the Judge will see you now…

November 14, 2015

Judges can make all the difference.

A post shared by Jenifer Matthews (@3here1there) on

we were there for good reason.  Filing to obtain guardianship of our now ‘adult’ son, who will need to be in someone’s care for all of his life.    .. .. ..  all. of. his. life.   we were there asking to be given that responsibility, an action that would even be applauded by some. and still I felt sick.  judged. . …. guilty.

up until this moment of my life, I had never been in a courtroom.  my run-ins with the law consisted mainly of speeding tickets and a handful of ‘you better just get yourself home’  from back when I was a know it all teenager.  I understood that we would be in a courtroom for this hearing.  all the other sets of eyes, shuffling papers, law enforcement officers, metal detectors, clerks, lawyers and nervous looking people was what I was not ready for.  I was not ready to stand up in front of all these other people and the judge and explain why we were there, EVEN THOUGH OUR REASON WAS NOT A BAD REASON!  we were not guilty of anything.  ANYTHING.  and still I felt my temperature rising with every little tick tock of the courtroom clock.  and still I felt my heart beating faster than it should be.  and still I could see the tiniest of shaking in the lawyer drawn up documents I was holding onto with anxious hands.  even having the steadfast love of my life and all around solid guy right beside me smiling encouragingly did precious little to regulate my breathing or heartrate. . … …. … .. …. ….. then all at once, our case was called and we were standing before the judge at the front of the courtroom, swearing to tell the truth.  …  and it went RAPIDLY down hill from there.

with not even a twinge of a smile or welcoming attitude or concern for a couple of very nervous parents trying to do the right thing, the judge began dissecting our, what I had thought to be very well in line, paperwork.  ‘where is your lawyer?!’ was asked repeatedly in a tone that gained aggravation with each repetition.  of course we were completely caught off guard and unaware of how it was that we managed to be making this judge so upset.  we had THOUGHT we had this in the bag.  we had THOUGHT this would be very simple.  we had THOUGHT we just needed to show up mainly as a formality.  we THOUGHT we had done everything right. .. … .. in fact, we had been counseled as such.  professionally.  and we completely trusted in that counsel right up unto the moment the judge sent us out of her courtroom, with red hot tears running down my face, Brian’s confusion and the words you better get your ‘things’ in order  before you come back in here, and I expect you back in here as soon as I attend to the next case.  at this point, I was shaking, crying, confused, embarrassed, angry and Brian was looking at me with absolute loss for words or direction in his eyes.

…. . . .. … .. . ….. .. . ….. .

skip ahead a couple weeks, Brian and I are back in courtroom.  a new lawyer by our side, and the whole process is painless.  of course there was a lot of work that went on between the two court dates.  A.LOT.  phone calls, frustrations, certified signatures, lawyers office meetings, tears, worries, case workers… prayers.  But the thing that I can not correctly give words to is the emotion of sitting at the desk with our confident and well versed in guardianship trials lawyer…  all the correct paperwork neatly organized in her hands.  The judge was kind.  He knew her and all ready knew we had everything in order, because of her.  He smiled at us and thanked us for taking on this role and for being caring parents to our disabled child.  the whole thing took 5 minutes and we were happily strolling out of court and off to lunch.

this mess of words and emotions and ‘how do I say this?’ and ‘how do I share this?’ has been in and out of my thoughts for months.  then last week at church we sang, ‘Before the throne of God above’, and it all came back fresh.  you can see the parable within my small life experience right?  the difference the lawyer makes?  the difference the One who is representing you  makes?  the difference in who are you going to trust with your very life when you are before the Judge?

with all the news and sights and clips and posts about Paris surrounding me, I thought of this life lesson again… the value of it.  the need for it.  the need to say it out loud.  one day, and we have no idea of when that day will be, we will all stand before the Judge, before the throne of God.  and you may THINK you have a good case.  you may THINK you’ve done nothing wrong so there isn’t anything to be worried about.  you may THINK the person, or thing, or ability, or health, or wealth, or might that you are trusting in will be enough.  and then the Judge starts in to question… and it will either fall apart very quickly or you will see His smile as he looks on His son, Jesus, who is advocating for you, pleading for you, interceding on your behalf…

1 John 2:1 My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous.

Romans 8:34 Who then will condemn us? No one–for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.

