Wednesday, December 10, 2008
And by the way, you don't think Oprah gained weight just so she could take it off again for ratings and magazine sale’s, do you? We’ll see if she wheelbarrows in another 67lbs of fat onto her show in 2009…my money is on the wheelbarrow.
The easy roads of marriage lead to difficult paths of resentment and pain. The easy roads of friendship lead to acquaintances. The easy road of not taking care of yourself lead to a difficult
So Today I’m back in the proverbial saddle, ready to take things one day at a time.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Now, all this being said, it is so much easier for me to give advice than to take it. Sometimes I don't even believe my own hype. I am one of those who believes IN God and for the most part believe what HE says...with one exception...when it comes to things HE says about me. Now, the rational side of me, and the side that knows better says, "who are you to put yourself in your own category? Why would God single you out individually and make it so that you can't be forgiven, or changed, or mended, or happy?" If another person told me the EXACT same thing about themselves, that they "are broken and can't be fixed" I would tell them "God is good...God is great...and He can do anything"...but telling and applying are two completely different things. The emotional, irrational side of me says, "I have all these emotional hang-ups, so many problems, have done so many things. I have been given so many chances, and yet I still don’t believe? I still think that I can't get through this??" It's a completely backwards way of thinking. I think that "why can't God make it easier for me to believe? (Emotional)" "God has made it easy...look at all you have...you just have to choose (rational)" It is a constant battle in my head. Take for instance counseling. I have been to counseling many time, and I know that if I just BELIEVED that counseling would help vs. believing that it is one big waste of time and I can't be helped that maybe it would actually help. If I stuck to what the counselor told me to do then it would help. Counseling is a bit like getting an antibiotic from a Dr. Once you start feeling better, you stop taking the antibiotic...when they doctor (and the prescription label) clearly says "Take all until finished". Maybe counseling will be a lifelong thing, I will have to "take all until finished"...I have to keep running the race, which Christ has set out for me. Problem is, sometimes I don't know which race I'm running, or I don't believe the goal is really for me. If I didn't have this battle of emotional vs. rational in my head it would be easier. I guess a better way of putting it is God vs. Satan. It goes on so much I feel it physically. So all this being said, am I unrighteous because my opinion about myself affects my faith? Is my faith too "imperfect"?
There are two women in these chapters of Genesis that really stand out and I am able to easily relate to. Both Sarah (Abraham’s wife) and Lot’s wife were a lot alike. They were both impatient and looked to the past. Lot's wife was impatient because she couldn't simply wait until they got to where they were going; she had to "break the rules". Obviously she looked at the past, hence her pillar of salt instance. Sarah was obviously impatient because she didn't wait for God's promise to be fulfilled. She lived in the past also because she remembered all the times she wasn't able to get pregnant...instead of what she had promised for the future. Sarah was an impatient woman and she didn't wait for God's promise to be fulfilled. Her impatience turned into unbelief. Because of her impatience and her own human desires, found a way for Abraham to have a child through Hagar. Sarah did not pray about this decision before she did it and the results of this human mistake were family strife, chaos, jealousy and hatred. Often times, I find myself being impatient about things in my life. Because I often act on impulse and don't pray (or think) about my decisions, I find myself in "self created" chaos.
Lot's wife is an interesting character. Although not much is said about her, there is a lot that can be learned from her. She comes into the story and she goes out with a bang. The punishment of being turned into a pillar of salt seems a bit severe, but necessary. In Luke 17:32, Christ warns "remember Lots wife…whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it" It doesn't say in the scripture why she turned around. It could have been for various reasons: curiosity, fear, not wanting to leave things she loved behind. I believe that she didn't just turn around out of curiosity. I think that she did it because she didn't want to leave her things she knew behind. God provided a way of escape for her, just like He has for me. Before her lay a life and hope, behind her death and destruction. My life has been very similar. I have not only looked back to the past, but have lived my life in the past for a long time. I know that God has promised me a life of hope, but I often choose a life of destruction because it is comfortable and what I know. We are warned several times in the New Testament about living life now and not in the past. In Philippians 3:13-14 it says, "…forgetting what is behind and straining for what is ahead…I press on" It seems like a simple idea, forget the pain, leave the destruction, move ahead to a life of hope and promise. But it is like the analogy of driving while looking in the rear view mirror, eventually if you do this long enough you are going to crash…or turn into a pillar of salt.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Three weeks ago I began going to an apartment ministry in Mesquite, TX. This church was started a little over a year ago for the residents in a low-income apartment complex and on Wednesday nights they have Bible classes for the children and teenagers of the group. All of these teenagers come from very unhealthy backgrounds. Most of them come from single parent households, some from households where drug and alcohol abuse are an everyday occurrence and where Christ is rarely mentioned. I have a heart for these kids, especially the girls, because I grew up in very similar circumstances to most of them. The first night that I went they went to visit a new church building where they would be able to meet on Sundays for church. This church building was a big step up from where they have been regularly meeting, but still needs a lot of TLC. The beautiful thing about it is, they were all so excited about being able to fix up the building themselves, they saw this building as an opportunity rather than a hindrance to their worship. We sat in the auditorium and sang a few songs, discussed future plans for the church and prayed…all without any air conditioning on (and if you know anything about Texas summers, you will know that is a bad thing). But in this hot auditorium, where teenagers from varying backgrounds, and teachers who have a love for these kids gathered, Jesus was there. Last night we took the kids to a Texas Rangers baseball game. I’m not a huge baseball fan, but being there with these kids made it so worth it. A few of them confessed to me that they were only there so that they could get away from their house for a little while. We smiled, we laughed, we cheered, and before we got back into our cars to head home we circled around together in a packed parking lot and we prayed…and Jesus was there.
