Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Feeling Heavy Hearted

I'll be so glad when these elections are over. I don't care for either one running for President, but one of them really disturbs me and although I knew it was going to happen, my heart is so heavy because of the possibility this person could actually win. I don't believe it will be honest, if this person does, for everything about them is deceit and wrong. I don't like what they stand for, I don't agree with their politics. I fear mostly for our country and last night I felt so overwhelmed with the devastation of our future as a country that I could not keep my tears from falling. My heart feels so heavy that even with praying and crying out to God for our country, that whomever gets elected, God will bring people alongside them to give them wisdom and the ability to make wise choices, and my tears would come unbidden.

I don't know why my heart is broken like it is for my country, but it is. I want to just spend the day crying out to God to rescue us and redeem us as a nation. But it won't happen with just my prayers. We all need to be praying for God's intervention. Everyone seems to think they are right in their political decision. I have no decision; I keep praying, as I have all along, that God will guide me in my vote, that I will vote for whom He plans to use to turn our country around.

I've read where one person says that Donald J. Trump will be our "Moses". I don't know. Could, I guess. Another person thinks Hillary Clinton walks on water, and that she should be president because she is a woman. That is the lamest excuse to vote for someone. Personally, I feel neither are qualified. I'm sorry that no one stepped up who WAS qualified to be President. I feel whoever leads our country should have a military background, that they understand what our soldiers go through on the battlefield. I barely remember Ike Eisenhower, but I think he was a General and I've heard people say he was our last great president.

I fear for where our country is heading. Unfortunately, the way it is heading not only affects those who involve themselves in these activities and sins, it affects all of us. It affects you, and it affects me. Our rights have been taken from us. We no longer are any value to some people because we disagree with their lifestyles. If they want to live in sin, that is their business, but do not cause me to suffer the results of your sin.

So my heart is heavy this morning and I have spent time crying out to God for His intervention, that the right person will be elected. Maybe if a 'bad' person is elected, it will turn everyone to God. I don't know. I only know I can pray - and continue to pray - that God will rescue us. Will you join me in that? Will you let things just happen - or will you also cry out to God for His intervention to save our country from those who want only power and money and will destroy everyone who gets in their way. People have died for exposing others. May God forgive us for allowing these people to govern us. Please pray with me for our nation.

Blessings!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Gratefulness

Gratefulness. One word, and yet, powerful word. The dictionary describes it as:

grate-ful - [greyt-fuh l] adjective

1. warmly or deeply appreciative of kindness or benefits received; thankful:
I am grateful to you for your help.

2. expressing or actuated by gratitude: a grateful letter.

3. pleasing to the mind or senses; agreeable or welcome; refreshing:
a grateful breeze.

And I guess that does apply. I am grateful for many things. I am grateful for my job. For one thing, it gets me out of the house and keeps me busy doing productive things. I'm also grateful I get paid for doing this job so that our bills get paid.

I'm grateful my husband makes my coffee and brings to me every morning. This morning a coworker was sharing that she gets her coffee ready, then puts the travel mug under the spout(?) and then will wait until she's ready to leave before making the coffee so that it will hot. This morning her husband came in to where she was getting ready and told her, "Don't make me coffee this morning". So when she is ready to leave, she goes in and pushes the button for her coffee - only to find it overflowing all over the cabinet and floor. Her husband had pushed the button for her - but didn't tell her the coffee was already in the cup - which he left under the coffee spout! They had a little discussion about it this morning. He claimed he 'always' made her coffee in the mornings and she said 'no, you sometimes make the coffee, but you did NOT tell me you had pushed the button this morning!" I was cracking up at this dialog.

I'm grateful for God, who loves me unconditionally. Even when I screw up. Even when I get angry, or when I do really, really, stupid things. I'm grateful for His forgiveness, for His kindness, for His blessings.

So many times we forget to notice the blessings we have. If we have a job, God has blessed us with it. If we are being paid to do that job, that is an additional blessing. If we are healthy, it is a blessing - so many people have many medical issues.

If we wake up in the morning, we are blessed. There are so many things that we can be grateful for, things that we take for granted.

Take some time and think about all the good things you have. And think about the 'bad' things that you have gone through - and come out smarter and wiser for. Be grateful.

Blessings!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Convicted by a blog....

Yes. I am convicted by a blog. A granddaughter's blog, no less. A granddaughter who I have probably only seen three times in the past 20 years. She is my husband's granddaughter, actually. But her blog, of which I have recently found out about, is very touching. Convicting. Full of passion. Filled with Commitment.

