Thursday, May 28, 2009


On earlier occasions I have mentioned that by nature I am “a fixer.” Maybe that’s what all members of the female gender are but not each one admits to it so I don’t think each one is; however I do believe the majority of moms are “fixers.”
I once read a definition that the word FIX means “to permanently attach.” Oops…not good if we’re referring to moms here! Fixing is one thing; permanently attaching is quite another!
Oh, how we do love to see things set right and going along smoothly though. Quite a while back the popular phrase, “If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy,” came to my attention and I had to admit that yes, it seemed true in our family when the kids were growing up. And would you believe it’s still true today and the nest has been empty since 1982? What kind of power does that give one with the personality of a fixer?
At age ten, our daughter Kim tripped over the feet of her friend landing in such a way as to break her clavicle. At that point it was the momma part of me who immediately knew that the fixer had to turn things over the doctor. I knew my limits as a fixer, no question there, but the majority of matters of everyday life are not always so simple, are they?
As Kim’s collarbone was in the process of healing, the doctor had me put my fingertips over the broken bone area where I could feel a round, rough knot. He carefully explained that part of the healing process was going to wear the knotty edges smooth and eventually that area of the bone would be stronger than it had been in the first place. Wow! Naturally I had kept a watchful eye so our daughter would follow the doctor’s orders, but was it really possible that all of this extra was going on without my personal input (a.k.a. fixing) it?
In much the same way, could it be that God doesn’t need my help as much as I so often lead myself to believe He does? Can I really trust Him to take what is broken and fix it to be stronger than it was before? The scriptures tell me I can…now all I have to do is remember, rely…and remove myself…
“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” I Peter 5:7 (NLT)

© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 5-28-09

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


After many confrontations, the father turned his son in to the authorities because the son had been dealing drugs and growing marijuana in a business establishment the father was helping fund. The television program we watched last night was pretty much opposite of the Bible story referred to as The Prodigal Son except for the love the father held in his heart for his son; however as mentioned, the love of the father also bore some familiar similarities that in more recent society have come to be known as “tough love.”
Maybe you, as I, had never thought of the father in the Prodigal Son story found in Luke 15:11-32, as having had tough love but think of what it must have taken to let his son have his own willful way knowing it could lead to no good, to physical harm, and possibly even to his death. Sometimes we as parents/loved ones have to stand by and let our family members and friends make foolish decisions because having done all we can to guide them we do not and cannot live their lives for them. I see this as our training ground to a better understanding of our Father God’s great love and desire for us as His children to choose the better way as He patiently watches and waits while we go our willful ways. “The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.” (2 Peter 3:9 NLT) He only wants the absolute best for us now and eternally.
Even though we see ourselves as the obedient, faithful family members and friends, does that give us “the right” to tell our wandering loved ones how to live their lives? Do we do as Jesus did with the accused adulterous woman brought to Him by the scribes and Pharisees or are we more prone to behave like her accusers? Perhaps we should carry a rough little rock in our pocket or purse or have a larger one sitting on our desk as a reminder to look inside ourselves and see that we too, have sin. Sometimes I have to stop to seriously think about being judgmental: I don’t really want to throw “rocks” and I really don’t want “rocks” thrown at me! Until we willingly make a conscious habit of looking within we will continue to sit in smug judgment; until that time we will not render or experience forgiveness. “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14-15 NLT)
Anyone who has practiced “Tough Love” knows it is painful, perhaps more for the one handing it out as a means of drawing a wayward family member back than for the loved one to whom it is directed. Because of the consequences of his son’s additional entanglements, I have no doubt the agony expressed by the father in the television story will live with him until he dies, yet he did what he felt was a last resort to help his man/child. We know the father in the story of the Prodigal Son was in such a huge hurry to welcome his son back home that when he saw him from far off he ran to greet him! The image in my mind is as described in an earlier portion of Luke, chapter 15, verse 10 (NLT), “In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.”
After thoughtful consideration have we turned our loved ones and ourselves over to the One with authority Who always judges righteously knowing He will take care of everything with firm patience and ready forgiveness while treating us with His special brand of tough love? “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19 NASB)

© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 5-26-09

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Memorial Day, 2009….Memorial…Memories…each word or grouping of words brings its own mind images and the visions in my mind are different than the ones you pictured when those same words were first introduced. I see my older brothers as they once were, teenagers in the US Navy uniforms of WW2 issue while my 6-year-old brother and I at age 3 stood by their sides for parting pictures, I unaware it could be the last. In later years Memorial Day observances in our family became visits to the graves of grandparents and other family members who had gone on but thankfully not those brothers because of that war. However, this country’s observance of Memorial Day is bigger than just my family or yours.
Yesterday I had some errands to run and arriving at our local post office I had to stand at the end of an amazingly long line for nine-thirty in the morning. Not one to waste time I decided to see if I could make it pleasant so spoke to the woman ahead and said, “ I guess we need a lesson in patience.”
She mentioned she couldn’t understand why they would have just one customer representative working the windows but said, “At least I am not in a hurry.”
Seeing she was gaining on me in age I added, “And we don’t have toddlers in tow to keep entertained!”
She found agreement in that, then noting the line had moved, reached over to grab a large box from a desk unit to put on the shelf closer to us explained, “This is Jell-O® for my son who is Afghanistan. He has a bad tooth and eats this. He is supposed to be home sometime in July.”
I said, “Please tell him thank you for his service.” I went on to tell her of some of my family memories of WW2 and how I miss the patriotism that was so evident even to a child during those years. I explained how after growing up during those years then having a son born in an AF base hospital brought the prayer to my heart that he would grow up never having to go to fight in a war.
She told me that her husband had served two tours in Vietnam and I wondered what his thoughts must be about his son’s being in Afghanistan. I could relate from the point of view of being a mom but not from that of a dad who had memories of having been in an unpopular war whose son was now in a similar situation.
I didn’t have to ask about her thoughts about their son’s service. In word and deed she came across as it was expected of him as a citizen of the United States, like, “What else would you expect?” She said she just doesn’t understand those who say, “Not my son…”
Deep down inside I have to say I think most mothers are in the majority when it comes to the feeling of, “Not my son.” When it comes right down to it, I am thankful I didn’t have to make that sacrificial choice but there are many parents who didn’t have any say in regard to the lives of their sons and daughters; wives and husbands who had no choice but to kiss their mates those good-bye kisses and children who had to pose for the last family pictures.
Jesus has said, “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13 NASB)
Let’s remember Memorial Day is more than just my family and yours.
For a Memorial Day History check out:
© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 5-23-09

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Does it ever seem that your life is one great big puzzle with you lost somewhere in the middle of those thousands of mixed up pieces, not knowing where you fit or which way to turn? I often “picture” God as being The One who sees the completed puzzle picture with every tiny pixel perfectly in place.
Yes, the One Who created the entire world has unique plans for each individual and He made those plans even before He created the world! Ephesians 1:3-8a explains, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us.”
In recent years many people have chosen this verse found in Jeremiah 29:11 for their own personal promise, “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’” Although God was speaking directly to the Jerusalem exiles there we know that scripture is to be used for our encouragement and hope. Romans 15:4 states: “Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.”
As I wander through the mazes presented by the puzzle pieces of my life I want reminders of these promises for my hope-filled future and while I love being able to open God’s Word to find them there, too often I become bogged down with the day-to-day details of life and I neglect to take time to look back at the clearer picture on the cover of the box…in other words, to take the time to study His Word. When will I ever learn? Those first verses quoted from the NASB version of the book of Ephesians remind me that the phrase “In Christ” or some form of it is used thirty-two times. It’s only IN HIM that I can take hold of His promises, the plans He made for me before He created the world! And it’s only in Him in study of His Word that I can find the hope, encouragement, and comfort of His promises, each perfect and pretty piece of the puzzle.
God does see all the puzzle pieces put together like the completed picture on the front of the puzzle box while all we sometimes see is the bits and pieces, partially framed and put together like what we have scattered over the tabletop while working the puzzle, but He does have a plan for each entire life…one for you and one for me…and He has not lost any of the puzzle pieces! He is putting them together one piece at a time to create a fantastic future and a fulfilled hope.

© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 5-14-09

Saturday, May 9, 2009


Years ago I came across a lengthy poem where a young mother looking into the future of herself asked an older version, “Is the way long?” Certainly when I envisioned becoming a mom, my mind conjured up images of infants in my arms, chasing chuckling toddlers around grassy yards, tears dripping off my chin as I bade them goodbye on their first days of school, followed by bits and pieces of the future beyond that but, “Is the way long?” Even with my enlightening imagination I couldn’t possibly dream far enough into the future to see the end of the mother road.
When our children were little I thought I'd be done raising them when they were grown. Since then I have learned that while I have finished raising them I will never be done with being "Momma". Yes, my children grew up and they are quite independent but I dare say they still like knowing that Mom is still nearby not necessarily in a literal sense.
With all the years of practice that have gone before I am as ready as ever with prayers and words of loving comfort that I can provide but I still can't kiss away the pains of my children now anymore than I could kiss away that broken collar bone so many years ago. The hurts are even deeper now and while the desire to help has grown right along with it so too has the understanding that some things have to be handled by the adults they have grown to be.
But I’m a mom and aren’t moms supposed to fix things? I struggle with the weight of a multitude of concerns of so many I love. Jesus' weeping over Jerusalem tells me He fully understands my desire to fix everything! (Matthew 23:37) "…How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings…” Yet in Christ’s example I see again the need to let God work His will in His time. Though I don’t know the future He does, and His will is perfect.
The years I have lived say the way has been long but the memories in my mind clearly recall the feelings of the first-time placement of the newborn infants in my arms, the snuggling breaths of the sleepy toddlers against my chest and neck as they trusted me to hold them away from the rest of the world, and the letting go of the dimpled hands as I entrusted them to a bigger world than I could provide when they wandered into their classrooms on their first days of school…
“Is the way long?” The answer must lie further down the mother road.
© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 5-9-09

Friday, May 8, 2009


With the approach of what has come to be known as Mother’s Day I decided to share some of my personal thoughts regarding what being a mother means to me.
From the time I was old enough to know about anything my heart's desire was to be a wife and that order, too! I remember standing by the corner of the little house in the country in West Garland, Maine, when I was eight years old and praying that God would not give me any babies until I had a husband because babies needed a daddy! WHAT brought that on I have no idea but I remember it as a prayer of importance and sincerity from the depths of my heart that God heard!
I was so very young but before I was truly smart enough to make such a lifelong wise decision, first came my attraction to that high school football playing funny guy with curly hair who sat in front of me though several high school classes, then marriage, and a year later our first bundle of joy to answer those prayers along with others I hadn't known to pray!
A couple of years later our son arrived to make our family complete. You have heard the words to the old song? “A boy for you and a girl for me…” Well, that is how the song goes, but God had other ideas. A poem I found that I like to use when I make baby congratulations cards says:
“When God wants something special done in this world...
He sends a baby and then...He waits.”
(unknown author)
He must have rejoiced mightily with the surprising plans He had for each of us when He added a second daughter to our family tree! Now at 24, my early prayer had been answered: I was wife and mother of three stair-step-in-age children, 5, 3, and infant.
My primary desire was and still is to be a first-class wife and mother only now with the added years, wisdom and wrinkles, an addendum portion to my prayer adds thankfulness for those who I at age eight didn’t think to pray for: the children who were born and grew up to marry my children and the children, now my grandchildren, and the cycle of life that God has planned to continue on until we all walk with Him in the Place Prepared.
“Delight yourself in the LORD;

And He will give you the desires of your heart.”
Psalm 37:4 (NASB)

©Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 5-8-09

Friday, May 1, 2009


From time to time our local newspaper requests readers put pen to paper to write their thoughts and memories of specific holidays and/or occasions. The last Presidential Election was just such an opportunity and having known in advance there would likely be an interest I was geared up only I felt the story I had in mind would be better done by one of their reporters so I contacted him by e-mail in July. I had no response so by the time the newspaper was requesting articles in the fall I decided to write my own and send it in. I missed the deadline for the Election Day articles and although the title was misleading (THE MISSING VOTE) since my article wasn’t about the candidates though timely, I decided to e-mail it in as a “MY TURN” anyway. MY TURN is another invitation from our newspaper to local writers to see our names in print while sharing personal stories. I was momentarily stunned when almost immediately for the first time ever an offering I sent was returned with the message, “Deleted Unread”.
After thinking through all the reasons listed above and contacting the editor to explain why such should not have happened, I realized I needed to be thankful that God doesn’t do that with my messages! Furthermore, God wouldn’t have needed any detailed explanation because He watches over me all day long each and every day and knows and understands every detail of my life anyway! Just look at what Psalm 33:13-15 (NLT) says about Him:

“The Lord looks down from heaven
and sees the whole human race.
From His throne He observes all
who live on the earth.
He made their hearts,
so He understands everything they do.”

There’s nothing DELETED UNREAD about us with God. Aren’t you thankful?
© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 5-1-09