Saturday, January 16, 2010

"The Good Life"

Last night was one of those psalm 73 kind of nights. I was feeling a little sorry for myself and started asking the Lord, why? Why did it seem like our family in particular was suffering many trials? It was like I had to sum up my life for the Lord in case He missed it or hadn't realized the trials we were dealing with.

 I was feeling a little cheated, I hate to say it. All I ever wanted out of life was to live simply and happily with my husband. I would raise our children in a nice 2200 square foot rambler with a white picket fence and a dog, maybe even a cat, would wander the 5 acres our house sat on. My husband would go to work and I would stay home. We would go to church on Sundays and all holidays, and take family vacations once a year.

 I could go on but you get the idea. It seemed like a lot of people had our dream and were living it out right in front of us as if to rub salt in an open wound. Not only that but a few of these weren't faithful followers of Christ, so I guess my faith was being tested. I have even heard once or twice from a family member, "I don't want to add more craziness to my life I have enough to deal with," in response to my question, why don't you choose God.

I know I'm not the only one to go through trials and feel this way. I just wanted an explanation from the One who aloud it to be. Why me God? Why my family? I asked my husband the same question and he asked if I wanted to pray about it. Why, I thought, I already asked God and He didn't have much to say. But we prayed anyways and to my great surprise I heard the answer loud and clear.

Why are you complaining? You have a husband who loves you and prays with you every night and 3 beautiful children, a roof over your heads in a great location, and most importantly you have your Faith in Jesus Christ who died for your sins so you could have eternal life in heaven. Not only that but God wants more from me because He loves me and wants to use me in His plans.

We like to call that conviction. I had a great life all along. My life might not look like the magazine pictures of what the world deems "The Good Life", but I was guaranteed the eternal life when I excepted Jesus into my heart. I don't have to worry about tomorrow because should tomorrow not come I would be safe in the hands of my Lord who would carry me to my home in heaven.

Where would I be without God? Oh yeah if you've read my previous blogs you and I both know where I would be. Depressed and feeling along, probably divorced and angry at the world. Who wants that? Not me. Lord forgive me for feeling sorry for myself. I have been so blessed. Help me never to forget all the wonderful ways You've shown Your love for me. You have delivered me out of my past and gently corrected me along the way. You have held my family together through such adversities. You have kept us strong. You have made me new. The words of a song say it best: "I'm so unworthy but still You love me, forever my heart will sing of how great you are". "All glory honor power is Yours Amen".

Monday, January 11, 2010

Beauty from pain?

I have been given a gift. A chance to see life as it really is. Most people go their whole lives and never really know how to live. Moments are precious and are gone in the blink of an eye. I feel privileged to have received this kind of gift. I have been changed by it and I will never be the same. Thank you Lord for this gift.
I'm not the only one to have received such a gift nor will I be the last. What is the gift? Longsufferings, pain, heart ache, trials.
They are given to us throughout our life time. They are hard to receive at first, because they are not wraped with ribbons and bows. Hidden in side these gifts are valuable treasures. Unfortunately most people miss the treasures hidden in side because they don't like the way the gift is wrapped.
Trials, thats crazy right? But it's true. A very good friend reminded me of the gift of trials tonight and I was blown away by that thought. I have spent a majority of my life being angry and depressed about the trials in my life because there were just so many. I was overwhelmed and confused because the first trial I can remember is one I had wished I could forget since I was nine. Maybe I should be a little more clear. The trial it self was not the gift but the beauty that came from the trial was. How can there be beauty in any trail? I have seen a lot of trials in my life and I am sure most of you can relate. This world is full of sickness and sinners, murderers and thieves, heart ache and pain, addiction and depression, deceivers and perversions. That's just a fact and I can grantee that every single person out there has experienced many of these things personally. Did you notice that? I said everyone, does that give you a clue to how beauty can come from pain? We have so much in common with one another if we'll just open ourselves up and share.
I believe in redemption and forgiveness and I only know of One man who came to redeem the world. I can not say His name enough, Jesus. Jesus died on the cross for the sin of the world. That means if you live on this planet, YOU have been saved, will you take the hand of the One who is the Truth the Life and the Way? This world has offended us and hurt us and tried to kill us, but God loves us and sent His Son to die for us. There will be a judgment day for those who sinned in this world and did not choose God's Way, and there will be an eternal punishment. Shouldn't there be? You and I know how much sin can hurt, and someone should pay, right? Rest assured a price has been paid and the battle over sin has been won.
But back to my statement on beauty from trials. I know a love now that is unfailing and unconditional. It took me a while to find it because I was looking in all the wrong places and placing my faith in all the wrong people. God has shown me a love I never thought I could know. I have been so overwhelmed by His love for me that I could explode. So I think I will! I can hardly keep from blogging about my love. My trials have equipped me with experience on the front lines of life and now I have to get back out there and tell everyone who is hurting and afraid, lost and alone, of this wonderful love and redemption. Listen, I can tell you some stories! God has been leading me all along through this war zone called life. I am not a product of my past or my pain. I know how it feels to be depressed and alone. I finally gave it all to God and said, "Here is my baggage, you said you can make me new and take away my pain, do it and be my Lord and Savior, lead the way because I've tried and failed and I cant do it any more." "I'm tired and confused lost and alone and no one understands me." "Help me please because I cant take it any more." So that's it. Love overflowing from God was found in the midst of my trials. He aloud me to experience these things so I would be able to see others who were hurting and dealing with hardships and pain and be able to tell them about the One who saved me from a world of sin.
I am not the same just ask my sister. So are they, "Trials or Blessing"?
There is no other way I know, no not one.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

