Monday, November 30, 2009

FIFTY??? Where Am I Standing?

Our women's ministry just finished a study. A question really stood out to me. "You're still standing, aren't you?" I mentally took a step back to take a good look at this question. "Yeah," I nodded. "I am still standing."

But I think the real question is, "How am I standing?" Here on the day of the big "FIVE - O" birthday, that's a pretty huge question.

There are quite a few ways I could stand. In the pain from the past, unforgiveness, self-medicated, bitter, worse yet with gaping heart sores oozing with, well...I'm not going to gross you out.

Or... forgiven, bruised, scarred, strengthened, wiser, and able to forgive what has been.

Life is so tough. If you are sailing through, count your blessings, but many haven't and are not sailing through.

A day can start with the sun shining through a slit of your curtain. The birds chirping a song and your heart is singing along. Great hair day, bills paid, food on the table, even those pants from yesterYEAR fit. And then...with no warning, on your next step, you fall into a dark hole. Or you're slammed and knocked down, not able to get up.

The thought, "I'll never be the same again," goes through your mind.

About nine years ago, a few days before Christmas, while on my way to work, I had one of those moments. I can still hear the finality of the sound. Bam! Stopped in my tracks. Knocked down so hard I didn't think I would ever get up. Not only physically, but emotionally. The person in the other car...didn't make it. It was a sound I don't think I'll ever forget.

Some days, the healing process was overwhelming and I would be in a puddle of tears. I wanted to be back to normal and impatient about the whole process.

Normal, as I knew it, wouldn't return.

After agonizing months, I grew to accept my "new" normal and to face the negative things that came from that day.

Most important to me, I learned to trust the "why" question, to be answered in the plan Jesus had for my life. It wasn't easy, many days I sat in front of His throne, the only sound was my voice crying out to Him or the sounds of my sobs. Then one day, when I was ready, He began to speak into my heart and heal me from within.

I didn't do this on my own.

When life throws a curve, I know of many ways to deal with it. A bottle of alcohol, anger, unforgiveness, shopping, eating, isolation, and pushing God's love away.

Where would those things make me stand? Healed? Or stuck?

Who wants to stay in pain?

Where am I standing? I have a lot of scars and wounds I tend to pick the scab off of, (I know, gross, huh?) but isn't it true? Recently, I've received some new wounds and bruises needing some healing. So where am I going to stand?

I stand in the hand of the One who made me. Many challenges have and will come my way. I not only stand, I grip the hand that made me.

The hand that is scarred, from the battle He faced, to fight the biggest battle EVER fought for me and for you. In the hand of my Saviour, Jesus.

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Promise to Stay

What do we do, when those we love are gone?
Whether they walk out of our life by choice or death?
Or we find ourselves walking away.

When our dreams disappear?
When we hurt so bad we barely can make it through the minutes of the day?
Ever wonder why life seems unfair?

Anger, hurt, betrayal loom on the horizon of the heart.
A tear is waiting to drop. Blink, blinked away.

There has to be something, someone, who will fix what isn't right in life. Hands reach for what will medicate the pain. Or cling to a person, who seems to be the answer.

I've stood where darkness surrounds me. Pain rudely tramples down the walls, I built around my heart. Illness isolates. Goodbye is not by choice. A dream blows in the wind. I've cried in the black of the night, loneliness of the day. Pain searing through my whole being with no answer seemingly in sight.

One day I pushed through the curtain of religion. Peered into a well of life. So misunderstood by my circumstances. I found a hand catching every tear I cried. A promise to never leave me alone.

I heard of a woman who many years ago, suffered for a long time, ill, isolated and alone. She pressed through the crowds and touched the hem of His garment. He knew her touch, though many surrounded Him. He knew. When she came to Him, healing was found.

I came to Him, Jesus. Day by day, minute by minute. He answers my why's. Comforts my pain. Still's my anger. Fills me with strength. I rest in a love promised to never go away.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thank you Veterans

I want to say thank you to each person who has served in the military for our country. You made yourself available to protect not only our freedom, but other countries. I can't tell you what that means to me and other Americans.

I love living in America. Thank you and may God bless you and surround you with love.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Salute to a Brownie and Girl Scout Troop

What a day we had Saturday! Our Brownie and Girl Scout Troop had a planned food drive to pick up donations for a local family shelter.

In the heavy rain and ever increasing growing mud puddles, I had the privledge to watch two girls go from house to house, knock on doors and ask for donations. Although cold, tired and wet they not only perservered, they pushed on with excitement and smiles.

It was awesome to watch their reaction whenever food was put in their hands. Once it was brought to the vehicle off they would race to the next house. The people in the neighborhood were very generous. We decided to stop knocking on doors when it began to thunder and lightning.

Afterward, we met down at the shelter. I was amazed at the amount of food the entire troop had accumulated. Soaked and hungry the girls proceeded downstairs to stock the shelves with the food they collected with no complaints! Tears spring to my eyes at the memory of those faithful young girls working as a team to stock those shelves so carefully.

Money was donated for lunch so, when we finished there, off we went to a local arcade and bowling alley for lunch and of course bowling. Yet again, I saw each of these girls show strength, they waited in line watching others play games and eat, for about 30 minutes before they could eat themselves.

What an example these young hearts are to me. Despite the odds that continued to come up against them, they pushed through to finish the work set before them, seperately and as a team. With smiles planted on their faces, hands reached out to bless those in need. And when a reward was in sight for them, they waited without complaints until it was given to them.

I pray my older heart would be faithful and stedfast to the call God gives to me. And not be so eager to receive the reward, but to be eager to work, so others receive a reward.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Coffee Thoughts

I have to tell you, the past week I was able to store up some very special memories.

My brother-in-law came home on leave from Iraq and we had an early Thanksgiving. Also, my husbands parents came to town and another brother-in-law got married. And yesterday we got to celebrate my sisters housewarming. During this recession, God allowed her to have a new home built.

Family and friends gathered together throughout the week for different celebrations. I can still hear their laughter and see the smiles as I sip on my coffee today.

God's word says to meditate on things that are true, holy, pure, just, praiseworthy, knowledgeable and of good report.

Sometimes we have to look hard to focus on those things, but I've found it's definitely worth the look.