Friday, January 31, 2014

Together

When hard times come, Together
Is all that will hold
You
Together is when one hand
Cannot do it all, but Together
Where there are two or more
He adds three, and Together
All is possible.

Together one sleeps while the other wakes
Together one is strong while the other breaks
Together.
Prayer binds Together

When good times come, Together
Brings the laughter that will hold
You
Together when the hard times come.
Holding hands and hugs are all
Together.
In the good times, He is there
Together with you too.

When it is just you.
Together He and you make two
You are always together.
Never alone -
Together.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Don't be Surprised by Underlying Stress

Most of us would not announce that we are under stress. As a Christian, being stressed is sometimes considered sinful, and to some degree it can be a sin to let stress overtake your life to the degree that you have sinful behaviors.

Underlying stress, however, is something that is hard to control. It's always there, and you just might not think about until you see that the appointment on the calendar is getting closer, or you see your child do "something" that could mean he is coming down with a problem. You might not think about it until the day you will be playing a piano solo, or the night before your 20 week ultrasound. It's been there though. It's been in the back of your mind, and that means that it has been affecting your body.

You could have a headache all day before an appointment, or maybe you have a funny feeling deep in your stomach for weeks. You might feel achy and tired. All of these are symptoms of underlying stress.

As a parent of a child with special needs, I think it has become a part of life. I know I had it before Trenton was born, but now, it is often there. Some days I feel like it ages me, and it probably does. The longer the time between stressful situations, the better you will probably feel. It is a blessing from the Lord when there long periods of good sleep and many days where you feel "together." I have to say that I am probably the biggest failure in handling underlying stress, but as with most of my posts, that's why I'm writing. I want to help you and me.

Is there a cure for underlying stress? God is really your only help for it besides good health habits, and even He does not promise our trials will disappear. This underlying stress does not need to control us, make us angry, or sick, but it it often does. If we know it is there, and we know it could come, then we can be ready for it. Don't be surprised by it. It might not be on a schedule, or it might be like my son's abdominal migraines. If you know that a stressful situation is going to be on your plate, do relaxing exercises, eat right, take B-12, and omega 3, and most of all seek the Lord. Be ready to confront the stress head on with an attitude of courage and surrender. God is so merciful to give us times of rest, but His grace will carry us through the other times.

The stress will be there, it's part of the curse. It's part of life on this failing earth, but God is bigger.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

If I Could Write Your Future...

If I could write your future
Within the Sands of Time,
I'd let you walk the beach
Holding a hand besides mine.

I'd hope you'd be an artist,
A musician, or mathematician.
All three would be
A wonderful combination.

Running shoes well-worn -
Your Bible even more
The best quiet time -
A walk along the shore.

Your lips would speak,
Your ears would hear,
Your feet would walk,
You'd taste the finest foods.

If I could write your future
Within the Sands of Time,
I'd hope that I would write it,
For your good and not mine.

But since the God of Heaven
Had your story written down,
Before we knew your struggles
Or that you would be our own -

I'll read each day as it comes
With each trial and each test.
I'll teach you
That what He has written is the best.














Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Preparing Your Children for Trials

The trials of life are meant to give us patience right?

This means that as a Christian, we should enjoy the trial, right?

Paul sang in prison in the midst of filth and most likely pain, so we can do it too, right?

Right and Wrong.

 
  
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,
for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
  
And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
 
 
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. James 1:2-5 ESV
 
We can't do it. I don't know about you, but I lack wisdom. Every day I lack wisdom, and I do not always ask for it as I should. Wisdom in trials is something that is essential. When you give birth to a child with special needs, you need wisdom. When you find out that you have cancer, you need wisdom. When a loved one dies, you need wisdom to get through it.
 
When we do not have wisdom, we have to ask for it without doubting. It is hard to do. It is hard to have faith in a trial, but God knew that, or He would not have had James add the phrase "If any of you lack wisdom." It is a given that we will have them, but handling them with wisdom is what we often need to go to God about.  
 
We can live in trials with joy, but there will be sadness. We have to endure the trial by staying steadfast in our belief that God is in control of the situation. There will be moments of anxiety, but we are commanded to be anxious for nothing.
 
We will experience trials, and it will not be easy to be joyful. It will be a battle. This is something that I think is essential to pass on to our children. It is easy to not want to go into this with our children, because we don't want them to have trials. We don't want them to go through what we have gone through, so we make joy in trials seem easy. We say to look at Paul, we say that these trials will give us patience. Although these are true, they are false as well.
 
In Romans 7, Paul, the man who sang in prison displays the age old struggle that we as Christians go through - The good that I want to do, I do not do, and the evil that I do not want to do, that is what I do. The end of the passage ask who will deliver Paul from this struggle, and he says that he is thankful that only God through Christ can help. This is the struggle of the man who sang in prison. He wanted us to know that it was only through Christ that he could do that.
 
I'm thankful for that verse. It reminds me that even though I am a Christian, there is still a battle within me, and it was not just within me, it was also in this godly man who called himself the chiefest of sinners.
 
As someone currently going through a trial that ebbs depending on the week, I know how easy it is to get lost in the trial, to forget to look to God with it, to become grumpy and bitter, and then suddenly realize that I am not letting Christ live through me. If I were constantly talking to God and asking for the wisdom that I lack, that would never happen.
 
Do your kids a favor, prepare them for the inevitable trials. It might begin as something like losing a favorite pet, to breaking their engagement with their fiance, to having a child with special needs. Each of these trials will seem big at the time, but when you get to the next one the past seems so insignificant. Preparing your children for trials by preparing them to seek God in trials is essential. Helping your children through trials by encouraging them to pray for wisdom is essential. Don't let them sit and think about how the trial hurt them. Don't let the focus be on self. Let the focus be on Christ and seeking His wisdom.
 
May my sons go through the trials in their lives better than I have in mine.