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#1 of 18 Old 08-15-2002, 09:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This thread is about trusting God to take care of me. My family. My worries, etc. It seems like a big aspect of my faith is being able to lay my worries aside and trust that God wants what is best for me, and will work things out in my life. Not that I don't have to work hard for good things, and not that I can't make choices for myself, but that I should not be fretting over things that are up in the air, or that are particularly difficult. And that I should be trusting God to keep me safe.

But the thing is that horrible things DO happen to people, all the time, every day. And I can only assume that the people in horrible tragic circumstances DO cry out to God to rescue them and take care of them. So it seems presumptuous of me to assume that I am special some how. My faith in God's ability to take care of me seems like a risky presumption. At least. If God is really going to keep me safe and give me good gifts, then why doesn't He keep everyone safe and give everyone wonderful, satisfying, productive lives?

Thoughts?
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#2 of 18 Old 08-15-2002, 11:14 AM
 
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Hi Mamaduck-- this is the question of the millenium. All I can come up with is that God's ways are higher and not always going to make sense to our small human brains. This will remain a mystery until ALL knowledge is revealed when we meet Him.

And really, who's to say He's not taking care of us in our tragedies or our struggles. He promises us that he will never leave us nor forsake us. Does that mean we will not have horrendous struggles and adversity? No. Just that He WILL be with us. And I know first hand that He keeps this promise.

I personally have experienced different levels of adversity than say someone begging on the streets of Dehli. Does this negate my struggles because at days end I still have a warm bed to crawl into and food in my frig? Does this make me special? No. Just because I am struggling with cancer survival and you are not does that make you more special than I? No. So we're back to square on. It will remain a complete mystery. And I have pondered this very issue when I fall to my face in humility at the weight of my blessings when children are hungry and dying around the world.

So the answer for me is what am I going to do to SHARE my blessings. And that is what my life is for.

For those who have been given much, much will be expected. And when all is said and done I hope to hear, "Well done faithful servant."

peace, moondancer who falls short but picks up and tries again
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#3 of 18 Old 08-15-2002, 02:27 PM
 
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One scripture that I can't remember where it is right now (so it may be from the Book of Mormon) explains that sometimes God lets the evil people do those evil things to children and good people to condemn themselves (i.e., make the evil choices and therefore be subject to the punishment), and the sufferers or victims are saved--and have God with them (even as they are suffering).

Sometimes instead of removing the struggle from us, God gives us strength to be able to get through the struggle, as well.

Two stories:

My dad was in an army training school, and he felt that he could not to the obstacle course test that was required, so he prayed and God gave him strength to be able to get over this big wall. Then the second day he got to the wall and prayed again, and God gave him the strength again. The third day, he got to the wall and God said, "you now have the strength to do this wall." And my dad had to rely on his own brute strength to get over that wall.

I was struggling trying to provide for myself just after I finished college, and not having luck finding any job, and I was really praying about it. I was reading Luke with my then fiance (dh), and we read the exact passage about lilies of the field and birds of the air . . . As we finished our Bible study, the phone rang, and it was one of the offices I'd placed applications, and she offered the job on the spot, although I did go in for an interview . . .

So that passage in Luke has a special meaning for me. At another time, I was looking for a job, and I was being a bit more picky, and the right job didn't come up for several months, during which time we grew in our ability to budget, we learned what we could and couldn't live without, etc. Dh and I actually needed that struggle time, although it's hard to imagine that I would have asked for it. I'm working hard to remember that part of our life experience is to have struggles to develop--one way it's put is "you've got to be hungry to be glad that you can eat."
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#4 of 18 Old 08-16-2002, 03:22 AM
 
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God can see the whole picture of our wholelives and sometimes provides for us in ways which we can't see rght at the moment. He has been around the block a few million more times than meso I have to trust he knows more than me.

