Category Archives: Thoughts on living, learning, and loving

mercy-when-God-is-silent
 Mercy !
What do you do when God is silent ?!

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from my cries of anguish?
My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
by night, but I find no rest.”

~ Psalm 22:1-2

Is there anything much worse than God’s apparent silence when your heart is breaking,
or terrified, or wounded and betrayed ?

Where is He, the One who promised to never leave your side,  when  life is spinning out of control, and your heart is pounding in your mouth,
and your mind is screaming with what-if’s ?

Have you ever prayed until you had absolutely nothing left…and then, still…only silence?

 Mercy !!!
I give up!

Continue reading Mercy!

5 Helps For Parenting a Prodigal


Parenting a Prodigal

You feed them and rock them to sleep;
you teach them how to talk, and walk, and run, and jump, and how to tie their shoes.  You teach them how to ride a bike . You teach them to drive a car.  You teach them to be strong and confident in who they are.  You teach them how to reason and think for themselves.

So, what happens when they do that…BUT  “thinking for themselves” looks a whole lot more like defiance and rebellion?

 

Truthfully, there’s a lot you can’t do.  
You can’t control another human being…this includes your child.  You can’t monitor them 24/7 or make good choices for them.  You can’t control the inevitable consequences that come into your life via your “prodigal”.
And you just can’t “fix” them.


However out of control things seem, there are some things
you can do right now!

I am the mom of a child who is living in the “far country”, far from our family, and far from God.  I have felt ashamed and frustrated and like I have failed at the very thing I had devoted my entire adult life to.  Then one day as I was chatting with a few other moms, one of them tearfully shared her pain in dealing with her own difficult child.  She is an amazing mom, by the way.
HOW did I not know? WHY didn’t we talk to each other sooner?
And guess what?!  She and I weren’t the only ones.
Since that conversation, the love and support that has come out of that one brave exchange has been invaluable. These thoughts are written from my own experiences.  Everyone’s situations are different. Whatever yours may be,  
I hope  that in some small way, the lessons I have struggled to learn will be helpful to you and will bring you hope!

Continue reading 5 Helps for Parenting a Prodigal

How to Keep a Quiet Heart in a Loud World !

 

~ Keeping a Quiet Heart ~

Why is it so hard to keep a quiet heart?
Or is that just something I struggle with?

I watch my youngest pull out of the driveway every single morning.
I pray and fight the swelling urge to worry.
I deny my mind the right to consider the rush of fearful thoughts
that want to come bursting in.
It’s been a year since her accident.

I will keep a quiet heart.

That’s hard work!
Yet harder still is the labor of worry.
Believe me, I know !
I don’t recommend that occupation at all.  🙂

Do any of you worry?
My friend wakes up in the middle of the night filled with incredible anxiety over her ability to homeschool her children.  Another friend is overcome with thoughts of failures in her finances.  Whether it’s fretting over health, or wayward children, or an uncertain future,  or even over all the holiday plans, it’s  exhausting !  Phew!

How do we keep a quiet heart ?
I can’t tell you what will work for you, but this has been my journey in a nutshell.

Things I’ve learned :

Worry is just another word for FEAR.
Fear is an ugly thing.
It will destroy anything it can get ahold of…
relationships, health, happiness,

peace, LIFE !
We tend to feel most fearful when we cannot
CONTROL
or have lost control, of our circumstances.

Prayer works.
Take a deep breath (or 5).
Sometimes, I think I have held my breath all day.

Recognize when fear is creeping in.
You aren’t in control, but that’s OK.
God is good.
He is in control.
Nothing surprises Him.


Choose faith over fear.


Stop.  Pray.

There isn’t a right way to do it.
Just DO it !

And then do it again.
And breathe.

The mind and the heart are connected.
If your heart is beating wildly with worry,
chances are
 your mind is full of loud clutter too!
I chose a short Scripture to pray when my mind wouldn’t allow me to focus.
Almost like a type of fasting, I would pray this verse every single time
I began to feel overwhelmed.
Words to focus my heart & mind on truth.
These are not some “magic words”  that obligate God to answer us.
They are
Simply truth.


I wrote these words & placed them all over my house
until I could pray each part

from memory…slowly with contemplation.

“The Lord is near.

         Do not be anxious about anything,
         but in every situation,
         by prayer and petition,
         with thanksgiving,
         present your requests to God.
        And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,
        will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

You have to CHOOSE peace.
 
While you can’t control other people, or circumstances,
you can control yourself.


Choose peace over fear.

It IS a choice.
Sometimes worry becomes a habit.
It takes discipline to break a bad habit.

I know when you’re tired and stressed out,
this will take all the energy you’ve got.

It will be worth it though.

When life is REALLY throwing all it’s hard balls at once;
and it’s so very hard to concentrate on anything else…
the rest of that verse tells us what we can fill our mind
with in place of all the worry.

“Finally, brothers and sisters,
          whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right,
whatever is pure,

          whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable
          —if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—
          think about such things.

Make a list.
Something true.  Something noble.
Something right.  Something pure.
Something lovely.  Something admirable.
Something excellent.  Something praiseworthy.
Then think about those things.  
You may have to make several lists a day.
FILL your mind with these things ! 

God really does love us.
God really is GOOD.
You really can trust Him.

I am praying for you today  !
May the perfect love of Christ cast out all the fear in your hearts today.
May He watch over your comings and goings (and those of your families).
May He keep you in perfect peace.

Philippians 4:9