You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Religion’ category.

So I have been really mulling over something lately and this video lead me to post about it.  First, check out the video.

Beauty of Flowers

What do you think?

You know what this really drives home for me?  It doesnt have to be this way.

What do I mean by that?  Well think about it.  Why are there so many different types of flowers?  Not just because humans breed them over and over.  I mean before that.  At some point before people bred flowers there were still many, many different types of flowers.  Why?

Why is the grass green and the sky blue?  I mean scientifically you can give me an answer.  But couldn’t God have made the questions, “Why is the grass brown and the sky grey?”  (All the time, I mean.  Because in some regions that is true.  You get my point.)

I simply mean that God made this earth AMAZING for us.  Rainforests are my favorite invention of God’s.  They are simply beautiful!  So many beautiful sights and lovely smells.

Are you seeing the picture now?  God could have made this world mundane and boring.  We could be living in a world-wide desert with nothing but hot days and cold nights.  But instead there is a multitude of regions.

I think this simply speaks to His Love for us.  I love the song, “More” by Mathew West.  The song draws a picture of how God loves us more than the Sun that He “taught how to shine,” and more than the ocean is deep or wide.  He loved us enough to send His beloved Son to die on a cross for our sins.

That is a lot of love.

Just something to ponder.

Super Mama Maggie

Advertisements

So I often find myself having highs of happy moments where the whole world seems right and lows where I feel so down and frustrated.  I know that whether a person is bi-polar or not, everyone experiences these highs and lows. The fact of the matter is that there is always some good things going on in life and there are always some bad things going on. 

Examples

High: I have two amazing kids who I love and adore and am so grateful I have.
Low: Even so there are days that parenting them is so difficult.  It doesn’t negate my feelings for them however it does make the situation difficult and sometimes depressing.

High: I have this amazing dog, Mortimer, who I love, cherish and adore. He is my “first born” as I got him right before we found out I was pregnant with Cassie. 
Low: But he is with a “friend” who kindly took care of him while I was in the hospital.  Now I am uncertain of if I will ever see him again because she seems unwilling to give him back.

High: My husband is working for himself now, choosing what he wants to do and what he doesn’t want to do, directing his own clinic as he sees fit.
Low: Money is a bit tight as we work hard to build his business. It can lead to frustration as we deal with situations that arise where the only solution is more money! 😦

I could go on and on.  But the fact is that there is an up side and a down side to a lot of things.  But what then should we focus on??  Obviously the up side, right?  But how do we do that?? Sometimes it is so easy to see the bad side of things and forget that silver lining.

I have learned (and am doing my best to put into practice) that prayer is a powerful thing in this matter.  Case in point, we have been praying every night for our daughters and their temperament, their future, their lives and just everything about them!  Since we started, Serenity has become so much easier to handle (PRAISE GOD!!!) and has had less rough days and more good days.

As for our amazing dog Mortimer, we have prayed hard for health and healing and as I understand it he is healthier and doing better.  Now we just have to pray we get him back someday soon from our reluctant friend.

Presten’s job is going well and we have prayed every night that it will blossom and grow so that he can help people get well. As we have prayed his contacts have exploded and he has more new patients each week.  He has been asked to be a part of several events which will yield more patients he can help.

So each time I feel frustrated, concerned, afraid or aggravated about an otherwise good situation I pray about it and look desperately for that silver lining.

My mother is a professional at finding the silver lining.  She can find the silver lining about almost anything.  Raining? Well the flowers needed it.  Waiting in line? Well I needed to grow some more patience.  Had a rough day at work? Well at least I will get good sleep tonight!  I love her and am glad she has it down but I have not inherited that trait.

I find it just as hard to love difficult people as well.  When someone is frustrating to know I just want to write them off and not always nicely.  I have had to learn to be prayerful here.  Oh and to learn some TACT…  Something else I did not inherit from my mom that she has an overabundance of!

