Friday, February 12, 2016

TLC at GLC

I had the very fun opportunity yesterday to sing at GLC.
My boss plays the piano, so we teamed up to provide a musical treat.
That is, we were hopeful it would be a treat. *wink*

We did several songs from yesteryear which the residents knew, and to which they could sing along. The songs were interspersed with stories, jokes, laughter, and some silliness - all with the goal of bringing joy to the listeners. We ended our program by singing a hand full of classic hymns.
Singing the hymns gave me opportunity to testify to God's love, and His care for us in our every-day struggles and trials. I know there are mixed backgrounds of faith in the men and women at GLC - from pastor's wives, to no religious interest at all - and I count it a privilege whenever I get to share my belief in any form. So I was particularly happy that we sang these songs of faith.

But it got better.

When we were finished with the music I saw someone waving her arm in the air. This woman has significant memory impairments, which affect her communication and social interactions. She is very troubled, and is frequently in need of help - somebody to take her here, or there; assistance in sitting up; answers to questions which she's asked a hundred times, already. So as I approached her, I was expecting to hear a request for some such assistance.
But that request never came.

Instead, she simply asked, "Will you pray for me?"

If you know me at all, you know my heart leaped at the opportunity.
I took her hands in mine and cried out to God on her behalf. Confident that HE was listening. Certain that HE sees her. Assured that HE will meet her needs.
And I will continue to pray for her - in and out of her presence.
Because there is power in the Name of JESUS.

To whom can you show TLC today, by praying for them?

Karen

Thursday, February 11, 2016

What She Said

Father,
My son is growing and becoming more independent. He likes to figure things out or himself. He doesn't always think things through and becomes frustrated when his plans fall apart. It's hard for him to slow down and take advice before he jumps into a new project. He tries to set his own goals and determine the road to achieve them, ignoring those who have more experience to share. His resistance to input and guidance is creating tension at home. He's hindering his success by refusing the help that's offered. He's having to learn life lessons the hard way, bringing unnecessary struggles and stress into his life. Give my son the humility to receive instruction and admit that he doesn't know everything. Show him that parents and teachers are on his side. Help him to see that accepting help is not a sign of immaturity or weakness - it takes wisdom and strength to face our limitations. Fill him with a quiet spirit that can be still and listen. May he gain understanding so that he can walk the path of life without stumbling...
From "When He Needs Good Advice" (p.59)
A Mom's Prayers for Her Son by Rob and Joanna Tiegen
I know Joanna Tiegen.
We've been friends since our girls were cabin mates at summer camp many years ago.
We've spent time together.
Shared the ups and downs of mothering.
Encouraged each other in both writing and speaking endeavors.
Disclosed struggles, and prayed for one another.
But I never knew she had a window to my heart (or a camera in my home!) until I read the above excerpt from her book the other night.
I mean, seriously! This is the stuff of the Hossink household of late.
Her words describe my boys!!!
And the prayer in which she lead me (I only quoted a portion of it above) echoed my heart's desire for these precious (albeit, at times, very frustrating) boys of mine.

Here at home, I have a front-row seat to the struggle of raising teen boys. Every day I have opportunities to see them try and succeed, or try and fall. And my mother-heart falls with them - especially on the days when their fall is because they refused good advice. BUT, I have a Father in heaven who knows what these boys need, who sees each step they take and knows what each outcome will be. I have a Father in heaven who listens to my prayers for my boys, and who has the grace, power, wisdom, and mercy to gently lead them down their roads to adulthood.
Oh, how thankful I am that HE listens. And cares. And responds!

Karen

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

HE Touched My Heart

He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.

Isaiah 40:11
Lord, thank You for this Truth and the image which goes with it.
Thank You for holding me; for carrying me close to Your heart.
There is nowhere else I would rather be!

Karen

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

A Surrogate Mother

I saw my girl!

And I heard her voice!

Saturday afternoon, Brian and I had a Skype date with Elizabeth. And it was such a delight to see and hear her. We got to see her room, and the home where she's living in Mexico. Got to briefly meet her host parents. And we heard all about life in Santiago de Queretaro.
But, for the life of me, I was having a hard time concentrating on the things Elizabeth was saying.
Because she was clearing her throat frequently.
And she was sniffling.
I thought, Is she sick? Is she crying? Why would she be crying?
And I started asking if she'd found the vitamins she wanted to buy.
I checked on her fruits/veggies intake.
Asked about her sleep habits. Was she getting enough? (Because I know lack of sleep has health consequences. But with my girl, lack of sleep can also lead to weepy-ness.)
I realized this beautiful young woman - who has done very well acclimating to a new culture, new language, and new way of life - is very capable of making the necessary choices for her health and well-being. But inside, I started going all Over-protective-mother and just wanted to jump through the computer screen and tuck my girl into bed for an afternoon nap, or something.
Anything to feel like I was taking care of my girl.
Then, as if on cue, Elizabeth's Mexico-mom stepped into her bedroom and handed her a glass of cantaloupe water.
Unbidden, and unexpected.
A simple act of courtesy to show love and care for my daughter.

And I silently thanked God for providing another mother to watch over my daughter while she and I are so far apart.

Karen

Monday, February 08, 2016

Friday, February 05, 2016

TLC at GLC

Last Sunday in church, the pastor closed his sermon by reminding us about Matthew 25:31-40, which reads in part:

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
The pastor's point of application gave me pause to think of how I might do something for Jesus this week, by doing something "for the least of these brothers and sisters of [His]." Of course, my mind quickly went to GLC and the precious brothers and sisters who call it 'home.' Because God gives me opportunities to do something for Him every day I'm there.
Let's see.
This week I filed His nails when they were too long. I painted them when the previous manicure was chipping off. I sang with Him when His nerves were upset. I laughed with Him when He wanted to be silly. And I held His hand when He needed comforting.

It is an absolute joy to love and serve Jesus by pouring TLC onto the men and women at GLC!

Karen

Thursday, February 04, 2016

It's So Tempting

I've been thinking about my tasks around the house recently.

Thinking, that is, of how I might be able to get out of them.

For instance:
*I could skip shopping for groceries. And when one of the boys asks why I didn't refill the cupboards and refrigerator, I could explain that I didn't have time. Because I had to go to work.
*I could come home from work and lay down for a nap. When one of the boys asks when I'm going to make dinner, I could say I'll do it later. And when they ask me in another half hour when I'm going to make dinner, I'll reiterate that I'll get to it. Again, when they ask at the end of the day - just as I'm about to go to bed - I could apologize and say I forgot. That I'll do it the next day.
*Then there's laundry. I've been thinking I could simply not do it. Maybe go for a walk or read a book, instead. When one of the boys comes to me in the morning, distressed because they've no clean clothes to wear, I could smile sheepishly and say, "Oh. I got distracted and forgot all about the laundry."

Yeah. That's what I've been thinking.
I wonder if it would work.
I mean, I think it should.
Cuz those are the same excuses my boys have been giving me for the past I-can't-remember-how-long. *ahem*

Just keepin' it real here.

Karen