He made this evident with the birth of our first dd. First we were dealing with unfertility and then an unplanned pregnancy. All without insurance. Every turn seemed to bring more debt but we sure God would provide. Then Chad lost his job. Fret worry, toil and spin, its OK God will provide, Six ultrasounds and two weeks of bed rest later we weren't so sure anymore. But we finally decided that God wold provide it would just take him a few more years (translates to: we can make this work if we suffer to pay our bills which in reality is our provision and not Gods) When all was said and done our worst case senario was long gone and simply laughable. We had no idea the heights to which debt could soar. The final bill was over $25,000. We have been paying for six years now and still have some to go so with intrest (1% monthly revolving intrest) so it is probably in reality closer to $30,000-$35,000. Our income was around $15,000 a year when this ride started. Because Chad lost his job he was able to get a job paying twice what he was making. Also we no longer worried about dept and what we were going to do about it. There was nothing we could do about it. It is not like they were going to reposses her (although after going a few rounds with them i wouldn't doubt it now those vultures). All we could do was pay what we could. We had to humble ourselves and get help from our parents so that our payments would be higher than the intrest each month. We also ate at Cafe In-laws a lot. It meant reassesing where my skills as a parent came from because once we got out of the NICU I was completely blown away with how little I knew and the things I thought I were sure of were now up for debate. I also learned how helpless I was without God. There was nothing I could do to save my baby. In an instant I knew he was the only person in control here and the onlyone with power to protect and gaurd my child from all that sought to hurt her. I learned the consequences of pride. We tried to get by without medicaid but finally caved. If I had gone in one week earlier our entire bill, every penny, would have been picked up. No questions asked but I was a few days late and nothing was covered because of it. Having not been there I would have never had the birth experiance I had with my second one, would still hold Dr.s in esteem and holy fear that only God deserves, and doubt my body,. the wonderful creation he made. Also i am a super duper medical consumer advocate thank you very much. I guess you caould say Jesus saved me from being a Sheeple.

In the end we have never been late to pay a bill, we have never gone hungry, and our children have never lacked in anything nessecary and then some. Through all this god has provided them with better parents than they ever would have had otherwise. Parents who know is rally in charge of all this. Don't get me wrong., Not everyone needs so much refining. I am just a little more stubborn than most and need great bolts of lightning sometimes . He provided for more than our financial needs which is the only thing we thought we needed (boy were we wrong ).

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#5 of 18 Old 08-16-2002, 11:35 AM
 
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Hi Lilyka! where ya been? SOOOO good to read your post. Thanks for sharing. Can I relate or what??!!

I was preggie with baby #5. Our insurance was paid out of pocket for us to the tune of $388/month with huge deductible--more of calamity type insurance. At the time we had Tiffany living with us (girl we took in) and she got help from the state. Her case worker encouraged me to apply for MN Care for the duration of my pregnancy. I hemmed and hawed (pride) but finally did it in time for them to pay the previous 3 months too. Then dd was born 5 weeks preemie and we spent 10 days inthe hospital! As I lay in the jacuzzi tub in the hospital, I thanked GOD for welfare in providing for this bambino. I did not see ONE bill for her.

Fast forward a year and dh is trying to start up a business with a partner on no capital (dumb) and just hard work. It was great at first when we had the work coming in but then in January/Feb it just dried up. Gone. nothing. Our propane was running out, we needed more wood for the woodstoves, food, gas you name it. We borrowed moola from a friend. (yuck--pride again). We were at a low point. Meanwhile this guy is calling dh to come and work for him. Dh had done some fill-in work for a guy on leave and the boss LOVED dh (he's a great hardworker, nice, humorous, ethical, top-notch ) and this guy wanted dh to get on his crew. The thing is that it is union and dh would have to start at the bottom. Before dh was in youth ministry he was a Facilities Manager of a 600,000 sq. ft. building and ran an arm of a company. He was making close to 6 figs. So now this guy is asking dh to come on as a garveyard shift janitor! Talk about PRIDE!! My guy who was used to going to MIT for Facility Managment seminars was being asked to clean out toilets. Before out Jan/Feb no work months I had told dh this was silly of him to even entertain the thought and tell the guy no. Well after two hungry can't pay the bills months dh called him and said he'd take the job.

He started that March. His FANTASTIC insurance kicked in in April, by June I was going to the doc to find out why I was having severe abdominal pains, July I was headed to Mayo and August I had my colon cancer diagnosis and surgery. Dh and I just looked at each other in amazement at God's provision for a job with great bennies. I get bills from Mayo for $25,000 and all I pay is $10!!!!!!And he gets a day off every two weeks which we needed to use for my trips down to Mayo for follow-up tests.

