Good Grief

Good Grief

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Deservingness -is that even a word???

I have recently been thinking about the word deserve so I looked up the real meaning.

Deserve 1. to merit, be qualified for, or have a claim to (reward, assistance, punishment, etc.) because of actions, qualities, or situation: to deserve exile; to deserve charity; a theory that deserves consideration.

Over the past months I have used this word over and over, whether it be in conversation, with my kiddos, or in my prayers.  "I'm not sure what I have done to deserve this." "J,S,M I am sorry this has happened to you, you 3 so don't deserve this.""God, whatever it is that I have done to deserve this, I ask your forgiveness, I ask that you make it known to me so that I may come to you and fix it."  The list could go on and on. 

I was having a conversation the other day with someone that has endured a fair share of heartache and hurt and we talked about how we are leery when someone says, "you have been through so much, you deserve so much more"(fill in the blank...happiness, a break, blessings)  Do I deserve more?  I am not sure. I love the verse in the last chapter of Job.  The LORD blessed the latter part of Job's life more than the first. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys. Job 42:12  It does remind me that if I am faithful and obedient then there will be blessings in store for me.  I have heard time and time again that I will be blessed for what I have endured, as well as my children.  Will those blessings be here on earth, or will they be waiting on me in my real Home?  I can't answer that either. As I have just turned 42, I am watching the 2nd half of my life unfold before me.  I was blessed beyond measure the first half, do I deserve more during the 2nd half??  I'm not sure.  I do know that what I have lived through, whether deserving or not, even the ugliness of it all, are all blessings wrapped up just for me.  Had I not endured the pain and suffering over these past months I would have never experienced my Father in the way I have.  I have to say that God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, deserve so much more from me.  My God, the one that knows infinitely what I deserve, deserves so much more from me, in the way of praise, thanksgiving and service.  He is awesome and deserving of so much more than I am sometimes willing to give.   I am thankful that I deserve His comfort, peace, love, patience, understanding, forgiveness,  (I can say deserve in this sentence because I referred back to the definition to where it says to make claim to) I claim all of those, so yes I AM deserving.  I am thankful for whatever He thinks I am deserving of--good or bad.  Because He knows me and knows what I deserve.  Thank you Father for loving me, for constantly carrying me day by day, for knowing what I do deserve here on earth and what lies in store for me in Heaven.  Thank you for loving me even on the days I feel I didn't deserve any of this.  Thank you for knowing what my 3 are deserving of and constantly loving them.  Thank you for so many things happening in my life that I see as blessings (big and small). You are worthy of ALL my praise, in Your Great Name...Amen.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


The other morning as I was reading my morning devotional by Papa Stanley (found this devotional at Dollar General in PCB of all places) I loved the title of the mornings devotional...Expect the Unexpected.  After I read that title I thought that was something to contemplate on.   I never expected Shane to get cancer, I certainly never expected him to pass away from it, and I really didn't expect for him to fight for such a short time.  I never expected to be a single mom of 3 babies and never expected to have to face what I continue to face due to Shane's passing.  I never expected to be sitting here on my 42nd birthday blogging about expectations (Happy B'day to Me), or feeling somewhat melancholy that Shane will not celebrate with me another year turning older. I also never expected to feel a little liberated knowing that I have made it thus far, but only by the hand of God and by my family and friends love and support.  I am always surprised at the way I expect people to be or act and how my expectations are either way off or right on.  Expectations can sometimes be a dangerous thing, especially when you put way too much expectations in people, money, power, things.  I have found from experience that if you expect too much from someone or something that you will constantly be let down and disappointed.  I find myself, constantly shaking my head at people for either how they act, what they say, or what they are doing.  Yes, I guess you could say I am judging people, and yes I confess, I find myself doing that often.  People never cease to amaze me in a not-so-good kind of amazement.
I  was talking to a friend the other day about people and their worldly worries, complaints and gripes and antics, before I thought I responded, "sounds to me that if they had someone they love be diagnosed with cancer they wouldn't be griping and complaining about stupid stuff, they may have too much time on their hands." Guessing you didn't expect that??  I know, awful thing to say, but dang it, its the truth. See, you had expectations that I would never say such an awful thing, but I did.   No, I am not wishing cancer on anyone, its just sometimes cancer, or hard times, or when things are not going as expected  you get a new perspective on things.  "Things" pale in comparison with cancer, the possibility of death, loss of a job, marriage, etc. I guess I am saying that people need to wake up, know that things can change in an instant very unexpectedly, and worlds can crumble and expectations need to be placed on the One that matters.  Yes, I find myself looking at peoples very good lives, knowing they, like me a few years ago, had expectations of what life was to hold for my family and I and how the unexpected happened and how easily it could happen to them.  I hate thinking that, but, there, I said it.   I find myself expecting the best of people and getting the worst.
But. There. Is. HOPE.  I have been thinking that my expectations in people should be  transferred to my Heavenly Father.  My expectations in Him always amaze me, but only in a good way.  But what really amazes me is the unexpected gifts that I receive from Him. He Never. Ceases. To. Amaze. Me.  The thing about God is when He does something unexpected He does it in the most subtle of ways, no pomp or circumstance.   Papa Stanley said it  best when he wrote..."If we have seen the miraculous workings of God in some extraordinary providential deliverance, I am sure the thing that has impressed us most has been the quietness with which it was done, the absence of everything spectacular and sensational, and the utter sense of nothingness that came to us as we stood in the presence of this mighty God and felt how easy it was for Him to do it all without the faintest effort on His part or the slightest help on ours."  Takes my breath away every time I read that.  Brings me back to the early morning of April 3, 2010.  God showed up, and showed out without any help from Shane, me or anyone else. There was no pomp or circumstance, nor was it needed and what I witnessed was no effort to Him.  This is God, the One that controls the sun, moon, stars, births, breaths, and deaths.  I didn't know what to expect knowing Shane's time on earth was almost over.  I didn't know what to expect to feel.  We had discussed it many many times.  I can tell you that even 15 months later I am still blown away at the memory of what I experienced that night with my Heavenly Father.  I never expected to find joy in the death of my husband and my children's father, I never expected to find peace in his passing.  Yes, I am still saddened at him not being here and constantly find myself going back and forth with all these feelings of good and bad, but overall I find peace.  I also never expected for God to sustain, comfort and love me the way He has during the past months.  I have felt His love like never before. I never expected for God to show His Glory to me in this way, but I am thankful for the unexpected.  I have decided that expectations should not be wasted on people or things of this earth but to place them all in God.  The One that I know will never let me down.  I have learned many lessons & things about God during this season in my life, and one of my favorite things I have learned is-- to expect the unexpected from Him.