All My Love, Mudder

love-letterI am affectionately referred to by my three sons as, mudder. I do not know whence it came from, but it works. As a self-proclaimed writer of thoughts and words I have a tendency to author notes when issues or behaviors need to be addressed. According to our daughters, they can tell by the opening lines that the hammer hoovers just overhead ready to strike at the proper moment with deadly accuracy.

I don’t know what is better, to cut to the chase at the beginning or soften the blow with a flowery, flattering intro.

My notes have covered topics ranging from simple affirmations, to Catholic moral teaching and how to get along with your sisters. Sometimes they are accompanied with clever cards or hidden in unsuspecting places. The siblings are usually pretty quick to check in with each other to see if they were the only recipient of one of mom’s dreaded notes or if the message had group appeal.

I like to think I am an equal opportunity writer and have plenty of words to go around. If someone didn’t get a note this time, it won’t be long before they find one tucked in their pillow or lunch bag.

There is beauty and danger in the written word. It can cut to the heart or be used against you, lift up spirits and be treasured through the ages. Or it can miss the mark and be terribly misunderstood.

I think because I am a woman and a menopausal one at that, simply speaking about delicate and hard to discuss subjects can bring a waterfall of unwanted tears. These can disarm or be easily dismissed as simply emotions run amuck. The beauty of writing allows tears to flow unabated, yet the reader doesn’t get distracted by a display of unwanted sentiment albeit the occasional tear-stained word.

I haven’t always been so forthright with words. In my youth I might think or write privately, but I didn’t dare say anything that might be countercultural or politically incorrect out loud. With age comes a certain bravado and willingness to take risks. Perhaps after years of observing life and seeing the results of reticence comes a boldness to speak in an attempt to save someone unnecessary grief.

Sadly in today’s culture, about the age one’s opinion borders on wisdom, it is easily dismissed and discounted as mutterings of an old fashioned fool.

God’s word on the other hand in Isaiah 55 says this;

“So shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; It shall not return to me empty, but shall do what pleases me, achieving the end for which I sent it.”

Unlike ours, God’s words are efficacious. They do what God intends. There is purpose, meaning and eternal ramifications to God’s Word. Powerful, yes. But also wonderful, mysterious, and amazingly fruitful. That’s why when we are open and actually listening they have the capability to cut through hard hearts and thick skulls.

I have felt the energy, and peace that comes from this Word answering prayers with a key so perfectly cut that it opens doors otherwise locked and forgotten. It’s hard to explain but you know it when it happens and you never forget the feeling.

God’s words will not return to Him void. I remember reading somewhere once that we can say to God in imitation of Mary, thy will be done or God will say to us, ok have it your way. Why do we so often choose the school of hard knocks? It need not be so.

Consider this, God is good. God is love. God wants what is best for us and to spend eternity in joyful bliss with us. Either we believe that and are disposed, surrendering ourselves. Or, we distrust that possibility rejecting and doubting His ability to love us.

God offers each of us His saving Word. It is personal, and uniquely crafted to reach the intended destination. Why fight it? Just lean into it and feel the all-encompassing, transforming power of love.

Barbara Lishko works full time as a Lay Catholic Marriage Minister. She and her husband Mark, an ordained Deacon, have been married for 35 years and are blessed with five young adult children, whose lives grow and expand through marriage and grandchildren.

Through the inspiration of her family, work in the Catholic Church and wacky life experiences her dream of writing was born. She is the recipient of the Diocese of Phoenix St Terese of Lisieux award. Barbara can be reached at blishko_58@yahoo.com