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What a statement, huh?  Why is there suffering in the world?  Does God even care?  Does God even exist? Innocent bystanders — especially children – frequently suffer for the evil or poor choices of others.  Children starve to death (even in the US).  Innocents are sexually molested by older people who know better (and even some who don’t).  Innocents are murdered, sometimes very painfully and brutally, often without reason.  If there is a God then why do these things happen??  I do not propose to have all the answers or to be able to adequately answer this question to the satisfaction of every non-believer.  However, having suffered some myself (haven’t we all?) and having negatively effected innocents I do understand this a bit, especially having maintained an intimate relationship with God.

These questions have often stumped me; not because I do not know or understand the answer to the question, "why does God allow the innocent to suffer" but rather because I do not know how to answer it as if to one who does not believe in God or understand who He is, His purpose, etc.  The simple answer is a question:

How can God, no matter how powerful, effectively protect innocent children from the evil of the world without making the world perfect and thereby removing the ability to choose?

The world was once perfect; there was no suffering, no pain, no hunger and every child — were there any — would be happy, healthy and well fed.  We chose this earth.  Maybe not you and me personally but we do effect others’ lives with our mistakes.  Take my life for example:  I have in the past abused my health which makes me very stressed and extremely irritable which makes me short-tempered with my children.  Though that short-tempered fussing at them is not as damaging as starvation or sexual molestation or something more extreme, it does negatively effect their lives.  Or take my sister, Mary, as an example:  She had sex before marriage — her right to choose such — and became pregnant.  Though she did her best she was not the perfect mother (though none of us are) mainly because of the difficulties of raising a child at Mary’s young age.  Mary was not mature enough to be a mother and both her and her child suffered for it.

Take more extreme cases like hunger to the point of starvation:  What are YOU doing to feed the hungry? What am I doing to feed the hungry?? Nothing! (Well I am doing nothing.  I don’t know what you are doing.)  So "is there a God or not" is not really the question but rather "what is my responsibility and what is the responsibility of other people OR ‘greater power’?".  Is it God’s responsibility to feed the hungry?  What should He do about hunger??

I have given a lot of thought about this.  I know two ladies who refuse to have a relationship with God all because of the suffering innocents.  However in their lives they have made others suffer by their poor choices.  We all do. (Even if it is only the suffering our parents feel — because of their love for us — when we make poor choices.)  Is it God’s fault or our own?

To say that God should feed hungry children is to blame God for OUR poor choices when in fact it is NOT God’s fault that we choose poorly and others suffer but our own.  I cause innocents to suffer and I am certain that some short coming you have has caused an innocent person to suffer no matter how small.  Simply: pain, suffering, hunger and every bad, evil or negative thing exists because sin entered the world when two people made a BIG mistake.  Sin enters your life (and my life) when you first choose to sin.  But GOD in His infinite mercy and love wipes away those sins and will make our lives more purposeful and whole if we choose the forgiveness He so easily and eagerly offers us.

I respect the difficulty that people have with this whole thing.  I have suffered a lot in my life but I can look back and most of it has a definite purpose in my life.  In fact, I cannot think of a single major difficult event in my life that did not have a purpose.

Take, for example, two instances that stand out in my mind as major suffering moments for me:

When I was 17 I had a bad car accident.  It was a really tough time for me and I couldn’t understand why God allowed it to happen.  At the time I thought it had something to do with the guy I ended up dating.  I was sure he would have never noticed me if I hadn’t had a near-death experience (and also lost weight making me 120 lbs!).  However, God had a much deeper purpose than that (though I did learn a lot from that failed relationship).  When I was released from the hospital it was my sister Mary who picked me up.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  She took me to the cafeteria to get my first real food in a while. (I had been on a liquid diet the whole time in the hospital. NO FUN!)  I ate a roast beef sandwich and I can still remember how great it tasted after a week of clear liquids!  But it was not the sandwich that made the event so important. Before this life altering event my sister and I were no more than blood relatives.  She didn’t like me and I didn’t like her.  We loved each other as you do any sister – good or not – but that was it.  I still think that my car accident made us both realize the fragility of our lives and made us wake up and realize how little we knew or cared for each other.  That day was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Additionally, another suffering moment, I chose to attend York College in NE to be close to my sister instead of going to Harding or Ohio Valley College.  She had urged me to move closer to her.  During the breaks from school and over the summer I lived with her and her husband and children.  I was still a teenager and she parented me the best she could, even though she complained about it to Mom.  We grew even closer as sisters and friends.  I remember sharing a lot of good talks and great laughs during that time.  It was a suffering time for me, though, because I did not really enjoy going to school in the land of no trees so far from my parents.  Having grown up in the woods of North Carolina and never having been away from my parents for long I didn’t enjoy the trek across the US.  I wanted to stay close to my parents.  I missed my friends from NC and also greatly missed the woods!!  So in the end I went back to NC after my freshmen year of college.

