Unclench My Fist

>> Sunday, September 30, 2012

This school year has been hard from the very start.  I've been able to do what I love but only for a short time.  I knew it was temporary but I waited for God to intervene.  I knew He would. I was wrong.  Lesson learned:  sometimes God says no and I have to unclench my fist.

Through all this, something was stolen from me that I need and depend on.  The person was confronted and denied it.  I had to let it go and allow God to sustain me and He is and I'm learning some things about my body through it all.  It's not completely a bad thing but it's hard.  Very hard.  And I'm angry.  So very angry.  Lesson learned:  sometimes God says, "Hold onto Me and you will make it, Laury.  I know it's not fair but just hold onto Me."

Letting go of something I love to do and working with kids I understand and love to work with has been hard and yet...I love what I'm doing now too.  I had to get past the initial shock and anger before I could see it though.  Besides that, I still get to work in the class one hour a day and I've made relationships with the teacher and the kids.  It took that letting go of the emotion before I could settle down and see things for what they were.  So silly.  God made me a pretty effective educator wherever I'm placed.  It's not anything I learned or did, it's the talent He instilled in me and I'm so thankful.

Smoldering anger...I don't know where that comes from because I'm not an angry person.  Injustice and unfairness upset me though and this year and past years but especially this year, has hit me full in the face and I haven't been able to do a thing about it.  I have tried, trust me.  But once the temper tantrums haven't worked, and the sulking, and the pleading with God, falling into His arms and resting, knowing for sure Daddy will catch me and take care of me - then, and only then does everything begin to fall into place.

It's funny, situations don't change.  The stolen is still gone and God has helped me through in amazing ways.  The school thing is the same too.  It's me.  I'm the variable that needed the adjustment.  The anger and resentment and feelings of unfairness are still there, I am human after all, but they aren't right there at the top ready to spill out.  Sometimes I even forget about them for a bit.

Ephesians 4:31 ESV
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.

Proverbs 3:5 ESV
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.

When the world seems to be going crazy, the best thing to do is let go of it and cling to God. When everything else falls away, He will still be here. He is eternal.  Our Rock.  And for that, I am eternally grateful.


Arm Our Teens - Pocket Testament League Review

>> Sunday, July 8, 2012

“Why’re you wearing that shirt? Haven’t you ever heard of separation of church and state?” The noisy hallway grew quiet as Mattea considered the question.

“We can wear Christian t-shirts and we can pray in school…”

Anthony came along beside her and finished, “and we can bring our Bibles.”

The boy argued, “That’s not what we learned in History class. Church is church and school is school.”

“School officials try to bully us but it’s not legal.” Suddenly everyone scattered and left the two ‘rebels’ alone.

Mr. Porter, Vice-Principal, walked confidently down the hall. “Office, now.”

This is exactly what many of our students face every day.  I work in a high school and when they see my Bible on my desk, they’re surprised.  I tell them, "You can bring your Bible to school."  It's amazing how kids believe the lie that’s being told to them.  Our Christian teens need to know what is evangelism and they need to know how to how answer questions that come up from their friends when they carry their Bibles and wear their popular Christian t-shirts.  Both parents and their teens can go to the Pocket Testimony website and receive free evangelism training.  The evangelism tools are easy to learn to use.

There are many teens who are on fire and ready to flood their schools this upcoming year with the Word of God.  What better way than with the Gospel of John from the Pocket Testament League?  They can be ordered with over 30 different, up-to-date covers: all very appealing and colorful. 

Even in grade school, students are read books that introduce evolution.  It may not say the word but the concepts are there.  By the time they are in High School, they are primed and ready to be taught the theories.  Our kids need to know the truth.  In the free daily devotionals on the website, I am especially impressed with the very first lesson which deals with chapter one of John and will arm our students with that truth. The devotional points out that we have to face the most challenging question ever as a follower of Jesus Christ: "Where did God come from?" 

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.”  (John 1:1-3)

No Big Bang Theory there!  God, our creator – period!  This is a great devotional and I highly recommend completing it as a family to prepare our students as they enter into the new school year.  Help your child, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks… to give the reason for the hope that (they) have.” (1 Peter 3:15 NIV)  Let’s arm our teens with the Word of God as they go out into the world August, 2013 and beyond.

Pocket Testament League is the perfect tool for you and your family!


