February Brings Cancer Again

He knew. Jay. His neck just didn’t feel right to him. So Monday he made the call to West Clinic. Dr. Tauer said get him in on Friday and scan him.

Many times during the week his words were, “I don’t like this.” My thought was if I could take it from you just like I wanted to take it from Trey, I would.

February again. It comes every year. The time of year that memories of suffering and pain begin to flood my mind. They never cease. It’s like a reel to reel movie that keeps playing in my head and won’t shut off – but pain keeps adding to the movie.

Today, as Jay and I sat at West Clinic, my mind went back to the old location. The first day when Trey walked in Dr. Tauer’s office, he asked Trey if he was ready to fight this. Trey said let’s go.

Today, as I looked over at Jay he asked me if I was okay. Yes. I’m okay. But I saw the look in his eyes as he said again, “I don’t like this.”

Dr. Tauer walked in our patient room in a purple pullover. Yes, purple. I had to remark, of course, he had Trey’s color on. After hugs and handshakes, he said familiar words, “Well, the cancer is back in your neck.” I felt Jay slump.

We discussed how Jay is lucky that it is just localized in his neck, but there is one place at the base of his scar on his neck that they could not determine on the scan what it is. Dr. Tauer said Dr. Fleming, the surgeon, would be able to tell since he did the previous surgery.

We made a plan for Jay to see Dr. Fleming on Monday with probable surgery, possible radiation or the chemo pill, all of which is just up in the air until he sees Fleming and Fleming and Tauer talk. Dr. Tauer joked and told Jay he has to stop this. Then, on a more serious note, he asked about Collin and the rest of the family. I spoke up, was honest about the time of year, Collin, and other things going on in our lives. He said we have had enough. We agreed. I thought, from your lips to God’s ears!!

We don’t know what exactly Monday will bring, but we know we will handle it together as we have handled everything else – and Jay’s cancer journey for the last 23 plus years.

As we walked out the doors of West Clinic, Jay asked me again, “Are you okay?” I responded, “Yeh, I’m okay. You?” Jay said, “Yeh, it just stinks.”

Yes honey. Cancer does stink. Penning a line from one of my favorite movies:

“For twenty-three years I’ve been dying to tell you what I thought of you! And now…well, being a Christian woman, I can’t say it!” Auntie Em from The Wizard of Oz

We appreciate your prayers as we continue this path. I have bladder surgery on February 15 and Collin has his regular check-up at St. Jude on the 18th.

One thing we do know, God is good and always good in times of trouble. On this we can rely.

#cancer #Godisgood #WestClinic #pray

Today I Made A Choice

It might seem trite or not a big deal to most, but this morning I made the choice to get out of bed. Satan had told me to stay in bed, I can skip church, it doesn’t matter, and I need the rest.

I told Jay as he left for work that I wasn’t going to church, but he really didn’t know why. I woke up again right before my alarm and thought to myself how I didn’t want to battle with Collin about going to church or wallow because I was going alone. Then I realized, it wasn’t about either. It was more about my own depressive state.

I got out of bed. Honestly, I wore the same leggings I slept in. I put on a tunic and put a beanie on my head and left the house for Living Hope.

I don’t want to assume that God rewarded me for getting out of bed. But, I came home with little reminder nuggets of wisdom that I would not have received if I had stayed in bed.

*I am enough.

*He saved me and He is faithful.

*He loves me just as I am.

*God provides the right people at the right time to restore your faith in things you question about your children.

*We can rest in his Almighty sufficiency.

So today, as friends asked me how I was, I responded, “I got out of bed today.” They do not know my struggles nor do I know theirs, but I did share some so they could pray.

Satan wants us to believe that we do not matter to others and we are not good enough for His worship. This is SO not true. It was hard to worship today but, by the end of the service, I did not want to leave and I wanted to keep singing and just worshiping as we sang how God deserves all glory.

Today, I got out of bed. I give God the glory. He is sufficient and I am enough.

Memories Moving Into Gratefulness

As I sat down to mail my Christmas cards this year, I debated about writing a Christmas letter.  I went straight to my file and pulled out years and years of letters from 1998 forward.  I joked with Jay that our house might seem unorganized, but I know where everything is located! Just like my desk at work.

