What is the Glory of Motherhood?

“Will you awaken mothers to the glory of their calling?”

I keep hearing the Holy Spirit asking me that question.  And I have to answer with a question of my own.

“What is the glory of my calling?”

Honestly, I am having trouble seeing it in the midst of one big mess after another.  Courage’s birthday was a perfect example of this.

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It had been a pretty peaceful day.  I had time to get the house cleaned and ready for the party celebrating our fiery three-year old.  All of his presents were wrapped.  The supper was prepared in advance.  I had gathered the ingredients for Courage’s heart’s desire; a chocolate dirt cake with gummy bears.  I had also made two additional desserts with special ingredients to accommodate the more delicate members of our family.

I was sitting on the sofa, waiting for dinner time.  “This is an important part of motherhood right here,” I thought.  Celebrating my children and creating happy birthday memories for them.  I was hoping that Courage would feel loved and special and that the entire family would have fun.

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I started setting the table and getting the food ready when my perfectly planned birthday celebration began to unravel.

“Chai just threw up on the carpet!!!” I heard an excited child yell.  At first I tried to ignore it and continued the dinner preparations.  Maybe they were exaggerating as children are prone to do, or maybe someone else would take care of it.  No such luck.

I went from working with food in the kitchen to scraping stinky puke off the living room carpet.  Chai had suddenly gotten sick and ended up sleeping in his bed for the entire birthday party. The smell and the germs were not what I had planned.  Thank goodness my mom was the only guest, and we didn’t have a house full of people!

As I began scrubbing the carpet with cleanser, I heard the sound of some sort of ball hitting the side of the house.  This didn’t go on for long before I heard Chris yell out the window, “Cole, stop kicking the soccer ball against the house!”

Did Cole heed his father’s wise advice?  No, the banging continued once more, twice more, and then…the sickening sound of shattering glass!  Cole had just broken our living room window.  Thankfully, it was the storm window so none of the glass came into the house.  But there was glass all over the back patio.

“Oh well, I can’t worry about that right now,” I thought to myself.  “I have to throw in some laundry, get the boys to take out this trash, scrub my hands about fifty times in hot water, and then finish putting the food on the table.”

Back into the kitchen I went.  Then Areli came to me holding the cup used to measure the laundry detergent.

“Courage just handed this to me… filled with his pee!” she told me.

“Of course he did,” I thought. I was bracing myself for the next catastrophe that was sure to come.

Amazingly, the rest of the evening went just fine.  We all sang “Happy Birthday” very loudly.  Cake was eaten.  Presents were opened and played with.

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We made a big mess and cleaned up a big mess.  We put all the children to bed and prayed that no one else would throw up during the night.  We got into bed late to get up early and do it all over again.  Doesn’t seem very glorious, does it?

“Will you awaken mothers to the glory of their calling?”

Rick Joyner heard a great Queen ask him this very question in a vision that he wrote about in The Torch and the Sword.  He said that she was astonishingly beautiful and seemed to be motherhood in all of its glory.  She explained that she was Jerusalem above, the mother of all who worship in Spirit and truth, the church as it was called to be.

She asked Rick, “Will you awaken mothers to the glory of their calling?  Will you give my daughters swords and torches?  They are the ones who keep the torches alive, and they will wield the sword wisely.  My daughters will stop the death and bring back the life!”

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Perhaps to see a bit of the glory of my calling, I should find out what these swords and torches are all about.  Here are a few excerpts from the book and I hope it is encouraging to you!

The Lord handed Rick a torch and told him, “This is the light of My presence.  If I was not close to you, you could not hold it.  If you drift from My presence, it will become heavy.  If you drift very far from Me, you will have to lay it down…It is yours to carry for as long as you stay close to Me…No power on earth can put it out if the torchbearer walks with Me in this realm. Its brightness and power depend on the life of the torch-bearer, and on how close he stays to Me.”

