hurricane.

I am still resistant. My husband and I will be married 25 years in May. We have raised two children with special needs and for at least 8 years of our marriage my husband was an alcoholic. He has been sober for 10 years, Praise God, but for most of that 10 years we have worked to repair what the devil took from us. I just really got my husband back in the last three years or so, and I don’t want to give him up. We can now leave our children for a short time and know that the house will still be standing and the dog will still be alive. We have intense discussions about scripture that I never anticipated would be our traveling conversations. We can even be in the same room doing different things and be content to be in each other’s presence. I don’t want to give that up, and right now I can’t see what I might gain if I do give it up.

But then the guilt washes over me. Who am I to stifle his calling? I am reminded of Romans 14:13, “Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this—not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way.” Am I a stumbling block? I know I am an obstacle. That is when I become conflicted. Is it truly that I don’t feel the same calling on our lives, or is it all about me?

The conflict becomes worse when I consider the fact that he has been completely supportive of the mission trips I have made and am working towards. He has never stepped in my way unless he knew that it would cause harm to me in any way. Then I reason that these are short-term mission trips, not the rest of our lives. The verses that keep popping into my head, but still have not sunk in are Philippians 2:3-5, ” 3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, ” yeah I have a lot of work to do and some serious self-examination. Wish me luck and pray for me.

 

I Am Called Where?

china letter headingIt never occurred to me that the Lord would have me on this path ever again, yet here I am, and I want to share with you the plans that He has for me this summer.

I am going to be participating in a short-term mission trip to China to teach English to Chinese students! The trip is planned for July 26th to August 12th, and to be able to participate I will have to raise $2900. This money will cover all my costs which include air transportation to and from China and all costs for room, board, travel and fees while in China.

This adventure will provide me, Lord willing, with opportunities to share my faith and make friends with the Chinese students so that they will see the Love of Christ through me. We will be teaching each morning and then participating in various activities in the afternoon and evening, which I pray, will open doors and that I, through the strength of the Holy Spirit, will walk boldly through.

Just as this will be a team effort in China, it will also be a team effort here, back home. Myself and the team will most assuredly need prayer as we prepare to travel to China and while we are there. Prayer for opportunities, both spoken and unspoken to share our faith, that we hide ourselves behind the cross and that the Chinese students see Him and not us, that connections will be made to further His cause and that everyone stays healthy and safe. In addition, I will need financial support to walk this path that God has placed me on. You can mail a check made out to my church, Calvary Chapel Chester Springs (217 Dowlin Forge Rd, Exton, PA 19341) with my name, “Elaine Babcock” and “China Missions Trip” in the memo line. There is also an online option at Bridging the World via Paypal. Just look for my name on the left-hand side of the page.

I am so excited to see what the Lord has in store for me and the whole team this summer! In the book of Romans 8:28 it is said, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Thank you for helping me fulfill His purpose as I embark on this journey. I will keep you updated on the status of the trip and how the Lord uses this in my life. God Bless!

Yours in Christ,
Elaine Babcock

Ladies We Need To Talk

people-2567915_1920This has been on my heart for awhile now, but I wasn’t sure how to put it into words. Ladies stop putting your husbands down. Stop saying things among your women friends like, “He has no idea what to do with the kids!” and “I was about to go all ninja on him for not doing x,y or z!” It’s disrespectful and it is demeaning. You wouldn’t want him to talk about how badly you keep house or how awful your cooking is in front of his buddies, would you?

Let’s be real, no men do not take care of children the same way women do, but the point is it’s not really wrong, it’s just different. No he may not know where the baby wipes are, or all the little tricks to get cranky kids to go to sleep, but he is dad and he will figure it out. Yes, he can be annoying and not do the things that we ask of him, but guess what we can be just as much a pain in the behind. Sitting around gabbing and putting our men down in front of our friends does not gain him respect among his peers and it makes us look petty and small and very in-Christian like. Emerson Eggerich put it best when he said to give love (which women need in a relationship), men need to be respected, if they aren’t then they have a very difficult time giving love. He also said that women need love. Hmmm a bit of a quandary isn’t it when we make smart aleck comments and paint detrimental word pictures about how incompetent our spouses are isn’t it?

There is nothing wrong with poking fun at a husband who procrastinates, or likes to watch an exciting sports game on TV rather than put a cranky baby to bed. It’s ok to joke about his love of corned beef hash which looks and smells like dog food, or that he has trouble matching shirts and ties, but when it comes to taking care of his children and keeping you happy, keep the derogatory comments to a minimum around your lady friends, it’s unattractive and it’s unnecessary conversation.