Wednesday, September 06, 2017

In the eye of the storm

Well, here I am again...

It seems this place inspires me!  I haven't written since the last time I was here, almost two months ago.  I went back and re-read the post where I talked about fear.  There have been many posts actually where I wrote about the topic of fear because as I have already explained it is something I have struggled with since I was a little girl.  But now as I sit here today I can happily say that God has brought so much healing to my life.  I'm almost afraid to type out the words in case they aren't really true, but I will do it anyway...fear no longer grips my heart and mind.  Not like it did.  Not even close.  I have a peace that I haven't known for a long time, maybe ever.  And the only reason for it is that I have chosen to believe God.
To trust Him.  

I am still learning what that means, but what it means to me today is that I do not let my thoughts run wild with worry.  I choose to believe that God is able to do what I can't and I trust Him with it.

For instance, there is the teeny tiny little baby issue of my son being in the path of the WORST HURRICANE IN THE HISTORY OF FOREVER.  Right now as I am typing this, he is being shipped off along with the rest of his unit to a bunker in the mountains as they prepare to ride out the storm.  Yes, I know he will be safe.  The army is prepared for this and will take care of their people.  But my mama mind envisions my baby clinging to a tree all alone being assaulted with wind and waves and big hard objects flying at him at 200 miles an hour.  Yes, I know he's a strong army man, but...

Honestly tho, after going through some mild panic after talking to him earlier in the week, I'm not overcome with fear.  I am surprisingly calm.

Peace that passes understanding is REAL people!

Because this is not something I would or should have peace about.  This would normally send me over an edge or two.  But I have realized (with help from Joyce Meyer) that I need to do what I can do, and trust God to do what I can't do.  I wrote that down on a post-it and put it by my computer at work.  I should put it on a post-it like everywhere I go.  Just attach it to my glasses so it's right in front of my face all the time.  It really helps.  This is a hurricane. My son is 1,981 miles away and in the direct path of the storm. There is absolutely nothing I can do to change that or protect him.

So, I will focus on what I CAN do...I can call and text him, at least for now.  I can encourage him and send him scripture like these:

And I can pray.
There is more power in that than anything. 

I am praying for his protection, of course, and for the protection of all the people in this storm's path. How terrifying it must be for those who are faced with losing their homes, and possibly their lives.  I think of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, where people are already struggling and poor. More than anything tho, I am praying for people to turn to Jesus.  To cry out to Him...those who have been putting faith in God off, thinking "some other day" they will consider it. Those who have been keeping their faith in their back pocket because things are going well for them. Those who have never opened their hearts to the Savior.  I pray that this crisis brings people to Him and changes their lives for the better.  God will do whatever it takes to reach His people.  He can calm the storm with a word, but He doesn't always.  And sometimes that is the greatest blessing. 

Sunday, July 23, 2017

The healing garden and Bekah therapy

Wednesday found me in this beautiful, tranquil place.  It's called the healing garden at Gundersen Medical Center in LaCrosse.  The stone wall in the background is a wall of water, you can't tell from the picture but the whole wall is flowing with water.  

I spent a lot of time in here when mom was making her journey to Heaven a year ago.  

It is very peaceful, has a skylight and lots of plants and flowers.  The sound of water is so therapeutic for me.  It's a wonderful place to pray, have a coffee, and watch a Beth Moore devotional video, which is what I did on Wednesday.  I think this is going to be a regular thing for me.

This is from one of my scripture books, one that I made about hope...something I have been needing lately.  Well, I always need hope but as evidenced in my last post, I have been needing an extra measure of it lately. 

And a little aroma therapy added to the experience.

Saturday morning we piled in the car and headed down to visit Bill, Brittany and Rebekah.  Of course it was a wonderful time.  Bekah is changing every time we see her...getting even more cute, mobile, and expressive!  We saw some of her strong-willed-ness coming out already.  Could that possibly be from her mommy???  :)

Britt made me my favorite cake to celebrate my birthday...yellow cake with chocolate frosting!

