Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Not So Happy

As life has taken twists and turns I have come to a place of which looking back is not so bright. Sure there are moments that are so brilliant that it outshines the muck that surrounds it, and then there are stretches of time that are so dark and bleak that I hate to even try to look back and reflect on them.

Alas, as often happens, I am faced with the fact that no matter how far I try to push it out, or back, or cram it into a corner...there is one place that is hard to understand. This time in my life is hard to unravel because it has more than just my hand prints on it. It is something that I can't shake, or make different, or avoid. It stays in my mind and my heart as a sour, rotten carcass of what used to be a relationship.

As I think about it, it seems more and more like I was blind to see my own inability to see what was right in front of me. I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but I had people that told me to not go down that road. I had warning signs. Though I would ignore them and always followed the benefit of the doubt. The delicate facade of covering and hiding...I never wanted to believe it. I always thought the best of it. And now, it has ruined a huge piece of my heart.

The ability that I used to have of seeing the good in everything is shattered. What once was as easy as riding a bike is now a war in my head.

So now what? My prayer is that I can learn how to live in that freedom again. The freedom of believing the best, that God does miracles, that I can say things that hurt and still feel peace. When damage is done is time the only medicine to administer with the word? Why does there have to be so much pride, vengeance, fear, and hatred...on both parts? Will there ever be restoration in my heart? Will this always be a shell with no substance? Will I be able to protect my heart from this same pain in times to come?

I am thankful for so many things, but this is not one of them. I praise His name, as I know is good and right and true...I will trust in Him. I will trust in Him to take it away, or heal it. I will trust in Him to tend to the wound and recover the missing parts.

With my voice I cry out to the Lord; with my voice I plead for mercy to the Lord. I pour out my complaint before him; I tell my trouble before him. When my spirit faints within me, you know my way! Psalm 142:1-3a

Monday, October 4, 2010

Conviction...How Sweet It Is...

The following is a post that is from the blog of Dr. Jay Adams.

June 1, 2009 by Jay Adams

Not too long ago there was a psychological theory called “ventilation.” I’m not sure whether or not it has died out everywhere yet. But theory or no theory, it’s still seems to be a popular idea—if you’ve got something churning inside, you’d better get it out, for you own good.

“What’s wrong with that?”

Well, several things. I think I’ll just mention two.

First, the self-centeredness of it is apparent. Who cares what happens to the other guy when I take out my ire on him—I’m the one who counts!

“Well, I can see that. What’s the second thing?”

Let me read you what God says about the issue in Proverbs 29:11:

A stubborn fool fully ventilates his anger,
but the wise, holding it back, quiets it.

“Wow! Didn’t know God had spoken about the matter!”

Quite explicitly. Who wants to make a fool of himself? And it doesn’t hurt you to “hold it back” as the Freudians thought, either. In fact the more you work yourself up into a lather that finally spills out, the worse things get—not the better. No only for you—but for everyone around you.

And first thing you know, you have to go around seeking forgiveness. To vent your anger is foolish in every way you can imagine. For sure, ventilation isn’t an option for the believer. Something to think about, eh?


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Funny Girl

We were driving in the car the other day...it's a little quiet so Nicholas turned the radio on.

"Hi!" said the lady on the speaker-box.

"Hello" I reply.

"Are you tired?" asks the lady.

"Yes, I am." I respond...to which laughter erupts from the back seat.

Trinity pipes up, "Mommy, I love the way you're funny."

So rad.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Too Much...

As we were going about our daily tasks, Isaiah was commenting on something. I don't remember what it was, but I do remember that after some back and forth conversation he said,
"Well, here's my point..."
And then continued on with his statement.
Oh my...
Yes, I think our little man is ready for first grade.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Friends... Together

So, my dear friend Tammy is here...seriously here...sitting on my left. We're sipping coffee. We're talking, maybe a tear or two is shared. We went to church, had lunch, went to Costco...it feels good. It feels like home. It is good.
I am so blessed, so here is the compilation of us, to share with the blog world...TINK

