Blessed! “I do not think it means what you think it means!”

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Sitting among a group of peers, in true “round-table” fashion, each had a story of hollow wombs and vacant arms coupled with the slightly unconventional way of filling the desire, deep-seated need, for children.  Some early in their journey, others veterans of the system, we each divulged details of the miraculous way God had built our families.  Conversation was deep, enjoyable and even beneficial until one comment stopped my heart, to which I mentally had to force myself to breathe.  Three words were uttered that crushed my spirit, heart and soul and provoked me to evaluate my faith.
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Joy Comes in the Mourning!

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Deeply grieved today, I am forced to choose. Stay fixated on the circumstances that plague our family and the sorrow of my journey or find a different angle.

No story this time, that would be fixating, but I trust you have your own. Loss, wounds, frustrations; impossible situations as parents, coworkers, friends, or children weigh us all. Insert your heavy-hearted situation here.

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My Joy is Not up for Grabs!

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Sorrow. Pain. Companions of mine often synonymous with killers of joy. Thieves. They rise and take what is promised to be “new every morning,” but when dawn breaks mourning lingers on and on. As I grow older, a little wiser, I realize how false these accusations are. In truth, no one or nothing can take my joy, I alone, give it away.

Infertility remains loyal to me after 18 years, yet joy, well…it has waned and even vanished at times under the darkness of depression. Unfortunate, has been my choice, to let circumstances sway my ability to chose joy, come what may.

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Battling Alone is Never His Plan

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The house was quiet and Dave and I drifted off to sleep with a plan to take the next morning slow and easy. A rare treat as our middle child had been on suicide watch for some time, causing shifts in our sleep habits. All three kids were at a church camp retreat. REM sleep had settled in when a sudden surge penetrated my body and shot me to a straight up position in bed while the words “in Jesus name” left my mouth loud enough to wake Dave.

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Just a Little Venting!

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“Do everything without complaining and arguing.” Philippians 2:14 NLT

Blatantly obvious words that leave little (actually zero) room for negotiation. Don’t consider, but a direct command to just “do.”

Little or big things, hard or menial tasks all categorized into one lump sum of “everything.”

Exclusive of, not partaking in or allowing an exhale of grief to cross lips during said “doing,” equals “without” and is mutually exclusive with non-existence.

Three “all or nothing” directives offer no wiggle room, “what if” scenarios or “but I was just” excuses.

Why does He have to be so stringent and uptight? What’s a little whine before dinner done to harm anyone?
Venting our annoyances is therapeutic, right?

Guilty! I justify my “arguing” in ways that could turn a jury’s vote. But God’s word lacks an addendum that rights my wrongful attitude of grumbling.

I texted my 19 year old to find out how it was going. His reply, “sitting in these stupid lines for the 5th time is not cool.”

It wasn’t a painful process and he had no where more important to be, as I did, so I implored him to accompany his sister, a freshman in high school, to her “essentials day” by walking her through the picture line, locker assignment line and “pay for everything line.”

Lines are annoying, waiting is cumbersome but his expression of dissatisfaction was more than venting. It stung. What I heard was “you’re not worth my time, Mom.”

All has been resolved since this first text began an elevated discussion on complaining where I threw this verse in his face while, myself, complaining that he isn’t more sensitive. Crud! It’s so annoying when God convicts me while I’m convicting my children. Oops, did it again.

Truth…complaining ALWAYS takes our eyes off of opportunities God may be placing before us to serve and encounter others.

Blinded by our own selfish desires for comfort, whether it’s a mountain or a mole hill, we will stunt our growth in Christ if we focus on the annoyances or grievances of a task or obstacle that blocks our path. . We become stumbling blocks with the contagion that is complaining by breathing negativity rather than the joyful spirit of Christ. God cannot be glorified in the midst of whine and pessimism. Only if we reflect His nature in EVERYTHING we do will true joy be found in all circumstances.

So why risk it?

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HIS Hand Reached Out for Me!

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DAY 26 (Read Day 1 “OK, Honey. Challenge Accepted!” Post)

Air heavy with chill, weighted darkness, a child afraid

Naively innocent, need of love, was I to blame

How was I to know, how could I have seen

The pain that he would cause, when his hand reached out for me.

 

Years lapse by, tears uninterrupted, never I could find

Unadulterated love for my trust to hide behind

How could he not know, why could he not see

He would shred my soul when his hand reached out for me

Teens problems. Young woman alone at the city

Can I be made whole, Is there hope for me

Do you see me hiding here

Absent then, absent now,

Another turned eye is what I fear

 

Surging shame, disgrace unlimited, it’s all I have known

Till a prayerful plea, I unleash, “God, please save my soul”

How was I to know, How could I have seen

There’d be healing power when His hand reached out for me

 

I am healed

I am free

Cause HIS hand reached out for me

 

 

Watchful Eyes!

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DAY 25 (Read Day 1 “OK, Honey. Challenge Accepted!” Post)

He lounges in his favorite spot, feet propped up, and southern style tea by his side while she settles beside him on his right with newspaper in hand. The paper is flapping softly from the movement of the air circulated by the fan above. I am nested precisely where I always am.  I observe no divergence from the routine, yet something seems, well, unexplainably off.  Silence is interrupted by gravel being crushed and turned under the weight of tires.  A brief glance between the two says this is an unexpected visitor.

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