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No Worry Zone

Posted by Carol on January 19, 2013

This past summer, I had a breast biopsy.

And I know when doctors want to do biopsies, they are usually looking for something, and that something usually means more surgeries, possible chemotherapy, radiation, pain, and, in worse case scenarios, death.

So, when my doctor wanted to do a biopsy (after 6 months prior telling me everything was fine) a chord of fear ran through me. For a few days, I was shaken and I could feel worry beginning to set into my heart.

I have a confession to make here.  I’m a glass half full type person. I usually have a very positive, optimistic outlook on life. So this uneasiness and worry in my heart wasn’t setting well with me. I didn’t like it at all and I could tell that worry was not going to be my friend.

It’s at times like this that we have a decision to make. Are we going to give in to fear and worry, or are we going to trust God and obey His command to Fear Not? Matthew 10:28 “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul”.

I firmly believe to not fear and worry is a choice. Sometimes a choice we have to make hour by hour or even minute to minute. But the choice is ours and it is a matter of the will.

So this summer when I found out I needed a breast biopsy, after a few days of feeling sorry for myself, I made a choice. I chose that by God’s grace, I would not worry.  Yes, I would pray (a lot) and try to make wise decisions about my health care, but I would choose not to fear.

Worry is a waste of time. It doesn’t help and as a matter of fact, it can hurt. There are numerous studies that show the negative impact stress has on our health and life. So, it’s safe to say that God has our best interests in mind when He tells us not to worry.

Here’s how I tried to look at it.

By the time the doctor decided she wanted to do a biopsy, I either had breast cancer or I didn’t and worrying was not going to change that. But praying could, so whenever I felt fear creeping in to my heart, I used it as a reminder to pray about the situation.  Here’s what I prayed, “Lord, if it is Your will, please let this be nothing. But, if You choose to allow me to have cancer, please give me the grace and faith to handle it in a way that brings glory to You”.

So, in the days between the doctor ordering the biopsy and the procedure itself, I figured that if I don’t have cancer, I will be kicking myself for worrying for nothing and ruining perfectly good days with worry. So I didn’t worry.

And if I did have cancer, I would be wasting my last few days of ignorant bliss by worrying. So I didn’t worry. There would be plenty of time after the biopsy to figure out treatment courses, schedule surgeries and chemo if need be.

Another thing I do when I feel fear creeping in about any situation I may be facing is to think about what the worse case scenario might be and make peace with it.

In this case, the worst possible outcome might be death. But here’s the kicker – for a Christian, that’s not such a bad outcome. When I die, I will be in Heaven. No more pain, no more tears, no taxes, stress or heartbreak. I will be with Jesus, and eventually my family will join me there for all eternity. Yes, I would hate to leave my husband and children early, and I would not want them to suffer the loss of a wife and mother. But as for me, I would be getting a pretty good deal.

I have found in my 48 years here on earth, that 95% of things I worry about never happen. And of the 5% that do happen, it’s not as bad as I anticipated. And that was the case with my breast biopsy. I did not have breast cancer, just “complicated breasts”. LOL

I don’t know why God chose to spare me from the challenge of breast cancer, but I am thankful He did and thankful that He used it as an opportunity to teach me how to battle worry.

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Walking

Posted by Carol on December 5, 2009

I had the opportunity to go to the movies by myself today. I know some people feel weird going to the movies alone, but I kind of enjoy it. When you’re with someone else, by the time the movie starts, you’re not supposed to be talking  anyway. Unless you can’t afford to buy popcorn. Then, talk away and pretty soon everyone will be sharing throwing their popcorn with at you.

I went to see The Blind Side starring Sandra Bullock. It is the true story of professional football player, Michael Oher. I read an interview with Sandra about making the movie. She got to sit down with the wealthy white woman whose family took in Michael as a homeless teenager.

In her interview, Sandra said that meeting Michael’s “mother” restored her faith in people who claim to be Christians. She said it was nice to meet someone who actually “walked the walk” instead of just being all talk.

While I don’t think God is calling me to bring a stranger into my home, I do think He would like me to ask myself, “Am I walking the walk, or am I all talk?”

Do I only walk where I feel it’s “safe” to walk? Am I the same around my Christian friends that I am around my family? Am I the same when I’m at work as I am at church?

