What Word Would You Use?

Hello Table family and Happy Thanksgiving!!! Tomorrow is the big day! I so wish we could all sit around the table and share Thanksgiving dinner together. This year probably looks quite different than other years, right? Well let’s talk about that. Grab a piece of that freshly baked banana bread I just made and a cup of coffee or tea and let’s pray together first…

       Father in Heaven, we are so thankful to gather here together and pray together and talk. Lord things are unusual this year and I ask that You would remind us of all the reasons we have to be thankful. Speak to us here Father. In Jesus name, Amen.

       So in years past you may have had a large gathering at your table for Turkey day and had lot’s of dishes being brought to the table that have always been Thanksgiving staples. Maybe you went over to Aunt Barb and Uncle George’s house for Thanksgiving and you brought the favored dish. Maybe you have always been alone on Thanksgiving and this year you were finally getting together with someone and it had to be canceled.

       Whatever has been the normal Thanksgiving traditions may have been rearranged or called off and it can be frustrating. I’ve heard so many words to describe the year 2020, some of these words are:

Rotten

Terrible

Uncertain

Awful

Junky

…and other words I’d prefer not to say here.

       What words would you use?

       I’d like to offer some suggestions if I may. Let’s try to take another perspective…

Different

Opportunistic

Strengthening

Educational

Experiential

Unforgettable

Gathering

…and other words I don’t have room to put here.

       This has been a year of discovery about our potentials and strengths as we have had to think outside the proverbial box and lean on areas of our lives we didn’t before. New on-line businesses have been born, resourcefulness has been seen, relationships have been formed and blossomed.

       For me, I’ve had writing opportunities that I might not have otherwise had. I attended a life changing conference I wouldn’t have been able to attend if it wasn’t virtual. I’ve made some wonderful new friends that I met on line because there was no other option. I’ve spent more time with my husband then I’ve been able to in the recent past. Our family spent more time together as well. I’ve been able to make time to connect with friends and church family on a more personal level and cultivate current relationships more fully.

       The point is that it’s all in perspective as to how you will describe the year 2020. I understand that sometimes we just feel down about the way this year has turned out. There has been a lot that has been missed out on. But keeping our focus on what we did have can make all the difference in moving into 2021. Choose Thankfulness. I know it isn’t always and easy choice but it certainly is a choice.

       I’d love to hear what you’ve been thankful for in this most unusual year of 2020. I am thankful for all of you!

       Happy Thanksgiving to each of you and be blessed in what ever you are doing tomorrow! Hugs and love to you all!    

Doesn’t It Matter that I am Hurting?

So, imagine you have just found a big dent in your car that wasn’t there when you went into the store. You have a ticket on that same car for parking in a No Parking zone and you are certain they put that sign there while you were in that store. Then when you get home from that store and began hauling groceries inside, the bags ripped and your jar of pickles shattered on the garage floor along with the dozen eggs you needed for a recipe that night for dinner.

       Hello and welcome back to the table! Pull up a chair, grab your coffee or tea and let’s talk about this bad day you’ve had. Let’s pray together first huh?

       Father in Heaven, we come before You and ask that You open our hearts and minds to hear these words. May we be renewed and refreshed by this message. In Jesus name, Amen.

       Okay, so you must be feeling pretty low after a day like that right? You might ask the question “could it get any worse?” and you might go to your spouse or a friend to vent your frustrations. I’ve certainly done that after a rough day.

       You may hear anything from “I’m sorry you had such a rotten day” to “well at least it’s over now” to “Let me tell ya about my day”. But honestly, I feel like the most dismissive and overlooking statement someone can offer is “You know, someone always has it worse than you.

       Though this may be a true statement, it can feel like we are being a… well… cry-baby of sorts when we have a terrible day. Everyone goes through these kinds of days and it’s important to validate our feelings about it. If we don’t, it can begin to feel like God only cares about the really big problems in life and doesn’t have time to hear about our floor style scrambled eggs with relish. He does in fact care about those things.

       It may seem like the helpful reminder to someone that things could be worse, but where does that line get drawn for validation? When we have such days, that is our hard time moment in life. We can only sort out or deal with one day at a time so there isn’t any point in reflecting on another day that could be worse.

       Do you remember the scene in National Lampoons Christmas Vacation where the Christmas tree burns up, the family is at each other’s throat, there is an unwanted dog trashing the place after chasing a squirrel up and down the stairs? The family is putting on their coats and preparing to leave the craziness per the suggestion of the wife. She told him it was best for everyone to go home before things get any worse. Clark Griswold is shocked at his wife’s response and shouts “how could things get any worse?”

