Different Blessings…

June 19, 2011

Dear God,

This is hard.  It’s hard to be so much in need all the time.  It’s hard to see others with so much and have to continually battle envy.  It’s hard not to resent the “haves” and not cry about being a “have not.”

But then I stop.

I’m not a “have not,” I’m a “have less” with different blessings.  I have 2 children I love and who love me.  I have many REAL friends.  I have a great family, and I have had your presence to sustain me, Lord.

Help me to want less, Lord.

Help me to envy less and thank you more.

Help me to worry less about what I “have not” and be truly grateful for what I have.

Amen…

 

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I thought forgiveness meant that I wouldn’t feel the hurt anymore.  I thought it meant the pain would be gone.  It thought that letting go meant that the negative feelings wouldn’t come back to haunt me, or that I wouldn’t feel that choking anger anymore.  I thought everything would get easier once I forgave.

 I begged God to help me let it go once-and-for-all.  I wanted the pain to be done, the memories to be purged, the anger to stop.

I thought there was something wrong with me because forgiving wasn’t working.  I didn’t know what forgiveness looked like.  I kept asking, praying and searching for it, but apparently I was just supposed to do it.  People would tell me, “well, you just have to forgive.”  I kept asking ‘what does forgiveness look like?”  Being very visual, I guess I needed someone to draw me a picture.

 I kept asking God to help me to let it go and to forgive.  When I would get upset again, or the bad feelings would claw at me I would think “well, I guess I never forgave like I thought I had.” 

 Thanks to Mark Gungor at Celebration Church in Green Bay, WI for his blog post entitled “What Is Forgiveness?”  I got the picture drawn for me at last.  It was the answer I had been looking for when I asked the question all this time.  The anger coming back didn’t mean I hadn’t forgiven!  The sadness threatening me didn’t mean I hadn’t forgiven!  Of course I was going to get mad all over again over new transgressions – it didn’t mean I hadn’t forgiven – it just meant that I needed to forgive again.  Mark gave me the action plan toward forgiveness that I needed. 

Forgiveness is now an actionable plan for me.  It is a plan to give the pain to God every time it comes to me.  It is a plan to hand over every negative thought when it comes to me. 

 Forgiveness doesn’t always just divinely come over us one day

and the pain will be gone.

A lot of the time it takes more work.

I have to keep forgiving.  As many times a day as those hurtful transgressions come back into my mind they have to be given up to God.  And again.  And again.  And again.  

Just like God forgives me.  Again.  And again.  And again.

 

Realize

January 16, 2011

 

 

 

Realize

It was a difficult sheet of music.

Laboriously she struggled –

Measure by measure

Note by note.

Fianlly with ten-year-old exasperation

She presssed her fists into her cheeks;

“I know I’m playing the right notes

But I just don’t hear the music!”

O God, what a vivid portrait

Of our harried and hectic lives;

We live in the right houses

Give to the right charities

And read the right books.

We sit in the right church pews

Speak to the right people

And smile the right smiles.

We buy the right clothes

And drive the right cars

And join the right clubs.

Yet, far too often

There’s a mysterious emptiness –

A futility in the midst of activity.

The music is missing.

O God

You alone can create new songs

In the depths of our jangled hearts. Take over.             

                     -Ruth Harms Calkin

 

Handicrafts serve as a means of communication amoung people who are afraid, shy or sick, or even people who speak different languages.  There is something reassuring, homey, pleasant and relaxing to see someone embroidering or knitting in an airport or on a train.  One feels a trust and confidence about such a person.  If one has some similar work at hand, one becomes friends almost without words.  Or one might ask what the other is doing; and a bond of friendship, gentle and warm, is established with a person who only a short time ago was a stranger.  The handicraft is a bridge.

All creative efort is from God, and people who do handicrafts create.  To create is to be at peace, for in creating one is joined with the Creator.  Creativeness is one of the needs of our humanity and one of the gifts of God to us.  Handicrafts also are one more way of restoring us to wholeness in the natural and psychological order so as to better restore us to Christ.  The loneliness of modern people has almost reached a point of no return; but in a comon effort of creativity, men and women may find someone else who is interested in similar crafts, and become friends through their craftsmanship.  Friendship is still the most precious possession that a human being can share.  So handicrafts open the door to both friendship and creativity.  These aspects go together, for friendship both creates and demands creativity to grow. 

 By Catherine Doherty in  my Women’s Devotional Bible

Based on Psalm 90:17   “May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us – yes, establish the work of our hands.”

Preparing For Change

December 26, 2010

Once again I am preparing for change. 

The toughest thing about it is that I don’t know what that change will be.  My company was recently purchased, and “corporate redundancies” will cause job loss for some, and the rest have to prepare for change.  We don’t know what kind, or what that change will look like, but change will come.

I used to thrive on change.  When I was younger I looked on change as a challenge.  I don’t know when change turned to stress, but that’s what it did.  Uncertainty gives me a heaache and heart palpitations!  The thought of losing my job – the first job post college that I have just started to feel like I was excelling at – is in jeopardy.  It makes me terrified to think of starting over yet again.  Starting over after the divorce was the hardest thing I ever did.  I know I can make it through this, but  I don’t want to have to.

I have become a security junkie in a world where there is no security.  I learned that marriage doesn’t offer it, and jobs no longer offer a lifetime of security like they used to.  We move, we change careers, cell phone plans, upgrade our computers and televisions at alarming rates.  Nothing is secure.

Except for God.  My security must come from him.  Only He has the ability to offer the security and comfort I seek.  Why is it so difficult to accept what He offers and instead expect it of an ever-changing world?

“The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge…”  Psalm 18:2

 

How to spot a counterfeit

February 8, 2010

 

Our Youth Pastor had a wonderful sermon awhile back.  He was telling us about the new technology in trying to combat counterfeiting of our currency.  He said there are built in watermarks and other hidden things so that when a bill is held up to the light, you can tell whether or not it’s real or a fake.

He equated this with things we encounter in our lives.  How can you tell if something is real or if it’s a fake? 

Hold it up to the Light. 

The Light being Jesus, of course.  And the only way to get in touch with the Light is by getting to know Him.  By getting to know the source of the Light, you can find out what is real and what is fake.

Hold it up to the Light.

 

How We Should Live…

February 7, 2010

I have always loved these words of wisdom by Mother Theresa.  No matter how many times I read them, I always get something out of them.  I thought today was a good day to share them.

People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered.  Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.  Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies.  Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may be cheat you.  Be honest and frank anyway.  What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight.  Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous.  Be happy anyway.  The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow.  Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough.  Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway.

–   Mother Theresa

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