This Circus Called Life

Lord I love you so much. Thank you for letting me be apart of your wonderful plan. God I pray you would stand guard at my mouth and forbid any words that are not from you. I pray you would forgive me if in hast I say things I shouldn't. My only desire is to bring glory to Your name. Help me to pray always and hear when you speak. I found my greatest love in You and I never want to forget how you saved me from myself. In Jesus name Amen.

So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Genesis 1:27

We know God created us right? It says so three times in this one verse. A perfect God created us, so what happened? We all know the story of how sin entered into the world when a serpent deceived a women, who then persuaded a man, who without thinking of the consequences, ate the apple.

Why do you think such a thing happened? Maybe, in our arrogant minds we thought we were smarter than the One who created us? Maybe, we were just set on going our own way?

Either way when God said "Do not", we disobeyed. Enter sin. Goodbye Eden. We have a major genetic disorder passed down since the beginning of time. Tack on a few thousand generations and, talk about your dis-functional family, we've added so much more sin its not even funny.

So why do we wonder what went wrong in our own lives? "How did I end up like this?" You know all the thoughts you think when your trying to blame someone else for all your flaws and failings. Let me just remind you we are not in Eden anymore and Earth is not as friendly a place.

Sin hurts. Not just the one who is doing the sinning but it reaches far beyond that single person and touches family and friends and generations to come.

So why does the circle of sin keep spinning round? When will we choose to get off the ride? I wonder if there is anyone who can stop the insanity?

Oh wait I know One. His name is Jesus, and He put a stop to the Ferris wheel of sin over two thousand years ago, if we choose to get off the ride and follow Him. Once you step off the ride, expect some dizziness and even the occasional stumble and fall. But know that you are in good hands now. For if you are weak, He will give you strength. If you fall down He will lift you up. If you are sad, He will give you comfort. No more nausea and vomiting on the ride from hell, you have been set free. So rejoice and forget the hurt of the past but learn from your mistakes. And never be deceived or persuaded to sin, and always think of the consequences.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

One long night

Wednesday night was an amazing night. Our church had an evening of worship and it was such a blessing to be there. The songs were powerful and moving, they lifted our spirits and filled our souls. What a joy it was to hear a multitude of voices singing praises to the One who created it all. I wished the night would never end as did many others that were there. Alas we had to face the reality of our responsibilities that would surly come in the morning, so reluctantly we all headed home. Little did I know the night was far from over.

It's funny how things just happen sometimes and there seems to be no rhyme or reason for it. Kenny had another seizure that night and it was one that left him feeling very afraid.