This granddaughter is currently serving as an intern (4th mission trip) in Haiti. She has fallen in love with the children there and has signed on this year as an intern for six weeks, helping the children and the people. Here are some of her comments over the past three weeks....

Week one - The children’s home is on campus and it holds 11 children who are orphaned or have families that are unable to care for them. It is not an orphanage and the children cannot be adopted. This summer here will be hard, there is no doubt in my mind, but every day I have felt reassurance that this is exactly where I need to be.

Week two - I had three of the kiddos who I have loved for four years now tell me their stories. In broken English they told me stories about the day of the earthquake and the days they became orphans. They all told me very casually as if they knew I was in for a longer haul with them and they figured it was simply something I should know before proceeding with our friendship. However, as I spend more time with the little ones and they realize I have a different role, they realize that they can seek me for comfort. It feels good to build trust with them as they see that I am not leaving as fast as usual, even if it is just reaching out for a hug after they scrape their knee. Beauty and deep pain seem to go hand in hand here. The work is hard and seems very menial to me, and I need prayers for a servant’s heart even when I have cuts on my arms from carrying cinder blocks and an aching body from lugging bags of cement around or when I am not sure how I can help.

Week three - It is Jesus we are chasing and He is found on the path He laid out for us. Joy is just a really nice side effect that I could use more of. I know after this is all over I will look back and realize I have been re-aimed to launch toward Him and nothing else. I know that. This is a mess, but it is a glorious one. Hard days followed by afternoons where my heart could burst from joy because I hear laughter from one of the children I love. I know that this is where I am supposed to be this summer. Even as I envy my friends who are hanging out by the lake and eating anything but rice and beans, I know that God sees me and He sees this ministry in Haiti and He needed the two to collide right at this time.

I am blown away by her passion for Jesus, and her compassion for others. I feel like I have kind of withered away from what my passion was.... and I have. I don't get involved like I used to. I don't teach anymore. Yes, I do still "preach" from November to March, but it isn't the same. I want my passion for Jesus to 'rise up' and serve others with love and compassion. I thought over the past few years that God put me in a holding position.... because I had so much to learn. And I have learned. But I also long for days where I am busy serving others and compassionately meeting their needs.

I would give up my job if I could serve others (and not have to worry about the bills being paid)with compassion and commitment. I used to think that God had a place for me as paid staff at a church where I could be involved in His work and give myself to it. But apparently that was not in His plan. I continue to work and see no chance of achieving my dream. Not that I feel sorry for myself, I don't. God has been gracious to me and has given me a good job which I enjoy. And I can serve Him here as well. But it wasn't my dream.

But then, God never said He would give us our dreams. We fulfill what he has for us. In His time. In His place.

Convicted by our granddaughter's blog, I still wait for assignment. Surely God has something for me that I can serve Him passionately. Are you still waiting as well?

Blessings!


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

I've lost color....

How odd it looks - my blog without color. I do some editing, some changes, but nothing brings it back. Yet - if I look elsewhere, the color is there. Perhaps the blankness is a reminder of what my life has felt like lately.

Empty. Barren. Void of color. Quiet.

What about you? Have you been feeling that way as well? Perhaps Alone. Separated. Overwhelmed with Life. Just Plain Overwhelmed. Sad. Hurt.

So many emotions and they each can convey something else. And this all came about because my color is gone from my blog as I write this. Are they emotions that I have felt recently? Yeah, I'm sure of that. Are they emotions that perhaps even you have felt recently? More than likely.

What do you hold on to during these times? What keeps you going each and every day? What gets you out of bed (besides your job!) to live life - even with the above emotions.

For me, it is Jesus. Don't shake your head at me. Each of us have a need to hold on to something. Or Someone. For me, I shudder to think what my life would be like if I did not choose Jesus several years ago. I definitely would not be where I am now. I truly believe that God, in His mighty mercy and grace, reached down and pulled me from the pit that I was heading into.

I made so many mistakes. I did so many stupid and naïve things. Many things I am ashamed to even think of now. I was so so stupid.

But Jesus reached His hand down and pulled me up out of the miry pit and set my feet on solid ground. Thank you, Jesus.

Do I sometimes still make mistakes or do stupid things? Yes I do. Sometimes I am so broken by life that I don't know why He pulled me from the edge. Or why He still does.

