Saturday, April 23, 2011

Today in (Personal) history

Most years, April 23 has been a typical day on the calendar: special in its own way, but nothing noteworthy. Yet, more than any other date, today is the anniversary of painful events in my life.

Twenty-three years ago today would have been my wedding day had I not realized two month before that if I married this guy, I would end up either dead, in a hospital, or in a battered women’s shelter. That is not what I looked forward to in a marriage. I broke off the wedding and four years later, married someone else.

Last year, on this date, I found evidence of my husband’s affair. After a week of research, prayer, and the advice of wise friends, I confronted him and learned he had known her for two years.

I find it appropriate that this anniversary falls on the Saturday of Holy Week, the time between celebrating the Death of Christ on Good Friday, and His Resurrection on Easter Sunday. That is exactly what this day means in my life.

Although I broke off the relationship two months before the wedding, April 23 is a day that reminds me of the chapter in my life in which my Good Friday was followed by the Easter of freedom, recovery and growth. Likewise, the pain of learning of my husband’s betrayal has been the Good Friday of another chapter in my life in which God has used evil circumstances to draw me closer to Him. With each of these events, God has given me a new start, a New Life, and a better understanding of who He wants me to become.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Can God Forget?

Hebrews 10:17 "And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more."

How can an all-knowing God forget our sins and iniquities?

As I lay in bed confessing my unforgiveness to certain people for certain things, the fact became obvious that in order to forgive, I must heal from the hurt of their actions, but in order to heal from the hurt, I must forgive. Somewhere in the cycle, I must choose to do both.

Sin greives God more than other people's actions and words greive us. Sin so greives God that He cannot stand to be in its presence. Yet He loves us and wants us to be in fellowship with Him. For this reason, He sent His Son to pay for our sins, to wash them white with His Blood.

It is when we confess our sins and fall under the umbrella of Christ's Blood that God will choose to not remember our sins and iniquities, to not hold them against us. The price for these sins has been paid through His Love, His Sacriface through His Son.

Eternal Salvation is available the first time we confess and ask God to be the center of our lives. Sanctification comes on a daily, sometimes minute-by-minute basis as we recognize our sins and confess them, turning from them to live our lives God's way rather than our own. It is then that God "remembers them no more."

Please go to Vonnie's blog at My Back Door to read more Monday Manna entries. Every Monday, either Vonnie or Joanne will host as we all share our thoughts on a verse posted on Thursday.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Letters to the Tooth Fairy

Welcome to Friday Fiction. Joanne is hosting at An Open Book, so after reading mine, go to her blog for more great fiction. This story is based on letters to and from my son.

Dear Tooth Fairy,
Tomorrow is Easter. If you run into the Easter Bunny, will I get candy money for my tooth?

Dear Bobby,
The Easter Bunny and I are good friends, but I disagree with him giving so much candy to children. I left you real money.
The Tooth Fairy

Dear Tooth Fairy,
Why do you collect teeth? Bobby

Dear Bobby,
Why do you collect bookmarks?
The Tooth Fairy

Dear Tooth Fairy,
What is your real name? Bobby

Dear Bobby,
My real name is Latin. It is Dentis Mediocris, but my friends all call me Tooth Fairy. Remember to brush your teeth twice a day.
Dentis Mediocris (The Tooth Fairy)

Dear Tooth Fairy,
What do you do with all the teeth you collect? Bobby

Dear Bobby,
I don’t usually answer this question, but since you are into science, I think you will understand. I work for a scientist with the Dental Association. We use the teeth I collect to help dentists learn how to better help you keep your teeth healthy. Keep brushing and flossing!
The Tooth Fairy

Dear Easter Bunny,
Please bring me a new tooth brush with my candy. Thanks. Bobby

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Healing Begins

The purpose of Monday Manna to get together and get to know Christ more through His Word. Each Thursday, a Bible verse to ponder will be posted, either at JoAnne's blog An Open Book, or at Vonnie's blog, My Back Door. The following Monday, those participating will post their thoughts on the verse at their own blogs and link up at the bottom of the post in the Linky gadget. The main purpose is to chew on the same Scripture and learn from one another. After reading my post, please go to An Open Door and read the other Monday Manna entries. Feel free to join the fun.

Here's this week's verse.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. Romans 8:26 NIV

I experienced a time this summer where I could not pray. I knew that the knowldedge I had just gained, the confrontation ahead of me would change my life forever. I did not know how to pray, to even express what I was feeling. Did I want this change? Was it for the best? I knew I could no longer ignore the inevitable.

As I lay in bed in the wee hours of the morning, trying to pray, too hurt to even groan, two lines of a song kept going through my head. I could not think of any other words of the chorus, let alone any of the verses. When I got in my van to go to work the next morning, the radio was playing that same song, and I turned it on as those two lines played. "This is where the healing starts, this is where the healing begins." I knew that song was God's answer to my prayer that I was unable to pray.

