If I believe God turns our "ashes" (loss, pain, bitterness, shame) into "beauty" (hope, peace, forgiveness, acceptance, eternal life); does that mean I am bound to perpetual happiness, and super positive living? Am I accountable as a Christian to always see the GOOD in all the BAD? Should I suppress my anger and confusion with pain, until I can see God's hand in my life?

I am going to take a giant leap and give a solid, resounding, "I DON"T KNOW!

It's human nature to want answers and solutions to life's mysteries. To look for someone or something to blame when tragedy hits. Aristotle said "Men do not think they know a thing till they have grasped the why of it."  We feel the need to know, how could God allow devastation and evil in our world? war, plague, starvation, death, abuse, murder, slavery??

I guess according to Aristotle, I should be very unhappy with my confusion. And frankly, i'm not blissfully joyful that I don't have answers. It's seriously the first thing I'm going to ask God when we sit down together for a strong cup of Heavenly coffee.
"WHY couldn't you stop the horrific stuff...like the Holocaust, genocide, child molestation.... Couldn't humans have found their way to you without the atrocities?"

But since right at this moment, I am NOT having a cup of Joe with the Almighty (won't that be grand?), I have an inclining that while i'm here, i'm just going to have to be OK with trusting.
It's not for my (super smart) brain to figure out.

10 years ago, (this month to be precise!) Kent and I lost our first baby. I went into labour, had fierce contractions and emptied my womb 4 and a half months too soon. NOT a happy ending.
When I went back to work (in a nursing home) after the  miscarriage, I couldn't help but notice how the fellow staff seemed awkward around me. They wouldn't look me in the eye, and tried to avoid being left alone at my side. They had been so open to celebrate my pregnancy, why would they avoid me now when I needed them more?

It didn't take long to realize that they themselves couldn't make sense of my grief. They weren't meaning to be cold...they just weren't comfortable with my situation and loss. I found out later that when staff on our unit were notified of my loss, the head nurse went into the privacy of the med room and bawled.

As Christians we feel the need to spread the "good news", show the bright side of life, and God's lasting freedom. True, nothing is impossible for God, thus no situation too bleak for His hope! But sometimes there is pressure to get away from the uncomfortable ugliness too quickly. We push for our friends or family members to get emotional healing and "move on"! We look forward to (crave) the time when everything is "OK" again. But when grief is raw, the situation still sensitive....that is the WRONG way to go, the wrong way to think. Most often, as supporters, we didn't create the tragedy, so why should we try to "solve it" or "fix it" either?

God's hope, freedom, peace is real and for everyone. However His timing is perfect, and forcing people to hurry up and feel happy again (so we don't have to be uncomfortable) is not a part of His plan.

Saying "I care about you", "You must be so devastated", or even, "I'm here", is more comforting than, "It's going to be ok" or "God is going to make something good out of this"! * unfortunately, the most common response I got from people after the miscarriage was ,"don't worry, you'll have LOTS of babies someday!"-   I totally get where they were coming from, but it actually hurt, rather than comfort.
Even better, don't say anything at all. ACTIONS seriously speak louder.
Hug, smile, make eye-contact, hang around, pray, love, eat together, check-in, respect privacy, and don't judge how they grieve. Don't assume they do, or don't, want to talk about it either. ASK!
What's left for us to do? To make of this world?

Pray for trust. Pray for Hope.
For when we can't see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel,
When we can't "see the good",
We have Hope.

Hope in our lives is like a steady beam of light in darkness.
It's not detailed like a map or a compass.
It won't GPS exactly where we're going (shoot!),
But it most certainly will lead the way.


His peace is real

God's Peace.
It covers us like the fragrance of sweet blossoms,
It chases away the darkest of fears, the deepest uncertainties.
It sustains, it protects, it comforts and it upholds.


the will of a child

My daughter is 7. She is testing out her will power to see how much we'll allow her to get away with. Its fun! No, actually its tiring and disconcerting as a parent. Its typical behavior for her age....right? (please say yes).

Lately I find myself praying in the hallway outside her closed bedroom door. Praying as I count to ten (instead of hollering), praying before I dole out a severe punishment (to make sure I haven't lost control). Praying that everyone will instantly enter dreamland and NOT request the newly discovered hot water bottle as their "bedtime therapy". Don't ask.

When on earth did our daughter become so belligerent and stubborn? Or am I over-reacting? Do we spoil her? Did I talk to my parents disrespectfully when I was in gr. 1? Is that even relevant? Can i get away with locking her up in her room for the next 20 years? Does she love herself? Is she self-conscience? Could I bring in Nanny 911 to help and award us with a cruise?

Question/ Pondering: When is it necessary to PUSH a child for obedience, and when should we be sensitive to a developing will and spirit, and let things go. Its a fine line.  Or is it? 
I think I'll refer back to our small group book study on Grace based parenting, there were some real gems of wisdom in there...
And thank goodness the night becomes morning, and the morning brings a new day.
I'm sure everything will look brighter tomorrow.

a sweet sound

I love this piano because it is old, I mean REALLY old. The keys are chipped, and get sticky when its humid. The very fact that it has been around a long time, makes it very precious and important.
Yet someone else looking at the broken edges and scratched surface, may deem it junk or even ugly.

 I value it anyway, and plan to keep it as long as i can.


a path made steady

The well worn path. A rugged and rough terrain made steady and smooth, from the footprints of a thousand. The pounding of earth, the breaking of ground, one step pulled in front of the other.
There is clarity and beauty in the path. There is hope and freedom.

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