I did not get around to writing the letter like I had hoped for many reasons.  This week in the mail Jay and I received the sweetest letter from Jamie (James) and Kelly Lott.  It took me down memory lane of when Jay and I were their age, just beginning a family, and just beginning our Christmas letters.  Even though their letter was filled with such joy and promise of a bright future, I could not help but let the tears slowing roll down my face as I recalled the last Christmas letter I wrote which was in 2011, Trey’s last Christmas.

I discussed it with Jay and we both realized that by 2011, Facebook had become so popular that there would had been no reason to write letters.  I think he was trying to make me feel better that I did not continue a time-honored tradition.  I think of all the memories between 2011 to date that I have not recorded in letters.  I have never been one to journal, like my sister.  I have made up my mind to go year by year and try to make up for what I have lost.

“The past beats inside me like a second heart.” John Banville

Memories are important. I think our memory serves as a very important anchor. They are a way to measure our life thus far – that we are able to call personal experiences our very own, simply because we can remember them and they feel real in recollection.  I am so grateful our God protects us from things that He does not want us to remember.  I am sure you have had experiences that you would rather not remember.  I think back to Trey’s celebration and AGAIN I am so thankful that God has taken away all the sad memories from that day and left me with memories of the rainbow at the end of the day and Jay dancing in the rain with our girls. (You’ll always be our girls.)

Gratitude – “Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” Eckhart Tolle

One thing I remember about my letters is how I categorized them, much like we categorize our memories in our mind; i.e. family, vacations, jobs, children, and future.  I would always talk about what God was teaching our children and what they were experiencing; I would give thanks for our year and time with our family; and, resolve to walk the following year closer to Christ.  As I look back, I am so grateful that Jay and I had the mindset to focus our family around Christ-centered activities.  Yes, we hustled and bustled, just like the young families do today.  I do not think Collin remembers that I did at one time cook dinner!

“Gratitude and attitude are not challenges; they are choices.” Robert Braathe

In 2012, we recorded Trey’s testimony video which is attached to this page on the “About The Erwin Family.” I mentioned in the video about Trey wanting to be a preacher.  I am so grateful I have this in print in my 2005 Christmas letter.  This is exactly why these letters are important.  I knew he had said it.  I wish Trey were alive so I could prove to him that when he was 9 years old he told me he wanted to be a preacher.  Lord, hold him tight.

“I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.” Ps. 9:1

In reading the letters, it brought back so many memories of friendships formed, basketball and football games, yelling from the stands with parents (or at parents, friendly, of course), church trips, family vacations, school friends, and the many, many school functions and meetings.  I remember an incident with both Trey and Collin at Collierville Middle School with the same teacher.  They both stood up for themselves and did not succumb to bullying and I am grateful for the character of my children.  Believe it or not, between the lines, that was in one of the letters.

Yes, I’m taking into 2019 a grateful heart for what God has bestowed upon me and my family.  Memories to hold tight, lessons to live by, and a positive ripple effect to take into the future created by so many people.  So, thank you Jamie and Kelly.  Thank you for stirring in me a desire to revisit Christmas letters, relationships, and the importance of cataloging memories and a grateful heart.

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thess. 5:18

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30 Years Unplanned

img_2668Climbing the ladder.

That is exactly where I was 30 years ago.  I was working at Union Planters National Bank where I had been for 5 years.  They had graciously paid my tuition to State Tech were I earned an Associate’s Degree in Banking and Finance.  I had my life planned out.  I was going to work my way up the ladder.  But, for some reason, I kept finding myself hitting dead ends.

I was moved from department to department.  I was promised one promotion after another.  I even had a position created for me because they did not want to see me leave.  I worked with the best people.  I even worked with a man named Jerry Erwin.  Yes, my future father-in-law (which I did not know at the time).

In the summer of 1988 at age 23, my mother said to me, if you do not stop living the way you are living, you will need to find another place to live.  Well, talking about ruffling feathers.  I wasn’t doing anything wrong except struggling to find my independence.  A couple of days later, my mother said to me that she had prayed about it and told me that I could stay at home.  I didn’t know what had changed.  She just said she had prayed.

Prayer.

Gradually, Union Planters was finding less and less work for me to do.  I was not happy in my job and my spiritual life was in the tank.  My personal life wasn’t too bad because I was juggling three relationships – none of which were Jay.  Until one day, my sister called me at work in late October 1988 and said that her friend had to quit her job at a law firm and she thought I would be perfect.  It was a small office and only two attorneys.  I jumped at the opportunity.

