Thursday, December 20, 2012

I just HOPE I grow into a bitter hag.

No one ever says that. I keep thinking "I'm not going to write another post until I have something nice, or inspiring, or encouraging to say". As my silence has proven... not a whole lot to be overjoyed about as of late.

I've always been a big fan of the "fake it until you feel it" motto. And it works...most of the time. But for months, or years, like these- the feelings just don't mesh. And you know, that's OK too. I get scared that if I don't stay positive and find that silver lining, it's just one more step toward "bitter ol' hag" future.  I seriously have nightmares that I am going to wake up- 80 years old, and such a depressing, critical witch that no one will ever want to be around me.

That is right when God reminds me- you can choose to smile, dear one. You can choose to laugh out loud. You can CHOOSE, to TRUST me with the future.

And suddenly, everything feels...just about right.

So instead of being silent, thought I would pass this along- especially to my healthcare buddies. We have ALL charted something wacky at one point or another. Hope it makes you laugh as hard as I did! ( 9 and 18 were my personal favorites!)

(Actual writings from hospital charts)

1.  The patient refused autopsy.

2.  The patient has no previous history of suicides.

3.  Patient has left white blood cells at another hospital.

4.  She has no rigors or shaking chills, but her husband states she was very hot in bed last night.

5.  Patient has chest pain if she lies on her left side for over a year.

6.  On the second day the knee was better and on the third day it disappeared.

7.  The patient is tearful and crying constantly.  She also appears to be depressed.

8.  The patient has been depressed since she began seeing me in 1993.

9.  Discharge status:  Alive but without permission.

10.  Healthy appearing decrepit 69-year old male, mentally alert but forgetful.  
11.  Patient had waffles for breakfast and anorexia for lunch.

12.  She is numb from her toes down.

13.  While in ER, she was examined, x-rated and sent home.

14.  The skin was moist and dry.

15.  Occasional, constant infrequent headaches.

16.  Patient was alert and unresponsive.

17.  Rectal examination revealed a normal size thyroid.

18.  She stated that she had been constipated for most of her life, until she got a divorce.

19.  I saw your patient today, who is still under our car for physical therapy.

20.  Both breasts are equal and reactive to light and accommodation.

21.  Examination of genitalia reveals that he is circus sized.

22.  The lab test indicated abnormal lover function.

23.  Skin:  somewhat pale but present.

24.  The pelvic exam will be done later on the floor.

25.  Patient has two teenage children, but no other abnormalities.

(Pictures are just for fun- my boy had a blast at Winter Formal this last week, and my girl got a very beautiful Christmas present from her honey. Life is full of blessings- I just have to look around and see them.)

" Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

Saturday, November 24, 2012

To be Thankful...

Thanksgiving is done- except for all the leftovers. Now on to preparing the house for all the Christmas decorations to come out! I couldn't help but think about how much of my "holiday merriment" revolves around pointless traditions. Don't freak out! I know- I still love it all, the turkey, the stuffing, the Christmas tree and lights, the advent wreath, the stockings and caroling. I wouldn't get rid of a single thing. I just wonder if the reason we all can get into the "Christmas Spirit" and still act like little pigs is because we are missing out on THE Spirit...Our God, dwelt with us.

I am determined to slow down and soak it up this year, not just the good feelings and seasonal festivities. But I am asking God to shine in a brighter, new way and open my eyes to more of Him, and much less of me. I get so bent out of shape over things I have little control over, when in reality; my time, energy and treasures would be much better spent fussing over the things I CAN impact for God's glory.
Our "Thanks" Jar
We have spent the month writing something we are thankful for down on a little leaf and putting it in a jar, just taking a moment to pause and praise God for all He does in our lives every day. As we shared Thanksgiving Dinner together this last week, I think we each felt just how grateful we should be. Life gets topsy turvy sometimes, Obama is still president, we might be short on cash and long on worries, the changes this next year feel overwhelming - but there is one thing that will always stay the same:
"...God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us." Romans 5:5b

Our list was long this Thanksgiving, but the highlights were:
Another day of breath and life
Two new members to our little team
More than what we need
Love and Forgiveness
God bless you, dear friend. May He fill your cup, and allow it to run over with His Spirit and His joy this Christmas.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

What's our driving force?