Are there 2 Carol’s that the world sees or am I a reflection of the One whose name I claim to follow?

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Do It Anyway by Mother Theresa

Posted by Carol on November 7, 2009

(I bet you thought this was by Martina McBride) 🙂

 

People are often unreasonable, illogical,

And self-centered;

Forgive them anyway.

 

If you are kind, people may accuse you

Of selfish, ulterior motives;

Be kind anyway.

 

If you are successful, you will win some

False friends and some true enemies;

Succeed anyway.

 

If you are honest and frank;

People may cheat you;

Be honest and frank anyway.

 

What you spend years building,

someone could destroy overnight;

Build anyway.

 

If you find serenity and happiness,

they may be jealous;

Be happy anyway.

 

The good you do today,

people will often forget tomorrow;

Do good anyway.

 

Give the world the best you have,

and it may never be enough;

Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.

 

You see, in the final analysis

it is between you and God

It was never between you and them anyway.

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Got kids leaving for college for the first time?

Posted by Carol on August 23, 2009

My son left for college in the fall of 2007 for his first semester. He went to a college far, far away from home. The best way I can describe how I felt is “mourning”. I was mourning the end of the time he would live with us full time. Now that he’s been at college for a few years, and we’ve moved a whole lot closer to where he attends, and since we’ve replaced him with a Shih-tzu, I am doing much better.

A few weeks ago, Adrienne Carlson contacted me about writing a guest post for I Throw Like a Girl. So, I asked her to write an article on how mothers feel when their kids go off to college for the first time. I think she did an excellent job and I hope her advice will help those of you who are experiencing an empty nest or almost empty nest for the first time. Please thank Adrienne for me by leaving her some comments and by visiting her website!

Here’s Adrienne:

Mothers’ Emotions over Children’s First College Experience

You carry them in your body for nine months or so, nourishing and nurturing them as they get ready to be born into this world. You then spend the next 17 years taking care of their every need, cosseting them when they need to be pampered, taking them to task when they need to be disciplined, offering them a shoulder to cry on and words of wisdom when they’re emotionally distressed, and tucking them in to bed every night with a kiss even though you’ve just yelled at them for not keeping their room clean.

Parenting is a tough job, but one that offers a great deal of joy in return. As a mother, you love your kids more than anything else in the world. Maybe it is because they are a part of you, maybe it is just the way motherhood is – the moment you know they are going to leave home for college, you are torn between two conflicting emotions. On the one hand, you are filled with joy because your child is now an adult, all grown up and off to college. But on the other, your heart feels heavy because your young one is now ready to leave the nest and you’re going to have an empty room instead of a messy one.

It’s hard to take when your child is moving away from home, even if it’s for a short span of time. You know that things will never be the same again and that your son or daughter is starting their journey of life, on a path that is now going to take a different route from the one you take. You know that your paths will cross every now and then, but from now on, your baby is on his or her own.

Once your child has settled in college, you’re going to have to prepare yourself for many changes – from calling home often in the first few months, he or she is going to almost forget you when they’re busy with their friends, lessons and other social activities at school and not call for many days together, unless it is to ask for money. It may be difficult to cut the apron strings loose, but that’s just what you have to do if you want your child to be independent and responsible.

The visits home are going to become rare because your child is going to want to go away with friends during vacations or better still, secure positions as interns in order to get a head start on their careers. As a mom, you must also brace yourself for major or minor disasters when your child comes home distraught because of an affair that has gone wrong or any other emotional problem. You may have warned them beforehand, but even so, when it happens, offer comfort and constructive advice instead of saying “I told you so”.

Throughout all this, it is your responsibility as a mother to pray for them and with them, talk to them about their concerns and activities, avoid interfering in their lives unless you’re asked to, and reassure them that you love them and are there for them, no matter what.

By-line:

This guest article was written by Adrienne Carlson, who regularly writes on the topic of online christian colleges . Adrienne welcomes your comments and questions at her email address: adrienne.carlson83@yahoo.com 

Posted in but seriously, College Son | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

You don’t call, you don’t write – What’s up with that?!

Posted by Carol on August 11, 2009

Beginning several months before we moved to Colorado and continuing to this day, I have been in a bloggy dry spell. I blame it on the move – the physical and emotional upheaval that moving across the country (or even across town) causes.

