Tuesday, May 24, 2011

That Dad of Mine

My 60 year old dad... is. a . saint. He spent his whole evening cleaning off and washing a huge pile of poopy diapers for another family who had something unexpected come up and ended up with about five days worth of dirty cloth diapers. Dad did it cheerfully with a smile, humming to himself while he scraped poo into the toilet... for several hours.

His servant's heart has always led we children by example, rather than lectures.
When Jesus told his disciples to wash each other's feet, I think He would have meant things like washing other peoples' toddler diapers, too....

I'm so grateful that God gave me a dad like him.

Lord, make me a servant. One willing to do the nastiest job with a song in my heart.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Her Temper - To Be Happy

"It was her business to be satisfied - and certainly her temper to be happy."

- Jane Austen,
writing about Elizabeth Bennet

Friday, May 20, 2011

Jesus of the Scars

Jesus of the Scars

If we have never sought you, we seek you now;
Your eyes burn through the dark, our only stars;
We must have sight of thorn-marks on your brow,
We must have you, O Jesus of the scars.

The heavens frighten us; they are too calm;
In all the universe we have no place.
Our wounds are hurting us; where is the balm?
Lord Jesus, by your scars we know your grace.

If, when the doors are shut, you then draw near,
Only reveal those bloodied feet and hands
We know today what wounds are, have no fear;
Show us your scars, we know you understand

The other gods were strong; but you were weak;
They rode, but Jesus stumbled to a throne;
But to our wounds only God’s wounds can speak,
And not a god has wounds, but You alone.

Edward Shillito

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Because God Knew

There's nothing quite like the moments when God shows you why He did something.

I've had a lot of those moments in the past three days.

Matter of fact, in the last three days, I've welled up with gratefulness on different occasions for every single really hard thing that happened to me in the past year.

Really? All of it? Everything? Genuinely grateful?

On Monday, I was dealing with a client and suddenly I was so grateful for what God has taught me over the past year through one of my sibling's major struggles that has affected our whole family hugely. My heart filled with compassion for this girl and the struggles she's gone through. Knowing her issues made me realize how big and scary her problems could become in pregnancy. Normally, I would be hesitant to work with a client who would be unpredictable and volatile and potentially extremely difficult to work with. But, instead... I understood. I knew what to expect. I wanted to love THIS girl and give her a chance. I thanked God that I felt compassion for her because I've watched my own sibling struggle through the same issues.

I had this strange sense of gladness that I knew and I understood and I cared deeply. I would have tried to know and understand and care in the past, but I couldn't have. Because I really didn't know. I do now. Without even thinking, I breathed a little thank you to God that I was no longer another one of those people who really didn't and couldn't understand this. I breathed a thank you that I DO understand it now.

Monday night I received a phone call from a crying mommy. As I calmly told her what to do, step-by-step, I remembered a frantic evening last winter when the same thing that had happened to her baby had happened to me. I had made some frantic middle-of-the-night calls to experts who had given me wonderful advice. I passed the advice that had worked so well for me on to the mommy and thought, "For the first time ever, I'm so glad that happened to me last winter!" I never thought I'd know why that happened. Suddenly, I imagined all of the many times I may be so grateful for that knowledge over the course of my life. And I only have it because I lived it. Thank you, God!

So, I was grateful for those things.

But something else that happened last year? I have managed to thank God for it many times because through the hurt and disappointment and bitterness of the whole situation, God plowed up the "fallow ground" of my heart and dug deep into my soul. I've thanked Him for using it in my life to make me grow; to take away the stagnant places. But, ever had a just deep grateful, from the bottom of my heart, "You knew what you were doing, God!" well up in me before? No.

Today I did. Someone I love deeply is in almost the same exact situation. Except, well a few things are different, in a not-good way. I wanted to tell those dear people what I was thinking and hope they'd listen. But I knew I would be dismissed as not understanding. Or would I?
I actually know exactly what is being felt and thought. I can speak to the heart-wrenching hurt because I lived it. I can. I can.

I can.

Because God knew what He was doing in my life last year.

My mom, the dearest person on earth to me, was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer at the beginning of April. She was given a year to live. Now, of course, only God knows our days and the time that she has. But, there are days when the possibility of her soon being gone - my mommy - forever gone from earth and my life - are just too much. It seems a little surreal.... surely that's not really going to happen... now? My mother... never see me get married? My mom never be the person I can call when I'm a mom who needs advice...? Really??

On days when I want to run away and cry instead of go to the next prenatal or just pretend it isn't true, I am stilled to remember that

God has known what He was doing every day of the good life that He has given me.

God knows what He is doing with every day of my life that stretches out into the future.

He knows!

He knows!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

I Walked A Mile...

I walked a mile with Pleasure.
She chattered all the way;
But left me none the wiser
For all she had to say.

I walked a mile with Sorrow,
And ne'er a word said she;
But, oh, the things I learned from her
When sorrow walked with me.

~ Unknown