Rushed Attention

•January 11, 2015 • 2 Comments

IMG_0884There have been some things going on in my life lately that have been requiring my full, and undivided attention. I’ve been doing my personal best to shut out the surrounding noise and focus my attention and efforts on those things.

For me, Facebook has been a pleasant distraction, because my social life is important to me. My friends are important to me… Although, it is a little sad that Facebook has been my primary way of keeping in touch with them.

I’ve had to take a break, and will continue to take periodic breaks away from all the drama that has hitched itself to social media: American race relations, politics, everyone’s versions of religion, videos of breakout fights automatically playing in my timeline, and everything else that hangs on the vine… Some of the fruit is strange, and has the potential to become all consuming.

There are other distractions as well. Good and needful ones. Books, meal planning, cooking, cleaning, “rushing to the rescue” of people who need help, etcetera.

If I don’t rise before the sun, all of those things simultaneously call out my name. And it’s funny how my attention to any and every item on the list can take hours when my plan was only to spend minutes.

At times, I find myself being engulfed in taking care of the things that were never meant to take care of me. Only God can do that.

"The Lord your God is in your midst, a Mighty One who will save..." Zepheniah 3:17

“The Lord your God is in your midst, a Mighty One who will save…”
Zepheniah 3:17

However, His specialty lies in taking care of those things that we think need our attention the most. Those emergencies… like failing marriages, destructive addictions, depressed children, pressing needs and an empty bank account, genuine loneliness, and the list goes on.

God is an expert in the areas that are too big for us to even wrap our minds around trying to patch or fix, and He is an accomplished navigator of deep water (Isaiah 43:2).

It takes time to lay it all down. No rushing allowed.

For some of the heftier problems in our lives, it takes years for them to mount up. For others, only a moment. Despite the nature of the problem, its creation or origin, He can help us.

He wants to help us.

There are major storms brewing in some of our lives, or either we’re in the midst of one or several.

God doesn’t have to rush to our attention if we’ve already given Him ours… That’s something that I’m learning.

He can show us with clarity that something lies on the horizon. And whatever it is, we can face it without fear.

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When All Thy Mercies, Oh My God (hymn -Joseph Addison)

•January 18, 2014 • 1 Comment

When all thy mercies, O my God,
my rising soul surveys,
transported with the view, I’m lost
in wonder, love and praise.

Thy Providence my life sustained,
and all my wants redressed,
while in the silent womb I lay,
and hung upon the breast.

To all my weak complaints and cries
thy mercy lent an ear,
ere yet my feeble thoughts had learned
to form themselves in prayer.

Unnumbered comforts to my soul
thy tender care bestowed,
before my infant heart conceived
from whom those comforts flowed.

When in the slippery paths of youth
with heedless steps I ran,
thine arm unseen conveyed me safe,
and led me up to man.

Through hidden dangers, toils, and deaths,
it gently cleared my way;
and through the pleasing snares of vice,
more to be feared than they.

O how shall words with equal warmth
the gratitude declare,
that glows within my ravished heart?
but thou canst read it there.

Thy bounteous hand with worldly bliss
hath made my cup run o’er;
and, in a kind and faithful Friend,
hath doubled all my store.

Ten thousand thousand precious gifts
my daily thanks employ;
nor is the last a cheerful heart
that tastes those gifts with joy.

When worn with sickness, oft hast thou
with health renewed my face;
and, when in sins and sorrows sunk,
revived my soul with grace.

Through every period of my life
thy goodness I’ll pursue
and after death, in distant worlds,
the glorious theme renew.

When nature fails, and day and night
divide thy works no more,
my ever grateful heart, O Lord,
thy mercy shall adore.

Through all eternity to thee
a joyful song I’ll raise;
for, oh, eternity’s too short
to utter all thy praise!

Hold On

•August 29, 2013 • 5 Comments

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After a relaxing week alone,  I headed back to the camp to pick up my son.
It was  his first time going away to camp, and I only had clues as to how he was doing since  we were unable to talk to each other.  The camp has a several social network accounts set up to keep parents abreast of what activities are going on throughout the day. 

Receiving tweets,  posts, and pictures of Kam  having fun, with his arms and legs still attached to his precious body was enough to keep me at ease.

At the end of the week,  I arrived to pick him up,  excited to hear about his week went.  The camp director pointed Kam out to me as he sat next to one of the camp counselors at the far end of the dining hall… in tears.
As I approached Kameron being comforted by the camp counselor, who looked up at me with a smile,  she touched Kameron on his shoulders and pointed me out.  “Look! Here she is!”
I couldn’t wait to hold him… I went to give him a big hug and asked,  “Why are you crying?”   He said, “I didn’t think you were coming back.”  And then he cried even more…

My heart sank a little, as I held him closer and thought about what might have gone through his mind. How the  distractions of all the wonderful activities he had taken part in during the week wasn’t enough to free his mind from the thought of my return.  Although, I left him with a calendar, reassuring hugs, and reminders of home,  he told me that he cried at night. 

I understand that feeling.

There have been several times in my own life when I have either felt left behind, or I was actually left behind by someone who did not return.  It hurts.
And as much as I want to protect my child from feeling that pain,  I can’t. There’s not one thing that I can promise him that hasn’t been promised to me.

What’s been promised to us is that we have a home being prepared for us as we remain faithful.  There’s a promise of help to comfort us along this way,  which means that we are never alone. 

With all of the wonderful distractions of high times,  swings the pendulum of high tides.  But the promise of The Anchor is my steady reminder that there is no need for tears if I believe the promise.

He knows when He’s coming back to get us.

Whose Hand?

•August 21, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Not knowing  what the future holds, should be wonderful.  Even though I try to predict it, I know that I’m better off not knowing. I’m finding that there is peace in the present, and that placing my thoughts on events that have yet to occur only seeps my mind of that peace.