Dh isn't cleaning out toilets anymore since he is moving on up. And now he's on maintenance in a building where his mother is temporarily living (nursing home) while she recuperates from a fall and he sees her every day which has been wonderful for their relationship. God's plan.

Dh has the resume to be running the building but he is humble enough to do the grunt work if that is where God needs him to be. In fact, I had been emailing his resume all over the country and nothing and this guy is calling him asking him to please come on board and we did just in time before all hell broke loose on my life and I needed insurance that would actually pay a bill!

I see God's hand all over this. I shudder to think what would have happened if due to pride we continued the search for a more 'appropriate' level of position and were stuck holding the bag of an enormous medical expense.

Just wanted to share that with ya. I too know God's provision fisrt hand many times over. This was just two examples.

peace, moondancer who got off her high horse and was sure glad she did!
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#6 of 18 Old 08-16-2002, 02:43 PM
 
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Unfortunately, don't you feel like we have to be taken down again and again? Things start going well, we get comfortable, taking "responsibility" for everything instead of being grateful, and then the bottom falls out and we remember. At least, that's my experience.
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#7 of 18 Old 08-16-2002, 03:56 PM
 
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Yup, bekka--the refiners fire our whole life until we shine brilliant! So scrub away God!

peace, moonie who hopes to glow
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#8 of 18 Old 08-16-2002, 08:17 PM
 
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Moondancer, that is a beautiful testimony. I am so happy for you! You are a true survivor.

I've always had a problem with this issue. As a child, I really believed God would keep me from all harm and danger, I grew up and realized that was WRONG, but that he would be with me thru things. My problem comes from seeing children suffer horribly, like Samantha Runion, or the millions of kids starving to death in this world, or the children being kidnapped and made into slaves around the world. Where is the logic here? My mother thanks God if traffic was light on her way home from vacation. This drives me crazy, that she believes that God would keep the traffic going for her bc he knows she is a nervous driver, but he cant be bothered to put an end to child abuse. I dont know if it makes one bit of difference to a child being raped, if God is with them at that moment,

Forget it, I cant verbalize my thoughts. I dont want to offend . Believe it or not, I am a christian. This is st I struggle with all the time.
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#9 of 18 Old 08-16-2002, 08:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes Lucy, you came closer to articulating the problem than I did.

I am a Christian too.
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#10 of 18 Old 08-17-2002, 12:27 AM
 
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I truely believe that in a moment, the instance we see the face of God our suffering hear, regardless of how small or huge, will be entirely forgotten. I find peace in knowing that not only is my pain, frustration, dissapointments temporary but so are the hunger pains of the starving, the stinging wounds of the abused and the desperation of the lonely. That one day they will know fulfillment, peace and find rest. Don't get me wrong. I don't think that we should just forget about them. We should do everything we can to help and comfort them. pray for them and meet thier needs. But we don't have to be mad at God. He didn't mess up this world and he reminds us that even though his world can suck he has over come the world.

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#11 of 18 Old 08-17-2002, 01:50 PM
 
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oh I know that God didnt mess up this world, I guess my problem lies in believing, or hoping that God will interven in my daily struggles which are minor when compared to the suffering of so many others. For example, how dare I pray to God to protect my Molly when she has a fever, when so many thousands of children each day are dying a slow painful death, and God is not intervening on a global scale. Ok, I dont know that God is or is not intervening, that sounded presumptious, but st I feel like I have to view God in a more hands off way. If I believe that if I pray to him, for example to spare my Dad from cancer, that he will perform a miracle, and cure my dad's disease, then what abt all the other people who prayed just as hard who he did not cure?

Alos I do believe that when we get to heaven, our suffering will seem like nothing (kinda like the pain of childbirth, hard to even recall), but what abt all the children and adults who never came to know Christ in their lives, will their pain cease to exist too?

Sorry I really hope I am not offending anyone. I admire you LIlyka.
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#12 of 18 Old 08-17-2002, 02:58 PM
 
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that's the mystery Lucy. Why are some cured, some get their miracles and others don't. But that doesn't make me give up hope that my cancer will not return, that God will keep me healed. It also means I try my best to keep myself healthy.

