Tag: wisdom

wisdom

When we doubt past decisions

I’ve often written about making good decisions.

But what about those times we find ourselves doubting past decisions? And don’t we all at some time or another?

If you’re one of those rare people who doesn’t, then I envy you. I’m not one of those. I do doubt past decisions. That means I must doubt whether or not I’ve always heard God clearly. And to that I say, yes, I think there have been times I’ve not heard God clearly. Probably, only because I haven’t asked.

I’ve never doubted that God has had my best interest at heart always, but I do wonder at times if I’ve confused his voice with mine. Please someone out there, tell me you’ve been there, too.

Haven’t you all looked back and asked yourself whether you really heard God or not? I hope so because I firmly believe it’s only through some self-examination that we grow in our life and in our faith. I believe Romans 12:2:

 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

I would contend that we renew our mind only by examining our mind first and for me, that means examining past decisions because our decisions say a lot about us. In fact, one could say it’s our decisions, our choices, that say the most about us.

Sometimes we jump ahead of God and make our decisions never giving God a thought.  Then there are those that can’t make the simplest decision because they worry they will be stepping outside of God’s will. That’s as dangerous.

It’s a conundrum.

That’s why I love Proverbs. It’s chocked full of helpful and practical advice. For example, over and over again there is the imperative that if you want to reap a harvest, whether it’s veggies and fruits, or ideas and decisions, you have to put in the work first. It’s why every day I ask for wisdom for the things that come my way. For the most part, I would say I’ve always felt I’ve received the wisdom I needed.

Every day I ask for wisdom for the things that come my way. For the most part, I would say I’ve always felt I’ve received the wisdom I needed. Even when I’ve had to make on-the-spot decisions. I’ve learned to accept that no matter what decision is looming ahead of me, I will receive the wisdom I need when I need it. Guaranteed.

With my mom’s illness, I was surprised (I shouldn’t have been) how I always had the resources I needed, whether a magazine article, something someone said, a news report, that would be the answer to what I was questioning. In fact, when I look back over these past few years, I feel truly blessed that God made my road clear every step of the way.

Even the day of her death.

Somehow “wisdom” stepped in and made it clear that I should not leave her house, that death was imminent. Nothing had changed in her condition. But God instilled in my heart the knowledge ahead of time. I just “knew”.  And I think that’s because I’ve learned that the wisdom I seek can always be trusted to be there.

The day she died, I had gone out on her deck for just a few minutes. I was only there a very short while when once again there was that “prompt” to go back inside. The minute I walked into her room, again, I knew, as only God can make a person know anything, that she was within minutes of leaving this world. I called my brother in immediately. I called my husband who had just left to run some errands. Within ten minutes she was gone with the people that knew her the longest holding her as she slipped from this world to the next, me, my brother, my husband, and my brother’s ex-wife.

That’s what wisdom does if we trust God to reveal it to us. 

If this is an area that has been lacking in your prayer life, asking for daily wisdom for whatever decisions you may have to make that day,  you might want to consider adding that request.

God bless and have a good day.

victory

How to triumph over the really tough times.

Why am I so tired? Why do I feel so deflated?

Oh, yea, now I remember.

The fatigue I am feeling after the loss of my mom is overwhelming. It’s been one week.

My brother and I have lived on such high alert these past months, that to have that pressure gone, to longer be so hyper vigilant seems like a void. It’s like our balloon was full all the time and now the air has been let out.

Whew!

deflated balloon

THE BATTLES

We went from having to constantly remind her she needed her hearing aids, to finding her hearing aids as she was constantly losing them. She was very stubborn, no, very, very, stubborn and strong-willed. There were days I had to actually leave her house because I was shouting so much to get her to hear me. After about thirty minutes, it comes across like you’re mad, even if you’re not. So there’s that.

Then there were the battles over the walker. Try and make someone do something they don’t want to do. That’s very stressful.  So for months, we were holding our breath and worrying as we watched her stumble and sway. And, of course, she did fall.

Then there were the GI bleeds and the hospitalizations.

