Thursday, January 31, 2019

Searching for Strength

Not having any fun...

As I was looking at my calendar last Sunday, I thought this week was going to be fairly normal.  I had completed most of the planning for a few of the bigger events coming up, and my schedule looked fairly open.  However, by Tuesday I could tell it was going to be another busy week. J Normally, that wouldn’t be a problem...  In fact, it would be a surprise if things didn’t come up.  The real problem arose when my 5 month old baby came down with a virus.  It’s always miserable watching a child fight an illness, but I kept hoping things would get better.  Eventually, we took him to the urgent care, then back to his doctor, then nebulizer treatments, then steroids, and then who knows what else.  I hate being in a place where I am unable to fix anything.  It seems like no matter what we try, we still have a very unhappy baby! 

In the midst of all of this, I was reminded of the words of the Apostle Paul in Philippians: 

I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.

Some days we feel blessed.  Other days we let fear, imperfection, and failure win.  However, the Bible tells us not to get lost in these feelings.  The Love of Christ will always be with us.  Are we remembering to share what truly matters?  Are we remembering to listen to God’s Love? 
Personally, I love having control.  I love to fix problems as they arise, and I love to feel like I have made a difference.  However, there are moments in life when we don’t have control.  Our health falls apart, money slips away, and babies get sick… We don’t get to control these things.  Instead the Bible tells us to believe that Christ is with us.  We are told to have faith that God is working, even if life isn’t... 

Today, I know that I don’t have control, but I do believe God is working.  I may be imperfect, but I can still love... and I can still hold that sick baby.  In many ways, there is nothing greater we can offer than love!



Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Love! Chaos! And Disneyland!

This has been a very busy season!  After Advent, Christmas, and a quick trip at the end of the year to build a house in Mexico, it almost seems strange to have things calm down a bit.  Last week, my family and I had a chance to go on a quick vacation to Southern California.  We saw some friends, went to the beach, and we took our kids to the magical land of the mouse for a day. J We had never been to Disneyland as a family before, and our 3 year old could not contain his excitement!

Ready for Adventure!
Just preparing to go to Disney was a process!  (I felt like I was gearing up for a winter expedition on Everest or something…) We knew it was going to rain all day, so we brought rain jackets, ponchos, sweaters, and we zip locked all our electronics.  We had spare clothes, a double stroller, waterproof boots, and enough food and snacks to feed an army… I think we knew we were bringing way too much, but with the price of the tickets we didn’t want to take any chances! 

Our 3 year old was amazed at the whole experience!  He couldn’t stop running from one place to another, and on the way to our very first ride, he ran himself straight into a metal pole!  (I guess next time we should remember to add helmets to our list of Disney gear…) We didn’t notice how bad it was until we got onto “A Small World After All,” and we saw blood dripping down his face!

If you look close you can see the gash on his
left eyebrow... :)
After we made it to the nurse’s station, we had to laugh.  There is no way to prepare for everything!  His first ride on “A Small World,” and he comes out looking like a bloody mess!  We did wind up having a great day.  However, it was interesting to note as we look back on this trip, and the busy season that preceded it, the greatest memories were formed from the people we met and the love we shared.  Yes, there were moments of unpredictability and chaos, but if we are taking time to love each other, I believe we are opening our eyes to God’s Kingdom.

You never know when chaos will show up!
As we look back at our lives, we can always choose to see chaos.  We can find things that didn’t work out right.  However we can also choose to see the miracles and blessings that took place.  We have a choice not to be defined by the chaos.  We can choose love.  Today I hope you take step back from the business of your life, and I hope you can take some time to appreciate the love that surrounds you.