Where Faith and Fear Collide

Monday, June 29, 2015

I think that, like a lot of people, I've grown weary of social media of late.  I've seen a lot of what can, in the end, only be labeled as fear.  The fear that most of us are experiencing isn't a fear of any group of people.  It's definitely not a hatred of anyone.  It's a fear of losing our own religious liberties and freedoms.  It's a fear of ultimately not being allowed to publicly practice our own religion and being persecuted for our very faith. Our knee-jerk reactions to the direction in which society is headed are usually initially based on that fear, then that fear leads to anger, and lashing out verbally (sometimes more in the most extreme cases).  Fear causes people to say without thinking and certainly to post  something on social media without stepping back and being rational.  Fear is and always has been the greatest tool of the devil. He has been using it most effectively lately to snuff out something far greater, our faith in God.

I know that it's difficult to grasp at a time when it seems that the world's hatred of Christianity is growing exponentially, but everything...  EVERYTHING that happens in this world is allowed by God.  Don't ever think that He isn't in control.  I've always loved Romans 8:28, but today it speaks to me on a deeper level.
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose (NKJV).
I'm not going to get into politics, because I decided long ago that this wouldn't be a political blog.  It's no secret that I'm no fan at all of the man currently residing in the White House.  That said, I once had to remind myself that God allowed him to be put in that position, just as right now God is allowing everything that is happening to occur.  He has never not been in control.  That doesn't mean a great deal of what's going on right now is pleasing to His eyes, He just is allowing it to happen.

Every day spiritual battles are fought.  We have large portions of the population up at arms over a battle flag right now while our brothers and sisters elsewhere are being beheaded, raped, and burned. I wonder where our priorities are as we fight these battles?  Are we forgetting that the war was already won?  No, I'm not talking about the Civil War, but the war between God's perfect plan for us all and the sin that separates US ALL from the glory of God (Romans 3:23).  It was won on the cross when God's perfect, blameless son sacrificed himself so that THE WORLD should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).  The ultimate expression of love was Christ's sacrifice on the cross.  He was in control that day, every day leading up to it, and each day since, and He did it for each and every single one of us.  All we have to is accept Him.

Today as I continued my study of the Psalms, I came across Chapter 37, Verse 8.
Cease from anger, and forsake wrath;
Do not fret— it only causes harm (NKJV).
Over the past few weeks I have seen a great deal of anger, more wrath than I care to, but mostly things that are rooted in fretting, worrying, allowing fear a place in our hearts.  We are letting fear hammer out our faith.  It isn't easy seeing Matthew 10:22 in action.  Jesus never said following Him would be easy though.  We should just remember to put into practice Psalms 34:13 & 14:
Keep your tongue from evil,
And your lips from speaking deceit.
 Depart from evil and do good;
Seek peace and pursue it.
 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their cry (NKJV).
In the end, it doesn't matter what nine people wearing robes say.  It doesn't matter whether flying any certain flags is allowed or not.  When all is said and done, they will all turn to dust.  I am not pleased with most of the recent decisions by our land's highest court.  I couldn't care less about a battle flag that really only does belong at museums. I certainly don't hate anyone.  America may be changing, but "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever."  My faith in that is far greater than any fear I have.  My God certainly is.  I may be hated.  I may lose friends, but I 'm held in the hands of the Creator.  Fear has no place here.

Two Months Later: A Progress Report Of Sorts

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Today it has been two months since we found out that we weren't having a baby in November.  We would be 20 weeks along - halfway there.  Wow.  Just wow.  I've tried to not keep up with how far along I would be...  It's hard to believe that we would be halfway through the pregnancy by now.  I should have been feeling all sorts of movement.  We would have known the gender much earlier, but we would be getting those scans - seeing a profile, little hands and feet, and so much more.

I'm getting to the point now where when I feel a gas bubble, I don't have to remind myself that it's just gas.  My Macbook's cookies no longer constantly bombard me with advertisements for all things baby, because I'm not wasting time planning to turn the playroom into a nursery.  Life and my body are pretty much back to normal.

