Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Sacrifice

Once, there was a lioness named Jahia.  She lived on the African savannah, with her baby cub named Jahendi.  She and Jahendi were all alone, without a pride family.  She knew that the wet season was coming to the savannah, and that the hunters would be coming soon.  She had already seen the scouts driving across the plains.

 Every night she and Jahendi slept near the bushes, and all day they walked the plains.  Since they had no pride family, they had to keep moving in order to stay safe from hunters.  As they lay at night under the stars, Jahia would look at her cub and pray.  She loved her cub very much, and she was worried about how she would protect him without a pride.

  One night as she lay with Jahendi, she heard the roar of a motor…HUNTERS!  She had seen the men before, and she knew they had also seen her.  She knew she had to move quickly, so that she could keep Jahendi safe.  She picked him up by the scruff of his neck, and quietly began to slink away.

 All of a sudden, bright lights were right in her face!  She picked up Jahendi by the scruff of his neck, and began to run as fast as she could, all the while trying to guard him from the hunters.  As the hunters were riding behind her, trying to catch up, she quickly found a thatch of bushes and ran into them for cover.  The hunters drove on by, but she knew they would be back soon.  She raised her eyes up to the sky and prayed for guidance from The Maker:
I am so scared and alone.  You know every inch of this savannah, and you know where we will be safe.  Please guide me.  I cannot keep my cub safe by myself.  Jahendi needs a pride family.  Please give me the strength to do what I know needs to be done.”

She could hardly believe it, but she was determined to what was best for him. 

She now realized she couldn’t keep the cub safe from the hunters all alone.  Early that morning, she and Jahendi set out.  She kept a watchful eye, always worried that the hunters were going to be waiting around every corner.  They came to a thicket of trees and walked through them. As they reached the edge, she found that they were on a cliff, and she could see far and wide on the savannah.  As she looked down onto the plains, she saw a pride of lions.  She watched them for most of the day, feeling safe in the thicket. 
 She saw lion pairs and cubs, and they all looked very happy.  Then, a pair caught her eye.  Their names were Abrah and Bakaari.  They were happy, too, but they did not have a lion cub.  They watched the other lions playing with their cubs, and smiled, hoping to have one of their own someday. 

            “Oh, Bakaari, look at them.  They are so sweet.  That one over there is so playful.  He will grow to become a great leader one day”, Abrah observed.  Bakaari looked at his mate and the longing in her eyes.  She was a great huntress, but he knew that she would be a greater mother.  All the other lionesses were caring for their cubs, and relying on her to hunt when they could not.  Abrah was happy to do it, but he knew she longed for cubs of her own.   He was royal blood.  He also wished he could have a son to watch grow into a pride leader.  He decided to take a walk.  While he was out on the savannah, he looked to the sky, and spoke to The Maker.

            “We are so happy with our pride.  We thank you for this savannah and all that it holds for us.  But, if You could see fit to give us our own cub, I would be so grateful.  You know that Abrah should be a mother, and I want to raise a great leader that You will be proud of. ” 

            Dusk was settling as Bakaari lowered his gaze and slowly walked back to his pride. He could not have known that on the cliff above him, a lone lioness and her cub were looking down at them. 

Jahia watched as the pride went about its evening activities.  She kept coming back to the pair that did not have their own cub.  She watched the loving way that Abrah and Bakaari interacted with one another, and how much they loved the other cubs.  She knew they were just the ones to take care of Jahendi.  She was very sad, because she loved him very much, but she knew the only way to protect him was to give him a family.
 She looked down at her little cub, and though her heart was breaking, she knew that he would be protected and loved, if he had family like that.  The Maker had guided her here, and she knew that the hunters were not going to give up.  She hoped that he would understand why she had to do what she was about to do.  She prayed a prayer over him as he began to fall asleep.  She lay next to him and waited as the pride below settled in.  Besides, she wanted to soak up all the time she had left with her cub.
As night fell, she looked at Jahendi, took a deep breath, and picked him up.  She slowly slunk down the side of the cliff.  She approached the sleeping pride, and stopped for a moment.  She sighed deeply, gave Jahendi a kiss and a tear dropped down on his head.  Lifting him gently by the scruff of his neck, she took him over to Bakaari and Abrah, and laid him next to them, sleeping.  She stood over them for a moment, looking at the three of them.  She knew that despite her pain, this was the only chance she could give her cub at a full life.

 She quietly walked away, looking back only once, her heart breaking.  She had to move quickly, and she knew he would be safe with his new pride family, so she ran. 

