This morning as I was praying I was reminded of the movie of The Legend of Hercules. The movie is about Greek mythology which I admittedly really enjoy even though I do not believe in Greek gods. Hercules was brought up as a fully human man with no knowledge that he was the son of Zeus, whom Greeks believed to be the most powerful god. When he grew up and learned of his heritage he started to ask more questions. He asked a wise advisor, “why has Zeus not shown himself to me, why has he not helped me, why has he allowed me to experience what I have been experiencing.” The old man said he is always there but you have to call upon him acknowledging who he is, who is to you to, and acknowledging his power. When Hercules found himself bound by shackles with no way out, no way loose, no plan “B”, he finally remembered the words of the old wise man. At that moment, Hercules called out to his father Zeus and asked him in a mighty voice to come to him, to show up, acknowledging him as his father and his god confidently and boldly (in front of most of the town) and in that moment you see Hercules break through something unimaginable with a mighty powerful force. I remember seeing that months ago and thinking wow what if we were like that with God; coming against our most unimaginable situations (and just day-today life) with the true acknowledgement of God as our Father and Lord, boldly before all people, acknowledging his unsurpassed power, and calling upon God to come upon us and give us the strength to overcome impossible situations in his name. What if? (Shoulder shrug). If acknowledgement of Zeus could give that much power to Hercules, how much more powerful are we as the children of the most high, all powerful? Do we like Hercules realize it at the pivotful moment when there is no way out and all seems lost, or could we by chance realize it right now and start living the powerful, joint-heir, life-changing life intended. #Somethingtothinkabout #FoodforThought #GodismorepowerfulthanZeus #
We must work the works of Him Who sent Me and be busy with His business while it is daylight; night is coming on, when no man can work. John 9:4 (AMP)
Lately I have been extremely busy working to build a business that my husband and I started last July. It is going well but there is so much to do. In addition to tactically working on a project we already had, I also took on a shorter-term intense project, and have also been working on business development and marketing. It has been a lot mentally and physically. This week my body is feeling the effects. As my body has felt the effects, I have been able to hear God speaking and showing me where I need to refocus. God has blessed us with work in this business but first and foremost, he wants me busy with His work, with his business.
There will come a day when I am unable to work at anything, but before that time comes, it is best to have been busy at God’s work. I am the CEO of our business, but I am just a servant in God’s. While I will continue on with our business, I will daily first focus on the work God has for me.
I Thought – But He Knew
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
Based upon the emails I still get from babycenter.com, I should be holding two beautiful one week old babies right now. My house should be filled with dirty diapers, shrieks of newborn cries, and sleepless nights but it’s not. Nonetheless it is filled with is an amazing joy, an outstanding peace, and an overwhelming love and appreciation for the man my family and friends watched me pledge my love to almost a year ago. That overwhelming sense of peace and contentment with my family is not at all a disregard for the lives we lost; however, it is an after-the-fact realization that while I thought I knew – God knew better.
As we go through things and attempt to re-center, we talk ourselves into accepting that all things happen for a reason and that God knows best but we still sometimes struggle with what the reason really is. In the midst of the storm, our view of life is clouded by the elements but sometime after the clouds fade, we can see the reality of what we were once just trying to bring ourselves to accept.
While I look around me with all the parents holding and loving their new babies, I smile and think of the little girls that woke up with the angels. As I look at the life that has unfolded before me in these months and compare it to how ill-prepared my life, my home, and my heart was, I get it. I get that while I had plans, a schedule even for my life, God had a different plan. While His plan hurt, it has truly prospered me in my soul, my heart, my marriage, and my family. I still live in the same house, but my home and all that is in it has been renewed and transformed into something so beautiful I can hardly believe it.
