EVERYTHING AND BALANCE

I have written anything for sometime now.  It has been hard. I thought that I was doing things that God wanted me to do.  I thought I had life figured out.  Find a job, write on the side. Get rid of all the extra junk that is cluttering my house.  I give away as much as I can.  But I am not a fan of Goodwill and am currently seeking a place that pretty much gives household items away without taking a huge profit. I know they say they help people, and perhaps they do; but their CEO’s make more in one year than the people they claim to help make in a lifetime. Like I said, I thought I had it all figured out.

Then this series at church happened: “LOVE UNLIMITED”. The pastor started talking about how we are supposed to love people with out regards of the consequences to ourselves.  He pointed out that if we believe that we are supposed to follow Jesus’ guide, then we love without regards to ourselves.  The series was wrapped up with the truth that we are supposed to turn everything over to Jesus, even our relationships, to include the one with HIM. After all, every thing, every relationship, every day is from God and we need to be good stewards of everything HE gives us.  EVERYTHING.

Right now, I am trusting God for healing I have so much to do not just those things I mentioned before, but I have so much communicating God’s LOVE, given through HIS word to people.  I have so much LOVE to show people and unused talents.  There is a new idea forming in my head, right now my health sucks. I am getting better it is just taking some time. But through all this I realized that if I focus just on me, then I am doing no better than I was before.  Oh sure, I need to take care of me, otherwise there will be no ME to do these things.

I am learning Balance the hard way.  I thought that I had it.  Maybe I did this last health issue is common and can strike anyone but mostly women.  Since I am praying and believing in healing, I don’t want to focus on the ailments, which I believe are all related, I don’t want to live my life as a …., I want to live my life as an active loving ministering Christian woman. Sure it takes time to heal, but while I am healing I can still share Jesus with whomever will listen. Once healed, I can move on having learned balance (hopefully) and be a true doer for the KINGDOM of God.

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.

Acts 20:24 NIV

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Mother’s Day can be SAD

I am mother who really doesn’t care for Mother’s Day.  Before bad stuff happened on Mother’s day, it was this day that I ran around making sure everyone had a good day.  Before I worked hard to emphasize it, Mother’s day was forgotten.

I would feel bad and then in turn try to make my family feel guilty.   See I was the kid who got up early when I was very young and tried to make mom breakfast in bed, or bake her a cake.  So when my family forgot, I felt cheated.

The next step was to remind them constantly that Mother’s Day is coming.  I remember one year when the first person to say “Happy Mother’s Day” to me was the head usher at church. That was ugly.

After that I pulled the let’s try super hard to make everyone have a good day.  But then I felt cheated because Mother’s Day is supposed to be celebrating mom – not seeing her be “Super Martha”  Mother’s Day is supposed to be “Super Mary”.

Then I kinda gave up on it.  Just let it be.  Shortly after that, I thought this year, I  am planning something big for Mother’s Day.  We will go to a resort hotel in Omaha.  I had made reservations.  We could go swimming and watch our favorite movies. See I had been trying to finish up my degree that year and was super focused on getting it finished. I wanted to make it up to them.

While I was trying to get in touch with my son, to bring him home so we could take off; he was busy being arrested.  The next year, my Grandmother died.  The year after that there was a huge riot at the jail where my son was staying.  He wasn’t involved it was a different unit. It still affected us.  The jail was locked down for almost 90 days and no visitors.  Phone calls only every other day and letters were delivered once a week for a short time. It was awful.

The last couple of years, my husband and my other son have worked very hard.  They try to help me forget my one son is in jail and my grandmother died on this day. They are trying to make up for years of neglecting Mother’s Day.  It is sweet, but the sadness is still there.

This year, I told them instead of buying me presents, just take me shopping so I can buy a few things for myself that I have been meaning to buy.  Since I hate to shop it is the perfect gift.  Because taking me shopping is the ultimate sacrifice. They keep me calm while I buy things for myself. I buy stuff for them all the time.

There are others that hate Mother’s Day as well.  Those who have lost a child either physically or to drugs and alcohol.  Some lost children due to disease, some sort of accident, or worse because some war. Some lost their children due to their own mistakes (which doesn’t mean it does not hurt thinking about children that they do not know where they are and cannot hold). Some like me have children in prison. There are ones that are trying to be a mother and seeing everyone with children makes them sad. Or the ones that had a miscarriage.

