Clocking In

I didn’t quit my job of loving, when you stopped punching your time card.

I clock in to life,  heart uncallused by the

rough, 24-hour, work of losing. I freely

hope, with splinters of grief digging deep into my soul.

Faith, joy and compassion embrace the world

with a work ethic that suicide cannot render

unconscious to the world around me.

Patience Grows Love in the Petri Dish of Suffering

Day 16 (Originally posted on Facebook, 16 days after my son’s death)

Job 3:11 a, 26: “Why did I not perish at birth, and die as I came from the womb?. . . I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil.”

Throughout my scripture reading I have always struggled with Job and other bearers of great suffering. Why would God allow Satan to test Job? He even goes so far as to point Job out. Can you imagine the God of the Universe pointing you out for Satan’s “special” attention? “Have you considered my servant …___________?”

No thank you!

“She has the patience of Job” is used when describing someone who is enduring great suffering. What do patience and suffering have to do with each other?

Patience: from the Latin word patiencia- “endurance”, from pati- “to suffer”.

  1. the quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.
  2. an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay: to have patience with a slow learner.
  3. quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence: to work with patience. (Dictionary.com)

Alright, so suffering is in the very meaning of patience.

Job suffered the loss of all his children, his livelihood, and his health. He even had to suffer through the speeches of three friends who have been nicknamed “miserable comforters”. The closest that the devil can get to having Job curse God is to curse his own birth. But, at the end of the day God had final say over even that. “Where were you when. . .” (38:4) In other words, I am God and you are not.

God doesn’t always tell us why we suffer, but he did not spare his own son, who was without blemish, and look at the results of Jesus’ suffering the cross. Many are saved. I have seen enough examples throughout scripture and in life to know that suffering comes, and that I always have a choice as to how I will respond to it. To truly love others, patience must be the first part of my response. 1 Corinthians 13:4 says love is patient,” . . . Without patience love doesn’t stand a chance. Patience, at its core, means that I am giving up my right to have my way; that I am “bearing provocation, annoyance, misfortune or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation or the like.”

Barbara Johnson, one of my all-time favorite humorists said, “Patience is the ability to idle your motor when you feel like stripping your gears.”

Today I practice idling my motor, accepting God’s will for my life. The result is ALWAYS that many are saved. Just ask fellow sufferers, Joseph, Moses, Job and Jesus. Our suffering produces good things when we obey the will of God.

The Best Remedy is Jesus

1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

So, I am blessed with strep and possibly the flu this weekend. There is not a joint in my body that doesn’t hurt right now. Yet, God in his infinite wisdom, brings me peace and perspective in the midst of my discomfort.

It is so important to see that the world doesn’t stop running when I am incapacitated. Many of you know how hard it is for me to allow others to care for me. I kept trying to push through, but my entire family insisted that I rest and allow them to do my routine. I have slept more now, than I have in weeks. Brian took care of the dog and cat I’m pet sitting. Daniel was my gofer yesterday while Daddy and Natalie danced the night away at a Father Daughter Dance. He heard the phone page (I have no voice) and came running to help me in anyway he could.

So many of us must be brought to our breaking point before we allow God to help us. We need to relax into his love, compassion, and care. Get used to operating within his easy yoke (Matthew 11:29-30).Why do you think it is so difficult for us to cast our anxieties on Jesus? What is at the heart of this human struggle?

Cast Your Cares Video

 

 

 

It is Not About Our Circumstances

Scripture:

Romans 1:15 That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome. 16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes,first to the Jew, then to the Greek. 17 For the gospel reveals the righteousness of God that comes by faith from start to finish, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”…

Thoughts:

If faith in Jesus Christ were dependent upon where we were born, who our parents are, or what religion we were brought up in, then the divisions in our beliefs would be concrete walls that were impenetrable. But trust in God, belief in His son Jesus is found throughout the world. Why?