I think that most people feel that God is present at church and at certain points in their lives, but do we really believe that He is always present no matter where you are? I know that for me there have been times in my life where I tried to push God out because I didn’t want Him to be aware of my sin. (It even sounds silly to me as I type it) I have learned that even in the darkest of places He is there, we just have to look for him. In these small, run down apartments many people wouldn’t immediately think “I feel God in this place”, but lining the windows in the apartments where the church is held, is the name “Jesus” on various posters, signs, and drawings. On the faces of the teenagers, children and adults is Jesus. He is there, always watching, always loving, and it is a Beautiful thing.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
I’ve always been much better at expressing myself in written word instead of verbally. It makes for a good writer, but a poor partner in any relationship. Because my husband has developed an uncanny ability to know exactly what I need to either feel better from a bad day, or what the best decision may be in any given event, or how to guide me through certain situations, I have grown to assume that he must have become a mind reader as well. But alas, mind reading is one of the few superhero powers that he does not have.
It is usually in a light-hearted way that I refer to him as a superhero, but deep down I mean it. Not in the sense of the ‘movie’ type or comic book, but in the way that he impacts me in my life. Your typical Superman, Spiderman, Hulk superheroes are all invincible, they all have some sort of super strength and invulnerability that has given them the name “superhero”. Kids love it, and part of us as adults do too because those comic book characters who seem so strong and invulnerable also seem to possess more of the heroic traits of courage and heroism. And yet, how tough can it really be to act brave and courageous when you are pretty much invulnerable? It has been through watching my husband through conflict, through trials, and through suffering that I have realized what true strength really is.
For years I had a very backwards view of what strength was. I didn’t understand why or how my husband could have so much contentment and peace during the trials that he has endured. I came to a point of jealous envy and wanted what he had so badly, I too wanted to be invulnerable. It wasn’t until God broke me down that I was able to see that it wasn’t invulnerability that gave my husband his strength, but vulnerability and his faith in Christ. It was at this point that I began quietly watching and learning who my husband really was. I realized that his bravery and courage came from his vulnerability and that completely blew my mind. I would have never put myself out there to be hurt that way. To this day, I don’t. My faith is still growing. I admire that trait in him immensely. He is a fascinating person to me because most of the people that I grew up around waited for others to comfort them, waited for the right word of encouragement, and if that never came in the form of another person, then they would stay withdrawn within themselves. Everyone I have ever known relied on others for their own ability to be happy. And people will always fail other people. My husband does not rely on other people to make him happy and circumstances don’t determine his life, which is why he has such a joyful spirit. His happiness comes from his security and faith in Christ. I also know that God is the lifter of his head in times of difficulty and sadness. And there have been many, many times when Christ has worked through him and he has been the lifter of my head. It is a beautiful thing to witness and have a part of my life and to learn from.
Because I am so proud of who my husband is, who is has become and who he is to our family, there are times where Satan attacks with thoughts of doubts about whether or not I am a good enough wife for him. They are the same doubts that have plagued me for so long. No you are not wanted, no one wants you, no one will really fight for you But as my faith has grown and as my eyes have been opened to who the man is I am married to I realize that God has given me someone that will fight for me, that will protect me, that will pursue me, and that will love me and for me to question that is really an insult to God and to my husband. God chose me to be his ezer kenegdo, his helper, and to never leave him feeling alone. I have not always done the best job at being the best corner man (woman) in our marriage. At best I have been the cut man (woman) and cleaned up the damage incurred during the battle. He however, is always there, always coaching, always guiding, always loving.
I have learned many things from him. True strength is in weakness and not in invulnerability. It is in the self-sacrificing nature of loving another person before yourself. I know that he loves me because that’s what he wants to do, and what he has committed to do. He has taught me that it is ok to bleed during the battle because we don’t have to heal our own wounds. He has taught me this by being a knight that has fought for me and he has certainly bled for me, but has turned those wounds over to Christ for His healing power. I cry for the wounds he has taken and continues to take for himself and for our family. He takes his role as head of our home seriously and I appreciate and respect that.
I will continue to quietly watch him and learn from him daily, but will do a better job at not assuming he will be reading my mind and simply tell him how wonderful I think he is. I will not just tell him that he is wonderful but also that he is appreciated, and not alone. I will be his corner (wo)man and we will fight the battle together.
And in the words of the movie Juno, “as far as [husbands] go mine is totally boss. He is the cheese to my macaroni”.
Friday, June 6, 2008
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Matthew 11:28-30 "Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light."
Friday, April 11, 2008
No matter what the circumstance is, change occurs in our lives when we change our thinking. Our mind is the battlefield where the war with the enemy is either won or lost. And it is not a fair fight. Satan will attack us with all that he has, but God will overcome all our attacks. “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world-- our faith”. (1 John 5:4) Change is inevitable, either those around us will change or we can change. And it isn’t until we change our thinking that we can find true victory over the strongholds of depression, anxiety, anger, and many others. The Truth can and will set us free.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
“Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth” Psalm 86:11
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Friday, January 18, 2008
One thing is certain, LIFE IS NOT PREDICTABLE, BUT GOD IS CONSISTENT. “For I am the Lord, I do not change” Malachi 3:6 He may not always answer prayers in the manner to which WE want, but He knows what is best for us, and He answers them according to His plan for our lives. God has taken some ordinary people in the Bible through some extraordinary and trying experiences and turned them into incredible leaders, simply because they believed in what HE was doing. This is difficult for many people to do today, including myself. Amidst all the changes that occur in our own lives and in the word, He is a never-changing God in an ever-changing world.