But now we’re here. We’re all settled in. Mostly.

Just don’t look in my office – I haven’t organized that yet. Almost every file was dumped out somewhere between New Jersey and Colorado and I still need to go through about 20 years’ worth of papers and save what we need and shred the rest.

Ok, I’ll show it to you.  It is actually much worse than the picture shows, you can’t see the area in front of the desk!

pictures for laura 002

But other than that, I really want to get back to this blog. I miss it and I miss my bloggy friends. Problem is even though one would think I would have a ton to write about, I can’t think of a blessed thing.

So, last night on Facebook, I asked for suggestions and one of my younger friends said I should write about how much I love and miss her.

Good idea. Thanks, A!

Because the truth is part of my bloggy dry spell is being caused by homesickness for my friends in New Jersey. I am so thankful that we got to move to Colorado and live near family, but New Jersey was our home for 10 years!

I miss my church family at CBC so much that it’s hard to feel at home at church here. I miss my many friends that I could just pick up the phone and grab lunch or coffee with at any time. I miss my friend, S, that I could goof around with and then share my heart and pray with.

But, I know God has moved us here for a reason and He is using this season when I am the new girl to teach me to depend on Him for all my needs. When I am looking for a friend to talk to, I need to turn to Him. When I am frustrated with my kids and need advice, I have to turn to Him because there is no one here who I am close enough to to be that open with.

This newness hurts, but it is good. It is good for me to have only God. Of course, I have my husband and extended family, but I know God wants me to learn to look to Him first – to need only Him.

Soon enough, I will have a full calendar again and a church and girlfriends to go to lunch and coffee with. But for now, Jesus is teaching me some lessons that I could only have learned by being taken way out of my comfort zone of the familiar and plopped down across the country in a beautiful new place full of His possibilities.

Posted in but seriously, The Big Move | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

If I thought last week was crazy, it’s a good thing I didn’t know what this week held.

Posted by Carol on March 27, 2009

All of you who read my blog (and I am very thankful to both of you) may have noticed that I haven’t posted much this week. I have been pretty quiet on Facebook and Twitter, too. And in real life. This week has been one that has caused me to stop in my tracks, focus on God and (re)evaluate.

Monday morning I received a phone call telling me of the sudden, unexpected death of our dear friend, Alvin. He was a wonderful husband, devoted father of four children, and a shining example of a Christian man. Tonight is his wake and the Celebration of Life service is tomorrow morning.

Alvin personally had a huge impact on my family just through his friendship.  As the friend who called me with the news of his death put it,  Alvin had “a heart and a love for Jesus Christ which seeped into everything he did and blessed everyone whose lives he touched.” He loved Jesus, he loved his family, and he loved his neighbors as himself. Only now that he is in Heaven can he possibly know the impact he had on the lives he touched through his contagious smile, dedication to the Men’s Ministry at church, and his love for Jesus and others.

Our hearts hurt for missing Alvin and thinking of the hole left in the hearts of his family: His wife, three daughters who won’t have their daddy to walk them down the aisle at their weddings, and his son who lost a godly friend and role model.

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

We don’t understand why God took Alvin home at such a young age. But we do know this, God doesn’t make mistakes and our troubles and pain here on earth are light and momentary in comparison to the glory that Alvin is experiencing in Heaven.

************************

I know, you never know what you’re gonna get when you read my blog. Sometimes it’s a recipe or a song, sometimes it’s a goofy story, and sometimes I hit you with a whammy like this one. But thank you for reading anyway and thank you for your prayers for Alvin’s family.

Posted in but seriously, sad stuff | Tagged: | 4 Comments »

Whew!

Posted by Carol on March 22, 2009

Life has been crazy lately. Just last week –

  • Our son arrived home for Spring Break from college and by the end of the week, he and my husband left to drive his car out to college in Colorado (they drove 27 hours straight and arrived safely Saturday morning – thank you, Jesus)!
  • Our 12 1/2 year old Golden Retriever/Lab mix had to be put to sleep.
  • Our 17 year old daughter got her driver’s license (here in NJ the driving age is 17).
  • Two Realtors came through to look at our house and come up with sales proposals.
  • Our house was inspected and we were given a list of repairs we will need to make (one of which is our $eptic $ystem).
  • We got estimates on said repairs and painting. ($$ except for the $eptic $ystem $$)
  • Our water was tested.
  • My patience was tested.

