A Mother’s Day Rebuke…and a Reminder of God’s Promises

rebuke (noun) – reproach, reproof, scolding, telling-off, lecture, criticism
rebuke (verb) – reprimand, reprove, scold, admonish, chide

Now that the title has grabbed your attention (‘cuz we ALL know a mama or two – or more – who can put down her share of a good ol’ piece of rebukin’! LOL – but we know it was ultimately for our benefit), I’ll give you the backstory…because I always have a backstory, right? 🙂

One of the Bible apps on my phone featured Isaiah 32:17 as the daily scripture this week (and since after the doozie of a week it’s been, I was longing for peace, quietness, and assurance like you wouldn’t believe!), so I decided to read the scripture verse in full context of the chapter this morning during my personal Quiet Time. Granted, I wanted to sleep late while my hubby was out cutting grass at church, but the irresistible draw of opening the blinds to watch the lively bird sanctuary in my backyard inspired me to take advantage of this morning time of solitude. While the children were still sleeping, I seized the opportunity to have some moments of meditation with my Creator.

17 And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.
18 And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places;
(Isaiah 32:17-18)

Sounds wonderful, eh? Yep, it just put me into a mindset of tranquility. So on I read from the beginning of the chapter, and I was a little surprised at what I found…but I shouldn’t have been, because God is full of surprises! I found some verses that addressed women…how timely in light of this being Mother’s Day weekend.

“9 Rise up, ye women that are at ease; hear my voice, ye careless daughters; give ear unto my speech.
10 Many days and years shall ye be troubled, ye careless women: for the vintage shall fail, the gathering shall not come.
11 Tremble, ye women that are at ease; be troubled, ye careless ones: strip you, and make you bare, and gird sackcloth upon your loins.
12 They shall lament for the teats, for the pleasant fields, for the fruitful vine.”
(Isaiah 32:9-12)

 Here’s a mini-breakdown from my study time:

Verse 9 – women at ease and careless daughters are called to attention and away from slothfulness (hence, the title of this post); it’s not saying that most women are “trifling,” but we all know that being a godly mother requires hard WORK – and lots of it!

Verse 10 – vintage = harvest of grapes; lack of productivity or harvest has long-lasting repercussions

Verse 11 – we must repent and change ALL ways that do not glorify God

Verse 12 – the things real godly mothers are supposed to provide, produce, render, and give include and are represented by:

  • Teats – for nurturing and nourishment
  • Pleasant Fields – homemaking is a lost art that must be rediscovered and recultivated for the continued perpetuity of a civilized society
  • Fruitful Vine – productivity (at home, in business, as a wife, in child-rearing, etc.) entails and encompasses ACTIVELY working in and pursuing the things of God (because we’re all virtuous Proverbs 31 women, right? Right!) 🙂
  • If any of these components are missing from our “mothering,” deficiencies will be evident.

After seeing that analysis, I honestly couldn’t take much more and stopped reading to catch my breath after the wind was knocked outta me (“You said that for real, God?!”). But at the same time, I was overwhelmed with God’s miraculous love that gives mothers such a tremendous job, but it’s given along with His promise to never leave nor forsake us, and His promise to provide the wisdom and guidance we need daily. How comforting to know that we’re never alone as we face the challenges and joys of motherhood!

May your Mother’s Day weekend – and every day going forward – be filled with the joy of the Lord which is your strength. Do we get tired and weary sometimes? Absolutely! But we can walk in abundant blessings as we undertake every task and assignment associated with and required for building the foundation of future generations – no small feat, but one for which God has thoroughly equipped us (with His Word and His Spirit) to accomplish in excellence and for HIS glory. Be encouraged as you trust the Lord to guide you through every twist and turn along the journey of motherhood. I am! 🙂

“37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.
38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.”
(Luke 1:37-38)
“And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”
(Psalm 1:3)
“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.”
(III John 1:4)

© Copyright 2015 by Kayren J. Cathcart

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Spammed!

spam – disruptive messages, especially commercial messages posted on a computer network or sent as e-mail; unsolicited, undesired e-mail; the e-mail version of junk mail

Thank goodness my self-esteem is intact enough today that I didn’t fall for a fake ego trip (again – LOL; it’s true what they say about being older and wiser…). I got a comment from an unknown poster complimenting my writing skills (go figure – that college degree is coming in handy) and blog layout (it’s a template, for heaven’s sake). Since it appeared to be a link to a bootleg online luxury products outlet (again, age and deliverance make a healthy combination), I decided to Google the link in the attempted flatterer’s signature instead of clicking on it. (I absolutely detest internet “cookies,” and the thought of getting unending pop-up ads for who-knows-what makes me livid). When that initial search didn’t give me adequate or specific details about my phony admirer from afar, I searched the text “I am really impressed with your writing skills” and lo and behold if that site wasn’t listed multiple times, and in various languages. My suspicious hunch was right. With a few clicks, I’d confirmed that the message wasn’t from someone who genuinely appreciated my literary prowess (ha!), but instead, it was a sham from someone who wanted to squat on my web property for free advertising. Kinda like realizing that you’ve gotten a photocopied “love letter…” and you feel just a bit less-than-special…Needless to say, I hit delete on that message.

