Friday, October 30, 2009

Our Daily Bread: How to Help Those Who Hurt

This is the October 20th daily devotion from Our Daily Bread. If you are not familiar with this devotional, I highly suggest you take a look.

When I have asked suffering people, “Who helped you?” not one person has mentioned a PhD from a prestigious seminary or a famous philosopher. All of us have the same capacity to help those who hurt.

No one can package or bottle the “appropriate” response to suffering. If you go to the sufferers themselves, some will recall a friend who cheerily helped distract them from their illness. Others think such an approach insulting. Some want honest, straightforward talk; others find such discussion unbearably depressing.

There is no magic cure for a person in pain. Mainly, such a person needs love, for love instinctively detects what is needed. Jean Vanier, who founded the L’Arche movement for the developmentally disabled, says: “Wounded people who have been broken by suffering and sickness ask for only one thing: a heart that loves and commits itself to them, a heart full of hope for them.”

Such a love may be painful for us. But real love, the apostle Paul reminds us, “Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Cor. 13:7).

As is so often His pattern, God uses very ordinary people to bring about His healing. Those who suffer don’t need our knowledge and wisdom, they need our love. — Philip Yancey

O brother man, fold to thy heart thy brother!
Where pity dwells, the peace of God is there;
To worship rightly is to love each other,
Each smile a hymn, each kindly deed a prayer. —Whittier

They do not truly love who do not show their love. —Shakespeare

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tears

Your tears aren't unnoticed...

Psalm 56:8 Record my lament; list my tears on your scroll - are they not in your record?

2 Kings 20:5 "I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you."

Jeremiah 30:11,17 "I am with you and will save you," declares the Lord.
"I will restore you to health and heal your wounds."

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Excerpt: When Life Takes What Matters 2

Here are two quotes from the book:

WHEN LIFE TAKES WHAT MATTERS    When Life Takes What Matters by Susan Lenzkes
Sometimes we need to ask the questions "how?".
"How, Lord, are You going to bring good for me and glory for You out of all of this?"
God's results are not limited by His raw materials! He works - first in me, then around me.
Our first response to interrupted expectations is "why". I love how this book reminds us that our next needs to be "how". We need to be always looking for where God wants to use our story.

Is God asking you to share your interrupted expectation with someone who is hurting?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Trials Will Come

I Peter 4: 12-13, 19 TLB

12-13 Dear friends, don't be bewildered or surprised when you go through the fiery trials ahead, for this is no strange, unusual thing that is going to happen to you. Instead, be really glad - because these trials will make you partners with Christ in his suffering, and afterwards you will have the wonderful joy of sharing his glory in that coming day when it will be displayed...

19 So if you are suffering according to God's will, keep on doing what is right and trust yourself to the God who made you, for he will never fail you.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Good Purpose

Philippians 2:12-13

12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,
13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

After looking at a blog that I follow called Monkey See Monkey Do , I learned that yesterday was Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance. October 15th of every year is a day "to promote Support, Education and Awareness for grieving parents nationwide (and worldwide)."

Remembering Our Babies Foundation's goal is to "help others relate to our loss, know what to say, do or not say, not do and to help families live with their loss, not "get over" their loss." Their objective is to "give parents one day to openly remember, as parents NEVER forget."

Everyone is invited to light a candle for the "Wave of Light" at 7 p.m. in all timezones all over the world in remembrance of babies who are now in Jesus' arms.

Various states also have different activities and information is posted on a site concerning dates and places.

I am going to be looking over the site's website more as I see that there is a wealth of information available.

To all of you who have had a miscarriage or lost a baby, God bless you.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

This Side of Heaven cont.

956787: This Side of Heaven


Here is another excerpt from the book This Side of Heaven

"Grandpa Ted told me sometimes things don't go the way we want this side of heaven."
"That's true.... This side of heaven can be pretty sad sometimes."
"So here's what I want to know.... How do I get to that side of heaven?"
"If only there were a wak to make it happen."
"Grandpa Ted said there was.... He told me if I loved Jesus, then one day I'd go to heaven, too. So, then I'd be on that side with my daddy."

Praise God that this is not the end!

View this book at: Amazon or www.christianbook.com

Monday, October 12, 2009

This Side of Heaven

956787: This Side of Heaven


I just finished reading a newer book by one of my favorite authors - Karen Kingsbury. Whenever I start a new book, I ignore the back synopsis because I don't want to know anything about the plot of the book.

This Side of Heaven threw me for a loop. What I wasn't expecting was so much wisdom on life's interrupted expectations.

"Wondering is part of life. As long as it doesn't keep you from living."

Why is it that we spend so much time wondering that we can actually stop living. The "what if's" of life can strangle healing. This quote goes right along with the book of Job in the Bible. Ask God why, but don't stop living.

View at: Amazon or www.christianbook.com

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Guest Post: Back in Time?

Motherhood is hard. Especially when you are knee deep in diapers and timeouts. I have talked in the past about how being a Mom might just well be your "Interrupted Expectations". In fact it isn't what you thought it was going to be. Quite frankly, if you had to do it all over again, you would maybe think twice.