That’s all.

I think.

Posted in but seriously, The Big Move | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Snail Mail

Posted by Carol on March 11, 2009

For as long as I can remember, I have had an unusual eagerness to get the mail each day. As a little girl, I would look forward to the birthday cards that came from my grandparents in the mailbox at the end of my driveway. And during the summers that I was away at Girl Scout camp for weeks at a time, mail call was one of my favorite parts of the day.

Back in the dark ages when I met my husband, there was no such thing as email or texting, so love letters were written by hand on college ruled notebook paper and sprayed with a spritz of cologne before delivering.  When he left for college two years ahead of me, my daily trips to the mailbox at the end of my driveway were filled with anticipation that rarely disappointed.

This obsession with mail has carried over into my adult life. Even though most days our mailbox brings us mundane items such as bills and catalogs, once in a while my trip down the driveway is rewarded with a prize as was the case last Saturday.

You see, one of our relatives is in prison. It’s a long story as you can imagine. If he is guilty of what he is accused of, it was a crime of ignorance. He was not aware he was breaking any laws in his business practices, yet the court found that ignorance of the law is no excuse and gave him a very harsh sentence. Though his crime was non-violent, because of his sentence he is housed with murderers, rapists, and the most violent of criminals. He is too far away from where I live for me to visit, so I write to him as often as I can.  On Saturday, I received a letter in return.

This man was a Christian before he entered prison. As you can imagine, this has been a trial of faith of epic proportions. When I receive letters from him, they are filled with a peace and, dare I say, joy, that can only come from the Holy Spirit. His example of faithfulness in the midst of horrendous circumstance is amazing (if I may borrow a word from the Bachelor).  I want to share a portion of his latest letter with you in hopes that it will bless and encourage you as much as it did me.

This stunning and hard to believe prison thing I realize comes from God’s wonderful love for His children. If it was my attention He wanted, you know, He got it!

Because of this time here, many changes have come into my living and thinking that would have been impossible in any other environment. Also, the area of comfort – creature comforts. Huge changes that taught me how spoiled I had become. Interpersonal relationships, even “must have” relationships that could not have occurred in the outside world, have taught me to be carefully concerned about “all” people, to be ready to love them at a moment’s notice.  God’s love works in any and all environments. Oh, there are some real struggles to be sure, but people do respond to love that comes from a pure heart.

The spiritual part is where God has focused His aim. It must be that I had further to go and less time to get there than most people. To be sure – I have not arrived, but what an incredible trip it is. The trip continues, of course, forever. This first “Pilgrim’s Progress” part often is not taken seriously enough, spiritually speaking. Somehow we get off the track and think this life is what it is all about- this short 50 – 90 year lifespan, and we forget about eternity….

…Christian growth takes time. Fruit ripens slowly, days of sunshine and days of storm each add their share. Blessing will succeed blessing, and storm follow storm before the fruit is full grown or comes to maturity.

The true method for spiritual growth involves pain as well as joy, suffering as well as happiness, failure as well as success, inactivity as well as service, death as well as life. Short cuts are not useful, we understand the value of and submit to the necessity of the time element.

There is so much more wisdom in the letter I could share, but that’s enough to digest for one day. God’s grace is enough in all circumstances. This letter is proof.

Be blessed,

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What I Learned This Week ~ It Doesn’t Always Take Two

Posted by Carol on February 18, 2009

I have been working on this post since before Valentine’s Day. It was my goal to have a post about love and marriage in keeping with the whole Valentine’s theme, but I have written and re-written this so many times that I have obviously missed my self-imposed deadline.

And that’s the great thing about self-imposed deadlines. They can be changed by creating a new self-imposed deadline. So that’s what I have done.

Jo-Lynne at Musings of a Housewife has started a weekly carnival called “What I Learned This Week”. The idea is to post something either serious or amusing that you, uhm,  learned this week.  Well, just as I take self-imposed deadlines very lightly, I am going to take the term “this week” very lightly, too.  Because what I am posting I have learned over the years, but it just dawned on me this week that perhaps it could help others, too.

