Thursday, October 30, 2008

Just a quick reality check:

I keep thinking that I want to sit down and focus on writing or reading or worshiping or just being still. But everytime I start I get distracted by something. Isn't that the way life is? You find something that draws you closer to God and helps you to find some form of sanity within, and then when you start to do that something there is a barrier in place. I have been ammending my theology on this a little lately. I used to think "It's all Satan's fault! He is just waiting for that one single moment to interupt my focus." I think he probably has something to do with it...sometimes. But I also have to share the blame! After all, I make a lot of choices that put me in the position of distraction! Here is a good question for me to ask myself. "How often do I do the work of Satan and his minions by just keeping myself from doing the things that God would have me do?"

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Dilemma

I am faced with a dilemma. Some may think this is stupid, but I do not. It is difficult for me to write about this, for fear of judgment and rejection. I cannot be afraid of that, though. As I have been writing lately, my eyes must be focused on Christ and not man. That means that the only opinion I really need to fear is that of God and not of other people.

Every October, I find myself facing the same challenge and dilemma. It is about the last day of the month. There is a holiday that we celebrate, called Halloween. Around the time that I really started following Christ, I started feeling that participating in activities surrounding Halloween was wrong. I have been pretty firm in that, with few exceptions being made. When I have decided to participate, I feel like I have compromised what I believe in. I felt I was turning on a conviction that I have, for the sake of convenience. I believe, however, that the Lord has made it clear that the activities surrounding this day are not ones that honor Him.

Some of you are probably asking, "What is the big deal?"

Halloween (also called All Hallows Eve) is one of the four major days set aside for pagan and Wicca rituals to take place on. This day was established under the guise that on this day the spirits of the dead (all former living creatures, not just humans) were able to come back and wander freely. There were ceremonies and acts of appeasement that took place. How can we, as Christians, participate in activities that celebrate this day with a clear conscience? All of the little things that we do around Halloween have symbolism rooted in evil. Some may think I am being extreme. Look it up. Here are a few of the symbols and their meanings:

*Bon fire: means “fire of bones”; a pile of bones from sacrificed animals and sometimes humans were set on fire to burn as the primary source of light.
*Bobbing for Apples: honor Pomona, a pagan Goddess of fruit. It is also seen as a sign of good fortune to get a bite out of an apple.
*Dressing up in scary costumes: People would dress to blend in with the spirits of the dead, so they would not be distinguished

*Trick or Treat: People would offer treats to appease the spirits of the dead that were freely roaming on All Hallows Eve.
*Jack-O-Lantern: The ancient symbol for the damned soul – this was originally done on turnips or beets and when this holiday started being celebrated in the US, pumpkins were used.
*Bats, owls, and nocturnal beings: Used because they were originally thought to frighten the evil spirits that were freely roaming; black cats were believed to be reincarnated beings able to divine the future. They are also often believed to be witches in disguise.

When I think about all of the things we do around this day and where they stem from, it makes me ask some questions. What does God think about all of this? Where is the Glory for Him? What are we, as Christians, doing to be set apart? If we participate in these activities, even with the understanding that we are only doing it for fun or for evangelism, how is the world supposed to know that we believe in something so much greater? This is where the dilemma comes in!

There are so many activities that take place in Christian circles, still doing the same things the same way that the rest of the world does. They are just done with the claim that they are "evangelical outreaches". It is wonderful that activities take place with the intention of sharing the gospel and letting people know that Christ is our one true savior. But how can I in good conscious dress up, bob for apples, and carve pumpkins, and then tell someone that Christ is the lover of their soul and He wants to transform them! How am I living a transformed life in that instance?

It's hard for me because I believe we have to meet people where they are. I also believe that apart from Christ, there is nothing in me that makes me any better than those who don't know Him. I don't want to stand out, as if I am saying "I think I am better than you or more holy than you because I don't participate in these things." I am not. I also wonder if I am closing the door on evangelism by not participating.

I guess my last question is what does it really mean to be set apart?