Seeing the Crowds...

>> Sunday, July 1, 2012

This morning, Greg, our pastor, told the story of Esther. He didn't preach to us. He didn't read from the Bible. He was dressed in character and he became a part of Esther's time. Greg's been known to preach from time to time. :) He's also been known to read whole chapters from the Bible. I love the variety. He also mixes up the flow of the service. I especially like that. We walk in each Sunday not really knowing what might happen.

But today, I could imagine our service being a bit like during Jesus' time.  No one wiggled in their seats.  No one was bored.  We all were enamored because Greg was speaking our language.  He spoke to our hearts.  He made us feel for each character.  

"Seeing the crowds, he (Jesus) went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, His disciples came to Him.  And He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:
(Matthew 5:1-2 ESV)

After reading this, I wondered where all did Jesus talk to the people? 
  • Before He was even born, people were clamoring to see Him in Bethlehem.
  • "And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, epileptics, and paralytics, and he healed them. And great crowds followed him from Galilee and the Decapolis, and from Jerusalem and Judea, and from beyond the Jordan."  (Matthew 4:23-25 ESV)
  • Up on the mountain where He gave the Sermon on the Mount.  This was after he was tempted by satan.
  • No rest, the crowds followed Him down off the mountain too when He healed the centurion's servant.  (Matthew 8)
  • Peter's house (Matthew 8)
  • house of tax collectors and sinners (Matthew 9)
  • Beside the sea (Matthew 13)
  • His hometown Nazareth but was rejected (Matthew 13)
  • On the shore, right off the boat when He fed the 5,000 (Matthew 14)
  • Gennesaret - all the people had to do was touch his garment and they were made well! (Matthew 14 ESV)
  • Beside the Sea of Galilee and up the mountain - where He fed the 4,000 (Matthew 15)
  • Galilee and Capernaum (Matthew 17)
  • Judea - let the little children come (Matthew 19)
  • Jericho - blind men (Matthew 20)
  • Mount of Olives - "And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.”  (Matthew 21:9-11 ESV)

I can imagine sitting on the side of the mountain, listening to Jesus. Or running after Jesus, reaching out for a piece of His robe. Or maybe cooking for Him and washing His dishes. Oh my! I can imagine doing all of this. My favorite thing of all, going out and finding Him in the coolness of the morning. Sneaking up on Him as he talked to His Father. And He would see me out of the corner of His eye and smile and I would know all was well.


New Creation

>> Friday, June 29, 2012

One day while on the beach, there was a whole area of broken shells.  We walked on them and it didn't hurt our feet at all.  They were soft from who knows how many centuries of being in the ocean, smoothed out by the water.

This morning, my second full day at home from one of my most perfect vacations ever, I read this verse:

"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; He rescues those who are crushed in spirit." - Psalm 34:18

It had so much more meaning to me after my time at the beach.  Mari found a couple pieces of green sea glass.  We also found lots of small pieces of smooth, broken shells.  Funny thing is, the first couple of days, they really didn't draw our attention.  It was the big, intact conch shells that we ran for, like Mari found in this picture.  Now that was a find!

The first day we picked up everything.  The second day we were more discerning.  After that, we wanted shells that had character, especially if they were worn and cracked.  These shells had a story.

The day before we went home, Laura, Mari, and I went once again down the shore and the big shells weren't there but tiny ones were.  They were almost like sea glass.  Shells worn by the tide.  So very smooth and beautiful.

My eyes were drawn to those tiny beauties.  I could relate to their struggles.  Beaten.  Worn.  But they held on.  Because of their adversities, they came out of their trials glorious!  The three of us bent down and picked them up lovingly, one at a time.  Once in a while, we would show our find to the other two, so proud.

I even thought of God doing that for us.  Bending down and picking us up one at a time.  So many of us yet He cares so much for each and every one.  I can see Him smiling and saying, "Just look at her.  I'm so proud.  She's growing even though..."

I can see Him bending down and plucking one out of an enormous wave that threatens to destroy...just in time.  I can see Him crying because of the fires in Colorado and yet...He smiles because of the few that are turning their hearts to their Creator.

"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; He rescues those who are crushed in spirit." - Psalm 34:18

Mari and I took quite a few shells home with us.  They didn't get crushed in the process because they've already been through the trials.  They're strong.  We both have plans for ours, to put them together somehow, to create a brand new piece to share with others.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. - 2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV

The old ways are in the past and I don't miss them at all.  I love the new creation that I am and every day I grow and mature and become more smooth and colorful as the storms of life teach me to look up always.  