Then Rick met Tomas a Kempis who told him, “You can set people, cities, and even nations free with the light of this torch…The torch you carry has been the source of every true movement of the Spirit.  The leaders of these movements were all torchbearers…If you are going to endure to the end, you must stay close to the Source of this light and fire.”

The Lord spoke about Thomas, “Men thought of Thomas as a humble laborer, one to cook, wash dishes, and weed gardens [sounds a lot like a mom’s job!], but he, too, carried this torch.  From his post of washing dishes, he became more powerful than kings or emperors.  He prophesied to millions over generations.  Even today My message goes forth from his writings to help prepare the coming ones.  You can be more powerful washing dishes and staying close to Me than you would be leading armies or nations but drifting from Me.”

I need to read that again!

“YOU CAN BE MORE POWERFUL WASHING DISHES AND STAYING CLOSE TO ME than you would be leading armies or nations but drifting from Me.”

To be torchbearers, to carry this fire that brings life rather than destroys, we must abide in Jesus.

Rick met Enoch who had so much of this life flowing through him that he never died.  Enoch said, “The Lord makes His messengers flames of fire.  You cannot walk with God, or fulfill His purpose for you on the earth, unless you keep this fire burning in your heart.  Lukewarmness is your deadly enemy.”

Lukewarmness can easily creep into the mind numbing daily grind of a mother.  It is the overwhelming hardships and challenges of motherhood that push us into his presence!  How I want to be one of the chosen torchbearers!

Jesus told Rick, “You will know these chosen ones by the fire that already burns in them.  They will never be content with religious practices, for they yearn for Me and the reality of this realm.  Because they seek Me, I will be found by them.  I will give them their heart’s desire – My fellowship.  I will be their inheritance.”

Later in the vision, Rick found himself preparing for a battle.  The only other warriors with him were a young girl and John Wesley.  Wesley told him, “The Lord called a dozen men.  He changed them and then they changed the world.  In your time He is going to do the same with the children.  It is also the time of the lioness.  Great are the company of women who will preach the gospel.  There will be many great men of God in your time – but the great marvel and great honor will be for the women and children who walk in the ways of the Lord.”

Later the Lord gave Rick a sword and said, “It will only become heavy if you wield it in your own strength.  This is my Word of redemption.  It cannot be destroyed, but will stand forever…No power on the earth is stronger than my redemption…This is the sword of the Spirit…You are holding my living Word…to receive my word into your heart must be your quest every day.  Then you will begin to see.  Then you will have understanding.

                “It was by my Word that the universe was created, and it is by My Word that it is held together.  My Word is the answer to every human problem…The sword that is being given to my messengers in the last days can break any yoke, and cut through any chain.”

“Will you awaken mothers to the glory of their calling?  Will you give my daughters swords ad torches?  They are the ones who keep the torches alive, and they will wield the sword wisely.  My daughters will stop the death and bring back the life!”

                “I am a woman.  I am a mother.  I am the keeper and sustainer of life here on earth.  Heaven stands in honor of my mission.  No one else can carry my call.  I am the daughter of Eve.  Eve has been redeemed.  I am the opposition of death.  I am a woman.” – Christianna Reed Maas

The reality is, we can carry the living fire of His presence and the powerful Word of redemption into every part of our day – the fun celebrations and the puking parties, the playtime and the hard work.  That is glorious even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time.  We don’t need any special skills or qualifications.  All that is required is that we seek Him first, abide in Him, and receive His words into our hearts every day.

Born on the Fourth of July

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My third child becomes a teenager today.  Cadin Christopher, “Confident Follower of Christ”, was born on the fourth of July with the shaggiest head of dark hair like his mom and the deepest brown eyes like his dad.

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He was a good and content baby.  He and his older brother and sister became a happy trio.

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They were always together, yet Cadin never felt compelled to do things the way they did things.  He had his own unique talents and tastes from the beginning.  When the other children were happily doing arts and crafts with Grandma, Cadin would be building a model.

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When Areli and Cole would be picking out bathrobes from the Disney Store, Cadin would want Power Ranger Pajamas instead.