As for the kids dying...yes, but there are people like my friend Sally who literally goes around Dehli picking up dying people in the street and take them home to nurse them to health or help them die with dignity. She is working for God. The kids who regain their health continue to live with her and go to the school they run. The sick ones are cared for by the staff until they can join the others. It's called The Dehli House and they have a wonderful website if you're interested in what they do or supporting them or praying for them.

The needs are great but the workers are few. Do we not take some responsibility for dying children? Do we walk on by and ignore their cries? Are we feeding the sheep? Are we clothing the naked? Are we sheltering the homeless? God doesn't just swoop down and do this--he commissions us to do His work on earth. My friend Scott couldn't ignore the cries of dying children anymore and started a company to get simple meds to these African children to stave off dysentary (sp) and other diseases. He's doing God's work. Isn't this love thy neighbor as thyself so feed her, clother her and give her shelter? If you do this for the least of these......And of course God is going to be thrilled if you ask him to protect your little one that he has given you. I do it all the time--especially now with my teenage son who is off driving around with his friends (giving me heart palpitations).

Are we doing something? ever be it so small.

Sorry about your dad's cancer. What's his prognosis?

peace, moondancer who is a cancer survivor herself!
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#13 of 18 Old 08-17-2002, 05:44 PM
 
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Moondancer, thanks for that post. You are so right, it is all of our reasponsibility, to take care of one another. And I do believe that sin is in the world period, and we are the ones to do st about it. Your friends ministry sounds absolutely wonderful and heartbreaking at the same time. I would love the link . My dd and I volunteer for a measly two hours once a week at a womens and childrens shelter, basically just providing for their clothing needs. I get very discouraged seeing as how the need is always so great, that there are so many in such dire straits, in fact I think only the privileged few like myself have the luxury to whine abt the state of things, so to speak. So I do wish I could do more. I wish there wasnt this pain in the world to begin with, but it is, and humans have to ban together. You know what Moondancer, you have inspired me. I feel so much better, and more at peace with things. You are a lovely spirit, you have calmed mine.

Thanks for inquiring abt my dad. I know I spoke like he was still alive, though I meant it hypothetically. He had cancer of the esophagus, from acid reflux his whole life, was not a smoker. He had the laying on hands for healing by some menbers of our church, and we all of course prayed daily for him. He did not have faith in his own healing though, and shot himself, committing suicide. Was a great shock. I know that he did not even give God a chance to heal him, I guess I was just unjustly angry at the turn of events. It is hard to understand,

Please let me know that website, I would like to support such a wonderful ministry. What beautiful friends you have moondancer.
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#14 of 18 Old 08-17-2002, 07:30 PM
 
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Lucy, i am so sorry about your dad. How horrible.

I know how you feel. It is really hard sometimes to look at what God seems to be doing and more glaringly, what he seems not to be doing, and wonder what he is thiking. It seems so random sometimes but I am sure he must have some sort of order to it all. It is just really hard for us to see. Even when he was on earth he didn't heal everyone or set every one free. People went to some pretty drastic measure to get in front of him so that he would notice and touch them or not notice them and be touched (think the woman who crawled up behind him and touched his robe and the folks who lowered thier friend through the roof.) While I don't know why some people get healed and others don't I do know that noones suffering goes unnoticed. When you see those kids on the news you no doubt feel huge amounts of compassion for them. Think of how much more God feels.

While we can never make these things go away ther are thiings that can help us deal with them daily.
Do something about it. (you already are but for other peoples benifit)]
When your hild is sick or hurting don't hesitate to pray for her but also use it as an oppritunity to let God soften your heart to pray for all the other people who are sick. Does that make sense.If nothing else praying for others makes you feel less selfish for praying about yourown needs.
Make a habit of praying for others who have noone else to pray for them. How many of those people die everyday who have never had someone offer up a prayer on thier behalf. Who ever never heard the name of Jesus. It is wierd to think about in America. On this list you constantly hear things about "I wish the Christians wouyld leave me alone" or ": The parents are praying for us again". You would think there would be nowhere on earth where people could get away from us but the truth of the matter is there are people who will live thier whole lives without ever hearing about Christ, seeing a Christian or without ever having someone pray specifically for them. (Not to depress ya ) So if you can't go, send money to someone who can, can't do that then at least pray pray pray for them for people who will help them and come into contact with them.