I think it had only been 10 or 15 minutes since Kenny had gone to bed when he came out of the bedroom. He was walking a little funny and was pale as a ghost. I asked if he was OK but received no answer. I asked again and again until I realized something was happening. He was twitching sporadically on mostly the right side of his body and he had this very confused expression on his face.
I walk over to him and got him to sit down, and with a strange kind of calmness I tried to get him to respond. He struggled for what seemed like forever to get some words to come out, and finally when I asked if he wanted me to call a doctor he responded with a firm but shaky, "yes". I knew I needed to get him to the hospital so I called Naomi and said,
"I think I need you, I think Kenny had another seizure".
I could tell she was already in bed but without hesitation she said,
"OK I'm on my way".

After I hang up the phone Kenny was finally able to tell me what happened. He said he had just laid down and was beginning to say prayers in his head when he started repeating himself over and over again. Then his eyes started fluttering rapidly, and he said it was like his thought proses had completely shut down and he couldn't even think. He said it was so scary.

I cant imagine what that must have felt like. Think about it, your brain, the organ in your body that controls all the other organs, and allows you to think and write and talk and feel has just had a major malfunction. You are still aware but not in control at all. The thought of that scares me too.

In an earlier blog I wrote about a friend of ours that suffered from a horrible seizure just this past December. Kenny was standing maybe ten feet off when his friend hit the ground and began to shake. Though he had experienced a serious seizure, Kenny had little recollection of the event that rocked our family almost a year ago on January 26th 2009. Seeing some of the more severe effects of a seizure just recently, has caused us to feel all kinds of different emotions.

I shared with you about my fear of the unknown, I have to say my fear of loosing my husband and raising my children on my own seems small when paired with Kenny's fear of not being able to use his brain to think or communicate.

Do I believe that God is big enough to help us over come even this? Yes I do.

In one of Pastor Ron's sermons he talked about a study that was being done on the brain and whether or not the brain in some way caused the mind. These doctors and scientists went through years of research and spent tons of money trying to figure out what we as believers already know. Our brains may control our body but our spirit is separate, and only temporarily encased in this human shell.
Check out this site if your interested in more on our spirit-body-soul. I don't pretend to know all there is to know about the spiritual nature of man but this site might be able to give you more than I can.

What Kenny and I both realized through this ordeal was that though he had no way of communicating or thinking during this very scary event, he was still very much aware. That just proves that we may physically experience pain or disabilities in our bodies but our spirit is a completely separate part of us. Our bodies may become weak and die but our spirit will live on.

Death does not discriminate and all of us will face it sooner or later.
1 Corinthians 15: 22, For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.
John 3: 16-17, for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

What more do we need to know? The Word of God is proven and we need to ask ourselves do we believe, or not?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


OK this might sound crazy, but I'm afraid of things you cant see.

Maybe it's not that crazy because if you think about it there are so many things you cant see; like the wind, you cant see it but on a stormy night it can make you very afraid. The future is something else you cant see and it too can be very scary.

Fear is a hard thing to over come, especially fear of the unknown. I struggle a lot with fear of the unknown. The future to me is a scary place so I try not to think about it too often. Many of you know my husband, almost a year ago, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Since that time the Lord has done wondrous works. God has provided so much in this past year financially, emotionally and miraculously.

I have learned so much in this past year and grown so much closer to God through this very difficult time. Although my mind still wonders off to" what if land", I can usually snap out of it quickly through prayer.

On January 12th Kenny and I will go to the hospital for another MRI to see if there is any regrowth of the cancer. It seems every time an MRI date approaches I find myself feeling very scared. I don't even realize it when it first comes on because it sneaks up on me when I'm just going through my day. Sometimes I don't even want to acknowledge that it's there because I want to be so strong and not be swayed by this fear.

The problem is if I don't acknowledge my fear it doesn't go away but finds another way to show it's ugly face. Unfortunately fear is real and very powerful. It can bring the strongest person to their knees in an instant. Try as we may to avoid it, or pretend fear has no affect on us, the truth is we must deal with it.

