Thursday, April 10, 2014

Spiritual Life - Focus

Matthew 14:25-33

Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them:“Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” "Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down.Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

Tonight, I was talking to a friend who was just given some pretty tough news. Her heart was broken and as she spoke I could hear the fear in her voice as she looked into the situation with so much uncertainty and resulting questions. This was something I identified with as I often play life out way into the future when there is no guarantee my scenario will even happen. My last words to her were pretty convicting to me. I told her to look at God not at the circumstances. I reminded her that Peter walked on the water as long as he was looking at God. He faltered when he let the waves distract him from Jesus.

Easier said than done, right?!

The truth is, life is extremely hard, there is no guarantee of an easy or even bearable life (the "God not giving us more than we can bear" is often misquoted, but that's a topic for a different day). God makes us the promise that he will NEVER leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6). He promises he has a plan for us and we can know he loves us and has our best at heart. This is truth, even when it feels so counter to what sitting in our lap at the moment. I John 4:4 encourages us with the truth that the Jesus in us is greater than our enemy, Satan.

We all face something and that something can and will kick our butts if we let it. But if we look at God, we may just beat those hard licks and tell them whose boss. Jesus spoke to the waves and they listened. Are we speaking into our lives with the command of Jesus or falling prey to whatever befalls? The waves were no match for Jesus, he was bigger and no matter what you face, remember to take heart because our God has overcome the world(John 16:33). If we look to him we will know he's got it and we can live at peace in our challenges, but if we look instead to the trials, we will forget the power that Jesus possesses.

A friend of mine is in ICU as I write getting ready to have a large mass removed from her brain. She struggles with Fibromyalgia every day while being the primary care giver for her father with stage 4 cancer. So needless to say, discovering a brain mass the size of a tennis ball wasn't exactly something she'd hoped to encounter. The amazing thing in all of this is her spirit and her attitude. I am in awe, because I'm not sure I could do the same. She is not letting her circumstances dictate her direction or attitude. She is a true example of keeping her eyes on the Father and trusting him to handle it and to hold her in the process. She's an inspiration!

I love the song, "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus" because its a reminder of what my job is if I expect to survive this thing called LIFE. If you know the song please sing the words below with me, and if its new to you, then read them and be inspired.

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus
Look Full In His Wonderful Face
And the Things of Earth Will Grow Strangely Dim
In the Light of His Glory and Grace

Friday, April 4, 2014

Decorating Life - A Case Study of Unique Findings in One House

A few weeks I went out to Ohio to surprise my mom and we stayed at my sister's house. She and her husband have been married for a year, so this is the first time I've stayed at their house (visited once before). I marveled at the unique items and decorations they had at their house and since I'm a dedicated Pinterest addict, I felt their was a world of pinning just in her house. I took some pictures of the unique findings and figured I'd share them with all of you.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Miracle Life - The Hope of Things Come - Remembered!

In March of 2009, a church friend, Elaine, and I set out on a trip to Thailand. It was her first and my third trip, so it was not an unfamiliar expedition for me. We did go to a city on the Thailand/Myanmar boarder and visit a refugee camp that was an amazing story, but for another day. After that adventure we headed back to the villages I had been before and come to love. I was talking to Siami, the Musekee village director and amazing woman. She asked me about children as my husband and I had been married for 4 years. I told her we had tried to get pregnant but had no success. The next day she told me about a woman we needed to go visit in the village. She explained about this thing called a womb massage. She said other women in the village who had not been able to get pregnant, who had womb massage, ended up getting pregnant. I thought I would give it a try. So I went to her house and lay on the bamboo floor. She started the massage and it wasn't relaxing like the massage you get in any day spa, but instead was very uncomfortable and even painful at times. When she finished she explained through a translator that my womb was twisted and off to one side. She pushed it back into place and told me not to ride in a car over bumps or anything else that could move it for a couple of days so it had an opportunity to heal and stay in place and not just get pushed back into the old spot.

Now some of you might be reading this and thinking, she's crazy, this sounds like some sort of wacko idea that's too far fetched to be anything. I did look it up when I returned to the states and found it had Mayan roots. I prayed over it and asked God to use this woman to help me conceive. Several months after returning, I found out I was pregnant!!!! It seemed this unconventional idea in fact helped. Unfortunately, that pregnancy ended in miscarriage. But mid 2010, I got pregnant again and now have my precious and precocious 3-year old son.

I often think about that woman and have wanted to express my gratitude. I have given her money from time to time and feel a connection with her, though honestly, I couldn't even tell you her name. Recently, my dad and step mom left to go to Thailand and Indonesia. I asked them when they got to Musekee to find the woman and give her some money from me and show her pictures of my boy. I woke up this morning to find Kay and my stepmom, Beth, had gone to see her and Beth sent these gems in my email. I was so touched I started to cry. The picture of her house brings me back to the moment, that moment when I needed something to give me hope that I might have a baby. What a miracle my little guy is to me. I'd love another, but pictures like this remind me, I asked God for one and he gave me a wonderful one and I am forever grateful!