Saturday, September 4, 2010

Surgery postponed!

I mentioned in my last blog about our daughter having to undergo foot surgery to correct a bunion on both of her feet.  We went Thursday for a second opinion, and this Dr. wants us to wait and check her again in 12 months.  He showed us in her x-rays where her growth plates were not fully fused and cautioned the surgery at this time may lead to another surgery later in life.  During the next 12 months, the appearance of her feet may worsen, along with the pain.  But we trust this opinion and will wait to be reevaluated in a year.  Thank you for all of your calls, texts, and emails concerning this situation.  Your prayers and encouragement mean more than you'll ever know. 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Bitter, or Better? 1 Thessalonians 5:14-18

As I sit to write this morning, I am reminded of just how ungrateful I have been this week.  I've been quick to compare myself to others and focus only on what was going on in our house on the corner.  But this morning, The Lord reminded me that things were not as bad as I had allowed myself to dream they were. 

This week has brought about many emotions that I had allowed to take root and consume me.  Monday, I sat with my thirteen year old daughter in the podiatrist office as we received news that she will be facing surgery on both of her feet to correct a bunion.  Most times, this surgery is optional, but in her case, they are severe and have to be corrected as they are causing other growth problems.  School has also had its share of challenges, as I'm sure you home school moms can relate to.  Some days are just smoother than others!  Our ten year old and eight month old are battling colds and seem to be as sensitive as their mom.  All a great reason to throw a pity party and crawl back in bed, right?  Wrong!

This morning, a dear lady we know is having surgery to remove cancer.  She will be facing a long road of recovery.  Saturday evening, I read through tears about the agony of a mother watching her two year old son battle surgery and chemotherapy to treat eye cancer.  Sunday evening during our church service, a lady shared her experiences on the mission field this summer.  We viewed pictures of people who were severely handicapped and in more physical frustration than many of us could ever dream about. 

Monday morning, I reminded my daughter that what she was facing had been planned out for us before we knew it!  We had not yet learned of this foot problem before we chose to follow the Lord's direction in home schooling.  She will not have to face the added challenges of sitting out of sports, missing class, or struggling to get around without our help.  And that reminder was directed back to me this morning as I sat ashamed of the way I had acted earlier this week.

Many of you are facing challenges far greater than my family and I have ever had to endure.  And you may question those hardships.  But learn from what I have far too often failed at and don't let those questions control you.  When you are discouraged, focus on others and your problems won't seem so big after all. 

How are you handling the problems facing you? 
Do you allow them to consume you?
Are they making you bitter or better?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Is it worth it? 1 John 2:15-17

Today is the big day!  Everyone is all dressed and ready for family pictures.  You have chosen khaki pants and white shirts as your color scheme for the year, and your setting will be a lovely wooden dock overlooking the lake of shining waters.  After managing to keep your two year old clean for over an hour now, you have finally reached your destination.  With great anticipation, you step out of your car to make your way over to the famous lake.  For a moment, all seems right.  But looking up, you stop dead in your tracks.  The only way to cross over to the lake of shining waters is to trample through a large pen of hogs who have been wallowing in thick, gooey mud.  Now you face the dreaded question.  Is it worth it?

That is the question my husband and I were faced with on Thursday evening as we sat down to watch a movie together.  We had rented a movie that had a "good Christian message".  Looking forward to our night of relaxation, we began to watch the DVD.  The movie seemed to be off to a pretty good start.  A little predictable, but still interesting.  Then came a party scene that became way to graphic.  Just as you think, "Okay, we get the idea", you are led to yet another "scene".  Good movie with a great message?  Not if I have to trample through the mud to get to the point.  Is it worth it?  That's a question only you can answer.  If the Holy Spirit is present and truly guiding your life, then you will know when it's time to say no. 

We live in this world, yes.  But we are called to have standards that reveal there is a change within us.  Not a list of rules that make us feel good and righteous, but an openness to hear the Holy Spirit guide us into truth when we have tricked ourselves into believing that what we are doing is "ok" or just a "bad habit" when in reality it is sin.

Oftentimes, I am pained by how much sin I have allowed in my life.  Don't be discouraged!  God is a God of love and forgiveness.   Recognize your sin, confess it, learn from it, and move on.  You can't live in the past, but you can learn from it and use it to point others in the right direction.