Change.

I must have wowed them with my long brown hair, black plaid suit with satin purple blouse, and black stilettos.  I got the job immediately.  November 1, 1988, I began my career in the legal field with Henrich and Jetton.  Yes, 30 years go.  Everything I had worked for, dreamed about, and gone to school for I threw out the window and pursued the legal field.

During my ten years at Henrich and Jetton, I received several certifications and I have a lengthy resume from serving on local and state legal association boards.

I don’t want to let it pass that my first date with Jay was December 10, 1988.  In the early years, his dad and I had plenty to talk about when he would come on from work before he retired.  But I knew I had done the right thing by leaving Union Planters and banking in the past.

On March 1, 1999, and very pregnant with Collin, Burch, Porter & Johnson hired me to continue to work in the estate planning and divorce field.  I had many friends at Burch, Porter & Johnson at the time and the fit with Joe Duncan just seemed right.  Even though I was told – “You better not work for him.” Almost 20 years later, I am so glad I didn’t listen to them! I work for a christian, compassionate, loving, praying man – and yes, he IS an attorney! He has mellowed, trust me.  There are many jokes about THAT!

Purpose.

I have watched God move in the most amazing ways over the last 30 years.  I have befriended many divorce clients and felt that God has used me to be their “light at the end of the tunnel” when they have felt they could not go on.  Since I have experienced the deepest groanings with death, I have been able to share with my divorce clients that divorce does mimic death.  There is grief.  There is mourning.  There is change.

This also applies to estate planning.  When appropriate, many have such a hard time deciding life-ending decisions.  I truly believe God opens the door for me to mention Trey and his peace at the end of his life.  The client usually always know who Trey is and our story.  God is so good to give me the prompting to share our story.

Lesson.

Listen to God. Be ready for change. You might have that piece of paper, but that might not be where God wants you.  I never thought that I would be at this same desk 20 years later trying to keep the same man organized (and a few others – Charlie Newman and Scott Crosby – whom I love dearly).  I never thought I would experience the loss of my first boss, Ernie Jetton, who taught me so much in 10 years.  Then there is Ed Mullikin.  We shared an office.  “Ed, what’s a NTBF!” “ED! GREG COTTON CALLED YOU AGAIN!” And that’s where my journey began.  November 1, 1988…30 years ago.

Always be ready for a journey.  Your life is a journey.

(P.S. Can you tell I have a migraine in this picture? Ugh. – with Joe Duncan)

Depression and Suicide

img_2685Random conversations.  Facebook messenger.  Email.  Text.  Coincidental meetings. All females with the same issue…loneliness. Many with depression.  We are all the same age and all in the same phase of life.

Out of those conversations came these remarks:

“I go home and just go straight to bed.”

“I go home and just go to my corner of the couch.”

“I never go out with friends because I don’t have any.”

“I sit and watch television by myself.”

“I’m in bed when I go home, just me and my glass of wine.”

“…and since I don’t work, I don’t even have work girlfriends.”

“Maybe we should start a no friends girlfriends club!”

“I feel like social media leads to a lot of depression.”

I’d like to pick it up with the last remark.  We smile and waive, laugh at puppy pictures, “likes” on baby pictures, “love” on scripture pictures or postings, all the while using social media as our backup friend.  Yet we are the people posting the puppy pictures, babies, and even pictures with our husbands that are either never home or never in the same room. I don’t think society allows us to deal with reality because our character will be judged.  Personally, I have never cared.  Oh, I lie.  I do care or I wouldn’t have dealt with depression since age 18.  But, here I am.

According to USA Today, “The suicide rate for white children and teens between 10 and 17 was up 70% between 2006 and 2016, the latest data analysis available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although black children and teens kill themselves less often than white youth do, the rate of increase was higher — 77%.”

We are losing too many of our young adults to suicide and asking why. Yet we can’t deal with our own depression and suicide issues.  It is very hard to help someone else when you cannot help yourself.  I get it.  It is the “walk in my shoes” syndrome. I’m there with you.

If you look at the symptoms in children and adults for depression according to Mayo Clinic, many of the symptoms are the same.  Symptoms such as:

  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or self-blame
  • Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in normal activities
  • Frequent thoughts of death, dying or suicide

You might ask, “What does this have to do with me in the bed when I come home?” A lot.  I look at my son and I wonder what he thinks of me.  Then I remember my mother on the couch my entire childhood and it all makes sense.  Depression.