Will You Meet Me Here?

>> Monday, June 25, 2012

Monday morning I woke up early and went for a walk while everyone else slept.  I donned my tennis shoes and took off to parts slightly known.  I went to the dock and watched the sights for a bit.  It was pretty.  It was okay.  Just okay.

I then took off into the neighborhood but the sea called me.  I was drawn to the beach.  I took off my tennis shoes and sat on the steps and watched a bit but I couldn't stop there.  I had to go down into the sand and then into the water.  I walked down the shore.  I'm not sure how far.  Walks on the beach doesn't seem a chore like it is walking down our barren country road with corn and beans on each side of me.

The waves lapped up onto my bare feet.  I kept hearing God say to me

Will you meet me here?  

Yes, Lord, I'm here.

Just be, Laury.  Just walk.  See?  There's no shells in your way to distract you.  Look at My Majesty.  Enjoy the waves.  The whitecaps.  The sea salt in the air.  Just be.

I held out my arms and felt the wind.  I praised and worshiped Him.  It was wondrous.

I soon discovered it was easy to keep walking with the wind at my back.  When I turned back around, the sea sprayed at me and the rain had started to come down pretty good.

I had my tennis shoes so I stuffed them with my cell phone and camera to keep them dry and I walked the half mile back to the house barefoot.  Even that was refreshing.  It was a good morning.

I'm so glad I listened to God and followed His voice through the mighty ocean roar.  No still small voice today.

Will you meet Him where you are?


Thoughts from the Shore from the Joe Blog

>> Friday, June 22, 2012

I posted on the Jewels of Encouragement blog today from Sunny Florida.  My Thoughts from the Shore.


I'll be sharing more on my own blog.  Lots I'm learning from God's glory and majesty from the ocean.  It's beautiful here!


Bring the Rain!

>> Saturday, June 16, 2012

Here in Central Illinois, we need the rain BAD.  You see the corn in the picture?  The stalks are curling up.  My husband said that it's trying to protect itself from the sun.  There's only so much it can do, though before it gets burnt.  What it needs is a good soaking rain and then some more.

That's what I do too, when I'm in a dry spell in my walk with the Lord.  I close myself up.  I shield myself from getting hurt.

This corn is begging to be watered though.  The stalks are reaching toward heaven.  When I stood beside the field taking these pictures, I could hear the stalks rubbing together making their own music.  "Please bring the rain," they plead in unison.  "Please bring the rain."

I suppose I plead the same thing yet I'm in control.  Duh.  Open the Book.  Pray.  Listen.  Summers are my very hardest times emotionally for some odd reason.  You would think it would be the best because I don't work.  I have all this free time but...no.  I'm not disciplined enough to handle it and I spiral down into a free fall.

And then I give in to the physical pain that seeks to bring me down all the school year.  It knocks me flat and flat is where I usually end up staying.  Knowing this is how I am, I was ready this time.  I prayed that God would bring my rain.  And He did.

I'm volunteering at The Lighthouse Thrift Store a couple times a days a each week this summer.  That has brought so much joy into my life, you just can't imagine.  It has also taught me some new skills.  I've never used a cash register before.  Who said you can't teach old dogs new tricks?  So there!  :)  I've needed a woman to pour into my life, and God gave me that woman in Linda Kropp, the owner of the Lighthouse. She's just what I needed in this season of my life and I'm learning so much from her by watching her interact with customers and the volunteers and being part of her prayer circles.  She is a godly woman and I want to be like her when I grow up:)

I'm going off on an adventure next week with a small group of women friends to Florida.  That will be relaxing and fun.  God is so good to allow me to do this.  It was about five years ago now, I think, when Josh Janoski showed Mari and me that we COULD meet even though we were 2,000 miles away.  Since then, we've been doing just that.  The world is a small place to the younger generation  than it is to us, for sure.  Josh had to prove it to us and we learned he was right!  I'll be forever grateful to Josh and all he did for us!  And now he's married and a daddy.  I'm so proud of him!

And at the end of July, God has more travelling in store for me.  It's been a wonderful summer already.  Oh!  And I forgot about Special Touch Camp!  I've also done quite a bit of writing, editing and lots of reading!

