Tuesday, December 18, 2012

This May Be Controversial...

This may be controversial.  I have tried to stay out of the politics blaring about on Facebook, walking around at Target, and even at a church function.  But I am finding it hard to hold my tongue any longer!

We all have opinions on the state of our nation, healthcare, gun control, education, and probably even what colors should never be worn.  It's just that way - we are opinionated human beings!

If we could hold civilized conversations without everyone's emotions flying high, I would feel safe to join in to the debates about how we should best handle the crises that face us each and every day.  The simple fact is that I generally stay out because I don't want to get snapped at by someone I love because my opinions don't match up to theirs.

What spawned this?  Well, most recently it was the tragedy that fell on Friday, December 14; when a man walked into an elementary school and murdered several people.  Most of these individuals were mere babies.  Every time I hear someone ranting about mental health, gun control, stricter laws, the benefits of homeschooling, etc etc etc; I get a thick lump in my throat, tears in my eyes, and I can not help but grieve for all of those still living this tragedy!

Our history is studded with moments of cataclysmic events, where one or more individuals sinful decisions affect so many.  And for a moment in time; emotions flare, debate (and hopefully discussion) begins, and hearts are tenderized to the need for hope.  I have my opinions on ways to prevent events like this, just like most everyone else.  And yes, there is a hugely emotional drive for these opinions.  After all, my "life's work" could be summed up in the simple phrase of loving our littlest ones.  But ultimately this fact remains; we are broken people in a broken world!  Nothing will ever fully shield us from tragedy, heartache, or sin.  But we do have a weapon against the cruelty of this world.

It is God!  

So, by all means, discuss how to prevent such atrocities in the future.  Discuss how to improve access to mental healthcare, how to safeguard our children from violence, how to prepare our educators for rising to the ultimate description of their job - to protect those who can not protect themselves.  But please, please also do this...

PRAY!  Pray for mercy for the disregard we all have for our own sin.  Pray for hope for our children.  Pray for help for the sick.  Pray for wisdom on how to proceed with policies and administration.  And pray for the heartache that has been felt by these families as well as those who have endured the pain of other tragedies.

We must rise up as an army of God!  We must pray.  And we must fall before the throne of God, Most High!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Happy Heart Status

Over the past few months, I have been really struggling with keeping a good attitude.  There have been a lot of things happening around me that have left me feeling a little less than "in control" of my days, weeks, and now months.  My attitude was really starting to suffer.  I constantly found myself complaining about my work, getting irritated by certain people, and feeling a little less than gracious about being asked to constantly go above and beyond.  I have been overwhelmed, impatient, and just a tiny bit cranky.  These are very clearly not the traits that I want to describe me.  So, a couple of weeks ago I decided to start something new.  I decided that (for the time being) each day I am going to put a "Happy Heart Status" on facebook.  It is a very small way that I can take a moment to focus my heart on the blessings, joys, and praises that come about in my day.

I got the idea of having a happy heart because I work with children on pretty much a daily basis.  And I LOVE it, although it comes with it's challenges!  Very often, I find myself reminding the little ones around me to have a happy heart.  I let them know that it is ok to be disappointed, frustrated, and even angry at times.  Those "negative" emotions are natural and it is ok to have them.  But, how we respond is where it gets tricky!  Having a happy heart!  It sounds so easy, but as I am so readily reminded by all of these young friends - it can be very hard.  You have to make the choice.

When I realized my attitude was not so great, I was convicted!  Truly convicted that I was telling all of these children that they needed to have a happy heart, but I didn't.  Wow!  I think the Lord just reached right into my heart and made it twinge a bit.  Then I realized that I needed to do something. 

The Lord has been good to me -- very VERY good to me!  I need to take the time to remember each day just how amazing and good He is!  Therein was birthed "The Happy Heart Status".  

Let's see how it goes!

(BTW This is mis-dated because I forgot to post it when I wrote it at the end of September)  HAHA

I must must MUST get some writing done...

It is a little funny to me when I really think about this, but writing is something that has brought about clarity and healing for me.  However, when life gets busy, overwhelming, and even disappointing, writing is the last thing that I think about doing.  Why is that?  It's like walking out onto a battle field with a sword at my side, but never drawing it even though the enemy is charging at me. I wrestle with this weighty weapon on my side that could make the difference between walking away from the battle relatively unscathed or falling on the ground in weakness and injury.  Writing is a sword.  I must wield it!

I actually have 3 writing assignments awaiting me.  They have been there for the better part of two months, but every time I sit to start writing I feel BLANK!  Two of the things I have been asked to write are a personal purpose statement and a testimony of my faith journey.  This has been overwhelmingly challenging - and I can't even seem to get the first sentence out.  I have thought back to all of the instruction on how to write either of these things, I have read other people's stories, I have even looked up "how to write a personal purpose statement" in Google.  It really didn't help me as much as I hoped it would...meaning Google did not tell me what my purpose statement is.  :)

So, when I get stuck, this is where I come.  I re-read things I have written in hope that somehow my writer's voice will become loud and strong and clear.  Now that I have procrastinated for a while, I really must must MUST get some writing done!