Abrah awoke suddenly during the night, feeling the cub nuzzling next to her.  She woke Bakaari and they looked around the clearing, but saw nothing.  Could it be that The Maker had answered their prayers for a cub?  Where had he come from?  The whole pride looked for days, but they were never able to find his mother.  It became clear to Abrah and Bakaari that Jahendi needed a family and that The Maker had answered their prayers for a cub.  They loved him immediately, and could not wait to make a life for him. 

 As the days went by, they became a strong family. Their cub grew and learned and filled up their days with great joy.  But, Abrah always wondered about the mother lion that had sacrificed so much to give Jahendi the best life possible.  Day after day, her eyes would span the horizon, because she couldn’t shake the feeling that there was someone watching them.

 Finally, one day, she saw her. Jahia was not able to run before Abrah had seen her.  The two lionesses locked eyes, and each of them knew.  They knew that they were bonded forever because of Jahendi. 

 Through the years, as he grew into a strong lion leader, Abrah thought about Jahia often.  She hoped that she knew how much her selfless gift had meant to Bakaari and her, and how Jahendi’s life had been forever changed

 …all because of the love of a mother, with the heart of a lioness.

Monday, September 3, 2012

...on things that are still relevant

"When the oh so attractive things of this world pale in comparison to the open invitation You always extend, to a wayward, prodigal girl. May You always bring me back to this place - of broken hearts & open minds - of full and tender surrender. This whole & fragmented hunger that brings me home - only to find out - there's a King in love with me. How could it be? That for all the me I try to hide - it's all of me He brings into His side? How can it be - that the King of all there is - is so in love with me?"

Sunday, June 10, 2012


I'm coming back...

...I miss this so much!

Stay tuned...

Monday, July 4, 2011

{whole me} :: patriotic

I am a patriot.

I grew up in an Air Force town.

All my Independence Day memories are steeped in the sound of jets, Lee Greenwood, and the indelible swell of pride in my chest...the lump in my throat that is the raising of our flag.

It's how I was brought up, it's how I want to remain.

I may not like everything that is happening TO my country, right now...but, I believe in its precepts with all my heart. I believe they are worth fighting for...and, yes...even dying for.

I may not have any faith in the government, but my faith in this country and its people WILL NEVER BE SHAKEN.

The people upon whose backs this country was built...the people upon whose resolve this country will remain great.

The people who make up the reasons why the greedy may be able to dismantle some of the luxuries we enjoy...but, will never be able to dismantle the spirit of the ones whose voices are praying around their dinner table every night...the ones who go about their daily business with integrity and purpose. The ones who will be able to press on, though all around them be destroyed.

We are the pilgrims, the pioneers, the explorers, the miners, the farmers, the innovators...the seekers.

We may not have the polish and luster, we may have sweat dripping from our brow and dirt underneath our fingernails...but, we are who they will crawl to when their illusions finally come crashing down around them.

We ARE this country. This country is US.

I am a patriot.

God Bless.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

{whole children} :: inspired links

In the past few days, I have read some blogs that had me crying in my soup. Not because they were sad, or convicting in some way...but, just very, very edifying. They affirmed the place in me that struggles with feeling like I need to be "more."

I kept trying to formulate a wonderful and poignant piece to write and make you all feel the same way...but, I am in "sitting at the feet" mode, instead of "sharing my wisdom" mode, when it comes to parenting.

Since I clearly can't say the things that I want to say, with any more eloquence or portent...I give you the articles...the ones that have given my mother soul much nourishment in the past few days:

I hope that you get as much or even a little of the impact I got from each of these reads. I love the blogging community so's like having coffee with a close friend almost every day.

Thanks to all the bloggers I follow every day...

Sunday, May 15, 2011

{whole me} :: a few bones to pick

This is going to be a fairly random, list-like post of some things that have been picking away at me. I really just want someone to agree with me, if I'm being really honest. the spirit of getting things out of my head...I'm going to put them down here:)

I'm really not trying to be negative, but rather extend a commentary that negates negativity in a way that may come across negatively? ....No? I thought I take a stab.:

