Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Grateful for Lefovers!

This is story about a church friend of mine who had a baby.  This was a very short time after I had a baby.  AND, I was pregnant with my second baby.  I was probably due in a matter of 3 or 4 months.  I was new to getting back into the swing of church and I was all over taking food to new mothers...probably because no one from our church had brought me food with my still relatively new baby.  Not that it mattered, we were very blessed with my mom-in-law, mom and sisters coming over and helping us with food and chores and settling in.  Plus, we were not very plugged in at church and did not even know people brought food to new mothers.  But, now we were in a life group called a CARE group and we were learning all the ins and outs of how our church operated.

So back to this friend.  I worked all day on making food for her and her new little family and I was so very excited to deliver it.  Erik stayed in the car with baby Erika and I brought the box of food in.  I was greeted with thank yous and sharing all the baby talk and fussing over the nursery.  Then she asked what we brought and I answered her questions.  And then it started.  She spent the next 10 minutes complaining about the food brought to her.  They had chicken 3 nights in a row and so and so brought too much and the leftovers were taking over and she just wondered if the food would ever end.  And I faked a smile on my face and made small talk back to my car.  I got in and waved as we pulled out and sobbed all the way home. 

True, I was definitely hormonal.  True, too much food was a problem I had not had.  True, I was playing a comparison game where I was the loser.  But mostly true, it broke my heart how some people just get so much loved poured over and heaped on them and they are not even blessed by it.  It broke places in my heart because all the love I put into her meal was not received or enjoyed.  It just hurt my feelings...and my pride...and my self esteem...and it began a series of hurts received by me by the group that was my peers at my church.  BUT, more importantly, it broke places in me that needed to be broken for God to begin the miracle of making me DIFFERENT.  Different from the people we attended church with.  Different from the people I grew up with and DIFFERENT from any 'religious' person I had ever known.

I fast forward to a surgery I had last week.   AND, we have been blessed by our family, friends, and church family in amazing ways.  Food, visits, cards, offers to run errands, encouragement on facebook, through texts, phone calls and so on.  I cannot imagine not loving the hearts behind every SINGLE gesture of good will directed my way.  I see God in every single episode.  God caring and nurturing me along with beautiful relationships with people who truly LOVE me.  AND if no one had done anything at all, then I would have counted the blessings of having a family with children old enough and capable enough to step up and help dad take care of me.  I would have found God's providence in that as well.

I love that I am different than that soon-to-be brand new mom of two.  I'm glad I quit comparing how many casseroles I get versus how many someone else gets.  I'm glad I don't measure my worth by the people I'm surrounded by.  I'm glad I don't measure THEIR worth by whether or not they cook well or cook at all. I'm glad I GREW UP and now take an act of kindness as just opportunity to be blessed by my heavenly father through community.  I am glad to be on the giving end of that sometimes too.  It is truly a gift- TO GIVE AND TO RECEIVE. I am glad to say we enjoy leftovers almost as much as the meal...and we don't ever like wasting food-especially the food someone loved us enough to bring.   BUT, above all, living in community with a church that is different in many of the same ways I am DIFFERENT is the best gift of all. We aren't just going through the motions of church casserole etiquette...we really mean it when we pay a kindness.  It isn't just for show, it is for all of us to be blessed through Christ and to pass it on to someone else every chance we get.

Oh how I pray that the friend I once had has learned that lesson too. She doesn't go to our church anymore, but I still hope God has done the same work in her, that she has been broken enough to let God in.  It was never really about the food, it was about being blessed.  And we all are so very blessed...sometimes we can't even see it because we are too busy looking in the fridge and just seeing a bunch of leftovers.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Post Op

So now I am two days post-op.  I feel much better but I know that I am not better.  There is still much healing to take place.  My plan is to take it easy and let everyone else take care of the cooking, housework, etc.  I don't mind and it will be just fine.  It will just be hard to feel like I can do those things and not do them.  Nothing makes you want to do something more than not being allowed to.

Back to restville, my new home for a few more weeks.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

S Day

Normally on Sunday, I get up, get ready for church and then look at my work schedule while I wait for princesses to be dolled up enough to go to church.  Today, though, is different.  Today, I set my alarm to make sure everyone else was up (I'm a martyr like that.) least the other two someone elses in the family that are not gone to camp (My oldest 2 children are blissfully away at camp.) and then I went back to bed.  When I awoke again, I was alone.  Not blissfully alone though.  I get to spend this day cleansing my colon.  This, as I understand it, is quite different from cleansing your aura.  I have never cleansed either before and on this day, I can only focus on cleansing one.  I am also only taking in liquids.  Clear liquid diet...words that make me shudder.  AND part of those clear liquids will include 3 bottles of magnesium citrate.  I have had one already.  Yuck.  I bought three different flavors so I could possibly get over this experience with no hatred of cherry, grape or lemon flavorings.