We traveled 12 hours yesterday to get here, to visit these dear friends we call and consider family. I would have traveled 24, whatever it would take. I am currently in a season of life which God has placed me in, a season of loneliness...it is a place I accept. But, in the midst of this lonely season, being here, with these friends who have walked with us (sharing births of children, speaking truth in love, walking every step of life together, the good and the bad, REALLY knowing each other), sharing life like we once used to, is like a stream in the desert, refreshing, soul quenching. I am beyond blessed and so thankful. It is my prayer that the Lord would help me to relish every moment that is shared, to capture the joy of this time He has allowed us to be together....TAMMY

Yay...this is rad. Not that we could pen a letter and read it, relish it, till the next one came (which is usually every 6 months on my record)...but that we can sit and write together. That we not only share joy in our friendship, but that we are sharing life...sharing the blessing...watch as our children play, our husbands laugh, and our table is set...together. We cherish the moments, record them, recall them, and the list continues. What the Lord has begun, He is continuing in both of our lives...and what a blessing it is to see Him work the miracles in my life, and in yours, Tammy. Thanks be to Him who gives us richness and fullness of joy!...TINK

I first met Tink when she was with child. She was a new bride, and preparing to be a new mommy. I had just moved to AZ, had twin boys that were 4, and an infant daughter. We had been there 6 long months, and I had no one. God intersected our paths and after knowing each other only a few short months, I was at the hospital sharing in the birth of her daughter. This was only the beginning...there is a part of the story many don't know, and that I don't particularly like to recall, but it's a crucial part of the story. There was a time period of about two years we did not speak, Tink and I, not for a lack of trying on her part, but on account of my hardened heart, and for growth God needed to do in each of our lives. I, after moving to another state and being completely lonely, I called her, praying she would receive it. She did, and she forgave, and she didn't even want the explanation as to why or what. And we picked up where we left off, and now, three years later, here we are. I don't know what God has in store for either of us, but, we will keep sharing life, keep speaking into each others lives, keep loving, as God has knitted our hearts together, intertwined our lives. Thank you Lord for this gift of true friendship...TAMMY

AMEN! There has been a lot...a heaping and over-flowing portion of life we have shared, laughed over, cried over, scrap-booked about, written about...and as I am sitting here with a friend, I praise God for His goodness, His GRACE, His mercy, His patience, His love, His discipline. For in Him we are made whole...TINK

Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness. Psalm 115:1

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Today is the Greatest...

...day I've ever known.

Today is new, it's unlike any other day I've had. The leaves are different, people I drive by are different, the clothes are different. To me, different is good. Different ways to say things, do things, different ways of seeing the way the world is.
I haven't quite come to an understanding of why I like different so much, but I do know that there are many people in the world that don't like different. That is foreign to me, but....but....the difference between me and the next gal/guy makes the smile return.
The fact the God created each one of us to do something very exactly, that not one of us does our life in the same way, that we vary in so many aspects, makes my faith all the more tangible. Not touchy-feely tangible, but real. Real in a way that I know that there is so much that the Lord offers to each one of us...that we are all finding His truths, which...amazing: NEVER change....in so many different ways.
I love that there is not one stagnant day that God recalls to us in His word. It's all different, it's all real, it's all pointing to Him, His love, His grace, His truth...it is found even in opposite circumstances.

I love that He makes friends out of enemies. I love that He teaches us patience through isolation as well as through chaos. I love that He gives and He takes away...He disciplines and He comforts.
I love that, I love Him.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. James 1:17

Friday, February 19, 2010

Book Teaser

The music was over and Reverend Graham took the stage. He was old, confident, and purposeful in sharing the hope of salvation in Christ. He quoted famous person after famous person, speaking of the vast abyss that takes over the heart of someone who seeks a self indulgent life. I listened as he outlined the simple faith of a believer. Then he called. Not the Reverend, but Christ. I felt my heart break into a million fragments, and then I felt the warmth of His love. The love that I had heard about suddenly became so overwhelming and I thought “How can I deny the truth?” I was created by a perfect God, I was a sinner, I was lost, and the light of His forgiveness through Christ was beckoning me to live in His grace. I was free.

