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Monday, August 31, 2015

Our God is FAITHFUL

An urgent knock sounded at the front door. We welcomed two precious friends we have known for years. We sat and talked about our children who have been best friends since before they were born. We met when we were both expecting and they were born within months of each other. They have remained true and steadfast friends regardless of time or distance. Now they both struggle with the awkward time between being a child and truly being an independent adult. Our friends hearts were breaking because they just learned that the child they have loved and raised in a loving Christian home, was declaring himself agnostic. I didn't gasp in amazement or shock, as our son had made the same declaration a couple of years ago. I remember clear as day when he told me he didn't believe. As he said the words I could tell he expected a fierce reaction.... He didn't get one. I simply shook my head, nestled back into the couch and said.... "That's fine. I trust that God will reveal himself to you in His time."  I remember him looking at me like.... "That's it? That's all you're going to say?" He expected outrage, he expected anger, he expected shock.... All he got was.... "God will reveal himself to you." I could tell thought my reaction was anticlimactic. It wasn't, it was and is my genuine belief that each person must at some point seek out their own salvation. We have to know, that we know, that we know, to the very core of who we are, not because of how we were raised, not because of where we went to church, but because God has revealed himself to us in a real way that calls our hearts to him. To our friends, the shock was still fresh and it was new.... Painful. As a parent, the immediate reaction is to blame ourselves..... "Where did we go wrong? What did we do, or not do right?" My husband and I have already tumbled down that path until I finally come to this understanding. Our son was born on October 19, 1994. Christmas fell on a Sunday that year and on Christmas morning my husband and I stood before the alter and gave this child that he had entrusted to us back to him. We vowed to raise him in our faith and to teach him God's ways. We have been faithful to that vow. We ensured that he was surrounded by others who were strong in their faith. We poured into his life and allowed others to pour into his life as well. I have not rescinded the vow I made. I have not removed him from God's hands, nor has God removed him. My son may run from God's presence,  but he cannot escape God's hand, nor his plan. At some point..... The Spirit will draw him. He may reach a very dark places before God reveals himself, but I am trusting that God WILL reveal himself. The foundation on which he was raised, is firm.... And it is sure. It may be shaken, but it will not shift.... It will not crumble. God's word says "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." (Proverbs 22:6) My son may run, he may hide, he may deny, but the seeds that were faithfully sown into his life will not leave him. In God's time, those seeds will bear fruit. Until then.... We wait.... We pray.... We trust....  Our God is Faithful.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

People Pleasers Pain

Like most people pleasers, when I love, I love with my whole being, without restraints. When I give, I do so without strings attached. My intention is to speak kindly to others and to leave them feeling better instead of worse. My ultimate goal is to bring a smile to others by extending a smile first and if given half a chance, I love to make people laugh or at the very least make them stifle a chuckle. Nothing makes this people pleaser happier than that. I am aware that not everyone is a people pleaser and not everyone has the same relationship goals. This realization gives me two choices, I can hold back and not invest in relationships, avoiding disappointments, or I can throw caution  to the wind and jump in with both feet expecting nothing in return and being pleasantly surprised when others love me back. I'm an all or nothing person who is terrible at holding back. Jumping in full throttle with people has paid off in spades. The down side to being a people pleaser is... It's exhausting.
Jumping through firey hoops day in and day out can be a thankless position. But, that's the way we're wired so if the shoe fits, don't complain about the pain. People pleaser want to be everything to every person which is an impossible task. And even though it is always my deepest intention to not expect anything in return, it's human nature to want relationships to be a two way street. When they're not, the disappointment is devastating. Another hurdle to being a people pleaser is.... We don't get as many passes as our moody or explosive counterparts.  If a people pleaser is pushed to the brink, having a bad day, and cops an attitude, it isn't brushed off with an... "Oh you know how she is."  No, people pleasers feet are held to the fire. They aren't allowed to play the hot head, crazy, or misunderstood card... Ever!  That's unfortunate. It doesn't happen often, but occasionally the frustrated struggle of our happy exterior, falls away revealing the fact that our immediate point or need is worthy of being emphasized in a manner that isn't as warm and fuzzy as is our usual manner. You can feel the oxygen being sucked from the room when a people pleaser stands up for themselves. A hot head can rant and rave until the cows come home and no one will bat an eye. It's a double standard that seems unfair.  Every time I think about reigning in my people pleasing traits, I look down to find myself in really cute galoshes and a blinged out life vest wading  into the tidal wave of friendship once again. I go in fully aware that the waves may sweep me and all of my good intentions to the bottom of the ocean floor. But the possibility that I could make a new friend, or a difference in someone's life, is worth the risk. 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Back to School Prayer


It's back to school time. On the way to work, I passed kids waiting for the school bus. They were decked out in new clothes, shiny shoes, and fresh as a daisy backpacks that have yet to be laden with books, papers, and half eaten candy bars.  There is an elementary school on the corner by my house. Every year I see anxious parents holding hands with their wee ones. My heart aches at knowing they are being set loose in world that can be cruel and harsh. Even though my babies are grown, I want to wrap my arms around those wee ones and shelter them from the bumps and bruises that come with growing up. That being said, I do miss the smell of freshly waxed floors and brand new crayons. Those smells are etched in my memory and will forever make me pause. May our heavenly Father wrap His arms around the wee ones and the not so wee ones as they head back to the classroom.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Cutest Baby Ever

Not bias at all, but this is the cutest baby EVER. Look at those little nibblet toes.... I could just eat them up. And check out the little chompers. I've made this pic my screen saver at work and on my phone because I just can't get enough. Label me a super proud Lolli!!