Hebrews 7:25 Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.

  . …. . …. .. . . .. ….. there are only two ways to leave that courtroom.  guilty or covered by Christ.  as our world seems to turn more unstable, with mass shootings being common place, terrorist attacks on the rise, beheadings … . . . … it would be wise to have this matter settled.  it would be wise to know the One representing you is completely confident and capable, the ONLY one capable of defending you. ‘the Judge will see you now’ could be a very frightening thing to hear if you are unprepared or trusting in anything other than Jesus as your advocate. .. .. .. . Trust in Him.

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it’s your funeral…

February 2, 2014

sometimes death comes slowly… the lingering illness, the hospice, the disease.  other times it comes quickly, unexpectedly … the heart attack, the accident, the just. stops. breathing.  but this is sure for all of us.  death comes.  we will all die.  we will all lose someone very special and important to us … the mom, the husband, the baby boy. … … …  here’s the thing, we can relieve some of the sting, some of the pain by talking about it a little now.  now.  before it has to be decided without you.

is there a special song you want played?  you know… that one that sums it all up for you.

are there special people who you think should be your pall bearers?

who will deliver your eulogy?  what will your eulogy say?  what do you want it to say?  what is the one thing that you would want to tell everyone when you have all the attention for one last time?

where will you be buried?  cremated?

do you want to have the prayer service the night before or just the funeral or both?

how bout those picture slide shows?  seems like those are pretty popular.  will you do that?  what pictures?  how long?

… … …. …..  .. …… …. …. …

I am not trying to be dark or depressing.  I am just being honest.  maybe you don’t have any specific requests.  it would be reassuring to the ones you love if they even know that.  if you trust them with all the details, let them know.  the conversation doesn’t have to be so awful.  in fact, brian and I were just talking about who we should ask to be pall bearers at our funerals, and we laughed and laughed talking of all the possibilities.  maybe you just talk about little bits here and there.  maybe you just type up a couple of things and let someone know there is a ‘file’ with your funeral plans on it, just in case.

a neighbor and good friend died almost a year ago from cancer.  she knew it was coming.  she had a remarkable faith, which took away the fear of death for her, and gave her the courage to talk about it.  she wrote her eulogy, looked up the number to the paper she wanted it in, wrote something meaningful to be read to everyone, decided some plans and requested a nice sit down meal for afterwards.  and even though she knew death was coming, it still came quicker than she had hoped.  having all of those things done, made it so much easier for her husband to handle the funeral part of it all.  she was making it easier for him and her son even in her death.  she inspired me to get things a little more in order for myself.

you might even want to think about your kids.  I know that is awful.  the unthinkable. .. .. I also know it happens.  I had to pick the songs for my own sweet boy. and I know other people who have had to pick the verses that seem appropriate for their own small ones… cancer comes…  stop signs get missed…  sometimes… …. I believe . … .. God just calls our sweet little loves home, for reasons we may not know on this earth.

maybe you don’t want to talk about it because you are unsure of what will happen to you .. … your loved ones ….  this seems like all the more reason to spend some time thinking about it now.  because as sure as I know death will come, I know that Christ all ready came.  He came and paid the price, your ransom, your loved ones ransom, that we can be with him in paradise forever.

think about it.  talk about it.

..  ….. .. . … …… .. ….

I just hope in asking you to think about it, to talk about it, your loved ones will have a bit more time and space to grieve more fully when the time comes, rather than trying to figure out all the details in that moment.  after all, it is your funeral.

play this one for me.

 

words won’t come…

December 31, 2013

all this … hurt, sorrow…  confusion has been rolling around in my head for days.  days.  not the raw, burning pain from years ago.  something different.  something I really want to get out of my head and into words on paper, daring to hope that the act of sitting and searching for the right words will alleviate the busyness…  the scatter of what is in my head.

but the words don’t come.