       It seems rather unusual to me to console someone with the idea that it could be worse. I feel validation for the way they are presently feeling displays compassion and caring for their feelings. After all, God cares about their feelings.

       It’s important to hear the thoughts and emotions of someone struggling with something and give validity to how they feel. We don’t need to let them stay in a pit of despair or anything but just letting a person know that you hear them and empathize with them without the declaration that things could be worse. It’s okay to feel bad after a bad day and not be seen as someone who doesn’t know how good they have it. We can still know we are blessed in the midst of a rotten day.

       I think the best thing someone could say to me while I’m having “A day” is something like:

“I hear you. I’m so sorry you are having such a time right now. It’s difficult to be happy right now and it’s okay to not be. You have good reason to be frustrated. I know you know God has your back in all this but right now I understand you are feeling down.”

       Something like this let’s a person know they don’t have to add salt in the wound by having a lousy day and now should feel guilty for feeling frustrated or unhappy.

Psalm 40:17 “As for me, I am poor and needy but the Lord takes thought for me, you are my help and my deliverer do not delay, oh my God.” (ESV)”

       We see in this verse that God thinks about us, takes notice of us, looks after us. It doesn’t say He does this only in the big circumstances.

       Make no mistake that God sees every dent, every ticket and every broken egg and pickle jar. He is attentive and compassionate in all our situations, even the ones we feel guilty for fretting over.

       If God validates our feelings and we are made in His image, then we can validate others feelings too. We can also ditch the guilt about our own feelings about our feelings. Validate how you feel, sort out the why’s behind them and let God begin to wipe away the angst. It’s not wrong to feel bad over a bad day.

       I hope these words help someone to let go of the concept that we should always remember that someone else has it worse than us. Allow the feelings for a time and know that God cares about your feelings too. Be blessed my friends and I’ll see ya next week!   

Is There Something More I Can be Doing for You?

Hi all! I know we are in some difficult times right now so I’d like to start right off with a prayer…

   Father in Heaven, I ask that You would come very near to all of us during these most unusual and uncertain times. We know You are forever on the Throne and we ask that You would help us to remember that and turn to You. I ask Lord for Your guidance in helping each of us use our various gifts and talents to better serve You now more then ever Father. In Jesus name, Amen.

       When I was given the opportunity to receive computer training, I had a choice to make. Would I go back to school to become a Councilor or would I pursue a writing course. I felt very strongly God calling me to write. But the desire to help people was still there.

       I knew writing could help people as well so I chose that path. I still have this need if you will, to come along side people in a more personal way and walk with them on their journey. My writing opportunities are expanding as I am now writing for an amazing on-line magazine called Christian Women Living. You can find them at:  

christianwomenliving.com

       These ladies have an awesome vision for this magazine and I’m excited to go down this road with them. There is another opportunity I am exploring and I’d love your input so I can move forward with more wisdom. If you were to want someone to guide you in a particular area of life, what would that area be? Do you need guidance in your spiritual walk? In your relationships? Self-worth or self-respect? Past hurts or regrets you can’t seem to let go of? Where do you need help?

       I feel as if God is now showing me how I can blend the two desires He’s given me and bring Him honor in the areas He has gifted me.

1 Peter 4:10 – 11 “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace. Whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God, whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To Him belong glory and dominion forever and ever, Amen.” (ESV)

       We all possess talents from God, we often have more then one talent to offer for His service. Whatever those talents are, we should do our very best to use them each and all for the glory of God. We don’t all have to be in ministry to do that by the way.

       My husband is a master carpenter and he uses the gifts and talents he has in his building projects. By doing his best, he is offering his best to God. Because Jeremy offers his best, people will often ask him if he is a Christian because of his demeanor. So, God does use us in any job or career if we allow Him to. Now I feel it’s time to expand the areas of ministry God has given me and so if you could share with me the answers to your needs, it would help me to move forward more affectively.

       You all have been such an integral part of how I move forward and make beneficial changes in my ministry. I look to you all after looking to God to see what needs need to be met and how I can better do that.

       As you ponder the answers you want to give me, think about how God has gifted you and share that with me too! I’d love to encourage you in that. Blessings be to all of you and I thank you for visiting my table. I look forward to seeing you in the comments!            

