Monday, February 21, 2011

Monday, February 14, 2011

A day of pondering....

Happy Valentine's Day. Tim and I went out last Wednesday for our "date" while his brother and his brother's future wife watched the kiddos. What a blessing. Tim gave me an incredible Valentine's present. A journal....that HE writes ME! Just about everyday, I can find a short note written to me in his handwriting. :) A blessing considering he will make a shopping list on his iPad instead of on a piece of scratch paper!
Thank you, Tim.

Today has been a rough day.
I was just writing the women's ministry director of our new church to ask her how to connect with a mentor and some discipleship and came face to face with my loneliness.

I have friends. But I need a mentor....a woman strong in the faith to kick my bum when self-pity and anger pop up...I need someone to sit and listen to me cry when I feel as though God isn't enough....even when I know He IS!

After tearfully writing her an introductory e-mail, I was reminded of some friends' blogs who are currently serving at Mercy in the Philippines and decided to "quickly" check in on them since I no longer facebook. Perhaps this wasn't a very good idea.

As I read about their delivering babies and ministering to the women, how Mercy just celebrated their 15th year anniversary with their 17,000th baby, how each one is struck by the compassion of a merciful God, I began to weep.

I cannot begin to describe how I am feeling....a deep sense of loss perhaps? Missing making a positive contribution to the Kingdom? I should be clear....I do not miss the Philippines....I miss some dear friends there, but even moreso, I miss serving women in need.....and now I AM THAT woman in need. I am struggling to be okay with that. "To every season...."

While I struggle with hating the last 3 years of my life, I am struck by God's mercy through those 3 years. The power of God and the miraculous were part of everyday life. And they still are, though I find Him more difficult to see. He is here.

At this time last year, I was pregnant with my precious son, Toby and had taken Promise with me on a long flight to Oregon to take my midwifery certification exam. That was a rough month. I wish the Lord would wipe away the memories of the last 3 years so that there would be no pain. However, there would also be no memory of the joys of the last 3 years....the birth of my Promise....and my Toby. Mmmm. I thank the Lord for them daily.

Just some blue thoughts on this grey day.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


"Do not recoil from afflictions, since they are among My most favored gifts."

I read that early this morning in my devotional "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young (though most of the writings are really Jesus speaking and Ms. Young just writes it down with Scripture to solidify it all).

I had the picture of a snake getting ready to strike, but then "recoiling" quickly after being threatened with a big, fat bat to the head. Yeah, that sounds like my response to afflictions at times! Could they be one of Jesus' "most favored gifts"? You have got to be kidding! This Jesus..full of love, mercy, grace, us a GIFT of AFFLICTION!? What is He ON!?

I am reminded of the passage from Luke 22:

31 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

33 But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.”

34 Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.”

What is affliction? says it's 1:a state of pain, distress, or grief; misery: They sympathized with us in our affliction.
2.a cause of mental or bodily pain, as sickness, loss, calamity,or persecution.

Sometimes affliction comes as a result of sin....consequences and such. Sometimes affliction comes as a result of what Luke 22 is saying....Satan asked to sift us like wheat, God gives permission and Jesus is interceding on our behalf during the process. A gift?

The gift part of it all must come when His strength and glory are shone through our weakness in that affliction....for how can their be reconciliation without division, forgiveness without sin, grace without wrongdoing, joy without sorrow, a show of strength without weakness? You get the point....the gift part is the amazing opposite of affliction that can only come after affliction. Mmm. And in affliction, Jesus is interceding for us so that instead of that affliction causing us to run from the faith or die or whatever our temptation may be in order to cope, we will be STRENGTHENED in the faith so that we can encourage and strengthen our "brothers" to endure affliction as well. In the end, we will enjoy pure freedom and joy, peace, and His Presence more fully than before....appreciate His Presence more than before.

His favor is all over affliction.
I feel conflicted and convicted in my affliction. "Lord, thank you for my current afflictions because I know that You are working within them to reveal Your glory and precious gifts in me...may they draw me closer to You."

Be blessed.