Louie, our grandpuppers :)

Home-made "Cold Stone", one of our family's favorite treats :)

We played a new game...Catan.  I was confused for much of it (which should be no great surprise to anyone) but I eventually caught on and it wasn't too bad - for me, that's a positive statement.  I usually live by the rule that entertainment cannot require you to use strategy or thinking or too much brain activity of any kind because THAT'S NOT FUN!  But this was actually fun for me - not so much because of the game itself, but because of these crazy peoples...

Kyle loved it...and won!

And this happy little peapod joined Papa and Grammie in bed this morning in her jammies :)

Oh, Auntie Hopie, you're just the best :)

Chillaxin' with Uncle Kyle

Nappie time with Grammie...this girl is far too busy to nap for very long.



Friday, July 21, 2017

When fear grips you

When I was a little girl, there were many things that scared me.  A lot of them weren't real, but some of them were.  Both had a grip on my mind and the more I fed them, the bigger they got.

I'm not really sure how far I've come in this area.

One would think that by now I would have conquered my fears and that my heart would be solidly planted in faith and trust in the LORD.  I can say that most of my childhood fears, I have healed from.   But there are some that remain, and have even grown immensely...especially now that I am the parent of teenagers and young adults.  I thought once my kids got to be these ages, the worries and fears for them would lessen.  Sure, teens have issues, but OUR kids would be so loved and grounded and raised in faith that they would soar above all the sticky, messy things that their peers would experience.

The white picket fence that my mind has always framed around my dreams for our children has some mending to be done.  Or actually, maybe I just need to tear that fence down.  It's not reality.  Not for our children, and not for most I suppose.

Life is messy.

Life is complicated.

Life is painful, sometimes brutally so.

And strongholds are strong.  So very strong.  My stronghold of fear has thick roots that go deep, gripping my soul so tightly that it suffocates me at times and I literally feel like I can't breathe.

I have been walking in a state of fear for weeks, months even, because of things our kids have been going through.  Each, their own individual struggles, none of which are that unusual for their stages in life, but nonetheless they are difficult and my mama heart can't take it sometimes to see them struggle so.  I want so desperately to fix it...not to swoop in and make it all better (well, yea, sometimes that), but more importantly I want them to go to the One who can make sense of their situations and their lives, provide guidance and direction and a life of joy, even amidst heartache.  I want them to go to the One who forgives, redeems, restores, and makes all things new.

And I want them to go there NOW!  GO DIRECTLY THERE NOW!  DO NOT PASS GO!  DO NOT COLLECT $200!


As I so often have done in my life, we tend to take detours.  We think our own way is better, or we just don't think about it that much at all.  We just take the road that, to us, looks faster and smoother but in reality is filled with potholes and road kill and much rougher terrain than the one God would lead us on.  And it often doesn't get us where we truly want to be...which is where God wants to bring us...the place where he provides healing and restoration, renewal and hope.  

We often don't follow that path because we don't always believe that it leads to those wonderful places.    The path He wants to take us down doesn't look easy, and in reality it's not.  Sometimes it is harder.  It's harder to forgive than to stay angry.  It's harder to let go of the wheel and give up control. It's harder to give up something or someone in our life that we desperately want, than to give into our emotions for temporary happiness.  It's harder to allow God to dig deep and pull things out at the roots than it is to just mow off the surface and continue on.  We can't see the end of the road, so we don't trust the Guide.

How come everything always leads back to this one thing...?


Maybe because the opposite of fear is trust.  And trust is something God is consistently and deliberately and intently working on teaching me to do.  He is relentless.  All the tests I've failed when it comes to trusting Him, and he still doesn't give up on me.  

I don't know why that should surprise me.  I will never, ever give up on our kids.  No matter how many struggles they go through, how many detours they take, or how far they sometimes push us away, I will be relentless at pursuing them and doing my best to point them to our Savior.  

And God loves them more, even more than their fathers and I do, and He will never, ever give up on them.  Just that thought makes me take a deep, cleansing breath as I am reminded that He truly is in control.  He can see down the paths we are on, knows all the obstacles, detours and dangers ahead, and even when we don't follow Him, He never leaves us.  

Learning to trust.  I think I've just taken another step.