If your parents are still alive, cherish your mom.  That is another thing I have against Mother’s day. My mom is growing senile, lives 1100 miles away, and won’t answer her phone. She thinks the government is out to get her through her phone. Don’t take those mother/child relationships for granted.  If you are angry at your mom today is the day to fix it. There might come a day when you can’t talk to her. She might be senile, or worse dead. She might come up missing. She may someday forget who you are. She might be in a foreign country being held hostage.  She might be deployed in an area where communication is not allowed. (the same is true of children) We just don’t know what can happen.  Don’t wait for Mother’s Day or Father’s day to cherish your parent.

Heroes and Christians are ordinary people

I am always talking about being a good example for Christ.  But does that mean you don’t have bad days?  No Christians have bad days.  Bad things happen to Christians as well.

Think about all the hero stories, the hero has bad things happen to them all the time.  Think about it. Indie almost always gets captured, Luke got stuck in garbage, and people in Harry Potter’s world laugh at him.   A Heroes and Christians have something in common.  It is how they react under pressure.  Indie never gives up, Luke never stops trying, and Harry Potter ignores the laughter.

I would like to say Christians never let you see the sweat, but we do so do those heroes.

What we have in common is the fact that we struggle. We also have this in common, we deal with our struggles.  Wait a second doesn’t every person in the world deal with their struggles?  OK, you have me. Then what is it?

It is how we deal with out struggles.  Christians know that they have Jesus and have peace.

The peace of Jesus brings grace.  Grace is the ability to know that no matter how dark it gets, God will be there.  Grace gives us the ability to share Jesus’ love with the world.  Even if we are not able to tell it to everyone, we can show God’s love by what we do.

With Grace, Grace does without shouting it.  Grace doesn’t keep score. It isn’t some box you check off every day, it is just how you treat people every day. It is noticing that someone needs help and reaching out. Thinking about the heroes, when the deed is done, where do the heroes go? Indie goes back to his classroom unnoticed, Luke fades into the distance, Harry disappears to find Ron and Hermonie.  Spider man takes off his mask and becomes the unassuming Peter Parker.

As Christians we  don’t go around waving the “Holier than thou” flag.  We are ordinary people with ordinary struggles, who trust and extra-ordinary God.  A God who wraps His children in LOVE.  Christians become more when we share His LOVE with others.

Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

Colossians 4:5-6 NIV

Two Sides of the Same Coin

Recently, I was reading about Martha and Mary and I had a new Epiphany.

I went further to the story of Lazarus’ death.  I learned that Martha and Mary are two sides of the same coin.

See in one part of the story Martha is busy with meal preparation and irritated at her sister for not helping.  I always thought perhaps Martha could have made a simpler meal.  I know with my family sometimes those meals where I cook a bit of meat, make some garlic bread, and then throw whatever else is in the fridge onto the table where better than the Thanksgiving meal I spent hours preparing.

I thought Martha didn’t have balance.  I was right to a point. See Martha had faith, she heard what Jesus said and accepted it at once as true. Martha’s problem was is sometimes she gets so busy taking care of others, she forgets to take care of herself. She forgets to study the Word, spend time in prayer, and just being silent listening to God. Yes, all the other stuff that we think of when we say self-care goes with it.  But the bottom line is if we don’t nourish our souls,  all the physical stuff doesn’t matter.

Now let’s talk about Mary.  Mary was the one that needed a bit more instruction.  I am not saying that one way is right and the other way is wrong.  It is just a different side of the same coin. Mary spent more time paying attention to her soul.  Maybe it helped her in the long run who knows. What Mary forgot is that sometimes people around her need help.  Sometimes we have to forget about ourselves and help others.

Both sisters have short comings.  Both need balance.  Previously, I missed that point. Previously, I only saw Martha’s shortcomings.  Maybe the fact that I am a Martha has something to do with it.  But it makes me feel so much better knowing that Mary has short comings as well.

Us, Martha’s we hear and say oh, that is logical, or oh that is not logical, where does it say that in the Bible? Mary’s on the other hand, (and I used to be a Mary) listen and listen and wait forever to develop an opinion. But when we do develop it, it is hard for Mary’s to see a different point of view.

Martha’s on the other hand tend to be open to seeing things in a different light.

Whether you are predominately a Mary or a Martha, you have a tendency to forget the other side of the coin.  Either you forget that you have to apply what you learned, or you forget to spend time learning more.

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