1. Even though it's old news, I'm annoyed by the people who were spouting off righteous indignation immediately after hear that OBL had finally been killed. I had a pretty heavy gut reaction to that event, and found myself sobbing with relief, over something I didn't realize I had much feeling about. About 5 minutes into it, people were already yammering on about how we need not unite over hate, and how we need not celebrate a person's death. Ok...I get it. However, I would like to put out a call to give it 24 hours, before we start in on that stuff. In the was a visceral reaction from way down deep. For me, it was a stunning reaction to the death of the architect of the moment that switched the pathos of my country's existence from light to dark; the one who made the day happen that tinged all days after it in a shade of fear. It was the day when I all of a sudden didn't let myself look too far in the future. So, yeah...I understand that we need to rise above. But, we have been a nation in mourning for almost 10 years, now. It stands to reason that there would be a strong reaction to the death of the murderer who got that ball rolling. Balanced and rational people will always pull it together...but, give the self-righteous B.S. a rest until the news has settled...that's all I'm asking.

2. One of my pro-choice friends said something to me, a few months ago, that rang a bell in me, that I was only recently able to identify. She said "it astounds me that pro-lifers are so ready to execute someone on death row...aren't they supposed to value life? It doesn't make any sense." Well...back atcha! It's amazing to me that pro-choicers are so ready to murder innocent babies, but are all up in arms about saving people who have chosen to take someone else's life, and be brutal criminals. Why are they more valuable than babies? (By the way...though I am pro-life, I'm not pro-capital punishment...which is why it took me a while to pinpoint what annoyed me about that statement.)

3. I read a review about Water For Elephants. Basically, it said..."yeah, the movie was beautiful, and the actors did a good job...but, it wasn't abstract, it was predictable, it was banal." Well, Boo. Isn't it OK to go to the movies to escape the unpredictability of life and to bask in the beauty and romance of a movie that may be corny, but also just heart-felt entertainment? Why must we downplay the intelligence of the movie, not to mention the movie-watcher, simply because the conversation wouldn't be long in a film class breakdown? I don't always go to the movies to have to decipher and write a dissertation. Get with the spirit, peeps.

4. I really want one of the people that are running the machine to do something just because it's right...not because it gets them votes or profit or gain. Even though I'll fight it until my dying day...I really just wish to wake up and not worry about the mutation of life. I love living this pisses me off that everyone can't feel the same.

Truly...I'm not sad, or in a bad mood...I kind of just have this "Hey! Stop pissin' all over the parade!" feeling.
I read this quote the other day on Dig this Chick. It resonated with me:

"I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day." E.B. White

So...moral of the post? Can we please just lighten up?

Friday, May 13, 2011

{whole marriage} :: speak your peace

I have a challenge for all of us...all of us women, all of us wives.

It's happening more and more every day. I hear it from friend after friend after friend.

"Well, I think I made a mistake. He's just not the man I thought I was marrying."

Oh, there's a myriad of reasons...not passionate enough, not a good enough friend, not a good enough provider...he's a pig...he's not a good spiritual leader...he's floundering as a father....everything he does annoys me...

...hopefully you get the jist.

Well, LADIES!!...I have a thought. (And as I'm sure you're well aware by now...that means I'm going to share it.)

I think it's time that we shed the shackles of the messages that we are bombarded with every single day! It's time to think of things in a new light.

Think about the message of society:
  • If you need someone to love you, then you are not adequately loving yourself. i.e. You are incomplete, and to want to be in relationship is selling out.
  • If you need someone to tell you good things about yourself, then you have an ill-formed and inadequate self-image. You obviously don't respect yourself, and you are less than what you ought to be.
  • If you are not a lone wolf...and happy being are needy, weak...hysterical.
  • Loneliness is a form of mental instability. that everyone is listening...go back, read through the list again...and pretend you are a man.

A year or so before I married my husband, I was at a friend's wedding. I remember the exact string of words that came out of the pastor's mouth, as he was addressing the bride. He told her...
"Your husband will live up to...or down to...whatever you believe about him. It doesn't make sense, it doesn't seem fair. But, it's the truth. You can take a man without much potential, and give him a mate that believes he can do anything...and he will be able. You can take a very capable man, mate him to a woman who believes that he is lesser...and he will come to believe it also."

I heard that, and it rang through my ears like a gong.

That's a lot of responsibility. That's a lot of pressure! Could it be true?

All you need, is to look at the beginning. When the world was perfect...when there was no sin...when there was nothing to be upset about...when Adam walked with God...God recognized a loneliness in him. BEFORE THE FALL OF THE WORLD...God recognized the need for man to have a relationship...OUTSIDE of his relationship with the Father.

