Saturday, April 30, 2011

I Wish

I wish that we didn’t live in a world where physical beauty is placed above inner beauty.

I wish that we could learn to love ourselves for who we are…not for who we think we should be or who we think someone else wants us to be.

I wish that we would understand that we don’t need to put up with being put down.

I wish that the feeling of being inferior would go away.

I wish that the carefree days of childhood would stay….at least a little longer.

I wish that we could learn to be satisfied with knowing that doing our best is good enough.

I wish that we would learn that perfection is an unworthy goal.

I wish that we would know that normal is an ever moving target and that “normal” is overrated.

I wish that we would see ourselves not as the world sees us, but as we are seen through the eyes of our creator.

I wish someone would have told me all of this so much sooner.

I wish I would have listened when they did.

2 Thessalonians 1 11 With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. 12 We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Life's Better with......

a friend, family and support.

I like watching people.  Not in a creepy stalker kind of way.  ;)  Just how people interact with each other.  I especially love when I'm in a crowd and I see somebody walk around kind of aimlessly, but you can tell he or she is looking for someone.  Then the person looked for is spotted, a smile, a wave, maybe a hug....and life continues on.

Recently, I brought our daughter to school in the AM.  Usually, she kind of drags herself out of the car.  I rarely get a smile.  However, on this particular morning the car that pulled in ahead of us was one of her friends.  Her friend got out of the car and waited.  Daughter got out of car much more energetically, with a huge smile and quickly they walked together up the sidewalk into school.  Much better start to the day.

Monday, I met up with my sister and her boys at the mall.  I was spotted by one of my nephews pretty quickly.  I waved.  He ran toward me with his arms outstretched like you see people running across a field toward each other.  I smiled.  I had to stop part of the way in because as he picked up speed he probably would have knocked me over!  I got an awesome hug.  Then her youngest came up and gave me a hug...and his hand to continue walking toward where my sister was.  I even got a smaller hug from the oldest.  I felt loved and I smile even as I write this.  What a great way to start out the week!

We've had a lot going on lately.  Not necessarily bad stuff, but stuff that has kept us busy, distracted, and unable to work toward the things we'd like to have had done awhile ago.  Through medical tests, etc. I have discovered again the issues that stress can cause.  It seems so simple to just try and say I'll have less stress or let if affect me less.  ha.  I don't even know if that is possible anymore in the world that we live in.  Time seems to go by faster and faster.  We have "time-saving" devices that do not always assist us in wisely using the time we've "saved".

One of the doctors I went to asked if I had a good "support network".  And I do.  I have friends and family that are willing to talk with me and walk with me through the good, bad, sad, name it, they are there.  Reaching out and up are sometimes the last things I want to do.  Relying on God and my support network do not make me stress less.....but they are what makes life better. 

Praying that you have friends, family and a support network.  Praying that you realize sometimes you will be the support network for somebody else.  Praying that your life will be better so you can help somebody else have a better life.

Psalm 94 17-19 Unless the LORD had given me help, I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death.
When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, LORD, supported me.  When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.

Friday, April 08, 2011

and the answer is....... What was the question?

I loved teaching Sunday School....especially the younger kids.  We would sometimes start out by asking questions.  The kids got used to a lot of the answers being "Jesus".  Eventually as the year went on, we would barely get the question started and the kids would start raising their hands and whispering and I could see their mouths saying "Jesus".  Which is great except that wasn't the answer to the question we were asking.  ex.  Who was a little boy that wore a coat of many colors?  (Joseph)  JESUS  Always made me smile....still does.

Jesus is the answer to a lot of life's issues.  Sometimes we try every other answer we can think of first...and then turn to Jesus as a last resort.  Sometimes we'll try an answer along with Jesus and question which one really worked.  Sometimes we pray first, then act and we are sure the answer was Jesus.

I typed "Jesus answer" into Bible Gateway to find a verse or 2 to go along with this.  I was surprised how many verses came up that started with "Jesus answered".  In the NIV version, they are in the 4 gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

Matthew 4  When the devil tempted Jesus after 40 days in the wilderness, Jesus answered by saying "it is written".   This is a good reminder to us that when things get tough, looking into God's word and reminding ourselves of the promises there can help us through the questions we have.

Sometimes Jesus answered a question with a question as the religious rulers at the time were trying to trap him. 
Matthew 21:23-24 Jesus entered the temple courts, and, while he was teaching, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him. “By what authority are you doing these things?” they asked. “And who gave you this authority?”  Jesus replied, “I will also ask you one question. If you answer me, I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things.

Sometimes Jesus stayed silent even when asked a question.  Sometimes the best answer IS no answer.
Matthew 26:62-63  Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?” But Jesus remained silent.

Many times Jesus is the answer, but people in His days on Earth and even now will not acknowledge Jesus as the answer.
Luke 22:66-68 At daybreak the council of the elders of the people, both the chief priests and the teachers of the law, met together, and Jesus was led before them. “If you are the Messiah,” they said, “tell us.”   Jesus answered, “If I tell you, you will not believe me, and if I asked you, you would not answer.

What are some of the questions you're facing right now?  Are you willing to seek out answers and accept the fact that in our lives the answer really is Jesus?

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Dinged Up and Firey Darts

AAAARRRRRWWWWW!  Ok, now that the screaming is out of the's an internal is late at night/early in the AM and I have sleeping family members I don't want to scare!

This thought has been on my mind a lot lately.  There is SO much going on in the world right now.  Maybe there has always been a lot going on, but with almost instant access to any and every possible newsworthy (and some NOT so newsworthy) event it seems there is always something happening somewhere.

In my own little world things stay busy.  I've been trying to do better at not filling all the squares on my calendar with something I have to or choose to do.  Some days/weeks are better than others.  I'm trying to get back to scheduling at least one day my "catch up" day so I don't start to feel so overwhelmed.  However, there's a saying that we plan, God laughs.

Frequently that happens, at least the planning part.  On the days I actually make it to do a list of what should get done that day, someone will end up sick and change the direction of the day.  Or I get a call from school.  Or, or, or.  You get the picture.  I recently talked to my husband that the more we try to get closer to God the more the devil tries to get in the way.

Sometimes though, I get so busy with the doing that God uses (even if it was intended for bad) whatever He can to get my attention.  About a month ago, it was a car accident. That thing where insurance says a lot of accidents happen within 10 miles from home, yeah.  I didn't even get all the way out of my driveway.  I was in a hurry.  Thought I'd get stuck at the end of my driveway.  Looked before the tree, but not after.  I'm still not really sure how it all worked out.  However, another driver's car was damaged.  My back end passenger side got dinged up pretty good.

A part of me wants to fix the worst part of the van, but leave some sort of reminder of the dinging up.  More than likely, the main reason I had any issue is that I was in a hurry.  The car is just a physical version of the dinging up I do to myself and have watched others do to themselves mentally and spiritually.

The Bible refers to the armor of God in Ephesians 6 (below).  Honestly, I feel like my armor is getting dinged up, especially my shield and my helmet.  However, the dings remind me of the reason I need the armor in  the first place.  Darts fly frequently and we live in a world with a lot going on.

The Armor of God
Ephesians 6:10-18 (NIV) Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.  Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.