Monday, August 24, 2009


On Friday, a family from church lost one of their young sons in a horrific accident. He was 9. I don't believe the age really matters when you lose a child. I have another friend from church who unexpectedly lost a son just recently, who was married with kids of his own. It has been a rough summer for our church family.
I read in other blogs how God sustains those who go through such tragedy, and I have seen firsthand how He has sustained these close to home. I have been very, well, impressed, I suppose to witness the responses of the family left here on earth to grieve and yet celebrate their loved ones' true homecoming. I was truly struck by the mother of the young son. She sent an email to some of the church family explaining what happened and how they are doing. In it she said, "Yet, we know that when ***** was formed in His Mother’s womb, that August 21, 2009 was already established as his homegoing day. " (name removed for their privacy)
I was moved beyond words. The family is not just saying they trust Christ, but they are showing it in the deepest sense. In fact, both families are showing Christ's strength in their lives.
I was also reminded of how Scripture tells us to remember our mortality. We all have a specific time on this planet. We are given works to do in His name and we have a charge to fulfill. We, as believers, do not wonder what our purpose is in life, who we are or what life is about. Don't get me wrong, we wonder about how that all fleshes out, but the big picture is; it's all about glorifying God in our lives. Most often that path is one of the hardest to follow.
Our culture is all about making sure the "self" is protected and nourished. The "self-help" sections of bookstores are filled with numerous step programs to try and give the individual self-esteem, self-awareness, self-whoknowswhatelse. Interestingly, God's word says to put others in front of yourself. Self focus becomes selfishness and that rarely leads to happiness. We don't deserve to be happy. Certainly not if we are focused on that as an end goal. If we focus on the real goal of glorifying God in our lives, that will likely be the hardest road we travel at times, but if we take that road, we won't be alone. There won't always be the happy feelings, but there will be joy. Allowing God to lead and trusting Him for the strength to go that road is the best possible option for living life to the fullest.
I wish I saw more Christians taking that road, instead of the worldly comfortable one. I am encouraged deeply to bear witness to the families who are living and breathing God's strength moment to moment. We all get to decide which camp we will belong to, despite what some may feel. Sometimes we try both, but I see much more peace in one. I continue to lift both families in prayer, but to be honest, they are teaching and helping me much more.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Hiatus Over!

Wow. That was a long break.
I'll try to keep up.
This last week, I had my dad up for a visit. If you'd like to see all we did, click here and see the adventures in Denali National Park. Oh, alright, here's a picture or two!
I have to say, the entire visit was pretty fun. The trip to Denali was good, and though we didn't see the mountain, the wildlife was abundant. The rest of the visit went well, and I'm glad to have had an opportunity to make some positive memories with my dad. There was actually only one stressful time that passed without any regrets, but with my principles stated. I have an idea what parents must go through when their kids are doing things that are less than desirable!

Anyway, I have to say that I have the best small group of women friends who lifted me up all week in prayer. I know their prayers kept me going and protected us from any untamed tongues among other physical threats! I have been so moved by the love I have received from "my" small group. I want to own these gals as family, and I hope they feel the same about me.

It's been a journey to discover my need for girlfriends. I had previously prided myself about my independence from girlfriends, but to what purpose? I have no idea. I guess I had been jaded by adolescent behaviors by girls and wrote them off. I have since learned the value and wisdom of women! I have also since learned that although women are not perfect, we need each other. I have been able to share my feelings, good and bad, and receive advice and prayer. I have also hopefully been able to lift them up. Isn't this what we are designed for? I have been so blessed.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Monday? Oops.

I know. It's past Monday. I didn't make it. I don't really have any good reasons except that I didn't make it a priority yesterday!
Actually, I was in a feeling of being rushed all day. I accidentally slept in and had 45 minutes to get up, take care of the dogs and my plants, get my lunch, (oh and get ready), and head out the door. I had forgotten to ask/tell my employers that I would be a bit late due to a meeting I had, so I left a note on the door of the office. I felt a bit immature and foolish. Ah well. Humility.

Speaking of, I think I'll have to really practice that trait this coming week. I've been blessed (yes, the kind that brings me in closer relationship with Christ) to bring myself down and soften my heart. My dad is coming up on Thursday to visit for a week. We plan to go camping in Denali for the first few days - just us two. My marvelous man could not join us due to his now busy work schedule, for which we are thankful. At first I was not remotely happy about this turn of events, but the last couple weeks, God has placed in me the excitement and desire to go. We will likely have marginal weather, but that's what makes for good memories, right?!

I am glad I have allowed the Lord to work in me lately. Why do I insist on "putting my foot down," when it makes me miserable? It is so freeing to let the Lord take the burdens and just enjoy the filling of His love. I am learning to love without loving the actions of others. Easier said than done, and I am by no means finished. I'd say I'm in the elementary lessons. Considering my love of learning, I have to admit that I don't particularly love being in the elementary class. I fancy myself much higher. (I have been a Christian most of my life, after all!) Oh how Christ corrects our lofty thoughts of ourselves.

Studying the sermon on the mount has been very pointedly showing me my tendencies for Pharisitical heart-attitudes. Deep down I pride myself on my extensive knowledge of scripture and it's theological implications. I have always enjoyed my "deep" conversations about theology with my brothers, specifically. This type of conversation is not wrong, but when I use my knowledge to, even secretly, lord it over others, it has corrupted me. I am no better than anyone else. I began to sing the old Psalty song that I remembered as a child, "Make me a Servant." (Charity Church mouse sang it in a very fitting story line, if you don't remember!) It was so amazing. So hard. So good.

Make me a servant,
humble and meek.
Lord, let me lift up,
those who are weak.
And may the prayer of my heart always be:
Make me a servant, today.

I pray that throughout this next week (and everyday, really) that I would be made into a servant.