Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Journey Peace

Originally posted a few weeks back, but was watching it again tonight, so thought I would repost:

I have been part of bible study for babyloss moms this summer. It's put together by some wonderful women at Anchored by Hope. As a final project each of us are putting together a memorial to our angel babies. I thought I would sharef mine with you:

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

GMG in 1 John ~ Week 1

This week begins the Good Morning Girls 12 week study though the book of 1 John. My summer has been full of sadness and loss ... but my God has been graciously by my side. I am currently feeling flat, sad and defeated ... with very little energy to keep up with much of a bible study. But I know in my heart that to overcome and live the life God wants me to live I need to find a way to soak in His Word on a daily basis. I need to stop trying to just survive day to day on my own will and strength and instead immerse myself in love and worship for my great God, so I will once again see and hear His call and His plan for my life. The plan and method the Good Morning Girls are using looks to be a great way for me to start. The daily reading is short (usually 1 or 2 verses) followed by a short writing assignment ... but that gives me all day to look up, think about, and meditate on those verses (and hopefully have something to write down about them). It is truly His Word that I will spend time digging into and praying over ... no one else's interpretation ... just what the Lord wants to reveal to me each day.

I would love to hear if other women are also out there joining the Good Morning Girls in this study of 1 John ... what are your motives? what are your hopes for this study? do you already have a set time and place that you do a quiet time? or is this a habit you are hoping this study helps you learn? or like in my case re-learn?

If you are joining us this fall and looking daily at 1 John, I hope you will share with me from time to time your insights and observations of the verses we are reading. I will try and post at least weekly about the observations and/or applications the Lord is showing me as I study His Word. This week already I have been struck by the tone of excitement I sense in 1 John 1:1-4. In my Good Morning Girls facebook group many of us have commented on the fact that John is basically giving his credential ... like he is saying 'You can believe me because I saw him, I heard, I touched him ... I was there!!! And Believe me Jesus is the Messiah, the One who is eternal life, the one who was with God from the beginning!!!' He has seen and heard and touched and now he wants those he is writing to to know what he knows. Reading these verses makes me excited to read the rest of 1 John.

If you have not yet learned of The Good Morning Girls or if you have not printed out the E-book click HERE to read more and see God at work in the lives of women around the world.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Been processing a few things ...

So far September has been a tough month and I have been doing a lot of silent processing ... three people we knew passed away due to cancer in this first half of September ... I am also still processing and grieving the fact that we will not welcome a new baby this winter ... my sister and her kids were attending the Reno air show this week where there was a horrible crash and several spectators were killed and injured (my nieces and nephew saw it all)... several of our friends are dealing with family tension, or cancer, or unemployment or financial issues ... there just seems to be so much pain, so much suffering ... its so hard to understand ... so hard to see that this could possibly be used of God. Why would God allow such pains? If I let myself I suppose I could struggle with did God cause this argument vs. God simply allowed this evil to happen argument. At this point I just KNOW it happened ... and people I love are hurting and suffering ... I am hurting and suffering and feel so broken. I want to shake my fists and scream at the top of my lungs "GOD! THIS ALL MAKES NOOOOO SENSE!" ... OK, in all reality I have actually already done that and it solved nothing ... no miraculous voice came down from the sky with answers, nothing got better (I got a sore throat and my neighbors might be wondering about my sanity).