Pray for me as I seek God in this and decide how I am going to respond to this year’s challenges.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


We had a meeting at church last night. I honestly don't think it could have gone much better. I believe there is Hope for my church! I believe that if we keep our eyes focused on the cross, God is going to bring such beauty in the wake of what we see as destruction! But doesn't He promise that? King David is recorded, saying, "His anger may last for a moment but His favor will last for a lifetime. Weeping may last through the night, but His joy comes in the morning." (Psalm 30:5)

For a year now, the Lord has been giving me different visions for my church. I am not unique in what I have been seeing. He has been showing me a shifting foundation. He has also been showing me broken bones being healed. I am reminding of a recurring vision that I have had in the sanctuary of my church. There is a broken bone that is healing incorrect. There is pain and the bone is causing deformity because it is not functioning the way it was intended to. It was never set, so that it would heal correct. God comes in and rebrakes the bone and sets it in place so that it will heal correct and be stronger than it was before. I remember sharing this vision with my prayer group. It resonated with them. We prayed about it and one of the prayers was that when God rebrakes our church that He would be merciful and quick. We prayed that healing would come quickly and that there would be as little pain as was necessary for God to do His work. We want God to come and set us straight! We want to be a people with eyes fixed on our Savior! We ask God to make the foundation right! Why then, are we surprised when it happens?

I think that we want God to make things right, we just don't want the pain that comes with it! I have been learning a lot about pain this past year. I have been learning how to not let the physical pain that I feel on a daily basis keep me from pursuing the will of God. I have been learning how to not let it stop me from living out my purpose. I don't think it is an easy lesson, but I do think that it is a merciful one! God is truly the God of mercy! I know that I can walk through pain and not be knocked down, as long as I keep my eyes on my True King!

This doesn't mean that I don't have questions or in circumstances hurt more than I think I can bear (and I mean hurt spiritually and emotionally as well as physically). That is when I have to hold even more firmly to the promises that God has made. I can listen to the promises that He has spoken to me, the promises spoken by Godly men and women, and most important I can listen to the promises that are in scripture. One of my favorites is 2 Corinthians 4:7-10.

"We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies."

I am reminded in this scripture that God is the only source of power I have. He is the only one I can rely on fully. And no matter what my circumstance is, He does not leave my side! God will never abandon me! It also reminds me that when I am suffering, people are watching. This is when God has an opportunity to reveal Himself not only to me, but also to others through me.

I continue to pray for my church family, that we will allow God to stir and move freely. That we would usher Him in and ask the Holy Spirit to fill the temple. That we would call on the hosts of heaven to come and be with us. That we can join in with the Saints to worship the God of heaven and earth! May your kingdom come and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven! Call a procession for the King of Kings and welcome Him in!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


God, why is it that growing closer to you requires brokenness? And why God, does brokenness hurt so much? Why does it cause people to scatter like a flock of sheep in a storm? God, I have just one more question. When will we get to see you, face to face?

My heart is hurting for my church family right now. We are in the fire and it hurts! People don't agree, as is very often the case! Some people are ready to quit, other's want to stay and fight, and still other's feel as thought their sense of trust has been broken. I'm sure that there are also plenty who are just confused and don't know why there is the weight of fear in the air.

Ultimately, I have to trust that God is sovereign and He will not relent! He will not stop fighting for what He has established and put in place. "What God has established, let no man separate." (Matthew 19:6) I know this scripture is talking about marriage, but I think it is very applicable.

If we truly desire for God's Kingdom to come and we really want to be more like Him, I am certain that comes at a price! We need to be set apart. We need to be willing to weather the storm and fight for what God has established! We cannot turn and bail boat just because we hurt or disagree. We MUST stand firm in the foundation of God and not man! When did we decide that we could take God off of His throne? When did we decide that we all had to agree and get along in order for God to be on His throne? No! We are a body; a family. We will not always agree on all things, but we must fall before the True King! We need to seek His face and ask for His forgiveness and blessing! We need to ask for the Holy Spirit to clothe us and help us to see people and circumstance through the eyes of Christ! We need to ask God to turn our hearts from judgment and self-righteousness to the righteousness of Him who created it all! God is Sovereign! He is in charge! He reigns! He will not relent! He will not let go! He loves His children too much to turn, and His plans are greater than our own!

God pour your blessings out over me! Put your Spirit as a covering for me, that I can be humble and see you clearly through the storm surrounding me! Let my face be fixed upon you! God, You are Most High! God, I return to my first love! Lord, bless my church family. Comfort the broken-hearted and heal the gaping wounds. You alone are our hope! Let our eyes be fixed on you God. Let us not look away! Let us trust your Sovereignty! Do not let the enemy shake us. Do not give him ground on the foundation that you have built! You are good, God. You are good and your love does not fade! Thank you, Father! Thank you!