He was a sweet and thoughtful boy, yet he had a power that could take you by surprise.  When Cadin was four years old, he and Dad were chasing each other around the house and rough housing as boys love to do.  His dark eyes were shining with joy and his chubby cheeks were bouncing with each step.  I was sitting at the kitchen table when I observed Dad run into the living room with Cadin on his heels.  I saw Cadin take a flying leap into the air right before the kitchen wall obstructed my view.  I heard the most incredible “Boom!” It was the sound I had always imagined when the Giant fell to the ground at the end of the Jack and the Beanstalk story.  I ran into the living room to see what had occurred.  Dad was on the floor laughing hysterically, and Cadin had his arms tightly wrapped around Dad’s legs.  Our four-year old had single-handedly tackled his father to the ground!

As Cadin grew, his eye for detail was incredible.  I would give him the special chores around the house, because I knew that he would do them properly.  He would place the pillows back on the sofas with the stripped pattern matching exactly.  He would put away the silverware with every large spoon and every small spoon in its perfect place.

He struggled with reading for years until suddenly in third grade he began to read everything in sight.  He would pick out special scriptures in the Bible and write them down in his notebook and read them to me.  I was very often encouraged by those words of truth that he had found intriguing.

Just this past school year, Cadin was a lifesaver for me!  I was tired most of the time from being pregnant.  I was still trying to homeschool Cadin and do therapy with my special needs daughter, Ashlyn.  All the other boys were in public school except for Cadin and Courage; the very loud, very demanding, and very active almost two-year old.  Cadin would watch Courage, follow him around, and take care of him almost all day long.  Cadin would even change his diaper and put him in his crib for nap, since Courage was too big for me to lift.  Most of the time Cadin carried out this duty with patience and a fun-loving attitude that Courage just loved.

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I have not yet successfully potty trained a child before the age of three. There might be hope for Courage, however, because Cadin has made this his personal mission. One day I simply suggested to Courage that he should try to go pee. Cadin appeared out of nowhere, scooped up little Courage and held him with one arm. With the other arm thrust out in front of him and pointing towards the upstairs bathroom, Cadin tore through the house at top speed yelling, “GO! GO! GO! This is not a drill!”  This time Courage was the little boy with the bouncing cheeks, loving every minute of this adventure in potty training.

Cadin would complete his homeschool assignment each day while Courage was playing with blocks or sleeping in his crib.  Cadin was very self-motivated.  He has always been a whiz at math, being a year ahead in his math curriculum.  He would organize numbers and solve math problems in ways I had never thought of.  He loves to read books with all sorts of science and history facts.  His joy of learning is evident as he tells me from memory how many feet long the Titanic had been or that a squid has 10 arms.

He has a good heart that wants to do what is right.  He will walk away from watching a TV show if he senses an inappropriate scene is coming.

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He has a fun-loving heart, full of songs for every occasion.

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He is sensitive yet strong; painfully shy at times yet confident.

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I cannot believe he is a teenage already.

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I cannot believe he is my teenager and how incredibly blessed I am to call him my son.

 

I Love February!

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I have always loved February.  I know that many people would not agree with that sentiment, especially in frigid Pennsylvania, especially this year.  This could possibly be the coldest February on record with subzero temperatures, ice, and snow.  Yet, I still can say, “Isn’t February lovely?”

My birthday is in February, on the very best day, the 22nd.   That  is also George Washington’s birthday.  As a child, February was full of joyful anticipation of celebration centered around me!  My little head was filled with visions of ice cream cakes, presents, games, and friends…maybe even a pizza party.

There is also Valentine’s Day to brighten things up.  Forget about the silly relationship drama that depresses the immature around this holiday.  Think about the beautiful Victorian images of pretty ladies surrounded by flowers and chubby cherubs holding hearts.  Smell the roses that show up everywhere in February and defy the chill outside.