Headed into November with a vengeance! I know I am pathetic, I have been listening to Christmas carols since September, but I didn't go with ONLY Christmas albums until now. I have some self- restraint.

I keep expecting things to slow down and for my worries to go away...and then they don't. I wrack my brain thinking up ways to fix broken relationships that people don't want to fix. As I watch my girl struggle with a broken heart, and shame and guilt, I hurt for her and wonder if she truly knows how God sees her through Jesus, her Savior. As I worry about my men- how tired they are and how hard they work every day just to keep their heads above water- I wonder if they know that the choices they make today will resound into eternity, through the people they love, honor and protect. The anxiety at times is overwhelming, and I pray and pray that they will see blessings and find fulfillment in life. And that's when I realize, if the world is all about me, or all about them- ultimately, my "pursuit" is selfish and in my own best interest.

 I heard something though that helped me stop the "freak out". A speaker posed the question, "What is your driving force? If you are the point of it all, doesn't that make your spouse your maid? Doesn't that put an undue amount of weight on your children to reflect WELL on you?...Our personal self interest shouldn't be the driving force of our life."

Other questions I heard that forced me to consider my focus:
Is this good for ME?
Is this just for ME?
Does this benefit ME?
Does this move ME forward?

Is that how I am living every day? If my husband is ok, then I am ok. If my kids are ok, then I am ok. If my home is in order, then I feel in order. If my career is doing well, it means I am doing well. All of this is internally focused.

The speaker dared to say, "How miserable of a human you are if ultimately everything is about you? The more the world is about you, the more anxiety you are going to feel.
The more the world is about you, the more fear will exist in your heart.
The more the world is about you, the more angry you will be."

How true is that? All my worries are because I sit here focused on our little world, which I can't fix anything in anyways.  I'm constantly worrying how to show my husband how much I respect and love him. I'm afraid Jordan will decide he doesn't need to go to college. I'm afraid that Spencer will regret for the rest of his life the choices he has made with his family. And I get angry at everything, for no reason.

Then I read Matthew 6, and it calms the storm in my heart and reminds me- I am not in control and my "driving force" is, and should be, the hope and trust I have in Jesus. Repeatedly, Jesus pushes us to stop with the appearances, to stop with the stress, and LOOK at Him. He says so clearly, " So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:31-34

Our God is for us, He is watching over us, and providing for the things we don't even know yet to ask for. What a comfort that is! Lord, help me to rest in that freedom. Remind me that the smaller my world becomes in my heart, the bigger You will be. 
Matt Chandler from The Village Church was the speaker I heard, and I truly think you would enjoy the full message. I can't do it justice. Here is the media file in case you'd like to hear the whole context. It's worth an hour of your time. Love you, my friend.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Take it back!

What a good kick in the pants today! I just had to post after my grumpiness the last few weeks, God threw DOWN today. And it came from a random Facebook post. Go figure.

I was waiting to pick up Jordan after school and just cruising through FB when, low and behold, an old acquaintance posts the most heart warming, worshipful status about being thankful. Just plain and simple, being thankful. It just stopped me short. My favorite part just keeps running through my mind, "Every movement an act of worship, every breath a gift." (Name withheld for privacy. But what a quote!) 

 So, my heart is convicted, my spirit encouraged. I am choosing to be thankful, and here's just a tiny glimpse of all the goodness in my life:

1) It's AUTUMN! With leaves to crunch, crisp air, and ear muffs right around the corner.
(When ear muffs can't be found, you can always use a toddler.)
2)  My beloved had surgery to remove a tumor, he came out wonderfully and it was BENIGN!
(Even during pre-op, we could be thankful for the comfy bear paw gown- so WARM.)

3) My precious girl is healthy, strong and growing into a beautiful woman. She is going to be a great mom.
(20 weeks and going strong! Halfway to meeting Brielle!)
4)  New friends who make us smile.
(Warm muzzles make life wonderful.)
5) The privilege of knowing my son, who is one of the strongest, most faithful men I have ever met. He never quits on his family, no matter how crazy he things we are.
(Wearing dark shades on cloudy days = greatness.)

