Thursday, January 31, 2013

Small Words Can Do So Much

"It is the same with the tongue.  It is a small part of the body, but it brags about great things.  A big forest fire can be started with only a little flame.  And the tongue is like a fire...The tongue spreads its evil through the whole body." James 3:5-6

I am that woman that cries at the drop of a hat.  It doesn't take much to make me cry.  I cry when I am happy, I cry when I am sad or mad, frustrated or anxious.  I've been like this all my life.  I call my eyes my leaky faucets. 

For the majority of my life, I was ashamed by my crying.  I found it embarrassing and difficult to cope with especially since it makes many other people quite uncomfortable.  I was told as a child that I was "too sensitive".  I needed to have a "stiff upper lip" (still not sure exactly what that means) and "not to take any wooden nickels" (again not sure of the meaning).  But it became clear to me over time, that my crying was seen as a weakness.  It was a fault, something that was wrong with me, something to be ashamed of. 

In the last six months, someone blessed me with a different perspective.  I had gone forward for prayer after church one day and as usual, while I tried to tell the elder what I wanted prayer for, I started crying.  The elder looked me in the eye and said "God gave you a tender heart" and what I heard in my heart was "there is no reason to be ashamed". 

God made me this way for a reason.  I am who He wanted me to be - I have not yet figured out why He gave me a tender heart, but for the first time in my life, I didn't feel like crying was a bad thing. 

God loves me the way that He made me and wearing my emotions on my sleeve is part of who He made me to be. 

I am so grateful for the kind words of that elder - for the perspective that he blessed me with that day - it changed the way I think about myself.

It is truly amazing what words can do.

What kind words can you say to someone today?

In His Grace...

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Abundant Love of God

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I (Jesus) have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." John 10:10

"...that you may be filled with all the fullness of God..."Ephesians 3:19

Our church has something they call the Equip hour.  It is in the hour before the service starts and they invite different leaders of the church to teach on a variety of subjects.  The idea is to better "equip" us as churchgoers to share the gospel in our daily lives.  The sessions are usually six or eight weeks long and until recently, my  husband and I had not participated.

But the current session is titled "Living in the Light = Living in Freedom" and it pulled on both of us.  We missed the first session but at the second session I got the handout from the first session.  The teacher, Bobbie Hicks, is a member of our church that is a strong Christian woman who has been walking with Christ for a long time. 

This is a excerpt from the handout for session 1:

"It is the very nature of God to deepen and grow those who choose His love.  There is no stagnation in a healthy relationship with God.  He never meant for us to be dwarfed or experience deficit in our relationship with Him.  There is no limit in God's love invitation to us.  There's always more abundance available." 

So in the next six to eight weeks, I am hoping I will learn how to tap into that abundance.  How to "have life, and have it to the full..." John 10:10.

I will share what I learn as I go.

In His Grace...

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Continually Learning to be Thankful in ALL Things

I am thankful.  Truly I am because my family and I have been so blessed. 

But then things come along and I have to learn to be thankful in those as well.  Even just little things like our little man coming down with a cold....and giving it to me. 

My husband and I have been praying about direction for him in his career.  He got an interview for a new job.  And while it might be promising, the pay cut to start would be great.  Can we even manage it?  Do we want to?  Is this God's plan for us?

Then one of the members of our small group was unhappy at his job.  He got an interview with a recruiter, got an interview with a new company, got the job with a 30% pay increase.  Why can't this happen for my husband?  What are we doing wrong? 

I know the answer. 

I know we aren't doing anything wrong.  We are in this place, at this time in our lives for a reason.  We just don't know the reason.  We can't see into the future and we can't see the whole story. 

And that's when I struggle to give thanks.

When I feel exhausted and lousy and have to blow my nose every couple of minutes.  When I have to get up with our little man several times a night because he can't breathe through his nose.  When my husband comes back from an interview that we were so hopeful about with the news of the pay decrease it would be.  When our friend is given such great news at exactly the same time.

I struggle to give thanks. 

Yet Scripture says to give thanks in ALL things.  Not just the good things, the easy things.  Not just when we feel good and are happy.  Not just when everything is going well.  We are to give thanks in EVERYTHING. 

Thank you Lord for this cold that reminds me how fortunate I am to be healthy most of the time.  Thank you for this cold that makes me take time to rest.  Thank you for my little man waking up which reminds me how lovely it is that he sleeps through the night most of the time.  Thank you Lord for the good interview my husband had - it has increased his self-confidence and has helped him see a possible change in career. 

Thank you Lord for your ever loving kindness, mercy, grace and LOVE.  That I can ask these things and not give you the gratitude you deserve.  Yet I still know that you LOVE me.

In His Grace...

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


We have done it.  We have moved...

Of course, we aren't really finished.  Many of our belongings have ended up in the garage and sunroom and we will, over the next few weeks, move things into the house.  It takes time, and sometimes can be discouraging as we ask each other "have you seen                ?"  But we are so thankful for a house, a yard, a place for all our pets, each other, our family and friends.

One of the gifts I received for Christmas was my very own copy of "One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp.  I have been re-reading it in the evenings before going to bed.  As I read, I am struck by how the truth of what she writes is so evident in my life. 

I spent many years longing for so much.  I felt so alone, unwanted, unneeded and discouraged.  During that time in my life, I had not found the key.  I had not found the amazing things that being thankful can do for one's soul. 

We have a friend that recently brought his wife here from Vietnam.  She spent all of her life so far in poverty, not enjoying the riches we take for granted.  But she has such a joyful spirit and is usually smiling.  I mentioned something about it once and our friend said "she wakes up like this in the morning." 

Perhaps living here in the land of plenty, it is easy to forget how to be thankful?  We feel entitled to so much when really everything we have is a gift from God.  Perhaps living in poverty, you have a daily reminder that everything is a gift?  I don't know, but it is a reminder to me that I must practice gratitude, I must practice being thankful in all things...the hard things, the good things and the painful things.

God is good.

In His Grace...

Thursday, January 3, 2013

I'm sorry

So I haven't written anything for a while...I will again, eventually.

With Christmas and then New Years and MOVING...I just haven't had a chance to write.

The sale of our house is moving forward and we found a house to rent.  We are packing up and getting ready to move everything across town.  We have to be out of our house by January 18th so I will try to start writing again after that. 

I hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas and a lovely New Years Celebration!

I look forward to writing more in the New Year!

In His Grace...