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Reflect

Helping women discover a deeper faith, freedom from their past and victory for their future.


In the Right Order

It has been glorious weather in California.  After 10 years of cold weather in March I am grateful for the warmth! Yesterday my daughters, my mother and I went to lounge by a pool. I was excited to spend time with them and it was going to be so relaxing.  Because my mom has dementia we were not sure how this time was going to go. Nestled into the pool area were endless lounge chairs, umbrellas, a patio with tables and bathrooms! What else could we have asked for?  I was hopeful that all of us would have a fabulous time.

Mom went into the bathroom early on and had difficulty maneuvering her bathing suit. It got a little wet and she wanted to change. I took her some things to change into and left her alone. The sun felt so good to relax in. I honestly forgot about the time as I was basking in the sunshine. When I remembered that she was in the bathroom, nothing could have prepared me for what I saw when upon entering the bathroom!

Sometimes with dementia you have to laugh or it all becomes too overwhelming to handle. It’s those little moments of laughter that have carried me through this arduous journey with mom. There she was with her bathing suit tucked into her shorts and her depends (adult pull-ups) on top of her shorts! I tried so hard not to laugh but I got the case of the giggles looking at her. Is it bad that I wanted to take a picture? It is forever etched into my mind.

Sometimes we need the laughter to remind us that life is a series of events, heavy and light, difficult and easy, painful and delightful.

 

When we begin to put things in the right order we can experience the fullness of His joy. I love how the NASB communicates this thought.

You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever. Psalm 16:11

When we go to God first and sit in His presence there is joy. It is then that we begin to see His plan and align our will to His . This is what brings us His joy.  

It’s when we do things out of His order that we experience great frustration.  Is there something that is out of order in your life? Go back to the basics of sitting with Jesus and realigning your life to His.


Joy Thief and Link up

Comparison
Have you been here? Comparing yourself to others.

You think if only you had ______ then you too would be content, joyful, fulfilled. 


Growing up we did not have a lot of material things. I remember wondering what it was like to have new clothes, not hand me downs. Often, I felt left out, because we couldn’t go to certain places, we didn’t have the money. As I grew it only seemed to become more intense of a feeling.

My family moved many times, renting homes and apartments. One of my deepest desires was to stay in one place, one home, one school, one community. Looking at children who knew each other from preschool, who had long-lasting friendships, whose families had always lived in the community seemed like an unattainable goal for me. I coveted the thought of this life.

Could I ever have that? Could I know the joy of staying in one place? What did it feel like to start the school year with friends in the classroom who would call out your name as you entered the class?  My life was completely opposite of this dream.

In the midst of this comparison I was missing a gift, Joy!  Let me explain. As I was comparing my life to what others had, I missed all of the things that were good about my life. Sure, they had stability and history, but I had adventure, new opportunities and excitement!  If I didn’t like someone in my class, I probably wouldn’t see them the next year! I learned how to make friends quickly and was able to see many different types of schools! I was exposed to a variety of cultures and communities! All of these components have played a role in my development.  Today as I look back, I am grateful that I had those experiences.

Because of my past, I am able to be more effective as a teacher. It has prepared me to reach out to many people, cultures and communities.  I am not afraid to be in new situations, talk to people I do not know or try new things!

Comparison is a dangerous thing!

 

 

It robs us of the joy of the journey! It’s a JOY thief.

Comparison takes our eyes off what God is doing and puts our focus on envy.
When our focus turns from Jesus we will become discontented!

Choose Joy, Choose to live what Paul learned.

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. Philippians 4:12

 

Photobucket.

 

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August 10 Link Up


 


Sorrow and Joy

You know it’s eventually coming. Difficult times, testing of your faith, those moments that take your breath away. We prepare for them, we say we have faith in the midst of them, we sing songs that declare, “I believe in the power of Jesus”. I will stand firm.

We cling to the truth, “to be strong and courageous“. And then it comes, the moment that we prepared for. It is in that moment that we realize, nothing can prepare you.

We can only hold on to the One who holds the future, take a deep breath of the Holy Spirit and ask Him to fill us with His strength, power and His peace that passes understanding.

Watching my mom struggle with health issues and dementia has been one of those moments. While I was weeping just this morning my husband asked me, “What brings the tears”? My response was that there’s so many things that bring the tears.  I thought I would share them with you today.

I weep

for what has been lost

for what is being taken away-her memories, her ability to think clearly.

for the unknown because, I do not know how long I’ll have her.

because, I know she’s frustrated and feels so alone.

because, I don’t know what to do

because, selfishly I want it to be over

and I’m not quite sure if I’m strong enough to walk through it.

It’s a good thing that I know Jesus! It’s a good thing that my mom knows Jesus and that even in her confusion He is with her, that he loves her, and he has prepared a place for her.

Today I choose joy in the unknown. These moments with my mom have taught me that I don’t have to have it together. It’s ok if my mom doesn’t have to have her memories because we know the One who holds the future. It is He who is holds her in His arms and who loves and cherishes her.

I choose joy today because, He did not give me a spirit of fear but of a sound mind and of power and I rejoice in that today.

*To have and keep in one's grasp_ held

I still believe in His goodness and embrace the joy that is found in Him alone!

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December 26, 2014

Looking Forward looking Back

Joy2015 really? How did that happen? Just yesterday we were all freaked out about Y2K! Hard to believe that was so long ago! On Facebook they have been compiling a year in review for everyone.  I wonder how they go about choosing what is included? This last year I have had some fabulous experiences and some painful ones.

God has blessed our lives with both pain and joy. They seem to go hand in hand. Often on the same day we may experience a roller coaster of emotions.

We visited Colombia and Mexico where we loved Children in Jesus name. Pain and Joy

I said Goodbye to a dear friend who now is with Jesus and pain free. Pain and Joy

We travelled to see family in Pennsylvania and California with my mother who has dementia. Pain and Joy

I completed a 350 mile, 6 day bicycle trip. Pain and Joy

Jesus also experienced great pain and great joy. 

He was amongst His creation Pain and Joy

He healed even when there was disbelief Pain and Joy

He taught the truth even when others turned away Pain and Joy

He loved with all that He had even when the crucified Him. Pain and Joy

He watches as His children love others even though many turn away. Pain and Joy

We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Hebrews 12:2 NLT

I am praying that in 2015 I will become more aware of the joy in the midst of whatever may come. Thank you Jesus for showing us how to do that and making it possible through your strength.

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