Wednesday, January 21, 2009

It's NOT a train....AND the engineer is still in control!

I'm sure I've written before about the tunnel and the train. It was worse when I used to have a much more stressful job. Trying to be the ever optimist, I would proclaim, "There's a light at the end of the tunnel!" Then, the sometimes not so smaller voice of the pessimistic side (NO, I do not have multiple personalities even if it sounds like it!, smile) would continue after a slight pause...."yeah, it's a train!"

I'm reading a book entitled, Aaron's way, the journey of a strong-willed child, by Kendra Smiley with Aaron Smiley. Aside from loving their last name it has also been a really helpful book to read. It is a story of her son, Aaron, and the discoveries/roadblocks that she discovered and faced while raising their strong willed son. The interesting part is that Aaron is now grown up and not too far removed from those times of strong willed growing up years to give his insight as well. Aaahhh! A look into the mind of the kid. HELPFUL!

I have at least one strong willed child (and occasionally, still, a strong willed husband) who see life very black and white with very little to no shades of gray. I have discovered that they are out to control their destinies in a sometimes out of control world and the variable personalities they come in contact with. This insight alone is worth reading the book.

There are quotes throughout the book too and I REALLY enjoyed this one and wanted to share it and it ties into the tunnel/train:

"When the train goes through a tunnel and the world gets dark, do you jump out? Of course not, you sit still and trust the engineer to get you through" Corrie Ten Boom

The Bible talks about trust too.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV) 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowlege him, and he will make your paths straight.

1 Chronicles 5:20 (NIV) They were helped in fighting them, and God handed the Hagrites and all their allies over to them, because they cried out to him during the battle. He answered their prayers, because they trusted in him.

Raising our kids today (and sometimes still feeling like we're growing up ourselves) is a battle worth fighting! We don't go through the tunnel alone. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.... God's care and protection!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Hard Head = Hard Heart, Becoming Unfrozen

Hebrews 3:12-14 (NLT)
12 Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God. 13 You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God. 14 For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ.

I know I need church services as a way of filling up and quenching a dry spirit. However, I let my bad habits of staying up too late at night carry over on to Saturday PM and have overslept the last couple of Sundays. When I do get to church, within a few minutes, I'm in tears because I realize again that I have been attempting to run my life without God's help. I let "sentence prayers" be enough. I read the paper instead of the Bible. I don't take care of myself. I preach, but don't follow my own advice. And I'm surprised when I start to feel like I'm falling in a hole and get depressed.

I've also been reading a book about strong willed children...and I've realized I've got some changing to do! This makes me feel guilty for the way I've been handling things in our house and with our kids. When I start feeling down, I start letting things slide. This doesn't do the kids (or me) any good.

I was looking for a verse about feeling like having a frozen heart (and not just because it's been SO cold). Walking into church yesterday, even after the battles to get there, I could feel the ice start to melt. References in the Bible usually refer to it as having a "hardened" heart.

It is easy to feel overwhelmed when the world feels like it is crashing in on itself. When we see others even further away from God than we are, and struggling to do it on their own. I like the verse above. It shows that God knows we need DAILY reminders to turn to Him and let Him carry the load. We need to make sure that what we see in the world does not turn us away from knowing the truth....God loves us, provides for us, and cares about us....hard head, hard heart and all.

Even if it feels impossible to warm up (if you live in MI!), realize God doesn't want us frozen where we are. He wants to take us where He wants us to be!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Reflections......Movin' On.......

2 Corinthians 3:17-18 (NIV)
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

Wow, it's already January 8! Happy New Year! A fresh start!

I have much to do today, but I decided to stop for a few minutes and think. There are times/days I get so "busy" that I don't give myself time to sit (hopefully, quietly) and think. I just seem to flit from thing to thing usually not finishing anything. This is really frustrating for me. I KNOW what to do and even HOW to do it, but I don't DO it. A lot of this is procrastination and just not wanting to deal with everyday stuff.

I know from past experience that once I've done the stuff I need to do, I can't believe I waited so long to deal with it. I spent more time worrying about the outcome than spending the time it would take to do the project and not have to worry. Reflect in the dictionary is: to think quietly and calmly. Ha! part of the problem. When I think of the past, I don't think about it quietly or calmly. It comes roaring in with fingers pointing and shouting, "You COULD/SHOULD/WOULD have done better, if only _______"

Now, the following COULD sound like an excuse:

Ecclesiastes 5:20 (NIV) He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart.

However, I am going to think of it as if I focus on what God has done and is doing in my life, I don't need to reflect for too long on what has already happened. I can enjoy today. So can you!

The new year is not the only time for fresh starts. Each day we are given the opportunity to get something done, right a wrong or just BE and that's enough.

So, my free advice for the day, "Just DO it (whatever "it" is)!"

One more thought: I finally watched Gone With the Wind quite awhile ago. At the time, I thought after ALL that happened in the movie that the end line of the movie was rather lame. "After all, tomorrow is another day."

However, I'm beginning to realize that is rather good advice. Scarlett (and we) could focus on all the mistakes we've made or the time we've wasted OR we can move on. I suggest we learn from the past and move on....before WE are Gone with the Wind (OK, That's a stretch!, smile).

To quote Timone from Lion King: Put your past behind you.

Just in case, you want to see for yourself: ending of Gone with the Wind (gotta love YouTube)