Monday, August 31, 2009

The Hope of Suffering

If you have been reading my blog as of late, then you know my grandmother just passed away on August 20th, 2009, of terminal lung cancer. As hard as it was to watch her die, it was also very peaceful, as I saw God's hand upon her and the rest of us.

During her last day here on earth, I recall sitting there, watching her breath, wondering with each one, if this would be the last. My heart began to ache and tears welled up in my eyes as I whispered in my heart "Jesus, help us, I am not sure how much more of this we can take."

Later on this same day, my mom and I, along with my sisters, gathered around grandmas bedside and prayed. We prayed for God's mercy and His wonderful grace to flood my family. We prayed that grandmas suffering would end soon, and that she would be wrapped in the arms of Jesus.

As we were praying something I had just read came to my heart and I felt lead to read it out loud to grandma. This is what it was...

"My beloved speaks and says to me, rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.

For, behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone.

The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing [of the birds] has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.

The fig tree puts forth and ripens her green figs, and the vines are in blossom and give forth their fragrance.

Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away." Song of Songs 2:10-13

I cried as I read it because I knew that Father was calling her home. I cried because I knew I would miss her. I cried because I knew that when I thought of her not being here for me, it would make me sad for what I would miss.

I smiled when I thought of her with Jesus. I smiled when I thought of her holding her precious daughter who had passed away at 7 months old, more than 50 years ago. I smiled when I thought of her with no more tears, no more pain. I smiled when I thought of her being in a place so wonderful that it is actually outside of time, and I knew for her it would only be a moment until she saw me again.

As weird as this may sound, as odd as it feels to say it, this was actually a good experience. Don't get me wrong it was hard. There are moments when it still is. Like when I put on grandmas flannel that I took from her closet and I smelled her scent as it flowed from the shirt into my nostrils. When I think about Christmas and her not being here. When I look at her photo, or even when someone says a word that reminds me of her.

Grandma is everywhere.

Yet, so is God's peace and that is why this has been good. Precious, wonderful, Jesus, has been there for us, and He still is.

Everyone suffers at some point in their life. Everyone goes through the rough and tough days when it feels like it would be easier to just quit.

Everyone does.

It's not a matter of will I ever suffer, but, where is my hope when I do.

My hope is in Jesus, the Lover of my soul. He will be with us through the good and the bad. With Him, even the the things that are meant to ruin and crush us will be used for good.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Meeting Jesus

I have, after a long two and a half weeks, returned home from my trip to to visit Granny.

The first week of my trip was spent spending time with and caring for my grandma, who was on in-home hospice and living at my moms house. I am so glad I was able to be there and help care for her. Her desire was to remain at home as long as she could, and because we all pulled together, we were able to make that happen.

Grandma passed away on August 20, 2009, and will be sadly missed.

God brought our family together during this time, and reminded me of how important relationships are, and that they will not be around forever. He reminded me that the most important thing I will leave behind when I leave this earth is...

the way I loved others.

I pray that everyday, I will receive more of a revelation of His love for me, so that I am able to love Him and others more fully and completely.

After all, we cannot give what we have not received, and,
life is to short, not to love.

I know that grandma has finally met Jesus and is dancing on golden streets with Him. I know that she is finally complete and whole, no more suffering, every tear wiped away. I can only imagine what she must have felt meeting Jesus...WOW!

I do know that I will be with her, much longer than I have to be with out her.

However, Knowing this does not make me miss her any less.

I want to say thank you, from the bottom of my heart to all you who left me encouraging comments and prayed with and for me and my family during this time. Your prayers were definitely felt and welcomed over the last weeks.

Now, that I am home, I will be getting back into the swing of things and I will soon be posting again regularly. I am also looking forward to coming by to visit you all again soon.

Many Blessings,

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Going To VIsit Granny

It is time for me to once again, pack the clothes, pile everything and everyone in the car and make the 5 to 6 hour drive back to Ohio. The time really depends on how nice the traffic in Chicago decides to be to me today.

I previously told you all a little about my sweet granny having terminal lung cancer, well...she is not doing well, not at all. Her condition is rapidly going down hill and it is believed that the cancer has/is spreading to other parts of her body. She has no appetite and due to not eating, she has lost a tremendous amount of weight. She is becoming very confused and is staying in bed 98% of the time.

I would share more, but I am typing this in a bit of a rush to get out the door. My mom just called yesterday and said that if I want to spend any time, while she still knows whats going on, I had better come fast. So I am going...getting there as fast as I can!

I do not know how long I will be gone, I intend to stay as long as I am needed there. Please pray for my family. And, know that if you do not hear from me for awhile, if I do not post or visit you, it is not because I have forgotten about you.

