Friday, February 22, 2008

I'm going to let it all out!

So far, I don't think anyone is actually reading this blog, which is actually pretty ok with me. I'm just happy with getting a few of my favorite kitchen experiments down and organized! Today, I've cooked a lot, but I don't really feel like talking about it. Sometimes, life is more important than the food I'm making! So, I'm guess I'm going to get more personal than kooky recipes! Life feels like it's coming at me hard and fast today. We're learning about JOY in our Ladies Bible Study and today it's a real fight to find joy.
A passage that we studied this week keeps coming to mind. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 "We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed." I'm sure that seems dramatic to relate this to my life, but I feel like I do have troubles on every side. My grandparents' nursing home seems to be "after" my grandma. Now they're trying to accuse her of bruising my grandpa. I'm sure she did bruise him--he bruises like a peach...they're just old people. Why can't people accept that? They want to sedate her. That would crush me! I know my grandma prayers for me diligently every day! I need those prayers! My phone calls to her brighten my day as much as they do hers. Please, Lord, take her home to be with YOU, soon! I would miss her greatly, but her troubles on this earth would cease...
Another friend is losing her baby today. The word miscarriage seems so cold...her baby is going to be with Jesus. There's hope and despair, mingled. I wish I could just take this from her. I don't have any amazingly comforting words, only trust God, cling to your Savior.
Other people we know are fighting to save their marriages. Others are fighting depression. Some are battling diseases and cancers. It seems like there is despair on every side...
But 2 Corithians 4:10 goes on to say "Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies." I do want to glorify God in my life--even through my sufferings. It still seems heart breaking to tell these sisters and brothers in Christ that we're sharing in the death of Christ so others can see HIM in our lives.
But then there's more hope (just as God always gives hope!). The next few verses say, "13 But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, “I believed in God, so I spoke.”[c] 14 We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus,[d] will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you. 15 All of this is for your benefit. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory. 16 That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are[e] being renewed every day. 17 For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! 18 So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever."
I feel like giving up today. I want to go somewhere warm and the people aren't hurting. I know--that place doesn't exist here on earth! I'm longing for my Savior today! But here, I'm commanded not to give up! I need to keep sharing Christ and doing good to everyone, especially those in the household of faith--another passage tells me! These trials are "small" and won't last forever. (Although the pessimist in me knows the next trial is on the doorstep.) There is hope--when I fix my gaze "on things that cannot be seen"--a life forever with my Savior!
So, I'll keep going, but not in my strength--I'm clinging to Christ for His grace, His strength, His comfort, His peace, His encouragement... Colossians 1:11 says, "We also pray that you will be strengthened with all of HIS glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father..."
I want to be filled with endurance and patience and HIS glorious power! I also see how God gives me only what I can handle for the day--through HIS added strength. Although these trials are seemingly pressing in, my 3 children are being so sweet today! We have a really fun family night planned! I'm so thankful God has given me such a wonderful family! I can press on...I can have joy...I can keep trusting my Savior!

***Here's a touching little side note that has come out of one of these "trials" today: Unfortunately, Cloe is the only listener and conversationalist I have during the day, so sometimes she learns about a lot of grown-up problems. We dropped of a care package for my friend who lost her baby today. Cloe was wondering why Mommy's friend was "sick" and if we were going to catch it. I finally just explained to her that Mommy's friend had a baby who was in her tummy but the baby had died and went to be with Jesus. Of course, Cloe wanted to know if it was a boy or girl. I told her we didn't know. She said we could turn around and leave Carson with her if she needed a baby because Carson could still be a baby a lot of times (poor brother!). I told her we should just pray for mommy's friend and God would comfort her. Then Cloe said, "Mommy, when I grow up and get older but you're not dead yet..." Yes, Cloe... "If I have a baby in my tummy and it dies and go to be with Jesus, will you bring me a bag with soup and cookies, and oranges, and bread...just like your friend's. 'Cuz that will make me feel better." Yes, Cloe. Mommy will bring you all that and more! Father, I pray that my little girl won't ever have to experience the loss of a baby, but if that is Your plan for her life, I pray that I will be able to be there to encourage and love her! Thank you for giving her sensitivity to hurting people and a love for Your children!


Alisa said...

This may seem very strange - because you don't know me! But I'm friends with Abby and she forwarded me this wonderful blog and I've been checking it. You have wonderful recipes! Thanks for sharing! And thank you for your words today. They are so wise, discerning, and uplifting. The Lord always seems to bring along people who have just the words of comfort to say when you're needing them most. And thank you for caring for my friend so well. She is so special and it gives me joy to know of all the people who surround her!