Blind

image

I love this picture.

And as you can tell our son isn’t blind.

He does struggle with understanding and often times life gives him circumstances where he can’t see how to respond.

So, although he’s not physically blind, at times he seems to be blind to how to proceed.

And I get that.

I’ve felt like that on more than one occasion.

I’ve been sharing how God has been walking me through some circumstances which are changing and growing me.

And a few nights back, I had another moment with the Lord Jesus.

I was watching a documentary.

(Monumental with Kirk Cameron, it’s terrific!)

A large portion of it is about the Pilgrims.

As you may already know I’m a huge fan of the Pilgrims and love history in general.

Yet, I needed to see some of the places and hear of their struggles to be reminded of what they truly were willing to sacrifice.

It is easy to be blind to the sacrifices of others.

I live a comfortable, free adulthood all because many, many others were willing to sacrifice.

My husband’s family has had at least one person in every major American war.

His father served in Vetnam.

My own father served our country in the Korean War.

My mother’s mother is a direct decedent from a man who fought in the Revolutionary War.

How easy it is to allow everyday circumstances to blind me to all the blessings I take for granted.

So how to fix blindness?

Well, glasses or surgery can be options for physical blindness.

What about the blindness of the heart?

In my case, it was a lack of thankfulness.

In my daily pursuits, I’d let go of the remembrance of others’ sacrifices.

The movie helped me to see and remember the great costs of those who came before me.

In the Bible God instituted the Passover and the building of a large group of boulders to help the Israelites to remember.

Around my house I have crosses, and paintings of Jesus to remind us of the ultimate sacrifice.

Yet, I find I want to do more.

I want to be diligent to remember all God has done for me.

I want to be thankful for all the people He has brought along the years who have blessed me.

I want to have 20-20 vision when it comes to the reality if just how blessed I truly am.

Dear Jesus,

Please help me to never forget how great You are. Help me to focus on the blessings which each day are ever apparent. Thank You again for the manifold blessing of salvation!

Advertisements

Put out

image

Nope, the dog didn’t get put out.

In fact this picture was proof that he can live with cats.

He just didn’t realize it before.

What’s great about this picture is the cat was on the bed first.

She didn’t move a muscle when he came to relax on his bed.

For some reason this little kitty has won the dog over.

And he gets to stay in the house, because he is very careful not to molest either baby cat.

Just yesterday an older gentleman looked at me and said, “Well you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”

He was referring to his struggle with learning something new and he didn’t say it as an excuse but to explain his difficulty.

Yet, he turned right around and tried again to conquer the thing which was the struggle.

He didn’t allow his age to put him out.

Little did I realize at the time, but God would teach me about putting something out.

At some unhealthy hour I woke.

I couldn’t go back to sleep so I began praying.

To my disgust I began to cry.

What on earth is wrong with me?

Why am I feeling so many emotions?

Nothing horrible is occurring so where is the reason for the tears?

Well…

It’s not complicated.

We’ve been through a lot lately.

And the emotions were tied to fear.

All kinds of silly ones.

As I prayed and sifted through the jumbled emotions the picture became clear.

My physical body is weak which pointed directly to my inadequacies.

This led to fear of being unable to…you name it, whatever fits!

The crazy thing about it all is I’m always unable.

The only reason I’m accomplishing anything at all is through Jesus Christ.

How silly to cry over something I’ve never been able to do!

Of course emotions are not always rational.

The simple truth,
the reality of the fact that I was struggling with fear helped me choose to trust.

I changed my prayers and began asking for faith to trust Him more.

I began to thank Him for all He has already done.

I thanked Him for all He is going to do, because no matter what, I know He will be with me.

I was able to let go of things I hadn’t realized I was holding on to.

Then I began to pray for things in our future.

No I wasn’t telling the Lord how I expect it to go.

Instead I was standing before the Lord on behalf of the people who will be in our future.

Our children will one day be adults.

I prayed for them.

Most people grow up and get married, so I prayed for the people who would marry our children, whoever they are.

I prayed for our friends and the things God is working in their lives.

And I prayed for myself, that I would turn away from fear and striving in my own strength.

And at some point the alarm went off.

I had gone back to sleep and awoke to a new day.

It wasn’t just another day.

It was a day begun with fear put out.

And I’m here to say, it has been a truly lovely day.

Holding

image

God’s creation is an amazing thing.

People are also God’s creation.

Yet God created mankind to have a relationship with each one.

He loves us as individuals.

He has a purpose and a plan for each one of us.

The longer I walk with the Lord the more I see Him working.

This winter has been a season of deep teaching for me and for our family.

I’ve been in some difficult circumstances in the past and these weeks have matched the emotional growth of past trials.

I’ve been reading the book of James.

Several verses have stood out for me to meditate on.

” My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience, but let patience have its perfect work that you may be perfect and complete lacking nothing,” James 1:2-4 NKJV

What this verse has been teaching me in this season is to rest in the arms of Jesus, no matter the circumstances.

Yes, I can have peace even when life around me is falling apart.

Yes, I can have peace even when I am helplessly watching my children suffer.

Yes, I can have peace when I’m uncertain of tomorrow, for tomorrow Jesus will still be with me.

As I’ve walk through these days of trial God has shown me the depth of His great care.

He is holding each one of us.

He is providing every breath I breathe.

He is the reason I can rest and have peace in the trial.

Dear reader, I must give you a warning.

If you are anything like me, when struggles come you look to work harder, or try more, or simply want to “fix” it quick so life can be better.

However, in this season God has taught me how futile that truly is.

Many times He has wanted to use a trial to teach me something and I was so focused on getting it “fixed” I learned nothing.

When in a trial there truly can be joy in learning.

To walk through an extreme difficulty and knowing God is hold you, watching Him work out every detail is incredible.

And it’s not over yet.

We are still in the midst of the trial, but I have peace and joy knowing God is holding us.

Whatever you are walking through today, relinquish control into Jesus’ capable hands.

“God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble. Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” James 4: 6b-8a

Rest in His arms.

He’s holding you.

Dance

image

I know it looks like a basketball something.

However, it’s actually dance class.

Bell and a good friend of our family are trying out a few West Coast Swing steps.

My husband and I had been asked to give a few private lessons to another family.

They also happen to be the assistant coach for our basketball team.

So we met after practice one day and had a blast.

I was surprised by how much fun we all had.

I am not a dance instructor, neither is my hubby.

We have danced for years.

As a teen my hubby took professional lessons and has enjoyed it ever since.

Being a member of the FFA, I learned a few of the simplest steps to keep from being a wall flower at the FFA dances.

Together we have danced at weddings and other social events when there was the opportunity.

We have danced in our living room.

When our oldest girl was a Senior her friend, who planned to be her date at Prom, asked that we teach them so they’d actually get to dance at the dance.

We did and all of us enjoyed it.

Her husband learned to dance when they became engaged.

It was one of the best parts of their wedding, all of us dancing together.

We’ve had a total of 2 dance classes with our Assistant coach and his lovely family.

At the end of the class we chatted and decided we’d invite others who also expressed interest in learning.

Then we’re going to rent the local Grange and actually have a dance.

I am looking forward to it.

Life crowds in with so many priorities.

Yet, I know God wants us to fellowship and spend time with one another.

What better way to do that than to stretch out of the routine.

Inside

image

She’s cast free!

Praise the Lord!

The doctor carefully explained her arm would feel weak and sore from lack of use.

However, that cast was a needed thing.

Her broken arm had to be kept inside the cast to protect it from further injury.

What a wonderful reminder.

The Bible gives us guidelines to live by.

We as Christians are supposed to be involved in one another’s lives.

We are to allow our fellow believers to hold us accountable.

Yet how easy it is to be distant, closed off, even with those who love us.

Although we may separate from others in an effort to protect ourselves from further harm we must realize that separation can cause atrophy.

Unless Jesus is inside our hearts and speaking daily into our lives a slow decline will occur.

Unless we as Christians are open and honest about our daily struggles with one another we can become blind to ourselves and our choices.

Am I suggesting that we post all our imperfections on the church website?

Absolutely NOT.

The Bible doesn’t say that either.

What it does say is to have relationships with other believers which are safe and honorable.

Relationship which encourages and sharpens the character of each.

This kind of relationship can only thrive with Jesus in the center.

Which is why no matter the circumstances, we have to have Jesus.

Jesus must be inside our hearts and lives and relationships.

Only He can heal.

Just like Anne’s arm our emotions are weak and prone to hurt, but with the Bible to guide and direct, with godly friends to comfort and exhort,(and each of these gifts are from God) we can grow stronger.

Jesus makes all the difference.

Allow Him to heal those things which might be hurting.

Let Him inside your heart today.

Out of focus

image

This is a chalk drawing one of my students drew today and asked me to take a picture of.

Just in case you are not sure what it is: it’s a puppy in a yard, flying a kite and the box is a picture frame.

I had a momentary giggle inwardly as she explained the art work.

I could clearly see the puppy in the yard, flying the kite.

Yet, children are wonderful reminders to check if our lives are in focus.

Another student days ago had made several poor choices in a row.

After discovering what his poor choices led to he laid his head on the table and said something like:

“My life is horrible!

I leaned down and gently spoke to him.

“Honey, you are making bad choices. If you will make good choices and use your time wisely things will get better.”

He nodded and wiped his little eyes and tried to amend his day.

The truth of the moment has hung with me.

If I make good choices and use my time wisely things will go well.

Easily spoken, but not always easy to do.

Self gets in the way.

Trials knaw at the joy like mice eating holes in a grain sack.

What seemed like a good choice turns out to be flat failure because the choice wasn’t bathed in prayer.

Words rip through one’s emotion like a serrated knife through tissue paper.

And it’s so easy to be out of focus.

Where do we find it?

God’s Word: the Bible.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, Who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. ” James 1:5 NASB

Dear Lord,
  Please help me to stay in focus. Show me what Your will is for each day. No matter what the day holds help me to view it from a place of rest and peace drawn from my relationship with You, Jesus. Thank You for reminding me to make wise choices and to use my time wisely.

Again, praising the Lord

image

This time we had a friend over who is a nurse.

We didn’t go to the ER.

We did go to the Urgent Care.

Three stitches.

No basketball for a while.

She’s handling the pain and the set back well.

I wish I could say the same.

Nope.

I didn’t cry, or get sappy.

Nor did I smile.

Instead I struggled with worry, guilt, and fear.

I wish I’d handled it all with peace and joy.

However, I am still learning.

On our drive home I started realizing how much I have to be thankful for.

Thankful for the friend who dropped everything to come check it out.

Thankful for the medical professionals who cleaned and stitched it.

Thankful for my husband’s job through which we have insurance.

Thankful for our daughter’s cheerful attitude.

Thankful for our friends’ prayers.

Thankful for the car which got us to the Urgent Care.

Thankful for my hubby who was calm and at ease through the entire process.

Thankful for Jesus and His faithful provision.

Come to think of it, the more I focused on these things the less I felt the guilt, worry, and fear.

No wonder God’s word tells us to take every thought captive.

So I can say:
Again! Again I’m praising the Lord for all He has done!