My husband and I have been married for 22 1/2 years. We have had our ups and downs in those years. We have had many relocations, two babies, sickness, health, lots of better and lots of worse. About 3 years ago, we were at a pretty low place in our marriage. We had decided early on (before we were even married) that divorce was never going to be an option for us, but I did not want our marriage to be a “grit your teeth and bear it so you can say you made it 50 years together” kind of thing. Yet that’s what it was becoming.

I knew my husband was not at a place where he would be open to marriage counseling. He travels a lot for his job and he did not have the same sense of urgency that things could be/needed to be “fixed” that I had. So I went to a Christian counselor by myself. At first, I was very angry about going by myself. After all, why should I be the only one who cares enough about our marriage to make changes while he sails along doing as he pleases? Why should I care enough to go to counseling when he can’t be bothered?

Well, it’s because  I stood in a church all those years ago and I made a vow before God that I would love my husband for better or for worse and if I wanted to keep that vow, this is what I had to do.

But you know what I found out? It doesn’t necessarily take two to make your marriage better. I cannot control what my husband does, or thinks, or says, but I can control my words, my thoughts, my actions (as much as humanly possible).  And just changing myself was enough to have a very positive influence on our marriage.

In counseling, I learned about the negative attitude I was having that was poisoning our relationship. I learned about my self-righteousness and pride that I needed to ask God to strip away. I learned that I was living pretty opposite to what God describes as love in I Corinthians 13 in the way I was treating my husband. My friends and children probably felt loved by me, but not my husband.

Ouch.

My husband never believed change was possible, but when he saw the changes in me through the power of the transforming grace and love of God he softened, too.  Our marriage is not perfect, and we still have a long way to go, but we are much closer and I am actually looking forward to being an empty nester with him in a few short years. We are not just gritting our teeth and hanging on by our fingernails anymore.

I have been involved in women’s ministry long enough to know that there are many hurting marriages in the church.  The divorce rate is just as high for Christians as it is for the rest of society. I don’t have all the answers, but God’s Word does.

Check out I Corinthians 13 and do a self-assessment of the love you are showing to your spouse.  Sylane over at the TBloG is doing a great series of posts on I Corinthians 13. She has much wisdom and insight and I urge you to go read what she has to say.

If you want something that you can do today to start making your marriage better – even if your spouse has given up – here’s what I would suggest.  Go rent the movie Fireproof and watch it, with or without your husband/wife. But don’t let watching this movie become a source of conflict in your marriage. If you end up watching it alone, that’s ok.

Then go get the book that goes along with this movie, The Love Dare.  It is a 40-day plan that incorporates the principles found in I Corinthians 13 and other Scripture to improve your marriage.

Here’s a couple of pieces of advice about doing The Love Dare:

– Don’t feel like you have to do it in 40 days. Take a week on each point if you need to. Don’t feel pressure or guilt that you have to get it done “on time”.

– Don’t feel like you have to do it with your spouse. If he/she wants to do it with you, great! But my husband does not even know I own the book. I did it that way on purpose. I didn’t think he would be able to commit to do it because of his travel schedule and I didn’t want to set myself up for disappointment.

The happy side effect of this approach is that now I can tell you that it works even if you are the only one putting these changes in effect.  My husband has been blown away by some of the things I’ve been doing because of The Love Dare and his response has been extremely positive.

Ok, I’m going to give you a little something to try in the meantime before you have a chance to get Fireproof from Blockbuster or Netflix and The Love Dare from the store or internet.  The very first assignment in The Love Dare is to show your spouse patience (as in love is patient, etc).  For this assignment, if you choose to accept it, purpose to not say anything negative to your spouse even if it leaves teethmarks on your tongue. This was a big one for me, but the results were almost immediate.

Try it, you’ll see.

I actually just realized that the title of this post is not quite accurate. It does take two to make your marriage better, just not the two I was originally thinking of. It always takes two to change your life – God and you.

Posted in but seriously, family | Tagged: , , | 10 Comments »

2008

Posted by Carol on January 5, 2009

Humanly speaking, 2008 kicked my butt.

I can honestly say it was one of the worst years of my life. If the problems of the past year only involved me, I would be able to share more; but there are other people involved and it is their story, too. I don’t have their permission to write about it. Someday I hope to be able to speak more freely, but it probably won’t be for a very long time.

I hesitated about writing what might be perceived as a negative post, because I don’t want to come across as whiny, complaining or that I am begrudging anyone who had a fantastic 2008. Yet, I want to be honest and authentic here.

