Friday, February 6, 2009

i have a little, fold-out couch
in my bedroom. a big room
with a window seat, and pictures
blown-up of my children, on
the walls. often, when one of them comes
through town, en route somewhere,
they always want to sleep in my
room with me. comraderie. closeness.

colson came in one night two weeks ago.
he slept on my bed, and i on the couch.
it was late. i turned the lights out.

mom, is t.v. an option?
no! he loves going to sleep
with the sound of the television
droning in his ears. i have bad habits,
and this is one of his.

what should we do then?
well, we could talk in the dark.
or pray. or both.

mom, i really disappointed God
this last weekend.

did you?

yes. some of my friends
at a party were joking about
God, and i laughed with them.

oh, honey, that must feel terrible.
isn't it wonderful that we can
just silently tell God our sins
and know He forgives us instantly?!

within minutes, i could hear his breathing.
the sound of sleep. of peace.
beautiful Jesus. gracious Savior. honest son.

two nights ago, brandt came through.
he is a firefighter for the air force
and was en route back to base.
it was midnight, and he had called to
see if he could sleep over until 4 a.m.,
when he'd have to return to base.

yes! of course. i'd love it!

he comes through the door.
i love my sons. tall and strong
and loving and on my team.

i just got a tattoo, mom.
and with that, he pulled off his
tee-shirt to show me.
anderson, starting up under his left
arm down the side of his torso.

wow! that looks like it hurt!
yeah, it sucked.
it is nicely done, though, i said.

he likes the couch. i had it
ready for him. he was sore
(i gave him tylenol) and tired
with only 4 hours of sleep for him.
i crawled into my bed. the room dark.

mom, what did you think of
the super bowl game?

brandt, it was a great game,
but i still feel sad arizona lost.
kurt warner has an unbelievable
life story! and i'm always for the underdogs!

i helped colson get moved
into that apartment. i even got
my fold out couch from
my friend's house, and took it over
for him. you okay here by
yourself?

i'm good.
it is cozy, and i feel safe, brandt.
i just want each of you to go
out there where your dreams
are. where the great lessons
of life will guide you. stay close
to Jesus, brandt. don't lose Him.

i won't, mom.
goodnight.

and he was gone. sleepland.

oh, i was tempted to
challenge colson to pick his
friends more carefully. and to
chide brandt that tattoos
are addictive, and can never
come off, especially after he told me his
friends had tattoos on their calves,
their hands, everywhere.

but i said nothing.
they trust me as their mother,
confide in me even with their worst
offenses. i gave them the best i had,
and at 18, they became young men.
now, life will guide them. Jesus will
walk with them. me? i've become the
listener, always reminding them of
my pride for their beautiful
imperfect lives. and pouring
over them all the unconditional love
that oozes in my veins for each of them.

i have been told that
many are reading my blog.
i am so new at this. so
excited to be back with so many
that have unconditionally loved
me, with all my imperfections,
through the years. i reach out
my hand to you. my heart.

and remember to love your children.
to focus on their thoughts.
to never give up.
the end story is all that really
matters. i will talk to you next
week.

5 comments:

bonnie reilly said...

Hi Ann,
Loved reading your blog. Thanks for sharing the site. Will be checking and reading it frequently. Glad you and the boys are doing so well. Time has gone by so fast.
Think of you often.
Bonnie

laura beth said...

Dear Ann - I just received Hi, I'm Ann in the mail today. I read it during high school in the mid-70s. I'm rebuilding my library with my favorite books. Yours were among the first that inspired me to make a difference in my world. Thank you for being honest and authentic! Your voice offers hope, and our world continues to be desperate for hope! Desperate for Jesus! Just like the others who have responded to your blog, I'm excitetd to see that you're sharing your heart again with us. May God bless and strengthen you!!!

Carol said...

Hi Ann,
I'm a single never married woman about to turn fifty. I've been reading your books since I was in high school. Six years ago I adopted two boys from Denver Social Services. They are teenagers now, and every day is hard. I want them to be scholars and they hate school. I want them to be mighty men of God, and they don't even want to go to church. I'm so grateful for your post tonight. Thanks for the encouragement.

