Tag Archives: peace of God

Rusty

Pick your teeth up off the floor, people. I realize it’s been a while.

Trust me, I have felt my absence from you these last five months. Yes, five months. I can’t even believe it has been that long.

But it has.

Life started going nuts around the end of March. Not nuts in a bad way, really, but nuts nevertheless. Just nuts in an extremely busy way. So, forgive me if I am a little rusty here in the writing department!

Since I last wrote, we went to Disneyworld and Universal Studios as a family for the first time (Words can’t describe how awesome a time we had!), Jacob attended his senior prom (It was amazing!), Emma had her big performance with her show choir/musical theater group (Also amazing!), our homeschool co-op finished up with all its end of year performances and activities, Jacob graduated from high school (Emotions galore, people! Fantastic! So proud! Oh, and Thank You, Jesus!), I attended the Florida Homeschool Convention, Emma completed her 9th grade year and got her learner’s permit, and then Summer commenced in all its glory!

Summer 2013 collage

After an amazing summer filled with surfing camp, Jesus camp, family, zip lining, sun and fun, here we are—already about to fall headlong into the school year—which is KAY-RAY-ZAY, y’all! Such changes lie ahead for us and I am thrilled and horrified and completely at peace all at once.

Can anyone else relate?

Jacob is registered for classes at the local community college. (I am so not ready.) And Emma is all situated to begin her sophomore year in high school. (She says she is not ready, but she is…she just doesn’t know it.) Hubby continues to work so hard for us and I am preparing again to teach classes at our homeschool co-op.

Am I really this old??!

Yes. Yes, honey, time just has its way of traipsing forever onward.

Each time I look in the mirror and see the additional “tinsel” that adorns my hair, I am reminded of that fact. I am also reminded of how incredibly blessed I am.

Even in the midst of aging, Hubby’s car (a 1995 Toyota Camry with 285,000 miles on it) choosing whether or not to crank on a daily basis, college tuition and waking up to a lame parakeet this morning, I am blessed.

And I am so filled with gratitude.

And in the inevitable moments when my gratitude and peace elude me, and I wonder how we will pay for…whatever…fill in the blank, or how I am going to accomplish everything  that needs accomplishing during the course of any given day, or as I want to curse out and give the finger to some jerky teenage driver who just cut me off as I was trying to turn into the grocery store parking lot, and I am distressed about loved ones who are suffering unimaginable hurts and loss and loneliness and illness, I go to the Source.

And here is what The Source tells me:

“In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33 NIV

“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You!” Isaiah 26:3 NLT

“God’s way is perfect.
All the Lord’s promises prove true.
He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.
For who is God except the Lord?
Who but our God is a solid rock?
God arms me with strength,
and he makes my way perfect.
He makes me as surefooted as a deer,
enabling me to stand on mountain heights.
He trains my hands for battle;
he strengthens my arm to draw a bronze bow.
You have given me your shield of victory.
Your right hand supports me;
your help has made me great.
You have made a wide path for my feet
to keep them from slipping.”  Psalm 18:30-36 NLT

In this season of no blogging and all the fantastic family awesomeness we have had, I have experienced such an intense range of emotions. Such joy and such sadness…mostly, joy. But the emotions of it all have been just crazy enough to make me question my mental health at times, but what a comfort the scriptures have been to me! When I keep my mind fixed on Him, it is amazing how much less crazy I feel. I highly recommend.

I would like to say that “I am back”, but it is hard to make the commitment knowing all the things that are coming up to keep me busy. My intention is to be back to blogging regularly, because I do love it so.

If anyone is still out there reading, thank you. Thanks for sticking with me.

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Filed under Faith, Family, Peace

The Thankful Heart. Day 3

“The unthankful heart… discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!”  ~Henry Ward Beecher

I find that in the times of my life that I am really focused on being thankful, I am the most at peace. If I am busying myself with looking at all the blessings, I don’t leave room for the other stuff to creep in.

What other stuff? It’s the stuff I like to call the ick.Image courtesy of Curiosities By Dickens at photobucket

In the moments when I allow myself to take my eyes off the many things I have to be thankful for—even for just a second, that crack is juuust big enough for the ick to find its way in into that creaky door.

Crrreeeaaaaak…

In comes the negativity.

Crrreeeaaaaak…

In comes the bitterness.

Crrreeeaaaaak…

In comes anger, frustration, worry.

Who’s feeling me on this? Anyone?