And I also want to share what God has been doing in my life in the midst of the problems and the pain. I want God’s faithfulness, love, and care to shine in bright contrast to the darkness last year had brought to me. So if I gloss over the hard parts, or merely say, 2008 was a really hard year, you would be missing part of the magnitude of God’s goodness to me in 2008.

There have been nights that I’ve cried myself to sleep and days where it took all I had not to fall apart at work, or in line at the grocery store, or when some well-meaning person would ask, how are you? I learned that my car is a great place to cry and to pray out loud when you want to be absolutely sure no one can hear you but God.

Some of the problems of ’08 have lessened in severity, some have morphed into new problems, and some have improved. In some cases, the only thing that’s changed is my perspective because of what God is doing in my life through all of this. None of the problems has an easy fix or look like they will be going away just because we bought a new calendar. Obviously, these are not the first problems I have had to deal with in my 44 years of life, but  they have had a different intensity than the others.

I have been a Christian since I was 9 years old. I have tried to walk with God and serve Him and love Him ever since.  I don’t know if what we’ve been dealing with this year has been a refining by God or a sifting by Satan. One thing I do know is this: even when life seems out of control, God is in control and I can choose to trust Him or I can give in to despair.

I choose to trust.

I trust that God is the almighty Creator of the universe. I trust that He loves me and has a plan for me. His plan is to work all these things for good in my life and to use them to make me more like Jesus. These same things are true for every member of my family. He loves them much more than I do and He wants so much more than I can even ask or imagine for them. He wants that for each of us and for you, too.

My nature tends to be one that wants to fight against the problems, to expend a lot of emotional energy lamenting over the fact that there are problems and yearning strongly for the time they will go away. I can’t do that in this case. I have had to accept this state of affairs and not try to fix everything, because I can’t fix them; but I am learning how to manage them with Jesus’ help.

I liken it to having a chronic disease that may or may not be cured. You still have to live your life, but you make accommodations for the disease and go through certain measures to care for yourself. With my “disease”, the measures are staying close to Jesus through prayer, reading His word, worshiping Him, and seeking Godly counsel.

Henri Nouwen described it like this:

When we become aware that we do not have to escape our pains … those very pains are transformed from expressions of despair into signs of hope.

Paul, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, described it like this in Romans 5:1-5

1Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

So, I choose to ask God to help me rejoice in whatever suffering I may endure in this life.

And I choose to hope.

Not just hope the way a person may hope for a raise at work, or hope to go on vacation this summer, or hope that their problems will just go away. No, my hope is in something, Someone more sure.  My hope is in Jesus Christ.

Again, it is Paul who wrote in 2 Timothy 1:12 “… Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day”.

What have I entrusted to him for that day? Everything. My life, my salvation, my family. He’s got it all and there is no better place to entrust it all.

So, what have I learned in 2008 that shines so brightly in stark contrast to what we’ve been dealing with?

-I am not in control. God is. And that is infinitely better.

-God loves me no matter what. I am not defined by my circumstances. I am defined by my position as a child of God. Period.

-God’s will is to conform me and all His children into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ. He is using this trial to do that.

-I have grown closer to God and clung to Him more tightly that I would have if 2008 been a super fantastic year.

-I have grown closer to my husband. A lot of time stresses can drive a couple apart, but God has used this to bring us closer. Quite the silver lining, I would say.

– I have been reminded that this life is not all there is. As a Christian, my eternal home is in Heaven, as it is the rest of my family’s. Even if these problems don’t get resolved here on earth (which would be due to human stubbornness, not God’s lack of faithfulness) they will be resolved in Heaven.

Below is a video called One Year in 40 Seconds. That’s 365 days worth of time passing before our eyes in less than one minute. It is fascinating to watch. I think it beautifully illustrates how much change one year on earth can bring. It also illustrates the truth that in Heaven, God will wipe all tears from our eyes and time will be no more. Any heartache we go through in this life will seem to have lasted less than a minute in light of eternity.

I’m not crying myself to sleep as much anymore, but when I do find myself struggling to hold it together, I know it’s because I have allowed my perspective to shift back to my circumstances and away from the Prince of Peace who is the ultimate Comforter.

With great anticipation of all God will do in 2009,

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