Dancing in the Light

I John 1:7 "If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin."

Location: North Platte, Nebraska, United States

I am a christian wife, mother and grandmother. I am a licensed Social worker and a licensed Christian counselor. I am most proud of the relationships I have with God, my family and friends all over the world. I have been blessed beyond my dreams.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Pinata Therapy

Ever felt like you were a pinata and the rest of the world was wielding the stick? You have been working your fingers to the bone. You pay your bills, on time, albeit with occasional struggle. You try to be kind to others, although sometimes you fail. You go to worship. You make sure your family is there, too. You serve in any way possible, whether it is in teaching a class, waiting on the table, whatever. You are involved with your children, PTA, soccer, little league, t-ball, scouts, anything your children are involved in, you lead or sponsor or bake cookies for or sell cookies. You try to make time to spend with your spouse, to show them just how much you love them and how grateful you are for all they do. You try to be a good neighbor. You keep your lawn mowed and your yard looking nice. You speak kindly over the fence and help when help is needed. You are a good steward. You do the scheduled maintenance on your vehicles and complete the needed upkeep on your home. You are busy being good! And yet, time after time after time, life throws you a curve ball. No matter how hard you try, you find you are faced with one struggle after another--unplanned for expense, unprepared for heartache, unmanageable stress. And you are left wondering, "why can't I just get a break?" You have tried so hard and yet the world just keeps pounding at you with the stick. Have you been there? Isn't it frustrating?
Throughout my life, I have been the pinata many times. I remember wondering how much more I could take, wondering if God was giving me a "spiritual spanking" so to speak, wondering what lessons I was supposed to be learning. I truly felt like a pinata. And I felt like those times would never end, but they did. They were unpleasant but they were most definitely learning experiences, most definitely faith builders and wisdom increasers. These are some of the things I learned from my pinata therapy.
First, God never expected me to get through negative experiences by myself. He gave me resources, not the least of which is a Heavenly Father who loves me and cares for, who provides for all my needs including a way of escape. He also gave me His Holy Spirit to comfort and guide me, to remind me of His word and His promises. He gave me His Church, to walk along with me, to help bear my burdens, to offer encouragement and edification and to rejoice with me at victory.
Secondly, God gave me the example of His people. Their lifestories are peppered throughout scripture, stories of trials and struggles in their lives, throughout the ages---stories of their victories. If God helped them overcome, He can and will help me overcome. These stories give me hope.
Thirdly, He gave me eternal perspective. He tells me that this life is but a breath. My job is to remain faithful during that breath.There is so much more that our time on earth. There is life eternal, the life after this one, the one that never ends, the one when we live with Him forever. This perspective assures me that there is an end to the sufferings and struggles, and that there will come a time where there are no more. That promise gives me purpose.
And lastly, He gives me memory. I remember the last struggle and when God maneuvered my soul through the storm. When I was standing on the shore, I could still feel the storm, but I knew I was safe and the safety and peace I once took for granted, well, I now have a new appreciation and gratitude. My life has a newfound calmness, a newfound peace and sincere respect and appreciation for God's rescuing hand. Where pride was, gratitude is. Where worldly busyness was, prayer is. Where independence was, dependence on God now is. Where focus was, it is no longer. The energy spent on maintenance of "the important things in life", is now spent on important spiritual things. And life----life is good again.
All of us, at one time or another, experience a little pinata therapy. Sometimes we all find ourselves being smacked around by the world. But, when our pride is broken, when we call on God and rely on Him to rescue us, then we are left with all the sweets, sweets that shower down not only on us, but all those around us. A little pinata therapy---never hurt anyone.

II Corinthians 4:16-18
"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary but what is unseen is eternal."
(Way cool, huh?)


Anonymous lisa leichner said...

"Pinata Therapy" -- You come up with the wildest illustrations. :) Love it!

9:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like your illustrations. They show me that everything in life is a learning process,

I have felt like a pinata--I needed the "therapy" to get me to refocus.

Good post

12:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't this sort of like that song "Sometimes youre the windshield sometimes youre the bug"? I like it when you encourage us that troubles are not all bad and that they pass.

12:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Today, I am not the pinata. I hope I am never one who is hitting with the stick--harming with my words and actions.
Thanks for the reminder, sister


1:01 PM  
Blogger The Preacher's Household: said...

Been there on several counts. Glad to hear things are good. God is so good isn't He.

I am curious about one thing you siad. And I quote, "waiting on the table". Were you trying to be inclusive? Are you at a really 'progressive' congregation?

The verse at the end strikes me many times. "Our light and momnetary trials", I know we need to see them from God's perspective but the don't seem much like either as I go through them sometimes.

1:01 PM  
Blogger Neva said...

Definitely being inclusive--"I" am not that "progressive"


1:03 PM  
Blogger Beba said...

He never gives us more then we can handle.... Very encouraging

3:01 PM  
Blogger Don Neyland said...

In our family we call that being "in the system". My father actually sat my son down just this last summer [he had turned 18] and explained to him that NOW YOU'RE IN THE SYSTEM.

My problem is that I cracked a long time ago and they just keep hitting because there wasn't any candy :)


5:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh yeah---good analogy. I have been the pinata, it was not fun but like you, I can look back and see how much I gleanded from the experience.

Thanks Neva


6:00 PM  
Blogger TREY MORGAN said...

Just like the plank and the splinter that Jesus talked about, I think you paint great pictures too. I could just see us hanging from a rope while everyone took turns smacking us!

6:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard you teach a class on that verse before at Sunset--it was amazing and so are you. I am so glad you are my sister in Christ. You encourage me daily.

Love ya

6:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can relate on all levels.

6:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Arent you thankful that there are "sweets" inside? and that they "shower" down on others?
Makes it a little less painful, huh?


6:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God always gets us through it. Sometimes it takes some very extreme things to get our attention.
good thoughts


7:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am like Carol--I like the sweet part too.
Very good post today Neva


8:03 PM  
Blogger Abiding In Christ, Amen! said...

Hi Neva, I assumed your post was gonna be a suggestion to go out and get yourself a pinata to whack until your arms are tired, but I quickly found out that I was mistaken. Your post reminded me of the psalmist's format of presenting your readers with a conflict and dilemma, and then going back to all that you've learned about God and the memories of getting thru other struggles. Thanks to your post, and the illustration of fallen candy, I'll never look at pinata's the same. *grins*

8:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Abiding in Christ Amen--thats what I thought too---funny how Neva turns things around and makes us think about them in a whole different way.
Thanks Neva, I love visiting your site.


8:48 PM  
Blogger Bobby Cohoon said...

Hmmmmmmmmmm I think I live the life of a pinata...that why I try and always be stuffed with candy :-)

Good thoughts sis!


8:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like it--


9:03 PM  
Anonymous Martin said...

Fantastic post, Neva. Thanks for sharing...that was encouraging.


3:12 PM  

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