If it were not for those two major events I would have likely never formed such a close bond with my sister Mary.  I cherish those times of trial and how close they brought us, especially now that my sister is in Heaven and I don’t see her much anymore and she never seems to respond to my phone calls…  I did not understand these situations when they happened or why they were so hard on me, but God had a purpose and He understood them.  These are not the only times I have suffered or even the most significant but they are the times I cherish the most since the loss of my sister.

You see the real answer is that time – from beginning to end – is like the most enormous puzzle you could ever imagine, with each choice, event, person, and trial being a tiny piece of it.  Only God can see the whole puzzle so who are we to question one tiny piece and why God let it happen? 

I hope my perspective has shed some light on God.  If not then thanks for reading anyway. I know this was a long one. 🙂

x ❤ x
Super Mom

P.S.
I could have provided Bible verses for much of this but didn’t see the point since a non-believer wouldn’t care what the Bible has to say if they do not believe in God.

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…Your clothes may be pretty but now Im too skinny to wear them!! WOO HOO!!

I’m doing GREAT! I have found that even with great goals it is often hard to resist temptation. I have stopped buying goldfish crackers for my kids because I simply could NOT resist them. The smell alone was too much!! It doesn’t help that I am the Mommy who cooks for the whole family so I have to prepare foods that I cannot eat. We cannot afford for the whole family to eat the meat and veggies I have been fixing for myself at dinner. So that leaves the family eating mac and cheese, pasta with sauce, chili, and various soups – all of which are pretty cheap to fix but ever so tantalizing to me. All things considered I have done quite well, if I do say so myself. I had lost 35 lbs – down to 165 – the smallest I have been in 6 years or more. I recently started exercising and when I weighed yesterday I was back up to 170 which makes me wonder if my muscles are “growing” and making me weigh more. My measurements last Saturday were very encouraging. We had to take a couple of them twice just to be sure the number was right because it was so surprising!! I am down several pant sizes and {TMI warning} my panties no longer cut into my legs!

Rather than rewarding me with food, Presten gave me $60 to spend on myself and I went out and bought $40 worth of clothes at Goodwill (that way when I grow out of them it wont be a big deal to pass them on). I bought two new pairs of jeans, several shirts and a lovely flowing black skirt. I was very excited. I am reserving the rest of the money for later when I feel the need to cheat. Instead of cheating by buying ‘evil’ food I will reward myself with something good and non-food. That has been very effective and helpful for me.

So I was up to a size 18/20 pants BEFORE the diet – weighing in at 200 lbs. When I went to Goodwill I was able to buy a size 12 jeans!! How awesome is that!?!?! I was also able to buy smaller shirts. Soon I will whip out the “skinny clothes” I have in storage, but I want to make certain I have lost enough so that I don’t get them out and end up depressed.

My tangible goal is to get small enough to fit into my favorite skinny jeans; they are a size 11 junior. I can pull them up now but am still too fat to even try to button them. When I was 17 I got into a horrible wreck (as some of you may remember) and they are identical to the jeans I was wearing when they cut my clothes off and discarded them. I suppose that’s why they mean so much to me. I was thrilled to find another pair of them weeks later at Wal-Mart.

This diet has been hard. The hardest part being the things mentioned above as well as dealing with stress. I am an emotional roller coaster. When I feel stressed or depressed or anxious I EAT or drink. It has been SO HARD not being able to eat CHOCOLATE when I feel stressed or occasionally make myself a daiquiri in the evening after a long, hard day of parenting fussy kids. But since I started exercise I have found that those high-stress days are fewer and fewer. I think the main reason they felt so stressful is because of my health. When my health is compromised, it is easier to feel stressed, depressed or anxious.

The blood sugar thing seems to be under control mostly. Occasionally I will have a rough day where I feel nauseous and/or dizzy but I find it coincides with drinking too little water. I have managed to drink 8 glasses or more every single day of the diet, but often I don’t get around to the last 6 glasses until after 6 p.m., which means my body is thirsty all day until then. Those days are hard and are unfortunately frequent. I am out a lot on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday and I find on those days it is hard to drink while I’m out, even if I take water with me.

I have finally cut out all sodas. When the diet began I switched to Diet Pepsi, but after having dinner with Heather and Wayne I have switched to Crystal light (I never knew how good it was!).

Praise God for exercise and how good its made me feel.  God help me to continue doing well on this diet.

On a different note Presten FINALLY got his raise – hallelujah!! :D  God is good, even when life is not.

x ❤ x

I weighed in today at 165 lbs – that is the lightest I have been since I married Presten nearly 6 years ago.  In addition, I have lost more inches all over.  I never did get to exercise yesterday or today and both nights (thursday night and friday night) I did not sleep well.  I was up until 4 a.m. this morning unable to sleep.  Perhaps I should work on finishing one of my books when I cant sleep??

So I am thrilled but not yet done.  I want to work on toning my muscles in my flabby areas.  Once I have completed that task I will be satisfied.

I tell you, though, since I started this diet I have noticed overweight women more.  Every time I see a woman waddling because she is so overweight I want to run over to her and give her a card.  I just know how it feel to be unsatisfied with your body and feel trapped.  I have known so many overweight women that wish they had a quick and easy way to get healthy and skinny.  I just say a prayer that God answers that wish when it is there.

