Wednesday, December 29, 2010


As another year draws to a close I also find myself at the brink of yet another life season change. This season has, at times, been challenging. However, the blessings have been far greater than any challenge. With many changes there is a bit of sadness mixed with anticipation of what God has in store next. And that is where I find I am parked.

Life is far from perfect. Yet deep within I long for it to be. A longing planted within all of us by our Creator God. Just as His world was intended to be when He created Adam and Eve. And just as it will be again when Christ returns.

But until then...I live season by season, day by day. Lessons learned, heartaches felt and then healed, hurdles overcome, blessings enjoyed. My God is faithful through it all. I pray that I will be faithful as well. I long to hear, once my time here is done, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant.'

On the journey,

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Grandmother - Rewards & Challenges

As soon as my first grandchild entered the world I knew that being a grandmother was going to be a priceless and joyful adventure. Just as we do not truly grasp the grip love has on our hearts with children until we have them, the same I found to be true with grandchildren. My joy and awe at this most treasured relationship has grown with each addition. Just as it has always been with my children, I would gladly lay my life down for any one of my grandchildren.

The rewards are amazing. A smile or hug from them can lift my heart to amazing heights. 

"Mama, I love you to the moon and stars and back." "Mama, you're my hero." "Mama, I love you this much!" (with arms stretched so wide they nearly touch in the back) Each word treasured as I marvel in these wondrous blessings from God.

However, just as with our children, I have found that challenges are mixed in with the rewards. For me, the biggest challenge is wrestling with my desire to make everything alright for them. You know how we moms are! We want to protect our children from the bumps and bruises of life. When someone hurts them, whether it is a physical attack, hurtful words, or actions, we want to come out swinging. It is the same with my grandchildren. I so want to make their lives 'perfect'. To take away the pain that results from the actions and decisions of others.

...and then my Heavenly Father reminds me. My vision of perfect is still flawed. It is blurred by my humanity. If I could make changes in their lives that would somehow magically transform their circumstances into what my mind perceives to be the 'perfect' childhood they would still have issues to face, difficult decisions to make, desires to deal with. For, just like me, they are simply human. There is no perfect in this world.

But we do have access to One who is perfect. Who walked on this earth in human form. Who experienced the same painful challenges that we do. Who felt both physical and heart pain. Who understands my heart and knows how deeply I love my children and grandchildren. Who has their best interest in His heart. Who loves them even more deeply than I could ever comprehend.

And so I choose to let go of my desire to make things perfect for them and simply trust Him to work all things for their good.

Instead of dwelling on what I can not change, I will instead focus on what I can do and that is love them. I pray that I will love them in a way that points them to the love of their Heavenly Father. That my life will be one that shows them the transforming love and power of Jesus and leads them to their own relationship with Him.

And that, my dear friends, will be the greatest reward.

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Coverup?

After a few years of basic dressing I have recently started adding accessories and thinking more about how I put clothes together. Looking at clothing styles with a focus on what will complement my skin tone or camoflauge a fluffy spot. Several years ago when I was working in a professional business office that was an everyday thing. But then my jobs changed and I spent a few years in jeans and polos at a big box retailer. I kind of enjoyed the dressing down aspect. But it also made me more lax in my appearance.

My feminine desire to dress to look good was revived when I read Shari Braendel's book, "Good Girls don't have to Dress Bad". (I highly recommend it, by the way.) So this week when a lingering case of tennis elbow required that I wear an arm brace I was all about how to hide it. Wouldn't work under long sleeves...they were too tight to fit over it. I found myself thinking "Oh, this sure spoils that put together look." Whine, whine.
I wondered if I was more concerned about hiding the affliction or was it a matter of being too prideful about my appearance. Hmmm.

Which made me think about how I can be even more concerned about hiding a spiritual 'affliction', putting on my "Miss Happy Christian" face because I don't want others to know the truth. I fear their rejection or negative opinion. I fear most of us Christians of the female persuasion do that.

My tennis elbow will slowly heal and the brace will be put away. Jesus heals my spiritual afflictions too, but I must remember that He is the brace that I must never put away. Just as important is the truth that I need to be more transparent about my faith journey. When we share what we see as weaknesses and allow others to see how God is healing us, helping us, and making us stronger we are part of His work in them as well. For it is in journeying together that we find strength to keep running the race.

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