What does God say?

I like what how the Message phrases Galatians 6:1-3:

“Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived.” 

Stoop down and reach out!

How do we decrease the rate of suicide? How do we uplift the depressed? We share burdens.  Are you too good for that?

Even with Jesus, loneliness and depression is very difficult.  Satan is very powerful and he knows how to turn every thought against you.

There are moments of pure vulnerability and uncertainty no one sees but God during your loneliness.  You try to make sense of it all while nurturing raw wounds embedded deeply within your soul.  These wounds may be from many different sources such as death, a spouse, children, or even church.

I have tried to throw myself into scripture and prayer crying out to God.  I’ve tried to be around friends at work to forget the loneliness.

           The struggle is real.  It is real with depression and suicide. 

These are topics people do not like to talk about.  Just like you don’t talk about sex at church, or depression and suicide really.  Well, I will talk about it.

A friend of mine said while teaching bible study that sometimes we like to find our answers when we cry out to God in our darkness by opening up the Bible to a random page and just pointing to a verse.  We then believe that is the scripture the Holy Spirit sent to us as an answer to our problems.  As much as I would like to believe that God works that way in coping with depression, I’m not sure that is His intention.  He wants us to seek Him constantly – in and out of depression.

Do you just want to throw in the towel?

Some days.  I believe God does heal our wounds of depression.  I believe he binds up our beautiful mess with a proper healing.  I know He provides sweet conversation with friends of like mind.  Though they may be few, they MAY be all you need.  It is all in HIS timing.  It might be the day I see Him FACE TO FACE! I can only tell you with my experience, it can be debilitating after losing a child.  The most hurtful thing you can say to a mother is that it is time to get over it and move on.  Nope, nada, ain’t gonna happen. Not soon.  I’ll grieve, in some manner, with an amount of depression, (even a thought of suicide, maybe) for the rest of my life for my baby boy.  But my faith is NOT diminished! I know that God still holds me in his hands and I take comfort in the song that says… “It’s your breath in my lungs, so I lift up my praise, lift up my praise to you only”.

I’m still on the road…a long and winding road.

But be encouraged! Oh Jerusalem!

“But now take another look. I’m going to give this city a thorough renovation, working a true healing inside and out. I’m going to show them life whole, life brimming with blessings. I’ll restore everything that was lost to Judah and Jerusalem. I’ll build everything back as good as new. I’ll scrub them clean from the dirt they’ve done against me. I’ll forgive everything they’ve done wrong, forgive all their rebellions. And Jerusalem will be a center of joy and praise and glory for all the countries on earth. They’ll get reports on all the good I’m doing for her. They’ll be in awe of the blessings I am pouring on her.” Jer. 33:6-9

The Wrestler

Jay was a wrestler so he liked to wrestle with the boys. He had Trey pinned to get his phone. Parents do that just to irritate their kids, ya know.

I remember the laughter…just as if you had tickled him when he was five under his armpits. It became contagious.

Tears from laughter fell.

Tears fall from grief.

Wrestling. What do we wrestle with? I’m wrestling with migraines, depression, grief, a dying dog, and to be honest – God.

Where do you want us God?

Tears fall from frustration and stress.

Eight years ago they wrestled. Today, we are still wrestling.

So for me – my prayer today is from Psalms. “But You, O GOD, the Lord, deal kindly with me for Your name’s sake; Because Your lovingkindness is good, deliver me;”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭109:21‬C485D394-E1FA-4C03-A158-3F22CAD0A8EA

Righteous Anger vs. Real Anger

You deal with anger a lot when you are grieving.  Many Christians like to categorize our anger as “righteous.” But when does that righteous anger cross the line and become just plain anger?

I have found myself angry a lot lately.  I won’t sugarcoat it.  Ephesians 4:26 says, “When you are angry, do not sin, and be sure to stop being angry before the end of the day.”  This anger has led to so many other things, such as depression.  (You should see my house – war zone.)

Why am I angry? I hate cancer.  Oh, wait, another sin…hate.  I feel like instead of being eaten up with cancer, maybe I’m eaten up with sin.