Being Loved By Him, With You,

Monday, August 10, 2009

Grace is Enough

Have you ever woke up with a heavy heart, feeling as though you had the weight of the world on your shoulders and it was too much to bear? This is how I felt as my eyes slowly rolled open and I contemplated getting out of bed this morning.

I refuse to start my day this way, so before my feet touched the floor, I reached for God's wonderful Word of Grace and asked Him to remind me of the Truth. I asked Him to give me a revelation of His love for me.

When we focus on our problems or what we think we may not be doing right, we will always find a reason to feel condemned. But when we focus on Jesus, God's provision for our problems, the One who did everything right, and we remember that we are hidden in Him, we are reminded that we are righteous!

There is nothing happening in my life or yours, that God does not already have taken care of. God's Grace (Jesus) is enough!

Job and financial situation...check!

Health issues...check!

Issues with the kids...check!

A healthy spiritual life...check!

Whatever else that may come up...check!

When we are reminded of God's perfect love for us, we can live in His rest knowing that the hope of His great love taking care of our every need is enough. When we are resting we are not worrying about what to do, trying to work harder at resolving our problems or trying to figure out a perfect solution.

No, we are allowing His love to surround us, and we are trusting Him to make a way. We are trusting that all of God's promises are YES and AMEN!

When God looks at His children He does not see the imperfections and the shortcomings that we tend to see, He sees Jesus! When we realize this, we can rest, knowing that He is not trying to decide if we deserve for Him to come through for us. None of us deserve it, but Jesus does!

The righteousness and perfect obedience of Jesus is what our Father sees when He looks upon us! Now, that is good news!

I came across this video entitled The Good-O-Meter over at Amy Deardon's blog page. It is a WONDERFUL video that gives a beautiful example of the Grace I am referring to in this post. Please leave a comment as usual, but then PLEASE, PLEASE take the time to stop by Amy's blog and watch this video, leave her a comment and say hello, tell her I sent you :) it's worth it, I promise!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Power To Make Coleslaw

My last post was about the the towers that we tend to build in our lives that obstruct our view of relationship with Christ. It was inspired by a Veggie Tales episode I watched with my niece. If you did not read it, you may want to scroll down and do so before moving on.

I would just like to add to that post and clarify, that I believe the knocking down part is done in love, with no condemnation. I do not believe that these areas of our lives need to be removed in great pain staking agony. This would mean that I believe God's Grace (Jesus) is insufficient to take care of these "towers".

Yes, I think that sometimes the emotions we experience during these times can be difficult to sift through. However, if I am keeping my eyes on Jesus, and asking Him to remind me of His great love for me, it makes this sifting that much easier.

We are ALL growing and changing daily, none of us have arrived, and we ALL have some kind of "tower" that needs to be knocked down. Yet, it is not our job or our responsibility to "figure out" what the towers are, what they look like and how to get rid of them. As we rest in His finished work and trust Him to continue to work in our lives through the power of the Holy Spirit, who is...God's gift and promise to us, the Father will guide us and lead us closer and closer to Him.

If we were able to see for ourselves the areas where we are not walking in God's best, in our own strength and understanding, what would we need this wonderful gift for? If we were able to "fix" ourselves, what would we need this wonderful gift for?

I have come to realize that I have no power to remove towers or change myself in any way, nor do I have the ability to see and recognize these areas or towers without revelation from the Holy Spirit. For me the "Fight of Faith" has become a simple question asked everyday in every situation.

"Do I believe that what He has done for me is enough?"

"Do I believe that what Jesus has already done for me is enough to take care of all the details of my life and my person?"

YES! I do believe that He is. In that I can thank Him when He shows me these areas I can respond with "Thank You Jesus, that you love me enough to not leave me the same!" I can trust in the power of the Holy Spirit to bring about any necessary changes and flow in and with Him as He does.

So, I do believe we all have "towers" and I do believe that when God removes the unnecessary we are left with "coleslaw" something much better than what we started with. But, I wanted to clarify How I believe we get there. Through His Grace, His power working in our lives.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


I was watching Veggie Tales with my niece this morning when I heard Larry say the following.

"Go ahead smash that tower (of cabbage), you might just make coleslaw."

He was telling a tale of oddities about a man who had built a tower of cabbage with a mayonnaise stand at the bottom. Unfortunately the tower was blocking a neighbors window and one night, the neighbor, knocked the tower down, destroying it. Upon discovering the deconstruction of his wonderful tower the man was angry. That is, until he realized that his misfortune had caused him to accidentally discover coleslaw.

It made me think of the towers we build in our lives and the discoveries we make upon them being knocked down. These towers can be many things, anything that we place value and security in besides Jesus. Many times we do not even realize our areas of insecurity, or what the towers we have built are, until God comes along and begins knocking them down.