Rather ironic, since I just retrieved an e-mail message I’d been awaiting since last month – only to find out yesterday that it had – unbeknownst to me – been relegated to my “Junk” folder – yikes! The sender had been awaiting my response…and I’d been completely unaware that the important information had been sent to my attention weeks ago. Then I felt horrible that my delay had impacted my ability to disseminate the information to other people who needed it. What a ripple effect – ugh!

The value of a message can be determined by the identity of the sender, right? Unwanted message gets received, desired message doesn’t get received…I’m no techno-whiz, but it’s nearly a herculean feat to keep track of my own electronic traffic these days. And who (or what algorithm) determines that I should get daily shoe sale e-mails in my Inbox, while important personal messages get condemned to the abysmal Junk folder?!?

How often do we get spammed in a spiritual sense? We’re having a great day, focused on the goodness of the Lord, then – WHAMMO! – something unauthorized and definitely not legit comes from outta the blue that sends us spinning off course. Saints of the Most High, we must be on guard for potential intruders and distractions that desire to run roughshod and ramshackle through our emotional and spiritual well-being, leaving overturned tables and broken vases in the wake of their forced entry. What disruptive, unsolicited, or undesired messages have been bombarding you lately? In these last and evil days, our recourse is in the Person of the Holy Spirit. We need His discernment, wisdom, guidance, and protection. I dare assert that He is the ultimate spam blocker!

“1 Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer.
2 From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
3 For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.
4 I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah.”
(Psalm 61:1-4)

© Copyright 2014 by Kayren J. Cathcart

Humpty Dumpty Had a Great…Emergency!

Was it a fall…or a jump?  Either way the children’s story goes, I’ve been told that most little boys have at least one Superman episode…to make a long story short, my son’s just occurred.

They say the best time to prepare for an emergency is before it’s necessary.  How do I know?  Because I got a call at work this past Thursday around 11:30 a.m. that my son had jumped from the top of the sliding board (or fallen from the monkey bars, depending on the iteration of the story) during a field trip to the park – and his arm was twisted, mangled, and – I was told – dislocated.  This was no time to practice the peace the comes only from resting in the presence of God – it was “go time.”  

Instead of relying on my less-than-stellar sense of direction, I printed a quick set of MapQuest directions to the hospital, and off I zoomed.  When my co-worker generously offered to drive me to my car (which I would’ve had to reach after a 2 block walk to the train, then a 10 minute ride), her quick thinking and thoughtfulness helped me arrive at the hospital 10 minutes before my child and his caregiver.  And it was a blessing that a parent chaperone for the field trip just happened to be a nurse…whose daughter had broken her little arm a few months prior.  It was no coincidence that this woman knew exactly what to do to calm my hysterical child.  God is so faithful!

Well, after 7 x-rays, a couple of shots of morphine, tears too numerous to tally, (and a partridge in a pear tree, it felt like), Emergency Room staff confirmed that both of his forearm bones (ulna and radius) were indeed broken.  And to think that my biggest decision that morning was what time I’d go get a mani/pedi…and wax the fuzzy caterpillars still (unfortunately) adorning my forehead.  As a parent, it’s a matter of priorities; I resigned myself not to think about the unruly, bushy eyebrows anymore.  However, I digress…

The entire ER staff at Levine Children’s Hospital was absolutely EXCEPTIONAL during the 6+ hours we were there.  My child had some pretty strong “dreams” as a result of the anesthesia (conscious sedation, I believe they called it) and it took him a couple of hours to shake off the grogginess enough to come home.  However, after eating a popsicle and evidencing that the drugs had worn off significantly, he was discharged until a 1-week follow-up appointment.  I had no complaints because I’m very aware that some mothers don’t leave the ER with their children in one piece.  As we headed for x-rays, we passed a young girl with her neck in an immobilizing brace; I know our story could have ended in such a different way.  Yet, by Sunday, my son was back to his jovial self – and sporting his blue cast, complete with signatures.

So goes another chapter in the “growing up” saga…for both child and parent.  Since my “fix the pain” threshold usually ends at “Band-Aid duty,” God definitely carried me through the day with His grace.  Considering that I was whining about pulling teeth for the past couple of years, I’m a witness that promotion truly comes from the Lord!  Before this set of circumstances, my honorary MD stood for “Mommy Dentist,” but I dare say that I’ve been elevated to “Mommy Doctor.”  I am grateful.

Thank the Lord that He is able to put us back together again!  May we daily walk in obedience to reap the rewards of righteousness and enjoy the protective benefits of yielding to God’s authority.

“Have mercy upon me, O LORD; for I am weak: O LORD, heal me; for my bones are vexed.”

(Psalm 6:2)

 “Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.

It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.”

(Proverbs 3:7-8)

© Copyright 2011 by Kayren J. Cathcart

broken right arm

The broken right arm - what a shape...

Which Way, Lord?

Hint:  Ask God first before making a major decision.  You’ll be glad you did…

“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:”

(Deuteronomy 30:19)

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.”

