Wednesday, June 21, 2017

It Takes Courage To ... (repost)

It takes courage to ...

            - Get up every day and do your job when you’d rather do your own thing.

            - Get up every day and do your job when you’d rather throw in the towel, curl up in a corner and cry.

            - Find something to be thankful for when so many things are going wrong and you’d rather have a “pity party.”

            - Focus on and enjoy your own blessings when others seem to have it “way better.”

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Spider (repost)

            (One of my favorite posts from my other blog.  Deeply meaningful to me.)

            It was just a simple prayer my husband said as we laid in bed falling asleep, a sweet prayer really:
            “Lord, bring Heather some more deep, godly friendships with other women.  She needs that!”

            I felt the stinging tears spring to my eyes immediately.  Dang!  He wasn’t supposed to see that.  How’d he know? 

            He doesn’t know that my oldest friend has basically stopped calling because she is too busy and has other people in her life.  He doesn’t know how I struggle every day to shake off the creepy, crawly fingers of depression and discouragement that try to worm their way into my mind and spirit.  Or how I run to get the mail, hoping that maybe there’s something there to break the monotony.  Or how much delight the birds at the birdfeeders bring me, because at least there’s something to fill the void.  Like the new fish I just bought.  He doesn’t realize that although I do what needs to get done around here, more and more I feel like doing less and less, like I’d rather just sit in front of the television all day and neglect my home duties. 

            He doesn’t know how much I feel like the spider that I found at the bottom of a cup, the one who curled up in a ball and fell asleep. 

Thank You for the Thorns (repost)

            Lord, thank You for the thorn of loneliness . . . for it makes me look even harder for You in the quiet places and helps me learn to be content with Your friendship.

            Lord, thank You for the thorn of discouragement . . . for it makes me pour out my pain to You and seek Your help because I need to know that You are walking through the hard times with me.

            Lord, thank You for the thorn of losing control . . . because it reminds me of Who really controls everything and it humbles me at Your feet.

            Lord, thank You for the thorn of constant house problems that our beyond our ability to fix  . . . for it keeps me on my knees before You and prevents me from ever saying, “Look at what my hands have done.”

            Lord, thank You for the thorn of constant financial struggle . . . for it keeps me from “materialism” and teaches me to be thankful for what we do have, for You did not need to even give us that much.

            Lord, thank You for the thorn of hand-me-downs . . . because it reminds me that “things” don’t really matter anyway, nor do they define who I am.

            Lord, thank You for the thorn of earthly failure . . . for it reminds me to try to see things through Your eyes, to remember that You see our hearts and judge our “success” differently than the world does.

            Lord, thank You for the thorn of wrinkles, aching joints, and prematurely silver hair . . . for it reminds me that this life is so short and that I need to be planning for eternity, and it encourages me to improve my attitude and outlook so that people see a beautiful spirit and smile and not just my old-looking outside.             

            Lord, thank You for the thorn of an aching heart . . . for it helps me notice the ache when I see it in others, and it makes me want to reach out to them with a kind word or deed.

            Lord, thank You for the thorn of attacks from the enemy . . . for it reminds me of my constant need to be in communion with You, to seek righteousness, and to maintain my spiritual armor.

            Lord, thank You for the thorn of menial tasks that we have to do over and over again every day, with little recognition or glory . . . for it reminds me that we are to be faithfully obedient in everything, doing even the smallest jobs to the best of our ability, for Your glory.  Because You see what we do and why we do it, and it matters to You.  And You will reward faithfulness in the end with, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”   

            Lord, thank You for the thorn of “prunings” . . . because I know that every time You prune something out of my life (even if it hurts), it will be replaced with greater spiritual growth and blessing.      

            Lord, thank You for the thorns . . . for I am learning that Your grace is sufficient and that You are strongest when I am at my weakest!

 
                                           - Heather K (Joshua 24:15, Psalm 46:10)  

Sunday, June 18, 2017

"Just a Mom"


            Last night, my husband mentioned that someone at church asked if I wanted to help out with a school-year-long children’s program.  And it immediately made me a little panicky, afraid that I would be cornered into doing it when I don’t feel I can take on anything else right now.