God is good.  I'm excited for this summer and I certainly don't want to think about the dreaded 's' word!  Not yet anyway.  I'll be ready to go back when it's time but not yet.  For now, I'm enjoying each day as it comes, whatever God has in store for me.  Each one is unique.  I love that!

Meanwhile, I'm praying that God brings that physical rain.  We do
need it bad.  And I can always use more spiritual rain to fall.  Fall on us all, Holy Spirit.

"You heavens above, rain down righteousness; let the clouds shower it down. Let the earth open wide, let salvation spring up, let righteousness grow with it; I, the LORD, have created it."  NIV

P.S.  Thank You God, for bringing the rain only a few hours after I wrote this blog!


Elizabeth Mary Anderson and Her Mama

>> Friday, June 8, 2012

This story got knocked out of the running for the topic, Current Events, this week.  Just a second too late.  Sad, huh?  So I'm sharing it here today.  I happened to catch a news story on Good Morning America yesterday that gave me the idea.  I wasn't even going to write an entry but it got me awake and my mind moving.  Parents and graduates were getting in major trouble for cheering excessively at graduation.  Can you imagination?  They were being fined, jailed, and some given community service.  Just crazy!  

Another idea I was going to write about was this new law about putting your dog in seat belts.  Another stiff fine if it's not done.  In many cases, it's a higher fine than if your children aren't buckled up.  Again, CRAZY!!  

Here's my story that was born from GMA and written two hours before it was due.  

Elizabeth Mary Anderson and Her Mama

My dad, he ain’t been in my life.  Just me and Mama struggled through.  She a good mama too.  There were days I didn’t want to get out of bed for school but Mama made me.  She even pulled the mattress out from under me one time.  I came up cussing and she ran and got the soap.  I ate a bar of Ivory for breakfast that day.  My sophomore year, she caught me running with a gang and I didn’t run nowhere for a month.  That ole gang, they scared of my mama after that.  She called their mama’s too.  There were lots of full pews in church that next Sunday.  I sure did feel holes burning in the backa my head though.

We did it!  Me and my momma.  It was a hard four years but she pulled and pushed me through high school.  Every night she stood over me while I did homework. 

Mama say, “Edu-cation important, Lissibeth.  You gonna make sumpin of youself if it kill both of us.”

Sometimes it did just that.  I felt murdered one hundred times over.  Mama a slave driver.  Weren’t no tv in our house.  No cable.  No computer.  I go to the library and work for hours and when I got home, Mama, she be home from work by then and have a meal ready for me then she make me read books, like To Kill a Mockingbird.  She say they good for me.

Mama don’t read.  She never learned.  Don’t know why.  She smart. When my homework done, I bring out Dr. Seuss and she read The Cat in the Hat.  She embarrassed but she also proud.  Proud I want to teach her.  Proud I’m not ashamed of her.   I would never ever be ashamed of Mama.  She my Rock. 

At night she ‘read’ the Bible to me.  It was years before I found out she wasn’t really reading it. Many parts she had memorized and others, she told the stories.   She sat in her rocking chair and the words spilled out.  I closed my eyes and pretended like I was right there.  Sometimes though, I be so tired, I fell asleep, then I felt Mama’s wrath.  She whacked me on the head and I sat up straight again and she picked up where she left off.  We both worked hard but Mama worked way harder. 

After I went to sleep, she stayed up and cleaned our little apartment.  I heard her working on her words in the book too.  I always left my homework out on our little kitchen table.  She opened it up and looked at it then I heard her pray over it every single night.  And she prayed for me.  My mama, she special.  I sure love my mama. 

So today, you see, is special for both of us.  We’re both up early.  She ironing my graduation gown and my dress I’m wearing underneath.  We searched every thrift store in Chicago looking for the perfect one.  We had so much fun.  I never saw Mama giggle like I did that day.  It like she graduating instead of me.  Wish she could stand up there with me.  I’d let her if she could.  She did it with me. 

“Lissie!  Getting’ late.  Getta move on!”

That my mama.  She just a little bit excited.  I gathered up my things.  It was time to get to the L for our trip to the school.

“Mama,” I had to talk loud above the other excited voices on the train.  “Remember, there’s no loud cheering when I walk across the stage.”

She just looked at me. 