Shelly said...

Wow. My first read (referred by a friend) and I'm a fan already! Looking forward to reading more and being reminded that perspective so important and to hold on to Jesus! Blessings.

K8 said...

Ann, I'm sure you've received millions of comments on the fact that you have changed people's lives. I want you to know that God has change my life...through you. I grew up (now, please don't feel old, you were probably 15 when you first started speaking) listening to I Gave God Time and Yes, Lord. We would listen to them over and over at bedtime, and I just knew that even as a child, God could change the world through me. Ann, somewhere along the line, we lost those precious tapes (my son doesn't even KNOW what a tape is!) and I became a single mom (not part of my "ten year plan", let me assure you!) and I forgot that God could change the world through even me. Ann, I just found Yes, Lord and I Gave God Time on the internet, and I normally NEVER copy anything off the internet, but I just needed those words so badly. I tried to order them, find some way to purchase them, but I just can't seem to find a way. Please tell me how I can go about getting them. I just really need to be reminded often (I'm a slow learner, you see) and I want my friends to know too, that Yes, Lord will change the world. I would like to tell you a little story (I always wanted to sing people songs like you, but I'm afraid that they'll pay me to shut up, and then where would Jesus and I be) but God gives me stories to encourage others. It was probably about year 7 of being a single mom, and I had hit a really hard time. God was trying to teach me that He would be my husband, but my earthly husband wasn't exactly the role model to understand what that meant. I was really trying to grasp it, but I tell you, I struggled. Finally, I threw my hands up in the air, and said, "Well, alright God, you know I'm having a hard time remembering this, so I was thinking...maybe if I could have a wedding ring, then I'll remember better." Then, I forgot. About 5 weeks later, I was walking in this quaint little area of town, and window shopping (it is pretty much the only shopping I do...much less calories) and there I saw it. Now I don't have fancy tastes, but it was the prettiest ring that was just so me. It was a filligree silver ring, and I don't know why, but I just loved it. Now I never have extra money, but it just so happened that I had received an unexpected payment that I had overpaid my utilities (overpaid! I didn't ever have money hardly to pay them at all!), and the ring was just $5 more than that cheque, and I just KNEW that God was saying, "Go ahead". But He didn't. He said "no". NO, now I was hurt. I mean, Jesus, I never get myself anything, and God, this is supposed to remind me that you're my husband, and that matters, doesn't it? But the week before is when I found Yes, Lord again, and so, unlike me most of the time, I said Yes, Lord. Well, I'm not kidding you, but 3 days later I was out with a friend that I hadn't seen in a bit, and she looked a bit nervous. She always talked a lot, which is amazing I even knew that since I talk enough for about 3 people, but she was so quiet. I thought I had done something wrong, and finally I just had to know. "Julie, what is wrong? Have I done something to offend you?" With tears in her eyes, she said. "I just don't know how to say this, and please don't take this the wrong way, but God gave me something to give you...and I know you're a single mom and I don't want to hurt your feelings, but I have to do what He says. I feel so awkward." "Julie, if God tells you to do it, then He knows what He's doing, so it'll be alright." In my open hand she laid this beautiful perfect ring in my hand. It was the EXACT one that I saw in the window! At that exact moment, God said to me, "Kate, a wife shouldn't have to buy her own wedding ring!" Now we were BOTH in tears, and I'm sure the people at the restaurant thought someone had died or something. They were right. My old faithless woman died, and then I got it. God really cares about all the little things that He says He does. Now I don't want to sound too familiar, because a lot of people think that it is completely inappropriate, but my God is such a sweetheart. I just wanted you to know that if I hadn't heard that familiar message, Yes, Lord, I wouldn't have remembered that God can change MY world through other people too.

I just wanted you to know, and if you want to bill me for the messages, that's okay. My birthday is on Sunday, and it'll be the best birthday gift I could ever receive. Thank you for blessing this one simple single momma who is not the mother of the year EVER, but just strives for my son to know that Jesus will use ANYONE to change the world!