I figure God hears all my thoughts, He knows them even before I can form them into words. So I have decided to just spew it all out before Him. Not long after my sister, Missy, died back in 2006 someone told me "don't try to hide what you are really feeling and thinking from God (as if thats even possible) ... He is big enough, He can handle your confusion, and anger, and tears. And how can He ever help or answer if you don't ask." So I have been asking, I have been praying on my knees, and while I walk, in my bed, and in the shower, in the car and at the mall. I have called out in loudly spoken prayers and conversed with Him in my quiet thoughts, I have journaled and I have sang. In whatever way the words come, I don't think God minds, as long as I keep talking to Him. I can't say that I have any more answers, but there is a comfort in being able to voice what I feel and think. When a moment of unexpected grief over takes me I cry out to my God, and I just talk about whats going through my simple human mind. God has been good and oh so patient with me. Some days he reminds me that I don't see the big picture, some days he reminds me that this world I live in is not my eternal home ... I was created for and I long for different things. He knows because in His infinite wisdom, He sees it all. In His almighty kindness and compassion He watched as His own son walked and suffered life here. But He also gives me hope ... he leads others into my life who call out of the blue with a story of hope, or just to say that i crossed their mind today and they prayed for me. He leads me to articles or books that paint beautiful pictures with words like the idea that God is weaving me (my life) into a beautiful tapestry. And some days he needs bright golden joyful threads, and some days he needs mellow cool colors like blues or greens and other days he weaves with red or even dark, dark black. Each day as He works all I see is that one thread being pulled in and out, in and out through the tapestry. But He is God! He is the master crafter of my life and my days. He knew which day to being this tapestry and He knows on exactly which day it will be finished. And he knows exactly what colors and events will be woven into my life. I think we often want only those golden beautiful threads ... because from our view point those are the ones that seems so attractive ... and there is no denying that those golden moments are indeed wonderful. But if you look at a beautiful tapestry you will realize it would not work very well to only use one color .... the blacks and darks are just as important as the bright and vibrant colors. God blends and mixes them together and one day we will join God in heaven and we will have a different view point ... we will see the big picture, we will see the completed project that is our life. And we may even get to know and understand why He needed to use those dark threads, those dark moments in our lives. But there is this little inkling in my mind that tells me once we are there in Heaven, at the feet of our great Lord and King, we won't be wondering any longer about the mysteries and confusions of this earthly life, we won't be seeking the answers I have been seeking ... we will stand before our Great God and Savior and all we will be able to do is worship.

I have been reassured over the years that God does indeed have plans for my life (Jeremiah 29:11) ... still some days I struggle with how? and why? How can such hurt and pain and loss be a part of what God has planned for my life? For those I love? I don't have the answer ... but I know the One who does and just because I can't explain things in human words does not mean that I won't continue on in love and trust and worship ... He calls me to loves others, Trust in His plans and timing and to Worship Him through all of it. Trust me, its easier to say and write than it is to put that into practice. Some days I do better than others. Some days I get caught up in earthly things ... I lose my focus on God and eternal things and I get concerned with earthly things and circumstances. Those days are rough and sooner or later I am reminded where I need to focus and trust. Thankfully God's mercies are new every morning and once I realize I need to adjust my focus I can seek God's help. How amazing is it that the author and creator of all creation is always willing to take my broken and foolish self back. Whenever I realize my focus is off I can feel so bad about myself and am tempted to believe the lies that filter into my mind ... lies like "why would He want you back?" and "you are too messed up to ever be useful for the Gospel". Lies are tricky things, planted by the master of evil. Its become one of my biggest prayers lately that God close my ears to all the lies and open my ears and my mind only to Godly Truth. I don't want those ugly lies messing up the beautiful thing God is doing with my life. Some day when I stand in Heaven I want to see all the colors God used to weave my story my, my life, my tapestry and I want to give thanks and praise for the way he wove my days.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

What Grief Is, What it Isn’t ...

A child loss friend of mine posted this on her facebook page today. She said that she found it on a site called I really liked the way they explained grief.

Grief doesn’t wait for an invitation. It doesn’t go away because you want it to. It always overstays its welcome. It isn’t logical or easily explained. It doesn’t respond to threats or bribes. It will not be avoided indefinitely. It will find a way to be noticed.

Grief is not linear, horizontal, or vertical. It is not predictable. It is not confined by time or space. It doesn’t play favorites. It isn’t just for women and sissies. Grief doesn’t forget. It has an excellent memory. It cannot be gone around; only through.

Grief is never really “finished” or “over.” Rather it takes breaks. It is not a single lesson to be learned, but rather a series of lessons. The outbursts and outpourings of grief seldom happen at convenient times.

Grief does not apologize. It knocks on everyone’s door eventually.

It is not the plague and it is not contagious, though it may seem that way when others repeatedly avoid you. It can find you even when you are asleep or dreaming.

Grief will not leave you alone because you swear at it, although you might feel better for awhile if you do. You can no more reason your way out of grief than you can a paper bag. It will not be toyed with. It insists on being taken seriously.

Grief wants to completely take over your life. You can’t allow that or you will become its victim. Grief respects those who honestly acknowledge its existence and who work with it rather than against it. For them grief allows itself to be reshaped into creative energy and makes room for hope to co-exist along side of it.

Edited to add: Because I really want to give credit where credit is due I spent some time googling and searching and I found the origional post my facebook friend was refering to. It was posted on August 6th, 2011 and written by Deb Kosmer.