Let me tell you why.  In the last three months, my husband has had surgery for malignant melanoma and basosquamous cell carcinoma; July was “Trey” month, his birthday and the anniversary of his death; I lost two good friends to cancer; and, I have another one that has just been diagnosed who is fighting for her life.  Collin’s endoscopy that was scheduled for August has been rescheduled for November.  I won’t even mention that Aretha Franklin died of pancreatic cancer.

I have to make it clear that I am not angry at God and I don’t know why.  I think because I have a healthy fear of the Lord.  I know God is good.  I think most people would be angry AT God believing that He is the cause.  Yes, I have shaken my fist in the air a couple of times over the last six years, but that has not resulted in any relief or extreme pleasure.

Can I admit that I am angry at the people working in research? Why haven’t you found a cure? Why do you keep saying you’re so close?  Don’t say you’re so close and lead us on.  I remember researchers saying that about ALS in 1982 before my Dad died and I don’t believe they are any closer than they were 30 plus years ago. I had to get that off my chest.

I want to place my anger somewhere.  When we are angry, we all want to place blame.  I do not know who to blame anymore.  I remember so vividly when the doctor who was from genetics came to see Trey at St. Jude to tell us about the P-16 gene.  They told us that it was passed from the father to the son and Jay immediately turned to the wall, became red, and tears began to flow down his face.  Dr. Sara’s hand suddenly grasped his shoulder and she said, “Jay, this is not your fault.”  I believe Jay carries that burden, as do I for giving birth to my children.  (It does take two, ya know.)  There is NO anger towards Jay and NO burden he should carry since God in His almighty power, knowing beginning to end, had a plan and purpose for Trey.

Wait, what?  …since God in His almighty power, knowing beginning to end, had a plan and a purpose…  My apple watch just told me to BREATHE.  And I think I just received an invisible B-12 shot!

Hummm.  “Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger, for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” James 1:19-20

You might not see me in an outrage with my anger, but am I using this anger to help others, help them heal, grieve, or need Jesus? That would be righteous anger.  I don’t know that I am, but I want to.  I just know that God is not finished with me yet.  I am thankful He still catches all my tears.  I stepped out of the car crying yesterday…because the Dragons will play their last game in the stadium where Trey played.  Oh, my heart aches.  It aches for the past that cannot become the future.

I watched a video I recently taped for Trey.  The person asked if I liked it.  I told him that I had told Jay all I talked about was Trey’s faith and said nothing about how Trey suffered.  Jay and I got a good laugh how that sounded coming out of my mouth.  So did the person on the other end.  Maybe it not always about the suffering or the anger – righteous or not.  Maybe it’s just all about the faith.

Hey Buddy,

You are ever on my mind this week.

Six years ago was beach week.  Did I miss something that could have made you feel better? You had trouble breathing and I couldn’t help.  Your pain had increased tremendously, but I never would have thought your cancer would have spread so quickly.

All the “if I could have’s” and “what it’s” in grief make things so much worse.  Then someone will say to me, “But at least he is not in pain any longer.” Oh buddy, you now me better than anyone and if I didn’t have a whole lot of Jesus, I’d slap the fool out of them.

Three generations. Your Papaw, your Uncle Barry and dad, you and your brother. Cancer doesn’t play fair.

We got a perforated letter in the mail from St. Jude this week.  You know what that means; an appointment for Collin.  I just put it on the refrigerator, told him, and didn’t say anything else about it.  But he misses you.  He is defending your name now.  Collin has come so far.

I know people might be tired of seeing your videos I post, but if they are like me, I can’t hear your voice any longer.  Even though your clothes are still in your drawers, the smell of your skin is gone.  Sometimes, I have to stop and remind myself that you DID exist and you aren’t just a person in a bunch of pictures in my house.

Your dad is fighting hard. He sees the doctor in July to talk about his last round of cancer now that his neck has healed. You know nothing is going to keep him down.  But he’s getting tired.

You’d be so proud of your cousin Becky working at St. Jude in research.  I know there is not a day that goes by that she does not think of you.  And she loves the Kid’s Kafe!  Bobby is a nurse too.  Both of them making sure that people are taken care of for the future.

The future…what does that mean?

I think about research.  I think about our family.  I think how cancer has shortened the lives in our family.  Sometimes, I still get angry that you were only 15.  I know, I know.  I hear you.  It’s okay Mom.  But Trey, I’m a mom and I can be angry sometimes.  I’m not angry at God.  I just get angry at the situation.  What are people doing about it?  Are they working for a cure?