This morning my heart is so appreciative of the calming revelation that all is really well. This morning my heart is overwhelmingly grateful that while it was sad, God didn’t give into giving me what my life was not ready to receive and I am so thankful for how he has prepared the way. Not only are His ways higher than our ways but he really does give joy in the place of mourning. Thank you God that while we “think”, you know.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AdlHTgbZ9k (Kari Jobe – You are For Me – which just started playing as I was writing)
Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. Isaiah 46:4 NIV
This weekend I went skiing with a few couples and while many are great skiers I am not. For me even the bunny slope (a seemingly easily slope for many) seemed overwhelming steep as I looked down the slope to the bottom. The task of getting down that incline seemed daunting and I could feel that weird feeling in the pit of my stomach. That’s how pregnancy after loss can feel – like standing at the top of an incline that seems for many to be a normal walk in the park – and for you seems like the black diamond of all slopes.
Over the past few days after deciding to move forward with another attempt to grow our family, that is how I am feeling — like I am staring down to the bottom of a slippery slope not knowing how I am going to get down there all by myself. As I pictured myself staring down that path, I realized that I cannot make it by myself. I cannot even begin to try and think through how. I can only reach the bottom if God himself carries me there. This is the time in my life where I am needing God to be my “footprints in the sand”. This is the time where I have no other choice but to day-by-day ask the Lord to pick me up, carry me, comfort me, bring peace upon me, and carry me over the threshold of pregnancy into the sweet elation of new motherhood. I am so thankful that God not only walks with us but in our most difficult times of life, He is there to carry us through.
Dear God, thank you for the realization that not only do I not have to walk this path alone but that you will be there to carry me in my weakest, frailest moments. I am so thankful that I do not have to think myself through every step of the way but that I can trust that when I am weak you are all the strength I need. God, please be with me each step of each day of this journey. I ask that you would bless it as you see fit. Grant me peace, faith, wellness, and beautiful joy. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Grief counselors are awesome. Don’t get me wrong — but why in the midst of grief doesn’t anyone suggest the simplest, easiest most available form of therapy — the pen. As I laid on the hospital bed hours before the inevitable loss of my unborn little girls, nurses attempted to prepare me for my loss (like that’s possible). They provided me with websites, books, therapy groups, and even suggested medication if I needed it in the beginning. Don’t get me wrong, these things are great, helpful, informative, and the stories of others are truly inspiring and give hope, yet there is nothing more powerful then allowing yourself to admit your feelings and deal with your own emotions. Writing does that for me but what I have realized is that writing is that same outlet for others. For months I have written around my hurt but finally I am writing directly to the heart of it–the hurt of it. It hurts — but it definitely healing and healed from the inside out is where we want to be.
Within the next 24 hours people all over the world will begin celebrating the culminating event of the advent season — Christmas Day. Most of us will be giving gifts, receiving gifts, singing, feasting with family, and spreading joy and happiness throughout the day. Since before the Thanksgiving holiday many of us have been looking forward to the big event of Christmas Day. We have been shopping, wrapping, being (hopefully) kind to our neighbors, helping out at shelters and soup kitchens, and sharing the Christmas story with our children. But what happens on Dec. 26th? Does it all have to end? Do we stop sharing the Christmas story with our children? Do we stop giving to others? Do we stop spreading peace, joy, and reconciliation to others? Do we stop believing in miracles? Do all these things get put in the attic with the tree ornaments until the next Christmas season or could we maybe put the tree ornaments away but leave out all the goodness of the season for the whole year.
Each day the need for peace, joy, hope, reconciliation, random giving, and helping exists. The Christmas story is about the birth of Christ; but the story doesn’t end there so hopefully neither will our “Christmas” spirit. Christ went on spreading and being goodness daily. He went on feeding others, clothing others, listening to the problems of others, meeting needs, and spreading peace, hope, and joy to everyone in need of it. As we unwrap our gifts and slowly pack away the decor of the season, maybe we could “forget” to pack up our Christmas spirit, our giving hearts, and helpful hands. Maybe this could be where the story starts. Maybe “Joy to the World” doesn’t have to be just the song sang at the end of most Christmas programs just before the curtain closes; but maybe it can be part where we are just getting started. Let’s not lose our Christmas high after we have dinner Christmas evening…Let’s spread Joy to the World — Christmas Day and everyday!