Saturday, October 18, 2008


A few years ago I was in a school of ministry, through my church. The name of it was the School of Spiritual Transformation. Our first assignment was to create a ministry timeline. It was to be used as a tool for writing a testimony; the story of how each of us came to know Christ and what has happened in that journey. It is also to help identify purpose and identity in Christ. We work from the understanding that we are all called and created with a purpose. What is that purpose? What are the plans of God for our lives?

This assignment was a challenge for me! At first, I thought that my timeline would not have very much in it. As I worked on it and prayed through it, I found things that occurred when I was a small child that have hugely impacted who I am today and what I believe my destiny to be. By the time I got to the end of the timeline, I had to go back and take things out to get it to a readable size.

What is my point in bringing this up? Well, I have been feeling urged lately to write out my testimony and have it prepared. I never know when I will be called upon to tell someone how it is that I came to love God with the passion and intimacy that is in my soul. Matthew 24 is an account of Jesus talking about the end times. In verse 14, He says, “And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.” I believe that we all need to have an account of the work of Christ in our life ready, so that when we are asked, we can share this good news.
I encourage each of you to take some time to sit down and think through where you have been and where you plan on going. How is Christ a part of that? What are the plans God has made you for? We all have things to share that can further the Kingdom of God. What is your story?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


This should be dated October 10, but I didn’t get it transferred from my journal to my blog in time.

This has been a long week! Yesterday, my sister contacted me with some sad news. She had to have her cat, Jasmine, put to sleep because she was very ill. I called her back, and the whole time we were on the phone she was just crying. I was hurting for her and also felt helpless to help her. All I could do was tell her I love her and pray for her. I remembered when I had to put my rabbit, Hickory, to sleep. I was devastated! My heart hurt from depths that I didn’t know existed! She may have just been a bunny, but she was my bunny and I loved her very much!

I started thinking about how I have a little toy that was Hickory’s favorite. I had to get rid of all of her stuff, but I kept this one toy. I hand it in the laundry room, and see it whenever I am doing my laundry. I don’t often just sit and think in too much depth about the pain I felt anymore, but every once in a while, I take her toy and just sob! Why? Because I still miss her! Most of the time when I think of her now, I laugh! I remember how tiny she was when I first got her. She would hop around the house and my cat, Cinnamon, didn’t know what to think of this interesting creature. She would quisically watch and then mimic her. It was hilarious! Or, I think of her eating lettuce under the table, while a friend of mine and I ate a special dinner. I even think about the pillows she chewed holes in so that she could burrow inside! Most of this makes me laugh…sometimes uncontrollably! As I said, sometimes I just have to cry, though. That is when it is good to have this little “memory” toy.

I was very sad for my sister, because I know how much it hurts to lose a pet! I know what it is like to have someone for years and years that cuddles with you and has a special bond with you. And I know what it is like to have to be a part of the decision to allow that life to come to an end. It hurts! I think I am going to try to make a bracelet for her as a “memory” to hold onto. In the mean time, I just pray.

I pray, Lord Jesus, that you would be the comfort that my sister needs right now! I pray that would heal her heart and provide for her all that she needs in this time. Let people be gentle and sensitive and provide words of comfort and grace! Most of all, God, embrace her in your arms and hold her as a Good Father does! Because You God are a Good Father!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sleepless Night?

Since I can't sleep and all I seem to be able to do right now is pray and think about all the things I could be or should be writing, I decided maybe I should just write. If nothing else, maybe I will finally get weary enough to actually fall asleep. Weary? I am definitely weary enough! It is just that I can't go to sleep for some reason! I have now been trying for over three hours! I feel desperate! My mind is racing, my head aches, my face is stained with tears, and I am feeling a bit angry and bitter that I can't just stuff the things of my heart into the internal Tupperware and seal the lid that doesn't come off until I am ready to deal with the stuff inside!

What are these feelings? There is a whole menagerie of them! There's a range from anger and hurt and injustice to gratefulness and indebtedness. Too many for this all too often, overly introspective me to identify!

