Tag: mercy

sunshine

How to make the sun shine on you today

I hope it is. It’s shining on me today but that’s because I’ve finally made a decision I can live with, one I should have made a few days ago.

sunshine

And this decision reflects God’s presence in my life. I can’t go into detail but let me say that my decision meant that someone else will benefit from something they shouldn’t while I will lose something in the process. And it stings. But they will experience undeserved mercy, just as I’ve experienced it so often myself.

Haven’t you been there? As a Christian, it should happen more than not because we should always be trying to fulfill the most important commandment, “Love the Lord your God, with all your heart, all your soul, and all your might. And your neighbor as yourself.”

When we fulfill that commandment we often have to put ourselves in positions that our prideful hearts don’t want to go. But God keeps “nagging” us to do the right thing. And when we do that “right” thing, the sun starts to shine in our heart again.

sunshine

I have a very sensitive conscience, especially to the Holy Spirit’s leading. I kinda’ wished I didn’t. What others can get away with, I can’t. I sometimes I wish I could. Of course, when you ask God to interfere in your life when he needs to (as I always do), to present a “detour” when you’re heading down the wrong road, I guess you shouldn’t be surprised when he does.

It’s funny because nothing in my life as changed today. The circumstances are just as I wrote yesterday. But I should be able to sleep tonight knowing I’ve done the kind and merciful thing.

Isn’t it strange how we are responsible for so much of our own happiness, how we are the ones that decide if the sun is going to shine on us or not?

Take a lesson from me, examine your heart. Is God asking you to do something, or not do something, that is preventing the sun from shining on you? It might be something worth considering.

I’m glad I did.

God bless and I hope you have a good day.

When there is no encouragement and no “good”word

(If you read this post yesterday, I apologize. It wasn’t supposed to go out until today. Does that tell you how overwhelmed I am? But much good has come my way since yesterday. I’ve made some progress on the legal side and some discussions with friends and family have enlightened me and solidified my thinking. Sometimes we get so intent on being “fair”, we’re not very smart. But that’s when God steps in and encourages you to take stock of not only everyone else but yourself as well. Satan likes to make us second-guess God’s clear wisdom. If we stay focused though and don’t rush ahead of ourselves, it all eventually becomes clear. That’s how God shows us mercy. So I am publishing this post again in case you missed it yesterday.

 I am reposting it under another title with some changes.  I most certainly would’ve re-read it last night and edited it. I always do. So today’s version includes some of those minor changes.)

I have a lot of versions of Proverbs 12:25 for you to read. But before you do, let me warn you.

This is a brutally honest post and I’m writing it as a long-time follower of Christ.

New International Version
Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.
New Living Translation
Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.
English Standard Version
Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad
New American Standard Bible
Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, But a good word makes it glad.
King James Bible
Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.
Holman Christian Standard Bible
Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, but a good word cheers it up.
Aren’t these great verses? I mean they’re some of my favorite.
But guess what?
Sometimes there are no “good” words to say.
Sometimes there are no words of encouragement.
Sometimes there is nothing that can cheer us up.
inactivity-and-depression
Have you ever been there? When there can be no “good” outcome?
I sure hate to start your day off this way but if you’re struggling as I am with a similar situation, maybe this will help.
You all know my mom has been diagnosed with dementia. I’ve tried hard not to believe this. I’ve explained away all her symptoms as something else. But the confusion is increasing. My brother and I are pretty discouraged as we see the future and it doesn’t look good.
Is there any “good” word that anyone can say?
Nope.
Before you judge my faith, this is truly a case of  “unless you’ve had this horrible disease impact your life”, you have no clue.
Where my faith does come in is not what “good” words anyone might say but only the promise that somehow, some way, God will keep his promise to me, “that he will never give me more than I can handle”. Right now I don’t see how that can be but I trust God because I know he sees the big picture.