Organizing Your Friends Image

Hey all, I thought I would be able to get this image to you on Thursday without assistance but I wasn’t able to do it myself. I had to wait for another set of working eyes to get it posted. So here is the target image for you to start organizing friends to have some healthy relationships. I hope this helps you as it has me. Thanks for being patient with me… again.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Organizing Our Friends

C’mon in and have a seat! I have some hot beverages ready and some banana bread on the table, so let’s start with prayer and then talk…

   Father in Heaven, I pray this tool is helpful to many as it has been helpful to me. I thank you for this opportunity to share what You have laid on my heart and may it reach who needs to hear this and apply it. In Jesus name, Amen.

       Remember in our visit last week we talked about setting boundaries and such. I kind of feel like boundaries is getting over used and so I’d like to take a little different approach. Not that the phrase “setting boundaries” is not still completely relevant and acceptable. I just like to look at it in another variation.

       I’d like to start with Jesus and His disciples. We had the following men:

Peter

Andrew

James

John

Phillip

Bartholomew

Thomas

Matthew

James

Judas

Jude

Simon

       Here we see Jesus’s circle if you will. These men were His trusted friends and He traveled with, AKA, did life with, these twelve men. They each had their respective rolls and talents to be used for the furthering of the ministry of Jesus.

       But within this circle, we see that Jesus had an “inner” circle.

Mark 5:37 “and He allowed no one to follow Him except Peter and James and John the brother of James.” (ESV)

       Jesus had a special connection to these three men within His twelve. He sought comfort and solace in the company of these select three. Jesus makes no apologies for having three close friends among the group. He treated all of them with love and respect, however this smaller trio held a special place in His heart. These were the three He called nearer to Him just before His crucifixion to pray for Him and minister to Him in a very difficult time.

       Then we even see one extra ordinary relationship within the three. Jesus calls this one His beloved. It is John. This friend is closer than a brother. Jesus looks into John’s eyes while hanging on the cross and gives Him to His mother as a son to replace the one she is losing.

John 19:26 “When Jesus saw His mother and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son.’” (ESV)

       This one disciple was so precious to Jesus that He wanted him to be a son to the mother He was leaving behind. Now that’s a close friend!

       So, as we can see, it’s not un-Christ-like to have special friends within a group of friends. But let us not forget about the one disciple who betrayed Jesus. Judas, the one who sold Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. Sold Him to those who had malice on their minds and hate in their hearts. Do you have a sort of Judas in your life?

       Notice that Jesus didn’t cut Judas off as a friend. He simply wasn’t in His inner circle and He let Judas do what he was set on doing and that’s all. Jesus did not bring Judas into the inner circle and my own imagination leads me to believe that He shared only what He had too with him. I don’t think there was a lot of personal sharing going on between Jesus and Judas. So we can still lovingly keep certain friends in our lives or even family members, and love them from a distance.

       So here is my method…

       I set up my circle of people on a target. The very outer ring of a target is where I would place friends who I converse with and see occasionally. They are not people I would share personal events or feelings with, ask to pray for me from, or ask advice from. While I value them as a human being, the closeness is lacking.

       The second of four rings are reserved for friends who know a little more about what’s going on in my life and I may ask for general prayers from them but leaving out personal details. While I value them as a human being, there may not be full access to my heart.

       Ring number three holds the friends I’ve had for a long time and I know that even though we may not talk all the time, I can ask their advice on certain topics and I can share a few more details of a prayer request such as names or struggles but still leaving out ALL the personal details.

       The fourth ring is the Peter, James, and John ring, or more affectionately called the “PJ&J Ring”. These are the trusted friends that never let you down on the days it really matters. You can go to these friends with anything and you will not be judged, cast out, or shot down. These are your go to peeps at the end of a very long and faith shaking day.

       Now there is the bulls eye dot in the middle of the target. The John spot. I feel like this could hold more then one person but that’s an individual choice. My husband is dead center of the bull’s eye and others come in around him.

       Now let me clarify this… we are talking about earthly relationships here. Jesus reins supreme in my heart but outside of that, we are speaking of physical relationships we interact with in our daily lives.

       The people in the bull’s eye have elite access to my heart and life for personal details on a prayer request. They will pray with me and for me. They know when to not ask too many questions and when more questions need to be asked. They will respect when I need space and not take it personally and they know when to come and knock on my door. They walk through the fire with me and know when to put out the flames from a distance. They come along side me, hold me up when I can’t take another step and run with me in excitement.