“Said they enforcing it this year.  They mean it.”

Mama grinned.   She’s so excited.  I can’t take this away from her.  This her graduation as much as it is mine.  If it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t be here.  I leaned over and kissed her on the cheek.  “I love you, Mama.  Thank you for everything.”

She smiled a big white toothy grin.  That’s my mama.

Elizabeth Mary Anderson

And she did it.  Sweet Mama stood and hooted.  She hollered.  She whistled. 

The school…they good on their word.

My sweet mama.  She taken away in handcuffs.  

Her crime:   She too loud. 

Really?  My Mama?

I demanded handcuffs on me too. 

We in jail right now.  She teach me my about civil rights and the greats like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr…    

Mama always say school never ends.

I  love my mama. 


Author’s Note:


Stand UP! Summer Series.. #1 Even if...

>> Tuesday, May 22, 2012

**There is an error in this post that a good friend found and quickly and told me.  I decided not to fix it though.  Whoever is the first to tell me in a comment, I will send a bag of Starbucks Decaffeinated Espresso Whole Beans to you.  Leave me your address and I'll gladly send you a bag of fresh yummy beans.  mmmmm....:)**  -- Vonnie Blake wins and I'll send her a bag of beans and now I'm going to fix my post.  Thanks, Mari:)

School's out!  First day of summer vacation!  Ahhhh!  I've got things on my mind. A Bible to study. Words to write.  Books to read.    A house to clean.  A garden to weed.  Appointments to make.  A pool to swim in.  Our kids to visit.  Garage sales to find.
For now though, I need to go back to things on my mind; A Bible to study; and words to write.

When I was at school, I watched the kids make choices.  Not always good ones.  Peer pressure is awful.  Much different than when I was in school.  When I walked down the halls some days in the past six years, I felt like a high school student, too.  Funny, huh?  Some of the 'popular' kids reduced me to feeling like a lowly freshman with toilet paper trailing from my shoe.  It wasn't them though.  They did nothing to me.  They didn't even realize I felt like that.  It was just something left-over from my teenage days.  Once I got to know them, they were as nice as could be even.  There's just something about high school that makes you forget who you are and what you believe and then...on the other hand...it makes you want to stand up and say -- HEY!  That's not right!

I don't even want to go political here because I'm so not politically minded but there is coming a time when we all are going to have to perk up and listen and see what's going on in this world of ours.  In order to get ready for days to come, I want to study courageous people throughout history.  I may choose from the Bible, or missionaries, or others from history.  This will be my new series for the summer.  I'm sure glad God gave me this idea.

My first 'person of interest' is Daniel, and of course we can't forget his good friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego .  Last Sunday, our children from church did a musical called, That's So Daniel'.  They, along with our pastors, did a fantastic job.  All throughout history and even now, people are having to stand up for what they believe.  We live in a cushy society here in the U.S. where we don't have to.  We think everything should be equal.  The Bible can't surely mean THAT!

Funny thing is, the Bible says we should strive to be like Jesus, and Jesus went to the cross for us.  That was the most politically incorrect thing He could have ever done.

Daniel and the guys, when told to eat the King's best food and wine - refused.  They ate only what wouldn't go against their principles.

When Daniel and his friends were told to serve King Nebuchadnezzar's gods and worship the image of gold,  this is what they said:

“King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and He will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if He does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” -- Daniel 3:16-17

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego got thrown into the furnace and lived another day.  Then Daniel experienced government corruption and jealousy and was thrown in with the lions.  

"Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators... by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. At this, the administrators...tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent. Finally these men said, “We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.” Daniel 6:1-5

Daniel was upright and just.  They couldn't find one thing against him.  Not one thing could be found on Google to bring him down.  

"So these administrators...went as a group to the king and said: “May King Darius live forever! The royal administrators... have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or human being during the next thirty days, except to you, Your Majesty, shall be thrown into the lions’ den." Daniel 6:6-7

So that's what happened.  The King didn't think about his friend Daniel and when Daniel heard about the edict, he didn't run away scared.  He didn't pray in his closet.  This is what he did:

"Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before."  Daniel 6:10

 Lo and behold, look who comes tattling...

“Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, Your Majesty, or to the decree you put in writing. He still prays three times a day.” -- Daniel 6:13

The King had to follow through with what he said.  It was all about saving face.  Daniel got thrown into that den of lions but when the King came back the next morning, Daniel was still alive.  Again, a miracle.  Daniel was an upstanding man of God and because of that, the King did this:

“I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must 
fear and reverence the God of Daniel.

“For He is the living God 
and He endures forever; 
His kingdom will not be destroyed,
His dominion will never end. 
He rescues and He saves; 
He performs signs and wonders 
in the heavens and on the earth.
He has rescued Daniel
from the power of the lions.” 
Daniel 6:26-27

I want to be upstanding. 
I want to feel the lions breath, not its teeth.  I want to see the flames but not feel them.  

I want to stand true to the precepts of God but how do we know what they are?  We study God's Word, the Bible and, many times, we feel what's right in our spirit, what is true and what is false.  We ask for others who are strong in their faith to mentor us.  We find a Biblically sound church to grab hold of and become a part so that we can mature in the Lord.

And just as Daniel said in Daniel 3:18 "But even if (God doesn't deliver me from whatever) I want you to know, Your Majesty, that I will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” 

and I hope to be able to always say -- 

"But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15

Stand Up!  Summer Series
#1 Daniel - Even if...



>> Friday, May 18, 2012

We have our very first garden.  So far - no weeds!  We also have some stripped plants and some awfully content bunnies.  Grrrr!

Our very first hummingbird came to visit our feeder.  My mom bought it for me two years ago for my birthday, which is in August, so it didn't get put out then.  I forgot about it last year so this year was its maiden voyage.  I couldn't believe we had a bird come so fast!  How do they know?  Will it go tell its friends?  :)  Hope so!  I have it outside my kitchen window and have seen it twice, both times without my phone to take a picture.

I have one more day until school's out!  Ahhhh.... I'm very happy about that.  I'll be going to Special Touch Camp the day after Memorial Day.  Happy about that too!  I need to figure out some goals for the summer to keep me moving forward.  But first...a little rest.  School was rough.

Well, it's been a long time since I've blogged and this is very lame but - it is what it is but at least it's a beginning again.  So, to recap:

*One last day of school to go!
*Our very first garden, which the bunnies are feasting on.
*Our very first hummingbird:)
*Special Touch Camp coming the end of May!
*I need to set goals for myself for the summer to keep some umph...
*June has some surprises of it's own.  Can't wait.  But first...  I will live one day at a time and live it to the fullest!



>> Thursday, February 23, 2012

Pictures say a thousand words, but this picture doesn't say it all. This guy is done for, or so it seems, but I would venture to say he got up after that punch and carried on and won a good many more matches, but just not this one. Just like this man, we need to go on when life knocks us down.

"We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed." 2 Corinthians 4:8,9 NIV)

I've been knocked down by sucker punches, same as you, and I've been laid out just like that man above but more often than not, I've been curled up in the fetal position with lots of tears. Mine have come mostly because of health issues but some because of misunderstandings and emotional junk, and I won't even go into everything about work.  It's all part of being a middle-aged woman.  It's part of the journey.  And sad to say, I've thrown my share of punches at people I love.  Hate that.

Know what?  I don't have any answers except to hold on tight.  The journey is bumpy and curvy and roller coaster-ish.  The key is to stay focused on Jesus and when you lose that focus, try to gain it again ASAP!  Living life in the late 40's is like going through puberty all over again except backwards.  We seem to regress. I am not kidding!  And for all of you young'uns, maybe there will be a 'cure' for it before you have to go through what all of us are going through or have gone through.

Once you get to the other side, I hear it's wonderful.  :)  No, not Heaven -  Life after menopause.  I can't wait!  Until then, I try to maintain my focus and not drive my husband insane (and my friends) but nine times out of ten, that doesn't happen.  The others must learn to see the signs and run, because obviously I haven't learned yet.  My mouth spills out venom at the ones I love.  I become someone I'm not.  I don't understand and I don't even like to be around me.

Life is very hard whether or not you have chronic pain.  It's hard even if you aren't going through pre-menopause or have to be around a friend who is.  Sometimes we can be found laid out after some hard punches.

Lay there for a bit.
Feel God's healing power.
Let your friends lift you up.
Gain your focus again and do what God has for you to do.  No matter what.

We can be knocked down but we don't have to stay down.

And remember this verse because times will only get harder.

"We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed." 2 Corinthians 4:8,9 NIV)

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