I sat there, silently lapping up the action around me. My eyes danced around the stadium, my lips parted slightly as a smile crept upon my mouth, my breath came in crashing waves and my body started to tremble with fear. Anger and rage flushed out my toes while calm elation washed over my head. I felt as though I would explode from the conflict of emotion in my core. Not wanting the strangers around me to see me moving, I tried to stop my legs from stretching my body upward, out of my seat, but I did so to no avail. Then it all became clear.

This is it. This is what I’ve heard about, this is God. Involuntarily I rushed down the aisle to the stadium floor through throngs of people, lost and found alike…where do I go? What do I do? I continue to search with my eyes as my heart clings to the words I just heard, the truth I just caught a glimpse of. My smile has grown as is now streaked with tears. Finding no arms to hold me I stop and stand alone in the crowd. Sobs of fear become an earthquake of suffering released. My body shakes, my eyes stream, my hands cover my face trying to hide the glow that I fear would bring too much attention. I relent and let all my inhibitions fall to my feet as the shuddering continues. Fear gives way to a flood of silent contentment in my mind; adoration starts to flow from my chest, as if my heart had exploded from being filled to capacity with hope. Hope I had never known until now. The waves of breath fill my body with assurance, and my confidence in this moment grows stronger.

I became more sure of it with every breath, every tear, every blink. The scales had fallen from my eyes and I saw the depth of His love for me. In that moment I met God.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Getting Over It

WOW. Not with an exclamation point....that period is there for a reason. Wow. Wow. Wow. That's what goes through my mind when I think about "What just happened?"
The whirlwind of mental torment ensues. The questions, the attempts at reasoning, the feebleness of wishing for a do-over. Time and truth seem to be the only security at times like those. Time is like that sliver of "blankie" from childhood that brings comfort from memories but does little for soothing the stinging chill of a painful experience. That's where truth takes over, and wraps itself around me, bringing a peace that erases the lost hope, and replaces it with unexplainable joy.
Yup...joy. WOW! JOY! Exclamation point intended! And while I sit and joyously revel in the truth, I realize that I am seperated. While I am most intimately connected to my creator I am ripped apart from those who don't know Him. Ouch. It hurts... I know that God is good and right and true, and that He is my Father, Creator, Counselor, Hope, and source of strength... but...but...but...what about them? What about those who deny Him, who mock and ridicule me as I cling to the One who is my All in All?
I love them, He loves them...why does following Him require me to separate from them? How do I keep that little string of attachment so that I can share in the Love of Christ? How do I keep that relationship so that they see Him? Is "leaving" them to follow Him the only choice I have?
And the torment continues. Time and truth. Him. I cling to Him as the torture in my heart rages. I am urged to stay quiet, to seek Him, to pray, and to hope that His calling will take hold of their hearts.

Though if I should wish to boast, I would not be a fool, for I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me. So to keep me from being too elated by the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:6-10

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

New Motivation

As I was perusing the web for fantastic and wonderful things that can either encourage or make me smile I found one that did both. It's a quote from an author that a great friend of mine has listed on her profile on Facebook. I have never heard of this author, though her quotes are witty and bright....as well as thought provoking and grim. This one is a little of it all:

"Finish. The difference between being a writer and being a person of talent is the discipline it takes to apply the seat of your pants to the seat of your chair and finish. Don't talk about doing it. Do it. Finish."
— E.L. Konigsburg

That's it. That's my new motivation. It's not that I necessarily have a book I am going to write...it's that I do a lot of talking. I need to make the time and space in my brain for doing that which I "hope" to do, or think that I would do well at.
So as for the lists that wrap their tentacles around my brain, they shall no longer choke the life out of my gift! I will apply the seat of my pants to the seat of my chair! I will do that which I had previously only thought of, and finish.

The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish tears it down with her own hands.
Proverbs 14:1

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I Need Somebody....Not Just Anybody....

Evening comes upon me as I sit and attempt another breakthrough message. I light goes off in my mind as I make the realization of the day: I cannot escape the desire to perfect my actions. Today was filled with its normal variety of "To-Do's" that got done, but it was also filled with an assortment of items that never seem to depart from my thought waves:
Call that Friend
Write that book
Scrapbook that photo
Finish that filing
Make that Menu
Clean that....
Read that
Trash that
Fix that
Never ending....and the light that I see as I focus on this mountain of garble is that this life of mine will always have its perfect moments.
Perfect moments of instability, change and never ending lists.
It's a good thing I like lists....and that I have a never ending supply of help.