So I guess my whole point is when you cannot see the silver lining and life is tough just look up and say, “Okay, God. I cannot see it but I know it is there.” and prayerfully go forward.  I know not everything has an easy-to-see silver lining; some might even say that there are events that have no silver lining.

To that I disagree.  Well maybe there are things that do not have a silver lining but they do have a purpose.  I am a deep believer that everything has a purpose!  Maybe your dog got hit by a car because it was either your dog or that kid three blocks down that would have run out in front of the same car!

There was one day my mom could not find her keys.  We looked EVERYWHERE!! Then when we found them, in some easy to see place, she laughed and said, “Well I’m sure God had a purpose for this.” as we were very late to school. Sure enough as we pulled toward the narrow bridge on our way to school we saw a half a house driving down the bridge, barely squeezing through with no room on either side for a car.  The bridge was long and perhaps, just maybe, we could have been caught on that bridge unknowingly and been hit by a traveling house! How funny and sad would that have been? A little too “Wizard of Oz” for me! haha

Any way!!  I hope this all makes sense.  It came out of my friend seeming to say we wouldn’t be seeing our dog again.  It made me feel upset and depressed and I wanted to write about the good side of the situation and how life does really have an up side when things seem down.  So cheer up!  Whatever has got you down either has a good side or it has a purpose.  Either way, stop and pray, because God loves you and is there for you through it all.

I praise you, God, for your abundant love and ever-presence.  I thank you for all the gifts you give and I respect you for all the things you take away.  I trust you, God, to do your will, looking out for my best interest.  I know you have a plan for my life and are always doing what is best for me now and in the future.  Thank you for all the blessings that surround me. Much Love. IJNA

God bless y’all!
Super Momma Maggie

I thought I had faith in God. I thought I believed in his ability and his desire to help me. Psalms 91:14 says, “Because he loves me, says the Lord, I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. 15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. 16 With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

This verse says many promises. God promises to: 1) rescue me, 2) protect me because I acknowledge His name, 3) answer me when I call upon Him, 4) be with me in trouble, 5) deliver me from trouble, 6) honor me, 7) satisfy me with long life, 8) show me His salvation. That is a lot of promises! Yet sometimes I find myself disbelieving in Gods follow through.

It is not that I do not believe He is capable. “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.” (Eph. 3:20) I know in my heart that God is capable of so much more than I could ever need or want. So why do I not trust Him?

Trust is defined as: 1) reliance on the integrity, strength, and ability of a person or thing; confidence, 2) confident expectation of something; hope

Faith is defined as: belief that is not based on proof. “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and the certainty of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)

So are they really the same thing? It would appear they are. To me, faith is not the absence of fear, but the courage to press on during hardships and still believe in God and His providence. It is believing that God will work things out. But if you believe someone will do something doesn’t that mean you also trust they will follow through?

So all my prayers for faith have yielded many trials: Two deaths in the family, A huge move from a haven I loved and enjoyed to a place I would never have thought to call home, A complete mental breakdown and the repercussions thereof, The rebuilding of my life since then, The consistent and ever-presence of Satan in my mind and in my life (yes I have rebuked the Devil; he still prevails). All these things have continually built my faith stronger and stronger. But still I lack the trust that God will truly follow through on all those promises listed above.

Will he really rescue me when I call for Him? Has he rescued me from Satan’s snare? Will he truly be with me during my troubles and protect me from trouble? I must say that I don’t trust that he will when I look at my most recent past. Trouble has followed me everywhere I go.

I feel alone and afraid. I feel deserted by God. Where is He? If He promises to rescue me then where is He? If he promises to protect me then why does Satan persist? Why do I continue to undergo trials and struggles?

The answer lies in my request: faith. As I said in a recent post: faith is not given freely, it is built through trials. I also cited a great verse in Corinthians that talked about how we are often put through trials not only so that we can feel the comfort and love of God but so that we may also show the comfort and love of God to others. So perhaps, just maybe, my trails exist to help someone.

