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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Not for the Squeamish

About a month ago, we were taking a 6 day vacation in South Florida & the Florida Keys.  We had taken the camper and parked it in a state park midway down the Keys and drove during the days up to Ft. Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Miami and down to each of the islands to Key West. 

One of the days, had been much like the others.  We had spent the day out and about and it had started to rain as we were heading back to camp.  We stopped at a gas station to fill up the tank, hubby and I took turns for a bathroom break.  As I was returning from the restroom, hubby had completed gassing up the tank and he was handing me the keys as I was walking back to the van.  It was an exchange we have done often, never wanting to leave the kids in the car in an unfamiliar place without an adult. 

This time was quite different.  I missed the inital exchange and as I turned to reach back and grab the keys my feet slipped on the wet concrete and I fell down on my wrist, elbow and hip - hard.  I was lying there on the concrete, in the rain, in pain and embarassed.  A complete stranger came over and helped my husband lift me off the ground and walk me to my car. 

I sat in the car and assessed my injuries.  Would there be an out of town, late night hospital visit?  My wrist was hurting the most.  I was trying to stay calm and focused enough to determine if it was broken.  There was a knot on one side, but it didn't hurt to touch it.  I was able to reset the bone, realizing it was displaced.  It started feeling better within a few minutes. 

Next was my hip.  Already having arthritis in my hip, I did not want to have any further damage to it.  It hurt terribly and felt badly bruised but showed no signs of a topical bruise so I assumed a soft tissue injury needing rest. 

Lastly, my elbow.  I could bend my arm and rotate it, so I didn't think it was broken.  It just hurt so much!  I rested it on a pillow through the night and planned to make a day trip to a local hospital if it wasn't any better.  While it was better and the remaning two days of our trip continued, it is actually still bothering me.  Ocassionally if I rest it on a table or even gently bump it, it burns deep into my bone.  I assume that I cracked the bone and probably should have had it x-rayed even though I don't know if anything could have been done for it other than keeping it immobile. 

Through it all, I have often thought back to the nice lady who stopped what she was doing in the dark, pouring down rain, along a travel route to help someone she didn't know.  Would I have done the same?  I would like to think I would have, but in today's environment it is really a gamble.  Too many times, I have heard horror stories about the "good samaritan" who stopped to help someone only to be mugged or murdered.  It has truly tainted my nature.  Either way...

God bless her, whoever she was.

 ChristinaLynn }i{

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Life Happens

I am always amazed by the "ups and downs" of life.  Days like today, where nothing seems to go my way and everything is a struggle.  Just about the time I think about giving up on a certain project that just doesn't seem to be very consistent, God brings something new to the table to get me excited about it again.  I have to believe that He is in control and wants me to continue to perservere or the doors would continue to close. 

As Christians, we were never promised a life of rainbows and roses - or, maybe we were - rainbows don't come without rain and roses always have thorns.   We must not only survive the low points and the biggest challenges, we must thrive in order to make it to the soft petals of the rose and beautiful colors of the prism. 

I think the biggest challenge of all is recognizing the petals and the prism when we come to them.  Appreciating them both while they are occurring and after they have passed.  Cherishing those times that God has brought us to the mountain top and being grateful for the journey that led you there.

ChristinaLynn }i{

Sunday, August 7, 2011

I was listening to today's sermon, one of a series about running the race with passion.  I heard Pastor Chuck say, "Things don't move from disorder to order unless God is involved."  While he was referring to the theory of evolution and how it couldn't possibly be true, God had a different plan for me this morning. 

He brought a verse to memory, although I couldn't remember it exaclty and I couldn't think of the reference.  So, as I was searching through my Bible's concordance and previous sermon notes, God brought me to these verses:
  • James 5:16a - Confess your faults one to another.
  • I John 1:9 - If we confess our sins, He is faithful & just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
I did eventually find the original verse, but it was quite an interesting path.  The verse I was Matthew 5:23-24:  So if you are standing before the altar in the Temple, offering a sacrifice to God, and suddenly remember that a friend has something against you, leave your sacrifice there beside the altar and go and apologize and be reconciled to him, and then come and offer your sacrifice to God. 

You see, I have a friend that believes she has something against me.  Even though what I originally did wasn't wrong, she was hurt by it.  I have apologized for the hurt.  I have asked God's forgiveness for hurting her.  Then, believing I could "clear the air" with all parties involved, I hurt her again.  I was concerned that I would be offering my sacrifice to God with something in my heart and life that would make my sacrifice unacceptable to God.  God continually brought me to verses to show me that I've tried to do everything I can to make the situation right.  

Unfortunately, it does not work like a giant eraser. There are still hurt feelings on both sides.  There is still quite a bit of awkwardness.  It is something we will both have to work through.  And, I know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose.  Romans 8:28

God is good.  All the time!

ChristinaLynn }i{

Thursday, August 4, 2011

C.S. Lewis said, "Unless Christianity is wholly false, the perception of ourselves which we have in moments of shame must be the only true one."

Aren't you glad God doesn't use that as His perception of us once we are covered by the blood of JESUS?!

Truly, the worst possible perception of us doesn't even come close to how awful we are.  That's why we need salvation.  That's why Jesus had to die on the cross.  To make a way for us.  Without Him, there is no way.

Once we are covered by His blood and enjoying a relationship with Him, He sees the love poured out on the cross! 

Isn't that AMAZING!

ChristinaLynn }i{

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

When Life Gives You Lemons

Everyone will tell you to make lemonade.  Are you familiar with lemonade?  It really isn't an easy drink to make from scratch.  It can easily be too sweet or too tart, too strong or too weak.  But, my favorite part is that it is always better the next day. 

That's often true with life.  Most things in life are better the next day.  When we are able to step back from the situation, things are not quite as charged.  Emotions.  Aggravations.  Stresses.  Things don't seem quite as intense when you've had a chance to "sleep on it." 

And then, some things are just as strong no matter how many nights' sleep you've had.  These are often the things that truly matter.  It can put things into perspective to know that if you allow enough time for things to settle, you can see what is really important.  There's nothing you can do about a flood until the river crests.  The butterfly has to stay in its cocoon until just the right time.

Just like the message I received a few days ago:  "God wants you to know that all is well.  All is going according to plan.  Trust that there is a bigger picture.  Trust that life is unfolding as it should."

ChristinaLynn }i{