When Words Fail: Laugh

Proverbs 17:22 A joyful heart is good medicine, But a broken spirit dries up the bones. 

Words have been failing me lately. Literally. I try to respond in conversation and I can’t bring what I want to say to mind, or I’m talking about cooking and “cat” comes out. Imagery and laughter aside, it is quite frustrating for a wordsmith to be silenced. So, since laughter is good medicine and the kids and I have been creating an abundance of jokes . . . here are a few of my favorites.

 

Why are suckers always singing? Answer: Because they are covered in rappers.

Why don’t musicians like the police? Answer: Because they place you under a-rest. (Daniel original)

What note can a car tire play? Answer: B flat

Who gets in trouble more, a football player, or figure skater? Answer: A figure skater, because they are always skating on thin ice.

 

Cultivate laughter, plant it in the lives around you and watch joy grow.

 

 

 

Grander Views in the Middle of Pain

Jeremiah 15:18 Why then does my suffering continue? Why is my wound so incurable? Your help seems as uncertain as a seasonal brook, like a spring that has gone dry.

 

Daniel has been in more pain over the last few weeks. His vertigo and sensitivity to any kind of car motion has ended up in several episodes of throwing up. So our trip to Cedar Point (roller coaster capital of the world) was up in the air as to whether he would enjoy.

Much to my surprise and delight, Daniel worked within his limitations and enjoyed his time. But I questioned the wisdom of one chosen ride. Spinning 300 feet in the air at 30 miles an hour didn’t exactly sound vertigo friendly. He wanted to try anyway. He did fine as we went up, but as soon as the swings began to circle around the nausea began. I held his hand and told him to look forward. Vision better focused he could now take in the scenery and exclaimed. “It is beautiful! God is so creative! Wow, is this all one lake?”

Oh, what a glorious view I received as a parent! I breathed in my son’s joy and suddenly my own heartache diminished. Daniel could see God’s glory, even though his own physical struggles felt overwhelming.

We all need grand view reminders, so that when life is at its hardest we see God is bigger and so capable of bringing us through. But, we can’t have them if we have boarded up the windows, locked ourselves in pain, and wait for death to take us. We can only have them if we step out, take a risk, and look outside our problems. Where will you go for your grander view?

 

Love Always,

 

Karisa

 

 

Freelance Fridays: Listening

Luke 23:46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.

Daniel asked for advice this morning . . . or at least that’s what I gave him. Every suggestion he shot down as incorrect, and our conversation concluded with him stomping off declaring that I wasn’t listening, and me frustrated that he is such a “know it all”.

The question: Why did he come for me for help, if he didn’t really want it?

About 5 minutes later, the Holy Spirit breathed into my mind. “He’s right, you weren’t really listening.”

My eyes were suddenly opened to the truth of my own heart, Daniel’s, and the heart of Christ. I did not seek God, I just dove into fixing mode. Daniel needed me to listen and understand. The only answer was to take him to Jesus, and allow Jesus to work with him on this matter, not me. My answers, right though they sounded to me, and most certainly biblically based were not what was needed. He needed Jesus. I was a Pharisee giving him a to do list, while God is more interested in helping his being.

I went to Daniel, apologized for not listening. Empathized with his tough situation  and offered to pray. We held hands and prayed together. I trusted God more deeply to give Daniel the wisdom and insight to address the problem in a spectacular way I didn’t come up with.

 

 

Princesses Forever

 

Natalie is teaching  me so much about being a daughter of the King! He is extravagant with his love and calls us his bride. Treasure your daughters, and being served as daughters of our Father in heaven. Many of us struggle with being loved by God. I resisted for a long time, but oh the first time I climbed into his lap and let him hold me, he has shown me such kindness, and given me over the top blessings that could have only come from him.

When I was pregnant with Jonathan I did not expect much in the way of gifts. I was content with second-hand clothes and the simple things. The one extravagant thing I longed for was a cradle, but I told no one. A few days before Jonathan’s arrival, my Lamaze partner and her husband showed up at the home I was staying, In their arms was handmade a cherry wood cradle, crafted by my friend’s husband. I knew that it was a gift from God.

My husband was an amazing and unexpected gift from God. More recently this necklace under the Jonathan tree.

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Continue your story!

My children, Daniel’s music, and my daughter’s love for animals are an inspiration and delight. These are all parts of one great big love note from God. His consistent comfort, at just the moments I need them are testaments to his presence in my life.

This morning He surprised me with the lilies in a part of the park I don’t normally explore.

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Don’t be afraid of your longings. Expect good things from God no matter what battle you may be in the middle of.

James 1:16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.

 

I’se the B’y Who is So Happy

Psalm 112:1Praise the LORD!
            How blessed is the man who fears the LORD,
            Who greatly delights in His commandments.