I have recently taken up writing in hopes of publishing some books. One book I am writing talks about my struggles in life and how I have dealt with them. Many of my trials are not know by most of the people who know me, except those closest to me. My life has not been easy by any means. It has been one trial after another. But one theme has remained: God.

As I look back at my past I see His hand in every situation. One situation that I would like to share is a car accident I had when I was 17. At the time I was very uncertain as to why it had happened to me. It was a traumatic experience for me at such a young age. I was nearly killed because I ran into a telephone pole going quite fast; I never hit the brakes to even slow down because I was in shock.

Now, more than 10 years later, I fully understand the purpose of that accident. At the time, before my accident, my sister and I were at odds with each other. I didn’t like her much and she didn’t care for me either. We had so little in common and failed to even try to have a relationship.

When I was discharged from the hospital it was my sister who picked me up. I was starving after having been on a liquid only diet for several days. We got a roast beef sandwich in the cafeteria. That was the beginning of a beautiful relationship that flourished into a friendship I will forever cherish.

My sister died on October 30th several years ago. Were it not for that car accident I feel certain that we would have never overcome our differences and become such close friends. Sure we still had those differences, but we agreed to disagree and moved on, building a relationship around what we did have in common. I praise God for that car accident.

I have many such stories in my life. Times in which I suffered but now see the purpose, or at least know there was a purpose. So why do I still struggle with trust and faith in God? Perhaps it is because these trials never end. But that is part of the human life. Some might say God is cruel because He puts us through so many trials and struggles. But do non-Christians live lives of luxury and have no struggles or trials. Look at the news. Many people who are famous and do not profess to be Christians struggle every day with trials: drug overdoses and divorce to name a few.

So it is not God who is cruel. It is the choice Adam and Eve made many, many years ago. Life: a beautiful life with God by our side, walking with us in a Heavenly garden, or Death: physical death, physical and psychological pain and strife. They chose death, knowingly or not.

So we suffer. I suffer. It is a fact of life. One I must accept before I can truly trust and have faith in God. Do you accept the reality of the struggles of life and have faith in God, trusting He will follow through on his many promises to us? I am working on it daily.

I think sometimes that I have surrendered all I am and all I have to God.  Perhaps I even sing that old hymn “I surrender all” with feeling and honesty.  Then the Lord takes something away – like the unexpected death of a beloved family member.  Or perhaps it is the loss of a job, only to find a new one in a place I would never choose to move to.  Then I realize perhaps this is the true surrender: to find peace when God moves in mysterious yet uncomfortable ways.

There is this awesome song called “Strong Enough”.  Here are the basic lyrics (minus repetition).

You must think I’m strong to give me what I’m going through. Well, forgive me if I’m wrong, but this looks like more than I can do on my own.

I know I’m not strong enough to be everything that I’m supposed to be. I give up; I’m not strong enough.  Hands of mercy won’t you cover me. Lord, right now I’m asking you to be strong enough for the both of us.

Well, maybe that’s the point – to reach the point of giving up – because when I’m finally at rock bottom, well, that’s when I start looking up and reaching out.

Because I’m broken down to nothing but I’m still holding on to one thing: You are God and you are strong when I am weak.

“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” I don’t have to be strong enough.

I know I’m not strong enough to be everything that I’m supposed to be. I give up; I’m not strong enough. Hands of mercy won’t you cover me. Lord, right now I’m asking you to be strong enough for the both of us.

Some might say I had a “bi-polar episode” or perhaps a “nervous breakdown”.  I call it “the time Mommy went totally crazy and was glad the kiddos weren’t there to witness it all.”  Never in my life had I been so out of control – forced to surrender to God.  As a “good Christian girl” I had never done drugs or gotten so drunk I was out of control. But that night the combination of lack of sleep, lack of consistent nourishment and little to no water intake, plus the sleeping pills I took — along with the tequila I drank to hopefully make me sleep (how is that for being candid?) made me more than a little loopy and completely out of control. (Yes I know, looking back, the whole thing was stupid.) The doctors said that the lack of sleep and lack of nutritious food were the larger culprits and that this breakdown was bound to happen at some point.  I was so glad to be with someone I trusted completely that night.  Anything was possible.  Tequila is bad.  Don’t ever drink it! Smile with tongue out

Now here I am living next door to my in-laws, a situation that would likely put many people more at risk of a breakdown but this time it is a blessing.  At first I wondered if they were just getting a son and grandkids and I was part of the package. But they have proved to me with their complete acceptance, love, compassion and generosity that they truly do care about me.

