Wednesday, August 19, 2009

It's a Jedi, it's a! It's....

Yesterday, Jonathan, Stephen and Andrea were playing in the living room. They're Star Wars nuts, so they frequently play as Jedi Masters and Sith Lords. The conversation went something like this (though I don't remember which child said what, so I'm making that part up :-)

Jonathan: "I'm Darth Sidious! bzzzzzzzzt" (That was my attempt at typing an electrocution noise.)

Andrea: "I'm Master Yoda! bzzzzzzzzzt"

Stephen: "I'm the Holy Spirit! BZZZZZZZZZT"

I never pictured the Holy Spirit with supercharged Force lightening coming out of His fingers, but if you stop and think about it, it probably just looks like a thunder storm. :-)

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Reason

Okay, I know some of you have been worried about me after reading my last post, and for that I am sorry. The reason for all my tears is this: we have been told that Shyanne will be leaving very soon. Her aunt has decided that she wants custody of her. We started the transition process on Monday when Mom took Shyanne to meet her aunt for the first time. I'm not sure exactly how long the transition is going to take, but I believe it will be within the next six weeks. The aunt seems to be a very kind, Christian woman who is open to allowing our family to continue a relationship with Shyanne, which is a positive thing.

However, even with that, this is going to be a very painful trial. In my heart, Shyanne is my child. Having her taken from me will doubtless be one of the most difficult things I have experienced, and possibly will ever experience, in life. I am struggling greatly with this and would appreciate all of your prayers.

Once again, I'm sorry if I worried you all, now you know the reason. I love you all and thank you for your prayers, love and support. You are amazing!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Jesus Wept

I have done a lot of crying today (The reasons for that shall be divulged soon enough but are not the point of this post.), and as such, John 11:35 has come to mind many times: "Jesus wept." As many of you know, this verse comes right after Lazarus dies, but before Jesus raises him back to life. Growing up in the church, I have heard many explanations for exactly WHY Jesus wept.

First, there is the explanation given by the Jews present at the time: "See how He loved him!" (v. 36)

Then there's the explanation that says, "Jesus wept because of the lack of faith of Mary, Martha and the other Jews."

Or this one: "Jesus wept because He was bringing Lazarus back from heaven."

There are many more explanations, I'm sure, and I'm not going to attempt to judge which of them are true and which aren't. However, I have my own opinion about one possible reason why Jesus wept.

I think Jesus wept simply to show us that it is okay for us to do so, too. I think He just wanted us to know that it's okay to cry. He gave us a glimpse of Himself at a place of sadness and vulnerability to emotions so that we would know that it's all right to be at that place sometimes. The Bible doesn't elaborate here on why Jesus wept. It doesn't give us an explanation or an insight into His thought process at that moment. It simply tells us, "Jesus wept." If we are supposed to be striving to be like Jesus and He wept, then I suppose it's all right (and even blessed, as He says in Matthew 5) for us to weep, too.

I'm sorry Jesus was sad, but personally, I'm glad He wept.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


A couple of weekends ago, I flew to Texas to see my dad. When we took off from Tulsa, it was cloudy and rainy, just an overall dreary day. As we flew up through the clouds, it got really bumpy, and we couldn't see anything. Then, all of a sudden, we came up out of the clouds and the sun was shining brightly. The clouds that had looked so gray and dismal from below were bright white in the sunlight and looked like mountains of cotton balls.

As I looked at the clouds from above, it made me think about life, trials and faith. The trials that we face bring clouds into our lives. When we see things from a human perspective, it seems dark and difficult. If, however, we choose to make the journey upward in faith to see things from a higher perspective, everything changes. When we look from God's perspective, the Son shines on all those trials of life and makes them into something beautiful that we couldn't see from below. When we look from His perspective, we can appreciate the beauty of the hard things, even though they're hard.

Even so, there are those times where we're stuck in between and it's bumpy and we can't see a thing. We know God has a plan and we know these trials are growing us, but we just can't see how or why. It is in those times that our faith is truly tested. Either we will lose faith and go plummeting back into the dark, cloudy place we started from, or we will persevere until we come out of the clouds and can see His plan at last.

I pray that today you will trust in His plan, whether you are above, below or in the middle of the clouds. I pray that the Son will shine through and give you hope in the storm.

"And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." Romans 5:2-5

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I can do it myself!

Shyanne is currently in a stage where she really enjoys her shoes. (I know, I know: "She's a girl. She's supposed to like shoes." Whatever. I'm a girl and I hate shoes. But that's not the point. Moving on...) Her favorite thing about her shoes is putting them on. She sits in the floor and tries her very hardest to put her tennis shoes on by herself. Now, she's very smart for a 15-month-old, but even a very smart 15-month-old can't put her tennis shoes on by herself. She comes very close sometimes, but she can't quite get it. Yesterday, she had been trying for over five minutes to put her shoes on, so I offered to help her. I held out my hand for her to give me the shoe, but she turned away and kept trying. Eventually, she got mad, quit trying, stood up and threw the shoe. made me think of us. "Us" being the children of God. How often do we suffer from the "I can do it myself!" syndrome? How often are we so set on putting our shoes on ourselves that we turn away from the extended hand of the Father? We are so determined to do our job, our family, our life and even our ministry on our own that we won't let Him help us. We forget the words of Jesus when He said, "Apart from Me you can do nothing." (John 15:5) Instead, we try for so long on our own power that we get mad, quit trying and throw our shoe (or our family, our life or our ministry) away in frustration. If we would simply have handed it over to Him, He would have slipped it on with ease and tied it in a double knot.

Father, help us to not turn away from Your outstretched hand. Teach us to give You control in every aspect of our lives. Remind us that without You, we can do nothing, but with You, all things are possible. Help us to surrender, and when we do, unleash Your power in our lives. Thank You for continuing to stretch out Your hand to us even when we don't deserve it. You are an awesome God!