God sees the big picture

 I only see this little microscopic and miserable part of my current situation. There is nothing “good” about dementia. There is no good “word” anyone can say. And everyone who’s experienced this with a loved one knows what I’m talking about.
There is no mention of dementia anywhere in scripture. I will be honest and say, “This really bothers me.” I mean at least if I had some specific story I could relate to, some “words” I could quote from scripture that says “Here’s what you do when someone is diagnosed with dementia”, that would help. But there’s nothing.
Many people experience situations every day for which there is no corresponding example in the Bible.
So what are we to do?
I’d like to think my faith will be strengthened. But I think it’s likely to be challenged instead.
I’d like to think I’ll have an inspirational story to tell someday, but there’s nothing inspirational about dementia.
I’d like to think I’ll come out on the other side of all this a better person but I worry that I won’t. I could go on……
But what it really boils down to is one word that I’m clinging to:

Mercy

(Yesterday, as I wrote in the first paragraph, mercy showed up through conversations and insights.  Tomorrow mercy might present itself in a book or a song. Mercy has no limitations. God can use whatever vehicle he wants to send mercy our way. The only thing we have to do is recognize it.  

I am counting on God’s mercy showering me time and again in God’s most creative ways.  I am thankful today that we do indeed serve a merciful God who leads us when we are tired, angry, confused, directionless, flailing about, etc.  I’m glad we serve a merciful God that looks past our failings, real or imagined. )

I hope this helped and God bless you today.
sad/2017

A good day in Paradise and how you can feel good

As I wrote yesterday, this will be a very random week of posts and thoughts.

Mom’s doctor’s visit yesterday revealed nothing more about her mental state that we didn’t already know. We just wanted to make sure there was nothing “medical” going on with her. She is losing weight, however. That has me concerned.

In case any of you suffer from depression, I want to let you in on a couple of things that we are doing for her that will also work if you are mood is in the toilet right now. (Sorry, for the “toilet” part but sometimes you just shouldn’t sugar coat things.)

sad/2017

First of all, turn on all the lights in the areas you will be in for most of the day. OPEN the drapes. Doesn’t matter if there is sun or not; there is light. And it reminds you that there is life out there.

BUT when it starts to get dark, CLOSE the drapes and continue to keep all the lights on.

We did this yesterday at my mom’s and she had no confusion last night.

Which brings me to this point:

It is the most simple and “natural” approaches that often work to manage and sometimes even cure many emotional and mental issues. Things like getting enough sunlight (and taking vitamin D supplements during the winter), getting enough rest, getting enough exercise, limiting sugar ( a big one for me.)

I’m going to say something here and I hope you understand that I’m coming from a place of love. (Plus the fact that I’ve walked this path of  “depression”.)

I’ve read countless blogs and talked with many, many people as a hospital chaplain, and Bible teacher. I am nothing short of amazed that people will continue their miserable state of affairs without even trying to get better.

Oh, they say they are trying to work on some issues when what they mean is they are taking their pills and feeling sorry for themselves. When they are pressed about whether they’re exercising, getting enough sleep, watching their sugar intake, monitoring their thoughts, finding companionship, etc, they’re not.

I have a number of family and friends who have suffered from depression or are now. The ones that are managing it and actually carving out some contentedness are those who do more than just take a pill.

Didn’t mean to go on a rant, but remember this is the week, I don’t edit myself too much.

Back to my mom. Do you see that we have initiated many different approaches to caring for her? We could have sat back and let her continue to slide downhill and continue to pump her with medication. At this point, we still have hope, not she might get a lot better but that she might not have to get any worse.

Readers, so very much of our feeling of well-being and peace depend on the choices we make.

exercise/2017

Last night my hubby and I saw “Hacksaw Ridge”. It’s a story about a young conscientious objector in the armed forces who refuses to even carry a gun. Upshot to the story and not to give anything away that isn’t already published, this young soldier ends up single-handedly rescuing seventy of his fallen comrades. To watch the determination and choices he makes throughout this battle are such that the entire audience got up and clapped when the show was over. I had tears in my eyes most of the time, and wondering what I would have done given the choices he was given.