Yesterday Daniel preformed in his first strings concert. He was practically floating as the performers made their way to their chairs for the first song. This boy, who has loved the violin since he was three, is most certainly created to make music, among many other things. He was praising God, for making him love music, the whole way home. I have to admit, his joy is contagious.

When we are in tune with the gifts and talents God has blessed us with there is a delight that spreads like wildfire. God has made us each uniquely gifted and heaven draws close to us when we move within that gifting. Eric Liddell, a runner featured in the movie Chariots of Fire stated, ” I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.” Do you and I feel God’s pleasure?

It has taken me a long time to be at a place that I can honestly say, when I write, I feel his delight in me. I start with a blank page and words bring images of God’s love, grace, justice and forgiveness to life! Words are clay in the hands of our maker. I love to watch His love take shape, uniquely designed for you, my reader.

We can waste a lot of time believing that we are worthless or, we can pick up our fiddle and play to the delight of our Father’s ear.

 

Daniel’s First Strings Concert: I’se the B’y

 

The Importance of Laughter in Grief

It is so vital to our wellbeing to laugh! I believe that God in heaven laughs. He named Isaac (laughter) because Sarah thought it was impossible for her to be pregnant. I believe that he takes joy in us, and laughs deeply. Can you imagine standing close to the throne of heaven and hear God laugh.

In this season of grief I need laughter, to water my soul with joy. Sewing seeds of joy in a desert. If you have a funny story to share, or a humorous author that you like, feel free to share in the comments. Jonathan loved to make me laugh. In fact, if something got me really tickled, it was his goal to get me to laugh like a hyena.

Brian: Natalie, what do you think about 3 more days of school?
Natalie: Just 3 more days and I can go back to being nocturnal!

 

 

When the Evidene is Stacked . . .Windex

Hebrews 12:10 [Fathers] disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 11No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

Daniel had a rough evening out on Sunday, topped off by cleaning the restaurant windows. (He gave me permission to share with you.) While the adults had a good chuckle, we have all been there as kids, this was no laughing matter for Daniel. He felt embarrassed and ticked at all of the adults. He wasn’t quite getting the point of the lesson.

The young waitress had waved off my request for Windex and paper towels, assuring us that she could handle the mess my kids had made. But the owner, overhearing my request, knew that I was wanting to teach my kids to respect other people’s property and to take responsibility for themselves. “Your not a mom,” she told the waitress “this is important.” She brought out the requested cleaning supplies and put my kids to work.

I asked Daniel why the owner should clean up after the mess he and Natalie made? His eyes widened as he looked at the window, and he no longer denied the evidence. His prints were everywhere. He and Natalie were just having fun, they weren’t thinking about causing someone else more work.

Most of Christianity is not a list of don’ts, in fact I’d argue that scripture teaches us to be gentle, kind, loving, and thoughtful to all we encounter. The children, certainly weren’t being bad, and this was not a sin issue. Windex moments are a chance for God to expand our compassion towards other and catch patterns in our lives that may lead to sin.

I still have Windex moments. Especially ,when my temper–I try to blame my Irish ancestors– gets the better of me. Like the waitress, I would be more than happy to let God or others clean up my mess, or let my lack of awareness slide. After all I didn’t mean to, or I was abused as a child so my actions are justified. But, gratefully God brings out the rag and Windex. He brings me into awareness and helps me to mature in faith.

Monday morning I came downstairs to see Daniel already up, Windex in hand, cleaning my patio windows, grinning from ear to ear. I am so grateful for Windex moments that teach us to better love others.

 

Parents Note: Next time I’ll try to save the chuckles for later.

 

 

 

Vending Machine Prayers or Investment Prayers

I have been settling for vending machine prayers: God thank you for this day, help us and bless others. I haven’t invested much into the conversation with God because I am exhausted from the trials and troubles. But, as Brian led our family to begin praying scripture a few weeks ago over our health I grew more hungry for God’s answers to my bigger questions. I desire to change the course of suicide! To do that is going to take mighty power that I do not have.

As Daniel and Natalie observe Brian and I earnestly seeking God’s answers, their prayers are also changing. They were used to our “lets get this over with” prayers and were resistant at first, but now our evening prayer is the highlight of the day. Specific prayers, identify the needs, of those around us, and people we may never meet this side of heaven. We are diving into our own soul hunger and wait expectantly for God’s provision. One of our specific prayers included:

Pray for the emotional and spiritual healing for three Compassion children in Petén, Guatemala, who witnessed their father commit suicide.

Think my kids identified with these children? Absolutely! Praying specifically for other children who are also experiencing the heartache of suicide, opens Daniel and Natalie’s hearts wider.

Vending Machine Prayers =Put a little in, satisfied with small returns.

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Investment Prayers= Committing and RISKING heart, soul, and mind to expect the fullest possible returns from God.

Here are some tools we are using:

Power of Praying Parent by Stormie Omartian

Compassion International Monthly Prayer Calendar