No Greater Joy

No Greater Joy

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Wanting Our Own Way

It's been a hard journey in parenting my now 3 year old, GEM. She is strong willed to say the least. Yesterday I loaded up the girls and headed to the park to meet up with friends. I specifically told GEM when we arrived we were not feeding ducks and to stay with Mommy or HEM. Not 2 minutes into our playtime GEM had walked herself down to the pond where the ducks were causing my heart to skip a beat. I began to run toward her and call her to me seeing the potential danger that lie ahead. Instead of coming to me she began to run away from me along the water's edge. Instead of playing she rested in my arms the rest of our time at the park. Today it we had an uphill battle all morning because she didn't like the answers I gave her. She was being very disrespectful and screaming so in order to not lose my temper inappropriately I put her in her room and didn't let her out until she stopped crying and could talk to me.

As I reflect on what I can do to be more effective with GEM I also wonder if this is how our heavenly Father sees us at times, too. We, too, are strong willed and do not obey what He has asked us to do. We want to go our own way. We also run the opposite direction from Him at times. There are times where God has to tell us "enough" and shut us in a room so to speak. Sometimes we can't see that what He is doing is because He knows what is best for us.

Now as we begin to prepare for Easter we can remember what a great Savior we have. No matter how many bad deeds my children perform, I am still their mother and willing to give my life for them. Jesus did this for us. He DID have to give His life for us.

"But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him." Isaiah 53:5-6

Monday, March 22, 2010

Reflections of the past week...

It was a wonderful week spent with my Granny last week among other family. I arrived safely back to my own home this evening. I cannot express enough thanks for all the prayers I've received since my grandmother's cancer diagnosis last June. I also can't say thanks enough to those who have sent my grandmother cards. She absolutely loves them and hangs them on her doors and wall to see at all times for encouragement. She made me laugh about the cards from my church because she said they must be wanting me back!

I held up really well emotionally this week! There was one night where I couldn't contain my sadness and I cried. I was surprised at my grandmother's response. She said at least I could cry. She hasn't been able to for years because she has no tear ducts! She cooked two wonderful meals for me this week. My mom also had a lot of time off from work so that was great too. My step-mom, aunt and uncle, and my youngest brother with his family were able to come spend time with us as well. It felt so good to have everyone together. I was happy to have some good discussions with Granny, usually in the evening. I know I'll treasure them forever. I made a few journal entries from the week, too, so I can always look back and remember more details. I did that last summer when I was there and will one day enjoy reading those again.

I don't know if I'll get to see her again in this earthly life. I have no regrets though. I am so glad I could have more time with her. I'm adding some pictures below.

I did learn a few new things like her favorite colors are blue and lavender, she likes any food that doesn't eat her first, she likes spring and fall (not too hot and not too cold), she likes the hymn It is Well With My Soul, and her favorite inventions were running water and the washing machine.

Here I am with my grandmother and my brother.

This is Granny laughing! It was one of the best moments of my visit!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A Lesson in Smushed Bread

Today I loaded the girls in the minivan and off we went to the land of roll back pricing to pick up a few groceries. As we were preparing to check out I noticed my 3 year old had grabbed the loaf of bread and put it in the front with her. Right in the middle of the loaf were a couple of pieces of mangled looking bread. I sighed and my oldest asked if I'd like her to go get another loaf real quick. In that split second I realized a teaching moment.

How often have you found yourself in that kind of situation where you are tempted to trade in the goods you damaged for one more perfect? Is it really a big deal?

Let's look at it from a spiritual perspective. Could you imagine if God took that attitude with us? We know we have all sinned, made mistakes in our lives we regret, etc. When we come to know Christ, He wipes our slate clean and forgives us our every sin. But what if He used our mistakes to judge whether or not we were worth keeping or passing us by for another? It seems to me that God has used some of the most "mangled people" to do the most honoring work for Him. When we are repentant in our hearts for what we've done we are made perfect once again. It's a continual process of forgiveness. We never arrive at perfection until we leave our earthly bodies.

"As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us." Psalm 103:12
"For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." Colossians 1:13-14

My conclusion? We left the store with the mangled bread in hand. After all, it was a result of my child so why shouldn't I take responsibility for it? I've learned that mangled bread is still edible. :)

Friday, March 5, 2010

Blessings in my Time of Need

I'm not sure exactly what I'm about to write. This has been a long week for me, emotionally. On Tuesday evening I received the call I have known would come. My grandmother's cancer is spreading again and she is done with treatment. Hospice has been called so now it's just a waiting period.

I've been so blessed with e-mails, phone calls, and Facebook messages from my friends that care about me. I have really appreciated those that have taken the moments to let me know they care.

I hope that throughout this ordeal that follows that I will truly reflect a godly mindset. I know that I have friends that don't believe in God or have walked away from Him. I have friends that would ask why a real God would allow such innocent people to suffer. I could write at length a blog about why there is suffering, but today I won't. None of us are innocent. Even the "best" of people have done wrong things in their lives. My grandmother is looked up to by many people but would be the first to tell you she has done wrong things in her life. However, our sufferings aren't necessarily a judgement of heaven. We live in a fallen world. Believe in God or not, just watch the news or read the local paper and you'll find evidence of that. One of my favorite bumper stickers reads, "Christians aren't perfect, just forgiven." Because I am a Christian doesn't give me superpowers to be above doing wrong. It does hold me to a higher standard though and thankfully I keep short accounts with God recognizing my sin and asking forgiveness for every sin I do is another time I picture the Roman soldier driving the nail into my Savior's hands and feet. Regardless of the suffering I will endure here, I know that glory awaits me where there will be no more suffering or pain. I have security in my future, the same security my grandmother has. My grandfather has been celebrating in heaven for almost 13 years now and I will find a way to rejoice when my grandmother joins him. My faith will not waiver in this world, because if it does, it was not real faith to begin with.

Thank you again to my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who are doing what the body should do by encouraging me. Thank you to everyone for holding me up. God is good! I hope my life may be a reflection of His love and His saving grace.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

All the Way My Savior Leads Me

I really enjoy hymns, more specifically the words of the old classic hymns. I wanted to post this one today because it's one I really enjoy written by Fanny Crosby. I believe Rich Mullins did another arrangement of it that is just beautiful.

All the way my Savior leads me;
What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His tender mercy,
Who through life has been my Guide?
Heav’nly peace, divinest comfort,
Here by faith in Him to dwell!
For I know, whate’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well;
For I know, whate’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well.

All the way my Savior leads me,
Cheers each winding path I tread;
Gives me grace for every trial,
Feeds me with the living Bread.
Though my weary steps may falter,
And my soul athirst may be,
Gushing from the Rock before me,
Lo! A spring of joy I see;
Gushing from the Rock before me,
Lo! A spring of joy I see.

All the way my Savior leads me
O the fullness of His love!
Perfect rest to me is promised
In my Father’s house above.
When my spirit, clothed immortal,
Wings its flight to realms of day
This my song through endless ages—
Jesus led me all the way;
This my song through endless ages—
Jesus led me all the way.