When the Clouds Part

clouds

The last couple of days have felt extremely refreshing. I can’t think of any particular reason why….Have you ever had a few good hours, days, or weeks, and wondered when the clouds will return? There is a discipline to enjoying the good days rather than waiting and anticipating the next storm to roll in. Joy is a gift from God. It’s a fruit that He wants us to enjoy and partake of as much as possible on this earth. Give thanks for relief, peace, and laughter when they show their lovely faces. Enjoy and rest in what God has already done in your life. He’s still on the job and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

He carries us when we need to be carried. He fights for us when we turn it over. He weeps with us in our grief. AND, he smiles with us when we are happy. What a beautiful thought. When we have joy and peace, it’s from Him. When we need help, He’s there. Just like the parent we wish we could be for our kids, He is omnipresent, all-powerful, and all-loving. He rejoices over us.

The Lord your God is with you. He is a hero who saves you. He happily rejoices over you, renews you with His love, and celebrates over you with shouts of joy. Zepheniah 3:17 (GW)

He celebrates us! Not just WITH us, but He celebrates US. In the NIV version, the same verse says He will “rejoice over you in singing.” Can you even imagine that God sings over each of us? Our very own personal love song from the One who died for us. Now, that’s a beautiful love story.

When your life is good, let it be good! Soak in the sunshine and take in a big, deep, beautiful breath. Exhale, smile, and repeat. When the next trial arrives, He’ll be there. He always is. Relish in the good days and remember that when we are smiling, our Father is too…

Advertisements

What I’ve Learned From My Kids…

motherhood

Here are a few things I’ve learned from my kids thus far. My girls are only 8 & 3, so I know I have a lot more learning to do and milestones to reach….Even so, these lessons have been astounding and life altering.

  • I wasn’t as “ready” for kids as I thought I was (no one is)
  • Patience is NOT my greatest virtue
  • The sweetest sound to my ears is “I love you Mommy”
  • Picking the girls up after work and putting them to bed are two of my favorite times
  • Going to the main church service with kids is important but “feels” pointless while you’re there….keep going.
  • I learn how I want to be treated when I think about how I want them to be treated
  • Every child is different
  • There is no “perfect’ way to feed, sleep train, or discipline your child, although they are all necessary
  • A kid’s memory is surprisingly accurate
  • Daycare is expensive!
  • Kids will listen to, watch, and read a favorite song, movie, or book over and over and over and over and over and…
  • Parenting will drive you to your knees, and that’s a good thing.
  • You can’t control everything.
  • Parenting should keep us very humble.
  • I wouldn’t trade it for the world

My girls are lovers, fighters, givers, takers, whiners, gamers, laughers, criers, cuddlers, and the best part is that they are mine! (So that all makes sense). Let the love and lessons continue….

What I Learned From My Grandma…

cropped-love-tree2.jpg

Here are a few things I learned from my grandma. She was one of the smartest, funniest, strongest women I’ve had the privilege to know and love….

  • Keep God first
  • Work hard
  • Save money
  • Tell the truth, even if your voice shakes
  • Humor is always welcome and usually necessary
  • Be straight with your man, he’ll appreciate and respect you for it
  • Give to others
  • Pray for others, both international and domestic
  • Be a witness
  • You are a living example
  • Love hard
  • Time is precious
  • A timely joke can cut the tension in a room like nothing else
  • Chicken taco and spaghetti tastes better (to me) with veggie-meat instead of real meat
  • Fried okra has never tasted better (to me) than straight from Grandma’s skillet
  • Heaven will be the greatest family reunion any of us can ever imagine!

As a child and adult, my grandma took me to lunch and shopping for my birthday. This tradition continued until she couldn’t physically do it anymore. I looked forward to it every year. That special time she carved out just for me was the best gift she ever gave me. With my birthday quickly approaching, I am reminded of how much she loved me. I am forever grateful and blessed to be her granddaughter.

Who Can You Trust?

 

trust

I used to believe anything anyone would tell me. Call me extremely naive, innocent, or foolish. I just did. I believed people were trustworthy until proven different. Now, I fall more into the category of “I’ll trust you when you prove yourself trustworthy”. This makes me sad, but probably wiser. I don’t want to come off jaded, but not everyone can be trusted. I’ve learned this the really hard way. Maybe you have also. Maybe you’ve been abused and/or deceived. First of all, I’m so sorry for your pain. I get it. I can empathize with your pain, confusion, and shock. The one who dismisses your pain, has never felt it or hasn’t dealt with their own.

Once the shock wears off and you are in the terrifying yet beautiful place to rebuild your life, your trust in people and yourself will also need to be rebuilt. But how? Who can you trust? Keep God first and ask Him for help. Praise Him through the storm and watch Him transform you and the people around you.

I found a quote on trusting God, but was unable to find the author, I wish I could have. It really spoke to me and is as follows: “We cannot hope to trust in someone who is essentially a stranger to us, but that is easily remedied. God has not made Himself difficult to find or know. All we need to know about God, He has graciously made available to us in the Bible, His Holy Word to His people. To know God is to trust Him.”  How can we trust a stranger? We can’t. We have to get to know Him for ourselves in order to place our trust in Him.

People WILL fail us, even the ones who love us the most. I will fail you. That will never be my intention, but it will happen. I can apologize, I can explain, I can ask forgiveness, but that won’t change the fact that I’m not perfect and I will fail you. Pointing each other to the ONLY perfect One in the universe is the most loving thing we can do to protect each other’s hearts.