There were the battles over her eating. Prior to all this, we went through a time when she wasn’t eating at all. We tried everything. Buying her everything we thought she would like. I cooked her favorite foods. Eventually, we got past that.

Then there was trying to get her used to the home care we brought in to help her. She couldn’t’ be left alone at all for the last months as there was too great a danger of falling. It was like pulling teeth to having her accept the home care we were insisting on. Finally, the women became “friends” to her. And eventually, they were there almost twenty-four hours a day.

Then there was her memory. Most of the time, it was gone. So she couldn’t remember falling-ever. When we showed her the broken arm with a cast, she still didn’t believe us. When she broke her fingers a few weeks after breaking her wrist, she couldn’t remember even falling the first time. She thought we were lying to her. So there was that.

It was hard. We both felt great stress all the time trying to do our best for her.

We were a team and we were determined to keep her in her home. But it took a toll on us.

THE VICTORY

victory

And here’s the important part. We would both do it all over again. It’s amazing the strength God gives when we have none left. Right up until the end.

No matter what you’re struggling with, God will open a path to get through it.

1 Corinthians 10:13New International Version (NIV)1

No temptation[a] has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted[b] beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,[c] he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

(1 Corinthians 10:13 The Greek for temptation and tempted can also mean testing and tested.)

But here’s the thing. God requires our cooperation.

For every struggle we had with my mom, I was actively pursuing options. I took books out of the library. I searched the web. I called her doctor time and again to try something new. I talked to other people. I reached out in as many ways as I could think of. I can’t think of a single idea I came up with that wasn’t the result of hard work on my part along with a lot of prayer and direction from God.

Something would pop into my head and I would know God was leading and so I would buckle down and do whatever I had to do.

BUT FIRST, THE QUESTION

question mark

 

Jesus once asked a blind mind sitting by a pool, “What do you want me to do?”

“I want to be healed”. (paraphrased)

Jesus healed him but the blind man (Bartimaeus) had to ask. I often imagined I was being asked that question.

“What do you want”.

“I want ………………………..”

For every step of my mom’s journey, I asked God, not for healing, but for direction and wisdom.

And every step of the way, he answered.

God bless and have a good day.

 

heart

What is the condition of your heart?

Someone once said,

A good heart is better than all the heads in the world.

My mom never graduated from high school. She will tell you she is not smart although nothing could be further from the truth. She is a woman of integrity.

So when I came across this phrase, I thought of her.

She if often intimated by people with educations and feels inferior. She is easily in awe of people with money figuring they must be really smart if they have a lot of it.

But who is smarter? The person who has learned to live life humbly and generously or the one who has a couple of degrees, and a lot of money but is a miserable human being?

What is the condition of your heart?

What is the condition of mine?

How generous are we to others? Do we give our time and resources freely or do we hang on tight to them?

Sometimes I think I’m smart but when I do I remind myself that if I do make smart decisions, it’s because it’s the prayer I pray every day, “Lord, give me wisdom for each decision I have to make and each circumstance I find myself in. Make me smarter than I am.”

He has always provided me with the information, the resources, and the time I need to make good decisions. Sometimes I don’t receive wisdom until the very last minute but I have learned to trust God over the years. Thus I’ve learned that my thinking processes are guided by him and for the most part I am pleased with the decisions I make.

I have much to do today so I’m signing off quickly because God is waiting to hear from me and I’m waiting to hear from him. This has been a week of getting up and getting out the door with precious few minutes for our usual time together and I need to keep my heart tuned-up.

God bless and I hope you have a great weekend.

 

When God wakes you up at 4:00 a.m.

As you know, there has been a lot going on in my life this week.

Yesterday was such a day. You can read about it here.

This morning at 4:00 a.m. God woke me up. I’m sure many would say it was because of stress. Some of it might have been but God certainly had some things to say to me.

While I am exhausted now, I am very much at peace about all the decisions I am having to make, which brings me to this post.