But He does. His love for me, and for you, is unending. There is nothing I can do, nor anything that you can do, that would turn Jesus away from you. He loves you more than a mother could. In fact, if you were the very last person on earth, Jesus would still go to the cross for you. He would still die for you.

And that's pretty amazing. When I feel all the above emotions, I know that I am still not alone. Jesus is with me. He sits and waits for me to talk with Him, no matter where I'm at. I not only talk with Him in the early morning, but He is Whom I talk to on my way to work. I can't imagine not having Him to talk to.

Why not take the time to talk with Jesus? It's just like talking to a friend sitting in the seat next to you. And it's all confidential! Talk to Him about what you feel, how things are going. Tell Him what you need. And listen.....He just may answer you.

Blessings!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Life goes on...

It has been a lazy few days, I think. Today I'm in Tucson with my boss meeting up with our Tucson staff in their new offices. So far so good - except I was busy working on my laptop when all of a sudden it died. Whew. I did bring my cord so plugged it in and I was able to get started on stuff once again.

It is more difficult for me to work off the laptop itself because it is just one screen. At my office I have two large screens. But nothing compares to the 3 ft. screen my grandson bought himself! AND he can make it two screens if he chooses! So jealous of his new setup - he put together his own computer AND bought the parts himself. But it has speed... oh well.. there I go again... squirrel!! (as my dil says!!)

As I said, I'm in the Tucson office, hopefully leaving soon to head back to Phoenix. It is already 2:16 and it is about 1 1/2 hours drive.... and I usually get off at 3:30.... don't think that is going to happen today - but at least they will be paying me for it! I'll have to check with my boss soon and remind her that she has to drive back to the office so that I can get my vehicle - and then she has to back track to go home. I'll have to check when her last meeting is. It's been fun being here - and they bought us lunch!

My foot is doing better. Oh. Maybe I hadn't said anything. Went to Urgent Care last Thursday because it was swollen and hurting so badly I could hardly stand to wear shoes. After x-rays to ensure nothing had been broken, it was decided I have some type of tendonitis on the upper part of my foot. Still haven't figured that one out. So, I got a boot to wear for a few days. I went without it yesterday and today - it's starting to swell today a little so will get it back on when I get home. I did wear flats but that hasn't helped. I'm doing better overall. I think. I just can't get my walking in as I have had to elevate my foot. And ice it. But I haven't iced it for a few days.

It's all good. And once the tingling stops going up my leg I'll be fine.

The Bible says 'cast all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you." I believe that. I asked Him to heal my feet. I'm still waiting on the spurs to go away - but at least my foot is getting better where I can walk.

Hope things are going well for you. Problems? Ask Jesus to help you. He will, you know! Just remember, the answers may not always be what you want them to be. He sees the BIG picture and we only see what is in front of us.

Blessings!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Aches and Pains...He still cares....

Aches and Pains. I think the majority of us have them. Every so often I will get an ache (usually in my left shoulder!) or a pain somewhere. Right now I'm battling with foot pain.

A few months ago I finally went to the podiatrist about my foot pain. I thought I knew what the reason was. Afterall, I had googled it. And it had told me what I thought it was. And I had a pretty good idea of how I had injured it. That was the diagnosis of plantar fasciitis in both feet, AND two spurs in my left, one spur in my right foot. Hadn't expected the spurs. However, there was no "cure" other than buying expensive inserts and flip flops ($125!!) so that I could get relief. I refused to get the shots in the heel. The plantar fasciitis has pretty much cleared up, the spurs hurt pretty bad sometimes. But the pain in the foot I'm dealing with today is not the spurs.

It's on top of my right foot. Just by the toes. One time I had some problems and the doctor just pulled my toes and the pain went away. So I thought I would try that. I began to pull my toes the other day to get some relief from the pain on the top of my foot, thinking it was just in a cramp. Well, now. I guess I got over enthused about pulling my toes, for when I pulled one, it popped. You know, like when you pop your knuckles. It didn't hurt, but I felt the pop when I did that. So I got to thinking, ok, I have either straightened that toe after it had been broken at some time or just popped it.

The top of my foot has been swollen now for two days. I put ice on it yesterday and today, and am having to take ibuprophen because of the pain. Yep, it hurts. Constantly. I figure I will give it until Monday. If it still hurts on Monday, I will call the foot doctor and suck it up - and pay a big bill. Sometimes I just don't like my insurance. I love not having big premiums to pay, but with the low premium, I get stuck with everything except well check-ups. Up to a limit of course, and I think I have about $1000 to go by the end of the year. I just try NOT to go to the doctor. But for this - it is annoying enough and constant enough that it drains me. But I'm going to believe it will go away within another day or so. Surely all this ice will cause it to get better. I don't do 'cold'!!