6) This guy who went from broken and hurt, to being such a blessing- working full time, college full time, and doing all he can to change and grow in love and courage.
(When on crutches, MILK it for as long as you can!)
 7) Neck warmers. They are terrific.
(I prefer my neck warmers in black.)
8) Long walks with little and big people. Conversations that grow us and move our souls.

(Teach them how to "swag" as young as possible.)
9) The fact that in 4 short months, these two are going to give me a granddaughter! Babies are the BEST!

(They have tenacity. I love that in people.)
10) And always, always...The Word of God. Without it, all would feel lost.
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Monday, October 15, 2012

There IS strength to be had.

Midway through October and I am so unprepared to be here. So, I started listening to Christmas Music. Nothing like pressing the fast forward button. I have been so angry, and so sad with all the things that have happened in the last year that I want to say goodbye to 2012. But then I get overwhelmed at what 2013 is going to look like.

Then I read Nehemiah. It was so good to be reminded that "the joy of the LORD" IS my "strength". In this passage you see the people of God preparing to hear the Law- basically the 10 Commandments and goodies from the first 5 books of the Bible. They had begged to have the Word of the Lord read to them, but as they heard it..they began to despair and weep, recognizing their total inability to meet God's standard. That's how I have been feeling this last season. Just completely incapable to do anything of worth, to have failed in so many ways and now, somehow, needing to find a way to make it right.

But listen to what God says, in spite of the MEGA failures of the Israelite people, their exile, their idolatry, their disobedience- " Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”  So the Levites calmed all the people, saying, “Be quiet, for this day is holy; do not be grieved.” And all the people went their way to eat and drink and to send portions and to make great rejoicing, because they had understood the words that were declared to them." Nehemiah 8:10-12

A commentary I read said that the people had found a reason to celebrate. They had not been totally destroyed as a nation, in spite of their sin. God was and always would be their comfort, their strength. Oh, how good, Lord, You are. Thank you for that word- that no matter the past, we have a future in you. 

(Pictures just for fun- I love working with teens, they are fearless.)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Just another day in paradise...

(My crew on Jasmine's birthday)
That song always makes me laugh because I think, "If this is paradise, heaven is going to blow me away!" Thank God for that promise! Had the perfect meltdown me a 2 year old. Been an eventful week- found out our grand baby is going to be a sweet baby girl, kids are all working and going to school, and my man had surgery to remove a large tumor in his arm. All in all, 4 1/2 hours of sleep too many nights in a row can make a girl crazy. Just sayin'.

 Sometimes I look around and think there is no possible way we are going to survive. Literally. And then other times I think, life is pretty awesome. How is that? How can I feel such different emotions in the span of a few weeks. Hormones? Perspective? Environment?

(My grandbaby's first photo. Oh, the pictures we will take!)
I heard a wonderful testimony awhile back that reminded me that no matter how I FEEL, I will survive. The woman spoke about how when she found a lump, she knew it was cancer. And after the biopsy and the phone call from her doctor which confirmed her suspicions, she paced her living room simply praying to God: "I love you. And I trust you...I love you. And I trust you."

Nothing I go through in a week comes close to a life and death struggle. It's more about driving over 100 miles in a day taking teens to school, to work, and doing my job seeing patients. It's more about being dissatisfied with what kind of mother and wife I think I SHOULD be, when the reality will never measure up. If this dear sister can say in the face of mortality: "Lord, I love you and I trust you", why can't I?

It was just so encouraging to remember this in light of my total "crying-asking to die-moaning-throwing myself on the bathroom floor" freak out. Of course, I found it encouraging AFTER I ate some humble pie and had to apologize to my family and my dog for my ridiculous behavior. It is still to be determined if the dog will forgive me. So now, I am ready to stay the course. Now, I am going to say "I love you. And I trust you. Lord, I love you. And I trust you."
"I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever.
For what you have done I will always praise you in the presence of your faithful people.
 And I will hope in your name, for your name is good." Psalm 52:7-9

(Jasmine and Spencer are always willing to clean and help out. They make a good team.)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Fathers make the World a better place.

