June 11, 2008

Works For Me Wednesday

I just L.U.V. Shannon's WFMW...talk about getting some creative juices flowin!  There are some incredible thinkers out there and what better way to find them then around the WFMW post?  :D  There are just times when I am in a creative slump so to speak and it's such a pick me up to browse around and read other's ideas and inspirations.  Head on over to Shannon's for the F.U.N. y'all won't be sorry!!  (today the brave woman even has picts!)

It's been a few weeks and I've had these thoughts rolling around in this brain o'mine and it sorta fits where I'm at and this post today.  Trust me, I'm more of a fun-posty-kind-of-girl but today is a bit different.  

Here's my WFMW trick for an Attitude Adjustment: for myself, ahem.

Contentment and Thankfulness, two powerful words that I have not begun to scrape the surface of in my almost 30 years.  Most likely, we are all tempted to grumble and complain...I know I am!  There are just times where you think to yourself, "why me/us?" or "what else could go wrong?" or "this is not fair".  Trust me, I've been there.  In fact, not too long ago I decided to travel that path and take it further down into thinking that God just did not care about me anymore and that He was just out to get me.  Of course, this is not the truth but it is how I felt when we were packing up our lives and returning home from the mission field suddenly with wounded hearts and were left with a pile of debt.  It was how I felt when my nephew, Moses, passed away without me ever meeting  him or holding him.  It was how I felt when I watched the helicopter take my Chloe away to a hospital not knowing how badly she was hurt.  Do you catch my point??  I've been there...BUT GOD who is rich in mercy and lovingly patient with me brought me to the place where I can say, God is good and I mean it.  He is bigger than my fear, bigger than my doubt, bigger than my anger, bigger than my faithlessness.  

So, I don't struggle with complaining or discontentment anymore...right?  NOT!  I wish y'all.  You would think after going through so many trials in a short amount of time I would learn to appreciate all things and never grumble again.  Unfortunately, as long as I live in this body I will continue to battle my flesh.  

There are so many times when I think "God, it just isn't fair that Chloe has to deal with the issues that come up with her leg.  She is only 4 and shouldn't have to deal or think about anything!"  And there are times when I think "God, I deserve my own house.  Why should I have to live with my parents when I am 30 years old?  It isn't fair".  I really struggle with these questions.  But there are always 2 sides to every coin.  Yes, it will always bother me that Chloe can't just 'be normal' and that people may stare and kids may ask what happened ~ BUT, I don't know the plans God has for her life but I know they are good and they are perfect!  And yes, it may be unusual to live with your parents and husband and 2 children in one house ~ BUT, praise the Lord we have a place to live as we have begun life over!  And I have learned that God always provides what we need not always what we want

So here's the thing:  whenever I am tempted to complain or believe 'woe is me'...here's what I do ~  I stop concentrating on myself and start looking up at the people around me...family, friends, internet friends, neighbors, strangers, etc.  Just at the time you think you have it real bad, somebody is always struggling with a burden you would not wish to bear.  

Let's take a quick look around us in the blogsphere:  

When life is 'hard' I remember my sister in the Lord, Heather.  This dear woman is not only fighting for her life but is also guardian over her daughter's precious life.  I remember my sister in the Lord, Kelli who is also fighting for her life with such a testimony of grace and dignity.  I also remember a dear friend in our church...last Sunday I watched with tears in my eyes as David raised his thin weak arms toward heaven in worship to the God who holds all the answers to why he is dying of cancer.  A man who not but 4 weeks earlier held the door open for us at church with a beaming smile and a warm welcome...a man who was our biggest encourager and prayer warrior while we were overseas. 

When I ache over Chloe, I remember my sister, Erinn who lost Moses and will always carry that sweet boy size hole in her heart.  I remember my sister in the Lord, Angie who lost her precious daughter, Audrey Caroline...and not long after that lost her sweet nephew.  I remember dear Beth, who lost her sweet baby boys, James and Jake and will never be the same without them.  I remember my sister in the Lord, Sarah who lost her sweet Ellie to cancer not long ago and misses her like nothing else.  I remember the Chapman family who lost their daughter, Maria in a tragic accident.  I remember our friends, the Jansmas as they search for the reason why their daughter is having such distress and pain in her body.  I remember my neighbor friend, Cindy whose daughter was born with major disabilities and delays so many that the Drs still are not able to fully diagnose her.  I remember our friends, the Borbes as they raise their sweet boy, Ezra and all the situations that arise with his care.       

My friends, we don't have to look far or long to see all kinds of suffering and pain in the world around us.  It doesn't take me long when I remember these dear ones and pray for them that my 'woe is me' attitude is transformed into prayer for others and praise to the Father for His love and grace and strength.  I have no idea how anyone makes it through these difficult times with clinging with all their might to the Father God, truly He is our Rock in the storm and our only Hope.  

Let me end with a verse that God so often brings to mind:

I Timothy 6:6 NLT

"Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth."

'Bring the Rain' by Mercy Me

*sorry for the novel but it's been a long time in coming, I told y'all I can't condense!*


Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

This was beautiful, poignant and oh so true. My husband and I are going through a time of testing with his job and our finances. Many closed doors and confusing things going on, but I know behind it all, God is at work. His plans are perfect and will be revealed in His time. We just have to hold on tight knowing He is in control, even when our world seems to spin out of control. Yet, even in the rain, I see rays of sun pouring out to us to show He is still there. The rainbows in the sky.

Blessings! And thanks for sharing this!


TheRagan3 said...

your "novel" brought tears to my eyes, dear sister. I know we don't talk about our losses often, and maybe its better that way for fear of a flood of tears :) but you are absolutely right. Just when we think we have it bad, someone around us is having a harder time. I think about the teacher at school who retired last year and 2 weeks later found out his wife of 30+ years had stage 4 cancer. She passed away this May and he is left alone. I think of the mom of a former student who had a double masectomay because of breast cancer. She is a survivor.
Yes, it can be hard in the middle of the storm to see outside of our situations. You remind me that GOD loves us with and undying, never ending love and that HE is always with us.
I love you my sister, by blood and by heart.

Anonymous said...

Hey Kate! You stopped by my blog today @ BeyondJEMS for God's Modern Day Miracles. So I wanted to come over and read your post. I can't begin to say how in awe I am at the amount of loss you have captured in your words. It makes me realize I am even more blessed. I just dont even know anyone who has lost a child, so I can't begin to imagine. I loved your spirit & hopefullness. I think that in times of transition, like we both seem to be, that keeping our focus on God is the only thing we can do to make it through. You mentioned living with parents. If it will perk up your spirits I'm sleeping on a futon mattress on the floor with a milk crate as a nightstand with my son's lamp on it. LOL! And that's a step up. I slept on the floor for a month. I feel like I'm in college. How things change! Oh Well. Would you like to trade links? I'll put you on my blog roll. Thanks for stopping by. Amy (BeyondJEMS)

Melissa said...

So beautiful and touching and encouraging to my soul. This post is a huge perspective check. Thank you for sharing it.

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