(Proverbs 3:5-7) 

 

“For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:”

(Proverbs 6:23)

“He is in the way of life that keepeth instruction: but he that refuseth reproof erreth.”

(Proverbs 10:17)

“Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”

(Matthew 7:14)

© Copyright 2011 by Kayren J. Cathcart

Getting Dressed: God is at Work in Me

An ornament adorns; it is something one puts on.  This morning, before I was anywhere close to getting dressed, God spoke.  And I listened.  What a blessing for me.  Thought I’d share with you before running off to work…be abundantly blessed.

Get back to the core of who I created you to be – and let nothing and no one but Me define who you are today. You are a work in progress, and I continue to mold, make, form, and shape you for My good pleasure.  Nothing can contain you because I am in you.  Abide in the True Vine (John 15:5) and be nourished and replenished. 

Even as you wonder whether I’d stopped calling you because it had been a while since you sat at my feet and soaked in my presence, amidst the hustle and bustle of everyday life, I say to you that My character of unconditional love won’t permit me to stop calling you, longing after you, desiring to spend quality time with you.  I hear your heart’s cry – even through the clutter of the carnal abyss – and still it beats strongly for Me.  And that delights Me.  It is a good heart condition to have. 

Go forth and greet the day I’ve created just for you – with you in mind as I touched each bird to sing, each ray of sunshine to beam down where you’d be.  You can’t control unconditional love – that’s why tears are leaking from your lids, My daughter.  Even when you feel most miserable and wretched, My love reaches out to you.  Now can you allow My love to do the same thing through you to others?  That is evidence of true growth.

No need to chase the things of this world.  Seek first My kingdom…and all these things will be added unto you (Matthew 6:33).  There is a tenderness inside you that not many know the depth of.  That’s why you try to cover up and protect yourself with humor or other “shells” – but there’s no need to put up a pseudo-tough exterior façade for Me; I know you – inside out, through and through.  And I love you still.

“Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels.”

(Jeremiah 18:3)

 

“But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.”

(I Peter 3:4)

© Copyright 2010 by Kayren J. Cathcart

Intrinsic Value

Along with planting a vegetable (and fruit) garden, my wonderful hubby has decided to create a bird sanctuary…in our backyard.  It’s a rather noble endeavor, because our children seem to enjoy seeing wildlife up close and personal (with the exception of the opossum duly noted in my previous blog entry).  And surprisingly enough for this indoors-loving bookworm, so am I.

One birdfeeder obviously wasn’t enough, so he headed to the home improvement store to purchase 2 more seed feeders, plus a nectar feeder because he “wanted to see some hummingbirds.”  Isn’t it fantastic when we can appreciate God’s creation with childlike fascination?  “Indeed, he is a compassionate man,” I noted as he strategically placed the full feeders throughout the yard and secured them with hooks.  I would’ve casually tossed out some stale bread crusts, deemed it a community service event benefitting the environment, and called it a day. 

But he must be rubbing off on me – and leading by example – since I found myself talking to a tiny bird while waiting for the train yesterday.  I even offered it some seed if it could find its way to my house…but of course, it wouldn’t find my house, now would it?  As the bird flew away, I remembered that my signature solo wherever I sang as a teenager – many moons ago – was “His Eye is On the Sparrow.”  Then I experienced one of those epiphanic moments of understanding when everything converges all at once and in one place – and I remembered how truly special I am to God.  “He’s been thinking about me for all these years!” I gasped.  Have you considered that lately?  Take a moment to gratefully reflect on what He’s been saying to you this week…you may see what you’re really worth in a different light.

“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And yet not one of them is forgotten or uncared for in the presence of God.

But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  Do not be struck with fear or seized with alarm; you are of greater worth than many flocks of sparrows.”

(Luke 12:6-7, Amplified Bible)

© Copyright 2010 by Kayren J. Cathcart

Not Forgotten

What a comfort to know that I’m on God’s mind!  Have you ever had a day where you just wonder if anyone cares?  This week started out like that for me.  Yet, within a 3-hour span, God touched the hearts of 3 people in 3 different states to e-mail me notes of encouragement.  They were so timely – and ironically/incidentally/coincidentally (or not!), 2 of the messages had the same subject line: “Checking In.”  It was uncanny – because none of these people know each other – and I had to laugh as I recognized the hand of God at work in my life.  I had an appointment to “check in” with my Heavenly Father – so was I going to show up, or what?!

He is the glory and the lifter of my head.  He will not allow me to stay discouraged, even when I convene my own pity-party with hand-addressed invitations!  His love comes through the most unexpected sources sometimes.  One day recently, I realized the love I was looking for was coming through my 4 year-old daughter’s incessant desire to curl up under me and remain underfoot while she repeatedly hugged and kissed me.  Instead of asking her why she was so clingy or redirecting her to “go play,” I finally (duh!) got the message and began to receive the love God was sending me through her vessel.  And that day, I lacked nothing.

Have you tapped your hidden Source of provision today?

© Copyright 2009 by Kayren J. Cathcart

 Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?

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)