What a wild summer! Finally with the cool, crisp air and the feeling of autumn, I can honestly say I am thankful for fresh beginnings and each new day.

I was thinking about my dear husband this morning and couldn't help but wonder at the faithful man he is. This summer above all others has given us reason to question everything we believe, stand for. The quality of our hearts, the expected struggles of a family. This summer gave us the perfect opportunity to be disappointed in one of our kids, and even to throw in the towel if we wanted to. What amazes me, is that my guy never even considered it. No matter how hard it has been, he just pushes forward and chooses to LOVE all of us. No strings attached. I adore him for that.

This old county song by George Strait fits so perfectly. The more I look at the young people who use to be my babies, the more I just love them for everything they are, everything they aren't, and everything they will be. I can't help it, and I wouldn't want to love them any other way.

Our Father in Heaven loves families. He knows that being in one means things get rough, we get irritated, and it can get ugly. But He WANTS us in families because that is where we see Jesus best.
 A Father's Love - George Strait
I got sent home from school one day with a shiner on my eye ,
Fighting was against the rules and it didn't matter why.
When Dad got home I told that story just like I'd rehearsed
Then stood there on those trembling knees and waited for the worst

And he said, "Let me tell you a secret, about a father's love.
A secret that my daddy said was just between us-
He said, daddies don't just love their children every now and then
It's a love without end, amen, its a love without end, amen".

When I became a father in the spring of 81
There was no doubt that stubborn boy was just like my father's son .
And when I thought my patience had been tested to the end
I took my daddy's secret and I passed it on to him

I said "daddies don't just love their children every now and then
It's a love without end, amen, its a love without end, amen."

Last night I dreamed I'd died and stood outside those pearly gates
When suddenly I realized there must be some mistake
If they know half the stuff I done they'll never let me in
Then somewhere from the other side I heard these words again:

And they said, "Let me tell you a secret, about a father's love
A secret that my daddy said was just between us
You see daddies don't just love their children every now and then
It's a love without end, amen, its a love without end, amen."

If you have time, read 2 Samuel 13 and remember how David felt about his son, Absalom, even after all he did wrong. Some think David was a loser Dad because he didn't deal justly with him- for all the mayhem and murder he committed. I think I understand a little how he felt. Being a parent is the greatest gift, and the greatest responsibility of life.  Lord, help us live up to that great calling.

Had to add on this photo blog- it was too funny. We all have great intentions, like George Strait... but I think I end up more often looking like this guy!! Click the link below:
World's Best Father Article 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Let the engine lead, not the caboose...

We always say that at our house when we can tell feelings are taking over. It was an analogy we heard years ago about our life being like a train. The engine is where the truth- FACTS- are, and feelings should be at the back of the train, in the caboose. They are great, they are necessary, but they shouldn't be what drives our purpose or our lives.

This week we have just been clinging to that. I heard a great quote, "Forgiveness is a choice, not a feeling." We have just been choosing to forgive and find a new normal. Even when we don't feel like it.

Thank you, Lord for each new day- with no mistakes in it yet.

"Search me, God, and know my heart test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." Psalm 139:23-24

Saturday, June 23, 2012

To live a little...

June 2012...not possible. It's raining, it's cold, and I'm not ready to be 6 months into a year that came too fast. We have spent the last month with proms, and graduations, and goodbyes to so many things. I just wanted to stick my head in the sand and pretend it all wasn't happening.

Thinking about Jordan and Jasmine both being seniors next year, I have felt like this summer needed to be the best, most amazing yet...and I had no idea how to make it happen. Then I realized I don't need to "make" it great. It will be great just because we will be together. Sure we have said goodbye to childhood games, friends who have grown up, family that has chosen to move on, school, etc. etc. This next year there won't be any "Danny" running over to hang out or talk about zombies. There won't be as many bike rides to the country store or free days to trail ride with a best friend for hours. Work will take the time of video gaming, and school will mean something entirely different when you know the grades are part of your college transcript. Bur we will also say "Hello!" to new friends, and new experiences, and all new moments where God just blows our socks off.