It may feel like God has failed you. I get that too. We live in a fallen world and the enemy is painstakingly on attack…..constantly. God hasn’t failed you. He will pick you up. He will walk alongside you in the pain. He will speak wisdom in your ear. He yearns to. He loves you with an eternal, unfailing love that is worthy of our trust.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.  Proverbs 3:5,6

Trusting people these days is harder than it’s ever been for me. Baby steps…. It’s much easier for me to trust a person that is submitted to God. Someone who admits they aren’t perfect, but knows and loves the One who is. A person who’s greatest desire is to honor God with their broken and imperfect life. Someone who can say I will fail you and life is hard, but I will always point you in God’s direction and pray for you.  A person who says I’ve never had it all together and I never will this side of eternity, but I know the One who does. These people are my very best friends and mentors, these people are true blessings for which I’m so grateful. These are people I can trust because I know who they trust and that makes all the difference in the world.

Married 7 times?!

commitment

I had a patient this morning who struggled to get on the bed for her test and said “try not to get old dear, it hurts.” I actually hear that from a lot of my patients and I try to remind them that it sure beats the alternative. Sadly, some of them still say, “well, I’m not so sure.” I told her “I’m so sorry it hurts, take your time”.  She replied with “that’s life honey, it just hurts”. Then she started to tell me about her life and how she should have “taken better care of herself”.

She explained that she dove headfirst into all the drinking, drugs, and sex she could get a hold of. She even shared with me that she had been married SEVEN times! That just blew me away. I incorrectly assumed that she had been left seven times and started to try to console her. She quickly and honestly corrected me by saying she’s the one who always left. Wow! She affirmed that all of her husbands had been good men with the exception of one. I asked her why she left and she told me she just “got bored”. This was such an eye opening conversation for me since it was coming from a woman.

She says she didn’t become a Christian until she was in her 40s. But, even then she still left husbands. She reminded me that the Christian journey is just that, a journey. Change and wisdom don’t come overnight. I guess they could if God so chooses, but typically it takes time, alot of grace, experiences, and failures to learn how much God loves us and how He wants us to love others. She is a strong Christian woman now. She loves God with all her heart and confided in me that the main reason she left all her husbands was because she didn’t know that love meant commitment. She thought love was based solely on feelings and once they faded, she got bored and just left. She says she knows now that love is a choice and a commitment that you make in spite of feelings.

I wanted to share her testimony because it really spoke to my heart. She shared with me that her pastor has asked her to speak on marriage and she told him she could only speak on what NOT to do. That’s valuable too and I think she should! We need to hear what not to do as much as what to do. Her parting words of advice to me were when you are married and look over at your spouse and wonder “what the heck am I doing with this person?” or have an argument (which you will). Don’t leave! Work through it, make the choice to love and STAY. Pray and get the help necessary, but stay. Sidenote: you can’t MAKE someone stay who doesn’t want to be there and you shouldn’t stay if there is any form of abuse or unrepentant infidelity. I’m aware that every troubled marriage has different variables going on.

She reminded me to never get married on feelings alone because although our feelings change every day, the commitment to love shouldn’t. If you get married on feelings alone, you may very well leave when those feelings fade. They will ebb and flow, but the commitment should stand firm. The only reason she kept getting married over and over was because she “felt” like it was right……seven times. And she is single today. Feelings are fickle and lust fades. But, true love grows.

She reminded me that only God’s love can satisfy. She reminded me that we can bless others even after we fail over and over. She reminded me that God can and will use us to reach and teach others no matter what has happened in our pasts or who we “were”. She reminded me that pointing others towards Jesus is the single most loving act you can perform in ANY relationship (including marriage) because His love is the ONLY love guaranteed not to up and leave by choice or death. Even the blessed couples that make it till death do they part, will still part, unless Jesus returns first.

She regrets the string of broken hearts she left behind in her brokenness. Today, she blessed and inspired mine and we are both grateful for that. God is a God of restoration. I asked her if I could share her story and she said she would be honored. May God bless her abundantly for sharing with me.

 

 

Why Ya Gotta Be So Rude?

excuse me

“Why ya gotta be so rude? Don’t you know I’m human too?” This song is so catchy right now. I can’t help but turn it up and sing along…and it got me thinking (fancy that). We don’t know the story behind why the dad is not giving his blessing to marry his daughter. He may have a very good point. We also don’t know if she even wants to marry the guy or if Dad’s replying truly rudely or just being protective and direct….but I DO love the premise behind the song. Why do people have to be SO rude?

I’ve come to realize that blatant rudeness is just disrespect plain and simple. It shows lack of self control, lack of decency, lack of respect…just lack. I used to be attracted to rudeness, maybe because I thought it showed superiority in some way. I just assumed if the person was rude they had every right to be. Now, I see things very differently. I’m completely repelled by rudeness, it’s just not necessary. There are ways to do and confront hard things without being rude.

Turns out you can disagree with someone and not be rude. You can express your own personal opinion and not be rude. You can say “no” and not be rude. You can confront really hard issues and not be rude. People will respect you SO much more if you can express yourself, be yourself, stand up for yourself and NOT be rude. It may be extremely tempting to roll out the rudeness, but it’s just not necessary. It’s disrespectful.

If you disagree, express, decline, confront, or end something in a polite manner and the person is offended and angry, that’s their problem. You have every right to make decisions in your life and they do too. It’s HOW we navigate these situations that show respect for others and ourselves. Remember to respect yourself, we people pleasers have a very hard time with this one….

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.  Galatians 5:22-23

Be you, be strong, but be POLITE! Thank you 🙂