We talked about urgency in bible study and I shared your story.  We had no idea you’d be gone in four months.  That’s how we need to be about sharing about Christ.  Because we do not know how long our neighbor, friends, co-workers are going to be here.  It’s urgent for them to know our Savior.  I’m so thankful you took your faith to an urgent level.

My desire to get to heaven is urgent.  That’s why I understand the ugliness of suicide.  Don’t worry Buddy.  I won’t do that to our family.  But I was at that point after you died and I DID call someone, Papa K.  I DO know that suicide does not determine your eternity.  So many people are hurting in this world.  I’m glad that I am able to talk about it with anyone who needs to talk about it.  It doesn’t make me a bad person.  Geez. You know that!  I could not make it out of bed each day with you gone without my Jesus!  My headaches have been so bad lately, I haven’t made it out of the bed.  You know your daddy is DA BOMB at taking care of me! And COLLIN TOO!

This scripture is stuck in my head that you had highlighted in your bible:

Ecc. 3:11-12 “He has made everything beautiful in its time.  He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.  I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live.”

I’ve taken off work next week and we’ll be together as a family.  Not sure if we’ll do anything.  I might go get some purple balloons for you. Or maroon for Coach Mike! You know he’s doing great!

So for me, buddy, the future is about two things, an urgency for research and Christ.  I hope we can get that message out and young and old will grasp it.

One thing I hope people do is donate to West Clinic in honor of our family. 

Three generations have fought cancer and have been treated by West Clinic.  I can’t think of any other way to honor you this coming week than this.  We need research dollars!  Even small dollars!

Remember the white napkin you posted on Instagram? You are SUCH a bad person! Oh but we laughed and laughed till all our stomachs hurt.  Memaw didn’t think it was funny.  And this was the week you pulled the orange pants story.  So many memories I’ll never forget.  But so much pain that floods my mind and the anger when you knew you had to leave the beach because the cancer had returned.

Know that so many of us are thinking of you this week and next.  It will be such a hard, hard week.  But I think you are preoccupied with Jim Daddy! Weren’t you go happy when you saw him! I told him before he left this earth to tell you how much I loved you.  I hope you got the message.

I love you Buddy, thiiisssss much!  I still have things to do here, but I know I’ll see you soon.  #dogoodwhileyoulive

Click here to donate:

http://fight.westcancercenter.org/goto/lisaerwin

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Hey Buddy…It’s that time again :o(

Praying a Child Into Maturity

Over the years as friends have expressed sadness when children either graduated from high school or left for college, my reaction has been, “Suck it up buttercup.”  There have been only a few people I have been brutally honest with and reminded them – Trey did not graduate, nor did he leave for college, so you can do this!

Now Collin has graduated high school.  God has shown himself in a big way over the last month.  Collin is in welding school and is living at home for the next year, so I am not experiencing separation.  However, Collin has been ready (he thinks) to be on his own for a long time and we have wanted that for him.  He has one year to finish welding school and during this year, I am praying the scripture that God has given me before he will be leaving.

Our children are on the edge of adulthood.  They are desperate to be adults but have one foot in the door of immaturity.  Why is this such a hard transition, especially for our precious boys?  I have researched the internet, read many articles and studies, and they have astonished me.

There is a study commissioned by Nickelodeon UK (yes, the child’s network) that said men do not mature until age 43 and women mature 11 years earlier! This explains it! (I jest. But really? 43!)

Many articles refer to this study. WHAT! Check out the reasons (from www.medicaldaily.com): (You’ll get a laugh and just think about it.)

  1. Finding their own passing of gas and burps amusing
  2. Eating fast food at 2:00 AM
  3. Playing videogames
  4. Driving too fast
  5. Finding rude words amusing
  6. Driving with loud music
  7. Playing practical jokes
  8. Trying to beat children at games and sports
  9. Staying silent during an argument
  10. Not being able to cook simple meals

I would like to share the little nuggets God has shown me to pray for Collin.  I’ll be honest; they just popped out at me on Pinterest and BAM – God said, Lisa, listen to me.  I have Collin.  This is for the mothers (and fathers) who are experiencing many waves of different emotions.  I know many that have already left for sport camps, academic camps, and then will continue on to college. Many are staying home! YAY! I know we cannot push our children into maturity (my frustration).