But what started all this is that I just feel so much tension at home! For any who have read my bio, you know that I live with a family that I identify as "amazing". I don't take back the comment of amazement! They are very kind and loving and generous. The problem is that I just don't feel like I fit or belong! There seems to be a constant pressure or tension between Kathy and I, which I hate! Prior to me moving into this house, she was probably one of the women that I admired most in my life! Now, I just don't feel like I am important to her anymore! I just don't feel like she cares about me in the way that she did before. It hurts!

I was talking with a friend today who recently moved to another state for school. She was telling me how she is hurting because she is in a new place, with new people, in a new school, and no one around her knows how to love her in the way she needs to be loved! This is kind-of how I feel. I just don't feel like I am getting loved in the way I need to be loved!

What I feel like in large part is that she feels like they did their part by getting me here and now it is sink or swim! It may help you (and my internal Tupperware that is so full it is overflowing at the rate of a riverbank in a flashflood) if you knew more about how I came to live here. Now keep in mind, this is the story from my perspective.

In the last year, I have been overwhelmed with financial burden - primarily medical expenses! I have health insurance, good health insurance, but co-pays are still expensive when you are seeing 4 specialists, on a cocktail of chemotherapy and immune therapy drugs, and regularly getting labs (like blood work and x-rays) done! Then you add in the days of missed work because I was too sick to go, hurting too bad, or just didn't have it in my inner-being to go in and spend my day helping sick people solve the very same (or very similar) problems that I felt were swallowing me alive! What this means is that my bills added up to roughly $2700.00 a month and my income was roughly $1000.00 a month. Any good mathematician can tell you that unless you have an abundance of savings or you live on borrowed money, this math just don't work!

Well, savings was gone very quickly! I don't use credit cards, at all. So, this meant I just couldn't pay things that needed to be paid. At least one of my utilities was off almost all the time. I had a very kind neighbor that would let me take showers at her house and fill all the pitchers with water when the water was off. When the electricity was off, I just left windows open and lit candles. When the gas was off I would cook in the microwave and take really cold showers - presuming I still had electricity and water! I was not living well! Mean while, most of the people in my life had no clue that this was going on - only those who were very close to me. I was exhausted!!!! Not only did I just in general feel like crap, but I also felt very irresponsible and ashamed! Knowing that I was about 2 months away from my landlord kicking me out on my butt, all I could do was pray! I prayed for miracles! I prayed for money! I prayed for grace! I prayed that I would be able to set aside my pride and let people know just how bad things were. I prayed and prayed and prayed and prayed!

One night, I was babysitting for my friends Kathy and Gary. When they got home, they sat me down and Kathy said, "You know how I have always said that if we had an apartment above our garage that we would want you to come live with us? Well, we don't have an apartment above the garage. But, we do have a garage! I was looking out there today and I thought, 'How could we make it so that Lynn could live here?' Then I saw it. We could turn the garage into a bedroom for you. It wouldn't be much and you may not want it. But we could turn it into a home for you that wouldn't be as expensive as where you are living right now. We would have to do some work on it. Gary can sheetrock it in and actually give you walls and a door. You would have to share the bathroom with the kids, because there isn't a way to get plumbing in there easily. It would be for a year or so, to give you a chance to get your feet on the ground and decide what you want or need to be doing; if you want to go to nursing school or change jobs. It wouldn't be much, but it would be something, and it would be yours. It's what we can offer you."

I think that is almost verbatim. That conversation still echoes in my heart! Finally! There was an answer! There was release! And, it was an answer that I had very directly been praying for. In an attempt to keep this novel from being as long as Gone With the Wind, I will leave out some of the details about why I believe that accepting the invitation to live here was the right thing to do. But obviously, I said yes. In about two months time, I was living in their home.

Please know, that when I write the struggles and frustrations that I have, I have not forgotten where I came from or the sacrifice that was made for me to be here. But, that is in part, a portion of the problem. This is where the indebtedness comes in. In part, I just feel guilty for feeling so stressed still and not just being content. I feel like I could never do enough to repay them and will never be able to. But I am still a person and I still have needs.

So, what am I not getting that I need? Or what is happening that is currently so hurtful to me?