Thanks for all the encouragement.

X ❤ X

So my mistakes are many and my flaws are great.  I am human and find it so hard to find strengths within myself.   It’s not that I dont think I have them but rather that I feel like my weaknesses are so great that they outweigh my strengths.

Lately I have felt quite selfish.  Not in the usual sense of the word, but rather in the Mommy sense of the word.  Those of you who have kids or have spent much time with kids might fully understand what I mean here.  I stay home with my kids; they are awake from about 7 am to 7 p.m.   Out of those twelve hours they nap about 3 or so.  That leaves 9 hours of parenting time.  While they do play some together without me, I do have to constantly jump in to handle a situation or two (sharing is a serious issue in our house right now).  The few bits of undisturbed time I do have I end up spending keeping the house clean (dishes, laundry, general pick-up and put away, the usual).  So really the only time I get to myself when the kids dont need me and the house can wait is nap time.  Though the past several days I havent even had that because the kiddos havent been napping well.

So that leaves me feeling, “What about me?”  Do you ever feel like you are disappearing?  Sometimes I feel like I am just Mommy or Wife but rarely Margaret.  I suppose that is why I cherish Ladies Bible Class; it is one of the few times I can just be a woman among other women rather than a Mom or Wife.  I dont mind being a Mom or Wife — I love those jobs – but they are filled with so much responsibility that sometimes it leaves me feeling emotionally overwhelmed and physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted.  I feel like I work 24/7 with very few breaks to just be me and do what I want to do.  You know?

This isnt really a complaint, mind you.  I knew when I signed up for this job (Wife and Mom) that I would be consumed by the job and someday emerge again years later when my kids have grown and I can just enjoy being a Wife and woman.  I just never imagined it to be so completely consuming.

I think Christianity can be that way sometimes.  We join the race for Heaven thinking it is simple: obey the gospel and receive forgiveness for our sins and salvation from Hell.  But it doesnt stop there, does it?  It consumes you.  You are crucified with Christ and you no longer live but Christ lives in you and the life you now live in the flesh you live by faith in the Son of God.  Meaning you are, in some way, dead.  You sacrifice your entire being, making yourself a living sacrifice to God, “holy and pleasing”.  It is a life-long, self improvement process, never stopping your service, growth and of course all out of love. This is as it should be.  I found a verse used in a recent sermon so inspiring that I wrote it out to post on my wall:

1 Corinthians 15:55-58 (NIV)
”Where, O Death, is your victory?
Where, O Death, is your sting?”
The Sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God!  He gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore stand FIRM.  Let nothing move you.  Always give yourself fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

I find this verse encouraging because I see my dual life as Wife and Mother as a service to the Lord.  This verse encourages me to give myself fully to that service, realizing my sacrifice is not in vain.  All I can really do is my best and pray that God do the rest and fill in the gaps that my mistakes leave behind.

So those days – or even years – when I spend all my time parenting and keeping house I try to recognize that its alright; its not in vain.  I can always scrapbook the kids baby pictures for them when they get married as a wedding present.  Until then I will enjoy my kids rather than the pictures.

Bear in mind that these are the ramblings of a tired woman at 3:30 AM.  Why am I awake?  Im not too sure.  The past several days have been exceptionally stressful and I have found it very hard to sleep.  My mind has been racing at night, too, which really doesnt help.

So maybe now I can sleep since I got some stuff off my mind.  Good nite and good morning. 😛

x ❤ X

So I have now been on this meal plan/diet for almost 2 months.  I expected that by now I would be at my target weight; however I am not.  I am not working toward a weight as much as I am working toward health.  Really I am working on myself until my thighs, upper arms, and abs are so toned that they have more muscle than fat.  I realize that this transition may make me weigh more because muscle weighs more than fat.

So I am trying my best to eat what I should, when I should and have now begun to exercise.  I love to exercise!!  I am really looking forward to exercising at nap time today!! 😀

So far I have lost 30 lbs and have not lost any more weight in 2 weeks but I have lost inches here and there.  I am down a couple pant sizes and I have finally lost most of my “mommy belly”.  I am thrilled.  I haven’t dug out my “skinny clothes” yet because I want to wait until I know I will fit into some of them.  How depressing to work on this diet and then not yet fit; so I am just being patient.

Keep me in your prayers.  This has been a rough trip but already my body is much healthier than it was.  At my last check-up the doctor said my gallbladder is doing great and so is my liver.  Very good!  I feel much better most of the time.  I would feel even better if I could make myself go to bed earlier.  I am just addicted to the quiet house after the kids go to bed.

I would recommend this meal plan to almost anyone.  It has been very good for me.

Thanks for the encouragement.  Now its time for me to go exercise!! 😀 YAY! 🙂

x ❤ x

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I share my life with the big wide world; my life as a mom, a wife and a Christian. I work to have original content that is deeper than you might expect but still enjoyable to read.

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