It is still the middle of winter.  My children don’t even want to play outside because it is too cold.  Yet I can feel spring!  I can feel it in my heart.  All of my 39 Februaries on this earth have given way to spring in March or April.  I have deep confidence that spring will come again because it always has.  Nothing can hold it back!

In fact, it is already here.  I feel it in the morning sunshine that arrives earlier each day.  I hear it in the songs of the birds twittering away as though they had green trees to play in.  Around my birthday each year, the crocus would begin to bloom.  This year I thought that surely they must be delayed.  The ground is still like the frozen tundra.  How could they possibly break through with their tender leaves?

I checked the spot in the soil where they had laid dormant for so long.  And guess what I saw!

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I saw spring!

 

Happy Heavenly Birthday Dad!

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My Father, George Redman Beyer, passed away last year on July 31.  In honor of him, I would like to post here the words I spoke at his memorial service.

 

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All you who knew George, whether it was for 5 minutes or fifty years, knew that he was very kind, calm, patient, slow, methodical, and very intelligent.

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He loved history and could remember facts and figures with an almost photographic memory.  Most of those official blue and yellow signs you see around the state of PA were written by my Dad.  When I was little I couldn’t remember the name of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, so I just told people that my Dad was a Historical Marker Maker.  They gave me funny looks.

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I got even stranger reactions when I told them that we were Quakers and went to Meeting instead of Church.  Dad was always a man of peace.  I almost never heard him criticize other people and I almost never saw him get angry.

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In recent years, he had to bear with my five wild boys running around the house with nerf guns, squirt guns, and cap guns.  Still he was very patient with them.  He spent hour after hour after hour reading to all the grandchildren, snuggling on the sofa.

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He answered question after question, read book after book.  He rejoiced at the birth of every new grandchild and enjoyed them immensely.

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This was an intense week for our family.  Dad was sent to the emergency room on Monday with blood clots in his lungs.  He stopped breathing and received CPR three times.  When I saw him that evening, he was unconscious and the hospital was still trying to stabilize him.  That night I prayed those deep, desperate prayers.  I love it how God draws so near to me in times like these.  I felt like He said to me, “This will end in death, but it is OK.”  Then I saw a picture in my mind.  I saw my dad as a young boy, running in the summer twilight.

scan23He had perfect shalom, “perfect peace, nothing broken, and nothing missing.”  He was running into the arms of God the Father.  They both had such joy and excitement about being together.

On Tuesday the hospital thought they might be able to stabilize Dad and wake him up.  Then we received a call that he had taken a turn for the worse, and we better get in there as soon as we could.  Again I began praying in the car, and I was desperate with God.  I said, “You can’t let him die if he’s not ready, if it is not his time.  I haven’t done enough. I haven’t told him enough about you.  I haven’t shown him enough love.”  Again the sweet presence of God surrounded me and said, “It is already done.  I have already done it all.  All that is left is to trust me.

So as we sat in Dad’s room watching him peacefully pass away, I again thought of him running into the arms of his Father.  I heard the Father God say to him, “George, it doesn’t matter what you did or didn’t do in your lifetime.  I want you! You are my reward; You are my pearl of great price.”

Mom told me in hospital that Dad had recently attended a conference at Life Center and loved the Song, “Abba” which means Daddy. (Click here to listen to the wonderful song.) We sang that song in Worship tonight.  This confirmed to me that he had a longing in his heart to know God as his Daddy, and now his heart’s desire is fulfilled.  He feels for the first time the full strength of the unconditional, all consuming love of the Father.  Dad had loving parents and a loving family.  Loving relationships are the joy of this life.  But they are just the first morning rays of sunlight peaking over the horizon.  Now he is standing in the brightness of noonday, and I am so happy for him!

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I love how God gives us signs to explain what is happening in the unseen realm.  He gave me a sign.  My mom had transplanted lot of flowers from her yard to into my yard.  The irises and hyacinths have been blooming for many years now, but I have never seen the resurrection lily.  I just thought it had died, and I had forgotten about it.  But the day after my Dad died, I looked out my window and I saw it blooming!

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I love you Dad!