  • God desires a relationship with his creation
  • Creation itself testifies that he is God
  • Men and women testifying to the nations about what they have seen and heard of Jesus
  • The Holy Spirit goes ahead, directs and softens, prepares, convicts and inspires
  • The truth of Christ is emboldened by persecution rather than crushed
  • We can test and see that God is good
  • His word does not go out and come back void

Prayer:

Father, I praise you that you want to be known! You are not an inactive, distant God. Your will is done on earth as it is in heaven. Thank you for letting me be an instrument of your will. May my testimony of what I see and hear of you encourage all who cross my path. Amen

Being with Jesus is the Fountain of Youth

Isaiah 41:…30 Though youths grow weary and tired, And vigorous young men stumble badly, 31 Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.

This is the strength I desire Lord! Being with you is the refreshment I need to do your will today. Thank you for being present with me, loving me, disciplining me, giving me hope. You are the reason I turn my page, and you alone turn my sorrow into gladness. Amen

 

Telling Our Grief Story: The Forgotten Audience

Just as Joseph lived out his story in an Egyptian prison, he share it with two people and years later one remembered the interpreter of dreams and told Pharaoh. We never know where our story leads in the context of God’s story, but we know that He has the salvation of many in mind.

Toni Lepeska

We find ourselves pulled toward others who have lost loved ones like us. We want to help, to listen or to offer guidance. We may even decide to share our experiences in a larger forum.

We blog. We write articles. We speak to groups, but we may not reach the numbers we hope for. And thus, we experience frustration. Or disillusionment. We found meaning in our suffering by sharing what we learn with others, but our efforts aren’t getting much of anywhere.toniporchphoto2

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I Am Not Crazy, Just A Broken Human Like the Rest of Us

From the time I was about 13 until I was 21 I yanked out chunks of my hair. At the time I didn’t know why, and I couldn’t seem to stop. My brother received a teen magazine. In one issue, the girl on the front cover opened up about her struggle with yanking out her hair. Suddenly, I realized I wasn’t alone. By sharing my story and Kala’s below, I pray that you realize you are are not alone or isolated in the depth of your struggles.

My self harm ended when I met Jesus. What a relief it was to know that he loved me, just as I was.

 

Have you ever heard of trichotillomania or hair pulling disorder? While it isn’t a rare mental illness (apparently over 1% of Americans live with this disorder), most people aren’t aware of it or other body-focused repetitive behaviours. (BFRBs) According to the Canadian BRGB Support Network, trichotillomania is “the compulsive urge to pull out hair from […]

via One Woman’s Story with Trichotillomania, the Hair Pulling Disorder — Slay Girl Society

Emptying the Ex-Box

Zechariah 7: 9“Thus has the LORD of hosts said, ‘Dispense true justice and practice kindness and compassion each to his brother; 10 and do not oppress the widow or the orphan, the stranger or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another.’

Some of are still holding onto the Ex box. The Ex box is anything from our past, our old life that we do not let go of, or give over completely to God. It can be photos, notes, an object and ultimately it can be held tightly in our thoughts. I am pausing from sorting through Jonathan’s box of things to tell you I just threw away a bad memory I gripped tightly. Jonathan had many harsh realities to deal with, and he had some choice words he wrote down on paper about someone who was hurting him. Why keep such a note?

  • Because it feeds my own wounds
  • Because I’m angry
  • Because there has not been satisfactory justice
  • Because it vindicates me

These are the reasons I have held onto this sheet of paper. And even as I read it, I felt my heartache stirred. But, I declared out loud, “THIS DOES NOT HELP ME!” And, in a decisive move I balled it up and tossed the note in the trash.

  • Trust God’s justice
  • Acknowledge that God saw Jonathan’s pain
  • God alone is judge
  • Forgiveness frees me, and offers hope to the wrong doer

What do you have in your box? Is there one thing you can give to God that you desperately want solved, fixed, or don’t understand? Declare out loud the truth over the object and release it. Embrace the far better future God has for us and let go of the Ex.

My prayers are with you!