Yesterday I picked up my phone and saw a text message that completely changed my focus. It was my beautiful young friend in a hospital gown, holding her "moments old" newborn son. I remember that moment so vividly for myself- the first time you hold your "heart" in your arms- you look into the eyes of another person and realize THIS was why it was all worth it. I saw in her smile all this next season is going to bring- the adventure of life and the amazing privilege of sharing God's love and story every chance we get. To hold the hand of a sweet, innocent child who is just figuring it out, or kiss the cheek of an 87 year old dear lady as she prepares to see Jesus face to face. I will spend hours listening to the hurts and successes of my high school girls, and get the opportunity to plan and encourage the young men around me to live courageously. I will fall, and I will watch those around me fall. I will succeed at times too, and rejoice with those around me who win. That's the life I get to live, and it is such a blessing.

King David fascinates me and I have spent the last month just reading his story and his songs. It is shocking yet comforting to remember how badly he screwed up, and yet how much God still loved him and protected him. He lied, he cheated, he womanized, he was a "bad father" at times...and yet, listen to his last recorded words:
"“If my house were not right with God,
    surely he would not have made with me an everlasting covenant,
    arranged and secured in every part;
surely he would not bring to fruition my salvation
    and grant me my every desire." 2 Samuel 23:5

Ahhh...what a comfort it is to know that in spite of where I fall short, Jesus more than makes up the difference. He is my rock, my shield and my redeemer. He is my salvation and my song. And because of that, I can laugh at the days to come, and just LIVE a little. It's going to be great. 

All photos credited to Kalahan Kayla Photography She is amazing!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The world is alright...

                                                                              Psalm 3
  Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me!
         Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him. ”
 But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
         I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain.
 I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
         I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side.
 Arise, Lord! Deliver me, my God! Strike all my enemies on the jaw;
         break the teeth of the wicked.  
From the Lord comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people.
We are in crazy times, so many times I hear people questioning "why" the world is such an ugly place, and why we have to hurt so much. And every time, once the ache in my heart subsides, I remember. God is still God- and HE will never forsake me. I love how no matter what "depth" the pit is I am in at any given time, God never fails to remind me of that. I listened to one of our highschool boys teach at the after school program today, and saw two girls give their lives to Jesus. And more than anything- I was reminded that GOD is on His throne, and no plan of His will fail. This kid took me to school and reminded me that the miracle of the Lord's death and resurrection is the ONLY thing that will matter forever. All this other stuff is just part of the story. He shared proof of the resurrection, and concluded the message with a verse that brought me such comfort, I can't even tell you.
 "Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20

 And then...the world was alright. God bless you, friend.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Far too short a time...

It is always amazing to realize how short our time is here. This last week has just reinforced to me how important it is to make each day count. Whether it was from seeing the cherry blossoms disappear far too quickly,talking about college and life after graduation next year with my kids, or finding out a brother in Christ died unexpectedly Tuesday morning; I just keep thinking- Lord, help me make it count.
I can't put all my feelings into words yet regarding the death of someone so special, but a dear friend read a piece of Psalm 90 today and it brought such comfort: "The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away... So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom... Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, and for as many years as we have seen evil." Psalm 90:10-15 (abbreviated)
I was so distracted from the sermon because I just kept hearing these words over and over in my head- how much I want to gain a "heart of wisdom" and "rejoice" in the afflictions of life. I am a little slow, but God just won't stop driving one point home- that I NEED Him. My focus shouldn't even be on His grace, or love or right living- but the whole purpose of this life is to KNOW God. To have a relationship with Him and to keep it all in perspective. It was the best message I have heard in a long time, and maybe it's simply because I was listening. This life is just a blip. I don't want to waste a minute of it.
Thank you, Lord, for your words that bring peace amid grief. Thank you that you want to know us, and once we choose you- our future is secure and we will be "GLAD for as many days" as we have hurt, for "as many years as we have seen evil."
Photos were just a glimpse of what the last couple weeks have been full of- flowers and horses. I realized the other day, as I heard my kiddos sounding WISE and mature for the first time in awhile, how blessed I am to know them. Everyone loves their kids, but I am so glad that I can honestly say I LIKE them. I have been trying to bite my tongue the last few months as I watch them maneuver this life and knowing that they are the ones who will have to live with the choices they make, I am still so happy with the people they are becoming. This week has just reminded me that I can't wait to tell them that. I never know if I will have tomorrow, so I want to be sure the first words they hear from me in the morning and the last ones before they go to bed are "I like you, and I am so proud of you." Not because they do it right all the time, but because they never quit trying. Oh, thank you, Father, for the reminders of what matters.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