Many times deconstruction is not something we welcome, it can be hard and challenging. Yet, I have come to realize that when I keep my eyes on Jesus and ask Him to remind me of the truth, to remind me of what He says about me and my life, I can walk through the deconstruction process with peace and joy.

As I grow in my relationship with Jesus, and I continually learn to trust in Him, I learn that "deconstruction" is simply the first step in Him building something new that He has promised me.

There are many things I have looked to besides Jesus, on this journey. Many times the substitutes we look to are the very things that are seemingly good. The deeds we get involved in, the careers we choose, the people in our lives, the church we might attend, the teaching of others. All of these can be good, however they should never replace our individual relationship with Jesus. They should never be what defines us or gives us a sense of worth and value.

When these become bigger in our lives than our oneness with Jesus, they become towers that block the view of Christ in our lives. Many times it is the times of trial we go thorough that God uses to show us areas we are not trusting Him in. He uses these times to show us the "towers" we have built, and then He begins knocking them down.

I have learned, and am continuing to learn, how to embrace times of "deconstruction." Those times when God removes what is unnecessary, and mixes all the right ingredients together. Only through embracing these times and learning to trust in the Lord, will I find my coleslaw.

Lets Talk Grace! What Towers have you built on your journey? Is God knocking down any towers in your life? Please leave a comment, and tell us what you think. Lets Talk Grace!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Blog Hop -Encouragement

I am very encouraged today. I hope to encourage you by sharing my story.

I have always wanted to have a close relationship with my sister, but until recent years, we always seemed to be hit and miss with one another. Even though we have always loved on another, our relationship had very little depth.

We are seven years apart and I am the older sister. I remember after I got married, my sister was only fourteen, I would have her over and not want to take her home. She would get so frustrated with me and eventually she stopped coming.

There were many other times over the years where I tried to push myself on her. I realize now that I was trying to force her into a relationship with me and in doing so, I pushed her away.

The Lord helped me to just let go and hope that one day, He would bring us together to build a relationship that was based on a mutual love, respect, admiration and trust in one another. It has been almost 13 years and I can finally say that my sister is becoming one of my very best friends.

This never would have happened if I had continued to try and change her heart toward me. When we trust the Lord to do what we cannot, in us and in others, the seemingly impossible can happen. God is able to do above and beyond what we can only imagine.

"Now to Him, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do super-abundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]-" Ephesians 3:20AMP

My sister and my niece came from Ohio, to visit us this week. Our relationship is growing. I trust that the lord will continue to do beyond what I could ever hope for!

Lets talk Grace! Please leave a comment and share something encouraging, or a way this post encourages you! I try to respond to the comments you leave, so please check back. Lets talk Grace!

MckLinky Blog Hop

Monday, August 3, 2009

Jesus Is Wisdom

I recently heard a teaching on asking God for wisdom and my mind and heart continued to remember these verses.

1 Corinthians 1:22-24 "For while Jews [demandingly] ask for signs and miracles and Greeks pursue philosophy and wisdom, We preach Christ (the messiah) crucified, [preaching which] to the Jews is a scandal and an offensive stumbling block [that springs a snare or trap], and to the Gentiles it is absurd and utterly unphilosophical nonsense, But to those who are called, whether Jew or Greek (Gentile) Christ [is] the power of God and the Wisdom of God."

Jesus is the wisdom of God.

When we need wisdom we go to God and He gives us that wisdom, but our answer is always found in Jesus.

When we learn to agree with what Jesus says is the truth about us and our situations, we are flowing in God's wisdom. When we know God's truth for our lives and we align our thinking with His, we are flowing in God's wisdom. When we refuse to believe the lies of the enemy, and stand on what Jesus has done for us, we are flowing in God's wisdom.

I used to read the Bible looking for answers to my life. I am now learning to ask the Father to show me the person of Jesus. In Him I will find wisdom. In Him I will find answers.

I recently had some question arise in my heart concerning church, and as I went to the Bible I found myself intent on finding a fact or a clear description of what I was looking for. When God revealed to me what was in my heart, I closed my Bible to take a minute and ask my Father to change my heart. I want my only desire be that I see Jesus.

The Bible is not an encyclopedia, a place where we go just to find information. It is a place where we go to have a person revealed to us. In this person, this wonderful Christ, we will find wisdom.

Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. When we see Him as our answer we will flow in Grace and Truth. We will flow in His power, and wisdom.

Are you seeking answers today? Ask the Father to show you Jesus. You are hidden in Him, this is where we find the wisdom and answers we are looking for.

Lets Talk Grace! Please leave a comment. I try to respond to the comments you leave here on Grace Talk, as often as I can, so please check back. Lets Talk Grace!