I firmly believe we can pray them through this time of their lives.  We may spend a lot of time on our knees.  God pleads for us to come to Him with the desires of our heart. Some of our broken hearts go to God daily with our children.

I have a sweet example of praying for our children. At Baccalaureate, Marti Ponton asked me to pray for Evan for an exam for the next morning.  I sent her a text that morning and said I had prayed for Evan.  Marti texted me back and said he had passed the exam.  There is nothing more precious than a mom praying for another mom and their child and telling them! #Foreverbonded

BE INTENTIONAL IN YOUR PRAYING!

#Momprayers

May my child know Christ and the power of the resurrection! Philippians 3:10

Father, I pray my child know you love him even more than I do.

Father, may my child be content with what he has been given. 1 Timothy 6:6-9

Father, please place within my child a desire to know you.

Father, thank you that nothing can separate my child from Your love! Romans 8:38-39

Father, I pray my child will love righteousness and justice. Psalms 3:3-5

Father, I pray my child sees those who are lonely and seek to include and encourage them.

Father, I pray my child’s mind is guarded by Your peace. Philippians 4:7

Father, may your Holy Spirit teach my child. John 14:26

Father, I pray you will lead my child with Your light and Your truth. Psalms 43:3

Father, I pray my child will know joy even in the tough times. James 1:2-4

God, may my child make wise use of his or her time. Ephesians 5:15-16

Lord, Help me to catch my child when they sin. Ephesians 5:13-14

God, may my child hide Your word in his or her heart.  Psalms 119:11

Father, I pray my child will be generous and ready to share. 1 Timothy 6:18

Father, I pray my child develops a forgiving heart.

Father, I pray you help my child focus on the important things in life! 2 Corinthians 4:18

There are SO many more.  You can find them on Pinterest under MomPrayers.  This certainly does not exclude men!

We, as parents, need to pray our children know Christ fully as they enter adulthood. 

I remember, just in four short months, I watched Trey mature both in life and in Christ.  Your child may reject your words.  If so, love him by deed, example, and prayer.  Trust me, your children are watching you – at every age.

God’s word will not come back void nor will our faithfulness! Here is to raising the next generation!

Let me hear you! #momprayers #prayermatters #raiseupachild #classof2018

 

 

 

What is With This Generation!

Okay, calm down. I’m not attacking the generation.  This is just my opinion and observation.  Agree or disagree, it’s just an observation.

I work in a profession where communication is the utmost key.  You cannot walk into a courtroom and not be expected to be able to effectively communicate with a judge, jury, or opposing counsel – much less your clients and co-workers.

It has come to my attention that even the younger generation of lawyers have need for communication and writing skills.  What has happened in the last 20 years?

I can tell you! THE CELL PHONE! THE IPAD! ANY FORM OF ELECTRONIC DEVICE! Even email is a culprit!

Prime example –

I was in the car with my son and we had the radio station on the 80’s.  He wasn’t impressed.  A song by Culture Club came on and I said, “I bet you don’t know who the lead singer is of this band!” As Collin continued to stare at his phone, he grunted, “No, why should I.” I laughed and said, “I was YOUR age! And it’s Boy George!” No response.

It took me back to a time that we did not have cell phones to stare into.  When we started college, we took tape recorders to class IF we wanted notes to take home. And, most of all, when we wanted to talk to people, we called them from our LANDLINE! Wait, who has a landline anymore?

What my main concern is are we teaching our young people to communicate with our older generation?  Here is what my husband was taught and passed on to our sons.

  1. ALWAYS take your hat off when you come inside a building (including restaurants, classrooms, and churches).
  2. When you meet/greet someone, look them in the eye and shake their hand.  This ALSO goes for women.
  3. When speaking, speak loud enough for the other person to hear you so that they do not have to ask what you said multiple times.
  4. Last, but NOT least, by all means, stand when someone greets to introduce themselves.

Somehow, I think these simple rules have been lost in the technological world of communication.  I feel like I am back peddling in teaching these rules at this point, but it does not hurt to remind our youth good communication manners.

I’d also like to ask another poignant question.  Have your own personal friendships suffered due to technology? I know mine has.  Should Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, texting, all the “stories” be our main form of communication?  I’ll leave it there.

So graduates, go into the world BOLDLY! You do not know WHOSE hand you may shake that has had an impact in history of this great country and might impact your life as well.

Oh, and I’m not telling you when I graduated.

Ready to hug and shake hands!