I feel like I am being overlooked! And not only do I feel like I am being overlooked, but also I feel like it is happening from the person that I love and admire and need affirmation from! I no longer get the hugs that I used to cherish - or the sweet kisses on the forehead that came with them! I used to look forward to seeing this dear friend of mine because she would always greet me in this fashion and then ask me how I am doing or how I am feeling. She no longer asks! And, when I speak, she doesn't listen to me. I am just another annoying nuisance of a noise in her day! On the brief occasion that I do get to actually talk to her - just her - she proceeds to tell me how everyone always needs something from her all day long. She can't even go to the bathroom alone because the door doesn't lock and even if it did one of the kids would be on the other side banging and crying out "Mooommmyyyyyy"! She starts listing off all the things she would like to be doing and could be doing instead of talking. It makes me feel like what she is saying is, "Not you too! First I wake up to children yelling my name and then Gary needs something and then I have to take the kids to school and then the other kid(s) want something and then and then and then and then...YOU. Now you want something from me to! Just go away and leave me alone!" It hurts!

And then she tells me that I just don't get it, that I can't possibly understand what her life is like because I am single and don't have children. I feel like she looks at me and thinks that just because I am single there is no way that I can see the struggles that she is having or attempt to offer solutions. I feel like she looks at me and thinks that my life is in the same place that her life was when she was 21, when she was last single, even though in reality I am only 6 years younger than she is. I don't know what it is like to have a husband or children, but I have a lot that I can offer - if only she would allow me. And, when she is listing off all of these things that I just can't get because I am not married and don't have children, not only does it hurt me because those are relationships that I greatly desire to have, it hurts me because I feel like she is overlooking so many of the joys that come along with having these people in her life. I know far too closely that they could be gone in an instant and she would long for a child to be banging on the bathroom door or her husband to leave his underwear on the floor! Aside from all of this, I fell in love with her family and invested myself into them long before I moved into this house. I feel like I am supposed to be less involved now than I was before. And you got it; it hurts.

Then there is the "payment" aspect. I don't really have any significant issues with this. Just that I wish we could tweak it a bit, but I don't know how to talk to her about it. When we started this arrangement, she made it clear that one of the things she wanted was to be able to have periodic date nights as a trade off for me living here, in addition to paying for 1/2 the cost of renovation and the difference in the cost of electricity for each month from the same month in the year prior, and we worked out a dinner arrangement. This is a very fair offer, and I do not dispute that! As we talked more, what she desired for periodic date night is to be able to go out once a week. That is HARD for me! They are very willing to go out on occasion after the kids are in bed, so there really just needs to be an adult at home to make sure everybody is ok and gets out if anything happens, but the problem is that I CAN'T SLEEP!!! We got a baby monitor thinking that would help. NONONONONO!!!! It does NOT help! What happens with the monitor is that I am hearing all of the wishing and whirring of the sounds inside the house (like the A/C coming on and off) and tock of clocks and children moving in their beds and I can not sleep. Then there is the added anticipation of them arriving home and me being startled by the door opening and them turning the monitor off (which any mom or babysitter knows means the one in my room is going to sound like a TV whose cable has been disconnected as soon as they turn the base off.) I HATE IT!!! I JUST WANT TO SLEEP BUT I CAN'T!!! As for dinner, I cook one meal a week and clean after, Kathy cooks 5 meals a week, and we fend for ourselves the other night of the week. I just feel like there is too much pressure! Not to mention, I don't feel like it is really working out to be fair! I don't know how to say this. I don't know how to talk about anything with her right now, much less touchy things! I feel like there is such a disconnect between us and the rift is getting wider and the bitterness and hurt are getting greater! I HATE IT!

Relationships are too important to me to throw the towel in! But, I get exhausted feeling like I am the only one fighting! Or even worse, like I am the only one who cares! Or even worse, I am the only one that is struggling with this - because then it is just my problem and the only fair thing left to do is just get over it, which makes me feel like what hurts me doesn't impact the people around me.

Cordiality has remained in tact, but truth and trust are fading away. It hurts me, because I feel like I am losing the friend I loved. And, I don't think it is just that we are living together and so we are now seeing things we didn't see before. That can account for some of it. But really, I just don't feel like she respects me. I don't feel like she values me. I don't feel like she believes that I have much to contribute. I feel like she invited me to be here and wants me to be here, but doesn't want to incorporate me into the life that is happening here.

I say that last part because I feel like I am not included. I don't get asked to go to McDonald's when they go as a family or to go on walks when they go as a family or to play outside with them as a family. I just don't feel included.