I'm not a dweller.  I have never been one to spend time dwelling on the things in this that I've lost.  I grieve, but I continue to live.  As much as a realist that I often am, I'm also an optimist.  Okay, maybe I'm not exactly an optimist in general terms, but I am someone who is so filled with God's joy that even when life just sucks, I can't help but be grateful for the blessings in my life.   A friend of mine has posted a quote by Ann Voskamp a couple of times recently, and it fits where I am in my life.  "Being joyful isn't what makes you grateful.  Being grateful is what makes you joyful."

I long for this child I will never know here on earth.  My first miscarriage, I only had an idea of what I was missing.  Sometimes it was easier not knowing, especially given where I was in ever aspect of my life then.  This time, I know what it is to experience a healthy, perfect pregnancy and birth.  I know what it is to look down and find your child searching for and finding home in your face and touch.  I know exactly what I have lost, yet I'm so grateful for the blessings of God that I cannot help but be joyful.

I've been reading in the Psalms lately in my quiet time.  I realized that it's a part of the Bible that I've largely avoided in favor of other books, for some reason.  A week ago I was reading Chapter 27 and ran across verses 13 & 14.  They are very true for this point in my journey, showing that even in my most difficult times, God always has me.  He strengthens my heart.

Winning At Home & Ask Ladybug

Friday, June 26, 2015

Last night we were supposed to go to the Natural's game with Bart's lighting society.  However only seven people signed up to go, and three of those seven were us, so the event was canceled.  I can't really say that I was very sad about it.  It's not that I don't enjoy a great night of baseball, but I spent the day cleaning bathrooms, dusting the living room, and mopping floors.  I didn't really feel like being social at the end of the day.  Also, I don't really know anyone from this group, so it would have been like torture to this introverted soul.  Instead I fixed leftovers, Bart mowed the yard, and we put fresh water in the girls' swimming pool.  Once Ladybug was in bed, Bart and I watched last night's episode of The Astronaut Wives Club, which we both absolutely love.  It was a very fun, very low-key evening.  As much as I really do love getting out and seeing people (I know), I also cherish these nights where it's just us at home.  Had we gone to the baseball game, this wouldn't have happened. 

I call this "Winning At Home"

Also, Wonder Woman wouldn't have been able to try on her Halloween costume.  I'm glad I ordered it early.  The suit fits to size, but all of the accessories are so big they could fit me.  Plus, I was told that it still needed a golden lasso.  I still have several months to put all of the pieces together.

Karen, over at Ting's Mom blog took some questions that have made the Facebook rounds that you're supposed to ask your kids about you and write down exactly what they answer.  You can read her son Bug's answer's here, and her daughter Ting's answers here.  Anyway, I decided to give it whirl as well.  After all, Ladybug is constantly telling me funny things these days.  I was curious what she thought of me.

What is something mom always says to you? Play

What makes mom happy? Sledding in the snow

How does mom make you laugh? Butterfly and Eskimo Kisses

What was your mom like as a child? You liked bears and sea lions

How old is your mom? 5

How tall is your mom? 6

What is your mom’s favorite thing to do? Read Bible

What does mom do when you are not around? Play with our dogs

If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for? She didn't understand famous or care to answer.

What is mom really good at? Playing with me!  Playing Trouble!

What is mom not good at? Playing with Dory

What does your mom do for a job? Playing with Lucy

What is mom’s favorite food? Tomatoes

What makes you proud of mom? Going putt putt

If mom was a character, who would she be? Wonder Woman

What do you and mom do together? Read

How are you and mom the same? We like to dance

How are you and mom different? I don’t like fireworks, you do.

How do you know mom loves you? We hug like Elsa and Anna

What does mom like the most about daddy? He rubs your back

Where is mom’s favorite place to go? Walmart

How old was mom when you were born? I don’t know.

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