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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Perfect Timing!

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Left leg crossed over right knee, I bounced it out of boredom, partly, and partly out of irritation.  The clock behind the receptionist counter revealed the Pediatric Ophthalmologist to be 30 minutes behind schedule and nothing in the pages of the Health magazine between my fingers was to hold my attention or the attention of my 3 young children in tow.

Grace, Teresa, have some grace. (Sigh)

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Immunity to lies!

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DAY 11 (Read Day 1 “OK, Honey. Challenge Accepted!” Post)

Lies are diseases that contaminate our soul, but a daily injection of the Holy Spirit builds our immunity by infiltrating us with Truth.

The Golden Moments when my Teenager Messes Up!

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DAY 8 (Read Day 1 “OK, Honey. Challenge Accepted!” Post)

Character development is a constant conversation between myself and my teens.  Eye rolls occur, “I know, Mom” are spoken words and sporadically, on remote occasions, there is a remorseful apology given without prompt when a mistake has been uncovered.

“I’m sorry,” he said, with tears in his eyes.  Tears not from getting caught, not from the consequence poured out, but salty drips of remorse from the disappointment he sensed over his choice.

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Raging Fire of Life

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DAY 3 (Read Day 1 “OK, Honey. Challenge Accepted!” Post)

I awoke with visual of a masterful sunrise that drifted through my sleep. So lucid, red and burnt orange layers of clouds on fire, seared in the Kodak file of my mind. Trees in reach, silhouetted by the radiance. Breathtaking.

Precisely 4:52 am, displayed the iPhone used to snap an impression of the dreamt artistry…wait a minute!!! Maybe, I vaguely remember…did I?

Now 6:50, I fumble for the phone and choose camera roll. Mouth drops, eyes widen.

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The Other side of the Bridge!

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Courageous, to say the least, was this transformative expression of devotion. A momentous parade of lives crossed over from death to life, from dark to light, from heaviness of lies to freedom of truth.  Slowly and methodically, each person crossed over the wooden bridge that spanned the stage to fearlessly declare that they are letting go and letting God. Easter’s story of sacrifice and resurrection was spoken, for some a carbon copy as told last time, for others a fantastically timed revelation of their buried or even denied need for a savior.

The last few minutes of this portrayal of renewal and rebirth signifies a new beginning, a healed heart, a refreshed soul.  (Click on link below to experience it yourself.)

Mine was not a physical bridge, nor was it a public demonstration.  I sat on my unkempt bed on the lower level of the wooden bunk. The soul altering message given by the camp speaker penetrated deeply as phrases of truth lingered in my mind. Awakened and now aware of the black hole in my spirit, a decision needed to be made.  Sin and shame are hard to release but I now knew that they weren’t mine to carry.  They were His.

What seemed endless at the time was a flood of emotions that escaped the prison I had made. Yet, it was not in my control. Overtaken, overwhelmed I was as the Spirit infiltrated my being.  Guilt, grief, deceit and all other impurity within, drained from my soul.  A vision of ungodly residue being removed as I “crossed the bridge” from death to life.  High on the Spirit, nothing could weigh me down.

Then life happened.  As it often has a tendency to do, it knocked me off my mountain top and sent me tumbling to a valley of shadows and death. It wasn’t real, lacked genuineness or worst yet it left me were thoughts I contemplated. I had left camp, determined to prevail, adamant to remain in His presence so how could I now, feel so…lost, defeated.

Naivety? Foolishness?  Stubborn independence?  Doesn’t matter, the fact is I was unprepared for what was on the other side.  I assumed my walk of faith led me to a destination rather than beginning of a whole new journey. One that needs daily guidance and direction.  A pilgrimage full of unseen obstacles and attacks accompany the joy and freedom.  After all, a “troll” did everything he could to keep us from crossing the bridge and he doesn’t give up when we make it to the other side.  There is a map, weapons, a compass that keeps us on the path to holiness.  Wisdom, encouragement and truth from His word uncovers what we need to weather the storms as we drudge forward, find confidence in Christ and wholeheartedly understand that we are never alone.

Heaven is dancing for all who have crossed the bridge. Now lets do everything we can to continue moving forward and grow in knowledge and faith of Jesus Christ until the journey is complete.

Dreary Rain? Matter of perspective!

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Yes, at first it was, disappointing at worst and hair frizzing at best. If it were Texas rain, warm to the touch, like a steamy shower on a winter day, kind of downpour, I would dance in it. Drench myself under the pounding drops and be soaked to the bone in it. Not a chance in this cold rain. This is the rain that beckons me to stay inside, re-cover myself in down feathers in my unmade bed and wait.

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