Journal Entry-Final Good-byes From Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power, and welcome to another journal entry. This is actually Part 2 of my journal entry for Friday. So much has happened and I thoroughly enjoy being an open book and sharing the lessons I am learning and the revelations I am experiencing. Grab your coffee and come on in.

Our first dinner of many with my brother and his wife was simply wonderful – my cooking wasn’t bad either 🙂 We sat and talked with more ease than I ever thought possible. It was during that first dinner that I found out my brother and his wife had been foster parents for several years and had nurtured and loved 18 children during their fostering season. To say I was stupefied is an understatement. If it had been fly season, I probably would have caught a whole tribe in my mouth! What amazing experiences they shared, and pain, too. And his reason for wanting to be a foster parent: “I wanted to be a better foster parent than what we had.” I did not waste the moment to tell him, and have several times since then, “The more I know about you, the more I like you.”

Oh, yes, how our childhood wounds can shape us in later years for the better and bring treasure out of junk. I think that was the string that pulled the curtain up for me to reveal my emotional walls, begin to bring them down and away from the eyes of my heart so they could be opened to all the facets of my brother. And because they began to open for him, they began to open for my other brother and sister as well.

The meeting with Reverend Gary was inspiring, as well. He said that despite not knowing Mom, that just observing us together, catching little tidbits of conversations, he felt that he was there to be an advocate for mom and to encourage a new beginning for us. I was stunned into silent tears.

The memorial was simple and sweet and there were many things said by Reverend Gary, but I think the one that pierced my heart with a sort of healing balm were these words: “Because your mom is resurrected into heaven, she loves you more now than she ever could have while on earth.” When truth collides with our hearts, healing tears begin to flow. My tears gushed out causing my body to sob and my heart to ache with missing her. Yet I was comforted by the reverend’s words and able to rejoice over the sweet memories flashing on the T.V. thanks to my sister’s amazing time and talent that she used to put a DVD together so we could all experience memory lane with my mom.

What followed after the last guest had left was something we were all dreading. It was time to discuss the will and the lingering debate that we had hanging over us since her passing. See, there was a glitch in my mom’s will regarding the money left over after expenses. She didn’t leave a written instruction, but a verbal request that collided with what three of us felt, based on principle, to be wrong and unfair. This disagreement has been building momentum for four weeks. I actually happened to agree with the majority, but about two weeks into the battle, I heard “As much as is possible with you, live peaceably with others.”

I reminded my little brother who was on the other side of the fence about that — he’s a Jehovah Witness — and I asked him to pray about it. I told him I wasn’t going to fight about it because when the money’s gone, the chances of having a relationship that I long for with my brothers and sister will also be gone. I let him know I didn’t agree with his decision but I wasn’t going to fight him, either.

Well, without going into all the painful details, let me just say that there was not an agreement reached that night, though my younger brother had come up with a compromise. The next day when we traveled to Catalina to bid Mom farewell, the division was so wide, you could have put an army in the cracks. I spent most of the day in silent prayer and tears, my stomach hurting over the way it was all going. I realized I was but a utensil in this process; that this was going to be one of those slow-cooking deals that would have lots of flavor because of all the ingredients being put into it. I mean, pride was definitely the main ingredient and had been added to the pot in the previous weeks and even more so over the last two days. What ingredient could be used to overcome that taste pride was causing?

I was given many opportunities to speak to each of them separately and even though it was brutally uncomfortable, I was transparently honest, even at the risk of making two of them very mad at me. I had made it clear to both brothers that it was between both of them since they were named executor and co-executor. Each of them felt the other had the power to either separate or keep the family together.

Here’s where the diamond is: As the minutes turned into the hours, this heated battle took on several facets, but no matter which way you turned it, there would be NO winner unless someone got stuck off of stupid and that no amount of money was worth our relationship. Actually the one with the power to keep the family together would be the one who gave in!

I firmly believed that what the three of us were saying and wanting was the right thing, but I also know that what my brother was standing on was right in his heart. So what do you do? Do you play tug of war until one side has been drug through the mud and comes up mad and walks away, never to return, or do you lay down the rope of pride and surrender unto the Lord for the sake of living peaceably with others”?

Well, am I ever thankful for the power of prayer, because before we left that island, one brother laid down the rope and said, “I’m tired of fighting about this,” and they came to an agreement. I couldn’t tell you what all was discussed between the two of them, but I can tell you this: When my older brother took off the shirt of pride, despite principle and for the sake of the true right thing, I could almost see the cloud come up off his shoulder and disappear. I told him that I was proud of him; that even though it wasn’t fair, it was okay and ultimately the right thing to do. Watching his countenance raise was like the prettiest victory flag I’ve ever seen waived.

Oh, how the “love of money” can bring division, and ultimate destruction. The Lord does hear our cries. It is He who is the ultimate provider of all blessings, financial or otherwise. Thanks for joining me and allowing me to be transparent with you. May the reflection resonate in your life and splash on the lives of others you know. Join me for Blog Talk Radio today at 1:00 Pacific time. We have a new show and it’s getting really fun!



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One Response to “Journal Entry-Final Good-byes From Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power”

  1. neenee says:

    Sweet friend,
    One of the many things I love about you is your transparency but also how you describe how you feel and the events that took place in such detail. I love that about you and I know that it is changing me. love you