Even so.  My husband has no salaried job (again), and has opened up practice for himself – which is good but makes me feel insecure.  Sure we are blessed with plenty of clothing, food on the table and a roof over our head, not to mention all our crucial bills paid.  But I still feel uneasy and anxious if I do not keep reminding myself to continually surrender, especially when the anxiety creeps in and the fears start to ramble through my inner dialogue.

So I am left again with my need to surrender all to Christ.  I love the song “Great is thy faithfulness.”  I rewrote it with more modern language.

Great is your faithfulness, oh God my father.
There is no shadow of turning with you.
You never change, and your compassion never fails me.
As you have been, you will always be.

Great is your faithfulness,
Great is your faithfulness.
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed your hand has provided.
Great is your faithfulness, Lord, unto me.

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun. Moon and Stars in their courses above,
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To your great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Great is your faithfulness,
Great is your faithfulness.
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed your hand has provided.
Great is your faithfulness, Lord, unto me.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endure.
Your own dear presence to cheer and to guide.
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.
Blessings all mine with ten thousand beside.

Great is your faithfulness,
Great is your faithfulness.
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed your hand has provided.
Great is your faithfulness, Lord, unto me.

This song brings me so much peace.  God is faithful.  Each day brings new mercies – new challenges that are overcome quickly by God’s doing.  All I have God has provided.  He has pardoned me from my sins, strengthening me each day to face every challenge. And I know every night as I lay my head on my pillow that He will still be there tomorrow to do it all over again!  What a blessing!

So when I feel unable to surrender, or unable to just let it all go, I remind myself that God’s faithfulness is great and He is ever-present to guide me through each struggle.  Letting go is the only true way I can open myself to His help and guidance.

So surrender all and feel his peace and see his faithfulness!

Lots of Love,
Super Momma Maggie

I have often prayed something along the lines of “God make me have more faith in you and your plan for me.”  However, I realized today that praying for faith is like praying for patience.  How do you get patience? By experiencing things that are difficult and thereby forcing you to have patience with the situation.  I am certain many of you have experienced this one time or another.

Many of you know that I have been through a lot of trials lately.  I had a nervous breakdown in June and was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder. (Yeah maybe I share too much… Oh well.) Smile with tongue out   Presten was out of work for nearly 6 months.  Then he found an awesome job!!  The pay was great, the atmosphere was serene and he felt confident.  I don’t know what happened – why the *ahem* woman fired him – but she did. Oh and about two weeks before Christmas, too. Such a nice woman. Grr…  (Forgiveness still pending.)  In addition to all that, my health has been a roller coaster.  One day I feel great and happy, the next I feel distraught and paranoid.  Yes, my friend who loves me, I AM on medication, and have a great doctor who manages my meds.  He says it is all “normal” for me.  Yeah, like me and normal are friends at all!!  Riiiight…

So anyway… Through all this I have prayed “God grant me faith in you.” and “God give me peace.”  But today I realized he is teaching me faith and granting me peace through experience.  See I believe that is how God works.  Everything is lesson.  Pray for patience – get TAUGHT patience.  Pray for peace, faith, love, joy… really almost anything and he teaches it to you through your experiences.  Perhaps some of you knew this already but it’s a revelation to me.

