Tag Archives: God

This is the Day

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I have been drawn to this passage the past week. These verses stuck out to me today.

Eccl. 7:13 Consider the work of God: who can make straight what he has made crooked? 14 ¶ In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find out anything that will be after him. 

There are times in our lives where we want God to restore something we had. We even want it sometimes so that it will bring God glory. I often want God to straighten out messes for me. Until today I never thought that sometimes God is the one who has made it crooked? Just because it isn’t straight doesn’t mean it isn’t God. 
The point is to be obedient and to allow God to direct our lives. He has made the good ones as well as the “bad”. 

Lamentations 3:22-23English Standard Version (ESV)

22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;[a]his mercies never come to an end;23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

The “new mercies every morning” in this verse means that not only is God available to us every day, but he tailors the mercies and strength we need for each day’s specific needs!! Puts Ecc 7:14 into perspective doesn’t it?

This is the Day that the Lord has made we will rejoice and be glad in it!!!

The night the aligator ate my baby

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I looked across the enclosure that housed the massive alligator we had marveled at just a few moments before.  Movement caught my eye.  I yelled as loud as I could across to my oldest son, who for whatever reason was walking AWAY from my two year old.  Owen was playing on the rocks beside the swampy area of the enclosure.  Johnny didn’t hear me yell to him.  In those moments I had no other recourse but to jump the fence and run as fast as I could over to get him.  On the way, I grazed the tail of the alligator and it startled and ran. When I reached the other side, I realized in horror that when I spooked the alligator its tail had come up and knocked Owen behind me. I turned just in time to see the gator attack him.  I screamed a blood curdling scream as I watched my precious baby boy caught in the jaws of a creature that I could not stop.  He looked at me and reached for me with terror in his eyes and all I could think was “He can see me, he is reaching for me. In the most horrible moment of his life he is looking to me for help and I cannot do anything to save him. But he thinks I can!”  I knew that I was helpless and that I was betraying him, because he knew me as the one to turn to for help.  The loss hit me like a train. Pain, agony, intense sorrow.  I wanted my baby back. I wanted to tell him I was sorry.  I wanted to start the day over.  I was powerless and utterly worthless.  

Then I woke up.  Thank you God!!! I woke up! It was just a nightmare! 

When I opened my eyes I was relieved. Part of me wanted to go back to sleep, though.  I wanted to see Owen miraculously be saved some how.  He was right there in the next room. I could hear him laughing and playing. It was almost as if going back to sleep and finishing the dream would prove it was one.  

I knew exactly why I had the dream.  The entire night had been filled with stress dreams.  I realized that I was more worried than I had thought about recent events in our life.  

There are times, maybe more times than not, when we have to sit back and watch our children walk through deep waters and we cannot do anything to rescue them.  Sometimes we can come along side them and help comfort or offer advice.  Ultimately, though, it is happening to them and we are sidelined. We need someone to fight these battles who is bigger than us and greater than the monsters we are facing.  
Unfortunately our fear causes us to forget that we are missing an end of the story. Just like I felt the need to go back to sleep in hopes I would see a superhero save my baby, we need to remember that no matter what we are facing, the story isn’t over. We have a God who is working to save us and our children.  He is bigger, faster, stronger, better, more powerful, omnipotent, loving, and willing.  We need to teach our children not to only look to us for help but Christ in us and Christ without us too.  We cannot be their savior, healer, or friend.  We can only be instruments of God to them.  We are not the superheroes. We don’t have to take on their world or fight their battles. We should be living in a way that when challenges come they look to us for directions to the God they have seen use us to comfort, guide, and love them.  Just like Ruth following Naomi.  They will want to be where we are and our God to be their God.  

This is true for us, our relationships with our spouse, our kids, our friends, and our foster children who fight battles we cannot even relate to or even identify at times.  We are to point them to the God who sees them. Who died for them, who experienced trama, abandoned by his father, punished and abused without deserving it, just like them. But He did it FOR them.  We know the end of the story let’s live like it!!

Beating the odds

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I am the kind of person who tends to be rebellious.  I don’t buck the system in the typical ways though.  I like order. I love organization, though you would never know it to look into ANY of my spaces at the moment. I appreciate rules and regulations if for no other reason then it keeps others in line while I dance across the line and do what I want.  I like to know where my boundaries are so I can push them as much as is comfortable for me, then run back to safety whenever I want.  One of my biggest motivations in life is prooving someone wrong when they warn me not to do something, or tell me I can’t.  I like to be the one that beat the odds.

This can be a matter, usually is, of pride with me.  I tend to think I can take something that I view as a mess and fix it like no one else has been able to fix it.  I like to be prepared when no one else is, in ways that no one else thought of.  I don’t like needing help,but I want to be surrounded by people who will help me.  My pride says “You can do it better. You can delegate this and this and orchestrate this.  Everyone will see that you did it good” those are the times I end up hurting others and looking up at those I looked down on, before I fell.

Sometimes this is a matter of believing in something and wanting it to succeed.  Sometimes it is about believing in someone that no one else believes in.  Sometimes it is about caring and trying and hope.  Sometimes it is about wanting to be used by God in a unique way in someone’s life.  Those are the times I risk getting hurt. 

Being teachable is an important life skill. When others, more qualified, or in a position of authority tell me what I should do, I usually listen.  The times I don’t are when I feel like I have a vision for where I want to go, and I don’t see how doing it their way can get me there.  I realize that if I do it my way and it succeeds then I have beaten the odds.  It is a temptation too great.  

One example I experienced in the last few months is my journey with Owen’s birth mother.  She is the woman who gave him life. This is not to be taken lightly. SHE.CHOSE.LIFE.  In the world in which we live the choice to abort or sustain a pregnancy is so freely given.  In her situation she could have easily chosen not to continue.  Instead she chose to give her best shot at parenting him.  Although the circumstances and choices that followed resulted in him being removed from her custody, the fact that she tried is a monumental thing.  I will be forever grateful to her for that.  

Since the day that I met her we have been in regular contact.  There have been ups and downs and times when I wanted to pull my hair out and times when I am sure she did too.

Through it all the recommendation across the board from the people in charge of this case was: cut all contact.  However, my personal dealings with her were pleasant and I felt I could give her a chance.  I had a fantasy of us growing old still texting away. I knew there were hard decisions to be made and boundaries put into place.  I just felt that even if all her bridges were burned with everyone else, I could be the one to build something special with her.  Truth is, it meant a lot to me to have her in our lives.  I just wanted it to be on my terms. 

It doesn’t work that way. You cannot control other people.  You can reach out to them, set boundaries in your relationships, but you cannot control what they can and cannot do or will or will not do.  In the end all you have left is a partnership or nothing.

I’m not sure what we will end up with at the end, but I do know this is a situation where I need to put aside all pride, put aside my desire to beat the odds and prove the authority wrong.  I have to take into consideration they could be right.  I have to decide where my boundaries are and take the responsibly to guard them. If the choice is made by the other person to breach them, there needs to be a plan B.  This is where we are.  Some things are cut and dried, others have to have the flexibility to change, expand, and shrink over time to accommodate needs of all parties.  “Do your best to be at peace with all men!” “Pride goes before a fall” be yea kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake as forgiven you”.  Sometimes we have to do things for the sake of others.  My son takes priority and should be my only motivation outside of Christ. Now I need to figure out how to do that.  Maybe God will beat the odds through me! Maybe I will discover that the odds I thought needed to be beat are different from the ones God is going to beat with me. I may never know.  So here I go, pursuing a dream.  We will see where God directs the chase.