       Truth be told, I’ve had to move people around on my target over the years. Some had to be moved from the fourth ring all the way out to the first ring. Some have had to be taken off the target all together. It hurts my heart to do that but it is completely necessary to have peace.

       Some of these relationships were causing me physical illness, mental distress, anxiety, depression, sleeplessness… the list goes on. We can still value those people as human beings but they don’t have to have access to our hearts. It’s not un-Christ-like to love from a distance. It’s a much healthier way to maintain a relationship and not be bulldozed or any of the above-mentioned issues.

       Thursday I’m going to send out a picture of a target that you should be able to print off and start organizing your friends. This has allowed me to not have so much angst about my relationships and still handle it in a loving way. I hope this will be helpful to you as well. Blessings friends… blessings.            

Aren’t Boundaries Un-Christ-like

Welcome… Welcome back to the table! My table is covered with a beautiful rich wine-colored table cloth with a white sheer square in the middle. I have Autumn battery operated candles in the center and plenty of room for all! Pour yourself a cup of coffee or tea or maybe even some hot cider and let’s chat.

       Father in Heaven, may we learn a valuable lesson about protecting ourselves from negative influence, so that we can better serve You. There is the abundant life You want us to have so we ask for Your guidance here in seeing one key to having that life. In Jesus name, Amen.

       Have you ever needed to set boundaries with certain people but it felt sort of… mean to do that? Like somehow you were telling them they couldn’t sit at the cool kid lunch table? I have struggled with this so much in my life. To the point of physical ailment! I would have literal physical symptoms like elevated blood pressure, upset stomach, headaches, anxiety, dread, sleeplessness… real issues.

       I knew it was right to place boundaries in situations that were outside of my circle. Circle of family, friends, church… people who I didn’t necessarily “do life” with. That was a little easier. But what about setting boundaries within that circle?

2 Timothy 3:2 – 5 says “For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of Godliness but denying it’s power, avoid such people.” (ESV)

       We can see in these verses that boundaries are endorsed by God. I have had people who meet these qualifications and I’ve had to set some pretty firm boundaries. I realized that often times boundaries aren’t to keep someone else out as much as it is to help keep us held together.

       If we are constantly drained from being run rough-shod over by so called friends, family, or even other people that we care about, then we will be ineffective in being a help to anyone. Our moods change and we are mentally and physically exhausted. Our health begins to take a toll and we simply are left with an empty cup.

       Imagine your flowers or house plants being dried out and in much need of watering. You wouldn’t expect to pick up your water can or jug and take it over to your plants and pour out water without first filling the vessel, right? It simply doesn’t make sense. We can’t get water, AKA, nourishment, from an empty cup. Why do we then think we can continually nourish others when we are not being filled up?

       If other plants were in addition, taking nourishment from healthy plants, thus leaving them depleted, wouldn’t you eliminate the life sucking plant or at least move it away from the healthy plant? This is setting boundaries. Not allowing life sucking behavior to deplete healthy lives. We are doing Christ-like behavior when we set boundaries so as not to cause unneeded stress on a healthy life that is being nourishing to others. I’ve had to re-evaluate what I think God is asking of me in my ministry and how my relationships are affecting that ministry. Also, how those relationships are affecting my health and life.

       I’ve also learned that setting boundaries allows for relationships to remain in tact but with some new placements. We don’t necessarily have to cut someone out of our lives to set up boundaries. It’s a matter of a type of parking meter. We have so much time we’ve allowed for this relationship and when that time is up, we need to pull away from the curb, but you still drove there and parked for a time. This keeps the relationship in tact at a healthy and doable level.

       Now please understand that this post is not referring to abusive and dangerous relationships. Those need to be addressed in an entirely different manner. Please seek help and get to a safe place if that is the case. I am only addressing unhealthy relationships that are more taking then giving. I am not a councilor or therapist. I just have some experience dealing with these types of relationships.

       The above passage of scripture tells us to flat out avoid such toxic or unhealthy people. We want to be loving and Christ-like when dealing with difficult folks but it’s not unkind to protect yourself against such toxicity. Jesus made conscious choices to deny people who were demanding and forceful about the way things were going to be. He knew that doing His Fathers will was far more important then giving in to, well… tantrums. If someone is demanding more of us then we are able to give, then that person is only seeking their own agenda. If someone is making themselves more elevated then you, then they are displaying self-seeking ideas as well. If someone attempts to thwart your plans to suit their own feelings, then they do not have any interest in your well-being.