So perhaps I have rambled on and thoughoughly lost the topic now. perhaps that is because there is no real clairty or real comfort about these things this side of heaven.

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#15 of 18 Old 08-18-2002, 12:35 AM
 
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I am so sorry about your father. How very tragic. How does one work through this? He lost hope. I do not ever want to get to that point.

My sister died of cancer ten years ago and for many years I wondered if I had prayed hard enough for her. Doesn't that sound kind of silly? And for years I wondered what she could have done differently to heal from her cancer.

Man, I hope someone comes and kicks me in the hinder if I ever give up. Well actually someone did but that is another story.

Lucy--I'll PM you the website. You have such kind words for me. Thank you.

Lilyka, as usual you and I are on the same page here.

peace, moondancer who loves the song in Godspell that goes with this very thread's title about the Lillies of the Field...ya know that one? I'm watching it now as I post!
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#16 of 18 Old 08-18-2002, 01:17 PM
 
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Moondancer, YOU are not ever going to lose hope! My father was a pessimist thru and thru, his whole life. We all get down at times, but when it came down to it, his way of looking at things, would not let him foresee his recovery. My mother ignored the classic symptoms, and he had shut all of us out his life the previous week, completely. Wouldnt let anyone near him, to give him a kick in the but, as you say. I can tell your support system is completely different, and just from talking with you a little, I know you are more the optimist, then the pessimist my dear! Look at what you have done already!

It is only natural to second guess ourselves. I am so sorry abt your sister. She must have been pretty young. What a horrible thing to lose a sibling.

Lilyka, thanks for your kind words. You are so right, abt how much more sad God must be when he sees us suffering. I think I lost sight of that for a while. It is easy to question, and hard to accept st .

Mamaduck, how are you doing with everything? I really took over here, I am very sorry.
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#17 of 18 Old 08-18-2002, 10:42 PM
 
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I'm a little late jumping in here, sorry. I've been following the discussion, and have been waiting for a few minutes of quiet to throw my .02 in the ring.

I think that, above all, God loves each and every one of his children. His purpose is to help us find our way back to him in the next life. I think that he gives us each a specially designed package of blessings and trials that are designed to help us become the very best people that we can be, and that will stetch us and challenge us, all the time bringing us closer to God and making us more like Him. What is a trial for me may or may not be difficult for someone else. When I had a miscarriage a few months after I was married, it was literally the most difficult experience of my life- brought me to my knees in prayer and took many many months before I had resolved my grief. Between the time that I started spotting and the time that I lost the pregnancy, there were many, many prayers offered that the baby's life would be spared, but it was not the plan for me. And it was because of the grief and loss that I suffered that I became a stronger, wiser person who is more solid in my faith and closer to God. But I know people who have had miscarriages who have bounced back with barely a second thought. There are times that I look at the suffering that other people are going through and wonder at the purpose of it all, but I do think that there is balance in the plan of the Lord, and that when all is said and done, we will look at his plan and marvel at the wisdom and beauty of all of it.

This is not to say that I don't question why little children have to suffer, or why it seems that there are some prayers that are never answered. But I do have faith that our Father in Heaven loves us, and when it comes down to it, we will understand the purposes behind all of the suffering and pain.

I have more thoughts, but my little one is crying for me. Thanks for a good discussion.

Violin teaching, doula-ing Mom to Abby, (8) Ashlynn, (6) : and Max (11/13/08) Diagnosed with Metopic Craniosynostosis. First surgery 5/1/09, Second surgery March 2010.
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#18 of 18 Old 08-18-2002, 11:51 PM
 
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I think that I do not always understand why my higher power or divine life works the way it does, but I absolutely accept that what is...should be,
it might be on my path to change a "wrong" that I see(and I use the term wrong loosely) so I do not advocate accepting everything, (callings)but I advocate accepting it on a spiritual level as that which most supremely serves the higher good somehow-
grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, change the things I can and the WISDOM to know the difference-
acceptance is the answer to many of my dilemmas on some level.
blessings,mary
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