            And then I worried a little that maybe I was too quick to say “no,” that I wasn’t being a good church member or contributing the way others were or giving God a chance to tell me to do it. 

            Should I add this responsibility?  Does God want me to or not, or does it not really matter to Him what I choose to do?  Do I have a right to do what I am most comfortable with, even if it places more burdens on others?  Is it selfish of me to just focus on being a stay-at-home mom right now?  Should I be doing more?

 

            I was thinking about all that this morning, going over and over in my head about how little I do outside the house and yet how I know I cannot add one more responsibility to my life at this time, nothing more than just being a “wife, mom, and homeschooler of four.”  Because I can barely keep up with that.  I feel like I am drowning sometimes in the responsibilities and all that I can’t get done around here.  I can’t take on one more thing.  It panics me to be obligated to something outside the home right now, in a “I don’t trust myself to not crack badly under the pressure.” 

Friday, June 16, 2017

A Conversation with the Lord about Anxiety


            Years ago, I was going through a really rough time.  (One of many.)  I was panicked about our fruitless search for a new home (we needed to move our 6-person family out of the moldy, 2-bedroom rental we were in) and about my young son’s Baby Bottle Tooth Decay (he never even had a bottle or anything sugary to drink).  And I was a wreck! 

            But as I ruminated on my fears one day - conversing with myself about all that was wrong and what a failure I felt like - I began to talk with the Lord also.  (I didn’t actually “hear” His answers so much as I felt them and thought them, as though the Holy Spirit was helping me understand God’s answers.)  And the conversation in my head – my prayer – went something like this:       

Monday, June 5, 2017

Should "Satan" Be Capitalized?


            I’ve read a lot of things lately where people don’t capitalize the name “Satan.”  They say it’s because they don’t want to give him that much credit or attention. 

            And while I can appreciate that sentiment, why do I still capitalize his name?

            Because the inspired Word of God does.  And who am I to act like I know better.

            One author in particular said he barely talks about Satan because he doesn’t want to focus on him in any way.  He doesn’t want to give Satan that much “air-time.” 

            But the Bible talks about Satan and evil all the time.  It warns us about him, cautions us about him, tells us how to defend ourselves against him and his attacks. 

            I wonder, doesn’t not talking about him at all make him more invisible, make it easier for him to slip in undetected, to work in the shadows … because we aren’t even looking for him!?!

            Just a thought.

            Satan works best when we act like he doesn’t even exist!  When we don’t take him very seriously!    

 

            “Be self-controlled and alert.  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”  (1 Peter 5:8-9)

 

            “Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”  (Ephesians 6:11-12)

 

Sunday, June 4, 2017

The Good That Can Come From Pain


How I Broke!

            (FYI - this is a long post!  A really long post.  Did I mention it will be a long post?) 
            I had the pleasure of talking briefly with a friend the other day about her journey through depression/anxiety and about mine.  It was so refreshing to be able to talk a bit about my struggles, to not feel like I had to answer “I’m fine.  How are you?”  She actually brought up her struggles first, and it gave me permission to talk about mine. 
            For the past year and more, I have only been able to be honest with and share my struggles with one friend.  (Thank God for her!  What a blessing!).  And with everyone else, it’s always been “I’m fine.  How are you?” 
            And I could tell that it has been hurting me to keep it so bottled up inside.  I mean, when you talk to yourself every day, pretending that someone has asked you “How are you?” and you answer “I’m fine.  I’m fine” (and when you do this a couple times every day), you know you are not fine.  You know that you are bursting with stuff you want to tell everyone and anyone. 
            But there’s no one to tell (except for that one wonderful friend). 
            And that’s why you practice your lie of “I’m fine” - hoping that you look strong and pulled-together, and yet hoping that others will see through it and pull the truth out of you. 
            It’s not that I am trying to bottle it up or hide it from people.  It’s just that it doesn’t come up and that most people haven’t “earned” the right to hear my struggles and that talking with people has been stressful.  So I kinda gave it up.  Retreated.  Pulled back into a shell.  It just felt safer and simpler. 
            But it was so refreshing to talk openly last night, to not feel like I had to temper what I was saying or hide it or polish it up.  She understood because she has been there, too.