A dear friend of mine, wrote this wonderful post on her blog Yes, and So is My Heart. I encourage you to let her wisdom sink in by remembering and dwelling on those sweet moments.


Back in Time?
A few weeks ago, my sweet four year old, Ann, asked me something about what age I'd like to be once more. I thought about it and decided I wouldn't really like to be any other age as I like where I'm at right now.

Later that night, I started thinking some more I realized there is a time in life I wouldn't mind reliving if just for a bit. I wish I could take back the first four months of Ann's life.

Ann pretty much destroyed my hopes of what life with a newborn would be like. She wasn't the type of baby who slept away the first two weeks and then got just a bit fussy. No, she fussed from day four which was conveniently the day we got to bring her home from the hospital. In fact, she fussed the whole way home from the hospital.

As new parents, we spent most of those first months just figuring out exactly what it meant to be parents. (We're still doing that.) I can remember laying Ann on the floor and lying beside her as I played a lullaby CD very loudly in the hopes that it would somehow drown out her incessant screaming.

Another time, I recall putting Ann safely into her crib and heading out to the front stoop where I called my friend long distance and told her that "I didn't really like this mommy thing." She understood and told me that it was just fine to sit outside for ten minutes and get a breather from all the crying. She was right and I felt much better upon returning inside the house.

I could tell you stories of how I paced from the front door to the back door and counted how many times I would do this in the hope that Ann would fall asleep or at least stop crying.

I invented errand after errand because I knew she would fall asleep in the car and I could enjoy just a bit of peace and quiet. (Good thing gas was a bit cheaper four years ago.)

As I recall those days, I think of all the time and energy I spent fretting about something not being right with our parenting or worse, something not being right with our sweet baby.

Nearly five years later, Ann is incredibly smart and unbelievably strong. (I know all parents think that about their offspring, but with her it is absolutely true!) Sure, she has her moments and can be less than loving to her brother and sister, but I wouldn't trade her for the world. In other words, Ann is just fine and so are we.

As I thought about that time in our lives and how I wish I had savored it a bit more, I don't have regret so much as a realization that I could have enjoyed that time so much more if only I'd known. Isn't hindsight a tricky thing?
I'm at a similar point right now. In all my five years of parenting, I'm in the midst of one of the hardest times yet, but not because of anything terribly tragic. (Does that even make sense?) Rather, it is the daily challenges that make me weary. We almost always have some sort of meltdown before 8 in the morning. One of our children doesn't sleep well so we haven't actually slept through the night in more than three years. Our house is in a constant state of disarray and sometimes destruction despite our best efforts. Our children sometimes show no signs of the effort we take to train them and instill godly character traits in them. I worry when I see them be the bullies on the playground or in the play place. The list could go on and on and on...

Still, there is a place deep inside of me that knows that one day I would probably gladly take back the sleepless nights, tempter tantrums, potty training, diaper explosions and the rest of it, if only to rock my babies just one more time.

So, I'll continue to count my blessings (even the ones that wake me in the middle of the night) and I'll try to look beyond the everyday challenges and see how I can be a blessing to those I love both inside and outside of my home. It might not be easy, but then again, nothing worth doing usually is...

Visit Lizz's blog for other stories of raising three - 3 years and 2 months apart!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Call Out

Call out to God just as David did.

Psalm 142:1-2 (New International Version)

A maskil of David. When he was in the cave. A prayer.

1 I cry aloud to the LORD;
I lift up my voice to the LORD for mercy.
2 I pour out my complaint before him;
before him I tell my trouble.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Intercessor

Jesus is our intercessor

Job 16:19-21 (New International Version)

19 Even now my witness is in heaven;
my advocate is on high.

20 My intercessor is my friend
as my eyes pour out tears to God;

21 on behalf of a man he pleads with God
as a man pleads for his friend.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Excerpt: When Life Takes What Matters

Here is an excerpt from the book:
WHEN LIFE TAKES WHAT MATTERS    When Life Takes What Matters

And what about life's land-mine losses? These are the explosions we never expected, didn't deserve, and couldn't prevent. They rip our world apart, leaving gaping holes where something, or someone, important used to be. They strike at our foundation and leave us lonely, lost, frightened, angry, insecure, and needy.
How do we deal with these, life's worst kind of losses?

If we're wise, we treat them with tenderness, patience and God's help. We are hurting because we have serious wounds that need healing. And healing takes time. It also takes cooperation with God.

He whose hand formed us knows how to put us back together when life's losses have left us in pieces. Whether we are being pruned, tested, or have simply been caught in the rain that "falls on the just and the unjust," He will bring us through. He is the great Healer. He is unequaled at creating something from nothing. He even knows how to bring life from death. So certainly we can trust Him with our pain, our loss, our brokenness, our very lives.

Perhaps too it will help to realize that we are more practiced in dealing with loss than we know. After all, we've made it this far.