"Disappointment- His Appointment"; change one letter, then I see that the thwarting of my purpose is God's better choice for me. His appointment must be blessing though it may come in disguise; for the end, from the beginning, open to His vision lies. "Disappointment-His Appointment." Whose The Lord who loves me best, understands and knows me fully, who my faith and love would test. For like loving earthly parents He rejoices when He knows that His child accepts unquestioned all that from His wisdom flows.
"Disappointment- His Appointment"; no good things will He withhold. From denials oft we gather treasures of His love untold. Well He knows each broken purpose leads to a fuller, deeper trust, and the end of all His dealings proves our God is wise and just. "Disappointment-His Appointment"; Lord I take it then as such, like clay in the hands of the potter yielding wholly to His touch. My life's plan is all His molding; not one single choice is mine. Let me answer unrepining, "Father, not my will, but Thine." -Author Unknown, taken from As Silver Refined, Kay Arthur

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Right when I want to stop the Zone...

A short hiatus from technology has been quite nice. For us, it probably can never be completely removed, but the last month gave me a lot more time for other things as I just did email, Facebook, etc for the necessary- and very little else. It's nice to recognize how little I missed, and yet it's good to be back.
Another month of changes, birthdays, deaths, and walking through life together has passed and I am so thankful for all that God is doing in our world to set our eyes on Him. Spending the last month reading through the gospels has been a great preparation for Easter- and I am more thoroughly convinced than ever that the Resurrection has the ability to transform all of us- from the inside out. Every time I read this, I just grin. Imagine what that feels like, "heart burning within". I can't read a word that Jesus said that doesn't make me crave more, to know His voice, to see His face, to learn His ways. Ahhh...heaven would be wonderful for the single fact that I can ask God all those things and actually understand it clearly. But even then, I know it will be so much MORE.
My motivation to post today was from a question one of our Middle Schooler's put in the "Question Box". At the after school program I work at, the kids can put anonymous questions in a box, and the staff promises to answer them honestly, and often- with humor. Most of our questions range in the silly category- "Why does S have such long hair?", "If you were a tree, what would you be?", etc. But some are questions about God, about life, about friendships. Yesterday we got one that broke my heart, because I can only imagine the hurt that inspired it: "If God is so powerful, why does He let Satan do so many bad things?" Ugh. Knife to the stomach, right? Our Youth Director did a fantastic job explaining what the Bible says about God, Satan, and suffering. I just prayed that the little person who asked the question heard those words, and God opened up their understanding. Whether the cause of our suffering is providence, our own sin, or supernatural enemies- I don't think there is a person alive who hasn't asked the question "why do we have to hurt?". You don't have to live very long to feel the sharp sting of consequences for sin, whether Original Sin- that we are born into since the Fall of Adam and Eve; or sin that we did, or the effects of someone else's sin that hurts us to the core.
I woke up today wishing I could wrap that little teen up in my arms and let them know that in all of it, God IS powerful, He will right the wrongs, and He is, right now- holding her up. I think about all that Jesus did when he died to save us, and then didn't stay dead but rose from the grave VICTORIOUS- so that someday, all suffering will be forever gone for those who choose Him. Oh, Lord- make that REAL to our kids, make it REAL to us.

We talked about this verse a lot at TAG this week, and it just keeps coming to mind for that other little teen. While she is questioning God's power to protect and save, I so hope she finds the truth of this verse- sometimes, it's OK to be weak, to hurt. Because it's then that we grow. ♥

"Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me...But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12:8-10
(Pictures are just a glimpse of the last month. The Zone, high school dances, fun times. God is good. ALL the time.And needless to say, I learn more at the Zone the kids do. No quitting for me!)