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.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Intentional Healing, Deliberate Growth

I have been thinking about this post for a long long time--or at least the concept of it. There are few if any, people in the world who have not been wounded or hurt at one time or another. Onc can scarcely make it into adulthood without the typical teenage woes and wounds. And as adults, we have family baggage, work conflicts, marriage issues, and general life struggles. Each have the potential to harm us and stunt our spiritual or emotional growth. Most of us encounter daily struggles of a minimal sort--the vacuum cleaner broke, we had a flat tire, we were volunteered for a bake sale that starts at 6 am tomorrow!!!! You know the struggles, I am talking about--the ones that make up this crazy thing we call "LIFE". The minimal and daily trials are not the ones that derail us---we are most often able to just deal with the problem and get on with life. Growing and maturing in spite of the trouble, almost as if growing by accident.
And then there are the big things, the ones that are mountains in the road rather than rocks. These are more than stumbling blocks, they are backbreaking, relationship ruining, esteem destroying, life changing crises! They leave us battered and scarred and worse for the wear, tired and fatigued, emotionally drained and empty. They are the unfaithful spouse, the loss of a child, the ravaged mind of a parent with dementia, the tornado, hurricane, flood and fire. They are the events that bankrupt our spirits and our very souls. We don't bounce back from these as easily or accidentally as we do from the little day-to-day trials. These struggles call for us to do some emotional and spiritual work. It is during this dark time that we hit our knees and as we wipe the tears from our eyes, we cry out in anguish to the God of heaven, begging for reprieve, comfort and strength. As the weeping subsides, we dust off our pantlegs and stand, albeit on shaky legs, we stand. And right there, we decide to move on. We resolve to heal and grow in spite of the circumstances. We begin to plan the course of action that will help us heal. That plan may include counseling, prayer, medications or even work. The plan requires action and determination. The epiphany made so clear in the darkest of times is that this healing will not just happen. We will not be able to glide into wholeness. We will have to work at it if we are to find our way out of despair. And find our way out, we do. And years later when the sun is once again visible in our lives, we look back in amazement--marvelling at where we were and how far we've come.
It seems this same thing would apply to churches that have undergone some serious spiritual struggles, like the adultery of the preacher, a split, loss of an eldership or any other major crisis that can wound and threaten to destroy a congregation. The congregation has to make a conscious decision to heal through their disappointment and shame, or rather in spite of it. Licking our wounds might feel good but it does not help us grow. It moves us no further down the road. I know, as I am sure you do, of many congregations who suffer a loss and then never grow again, the life of the church is like a body on life support, no reactions, no responses and no interactions and therefore little hope. And the brethren dwindle away and gradually die or move until they are taken off life support to die, (this is when the last little old man turns off the lights for the final time and locks the door, leaving the community with no congregation of the Lord's body).
Whether individually or congregationally, wounds and trials can stunt our growth and when we do not grow, we die. We must decide to heal, and resolve to grow. There is no other option if we are to survive. God is good and once our healing becomes intentional and our growth deliberate, He will breath life into our tired body, He will bind up our wounds, carry our burdens, and comfort our souls. With His touch, we will survive and we will live.


Monday, January 12, 2009

What's The Deal With Procrastination?

I just have to ask----"what is the deal with procrastination?" There are very few characteristics I find as annoying as this one! Truly! Does this frustrate anyone else? It frustrates me for several reasons:

  • Procrastination takes away one's choices. If we have three choices and we can't make up our minds so we put it off and put if off and put if off until one by one the other two choices are no longer available, leaving us with only one---and therefore no choice really. (Does that make sense?)
  • Procrastination causes stress. When we put off a task until the very last minute, we have to rush around to complete it and stress is not good for us. It causes us to age and gain weight (watch Dr Phil if you don't believe me.) :)
  • Procrastination results in us giving us less than our very best. Very few of us produce our best product when we hurry to get it done.
  • Procrastination causes us to lie. We promise not to wait until the last minute again, we promise to not put things off and then we put off following through with our promise.

These are just a few reasons I hate procrastination! You got any more? Anybody have any scripture about this? Or am I the only one who doesn't like it?



PS. I was going to post this earlier but . . . . . . (grin)

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Tidings of Comfort and Joy

A few years ago, I met the mother of a friend. She was a very nice lady and we had a very enjoyable visit. The visit was not a deep, bare my soul, become lifelong friends type visit, (after all, I just met her) but it was nice all the same. As she left, she said goodbye and hugged me, telling me she would say a prayer for me. Thinking that was just a nice thing Christians say to one another, I thanked her. She said, "no, I mean it! I really am going to pray for you. I see in you great sadness and grief." I remember looking at her in disbelief. Sure, I'd had some rough times, multiple miscarriages, death of husband, a few weeks living in our car with an ill husband, a 3 month old and a two year old, death of my sister and her child, divorce of my parents to name a few, but I really thought I had dealt with each of those as a child of faith would. I felt I had grieved appropriately and had worked through that grief. Seeing my disbelief and perhaps even a bit of anger, she started asking me about what colors were in my house (blue--dark, deep blue) and what color I preferred in clothing , (again the same blue or black) and she launched into some long explanation about the color of grief and the soothing calm of deep blue waters and my need for that calm. I really didn't pay much attention to her, nor did I put much stock in her words. I mention it only to say that recently an old friend came to visit me and after staying for a week, she said it was nice to see me so calm and happy. Then she said, "there isn't even any blue in your house anymore--it is much more welcoming and warm". What? I knew I hadn't told her about that conversation. And yet . . . strange isn't it?
I began thinking about what has changed in my life. I began to realize that just as the children of Israel went through their time in the desert, so I'd had mine. And just as they'd relied totally on God, helpless on their own, so had I been. Realizing and accepting the fact that I was helpless in my grief and that the only lasting comfort came from Him, made me stronger, made me more joyful in the end. I realized that total dependence on Him results in total comfort and strength. And just as He is perfect, so is His comfort and His peace and His joy.
Everyday, I come across people with obvious sadness and grief. How I long to share with them the tidings of comfort and joy that comes with knowing and relying on God. I cannot imagine bearing my burdens on my own. I know my weaknesses and I have not the strength to withstand the trials life throws at me. But with God. . . . well to coin that old phrase... "Ain't no mountain high enough ....yeah I know I am taking the words to the song out of context but you know what I mean. Nothing too big, nothing too tall, nothing too dark, nothing to hard---not for my God. My God is my Rock, my Fortress, my Rescuer and my Sustainer. And my God promises to never leave me. I am happy and my comfort and joy are complete.---just had to share them with you.