Facing our fear is the only way to over come it. How do we face our fear when we're afraid of it? When my children are afraid of the dark they come to me and want to be held. I will hold them for a time and then together we face the darkness and they find strength and trust me when I say, "there is nothing in this room that will hurt you".

Thank God we don't have to face our fears alone, He is with us and wants to help us if we will only seek Him. I found these words of wisdom to help me face my fear :

Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones once said, "The result of worrying about the future is that you are crippling yourself in the present." And Corrie ten Boom added, "Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength."

Philippians 4:6-7
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made know to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

Isaiah 43:1-3
"Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you. For I am the Lord your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior."

Now all we have to do is trust the word of God. 
Lord I pray that you will help me over come my fears of the unknown and that I would be able to trust you. God please give me the courage to deal with my fear and not to pretend it's not there. God with you all things are possible and I believe you will carry me through whatever my future holds. Please continue to keep Kenny healthy and strong and thank you for all you have done for us. You are mighty Lord and your word says that You are love and perfect love cast out all fear. God cast out my fear and show me your perfect love. With God on my side what shall I fear? In Jesus name Amen!

To all the women at Coffee Talk and Pastor Ron, the Spirit of fear has left the building, thanks be to God.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Out of Control

What do I have Lord that I am not using for Your glory? Help me to make a decision to use what you have given me so that I will not lose what I have. When I look at my life I see chaos and distractions that keep me in a state of not moving. I am overwhelmed by my life and I get frustrated and frozen. How do I over come my unproductive life? Where do I begin? I am seeking you desperately and I beg you please answer my prayer. God I am tired of my unorganized and messy life, It makes me sad and depressed and I feel like I’m missing you Lord and Your will for me. Help me God I need you so badly to clearly direct me every step of the way.
What a prayer. I remember how that felt to be so desperate for change and unable to move because of all the distractions of life. Every second of the day escapes you as you frantically try to balance and juggle all the responsibilities of life without loosing control. 
What does the world offer for those of us who do loose control: The answer to that question could be found in a small pill. Just tell a doctor how you feel and you are on your way to a diagnosis of depression or worse. If that’s not you cup of tea maybe you would prefer a drink to drowned out your sorrows, perhaps some marijuana is just the thing to comfort your soul after a long hard day at work. 
It’s not hard to see where this is going. Substance abuse is not the only way we try to solve our problems. Lets take a look into our life and see where we find our remedy for our problems. Could it be in the books we read or the shows we watch on T.V.? A nice long episode of somebody else’s crazy life is just the thing we need to feel better. Maybe you’re a gambling fool who thinks somebody has to win might as well be me. Video games, shopping, eating, sex, you name it and we can become addicted to it in the attempt to ease our troubled minds. 
The book of Ecclesiastes says it all; “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity”. We do everything and anything to cure ourselves from our messy lives to be something or someone we wish we were and never dealing with the cause of our failing and flawed lives. 
Everyone at one point or another has found something to ease the pain of life and for some crazy reason they think they are still in control, but the sad truth is most have become slaves to these mind altering substance or addictions to food or fantasy or whatever the case may be. We would rather be lost in our indulgences than face reality. These things we do to cope with our life are empty and futile attempts and they leave us feeling depressed and alone. 
Depressed and alone, a place I am too familiar with and one I will never return to.
I wrote this prayer when I was fed up with my life and the way I was living it. Nothing seemed to make any sense, everything was out of control and I was lost in the middle of a fog so thick that I couldn't see past my nose. I didn't know how to fix my problems but I was on a search to find someone who knew. But after years of searching and waiting for someone to give me the answers to all of my problems, 
I came to a cross roads. 
I could continue down a road that only left me feeling alone and depressed or go the road less traveled. What is the road less traveled? It’s one that shows you all of your imperfections and flaws and brings to light all of your past hurts and regrets and all those skeletons in the closet that you sealed up so tightly within yourself, the ones you swore you would never tell anyone about. I guess that’s why it’s the road less traveled. Who wants to face all of that? 
We spend our time trying to forget all of that yucky stuff, we medicate our minds with things we think can help us to live peaceful and happy lives so we can pretend all is fine and dandy. We become something we never dreamed we would be, a creature of habit, one who copes with life rather than lives it. I guess that’s where I found myself, a slave to things that happened, trying so hard to cope but I was loosing the battle. I had to give up on myself because I was in over my head.
The road I chose was to believe that God sent his only son to die on the cross for my sins. In return God forgave all my sins and His word promises eternal life. Why any one wouldn’t take that deal is beyond me, maybe like me others just didn’t want to face their ugly sinful life. maybe they didn't know they needed a Lord and Savior. 
I always knew of the story of Jesus. As a child I grew up in a catholic church. I remember hearing about Jesus and thinking that since I knew the story I would be saved. I had not really excepted Jesus into my heart to be the Lord of my life, I guess I didn’t know I needed to. After all I prayed to God whenever I needed him and when I didn’t I left him out of it and tried to handle my life myself. 
I know now that God desires a relationship with me and wants to lead me through this life. The Lord of the universe wants to be with me and love me. That astonishes me, because I could hardly stand to be with me. Unconditional love flows from God the father to all his children. His only desire is for us to love Him and to believe in His son Jesus who took on the sins of the world so that we might be reconciled to our father in heaven. 
 What a joy it is to know I never have to handle my life on my own again. God will always be with me. The road isn't an easy one but it's rewards are far grater than anything this world has to offer. And who knows if tomorrow will come, nobody is guaranteed tomorrow. All I know is I finally started to enjoy my life and I stopped taking all of the blessings of the Lord for granted. 
 I love the words of Amazing Grace; "I once was lost but now I'm found, was blind but now I see." I pray you too would see all the Lord had blessed you with. I pray that you choose God today and give up the battle and let the Lord lead you from this life into the next.