So, my bowels will be cleansing very soon.  This is a good thing too, because after 40 years, they probably could use a good cleaning.  Tomorrow I will have a partial hysterectomy and I am mildly worried about it.  Worried less about the surgery and more about the recovery.  I have been told by many not to even bend over because things can become 'undone' quite easily with this type of surgery and then you find yourself going back in to be 'restrung'.  So now I will be too paranoid to even move, which sounds nice, but in reality makes you want to do everything.  The cure for laziness is FORCED laziness.  I do recall bed rest with two of my pregnancies.  All I wanted to do was vacuum...a chore I never do when not on bed rest.

I have friends who have promised to kidnap me and have movie marathons.  I have two new wonderful books purchased by me and for me plus the 62 I already have waiting in the wings to be read.  Netflix, of course, is ready and waiting.  Erik will be my nurse.  Lilly is giddy with the very thought of waiting on me hand and foot.  However, I know with all of my heart that this will get old and tiresome quickly!

I will strive to look on the bright side.  This will fix my 'problem' which has been beyond terrible.  I am very blessed to have health insurance when so many do not.  It will pay most of the cost of the surgery.  I do have family, expended family, and friends that want to help me/us.  I have a forced 'time out' from lifting and strain of any type for 6 weeks.  I am very blessed.  And only mildly worried.  Keep us in your prayers...mostly that this six week 'time out' will fly by.

Thursday, July 05, 2012


One of the most challenging things I have heard lately and it resonates very deeply with me:

"One cannot receive grace until he has tried. Until he has tried and failed, it isn't grace it is just sin."

This makes sense to me.  AND, I HATE it.

I am nothing but a sinner, but there is some sin that is unintentional and other sin that is intentional.  The sins are not equal.  Not at all.  When I look back over the last few days of Bible study and fellowship, I keep coming away with the same message for me...a message I don't like hearing.  It even makes me read scripture differently.  Songs that once made me feel one way now make me feel another way. (His Grace is Sufficient, for example.)

Shortly before I left for my spiritual oasis that is Summer Celebration, one of my friends had a loving discussion with me about something she wanted me to reflect and pray about.  It was not exactly a sin in my life, just something she wanted me to pray about.  And as God usually does, He has tied that concern to all of these other teachings and now I am seeing and hearing it everywhere.

I am a good person.  I try to always do what is right and I fail alot, but I also succeed alot.  I read and study my Bible.  I have a very healthy prayer life.  I do, however, have some sin in my life that I don't address or deal with or even try to stop.  I have tried before and failed and then just pretty much gave up.  I've 'given it to God' and counted it 'covered by the blood'.  AND, as of a couple of days ago, I am totally convicted.  Because I don't even try to do better in some dark sinful places in my soul any more.  "I am not perfect and never can be."  True that...but not even TRYING to do better in my sin isn't honoring my Lord and Savior.  I am begging for grace to cover those sins and I am not even giving it a half-hearted effort.  I am giving exactly ZERO effort and thinking His grace will be sufficient.

His grace IS sufficient.  Sufficient that when I am weak, He is strong.  Sufficient that when I try and fail, His grace will overwhelm me and give me the strength to battle another day.  His grace is sufficient to shine brightly through all of my breaks and cracks.  His grace is NOT a license to sin.  It is NOT an excuse to remain in the muck and mire of my sin.  If I am a true believer in the blood of the lamb, remaining in a life of sins...even ones I have deemed 'not that bad' not the way to receive the Grace of God.  Battling my sins, repenting, and begging for grace when I fall is the way to receive it...and the strength to begin the battle anew until I have totally given the sin to God and the victory is won.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Points to Ponder

  •  Our churches are much more aligned with Roman traditions than Jewish ones.  Is this a good thing? I don't think so.
  • I heard an amazing morsel about's a paraphrase:  I had children with every intention of helping them grow into great kids...instead they have helped me grow into a great dad.  AMEN...God has grown me up in so many ways through my children!
  • If one person is the source of all your misery (as in a marriage) then you have allowed one person to be in charge of all your happiness.  Good luck with that one!
  • Marriage is not meant to meet your needs, God is.  If you are unhappy in your marriage, God is not your focus...changing your spouse is.  God should always be your focus.  **This is so common these days!
  • No one should ever be given the role of completing you or being your 'other half' should each be two wholes.
  • If you always refuse to give your opinions and preferences, you are not allowing others to know the real you.  That doesn't mean you should always get your way, it just means "I don't care, whatever you want." usually leads to passive aggressive behaviors and does not allow people to really know you.
I am pondering much and look forward to tomorrow's pontifications.