Monday, February 28, 2011

"Thou hast enlarged my steps under me,
that my feet did not slip."
Psalm 18:36 (KJV)

Someone recently explianed to me the difference in types of martial arts. While karate and Tae Kwon Do are about kicking and blocking, but Judo is about having a firm stance and using the opponent's momentum against them. He continued by saying that in the 6 months that he has known me, he has seen me move from cowering in a corner to taking a Judo stance in facing painful situaiton.

This change is not of my own doing. It is my dependence on God during this time of trial that he is witnessing. As I rely more and more on Him, I have grown in many ways, and having a firm stance, enlarged steps that my feet will not slip, is only evidence of His Grace and Mercy towards me.

After leaving a comment, please go to Vonnie's blog, My Back Door, and read other Monday Manna blogs.

Monday, February 21, 2011

"Come Talk to Me"

The purpose of Monday Manna to get together and get to know Christ more through His Word. The main purpose is to chew on the same Scripture and learn from one another. This week's verse is:

My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my
heart responds,“Lord, I am coming.” Psalm 27:8 (NLT)

But my heart and my actions do not always follow this desire. I have often lamented that I do not spend the time with God that I desire to spend with Him, the time that I know I should spend with Him. I go through spurts where I either read my Bible and neglect to pray, or I pray and neglect to read my Bible.

I remember lamenting about this in small group once and the group leader told me that he viewed me as the type of person that lived with God as the focus of my life constantly and to not worry that I was not finding a set time of my day to spend with God. After all, my husband traveled four days of every week and I had two elementary boys at home. While I appreciated the compliment of how he viewed my spiritual walk, and I do desire for that to be true, I really did not and do not believe it can be without spending time in the Word.

Nor do I believe that it is possible without an active prayer life. In discussing our lack in the area of Spiritual Disciplines, another friend told me that another co-worker and I had been instrumental in her life in that we taught her that you a can pray anywhere, as she walked for exercise, as she drove a van full of preschoolers, doing housework While I feel this is an important part of my prayer life, an important part of my relationship with Him, an expression of intimacy with my Savior, I still desire a longer, unadulterated time with Him on a more regular basis.

Many times we tell people that we are praying for them, but then forget. We get so caught up in our own lives, our busy schedules. I have stopped telling my friends, especially online, that I am praying for their prayer concerns because I know that most of them I will forget to pray for. I pray for them when I read the concern but that may be the only time I pray for them or that concern. My friend Tammy recently posted about this on her Facebook status. She wrote:

“OK.... here is the skinny. From now on, if you ask us on FB
to pray.... I am gonna pray ON FACEBOOK for you! too many of us say "praying" and are we? Most likely not. So, I challenge each of you, if you say you are gonna pray.... PRAY... Where two or more are gathered!!”

I felt convicted by this because, like I said, I typically pray silently when I read the request, but forget to afterwards.

My heart would like to respond, “Lord, I am coming” but it does not always come. I have not yet arrived at a place in my spiritual walk where I can say that I consistently live my life in such a way that God is always at the center of my focus. But I do so welcome the invitation from God to “Come and talk with me.”

Please go to Joanne's blog An Open Book to read other Monday Manna entries.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Love is Not Selfish

"Be devoted to one another in brotherly love, Honor one another above yourselves" Romans 12:10

Going through a divorce has caused me to look more intently at myself in many areas, including my obedience to his verse. Am I really as self-centered and neglegent of others as my ex-husband says I am? Unfortunately, in many ways, I am. It is human nature, and with out God's help and a conscience effort to the contrary, I can be nothing else.

A broken marriage has tested my devotion to many things -- God, values, husband, kids. I do not always past these tests, but I am learning to lean on God which makes the rest of them easier (possible) as well.

Single parenting has taught me what it really means to "Honor one another above yourselves." I cannot encourage my sons to have a healthy relationship with their father if I am not honoring him in what I say about him. I cannot teach them to respect him if I am being disrespectful towards him.

Single parenting has also taught me a lot about self-sacrafice, about putting my sons above myself. It would be easy to take the attitude that they are now teens and can do a lot for themselves. After all, I am going to school and working to pay the bills. But I am not called to merely provide for them. I am called to love them, to raise them to be Christ-like. This takes self-sacrafice towards them and more importantly, towards Christ.

God can and does use the trials in our lives to help us grow, to help us to be more like Him. Showing His love to others is one way that He is working in my life through my circumstances.

Thanks for reading! Be sure to stop by Vonnie's blog for more Monday Manna - and to link up your own thoughts on this verse!