Good Grief

Good Grief

Sunday, August 24, 2014

God's Not Dead and it's Not at all About Me

God'a Not Dead

I was able to watch a movie, in it's entirety, without falling asleep. First movie in a while. Thankfully it was the popular-God's not Dead. I have a sneaking feeling that God helped me stay awake through the entire movie because He knew I needed to see it, then gave me time to chew on it, and contemplate some things. If you haven't seen it-do-go to Redbox right now and rent it.
I was just having a conversation the other day, it's a conversation/statement that I hear myself repeating often. Thankfully, I have friends that receive it the way it's intended because they ultimately feel the same way. Let me ask you--do you ever wonder why there are those around you that constantly are reaping benefits of this life?  How they always are moving ahead, never behind, never experiencing heartache, never experiencing loss, never experiencing cancer, death of a loved one, sickness of a child? Why everything is picture perfect for many around you? How some always seem to become richer-with bigger houses, better cars, better status, never worry about how they will buy groceries, pay the power bill? All just is hunky-flipping-dory. Those are questions that are constantly running through my clogged up brain?? And why is it that some really bad people are always on top? Why is it that some really good people-loving God, glorifying Him, can't seem to ever get a break?? I use to be that person, the one where life just rocked along, no huge worries, rocking right along.
My answer, the one that I can relate to, came from a character in God's not Dead-an old women stricken with dementia. Her son, a hateful man, was talking to her as if she couldn't hear him-he was saying--"you prayed and believed your whole life, never done anything wrong and here you are, you're the nicest person I know, I am the meanest, you have dementia,I'm the meanest and my life is perfect-explain that to me. Her answer even in her demented state-"Sometimes the devil allows people to live a life free of trouble because he doesn't want them turning to God." In that instant I wanted to pause the movie and yell-yes I get it! I've blogged, questioned about this subject many times but last night it really really hit me-while I don't believe Satan has the power in deciding who's allowed to experience what-I do know my God has that power. So that statement meant even more to me. God chose me to endure the yuck of this world because He knew I would find strength in Him-and somehow He would be glorified through me. So while sometimes I think those with the hunky-flipping-dory life are the lucky ones it's really me. I'm the one God hand picked to endure cancer, death, loneliness, because He knew I would lean in, lean on Him. That makes me want to shout and scream to those not so lucky ones living in and of this world that I've been chosen. Live your lives without cares and worry because God chose me. Don't get me wrong there's those that love God and depend on him that are blessed to have a carefree lifestyle-but most Christians I know have, will or are enduring hell on earth. If you are not-ask Him to humble you, cause you are missing out on seeing Him work. It's been my lowest points in life that I've felt the closest to my Savior. I draw from Him. Waking up is strength from Him, functioning in daily tasks is strength from Him-not DeAnn. The DeAnn BC (before Christ) one have crumpled and failed. Maybe others see strength in me that even I can't see, maybe that makes them wonder where it comes from. Maybe just maybe they see Christ. I also had one of my friends that endures much in this life to remind me that this world, the world that's cruel, mean and nasty that it is not where our blessings will be. Thankful that the pain we feel here does not even compare to the wonderful freeness, perfectness we will receive in our eternal home.
Another part of the movie that struck me hard was why the professor that was so anti-god revealed why he was that way, what made him so anti-god. He explained that when he was 12 his mother died of cancer-even though he asked God to heal her and if He did he promised God everything. He hated God for not answering those prayers and hated God for his moms death. Watch the movie to see how it all turns out-but as in real life, each incident that happened was ordained by our all powerful, all knowing God. Makes me wish I could crawl inside my children, for just a moment, to see what their heart, mind, spirits think of God and if they blame Him, hate Him even just a little because they are fatherless. And if that's the case how I can help change that feeling. How ultimately Shane's death affected us but how it wasn't really even about us, but about Gods Glory.
I watched a Matt Chandler sermon this morning (yet another experience that was orchestrated by God I feel sure) and it spoke volumes to me about how the bible is not about me, how God is not all about me but how He is all about God. Something we all need to learn, chew on and teach to our children. We live in a ME world. I'm guilty. Wondering why God chose ME to go through a heartbreaking sickness and death of my husband, why He chose ME to mother my 3 by myself? Why I can't seem to get ahead. Wake up DeAnn-sound the alarms-this life, my life-is not about ME, not about DeAnn-but about how God is using me-good and bad included, to bring Glory to Him. I'm failing miserably in most if those areas through actions and words-but thank God-He is Not Dead--and His grace is abundant to cover all that is NOT about me.
Thank you God for allowing me to be humbled, thank you for choosing me for bad things in life because you knew before I was born that I would choose You for my strength and that you chose me for bringing glory to you. Thank you for giving me a perspective on this life that most have not been gifted to have. Thank you for allowing me to experience pain and thank you more for always being the sweet salve to my pain. Thank you for showing me the small things of this world are just that...small. It's not the money, status, popularity that matters...but bringing Glory to you. I pray Father,  that you chase after my 3, that you, more importantly  catch them and you use them, and they surrender their all, that you use them , good and bad to bring Glory to you. Help me to show them that life is not about them, but about You, that you chose them for heartache in order to mend hearts through them. Help me be living proof that our God is not dead-but surely alive and living inside of me.
Watch the movie!
Glory Be God's!!