So is this a good thing?  Is this method mean, unkind or uncaring?  Why does He not just GIVE us these skills.  Why when we pray are we not surrounded by a sense of peace, or just given that patience we need??  Now I am not saying this never happens.  I mean there have been times I have prayed specifically for peace and God has just covered me with a blanket of peace.  There have also been times I have been prayerfully working on surrendering to Him and he grants me peace about my choice to relinquish my control.  There are moments for me when God just covers me with whatever I am requesting.  But for me (maybe not everyone) those are just moments.  Then the moment passes and the feeling fades and I am left with whatever I already had within myself.

But when I am taught a trait (patience, peace, faith, love, joy… any fruit of the spirit) that lesson sticks with me.  And no this is not like a school lesson from elementary school.  One that fades with time.  No.  This is eternal.  Once my level of patience reaches a level through experience it stays there forever, or increases but never diminishes.

So back to the questions then…  Why does God do it this way? See previous paragraph.  Because it sticks with us.

Why doesn’t God just give us these traits?  Because I think its not the same.  What do I mean… well how interesting that I happen to be listening to the song “Stronger” by Mandisa.  The message of this song is that hardships will make you stronger.  How true this is.  When we come out the other side of a struggle we are stronger.  However if we were given these traits perhaps we wouldn’t be as strong as when we earn them.  Now I do know that some of us are created with certain gifts.  Some of us can love anyone where they are at and do not struggle with this.  Some people have an amazing enduring patience with everything.  Some people are just peaceful about life – living without worry or anxiety.  I personally have the gift of compassion and encouragement.  I love to encourage others. I’ll stop at that or I will sound like I am bragging or something… We each have gifts but there are some things we don’t have.

So one might bring up the story in the Bible of the men with the talents (which was a sum of money). [This is in Matthew 25:14-30] At the end it says that those who take care of what they have will be given more and those who do not will have theirs taken away.  The talents were given to them without merit (or lesson).  This is talking about money and not the same at all.

Lets look at one of my favorite verses about hardships.

2 Corinthians 1:3-7

3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 5 For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. 6 If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. 7 And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.

So the word “comfort” is used in there A LOT!  But the gist of it is that we go through trials so that we can be comforted and then later comfort others.  So our struggles, hardships and trials are not just for us – not just to teach us some lesson – but also for others in the future.  Have you ever been able to say “yeah I’ve been there”?  What is more is have the words “I’ve been there” ever comforted you?

When I lived in Oregon my daughter Wren was struggling with temper tantrums.  She would hit, kick, throw things, yell and scream and just be a terror. I had no clue what to do.  What I really felt I needed was for someone to say, “honey I have been there and this will pass. It will be okay.”  What happened when I shared it with most people, asking for prayers, was they laughed at me and said, “yeah she will get over it”.  It was mainly the laughing that hurt.  Wrens full name is Serenity Elizabeth Joy, however she was in no means serene or joyful during that time of her life so I am guessing that is why they laughed at me. Any way… There was one woman – Nona Skinner – who smiled at me, hugged me and said “honey, I have been there!”  She proceeded to tell me the story of one of her children who was as difficult as mine. She said, “This too will pass.  She will get better.” and then gave me advice of how to deal with her.  Every time I saw Nona she would hug me and remind me that it will get better.  She became such a comfort in my life.  Why?  Because she had been there, survived and had love and comfort to give.

SO in conclusion:  God often teaches us traits (such as the fruits of the spirit) through trials and situations that give us experience.  Why do I personally believe he does this?  To make us stronger and so that we can feel his love and comfort and generously give out his love and comfort to others as we see need.  This method of teaching rather than gifting is a good method because it sticks with us eternally, with increasing knowledge.

So if you are struggling in one way or another know that it will get better.  You will come out on the other side stronger and some day you will be able to comfort others because of your experience. Experience makes us stronger and wiser.  Oh and praying for wisdom is the same as praying for patience, too! haha… I could tell you stories about that, too.

Hope this wasn’t too long.  Thanks for the read.

Lots of Love
Super Mama Maggie

If you are a first time reader please read my bio so you will know why I am so very super. Open-mouthed smile

Recent Posts by Date

December 2017
S M T W T F S
« Jul    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 419 other followers


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.

%d bloggers like this: