Monday, January 26, 2015

IT'S ALL A MATTER OF PERSPECTIVE

One Saturday morning, while taking my shower, my daughter came into the bathroom and started drying her hair.

"Please don't do that in here. It's blowing cold air all around." I complained.

She stepped outside of the bathroom leaving the door open. Still, the breeze was making my back cold. One of my pet peeves is being interrupted or the bathroom door opening and closing while I'm taking a shower making cold air blow around.

I was about to complain some more when a thought went through my mind. It's all a matter of perspective.

Hmm.

Another thought, if Saeed was freed from that awful prison in the mid-east, at home, taking a shower, and his kids barged into the bathroom, he'd probably be so happy he was home with his family...a cold draft in the shower would most likely be no big deal.

I said all of this to my daughter who agreed with me.

I also went on to say, how many things do we make a big deal out of when really it's nothing, if we put it in the right perspective?

What may be a pain today might be a longed for blessing tomorrow.

We never know when the tide will turn and things we take for granted may not be there for us so readily.

At church the following Sunday, the Pastor was telling an interesting story about bringing the Jesus movie to people in other countries where the Taliban is active. When bringing the movie and equipment through customs, they have experienced very expensive charges or have had their things confiscated.

One time, while on the plane, the missionaries asked God to allow their things through customs, without charges or other hassles.

What happened was their luggage got lost.

The next day however, it was found. When they went to retrieve it, no planes were coming in, so there were no customs, and they were able to get their equipment and tapes through with absolutely no hassles or charges.

God answered their prayer.

Again I thought about perspective.  If my luggage got lost in a foreign country, I would have had a negative perspective, probably panicked, been upset, and frustrated.

When in reality it turned out to be an answer to prayer.   

Change of perspective. There are so many things that can be looked at differently in life.

In Romans 8:28 (TLB) it says;
28 And we know that all that happens to us is working for our good if we love God and are fitting into his plans.
What if I look at everything believing that all that happens is working for good?
It would be incredibly hard. 
Especially during those times where it feels like there is suddenly a giant hole under my feet.
Or as Paul said in Philippians 4:4 – 8 “Always be full of joy in the Lord; I say it again, rejoice! Let everyone see that you are unselfish and considerate in all you do. Remember that the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don’t forget to thank Him for his answers. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus.
And now, brothers, as I close this letter, let me say this one more thing: Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others. Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about.”
What a great perspective in life I’d have if I just focused and believed on these two verses.
One night, many years ago, I laid awake worried about some things that I believed might transpire the next day. I prayed 911 prayers. I felt like I was supposed to open my Bible. I’d never experienced that before. I turned on my light and opened my Bible, I nearly dropped it when the words on the page said, Do not worry about tomorrow… Matthew 6.
I decided, okay, I won’t worry and went to sleep. I had a good night sleep and guess what? None of the things I worried about happened. Not even close.

If I hadn’t changed my perspective that night I would have dragged myself through the next day from lack of sleep. And for no reason, I might add.
When I change my perspective from worrying to believing and trusting that God has my back, front, and side, worry stops.
When I change my perspective, from wanting things a certain way before I’m happy, to doing my best where ever I find myself in life, contentment comes.
It’s hard to change perspective. It can happen by believing in the Word and letting it renew my mind.
I once had a really tough job, tougher boss. I was just learning verses from the Bible. I had many conversations with this boss that did not bring out his good side. When he would leave, I would tell myself, meditate on the good, pure, holy…it worked. Sometime later, I stopped having such awful conversations with him. We actually built a good working relationship.
I think it came about because I didn’t have bitterness or anger toward him since I focused on the good instead of the bad in the situation.
Now, I’m not saying I’m a pro at this, I mean I am writing this blog and obviously showing I need some work in the area of changing my perspective.
Now though when my daughter comes in the bathroom while I’m showering, I try to remember when the cold air is chilling my back…the moments may be few, so change my perspective, and try to enjoy them. 

  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015

It's 2015. Amazing!

I ended the year in a scary situation, in the hospital, with my heart acting up. I'm feeling better. I am being monitored for a few weeks.

Through all the fears, I was surrounded by so much love. I got a big reminder of how blessed I am. I really have an incredible family and incredible friends. While my husband was at work, my parents made themselves completely available to help me through this time. I was able to deal with what I was going through, and my daughter was able to have some extra Grandma and Grandpa time. I could pour out the things on my heart and they would listen. My parents stepped in and helped me when things weren't working out right. I felt safe, comforted, and encouraged. In words and actions their love poured out.

Oh, I am blessed.

And despite my husband having to work, and get ready for school, he was there to talk, hold, and try to do things to relieve stress. Along, with my daughter, who said she would do anything so I would feel better.

My friends and sister were giving me messages of hope through text, and praying for me.

I realized I really needed all of that. There are a lot of stressful things happening right now. I have an enormous amount of my plate right now.  

I had to return to the ER because I had a reaction to the medication they gave me. The nurse directed me into a room. I sat down and waited. When she came in, she asked me a question, and don't ask me why, I just started crying. I apologized, and she told me to just get it all out. And I did. I cried. I talked. She listened.

The doctor came in and was basically the same way.

When being discharged, the nurse finished up the paperwork, and then talked to me. She put what was happening to me in perspective. She explained it so clearly. Then she spoke into my life.
She said I was compiling everything into one pile. I needed to compartmentalize each thing and deal with it as it needed to be dealt with. She also gave me a perspective on my chores list. "So what if you don't get it done? Do it later. You have a lot on your plate. You don't need one more thing."
I took some time in prayer. I did as the Bible said, and cast my cares and anxious thoughts upon Him. I asked for His peace, courage and wisdom among other things. Forgave people where I was holding on to things.

Then I prayed a real heartfelt prayer. I asked God if I really believed. Do I believe He will take these things? Do I really trust Him?

I'm not saying I question whether I believe in Him or that He loves me and has saved me. But I wanted to know if I really believe in Him for the life things. Really believe. Can I pray about these things and really trust Him with them? I've watched Him provide and do miraculous things in my life and others.

Still, do I trust Him with these things that bother me? If I cast my cares upon Him will He really take them? Will He really take my anxious thoughts?
I wanted to really believe.

The Bible tells of a man who watched his son be tormented for years. The disciples tried to free the boy, but it wasn't working. Jesus showed up and talked to the Dad. Jesus asked him, "Do you believe I can do this?" The man said "Yes, but help my unbelief." Jesus healed his son.

Mark  9:14-37  NIV
14 When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them. 15 As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him.
16 “What are you arguing with them about?” he asked.
17 A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. 18 Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.”
19 “You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.”
20 So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth.
21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?”
“From childhood,” he answered. 22 “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”
23 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”
24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”
26 The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.
Jesus, help my unbelief.

I'm starting this year, by really taking a good look at my life, at my blessings. The wonderful people who surround me and I love so much.

What things don't belong? What things, do I not trust God, will take care of for me?
I've already made decisions on stepping back on quite a few things.


The Bible says, Proverbs 16:9New King James Version (NKJV)

A man’s heart plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps.

I can plan and plan, but God is going to direct me. So, as I look at my calendar, I pray, what really needs to be on my list Lord?

It will be a process, to not worry, to not over fill my days, and put it all into His hands.
It will definitely be a process.

But one thing I know, as my Dad told me through all of this, "I am very well loved..."
Isn't that the most important thing of all? Isn’t that a great place to start?

Love.

Building love relationships? Taking care of the love relationships in life?

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 NIV
If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecyand can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror;then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
I hope and pray that this year, you will be blessed with knowing how much, you are loved. And how much God REALLY loves you.