I know that there are two sides to every relationship. I also know that there needs to be room for ebb and flow. And, I know that not everything in reality is how we "feel" or "perceive" it to be. There is also a big difference between knowing something and feeling something. You will notice I have used the word "feeling" a LOT tonight! I don't know that I am trying to get the solution to any of these things tonight, but I do think that the internal Tupperware is a little less full and I may be able to go get 2.5 hours of sleep before I have to wake up and go to my job that I just don't feel like I have it in me to do.

If you read all of this, thank you! Please pray for me. Please pray that I would have the sustenance that I need. That my dear friend would see how I need to be loved by her and would make some changes to love me in those ways. Pray that I will feel more at home and that I will feel more included. Please also pray that I never forget to be grateful for everything that I have!

Blessings to each of you, and good night (or really good morning)!

Saturday, October 11, 2008


I have this thing for notecards. I love them! They are small and can hold a little or a lot of information. You can put recipes on them. You can write sweet little notes to your friends on them. You can jot down that thought that you just don't want to forget. They even come in different colors! They are great!

One of the things that I love to do with notecards is to write Bible verses on them and post them around me. I have them sticky-tacked to mirrors and furniture, posted on my wall at work, and I even have a little stack on my desl that I periodically go through for an extra boost of encouragement. It may seem a little strange, but it works for me!

I still remember when I learned this. It was from a friend in college, named Jason. He kept a little ring of Bible verses on notecards and would read them while he walked from class to class. He would take study breaks and meditate on these little cards with words of wisdom so that he could learn scripture better. I really liked this, so I started doing it too...and I just never stopped. In fact, I have even drawn other people in my life into this precious past time of mine! I am looking at a notecard that my sister, Marcie, made for me about 3 years ago with Romans 5:3-5. It reads:

"...we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not dissappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us."

I still remember the day she wrote this out for me. There was a tremendous amount of change going on in my life and I was really excited. I wanted some new notecards to post in my new apartment and at my new desk at my new job. I went over to her house with a stack of multi-colored notecards and a plethora of markers and we got started. She got to this one and said..."This has always been one of my favorite verses." Over the last three years, it has become one of mine too.

Monday, October 6, 2008

An Encouraging Word

There's a woman at church who has started praying for me. She is such a sweet woman. Yesterday, she asked me how I was doing and told me that while she was praying for me this last week she saw something she wanted to share with me.

She said that she saw me and I was reaching up with my right hand to a ball of light about the size of a navel orange - a large orange. She said that as I reached up, healing started coming through my hand and shoulder and through my body. We talked for a little about this. She said that there is an act of reaching to God, asking Him for healing. There is a part - a movement - that I am responsible for. She was very clear to state that it is God that is healing me. I wish that I had written everything down as she was saying it. The bottom line, is that it was encouraging. I really appreciate her being bold enough to tell me what saw.

Friday, October 3, 2008

What a Wonderful Night

I just got home from a friends wedding. Maybe it is the princess in me, but there is something about weddings that just make my heart smile. I especially love to watch the way the bride and groom look at each other through out the night. I also love to look at the other couples. For some reason, people seem to connect in a unique way at weddings. I like watching the little children proudly and excitedly race out onto the dance floor and spin and twirl with no regard for how they look or who is watching. They are just enjoying the moment. Little girls try to spin as fast as they can to see how high they can get their skirt to float. Little boys and little girls alike spin and spin and spin and then stop to experience the thrill of being dizzy! Then their are the proud parents of the newly married couple. With what energy is left, they float onto the dance floor, embrace, and hold on to oneanother.

For those of you who don't know me, you may be thinking that I am a hopeless romantic. Those who know me can assure anyone that I am not! There is just something special about weddings! To stand in front of God and family and friends and declare your love and committment to another person is a big deal!

So, to all of you who are married...Be blessed! Thank you for taking a day out to share with one another the depths of your love and commitment. And, thank you for including the special people in your life in the celebration of that love.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Another Thursday

Thursdays are hard for me. Not all of them, just every other Thursday. This is one of those Thursdays.

In general, a lot of good happens on this day of the week and I look forward to it all week long. I have my Hope Group on Thursdays; which means I get to see my friends, eat a meal with people I care about, worship, have Bible Study, pray. It's great! The thing that I don't like about every other Thursday is that it is the day I have to give myself my shot.