I Peter 5:7 stays 'Cast all your cares on Him, for He cares for you'. I believe that. Yes, I have prayed for healing in my feet. I believe that God can heal me. I don't know if He will heal me the way I want Him to. One day I may just realize that my feet don't hurt anymore. But I believe it will happen. I want healing NOW. I just don't know if He will heal me NOW. It is in His time-table, not mine.

So I wait, and I keep trusting, and I keep asking. Kind of like the woman who constantly went to the judge to get relief and he grew weary of her constant banging on his door, finally giving her relief from those who were causing havoc in her life. If I keep asking, God will grow weary (NOT!) and give me what I ask for.

When was the last time you seriously prayed to God for deliverance? for healing? Did you pray once and give up? Was it a sincere prayer? Was it a 'oh God, please heal my pain' prayer? Not that it makes any different to Him HOW we pray.... but do you ask believing that you will receive an answer? I do. But again, it's in His time.

So for now, I ice my foot and take a pill. It's all good. I can still walk. Soon I won't even think about it. What are you praying for?

Blessings!

Monday, July 11, 2016

ReLiving...

As we were heading to church yesterday I saw a license plate that said "RELIVING".

I thought about that as we passed the vehicle, and wondered how this person chose those words for their license plate. It obviously was to hold great memories for them. It probably was a change in their life, or something happened to give them the feel of 'start-over'.

I wondered what the word "Reliving" could mean to me.

I have no desire to relive my life prior to 1967. Time prior to 1967 is painful, disturbing, and I choose to forgive and forget. Some people can not let go of the past and move on, but I choose to. Yes, occasionally something will rear its ugly head, but by the grace of God, I am able to tell it to move on out of my memory and allow me to continue living life. I don't want to live in the dead part of my life, but in the 'alive'path.

Why is it that some people refuse to give up the past and want to continue to live in it? It usually is a past filled with pain, with hurt, with turmoil. Why would one want to live in it? All I can think of is that they want to. I realize that sounds harsh, but if they can get sympathy or attention by wallering in the past, why not? I know people who live in the past. Oh, you wouldn't know it as a rule, but by their actions and words and behavior, you know they do. They give all kinds of excuses as to why.

I don't want to be that way. Paul says in I Thessalonians 5:16 to "Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus." That doesn't mean that what happened to you, or what you went through was God's will. But He allowed it. Why? Some of us will never know that answer.

But I believe what I went through, painful though it was, gave me a heart for others who have endured the same abuse. I am more sensitive to others who feel worthless and unloved. My heart cries for those who feel they are all alone and no one understands or cares. It doesn't have to necessarily be from abuse, but just situations of life that hurt and affect our heart and mind and emotions. We all go through things. I feel I have come a long way from the young naive little girl who didn't understand what was going on. But as I grew older, although no one told me, I knew it was wrong, and I fought for myself. It cost me some things I wanted to do, but I knew I was right to say STOP! and ENOUGH! And I had to do it on my own for no one else would protect me.

Am I thankful for what happened to me? No - and I wouldn't wish it on anyone else. But by the grace of God, I believe He allowed these things to give me a tender heart and understanding for those who have to endure such things. Life isn't easy for most people. Even though we think people are perfect and families are perfect - no one knows what goes on in the inside of the family. When it is your family, you think it is the norm for such things. You don't realize until you are with other families that no, it is NOT the norm.

So I chose several years ago to learn how to 'relive'. Yes, it has taken me awhile. My past pops up every so often and I am in a battle. I can't blame it on "that's how I was raised". I am above that. I do not have to let the abuse and things of the past control my life now - or my future. I know of too many people who like living in the past, being angry and bitter. Or they go to the extreme and become "religious" as if that overcomes the past. Forgiving means letting go.

And it means RELIVING - starting your life over. I choose to live in the present. I have three children who are different in every way. Unfortunately I didn't understand a lot of things when they were small. Hopefully I am much smarter now. Ok, at least a little. I can only pray now that their past does not define their future and that they will choose to live whole and complete lives. How they do it, is their choice.

Paul says in Philippians 3:13-15 -"Brothers and Sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."

2 Corinthians 5:17 says "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!"

Galatians 2:19-21: "For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!"

I choose to 're-live' my life with Jesus. He makes life much better!

Blessings!