Friday, February 28, 2014

My strength defined

Lord I pray that as I type this you will continue to be my strength and may I always look to you to remind me that there is no reason to fear my future. May my rambling help someone feel less alone. Amen.

There are several quotes on strength that I see everyday. Many of these quotes people have sent to me meaning to admire my "strength". Though people mean these quotes as compliments, that is not at all how I am. Strong I mean, in fact I am the total opposite. 
I may have considered myself a strong type of woman at some point in my life. I was clueless about what true strength actually is. Its more than living through tragedy, its more than being able get out of bed and keep working. In truth, I am dependent, not strong. I am dependent on my savior to carry me through this life of trial after trial. I am not strong, but I have something more than precious strength. I have faith.  I think lots of people are just like me, they are weary of being considered strong for what they live with or what they have been through. Maybe they are like me, searching for the right word to fit them. That word is so simple that I have missed it for years, its just faith. My faith keeps me going, my faith leads me on toward whatever God has planned for me. My faith, its all I have, but thankfully its all I need. 
When we see a person living through things we can't imagine happening to us, we consider them strong. How could they not be? That's what I used to think anyway.I would look at my parents and all my mom has lived through and think "man, she is so strong. I hope I am like her one day." Boy was I wrong. My mom is not strong at all, she is faithful in following Jesus and He is her strength. Years later my thoughts are similar toward my mom yet completely different. Now I think "Man she is full of Faith and Hope, I want to be just like her."  
Maybe the things we have lived through look like strength and in a way it is, just not our strength. The truth is, I have no idea how people who don't know Jesus live through child loss. I know I could not have and that is the truth. 
There are times that I think people mistake my lack of emotion for being "strong" but that too could not be farther from truth. That is actually a major genetic discrepancy I guess. I am just not able to be emotional in public, I never have been. I mean, its bad people.  I can be alone and let the tears take me down and almost drown , but don't let someone come in the room mid breakdown. I will fake a sneeze attack like nobodies business and get the heck out of there before I let them see me ugly cry. 
Its not that I care if people know I'm struggling, (obviously, I share my life on the internet ) its just part of my genetics. There is something about them seeing it. As odd as it is, it's just me. I'm sure I'm not the only "non crier" out there am I? 
I am really not sure if we "non criers" are born this way or if it was some point in our lives that we just decided to hold it in. There was a time in my life that I considered it a gift that I could choose to not react to a situation and it be that easy, now I find that quite disturbing. There are times in life that we desperately need to share our sorrow and burdens , yet I am physically unable to do that. In fact when I'm talking to someone and they get upset and start to cry my first instinct is run, it might be contagious right ? Heaven knows that as rare as it is for me to cry , when I do it's not pretty. Have you ever started crying and then start thinking about things from the past and go ahead and cry about them too while your at it? Like while I'm crying let me just grieve for that too, even though it was 10 years ago. I never claimed to be sane, just honest. 
So you see, its not strength that gets my family through the trials that keep being hurled at us, its our Faith. We don't have to be strong as long as we remember that this is not how it ends. Jesus wins, I peeked at the end of the bible. Jesus wins. Faith wins. We win. 

                              Blessed to be their daughter. May I have 1/2 their Faith on my journey.

One of my favorite strength quotes. I wonder if Eleanor was a non crier?
"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, “I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along”. – Eleanor Roosevelt

Monday, February 3, 2014

Think before you speak

Proverbs 17:22 A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

WARNING I am up in my feelings today and this may be hard for you to witness. Life is hard and I’m about to remind you of that fact.

I want to point out a few thoughts on posting things and speaking before you think. I pray to speak life when I open my big mouth. It’s an ongoing battle for me and if I’m honest I usually am on the failing end.  Being positive and speaking life does not come “natural” for me. It takes practice and prayer and failure. So its out of experience I’m calling out other complainers, If I notice it, it’s a problem folks.

Here are just a few examples of the whining that triggered this post.  All of these face book status’s I witnessed yesterday. There were people complaining about the super bowl, this team sucks that team should not be in the super bowl, what a waste of a super bowl party, I'm sick of this weather,  I hope we are out of school because of the ice tomorrow, I hope we are NOT out of school because we don't want to make up the days, The power is out, I can't believe we won't have power until tomorrow, why is it taking so long to get a branch out of the road, I can’t believe school would put our kids in danger trying to get them there, etc…..Incessant complaining is a disease and it’s contagious. While I could choose to hide your updates or I could delete you, first I want to show a few examples of how your life could be so much worse (and pray the ones who need it, including myself are taking notes). Let’s take a walk, come put on the shoes of anyone who lives with pain or loss that is unspeakable on a daily basis. Here are just a few REAL life examples for you to ponder since you think the pootie super bowl was soooo bad, and the horrible patches of ice sent you into a fit. Here we go:

Try to imagine yourself as the person suffering daily pain that medication can't cure, or step into the shoes of a woman who watches her soul mate suffer daily and can do nothing to turn back the clock and nothing to save his precious memories. Go sit in the waiting room at yet another doctor’s office for the 100th time to try and find out why you and your husband have been unable to conceive the baby you are so desperate for.  Imagine living the life of the family saying goodbye to their son who has gone to heaven as barely a teenager this week. How about the man who knows he is facing eternity way before he is ready, he knows he will never see his daughters get married. Could you say goodbye to your family because you know the disease you fought so hard against is taking your life? Imagine trying to stay awake because you are exhausted from trying to keep breathing with the pain?  Could you look at your wife/husband and kids and tell them you love them knowing that if you fall asleep it may very well be the last time? How about this one, can you try to teach your 2 year old to say the name of the brother he never got to meet when he only recognizes him in a photo hanging in your entry way because tragedy tore him away?

Today I invite you to think before you speak. It breaks my heart that people jump so quickly on social media to spew their negativity and spread that horrible attitude on to anyone who dares to log on. It’s contagious and its wrong. I know I can’t make people SEE what they have, but I can point out situations much worse than all of ours. Suffering is real and it does not care who you are, we are all one phone call from our knees that much I can promise. Use this post as a reminder to pray for the broken and suffering today. 

If you are wondering if I’m referring to your status and are about to get defensive, don’t bother. The truth is I don’t remember who posted what, and honestly, I myself am guilty of the complaining disease at times.  If you really feel like you may have had a status I’m referring too I suggest you pray. Pray to SEE real people living real pain. Ask Jesus to show you truth, the truth hurts, but the pain of reality doesn't make it any less true. I understand that I can’t make you change your attitude and your willingness to quickly find the down side in every single situation, but I can show you the reality of living life held in the grip of a mighty savior. I breathe by the grace of Jesus, that is the only way I know.  In conclusion, whether it’s the pootie ball game or the crappy weather or stupid schools there will always be opportunity to spread the complaints around. Just think before you do, think about the people who actually have a reason to complain…..then go check their Facebook and twitter news feed. You may stand amazed when you find way less complaints on their page than your own.

Proverbs 4:23 Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life

               Lord help me SEE you in all the seasons I have lived in my 30 something years.                          Help me not spread my grief around but instead the Joy you have shown me in my sorrow. 
                                                                   Family and Joy 2009

 From one season to another I will praise with my mouth.
Family and Joy 2013