So this was my “rambling” for today. Hope it helped some of you.

God bless and have a god day.

 

 

guilt free zone

Why you need a “guilt-free” zone

In yesterday”s post I shared my recently coined phrase, “guilt-free zone”. I shared two questions I ask myself when I’m overwhelmed because I’m feeling too much responsibility. So the final questions is:

If I don’t bear any responsibility, but I still feel some anyway, what do I do? Continue reading “Why you need a “guilt-free” zone”

too much guilt

Why we all need a “guilt-free” zone.

Last Saturday, during my week in review, I mentioned I came up with an original phrase that I am now claiming as my own. I’ve never read it anywhere but I was having a conversation with someone and there it was escaping my lips and I thought, “Wow. I really like this.”

The more I thought about it, the more I thought, I have got to write a post about it. If you want to use this phrase just ask me first.

K?

Here’s the phrase I’m so excited about: “Guilt-free zone.”

Now let me give you some background and explain why I think God prompted this phrase to pop into my head.

I find guilt to be my constant companion, not because I actually do much of anything to feel guilty about but just because that’s who I am. I can feel guilty for no reason whatsoever. I can feel guilty for things other people do. I can feel guilty if someone else acts like a jerk.

I’ve alway been like this. As a child, I always felt guilty for the things that were happening around me.

 

And there was a lot happening.

too much guilt

I carried that guilt into adulthood very successfully. I’ve pretty much got it conquered except in a couple of circumstances.

So last week, when we were at the cabin, I thought, “You know what? I need to enjoy my time here with my husband. Actually, it’s God’s plan as well that I enjoy my time with my husband. He comes first.

too much guilt

I need to close off my mind when I’m here. I need a guilt-free zone.

So how does one develop a “guilt-free zone”?

I think there is only one way. And that is to have a clear conscience. That is where we begin. Now the question becomes, “How do we get a clear conscience”?

Here’s how I’m doing it.

I look at each situation carefully and ask some questions.

The first two are fairly easy. We all know what we’re responsible for, don’t we? I mean, really? (Actually, as I write this, I can think of people  who seem to take little responsibility for their actions. Sadly, there are plenty of irresponsible people in this world. So I guess these questions are not for those people.) 

Moving on,  the first question I ask myself is:

Do I bear any responsibility in this situation? 

Wouldn’t you agree we are all responsible for our own words, attitudes, and actions? Whether we admit it or not, this is unequivocally true. So anything I say, anything I feel, and anything I do, are on me. I don’t generally have any problems here. I grew up “responsible”. Too much so, remember?

But I am not responsible for other’s words, attitudes, and actions. Whether they care to admit it or not, this is also unequivocally true. So anything they say, they feel, and they do are on them.

So if we can know we have no responsibility in an area, we can let that go. If it’s a problem someone else has that is impeding on us, we can decide to not let it impact us negatively.

If I do bear responsibility, have I carried out that responsibility?

But sometimes we do bear some responsibility to another person. Parents have an inherent responsibility for their young children. Adult children often have responsibilities to older parents. Young children might have a responsibility for caring for their pets. Sometimes we have a responsibility to a friend going through a difficult time. Spouses have responsibilities at times to their mate due to illness or other issues.

When I wrote the previous paragraph I originally used the word “for” instead of “to”. But when I thought about it some more, I changed it in a couple of circumstances because adults are seldom responsible “for” another adult.

To summarize this would be to say that there are times in our lives when our responsibility for others goes beyond responsibility and is actually more of a case of mercy. Christians are required to be merciful when the occasion calls for it. Would you agree with the following statement?

Mercy may often be an extension of responsibility.

I will share the last question with you tomorrow.

God bless and have a good day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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