Monday, August 11, 2014

The World is Going Mad and We are Starting School

The world has gone mad and school is starting.

As I was telling JSM about a disturbing picture I saw today of beheaded men in a truck and why they were being beheaded and how I couldn't believe this was happening and how kids their age were being killed or dying of thirst because they've fled their homes and moms like me killed for believing in Jesus. As I was comparing all of this to the Jews being killed-it hit me how thankful I am that my 3 are going to school. As much as I loathe school. You all know I do-for countless reasons (it's my personality-honest-I took a test and that's one of my weaknesses--schools and schedules? See? I'm wired this way.  Things I loathe::
1. Schedule. 2. Homework 3. Relationship with kids changes drastically-to a mom that only screams, "get in the car, we are wasting pool-time" in the summer to "hurry up we are going to be late for school/practice/dance!" To "if you don't get your homework done there will be no phones, no games, no tv!" To "go to sleep so I can go to sleep!" The list goes on. 4. My oldest is a freshman in high school this year-which gives me only 4 more years of being really "in" his life. 9th grade?? Where did time go? 5. It reminds me of how much I really really miss Shane and how much I really really need him, the older they get the more this holds true. 6. Football practice coincides with school starting and that makes me notice as im sure Sam has noticed that others dad's are on the field coaching or on the sidelines watching...he gets me! 7. I really enjoy time with my kids. They are fun, interesting and I like them, really really like them. The list could go on and on. However, after being at orientation and convocation and having a prayer prayed over parents, students, faculty, I feel very blessed for my kids to be starting school on Thursday. I feel so much pride in knowing my kids are being taught to stand up for what they believe. Because people-the world is going mad!!! Defending our faith is going to be essential in the future, maybe closer than we think and I'm thankful my 3 have a head start. Praying that their hearts will be open to receive the things they are taught this year. Praying that they give their all academically, spiritually, and socially. Praying thAt they all can be well prepared to share not only their dad's story and legacy but also be willing to share their very own story. I am reminded often that we were chosen for this path-praying that I too, will use my story for the Glory of God even in my everyday life. Praying that my children's will to thrive and survive is a testament of Gods love for them and their love for Him. Praying they always know mom has got their back, even when I'm not physically present I hope they feel me guiding them into their Saviors arms but better still that they have the Spirit themselves guiding them.

And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. Isaiah 30:21

Praying this school year holds really big heart-changing-spirit-changing-happenings for all of us.
So as I dread it, oh how I dead it--I anxiously optimistically await for something big.
Jake, Sam and Molly the world is going mad, it's such a messed up place if I could protect you inside out little summer cocoon I would-instead I will send you off to a school that not only teaches you the basics but more importantly teaches you about God's love, His Word, and how to defend what you believe in a world gone mad. I may complain and gripe-but in the end if my kids are prepared for the biggest challenge of their life-defending their faith-then I'm all in.
Pray for Israel!
Pray for Christians around the world!
Pray for our school!
Go Lions and let the Glory be Gods!!