       These are all reasons to set healthy boundaries. We can show love from the edge of these boundaries. It is in love that we set them. Love for Jesus, love for ourselves, and yes… even love for the person you need to set boundaries with. This tells them that they still hold value in your life because if they didn’t, you could just cut them off all together. We just have limits to how much access they have so we don’t end up getting frazzled or frustrated. We can hold on to joy and peacefulness. I have seen this to be true in my life now. But I’m still on the journey of boundaries.

       Next week I’ll share my method of what setting boundaries actually looks like in a tangible way. I’ve come up with something that works for me and I hope it’s helpful to you as well. Blessings my dear valued readers and if your coffee or tea is gone, feel free to geta refill!  

See ya next week!        

Ever Felt Sorry For Yourself

Hi all. I hang my head a little and ask humbly that you would still have a seat at my table. Let me start with prayer…

       Father in Heaven, I ask Lord that to spite my feelings of inferiority, you would bless these words. I ask that even though I waded in the pool of self-pity and denied my responsibility to the ministry You graciously and trustingly gave me; these words will still hold value for who reads them. Grow this ministry Father, in only the ways You can. In Jesus name, Amen.

       Some of you may have noticed that there was no post last week. This was due to my feelings of “not enough”. I felt as though I was offering nothing of value to anyone in my words. I felt like they weren’t reaching anyone so why bother putting them out there?

       The book I’m currently reading is all about the power of our words and I simply felt like my words had no power. You know what I discovered? They don’t!

       My words alone hold no power in and of themselves at all. It is God alone who gives them power. This caused me to rethink my position in writing. If I’m writing to gain followers and read comments and reap accolades, then I’m writing for entirely wrong reasons.

       From when I started writing, my dream has remained steady… that the words I would write had the ability to move people, to help people, and to bring comfort to people. In the beginning I’ll admit that I felt like I had a little something to prove. I somehow felt as though I had to be an example in the disability community to show that we had just as much capability and value in the non-disabled community. To be the disability super heroine if you will. I needed to be needed.

       But there is a verse that comes to mind when I feel this way…

1 Corinthians 5:6 “Your boasting is not good; do you not know that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?” (ESV)

       This leads me in the thoughts that perhaps my lump, AKA, this ministry, is being leaven with pridefulness. If I am writing for the reasons, I mentioned above… moving, helpfulness, comfort… then I keep writing for those reasons. However, if I begin the process of feeling like I’m not getting something back from it then it becomes about me. I definitely do not want this ministry to be about me. If I am obedient to God’s calling to write then the results are completely up to Him. My job is to simply write. Right? (pun intended)

       Maybe you needed this reminder today too. If you feel like you are not making any difference where you are right now, just keep being obedient to God and He will do the rest. It can be difficult if we don’t see tangible evidence of what we are doing. But keep clinging to the knowledge that if God called you to a task, He will have a purpose for it and for you doing it. Trust His process and stand on His words for strength.

       Be blessed friends and I’ll see ya next week 😉     

A Bonus Post

Hello all and * S U R P R I S E *

We have a bonus post for this week!

When I first started writing, I began with poetry.Which is pretty odd because I’ve never really gotten into poetry. I don’t dislike it, but it’s not really my cup of tea.

However God saw it differantly. I began writing poems at around 3:00 a.m. most nights and it continued for several months. Not knowing where God was going with all this, I just kept writing the words He was inspiring me with. Four years later, I still occasionally write poems but it hasn’t been as frequent as it once was.

Then I awoke this morning while it was still mostly dark with a title and the first two lines of the following poem and the impression to post it here today. If you like what you read, please let me know and I’ll occasionally through in a bonus post of poetry. All the poems I write have this spiritual content and I’d love to begin sharing them with you if y’all would like to read them. I want to give my readers what they want so drop me a comment with your thoughts.

Without further adue… here is this mornings inspiration…

A Table for Two

The table is set and the food is prepared,

Serving bowls have been filled with plenty to be shared.

   Using the best china and linen napkins too,

I’ve spread out my best tablecloth especially for You.

Just sit right down here, are You comfortable do You feel?

You pour the drinks and I’ll serve the meal.

The glasses are filled and the food is dished out,

There is plenty of everything, of this I have no doubt.

