It is hard not to compare ourselves to others, isn’t it? I try to remember we are equal in God’s eyes. I try to remember things like treating others the same way I like to be treated; trust and obey; read the Bible every day; pray.
I’ve been a born-again Christian for over 30 years now, and sometimes I think I may be getting the hang of the Christian walk – even improving!
A reporter once asked Pablo Casals, who is arguably the best cellist ever, why he continued to practice the cello 6 hours every day. This was when Casals was in his 90’s and had been playing literally for decades. Casals replied, “Because I think I’m making progress.”
I may be making progress. But I keep on with my walk, despite internal and external criticisms and my own ignorance or laziness.
“… being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
I am getting over a cold. I’m at the nagging cough/still blowing my nose stage. Still just a bit “sick”, but recovering. I am also super super busy at work. I started a new job (same place, different position) in September and previously this had been one of my quiet times. Nope – not anymore. I am busier than a one-armed paper hanger.
But – I do have my Christmas shopping done. (Please don’t hate me) I had to get it done Thanksgiving weekend – I just didn’t have time otherwise.
Last weekend my sweetheart and I took a long-anticipated dinner out to a very expensive, Michelin-rated restaurant to celebrate out future life together. I bought a dress and new shoes. He had been there before (when he had a job making lots of money) but I had never been. As each delicious plate or bowl was brought to us, we feasted slowly, savoring all the flavors and spices. Then our main course was brought (a shared bone-in rib eye steak) and we went silent, savoring the seasoned meat that seemed to melt in our mouths. I smiled, watching him, as he closed his eyes and chewed, enjoying every mouthful.
“Normally, I would say to someone, ‘Kill me now – I can die happy now that I’ve had this meal'”, my sweetheart said to me. “But now I know that I won’t truly be happy until we are married.”
It was the perfect highlight to that evening.
Blessings on you as you go through this busy time. Remember the joy. Joy that did not depend on circumstances or personal situations. Remember how heaven rejoiced at the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
My fiancé and I have been talking about our wedding, and all the things that go with that. Interestingly, and unexpectedly for me, it has brought up emotions. In both of us.
For myself, I’ve been divorced 30 years now, and I worked out my feelings towards and about my first marriage and my former husband a long time ago. We are friends and are friendly and it was all in the past. But – talking about plans has brought up things that happened, and the emotions along with the memories. Things I haven’t thought about nor talked to anyone about in years.
For my fiancé, we are preparing to leave where we are each living with roommates so we can live someplace together. That means sorting, packing, giving away, garage sales, etc. And for him it has brought back memories and the emotions that go with them of being forced to downsize, and downsize again and again, after he got laid off and was unable to find work again.
Now of course with the wedding planning comes lots of good emotions, also. We are both in agreement with what we want and don’t want, and we can talk about it for hours – it is exciting and fun for us.
What about you? What emotions have you been experiencing lately?
I read something today I wanted to share. I read “Our Daily Bread” devotional every day. I have been doing that for over 30 years now. I like the little monthly booklets myself, but this popular devotional comes in other formats.
One of the devotionals I read today said, “You are never so much like Jesus, as when you forgive.” And that struck a cord with me. It also reminded me of something I heard in church last Sunday. The Pastor was talking about when Jesus said, “It is finished!” on the cross. The Greek word used for “finished” meant the debt was paid. Not just paid, but paid for all time. And by extension, when Jesus said that he was declaring that everyone’s sin debt had been paid.
How powerful is that? That Jesus did that for us, in suffering, in anguish, in pain? Thank you Jesus.
I have someone in my life that I have struggled to forgive. This person, who is close to me, has said and done things that have been extremely hurtful to me. I have really struggled with being around this person and being polite to them. The things they have said cut me deeply. I have asked God for grace to deal with them, and He has granted me that.
And now I am thinking I just need to forgive. And try to forget and put it behind me. Because I do want to be like Jesus. I want to be less like myself and the world and more like Jesus and the Father.
Do you have someone in your life you need to forgive? By ourselves we can’t — but with God’s help, with the grace He provides, and remembering what Jesus did for us, we can.
It is official. We picked out my rings 2 weeks ago, but I am now officially proposed to, and engaged to be married. He wanted to wait to find the right words to say before he gave me the ring.
My honey and I were getting ready to go out to do some errands a few days ago. I was going down the list with him:
“Do you have your sunglasses?”
“Right here in my pocket”
“Ok – you have your cane – where is your tea?”
“Do you have the list?”
“Yes – in my wallet”
And then we were ready and all of a sudden he said, “No – we forgot something important!”
“Something really important!” and he started a frantic search in his pockets.
“What!?” I exclaimed, not understanding what could have been forgotten to be so important. And then he pulled out the little box with the ring in it.
I won’t share what he said because it was pretty personal, but it was really sweet and sentimental and was heart-felt. I also shared some very sentimental and heart-felt words with him, and I said “Yes”.
We haven’t set a date yet, but it will be sometime next year and we will be eloping. I feel very blessed by God that He brought to me someone who I love and respect, who is truly my partner. A man who is my cheerleader and my protector; a man who is not perfect but who loves me, who is also not very perfect at all.
Know what this is?
That’s my engagement ring. We picked it up this weekend. It’s an Alexandrite stone with diamonds in a white gold setting.
I’ve been waiting 25+ years for this. To say I was happy would be a gross understatement.
I have another blog entry to post, but this one has been rattling around in my back brain for a few weeks, so I’m going to post this one first. I read an article online recently that struck several cords with me. It was written by a woman who is a member of a club you never, ever want to be a member of. The Murdered Child’s Club.
My 18 year old only son John was murdered in September of 2000. So many of the things the writer of the article said really resonated with me.
In the club, you talk about things such as:
Do I move or do I stay?
What do I do with his things? Do I keep them, give them away, throw them away?
In the club, you discuss with other members such things as:
Did they catch the person(s)?
Did you attend the trial?
How do you deal with anger? Forgiveness?
In the club, you ask other members things such as:
How do you handle friends that no longer want to talk to you?
How do you talk about your son when your family no longer even mentions his name?
What do you say to people who ask you if you have any children?
In the club, you talk about such things as:
Your Before life and your After life
In the club, you talk about things such as:
What do I do every year on the anniversary of his death?
What do I do on his birthday?
How do I get through Mother’s Day?
There are no dues to pay and no meetings to attend. There is no fundraising, no t-shirts, no conventions. There is pain, hurt, anger, bewilderment and never-ending loss. No one wants to talk about it; no one wants to hear about it. No one knows what to say or how to act around you.
It does get better as more time goes on and the actual event starts receding into the past. But it never, ever goes away. And you never, ever get over it. I will say this, though. Immediately after it happened God flooded my heart with forgiveness. I have never had to deal with the anger that other members of this club carry with them, including my former husband. I was able to tell the two young men responsible that I forgave them. I thank and praise God for that.
Perhaps I will write more on this subject another time. I’m not looking for sympathy or attention. I am simply sharing my thoughts on something that struck deep cords within me.