An email from Mom

I got the sweetest email from my Mom. I'm not one that is moved to tears often, but my eyes get "watery" when I read it. Don't worry about the clown light, Mom, you didn't know! (Stephen King's IT did clowns in for me) Here is the part that got me on the email:

I love you so much and want you to know how very proud of you we are. You are rich beyond measure; maybe not in the world's eyes, but in God's measure of blessings, your cup runs over!

I spent alot of years chasing dreams. I spent so many years trying to make people proud of me, trying to win approval, thinking I was a failure, trying to be like my brother, trying to be what I thought others wanted me to be. I thought, in error, that if I just do this, or that, then I'll be loved.

The fact is, my Mom and Dad never cared how much money I made, or what kind of car I drove (as long as it was safe), or what job I had, or how much prestige I had. I don't have those kind of parents. They never cared if I was in the "in" crowd, or whether I was popular. As I'm learning, in my young 40's, what they truly cared about was my health, my walk with God, that I had a helpmate that loved me and cared for me. They taught me to love God. They encouraged me, and gave me such wonderful love and encouragement. They never wanted me to be dependent on them for the rest of my life but to be able to stand on my own, make my own decisions, both with God's help. And they have taught me well. There is not one thing I can think of they did wrong in raising me. They raised me teaching me about God. I was loved and provided for. They taught me to rely on God. Yes, I went off into the wilderness. I left the teachings of God, and my parents, because, much like the prodigal son, I thought life in the wilderness looked fun and exciting. As well, as things crumbled, I was ashamed, and I had things in my past that were easier to run from than face.

But as the prodigal son, I remembered. I remembered those teachings. I remembered that love and acceptance. And I was perfectly happy to be able to come back in their life, and God's, as a servant. But I got so much more than that. I was their son, and they helped me so much in my early recovery and even now they continue. I was never treated as a servant by the way. Dad, in my early recovery, began teaching me the wisdom of God again, like he had when I was a child. Mom encouraged me with a mother's patience. Through that process they loved me. And if my theology was wrong, or I had questions, Dad's patience in asking questions I'd already asked, or looking things up to explain them to me was amazing. They never gave up. The tears are welling up in my eyes right now, they never gave up. Just like God never gives up.

So now I make decisions with God's guidance. I've actually let me hair grow out (it is longer than it has ever been) because get this, I like my hair long. I'm an artist, I love to volunteer in ministry, and I have a wife, a helpmate, that in my wildest of dreams I never thought was possible to have. I help people in recovery with their addictions by sharing my life, the good, the bad, and the ugly. And from email's from my Mom, to the comments Dad gives me on my blog, I get priceless treasures. Mom wrote:

God gave Dad and I the strength that we needed to walk that path with you and now we look back with wonder and rejoicing when we see how far you have come, through God's grace.

Those words are precious. My parents are precious. Yes Mom, I am blessed beyond measure in God's eyes, He gave me you and Dad, if that was the only blessing I ever received (and I have received much more) then I'd still be richer than the richest man or woman in the world. Thank you for sticking by me, and thank you so much for your encouragement and love. A son could not ask for more.

Thanks Mom and Dad, can't wait for your visit.

Love you so much.

Guess I better explain the picture. Ginger loves taking pictures of me in funny poses. This is my mischievious pose. Hey, if you can't have fun, especially in recovery, then what's the point! And I was about to light a candle for a romantic setting, so I'll let you all figure that smile out...

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