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Thursday, July 24, 2014

When the Hurts of the World Overwhelm Your Heart

**This post is updated as of 7-25-14**

It is one thing to let your past mistakes overwhelm your present.  That can be paralyzing and destructive if left unchecked.  But what about when our hearts bear the pain and suffering of those near and far?  Those who are family, might as well be family, or you’ve never even met but are in great distress?  How do we handle the immense grief?


We intercede in prayer.  That weight on your soul is there as a reminder from the Spirit to come low and raise up others. 

Lately I’ve been thinking nonstop of what I might be able to DO to alleviate the sorrow, misery or persecutions I see daily.

When I see a dear friend I met deep in the mama-trenches rally troops to Pray for Hannah – her one-year-old – I want others to join.  I saw the pain when this same disease stole her sister-in-law too soon from their family.  I remember the “why”s and the “how”s that flowed in tears and I can feel powerless – except that prayer is MIGHTY!!

When I see tens of thousands of children alone and parentless fighting for the hope of a better life, I want to go and gather them all in.  I want to wash their hair and tuck them in.  I want to help them find their mamis and papis who came before – or were left behind.  I want to protect them from those who would take advantage.  I want freedom and safety and childhood for them and I can feel powerless – except that prayer is MIGHTY!!

My heart shuddered this week when I learned of a child being taken from the only family he’s ever known and returned to a biological family who never wanted him out of jealousy!  This is not a jealousy for the child, but a jealousy of the child and “if I can’t have it, you cant either” pettiness.  What terror must fill his breaking heart and the ache filling those who are his heart parents, brother, and sister!  And I feel powerless against a Ugandan government – except that prayer is MIGHTY!!



My mind cannot fathom the daily life with an invading terrorist organization that would mark homes with a letter to signify faith – or mere genetics – as grounds for targeting. When the difference between a Y or X chromosome demands mutilation (**ISIS is denying this claim and will be removed if found to be false).  When one tries to “love first, and ask questions later” with preemptive love (** use this link to make a donation) to heal hearts by surgery and compassion and is rewarded with pursuit and harassment, I can feel powerless against such evil – except that prayer is MIGHTY!!

Lets not forget the schoolgirls taken by Boko Haram, because they were schoolgirls and now their families are being attacked!  People of all ages and both genders trafficked for pleasure and profit around the world.  Passenger planes shot down out of the sky for no apparent reason at all.  Movie theatres, schools, and shopping malls that become shooting galleries all for a hurting soul that wants others to feel the same pain.  Fires are raging, drought is devastating, and waters are ravaging our land across the map.

So many questions with so few answers: what can I do, how can I help, how is this stopped or fixed or changed?  It all becomes overwhelming and can paralyze in the same way as past mistakes – except that prayer is MIGHTY!!

When we feel as if we can do nothing, we can always pray!  In fact, that is our calling, our job.  We lift up family, friend, and enemy alike and in it all we ask for the God of the universe to be glorified and for Him to be made known.  Friend, there is power in intercession and sometimes we are then shown what else we can do and how we can be used.


What hurt is overwhelming you right now?  What can I lift up in prayer for you and with you?



Thursday, July 17, 2014

Bloom – Five Minute Friday

I see the tightness of the green, pushing off the stem.  I watch it reach out, trying it’s best to grasp any sliver of sunlight.  Then slowly, but surely, a bulging arrowhead begins to take its shape.  When it can’t hold itself in any longer, the yellow that was once rays of golden heat bursts out.  Yellow blooms splay themselves open and sing glory of what’s to come.

Then all seems death and dormancy.

At last, a small green dot, much like the head of a pin shows itself.

Growth is slow and barely noticeable day to day.  There’s a little more roundness, a little lightening of the hue and then it all seems to stop.

After a while, though, there is that tinge.  It’s the sun breaking through again, this time in glorious sunset of palest orange. The sunset burns into a red flame that cannot be resisted.

Like a moth I’m drawn to it, I have to restrain myself.  When the fire seems to be turning to molten lava I know it is time.


The bloom has become the fruit.  The fruit comes with its reward by being the sacrifice.  To be enjoyed it must be consumed.  But isn’t that the point?




Linking up with Lisa-Jo and her merry band of writers.  It's not always pretty (ahem, sorry about this one), but it's always for five minutes of abandon and community and encouragement.  So, this will get added to the list and I'll comment on at least the one who linked up before me.  Join us, won't you?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

When Past Mistakes Overwhelm our Present Lives



I’m sitting here, thinking about how easy it is to become overwhelmed with even the smallest aspects or tasks in life.

One little slip in the past grows in memory into an Everest that seems insurmountable if it must be faced again.  There should be a warning on our own review mirrors that reads something like…

Objects in mirror are much smaller than they appear

I find that once I get over myself, and my fabricated anxiety, I can move past the molehills with more skill and speed than before BECAUSE of the previous slip.  It was a learning experience.  It’s the getting over it that is often the stumbling block.  What’s the secret, then?

Erika Dawson wrote about feeling overwhelmed for Allume on July 14.  You can read that post here.  The main point is that we must replace the lies that we are telling ourselves with the truth of God.

These truths:

·      God cares for us and wants us to give our cares to Him (1 Peter 5:6-7)
·      Don’t rely on my understanding, but trust in God (Prov 3:5-6)
·      God is our refuge, strength, and VERY PRESENT help in trouble (Ps 46:1-10)
·      God’s grace is sufficient; His power is perfected in our weakness (2 Cor 12:9-10)

So, I have to confess my pride of thinking I can do it all in my own strength and understanding, release my plan of attack to The Lord, and trust that His wisdom and guidance is faithful to lead me in the right way.

Will I slip again?  Surely.  Will I be restored?  Absolutely.  I already know what to do next time.


Are you feeling overwhelmed, friend?  Have you found a way to move on?

photo credit: rickz via photopin cc

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Belong – Five Minute Friday, er, Tuesday

We all want to feel like we belong.  It’s that rare space we walk through and become utterly unconscious of our own self.  There’s no need to pretend, impress, or question those looking at you – or not.

When we belong we know and are known – even if we have to be reminded at times.

My husband and son sitting on the floor of our high school cafeteria listening to music.

I’ve had a week of belonging and it has been glorious!  It started with a family reunion on the fourth of July and was followed the next day by a band reunion from members of classes that had all been under one director.  This is me with one of my best friends – my date for the evening.  We’ve known each other since kindergarten and even though it’s been nearly a year and a half since we’ve actually seen each other, it doesn’t matter at all. 



The rest of the week was spent with my family in the mountains, on trails, at amusement and water parks.  Lots of strangers around – but we belong to each other and that is enough to feel like it was all ours.


Finally, I stopped in the hometown of my Alma Mater and met up with a new friend for the first time.  Even though we graduated together and have chatted on twitter – it was our first face to face.  We belonged.

Photo courtesy of my son as Dee and I figure out a selfie.  :)

It was glorious!

Time


I know it’s not Friday, but I did only write for five minutes.  How could I not with this word??


I’m linking up with Lisa-Jo at Crystal's place filling in for the vacationing diva (it’s no too late for you, either) then I’ll go read and encourage the one before me.  Seriously, I’ll probably read as many as I can find time for – they are that good.  Join us, or at least go explore.  Who knows you might find a space where you feel like you totally BELONG!  J