I read another chapter of Heaven, another piece of the Problem of Pain,  another book on suffering.  so many, many good things in there. so much that I believe, so much that I am betting ALL THAT I AM on.

but the words don’t come.

laughter comes so much easier than it did 5 years ago… 4 years ago… 3 years ago.  the kids bring me joy and my friends make me laugh ’till my sides ache and happiness turns liquid and comes right out my eyes and down my cheeks. …  I know peace.  I know peace that is beyond my understanding. … I love the moment. all the little moments.  I try so hard to take it all in because I know that tomorrow it could be gone.  whether another of my babes, or the man I love or my sister in Christ or any. one. of my family and friends could be taken Home in an instant.  the heart attack, the stroke, the car accident, the allergic reaction, the cancer, … …  the lungs that just can not take in one more breath.  and I want to have this mad dash of words to apply to the broken hearts, even my own … a healing balm, a cooling compress … all strung together quickly with sound theology, deep compassion and a solid measure of tears that express “I know” .. “I understand”.

but the words don’t come.

so often there are not words.  there just are no words for the deep and aching pains of this world.  and some how trying to fix it all with words often ends with saying the wrong words.  the words that were meant to help actually hurt.  they add  little slivers to the all ready bleeding and broken heart.  … I know this.  I have heard these words.  … … but I just can’t keep my mind from scrambling to have something to say. … and I read, and I wonder, and I pray, and I stare off into nothing, and I sleep on the couch, and I read, and I still long for the words to come.  and then… I read it, I hear it, I see it.

“Jesus wept.”

… … …

“Jesus wept.”

He came to his friends.  He hurt too. and for awhile, He just wept.  He didn’t tease them for crying.  He didn’t say there is nothing to worry about here.  He didn’t just storm in and fix it all in that moment and laugh at their sorrow.  He just wept with them.  Even knowing that Lazarus would soon enough walk among them again.  He was just there with them, weeping.  Maybe this is the way to handle these things.  Maybe being present for the trails, being His Presence in the wake of the tragic, just. being. there.  is enough.  maybe allowing others to be His Comfort, His Healing, His Love is enough.  Being present is the present.  the knowing look from a friend, a long embrace, a quick text of ‘thinking of you’, a card, a flower.  maybe this is why the words won’t come.  they aren’t as needed as we think. a friend sitting with us and crying too is sometimes just what is needed.

3 gifts falling …

October 2, 2013

this started yesterday. a daily practice of being thankful for the entire month of October, part of a joy dare from ann voskamp.  I am up for it.  I would love to spend the day thinking of 3 ‘somethings’ to be thankful for… it is good for my heart.  and my soul.  this is also part of my coming back to blog.  I have more to say than will fit conveniently in a FB post.  here goes.  let’s see if we can shake the dust off of these scattered and weary thoughts and pull them together.

3 gifts falling

falling in love with that nice looking blonde, who had my heart stirring and warm sensations of curiosity spreading over me… through me, like melting butter the second I saw that blue IROC come into town.

falling even deeper when that same blonde sat by my head, gently brushing my hair from my face and tucking it behind my ear as 4 little ones, warm and pink, were pulled from my cut open abdomen into the stark and blinding lights of an operating room.

falling to my knees … … … in joy, in utter despair, in the mundane everydayness and in those few moments of as close to glory as it will ever be here on this earth.

coming back…

October 2, 2013

after years away, I am trying to come back.  it has been recommended on more than one occasion by more than one person.  it helps.  it clears my mind … I believe it clears my mind more than any drug or any diet.  it is just something I need to do.

sabbatical…

April 23, 2010

I think I’ll be taking a bit of a blogging sabbatical.  as the daylight hours have increased, the hours for being inside and plucking away at the computer have decreased.  it seems like that with more day there should be more time to get stuff done, but it isn’t working out that way.  I’m not exactly sure where the hours go… I guess they get lost up at the park with the kids, walking to the store with friends, sitting by the fire with brian… … … anyway… … … just thought I’d let you know.  if you don’t hear from me for some long stretches… I’ll be outside, soaking up some love.

here I go again…

I love my kids.  you know I do.  but why is it that by the time bedtime rolls around, I really just want them to go to bed.  one more hug, one more story, one more question, on and on and on… one more trip to the kitchen, one more holler across the hall at your brother, one more, ‘I just need to find my socks.’…  ‘just go to bed!’. … … …  it’s so hard to say I love you when I want to choke you…  that’s what I’m thinking in my head.

 it is so hard to be patient at the end of the day.  I really, really want to be all lovey and cuddly and tuck them in sweetly with a blessing hanging in the air as I turn off their lights. … I just seem to have a hard time actually doing it.  it happens some times…  I’d just rather it was the rule and not the exception.

