Monday, September 25, 2017

Love is all you need

One of the verses I quote most frequently to my children is:

Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.
Romans 12:18

I use it at least three times a day, when my children come to me to settle their sibling wars.

But here's the thing, sometimes you cannot live at peace with everyone. Sometimes you have to agree to disagree and walk away. That is a very hard thing for a peace-loving person like me to do. I get so stuck in thinking if I just try harder I can find peace. But sometimes you just can't. Even in the body of Christ sometimes peace cannot be found.

I've really been struggling with that lately. I've been trying hard to channel my inner Elsa and just "Let it go." But my type A personality keeps me up at night wondering if there's something I can do or something I can say to bring about peace.

Recently God gave me an answer: love. When you can't understand why someone is behaving a certain way, when you can't find common ground, when you can't get them to lay down their weapons and just choose peace, choose love.

It's not my job to heal relationships. It's not my job to enforce peace. My job is to love people the way Christ loves people and let God take care of all the rest.

Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.
Ephesians 4:2

Monday, September 11, 2017

Burdens

Tough times... Tough times... My heart feels completely burdened. Mostly with concern for others right now (shattered hearts, cancerous kidneys, Multiple Myeloma, hurricanes, TBIs, wayward children) these make my woes pale in comparison; however, my basket of trouble has a few things rattling around in there too:

*ya make it through the pain and trauma of a medical crisis only to find yourself BURIED in medical bills --- that's fun;

*speaking of medical crisis... you improve so much you kinda "forget" your injury and overdo setting yourself back an entire week --- again comparatively not so bad but still not really fun.

Saturday night I cried myself to sleep praying for a little girl and this morning I woke up BURDENED wth the pain of the most loyal woman I know.... my heart just SCREAMED,  "God PLEASE move! Please bring relief!"

Near the end of my morning Bible reading I found this gem:

Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.
Psalms 55:22

So this morning Lord I'm giving my burdens to you... please take them Lord because I'm weary of carrying them.

*Please hold tight the broken hearted.  Lord,  remind them that you will NEVER betray and forsake them the way a human has.

*Please heal bodies infected by cancer.  Let the surgeons get EVERY bit if that cancerous kidney.  Let the chemo kill every speck of that Multiple Myeloma.

*Protect those in the path of these hurricanes and restore what's left in the wake of them.

*Take bruised brains and make them WHOLE. Heal the physical,  emotional and even spiritual effects of this damage.

*Bring children back to their parents.... and while you're at it,  bring them back to their heavenly Parent too.

*as long as I'm praying Lord, will you please help us pay these medical bills... especially to the unreasonable and inflexible Aurora, and please help me get the healing of this foot back on track.

Burdens left at His feet... phew! That feels better.  Have a great day everyone!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Heights and depths

There are days in life when I am STRUCK to the core by the realization that on THIS very day someone is experiencing the absolute HAPPIEST day of their life WHILE another is experiencing their WORST day ever. And at BOTH of those moments God still sits firmly on His throne.

Today the joy of an icky chapter coming to an end AND the agony of a terrible unjust diagnosis. Neither of these took our God by surprise.

My finite brain struggles to comprehend how TODAY oodles of my friends posted joyful proud "first day of school" pics while others posted pictures of the devastation wrought by flooding. One celebrating the birth of a new baby. While another blindsided by childhood cancer.

Its only taken me 48 long years, but I think I'm finally starting to get this. The secret isn't in the sun shining or the clouds looming. The wonder of it all is whether we come running and screaming with tears coursing down our face or jumping and bounding, joy oozing from every pore,

He. Is. There.

Always... Forever.... Good... Bad... Gut-wrencing... Soul bursting... when it's cancer.... when it's freedom... when it's flooding... when its the first day.... when we're living... when we're dying...

He is there.

Hang on my friends. If you're in the valley, I'm praying for you!  The valley sucks.  But God is with you. If you're on the mountaintop, I'm rejoicing with you! The highs are so beautiful. And God is with you.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
Isaiah 43:2

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Be encouraged

Why do I think life should be easy? What worthwhile endeavor is easy? Physical fitness? It takes sweat, pain, dedication, HARD work. Marriage? It takes sacrifice, forgiveness, compromise. Godliness? It takes seeking, changing, dying to self. Yet somehow I still get discouraged when the path I'm on gets tough.  When I face defeat.... When I wobble backwards a few steps... When I'm betrayed by those I've supported... When life doesn't look happy and pretty and neat.

Life is TOUGH... ESPECIALLY when you're on the right track.  When you are trying to be Jesus to a fallen world, it's going to HURT.... It's going to cost you.... It is NOT gong to be easy.

So be ENCOURAGED today... If the road in front of you looks daunting.... If you see an uphill climb everywhere you look... The tough paths lead to the good destinations!

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
James 1:2‭-‬4

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Love is a CHOICE

People are irritating, self- centered, rude. We have idiosyncrasies (like the tendency to apologize too much or constantly forgetting things because we have too many irons in the fire). We get wrapped up in our own agenda (what WE want to happen.... how WE want our house to look... how WE think people should behave....) We are ALL sinners, falling short of God's glory every day.

That is why it is VITAL for us to remember that love is a CHOICE. We CHOOSE to love the spouse who left the car window open all night when it rained.  We CHOOSE to love the child who left the lunch meat out all night. We CHOOSE to love the family member who drives us nuts. We CHOOSE.

We don't manipulate that person into behaving the way we want them to. We don't DEMAND they change. We don't blame, make ultimatums, roll our eyes, shame..... If we're doing life the way God wants us to, we CHOOSE to love.

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
1 Corinthians 13:4‭ & 7

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