I find that when most people talk about compassion, they throw out common sense and logic. It’s so easy to have a knee-jerk reaction because we want to feel magnanimous. We don’t think through our choices. And, as Christians, we can really get messed up sometimes because we’re not familiar with all of Scripture. And the totality of scripture more times than not suggests that compassion should be tempered with thoughtful intelligence.

An example might be when someone feels compassion for a family member or friend who has a drug or alcohol addiction and contributes to that addiction by a gift of money. One could still help but in a way that doesn’t encourage bad behavior.

I thought of every parable. I thought of every healing. I thought of every lesson taught throughout the Bible. I thought of the Proverbs pertaining to wisdom.And all of that helped me work through the issues.

I have a supernatural peace now that scripture promises when we bring God in on our decision-making process from the very beginning.

Here’s some links to past posts about making decisions:

making decisions

My experience with how God helps us make good decisions

How to be absolutely sure God is leading us. (part 1

And then there is a post that seems contradictory. You’ll have to read it to know what I’m talking about.

Why we don’t always have to ask God about every decision.

Anyway, hope this helps you today if you have some big decisions to make.

God bless and have a good one.

 

 

 

 

Proverbs 12:25/2017

How to live with a chronic brokenness, four steps

I must admit that I don’t like living with any brokenness but there are times we just can’t avoid it. I”m not talking about physical pain;  that’s another topic for another day.

I”m talking about hose ongoing situations from which we absolutely cannot escape until the situation is resolved. And it’s not a resolution we can accomplish. It’s out of our hands.

Those are tough times because we so want the situation to get better or go away but to know we are going to continue to deal with it a long time is unimaginable to us. I like things to be resolved. I hate ambiguity.

As a child I could never be sure of anything and so I lived day by day fearfully anticipating the next explosion. While it never surprised me when it did come, I still, because I was a child, hoped it wouldn’t. And it didn’t take long before this unsettled childhood led to anxiety which became a pretty permanent state of being for many years.

So even today when I’m faced with something negative that just might be a long-term negative, my first reaction is to feel anxious. Thank goodness I’ve learned to quickly identify it and take immediate steps to relieve it.

Like yesterday

Yesterday was such a day. My husband recognized it immediately and suggested we do somewhere. He suggested Barnes and Noble. That sounded good but once we were out I mentioned Hobby Lobby and that I’d like to look around as there are usually good sales in their home goods department at this time of year. This is the time of year I got those adorable Christmas mugs I shared with you a few weeks ago.

Then because it was so unusually warm, and kinda’, sorta’ sunny, sitting inside just wasn’t going to cut it. So I suggested we walk in our local state park. We ended up walking for almost an hour and the fresh air and exercise was exactly what I needed. I came home refreshed and relaxed.

Today it’s dark and gloomy but I am ready to tackle my day. I found these great chairs at Hobby Lobby yesterday and am thinking about going back and buying just one to see how it looks in my kitchen. They can order more.

Isn’t it adorable?

chair/hobby lobby/2017

And then I found these bowls that I’m going to hang on a wall in our sunroom.

image

image

 

turquoise bowls./2017

But most importantly I will remember this:

Proverbs 12:25/2017

 

So how do you live with a certain level of brokenness?

  1. If you’re a follower of Jesus, you cling to him for wisdom. You continue with your prayer life and Bible study time. (Although with the praying, you may find that there are times you will simply pray, “Holy Spirit, pray for me today. You know my needs and concerns. I don’t have the words.”

2. You get up, make the bed, and put on your best appearance. In other words, show up.

3. You engage in some sort of physical activity.

4. You do something creative. This is a must for me and I believe it is for most people. It doesn’t mean you have to be an artist, or do “arty” things. It might just mean re-arranging something in a room or moving something from one room another. It might mean fixing something you’ve been putting off. What matters is that your mind is fully engaged.

Do the things that bring a level of distraction. As I’ve said before and will repeat often:

Distraction is a wonderful thing.

It’s not easy knowing some situations are never going to get better. But don’t say, “It is what it is”.

Why?

Because God doesn’t.

Not once.

Not ever.

If God had a middle name it would be “hope”.

God bless and I hope you have a good day.

 

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