Tuesday, December 21, 2010
I received some good news from my doctor today. My numbers are looking good and she said I will only need 2 more plasma treatments and I will be "fixed". It's been a long road. All the Glory goes to God for "fixing" me. I've always loved Coldplay's "Fix You". However, this song has a bit more meaning to me now. I plan to write more later on my reflections on what I've learned throughout this journey, but for now, I hope you enjoy the song as much as I do.
Friday, December 3, 2010
"But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:31
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
· It is a bit cliché, but true. Time flies. I know so many people who are either pregnant, or have very small children that are so overjoyed at the new life that has been brought into their world. With this new life comes a lack a of sleep, mysterious spit up stains on your own clothes, stress over what germs may be on the pacifier that just fell on the ground, stress over what germs your baby may pick up from the stranger who wants to hold your precious baby in the mall, worry over which formula will provide the best nutrients for your baby’s growing body, worry, stress, worry, sleeplessness, worry, stress, but inevitably…JOY. Let me tell you, by the time that precious baby turns 13, all those moments you spent sanitizing a dirty, germy pacifier, choosing the right formula, catching extra sleep, or worrying over what germ your baby may have picked up in the mall won’t matter anymore, because you will then be too busy trying to remember where the last 13 years went. Be grateful for the time you have and cherish it.
· Realize that you and your spouse are going to differ in your parenting styles. Period. You should have a basic groundwork for how you are going to raise your children, but there are going to be times that you disagree. Spending the next 18 years of your children’s lives in disagreement over how to raise your children will not benefit anyone. I believe that there is an order to be followed in the household. God, father, mother, children. When this order is disrupted, there are problems. However, basing your family’s foundation on the verse, “as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15) you are laying the groundwork for a peaceful partnership in parenting.
· Raising children is stressful, and expensive. No doubt about that. But, it is also fun. One of my biggest regrets of the past 13 years is not laughing enough. While you should definitely take parenting seriously, you should allow yourself to laugh and not take yourself so seriously. You will make mistakes along the way. We are imperfect people, we made imperfect kids, the combination is bound to lead to some funny (and some not so funny) events along the way. So, allow yourself to laugh. Plus, as my husband likes to say, laugh lines are prettier than frown lines!
· I heard not too long ago someone say something like, “you shouldn’t take credit for all of your child’s successes, and you shouldn’t take credit for all of your child’s failures”. This is one of the hardest lessons for me. I have no problem with the not taking credit for his successes. However, the failures I take on almost completely. This goes back to wanting to protect my child to a fault. We, as parents, have to allow our child to fail, and succeed, on their own, and allow them to take credit for both. It makes them stronger, higher functioning adults.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
"I cry aloud with my voice to the Lord; I make supplication with my voice to the Lord. I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare my trouble before Him. When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, You knew my path. In the way where I walk They have hidden a trap for me. Look to the right and see; For there is no one who regards me; There is no escape for me; no one cares for my soul. I cried out to You, O Lord; I said, "You are my refuge, My portion in the land of the living. Give heed to my cry, For I am brought very low; Deliver me from my persecutors, For they are too strong for me. Bring my soul out of prison, so that I may give thanks to Your name; The righteous will surround me, For You will deal bountifully with me." - Psalm 142:1-7
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Recently, someone asked me why our lives are filled with so much struggle and pain, and not with an unending supply of joy and happiness. Now, initially, this seemed like a reasonable question, one marked with a simple answer pulled from my concordance of scriptures. However, the question stuck with me for a while. One of the biggest issues that I had to conquer on my faith journey was the debate between joy and happiness. Charles Stanley said, “In order to understand the life God desires for us, we need to know the difference between joy and happiness. Both can be defined as gladness, delight, and pleasure in something, but happiness has external cause. When circumstances are enjoyable, we are naturally happy, but when things take a downward turn, so do our attitudes. Joy, on the other hand, has an internal cause and is not dependent upon outside conditions. As believers, we can keep our contentment in good times and bad because our delight is in the Lord, not in our fluctuating circumstances.” In other words, our joy is in the Lord; however, happiness is fleeting. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 12:10, “I have learned to be content in whatever the circumstances.” It wasn’t until recently that I recognized the word “learned” in this verse. I have always focused on what seemingly impossible task this verse presented. However, when you recognize that Paul had to learn to be content, and understand that this is also God’s expectation of us, it is easier to grasp.
It is easy to be cheerful when things are going our way, but how can we do this when times of suffering and difficulty arise? James 1:2-4 tells us, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” We are not rejoicing in the event that is causing our pain, but instead at the outcome. Trials challenge our faith in God’s wisdom, goodness or power. However, His word reassures us that His purposes are good, and if we endure with trust and joy, we will lack nothing.
If each day has become a struggle, and your circumstances are dragging you down, by faith claim the joy of the Lord. Begin by living in His promises instead of under your circumstances. Make a decision to rejoice in Him, regardless of your situation. I fully believe that in time, that by making this decision, your feelings will follow.
“...Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength” – Nehemiah 8:10
Friday, February 19, 2010
As many of you probably heard or saw, Tiger Woods made a public apology today regarding his “transgressions”. I personally do not think that it was necessary for the broadcast to be live and deemed a “special report”, but our voyeuristic tendencies made it so. However, whether or not it was live, or should have even been considered national news is not the point. What I saw as I watched this report, was a man who appeared to have a contrite and broken heart. Of course there are going to be people who continue to cast stones in Tiger’s direction, but it does take humility to stand in front of a crowd of people and confess your sins and ask for forgiveness, especially when he didn’t owe it to the public, (despite what many think) but instead to God and to his family.
True humility comes from brokenness, and through that brokenness, contrition. To be contrite, means to be broken or crushed by the weight of our guilt. Our human tendencies and our pride are being crushed to the point of repentance. In our own lives, we may have been faced with someone who was asking for our forgiveness through their own broken and contrite heart, or perhaps been that person ourselves. A person may weep due to the initial guilt of the realization of the consequence of their sins. Through this realization, however, we begin to accept our sincere dependence on God for the forgiveness of our sins, which leads us to repentance. Repentance is the defining characteristic of the brokenhearted. “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise” (Psalm 51:17) God does not treat a person with a contrite heart with anger or contempt, but instead offers His grace and mercy. One of the comments Tiger made in his apology that struck me the most was “everyone of you has good reason to be critical of me”. Do we really? Jesus told the Pharisees who brought a woman to Him who was caught in adultery, “if anyone of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone” (John 8:7) Each one of them began to leave and when Jesus asked the woman, “…where are they? Has no one condemned you?" she replied "No one, sir," "Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin." (John 8:10-11) When I watch someone who has experienced a “spiritual relapse” and committed sins that have not only caused themselves harm, but to those closest to them, repent and ask for forgiveness, I cannot help but remember the times that I have done the same. Watching Tiger Woods today brought a flood of memories back to me and I wept. I wept for him as a child of God, for his family and for the sacrifice that Jesus has made for each and everyone of us. I wept in thankfulness for what Christ has done in my life. We do not have to live a life with a crushed and broken heart with the fear that we will be hidden from God’s sight forever. Forgiveness and grace are available to us all. Through a broken, contrite and repentant heart, we can be free from the weight of sin. We have the promise that God will not “despise” us for our sins, although there are those who will despise us. Satan does, although he trembles at the name of Jesus. The world will despise us, but stands in awe of sin. I am thankful today for my broken heart. I am thankful that I was not hidden from God’s sight, but instead welcomed back home with Him from a cold world that offered me nothing but shame and grief.
"The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry; the face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth. The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." - Psalm 34:15-18