If the Lord had not been my help,
my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence.
Psalm 94:17

Friday, January 1, 2010

Top 10 For the New Year

This was John Piper's New Year post, and being that it hits home for me I am sharing it with you. Happy New Year!!! May the Lord be glorified in your life....

10 Resolutions for Mental Health
January 1, 2010 | By: John Piper

On October 22, 1976, Clyde Kilby, who is now with Christ in Heaven, gave an unforgettable lecture. I went to hear him that night because I loved him. He had been one of my professors in English Literature at Wheaton College. He opened my eyes to more of life than I knew could be seen.

O, what eyes he had! He was like his hero, C. S. Lewis, in this regard. When he spoke of the tree he saw on the way to class this morning, you wondered why you had been so blind all your life. Since those days in classes with Clyde Kilby, Psalm 19:1 has been central to my life: “The sky is telling the glory of God.”

That night Dr. Kilby had a pastoral heart and a poet’s eye. He pled with us to stop seeking mental health in the mirror of self-analysis, but instead to drink in the remedies of God in nature.

He was not naïve. He knew of sin. He knew of the necessity of redemption in Christ. But he would have said that Christ purchased new eyes for us as well as new hearts. His plea was that we stop being unamazed by the strange glory of ordinary things.

He ended that lecture in 1976 with a list of resolutions. As a tribute to my teacher and a blessing to your soul, I offer them for your joy.
10 Resolutions for Mental Health

1. At least once every day I shall look steadily up at the sky and remember that I, a consciousness with a conscience, am on a planet traveling in space with wonderfully mysterious things above and about me.

2. Instead of the accustomed idea of a mindless and endless evolutionary change to which we can neither add nor subtract, I shall suppose the universe guided by an Intelligence which, as Aristotle said of Greek drama, requires a beginning, a middle, and an end.

I think this will save me from the cynicism expressed by Bertrand Russell before his death when he said: "There is darkness without, and when I die there will be darkness within. There is no splendor, no vastness anywhere, only triviality for a moment, and then nothing."

3. I shall not fall into the falsehood that this day, or any day, is merely another ambiguous and plodding twenty-four hours, but rather a unique event, filled, if I so wish, with worthy potentialities.

I shall not be fool enough to suppose that trouble and pain are wholly evil parentheses in my existence, but just as likely ladders to be climbed toward moral and spiritual manhood.

4. I shall not turn my life into a thin, straight line which prefers abstractions to reality. I shall know what I am doing when I abstract, which of course I shall often have to do.

5. I shall not demean my own uniqueness by envy of others. I shall stop boring into myself to discover what psychological or social categories I might belong to. Mostly I shall simply forget about myself and do my work.

6. I shall open my eyes and ears. Once every day I shall simply stare at a tree, a flower, a cloud, or a person. I shall not then be concerned at all to ask what they are but simply be glad that they are. I shall joyfully allow them the mystery of what Lewis calls their "divine, magical, terrifying and ecstatic" existence.

7. I shall sometimes look back at the freshness of vision I had in childhood and try, at least for a little while, to be, in the words of Lewis Carroll, the "child of the pure unclouded brow, and dreaming eyes of wonder."

8. I shall follow Darwin's advice and turn frequently to imaginative things such as good literature and good music, preferably, as Lewis suggests, an old book and timeless music.

9. I shall not allow the devilish onrush of this century to usurp all my energies but will instead, as Charles Williams suggested, "fulfill the moment as the moment." I shall try to live well just now because the only time that exists is now.

10. Even if I turn out to be wrong, I shall bet my life on the assumption that this world is not idiotic, neither run by an absentee landlord, but that today, this very day, some stroke is being added to the cosmic canvas that in due course I shall understand with joy as a stroke made by the architect who calls himself Alpha and Omega.

(Originally posted 12/31/07)