It's important, people! The marriage relationship took shape before the fall of mankind. So, maybe the message that we need to not need anyone is a bunch of rubbish? Maybe it's a big, fat lie to put wedges in between people, so that resentment and bitterness take root and ruin lives?

Men need relationship. They need us to be their helpmates. They need our encouragement and our respect...even if, and ESPECIALLY if...they don't deserve it.

Guess what...even Adam...who walked with God...was taken down by the words of a woman.

Now, certainly...his sin played a role. He didn't stand on what he knew to be the truth. But, what I want to emphasize is this: even the guy who didn't have to guess at God's will...the guy who SAW God, and talked to Him on a daily basis, the guy who didn't HAVE TO go on faith....HIS WIFE'S WORDS had enough weight with him to make him act against what he knew was right!

This is not a new concept, ladies...we have to understand this!

What a woman says TO her husband, ABOUT her husband, AROUND her husband...even how she speaks of him WHEN HE'S NOT holds tremendous weight!!

Your husband does not live in a society that celebrates the man. "Man-ness" has been replaced in the psychological hierarchy by femininity. Oh, yes it has...just think about it. This society wants men to be in touch with their feminine communicate for hours, to dress a little more be a little be well be sensitive and equal-minded....etc. etc. etc.
Oh yes...most of these things are good first glance. But, beat this into the male psyche over and over and over...make sure that their warrior spirits are downplayed and their built-in need to provide for their family is looked at as sexist or "old-fashioned" at best...make sure they know that their gender is not well appreciated...and all of sudden...

we've diminished male-ness...and we're left wondering "where have all the men gone?".

Haven't you heard...having 2 genders is discriminatory. hadn't heard? Yes...yes, you have. They just get you to believe a little at a time, until you don't realize what you are hearing.

So, then...can we really be that surprised that our husbands are all of a sudden not everything that we truly need? We've shot ourselves in the foot, here.

Ok, seriously...I can go on and on. I'm really just wanting to put out some food for thought.

What I really want to do is this: I want to challenge all the women who might possibly read this...

Be the biggest cheerleader in your husband's life. Be in his corner. Protect his reputation...even from his own inner demons. Appoint yourself the champion of his worth. Decide that no matter what the world tells will tell him better.

For some, this is going to take some choking down of a big hunk of pride. It may be well-deserved and very much appropriate. Stick with me here...I'm asking you to drop it. Just like that. Drop it.

You may very well have to lie at first. Oh, faint! Get over it.

Speak to your husband as if he is already meeting the need that you are so desperate to get met. If you are angry with him for being lazy...tell him as many times as you can how much you appreciate the hard work he does...and how you don't know what you'd do without him. If you have been at odds with your husband...stop during the evening, look him in the eye...and tell him you are so glad that you are on the same you love that you are in eachother's corners. Say these things through gritted teeth, if you need to...but, if you want to fix an ailing marriage...I'm telling you ...this is the secret.

You have a choice: Build him up or tear him down. When you looked into his eyes and said your vows...did you intend to choose tearing down? My guess is no.

I have people scoff at me all the time about this. "Why should I have to do this for him? He's the one who makes me feel like crap and doesn't say nice things to me!" My response is usually along the lines of..."do you want to argue semantics, or do you want to have a happy marriage?" It's time to get bold about this. This is something I do a lot. And, no, I'm not playing games with my husband. Most of the time, I realize that I am actually reminding myself of what the truth really is...because, usually I am the one who has been dwelling on his shortcomings.

No matter what the situation is in your home...go first. Women are just better at relational issues. It comes naturally to us. So, we can either belly-ache over the fairness, like we're in second grade...or we can get to the business of getting happy...making our marriages whole again. Dare I say...helping your husband to be whole, again? Your need will be met...and you know what? You won't care who made the first move...because you will have realized that the power of life and death is on your tongue...and, that you have used it for life.

Give it 3 tries. Watch the change in your husband. Watch him walk him become more affectionate. Watch him become who you are needing him to be. It shouldn't be that know how it feels when he recognizes and voices appreciation for you. If he doesn't...I'm willing to bet he probably will after this:)

Lastly...make it a priority to be concerned about your husband's heart. If you're not on his side...who is? I guarantee it's not the world he lives in.

You have the power to get your peace back...the first step is remembering how to speak it.

Just so you husband is a pillar of man-ness, whose masculinity has, in no way been diminished. However, he too is subject to the building up or tearing down of my words. He has experienced both. Every time he has experienced the tearing down...our marriage has been torn down as well.


Related Posts with Thumbnails