My past experiences have conditioned my mind to think of the worst possible outcome, which isn’t always a negative thing. The problem lies in getting stuck there.

Lately I’ve been working on turning my thoughts to positive outcomes when a situation arises that brings uncertainty to my life. Even God’s Word encourages us to “think on these things”(Philippians 4:8). In doing so, not only is peace restored to my mind in the midst of the “circumstance”, but I’ve been able to see the manifestation of the positive outcome more clearly.

One of Satan’s roles is to discourage the believer. Another role of his is to prevent the unbeliever from believing that there is a God and that He actually means us well. God’s heart toward us is nothing short of overwhelming love. His plan for us is only a reflection of that love. (Jeremiah 29:11)

There have been times I’ve asked God “Why do I have to go through this? This is too much!” , as if the cup placed before me has been filled by His hand alone…. Often it hasn’t been.  And only by His grace and mercy have I been strengthened to endure what I have to swallow.

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“…the sorrows God sent us brought comfort and strength with them, while the sorrows we brought on ourselves, through folly or wickedness, were by far the hardest to bear.” L.M. Montgomery, Anne of the Island

When I allow myself to see the good that come from storms that inevitably arise, it makes going through the next one a little easier.

When I look for the testimony of His faithfulness that towers above the often trivial things that I’ve overcome, it gives me an opportunity to tell others of the reality of a God who cares about even the trivial stuff.

I’m done with blaming God. He’s been too good.

What I plan to do is acknowledge Him for the things that try my faith by looking for how I will develop from the trial.  As long as I live through it, my purpose is to give Him glory in the end.

Why It’s Often Better to Say Less | Storyline Blog

•June 18, 2013 • Leave a Comment

http://storylineblog.com/2013/06/18/why-its-often-better-to-say-less/

Use Your Words

•June 9, 2013 • Leave a Comment

My son teaches me all kinds of lessons.  No doubt in my mind that God gave me this child for a reason…
I listened to several testimonies in church today, given by parents and children alike.  But it seemed as if most of the testimonies dealt with how God uses our kids, and the love we have for them to give us a unique look into how God deals with us…  This theme is something I’ve been given many opportunities to contemplate.  Hopefully, what it has formed in me never loses its shape.

Recently I accompanied my son to an appointment with his speech therapist.  Kameron has been going to speech therapy since he was three years old.  It’s fascinating how creative these therapists can be when it comes to helping to build a child’s language skills.

There are all sorts of techniques that these therapists employ to train a child to communicate.  Board games, toys, modeling, actions, etc.,  And since watching  my son with different therapists over the years, I’ve noticed one thing that they all have in common. They all use something that I see mothers of small children use, and it works almost all the time. I use it, and it has been the most effective tool with my son, hands down.

It’s just a simple, power-packed, one-step command:

Use Your Words.

I can’t tell you how much that phrase has relieved tension when my son (or myself) is on the verge of a meltdown… Whether we are in the car and he needs me to pull over for him to relieve himself, or he is in some type of physical pain and can’t tell me where it hurts. It could be something like telling me that he needs a drink of water, or that he has a crush on a little girl in school.   Sometimes he needs to communicate that he is in emotional turmoil over the loss of people he loved dearly.

His using words does much more for me than get my attention. It tells me what it is he needs, and what’s on his mind… It empowers me to at least give an answer of some sort.

Because of the love and compassion that I have for him, I want to do everything I can to help him.
His using his words does more for him than relieves his stress.  It gets my attention.

And when he gets my attention, he knows that even if I cannot or will not give him what he wants, that I will at least give him an answer.

Sometimes all he wants is an answer.

God loves it when we pray.  When we communicate our thoughts to Him, He gets a chance to reveal more of His character.   Even when the answer is not what we  hoped for,  His faithfulness and consistency in being attentive often turns out to be more than what we’d hoped for in the first place.

Is there something you need?

Anything that’s disturbing your peace?

Do you need Him just to look in your direction?

He is waiting for you to do that one simple thing.words2

“Those persons who know the deep peace of God, the unfathomable peace that passeth all understanding, are always men and women of much prayer.” – R. A. Torrey

Phases

•March 28, 2013 • 2 Comments

I usually sleep with my blinds open at night because I like to gaze out the window. It’s nice because the apartment that I live in is on the top floor. There aren’t any other buildings behind or directly beside mine that can obstruct my view to the sunset, moon or stars on a clear night.

The moon was full last night.. And brilliant. I would have missed it completely, had I not awakened in the middle of the night. I had so much to do before retiring, that by the time I laid my head down, my eyes were closed and I had fallen asleep.

In turning over, trying to find a more comfortable position, I found what I hadn’t noticed before I fell asleep. A soothing, quiet glow beside my arm. I turned to look through the window to see the moon giving off that luminous shine unmatched by anything man-made.

It reminded me of the many nights I spent on Guam. There, with no tall buildings or city lights to contend with, the moon shines bright.
I loved the light that came through my window next to the bed I shared with my husband, or the glow it would cast into my son’s crib as he slept. Those were some of the most peaceful years I’ve ever had. Remembering them was comforting.

I carried that comfort throughout my day today. Not the same memories… but the comfort.

I carried throughout the day, the comforting reality that although that phase of my life has passed, the very same God Who gifted me with those years, that phase, and that moon… is the same God that opened my eyes to gaze upon that same moon last night.

-moon-a

A different kind of peace fills my heart today. One that has more weight to it. A peace that has much more resiliency than before because of trials, experience, and an awareness of who God really is.

This world and it’s views change with the seasons. Our lives and minds change with the hour.

He doesn’t change.

Yesterday, today, and forever, He remains the same.