(even now I still have a wanderer who thinks he ‘heard a noise’.)  argh~

how do I do it?  how do I make bedtime go kindly and calmly?  how can I get my mouth to do what I want it to, what God  would want me to say,  instead of what just comes naturally to my sinful self?

I do not understand what I do.  For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.   Romans 7:15

In your anger do not sin!  Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.   Eph 4:26-27

I know this.  I want to live by this.  I’m trying, really I am.  I think it is getting better… but still…  I’m so tired at the end of the day!  I’m worn down… weary…  how can it possibly be that when punkin wants me to come back to her room, again,  just to say she loves me, I’d rather she would just go to sleep.  it makes me sad to feel that way… it makes me feel bad, guilty. 

 I want to enjoy the moments… they will soon be gone… just one more thing I’m working on.

 

12 little things…

January 9, 2010

many of you are asking about the little presents I got from my dear friend.  so here’s the list.

a snowflake ornament

burt’s bees chapsticks

stationary

bath and body bubble bath… twilight woods… mmm, my new favorite

frosty berry candle

journal

devotional… streams in the desert

mints from abdallah… very minty

tea, that happens to be great iced, my favorite

hand care kit, for soft hands

snowflake napkins

and the last one was a ‘serenity’ figure ornament by willow tree

this was such a sweet thing to do.  I look forward to doing for a friend of mine sometime.  I especially love  presents, it is my love language you know, so this was a perfect thing for me. 

thanks again to thoughtful friend who did this.  it really did help me through the days.  I would look forward to opening a new little something every night.  I love you dearly.

happy birthday baby…

January 3, 2010

happy birthday baby, I wish that you were here.

I’d help you blow 1 candle out and sing and clap and cheer.

I imagine your pudgy legs and how you’d rub your eyes…

a tired face and ‘I want my mom!’ coming thru your sighs.

I miss the scent a home can have when filled with a baby boy… … …

but somehow

this deep sorrow…

has also brought deep joy.

I know a calming peace that I can not understand.

it quenches my deepest longings like streams thru dry parched land.

I’ll be with you someday… although I don’t know when.

I’ll hold you tight, and kiss goodnight, your warm sweet baby skin.

we’ll be together always. and dance and laugh and sing.

there in the very presence of Christ… our Lord and King.

………………………………………………………

You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.  O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever. … Psalm 30:11-12

oh sweet snowflake…

January 1, 2010

oh sweet snowflake

how I waited for you…

hoping and praying

since way back in june.

I waited thru summer

and then autumn too.

the months seemed so long

yet the days were so few.

and then in an instant

 you were actually mine. 

 I could hold you and touch you,

God’s perfect design.

Although you were tiny

no detail was missed.

I gave you my love

with 1 simple kiss.

then you were gone…

back to where you came from.

the Heavens above,

God’s glorious kingdom.

I still love you snowflake,

and I’ll see you again…

when this life is over

and a new one begins.

……………

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.  I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God himself is with men, and he will live with them and be their God.  He will wipe every tear from there eyes.  There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

Revelation 21:1-4

status update…

December 8, 2009

so here’s what’s going on…

some one really did  pay some of our hospital bills.  brian called to double-check and they said we had a zero balance.  I’m still amazed at this.  how generous.  and the best part is that I don’t have to see a bill to ‘luke matthews’ anymore.