So what can I do? Well, what I have to do is work to keep that door closed.

How? How do I keep the door closed?

How I  keep the door closed to the ick is with gratitude.

I must choose gratitude. Just like I must choose love. It isn’t always easy, nor is it, in all honesty, my immediate response to many of the situations life brings my way. In fact, my natural response is to be annoyed, frustrated, distracted or just plain freaked out!

Gratitude is something I must wake up and choose each day. To wake up and begin each day by simply saying “Thank You” and to get my mind and heart headed into a thankful state, sure does save me a lot of grief later on.

Some days that is easier to do than others. Some days I have to dig my heels in, lean forward, and puuuuush with all my strength to close that icky crack in the door. And when I do, it is a much better day—a day where peace rules.

And who doesn’t need that??

My prayer is that when I practice living each day with a thankful heart for long enough, that it will become my first response. And my life will be filled with not only thankfulness, but also with peace. Seems to me, they go hand in hand.

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.And be thankful.” ~Colossians 3:15 NIV

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” ~Philippians 4:6-7 NIV

*************

With that in mind, today my heart is thankful for my family.

  • For a husband who loves me, inexplicably, whether I am fat or thin, cranky or pleasant, whether or not I have all his underwear washed, whether or not I have dinner on the table. It is a mystery to me that I will never understand. And I am thankful.
  • For parents who raised me with so much love, prayer and support. And who still love me, pray for me and support me.
  • For the two incredible people who are my children.
  • For in-laws who have always loved me and treated me like their own daughter and sister.

More tomorrow.

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Filed under 30 Days of Thankfulness

Peace, be still.

Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion.  I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.  ~Kurt Vonnegut

This has always been one of my favorite quotes. I prefer laughing to crying, like our friend Kurt Vonnegut.  Crying is just so messy, but somehow I cannot help myself at times. I am the person crying at the Hallmark commercials, all the Lifetime movies, Disney movies and Parenthood episodes. Remember those Folgers coffee commercials where the guy is coming home from the army or some unknown far off place, and he brews some coffee to wake up and surprise his mama?  Yeah, that makes me cry too.  And I cry when the National Anthem is sung. FACT: I am a crier. And I have even been known to lapse into the full on “ugly cry”.  Not pretty, my friends, not. at. all.

I woke up today to  all the bad news on the TV.  Such a bummer.  I am so weary of all the crazy in the world…potential government shut down, nuclear reactors about to blow sky high in Japan, some 8 year old kid pepper-sprayed by the Po-Po at his own school, earthquakes and tsunamis, bank robberies and murders, unemployment and inflation.  All the death and destruction of this world proves to be overwhelming to me at times.  And I just feel myself wanting to shut down. And cry.

SIDEBAR: The only real bright spot on Good Morning America this morning seemed to be some commentary on Dancing With the Stars, which we very much enjoy at our house.  Apparently, Wendy “How YOU doin’?” Williams was given her walking papers last night.  Her comment was “if DWTS were a personality contest, I would have won it hands down”.  How YOU doin’? I would have to agree.  I enjoy her immensely. The best dancer though?  Um, no. My personal faves are Kirstie Alley, Ralph “Daniel-san” Macchio , and Hines Ward.

Anyway.

After the morning news, and as Emma and I were rushing out the door to school, I received news that a dear lady, a life-long  friend of my husband’s family and essentially a family member, passed away overnight.  It was not unexpected. It frees her from her painful earthly body.  And though I do not mourn as one without hope, it just has made me feel so truly sad today. SIGH.

I hate to be such a downer, but I’m just being real today. I’d be lying if I didn’t confess to asking at times, “God, where are you in all of this??”  But I know the answer.  He is here.  He is merciful. He is in our midst and only He is our comfort and our confidence.  He tells us to be strong and courageous.  He tells us we can trust Him.  He tells us we can cast our cares on Him.  He tells us we can find rest and peace in Him. And that is what I must do in the times when the world seems to be going crazy…and me along with it!  If you listen, you can hear Him saying to us, as He said to the sea, “Peace, be still.”

Today I choose to focus on the life I have and my family and the precious relationships God has brought into my life.  I choose to know the peace of God that passes all understanding and rest in His promises.

“Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.”          1 Thessalonians 4:14 (NIV)

“And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?

And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” Mark 4:39-41 (KJV)

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)

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Filed under Faith, Family, Friends, Inspiration, Lessons