The Circle Maker

Several years ago I read the above mentioned book. It opened my eyes to several things about myself. I grew up in an alcoholic family. They said before his death my dad was “a heavy drinker.” In AA that is called an alcoholic. He died when I was eleven so we will never know for certain. My mother, on the the other hand, was described to me as ‘a full-blown alcoholic before I was born.’

As a child I was oblivious to most of this though there are some memories of bad behavior due to alcohol. Mostly I remember being disappointed over and over and over again. I was raised with a heavy dose of criticism and inconsistent rules. My mother’s memory would waver different ways. Things she told me when drunk she often would not remember when sober, and vice versa.

“Yes, you may do so and so,” turned into “I never told you that! Where do you get these things?” It was no use trying to jog her memory. I usually did not even try.

Many, many years later, reading the quote below brought some insight and healing.

“Disappointment is like dream defibrillation. If we respond the right way, disappointment can actually restore our prayer rhythm and resurrect our dreams.”

Mark Batterson, The Circle Maker

American Heritage Dictionary gives this definition: “A defibrillator delivers a controlled electric shock to restore lack of coordination of the contraction of muscle tissue of the large chambers of the heart.”

After living with so much misunderstanding. disappointment and confusion my heart did not have a steady beat to believe in myself or my own sanity. I left home often wondering if I was nuts or was it just ‘them’.

I had dreams of wanting to be a writer, wanting to serve God, entertained ideas of being a school teacher, getting married, having children, etc. I also left home KNOWING I did not want to raise kids like I was raised. I was determined to do things differently. When I met Robert Dutina we were literally in love at first sight. We were both tired of playing the dating game. Basically our theme was “This is who I am. If you like me, great. If not, no problem. Just move along.”

We were enamored within a few hours. He lived miles away so we only dated on weekends. I did not have a phone. We met in July, got engaged in August and married in September. What has held us together for 52 years? Love, honesty with ourselves and others and determination to do things differently than our parents did!

I do believe that the disappointments of my upbringing spurred me on to find other ways to live. My faith carried me through then and now. Batterson wrote that disappointment is like dream defibrillation. Yes, I so agree. The Lord helped me find my prayer rhythm and resurrected my dreams.

Even if God doesn’t answer the way you want, you still need to praise through. That is when it’s most difficult to praise God, but that is also when our praise is most pure and most pleasing to God.

Circle Maker

Prayer has the power to resurrect dead dreams and give them new life – eternal life. I continue to praise God even though my upbringing was chaotic. I continue to praise even when my children face difficulties. Even as Bob and I face aging challenges,we praise Him for the strength to make it through each day. We praise Him for insight and humor.

Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD.

Psalm 150:6 NIV

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