Tag Archives: Family

Guarding Your Heart When Making Decisions

Making decisions is a time of increased vulnerability.  We open ourselves up to possibilities or ideas that  we had not considered before.  We search for wisdom and wonder who to listen to and what to believe.  We question.  We pray.

As a self-employed person, once again, everyday I am met with new decisions that are laying the foundation of this new “adventure” in my life.  I need to access each day how to meet my art business commitments, how to do my best work in these circumstances, consider how to build my financial base for the future and at the same time care for my family who deserve my best attention.  Some days go smoothly, and some days I get it wrong!  There is a lot to think about.  Oh how I need the wisdom of God in making everyday decisions!

It may be that the set of circumstances before us are something we did not think could ever happen – to us.  Life might have thrown us a curve ball.  We re-examine our foundations and make a spiritual decision on how our faith colors our current situation.  Here are some wise words from Proverbs:

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.  Avoid all perverse talk;  stay away from corrupt speech.  Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you.  Mark out a straight path.  Don’t get sidetracked;  keep your feet from following evil.”  Proverbs 4:23-27

In her book, Hinds’ Feet on High Places, Hannah Hurnard writes a powerful allegory of a journey.  As a fearful person she finds people along the way that try to tear her down.  Their names are Bitterness, Resentment, Pride, Craven Fear and Self-Pity.  At every juncture the main character must make choices that guard her heart against such influences and keep her fixed on the path ahead, with all its difficulties at times perplexing passages.

Decision making can be one of those perplexing passages.  We may feel somewhat in the dark or that we have been set back on a shelf of inactivity for the things of the Lord.  To take care of immediate needs we embrace the job ahead but may wonder, how is this a part of your plan, Lord?  It is good to remember that God is still working in this time of decision making and we can trust Him and His ways no matter how it may look to us at the time.  As we guard our heart and fix our minds on Jesus, He does use all things together for good.  There is great spiritual purpose ahead for the child of God that steadfastly believes, trusts and obeys in the Lord.

We are not meant to always linger in the dark, or stay in the closet;  presently we shall be summoned to take our place in the rush and storm of life; and when that moment comes, we are to speak and proclaim what we have learned.  – Mrs. Charles E. Cowman, Storms in the Desert

The life of faith in Jesus Christ means everything when faced with decisions.  If we believe that He is worthy of our trust and confidence that submitting to His plan for this juncture of our lives results in peace.  And what a sweet gift as we place our future in His hands.

 

 

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Blended Family and the Hearing Aid Incident

A “Blended Family” is as common as what some would call a “Traditional Family unit” in our culture.  Ours is a blended extended family and one of the resulting factors is we have an age span difference of eighty-five years within our household.  In former eras there were both blessings and challenges attached to the family of multi-generations living under the same roof.  In this post I am sharing one snippet from the “blessings in disguise” category.

So, it started with a grandparent of ninety years of age, interacting with a five-year old grandchild.  They were laughing and playing, as senior adults and young children tend to have this special wave length of fun and frivolity.   The rest of us know we can’t quite enter in to their perspective for we are in our middle-aged uptight hyper-responsible to-do list season of life.  So, I sometimes watch with wonder.

Suddenly there is a little crash.  A little expensive crash. Keep in mind that just a few days prior I had resigned a position to an organization with which I had thirteen plus years experience and the financial security that accompanied that scenario.  I was beginning to launch a new home-based business knowing that even if it became successful there would be a time interval in which our financial situation would be tight.  The small piece of equipment that shattered on our laminate floor was a hearing aid.  Do you know how much hearing aids cost?  My heart sank.  Of all times!

Hearing aids. Photo taken in the United States.

Hearing aids. Photo taken in the United States. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So the weeks came and went with this grandfather having an extra amount of difficulty hearing, and with me believing that the incident was one of those extra trials of life.  I was wrong.

We would not have looked into the possibility of the Veterans Administration program’s for Vet’s hearing aids, especially for those whose hearing was damaged by some of the various war-time activities.  But because of the situation we were motivated to try this avenue.  And the result?  New hearing aids are on the way – better hearing aids at that and they will not cost us in this financially strapped season of life!  A blessing in disguise, for the hearing abilities in our home of many generations should increase and that will be an encouragement for all.

The faithful love of the Lord never ends!  His mercies never cease.  Great is His faithfulness;  His mercies begin afresh each morning.  I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance;  therefore I will hope in Him!”  The Lord is good to those who depend on Him, to those who search for Him.  So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord.”  Lamentations 3:22-26 (NLT)

Lord, remind me when I assume that something is a test or a trial, that perhaps it is an instrument in your hand for a blessing in disguise.

 

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Adoption and a Decision to Love

I came from a large family  and am the baby of six siblings.  My parents always communicated to us that it was a tremendous blessing to have a large family.  Another great attribute of growing up in our home was the appreciation of ethnic diversity.  My older brothers brought home exchange students from the college for family dinners and we developed friendships with people from all over the world.  I particularly remember Si Van, a Cambodian, who was very kind to me.  He brought me little gifts and I later understood that I reminded him of his little daughter he had left back home when he came to the United States to obtain his education.   Another friend was from Nigeria, and my brother pointed out how much nicer his dark skin looked next to the white turtle neck shirt he wore than our pale skin would look.  Another of my brothers sponsored a child from Hong Kong and he and I wrote to each other for many years.  This same brother read me chapters of Anne Frank – The Diary of a Young Girl before I went to sleep at night.  Anne Frank gave me an appreciation of what it was like to be a young Jewish girl in hiding during the Nazi regime.

When I was a little girl and dreamed of the family I might have someday the many children in my home of dreams had all variations of white, brown and black skin.  They came from varied ethnic backgrounds.  Evidently way back then I thought about adoption as a great way to have a family.  The years came and went and although I did not have a large family, I was blessed to become a mother by adoption.

Adoption teaches me in many ways about the love God has for us as His children.  Adoption is referred to in the Scriptures in Romans 8: 15b-17a (NLT)

Instead, your received God’s Spirit when He adopted you as His own children.  Now we call Him, “Abba, Father.”  For His Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.  And since we are His children, we are His heirs.  In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory.”

In adoption it matters not whether our child looks like us or has a similar personality.  Looks and personality are not prerequisites for my love.  Looking at our world it is evident that God loves diversity.  Our adopted children are loved for the very same reason a biological child is loved.  They are loved because they belong to us – they are our very own.  The bonding of our spirits start as a decision to love, and God completes the bond in  our heart.

I can say with absolute certainty that I was bonded to my adopted daughter the night I learned about her existence.  My first prayers for her were for her own well-being.  I did not want to put my desires to be a mother ahead of what she needed most.  Only after these first prayers about her alone did I put in my request with God for the honor of being her mother.  Exactly three months later she was lovingly placed in my arms.  Just like all parents my husband and I exclaimed together, “she’s beautiful!”

There is a famous cartoon in which one child says to another, “most kids are born from their mommies tummies, but since I was adopted, I was born from my mommies heart.”

If God adopts us as His children, adoption is a good, loving and blessed way to add children to our own family.

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