But before we dig in, you bow Your head to pray.

Following Your lead, I waited to hear what You had to say.

“We thank You Father for this bounty we have here,

We are grateful and thankful and would like You to draw near.”

Still You spoke, “Father feed us before we eat,

For You are nourishment to our souls and Meer food cannot compete.”

I am intrigued by Your words and I ponder them a while.

With Your head still bowed, I saw You smile.

Reaching for a Bible I didn’t notice was there,

You opened its pages and read with such care.

“Taste and see that the Lord is good…” is what I heard You say,

“May I read a little more?” You asked of me and I replied “of course You may!”

Verse after verse, our souls were fed as we had our spiritual feast.

The food sat on our plates seeming to not be needed in the least.

You closed the Scriptures and we said another prayer.

“God provides what we need” You say, “and this is the second layer.”

Gesturing to the food while You spoke, my mind was brought back to our meal.

Looking at my plate, I said “there is a fullness that I already feel.”

I hesitated to eat from my plate or even drink from my cup.  

“Spiritual food is nourishing” You said, “it will always fill you up.”

Picking up Your fork You said “God provides physical food too.”

So we partook of the bounty, but it would not fill me like God’s word did, this I surely knew.

We were talking and smiling as this scene faded away,

I opened my eyes and realized that it was a new day.

Was it a dream or a memory, did I really dine with Him?

Was Jesus at my table or was that chance very slim?

I  felt His presence still clinging very near.

It seemed so very real, He surely had to be here.

I knew from that day on that I would invite Him to dine with me.

Whether He was physically here or not, His spirit would surely be.

Personal time with Jesus is key, this advice I give to you,

Make space and time in your day to set a table for two.     

I Think About that Prodigal son in the Bible

Father in Heaven, I pray that the words written here touch many hearts and turn our eyes heavenward. In Jesus name, Amen.

Hia table family! I’m so glad to have you here. Well you know the drill… grab your beverage and some sort of snack and let’s chat.

So I am in the stage of life now that almost makes me an empty nester. My son is almost twenty-one years old and my daughter is nineteen. My son is out on his own and my daughter is very busy with school and work so she’s not here much these days. As the days… weeks… months… roll by, I’m reminded of the story of the Prodigal son found in Luke 15:11 – 32.

Verse twelve says “and the younger of them said to his father ‘Father give me the share of property that is coming to me’ and he divided his property between them.”

I often wonder why the younger son wanted his inheritance early. I mean it seems to me that both sons had everything they needed and probably most of what they wanted. They were expected to pull their weight, so to speak, but they had it made!

What drove this young man to get impatient and demand his share now? Im going to go out on my imagination limb here and say that this Father probably wondered where he went wrong with this son. He gave him everything he thought was needed and wanted. He taught his sons the value of hard work. He provided for them. He even set up an inheritence for both his sons to take care of them even after he was gone. What more could a parent do right?

Yet, I can’t help but think this Father questioned what he could have done differently so his son wouldn’t have been so greedy and selfish. Have you ever questioned these same things? I sure have.

Our kids are not always going to make the decisions we would like them too. We’ll teach them one way and they will sometimes go another. These choices can make a parent feel like they have failed. “I didn’t raise them this way” or “I don’t know where they got that line of thinking from” or “how could they go against everything I’ve taught them”… any of these sound familiar?

My kids grew up in a christian home with regular church attendance and vacation bible school and even attending our church school for many years. So I guess what I’m getting at is we did “all the right things”, right? It’s funny what we deem “all the right things”. The bottom line is they are not born with a manual. No doctor or nurse is standing at the check out desk asking if we’d like to purchase an extended warrantee or refund policy. We go home with our new born babies and… wing it!

I know we as parents make many mistakes when raising our kids and we can look back and find ways we would have done something differently. But the reality is we can’t go back. We have to focus on what we did right and also pray for our kids. As long as we did the best we knew how to do, then we leave the rest in God’s hands. We must release the guilt for those times we look back and see how to say this right or not over-react on that occasion or should have disciplined a little more firmly over that incident. If we’ve offered love and security, and this will look different for many people, then we have to let God take the reins from there.

My kids haven’t always made choices that I agree with and I’ve asked all the afore mentioned questions of myself. But I’m learning that once my kids enter adulthood, my involvement in their choices is very minimal. God isn’t going to hold me personally responsible for the choices of my children when I have done my best to teach and guide them in their youth.