I am having a hard time with words at the moment, but that is where I am, so I am just going to accept it and deal with it as it comes.  if you choose to continue to listen to my ramblings … my hurts and my longings, than wonderful.  if you want to check back when I’m a little more ‘up’  than that’s fine too.  but… this is where I am right now and I can’t just pretend happy for other people.  that wouldn’t be healthy anyway.  for the time being I am sad.  I feel a bit lost.  I don’t expect that everyone can handle sitting alongside me and just being in this anguish with me.  it makes people uncomfortable, I know that.  there are a few people who couldn’t talk to me after we lost luke and they can’t talk to me still… they may never talk to me again.  anyway, this is where I am.

my surgeries went well.  some cramping for a couple weeks was all I could really tell.  I’ll go in, in 3 months to make sure the essure is effective.  I’ll see how effective the ablation is next month.  what I am noticing is that emotional and physically I feel exactly the same as when I would have my period before.  I’m exhausted, my head aches and I’m a little short-tempered, crabby.  now, I know that those things were never supposed to change, it was just the hemorrhaging that was supposed to be better.  we’ll see.  I’m thinking that I may have to be on some kind of serotonin to keep a more balanced  perspective.  it is hard to know that I should  would be doing something different and yet not have the control to actually act on it.  it sucks to not be able to think straight 2 weeks out of the month and I  hate misspelling words, feeling so tired and worrying about who is going to go get some milk!  ahhhh!  I’m sure that in heaven I will have the perfect level of serotonin every single day.  just one more of the joys I look forward to.

we did shoeboxes and continue to do shoeboxes.  there is one on my table now for a little boy of about 1.  my mom left it for me to drop off at the warehouse.  I added a little brown moose and a new box of colors.  you could still make one too.

“F” is not going to be coming every morning anymore.  she will come when I need her bless her heart, but it wasn’t really making a huge difference in cole’s attitude when it comes time to get into ‘blue’. (his power chair)  and, I only have so many hours available for an aide.  she is a blessing though and I’m thankful that she is available when I need her.  she totally is thinking of me in the situation and not herself.  not many people will do that.

I want to end with the verse about coming alongside those who grieve, but I couldn’t find it quickly enough…  if you have it or find it, send it to me please.  thanks~

no more tears…

November 5, 2009

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes and death shall be no more; 

neither shall there be mourning, nor crying nor pain anymore

for the former things have passed away.

Revelation 21:4

heaven[1]

every week at my church, bethlehem baptist, there is a ‘fighter verse’ to memorize.  at the beginning of the service the pastor will ask if anyone has the verse memorized and would like to stand and share with the congregation.  someone usually  stands to say it.  this coming sunday, my entire small group, all 50+, plan to stand and say it together.  I am so excited.

I love this verse.  I spend a great deal of time thinking of Heaven.  I can hardly wait to get there.   in fact, if it were up to me, I’d all ready be there.  just think… … no more tears.

no more tears… … …

no more wheelchairs.  no more developmental delays. 

 no more hospital bills, or doctor bills, or anesthesiologist bills.  no more therapies. 

 no more ashes of my baby boy. 

no more mean people.  no more betrayal.  no more deception.  no more fights. 

no more high cholesterol, high blood pressure or high stress levels.

no more apert syndrome.  no more cruel stares and hurtful words.  no more surgeries and sicknesses.

no more gluten-free or lactose intolerant.  no more peanut free rooms.  no more epi-pens. 

no more death of babies or mamas….. or anyone for that matter.

no more strained, awkward, hurtful, complicated relationships.

no more anxiety, worry or fear.  no more antidepressants.

no more headaches, back aches or heartaches.

no more tears…..

maybe the trumpet will sound still tonight.  even though I am excited to stand and say this verse with my beautiful family, all 50+, on sunday, I can’t even imagine the joy of living this verse out….

I hope you are looking forward to Heaven.  I hope you know that you will one day be there too.  I hope you will tell me what you are looking forward to in Heaven.

much love to you~

run.

July 10, 2009

run. run away.  I just want to run away.  I have for about 8 months now.  today all I could think was run. so much so, that I grabbed my tennies and headed out.  I don’t know that it helped.  I got home dizzy, hot and still confused.  and now I have an enormous headache creeping up the back of my head. and I still want to run away.

Hello world!

January 16, 2009

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