Friday, January 1, 2010

What in the world?

For the last couple of days I've been thinking about life, everyone does from time to time. I've been thinking, "what are we doing here"? And not in a hopeless state of mind do I say this, but with genuine concern and curiosity as to whether or not I am doing any good for anyone in this life. I know as a christian and a sinner that I am over joyed to be here for God's purpose. I guess my question is, am I doing enough?

You've probably thought the same thing and I wish I could hear what your thoughts were. I was at the hospital visiting a friend, he is 29 years old. All of a sudden one day at work he had a seizure and dropped to the ground. He has been in the ICU since December 17th, through Christmas and New years. He suffered so much trauma to his brain that he can barley talk or even cough for that matter. He has had 3 surgeries to help relieve brain swelling and fluid pressure and that's just the beginning. He has a life threatening aneurysm that they cant operate on till they get other issues under control, like an infection and phenomena and seizures that keep happening.

29 years old, that's too young. I'm 29!

I, by the grace of God, finally started to get my act together and really live and enjoy this life that God has given me. How could I have wasted so much of my life, years past, on such vain and insignificant trivial things. As a mother of young children I know how precious time is just in a day. I have been fighting the time management battle for years now and I've learned, there is never enough time in a day to get things done. Years fly by as we sit and wait for life to get better thinking that there is always tomorrow.

Sometimes tomorrow doesn't come so what am I doing that is going to be worth anything? Chasing the elusive dollar for what? We just spend it and the cycle continues, more more more... never satisfied with what we have always wanting more. What am I doing?

Why didn't we get a memo? "News flash, life is fragile handle with care".

Why is that the last thought on our minds until disaster strikes and our eyes become open. But for how long? When we get a glimpse of life as it really is, a precious small amount of time, are we moved to change? Do we just get back to life as usual because, "that wont happen to me!"

I hate the thought that we value things over our own health. We eat what we want to because we want to, and we drink and poison our minds and our bodies with crime and drugs and hours upon hours of TV and video games. Why? Because our eyes say more so as mindless robots we give our eyes what they want, never taking into consideration what this could do to our fragile lives.

Oh boy do we need a hero, a Savior who can free us from this life of vanity and evil. Jesus came and died and took upon himself all of our evil sinful thoughts and deeds so that we could have eternal life. Why? Because God loves us and that's why he made us, so we might love Him in return. It's pretty simple really, we just complicate things with our own thoughts of the way life should be. What matters most to you?