As a part of my treatment for RA, I have to give myself a shot every other week with an immune-therapy medication. The shot itself hurts, but that is not the part that I hate so much. The part I hate is what happens inside of me. It hurts in my heart. This is a physical reminder - aside from the pain in my body - that something is wrong with me.

I know that we all have our things that we have to deal with. And a lot of times they are hard and they just don't seem fair. This is one of those things! The thing that really hurts in my heart is that I don't think I have quite reconciled why sickness happens. I don't think that I am going to know the answer on this side of heaven - maybe not even in the perfection of heaven will I understand this mystery. I see sickness all around me in amazing people; people who are faithful and strong followers of Christ.

I have a friend whose mother has battled for years with cancer, which has recurred multiple times. The prognosis is grim. Yet, she continues to fight and praises God, The Most High King, as her Perfect Redeemer. Just watching her teaches me so much about theology. Theology is not just what you can spit out when someone asks you questions about what you believe. It is a picture of how you live your life.

My pastor and I were having a conversation several weeks ago and he asked me how my heart was. I told him that it is hard to put into words. On the one side, I love God with all of my being! I KNOW that He is good and that He is Sovereign and His will is perfect! On the other side, I hurt and I want to know why a God who can heal more quickly than I can take a breath doesn't just do it! I am angry and sad. And almost everyday, when I lay down to go to sleep at the end of the day and my body aches, I have to come before Him and say that I am angry and sad and I hurt, but that I love Him and I know that He is good. I ask Him to show me His understanding and to help me to live according to His will regardless of my situation. I also have to go through this everytime I have to give myself my shot. My pastor smiled at me and said, "Keep doing it." Then he said something that I thought peculiar at the moment. He said, "People are watching you."

I think back to my friends mom. I see that people really do watch how we live life and they pay attention to how we handle the bumps in the road. I just hope that I live life in such a way that when people see me, they see Jesus in me! And, I think that it's ok to have moments when I ask God what He is doing and why. After all, aren't those questions part of living a life of understanding God more?

So, as I close out this Thursday, I go to God and thank Him for all of the wonderful blessings He has poured over me and I ask Him for more grace and more understanding and more strength.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Living with a Family

I realize that I haven't written anything of significance in a couple of days, so I thought that before I leave the quiet of the church office I should attempt to write something worthy of being read. The fact is, I know that once I get home I will most likely get distracted by something or someone, and there is a very good chance that I will get frustrated or offended by someone. Why? Because I now live with 5 other people and it just happens!

I am learning that with all of the wonderful things that come with living with other people, there are also some not so good things. For starters, on almost a daily basis, I am going to do something to offend someone or someone is going to do something that offends me. The "believer in good" in me trusts that the majority of the time this is not intentional, it just happens. I actually do think that this is true. I don't generally do things with the sole purpose of aggravating others. Occasionally I do, but not often. And I believe the same is true of most people. At the end of the day, I just have to trust the hearts of the people I love, and I know that they are good! When that isn't enough, (and most of the time it isn't) I have to give it up to God and ask Him to help me forgive them the way He forgives me!

If you're reading this, you are probably thinking something must have happened today. Nope. I actually haven't really seen my family today. I left this morning for work before they were up and I haven't been home yet (that was almost 15 hours ago by the way). It's just that in the past two months of not living alone, I have realized that I am offended a lot more frequently than I used to be. I also have little people climb on me and give me hugs and kisses almost every day! I don't think I am ready to throw the towel in just yet, but I would like to have a greater understanding of what God is teaching me. Is it tolerance? Patience? Surrender of my will? Is it compromise? Dependence on others? I just don't know. I'm sure that all of those are in there somewhere, but I don't know if they are really the object of this time.

Like I said, there are also some really great things! I mentioned the hugs and kisses, which I will sadly miss today because all of the kids will be in bed when I get home! I am getting the opportunity to watch Koby, Kase, and Aliya as they grow up and change - right in front of me! I also get to talk to Kathy and Gary almost everyday. That's pretty neat. As a family we usually do "High-Low's" at dinner. I couldn't do that when I lived alone...I guess I could but it may have been a little strange! I also love getting to take the kids out one-on-one and getting to do stuff that they like. I imagine it's kind-of like being an aunt. There are a lot of good things about living with a family.

I think I am just going to have to keep working on the communication aspect!