During the Christmas season, you often hear people complaining about its paganism and its lack of Christ; yet Christ is all throughout Christmas. Christmas is the season to give, to praise, and to let your light shine. It is the season to uplift someone else, the make their days merry and bright. Santa Clause, Decorations, Caroling at the heart of the matter are all about Christ. (Even Christmas trees were a by-product of a Christian showing the powerlessness of a pagan God). I have seen signs saying, Keep the “Christ” in Christmas; but no matter how hard some may try, there is no taking Him out of it! Christ IS Christmas!
Christmas Giving and Santa Claus
We call him Santa Claus, even Jolly Ole St. Nick, but he was known as St. Nicholas. The rich man who gave all he had to the poor to meet their needs. The rich man who gave bags of gold to prostitutes and returned children to their families. The rich man who went around meeting needs of the less fortunate. When we think of how good it makes us feel to give, imagine how happy a man who was constantly giving felt. Imagine how St. Nicholas must have had a jolly heart – a merry heart. Today, we give him reindeer and we over indulge the story but at the heart of the matter, Santa Claus, is merely the memory of a good hearted Christian — Bishop in fact –whose kindness, generosity, and love for others demonstrates what Christ desires from us — At Christmas time and everyday. Rather than remembering Santa Claus as a big belly man shouting “Ho, Ho, Ho” let us remember that the man for whom he sensationalizes was a Christian, who gave all he had to others; a man who took great joy in spreading joy.
Christmas Carols = Songs of Praise.
Make a joyful noise unto the Lord! Is that not what we do when we sing beautiful songs of the season like Oh, Come Let Us Adore Him, Little Drummer boy, O Holy Night, Joy to the Word? What are Christmas Carols but a Joyful Noise Made Unto Christ. Through Christmas Carols we sing about the beautiful birth of Christ, Honoring Baby Jesus with gifts, and how He is a Joy to this World — the good news of great Joy. During Christmas time, it’s amazing how all people sing these songs (and praise Christ) and do not even realize it. It’s the one time of year when atheists and agnostics can get so caught up in the “season” that do not even realize that even they too worship the Lord our God.
I agree — we have to keep Christ the center of Christmas in our conscious minds; but regardless of whether we are conscious of it or not, Christ will always be front and center. It is after all His Mass (Christ’s Mass).
For the past week, I have been praying for a few people. I have prayed for people I know personally and some I have never met. Some prayers can only be answered by God; yet some can be answered by God’s angels here on earth. Angels do not have to be heavenly beings but they are also defined as persons of exemplary virtue. We can be God’s angels here on earth. We can be the exemplary examples of Christ right here on earth. We can pass along the blessings bestowed upon us and be the blessing someone else is needing, seeking, and praying for. This season, continue to pray for the miracles of Christ to be bestowed upon others. Recognize that many need a blessing only God can send. But also recognize that some of our prayers for others are needs and wants that we have the capacity to fulfill.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only son. This holiday season — what can we give?
When I think about Christmas, I think about the greatest gift we could have even been given – the gift of Christ. Every year my mom (still at this age) asks me what I want for Christmas – my siblings ask me too. At a point in life where my greatest wants and needs cannot be filled by their in-store or online purchases, the answer to that question is tough. What I want or need, they cannot get for me even though they have the greatest intentions. Christmas gifts and wishes cannot be really given our parents, siblings, friends or Jolly Ole St. Nick – that’s why they are called Christmas Gifts and Christmas Wishes. They are wishes and gifts that we (at the deepest heart of the matter long for from Christ). So this season how can we give the most meaningful gifts to those we love? This morning in my time of devotion, I came up with the best gift we can give – it’s the gifts of prayer for the things our loved ones most need and want. The things not offered by Amazon, the things not made in a workshop (or a sweatshop seeing as how capitalism today is), the things that cannot be purchased on sale at Groupon, the things that no man has power over — they are the things that we call miracles born out of prayers.
This season I challenge each of us to pray fervently, unceasingly, and daily for the seemingly unattainable needs and wants of those around us. I pray that we would see the miracles of Christ through these gifts that we are giving each other, our friends and families, and even our enemies.
May our families, homes, friends, and the world be blessed!