Are you carrying guilt or fear or a sense of responsibility for the choices your kids have made? May I share the end of the story of the prodigal son with you?

Verse twenty says “and he arose and came to his father but while he was still a long way off his father saw him and felt compassion and ran and embraced him and kissed him.”

This son who demanded his share and then made EVERY poor choice possible, came around to see just how good he had it and went back home. Home to his father. Don’t miss that the father had been watching for him. The only way he could have seen his son “a long way off” is if he had been looking for him. Look for your child. Pray for your child. prepare for your child to come home. But don’t hang on to guilt over decisions your kids make when you’ve done all you know to do to be a loving parent.

You’ll notice too that this father didn’t give a long list of “I told you so’s”, he just embraced his son, wept over his son and kissed his son. Above all, pray for your children. I feel like prayer is my greatest weapon against the shiny temptations of the enemy. I encourage you to read this story in full and glean all the jewels it has to offer. Blessings to all of you.

Do Not Resuscitate Part 2

Well Hello all! I’m so sorry I had to postpone last week’s table gathering! If there is one thing that will completely throw things off for a blind person, it’s rearranging something! Whether that is furniture or a website, things are not where they once were and it takes some time to readjust. Thanks for understanding and stopping back by to sit and chat this week.

       So, let’s see, where wee we… Ah yes, I was at the hospital with my husband whom I found on the kitchen floor just moments before.

       I heard the nurse telling him that I was just outside his room and would be in just as soon as I could be. I paced in a short line back and forth outside the curtain, arm securely across my midsection and the other hand over my mouth. I don’t know if I was trying to stop myself from crying out loud or trying to keep from shouting at the staff to let me see my husband. Either purpose seemed pointless. “why can’t they just come and tell me he’s alright… why can’t they tell me something?” These were the endless thoughts that branded themselves on my mind.

       There were no other Doctors rushing in and out so I took that as a good sign. Finally… finally the curtain slid back a little and the nurse appeared, “you can come in now.” She said understanding my angst. Carefully moving past her and to my husbands side, I looked down at him and gently ran my fingers over his forehead. He still lay unresponsive in words but his body seemed to relax just a bit at my touch.

       He wore a neck brace and was lying on some sort of board to keep his back stable. They were not yet sure what had happened and wanted to keep his body as immobile as possible. A single tear escaped my eye as I observed my life partner in such a state. Would he walk out of here… would he be wheeled out… would he leave at all?

       I ran my hand down the length of his arm and I felt his bicep flex and twitch. His hand was palm side down at his side and slipped my hand into it. Ever so slightly, he squeezed my fingers. He knew I was there. He knew.

       Over the next few hours, my husband came around and I had to explain a few different times what had happened. He remembered the moments just before walking into the kitchen but nothing more. After several tests and deductive reasoning, the doctors concluded that he had some sort of hypoglycemic attack. Something in the food he ate that night reacted with his bodies natural sugars and his blood pressure plummeted and down he went. The doctor also concluded by the swelling on his head that he quite literally knocked himself cold when he hit the tile floor. I learned that my husband had likely been on the floor for as much as two hours before finding him.

       But one thing still to this day remains a mystery. How in the world did my husband retrieve his cell phone from his pocket, unlock the screen, and call me from a completely buttonless phone, all while unconscious?

       That question has only one explanation in my mind… divine intervention.

       But let’s go back to the title of this post. I mentioned my husband does not have DNR on his license. This of course means that if his life were on the line, it’s all hands-on deck! How is it with you? Would you want everything possible to be done to save your life or the life of a loved one? How about if it’s your spiritual life? Have you felt your relationship with Jesus slipping a little? Has it been slipping a lot? Is it dying? I have been in that place.

1 John 5:12 “He who has the Son has the life, he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.”

       If we don’t have Jesus then we don’t have life. We need to be spiritually resuscitated. But have we placed a “Do Not Resuscitate” tag on ourselves? Have we told Jesus without words that we are no longer interested in His life-giving love?

       I couldn’t imagine living my life without my husband and when I came so close to that happening, I was SOOOOO glad there was nothing to indicate “DNR”. If you feel like you are tagged with Do Not Resuscitate, consider removing that tag and asking Jesus to grab the spiritual paddles and jump starting your heart again. Jesus doesn’t want to be without you, do you want to live without Him? Let the Great Physician perform a life saving operation to bring you back to life. Let Him resuscitate you my friend.