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Posts Tagged ‘Disappointment’

Why do I forget what I know?

Why do I overlook the obvious?

Why do I look for what I need in the wrong places?

Why do I look at all, when what I need is right in front of me?

“A man of many companions may come to ruin,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
Proverbs 18:24

3cc4f3db908903d40e74834f0fc5823dWhen we experience disappointment, loss, loneliness, discouragement … and we all will … it is important to remember that we are never alone, and that all that this Earth and life offer (people and things) is dust in the light of what god offers.

We have all had hours, days, weeks, even years when it seems as though there is no hope at all in our life. The future, whether tomorrow of every tomorrow until our last breath, can appear to us to be void of any hope.

But we have it all wrong!

Our hope is not in ourselves or our abilities.

Our hope is not in our families.

Our hope is not in our job.

Our hope is in nothing but Christ.

He is always with us … “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20

He is always for us … “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

He is our strength  … “I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

This song came on the radio one day, when hope seemed lost:

“You hear me when I call
You are my morning song
Though darkness fills the night
It can not hide the light
Whom shall I fear?”

Along with the fitting lyrics of that song, were the words I had written on My Loves page, Numero-Uno. It was a good reminder to me that my hope is not in anyone, but Christ.

The words of that page were written on a ‘good’ day, but they are true for every day!

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School is out! The year is done, and I find myself thinking about how it began, and now how it ends.

I love that I work in a high school. The benefits are so perfectly fitting with who I am. I get to take my kids to work, and bring them home. The hours I work are, predominantly, the same hours that they are in school. The maturity level of the students matches mine quite closely. I get the possibilities (just not often enough) of snow days! To top it all off, there are those enviable summer breaks!

My original plan for my summer break last year, had been to spend parts of the summer creating a plan for the work experience course I had taught the previous school year. I had so loved my job that previous school year. I was challenged by the students I taught, and by the new experiences and skills that I had to develop within myself to accomplish the tasks at hand. I was excited to develop it to the next level, and to dream about new directions that it might take.

Unexpectedly, though, last summer ended up being busier than I had expected, as I ended up taking on a summer job. So my planning and dreaming did not materialize.

When last summers ‘break’ was winding down, and I returned to school, I was surprised that my position from the previous year was not to be my position for this school year. My first reaction was to wonder if I had ‘blown it’ the previous year. Then I was disappointed. Then I was … lost. My vision for the future had changed, so much so, that I did not know what to do, what to say.

So, I dug in, and approached the new year, as if it were a new job … with my tail still hanging between my legs.

I discovered this year that I quite enjoyed being back in the classroom. I discovered that I loved assisting students in math, and that I should NEVER, EVER be placed in an English classroom to assist anyone (if you have read even one of my blog posts, you will know that I have no abilities or training in grammar). I discovered that I can quickly take a Bible passage and make it relevant for the students I am assisting. I discovered that, I may not be the best ‘teacher’ but I can encourage a discouraged student to the point where they are willing to keep trying. I learned that I can go from gentle to firm to gentle again, and that I must, in that order, if I am ever to convince the students that I am ‘for’ them.

I have been privileged to be placed into the lives of students who I was able to assist, and who assisted me on this journey of living and learning. They brought to the table suitcases full of ‘the past’ … and so do I. They also brought to the table empty suitcases, and I was constantly aware that ‘baggage’ was something I needed to prevent myself from packing into them.

All year, the constant voice in my head was telling me ‘it’s not about you” …
* when the students were not eager to work, or when they worked so faithfully
* when they did not give their all, or when they gave everything
* when they didn’t want to share, or when they would not stop sharing
* when they came to school faithfully, or when their attendance was sparse
* when they barely spoke, or when they spoke rudely

IT WAS NOT ABOUT ME! What I was paid for was for it to always be about them …

Now today is the last day before summer break. I will leave work today pleased with all that I discovered in so very many ways, knowing that next year is still a blank slate, and it might bring more discovery.

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As I spoke with a dear friend, my heart was so full of so many contrasting thoughts. She has been going through a really tough time lately. Actually she has been going through a tough time, probably for years. Recently though, her husband left.

We have all been through times when we beat our chests, and moan from a place so deep within us that the moaning is inaudible, except at extreme volumes, in our own ears. We might not have had a husband move out, but we have had our heart so broken that we were not sure how to keep going, how to keep it beating, how to keep breathing … how to stay … alive.

Maybe we were unsure of how to do all of that because we really just wished that our heart WOULD stop beating, that our lungs WOULD stop breathing, that we would no longer be alive. Maybe, our heart was so broken into pieces that we could not imagine going on another day.

I am sure that my friend had felt all of those feelings. I am sure that she has had days when she awoke in the depths of despair, and had no idea of how she would life her head. But, the other day, as I was speaking to her, I was in awe of the woman in front of me. She was hopeful, she was confident, she was ALIVE!

My friend talked of the various ways that God is working in and through this horrible situation she is going through. She talked about how her needs are being met. She talked about how this horrible, awful, hurtful situation has allowed her to know the love of God, and her need for Him only. She talked to me with the most peaceful, beautiful smile on her face, and bright wonder in her eyes.

She brought 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 to life for me:

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses,
so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
That is why, for Christ’s sake,
I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.
For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

She did not say her pain was gone, nor did she tell me that the pain was all worth it. What she did communicate to me, with her hope and with her words and with her outlook on life is that, DESPITE the hurt and pain, she is resting in the strength of someone who can shoulder it for her. And her reliance on that source of strength is empowering her to live life more alive than maybe ever in her life before.

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This is another post in a series, about a woman named Amara. Every Friday I will post another segment in this story.

“Are you sure she is able to come here on her own? You could meet with the doctor alone today, and bring your mother here for a second appointment?” Dr. Faw’s receptionist said with sincere concern, but laced with the urgency of a vulture. My mother’s delay was impeding the efficiency of this woman’s day. And was that sarcasm I heard when she specifically said “coming here on her own?” Was she insinuating that I should have brought her myself? Well, if only she knew the efforts I had made to try to convince my stubborn, highly independent mother that she should let me pick her up!

“No, I will wait just a couple more moments for her,” I replied to ‘vulture lady’ while smiling my sugary sweetest. She faked an accepting nod and smile to me.

Oh, what was keeping mother? Did she remember? Did she forget where she was to go? Did she misplace her car keys again? Did she go wandering on the trails again, and forget her way home? How can so many possible reasons for mother’s delay go through my head so quickly?

Today was just bound to not go as planned. Joe forgot to set the alarm, and the entire household started the day on the wrong foot by starting late. The kids were late to school, which seemed to be disastrous for both of them. Jilly was irate that we forgot to set our alarm, causing her to have less preparation time to beautify her sixteen year old self. And even five year old Jessica was upset that she did not have time to brush all of her teeth ten times, and refused to say goodbye to me when I dropped her off at school.

On my part, I was frustrated with Joe too. He knew how important today and this appointment were to me. He knew how stressed and uncertain I was feeling about what was going on with my mother and what might be the reason for the strange behaviors my mother had been exhibiting. He knew this was important, and he forgot to set the alarm.

Sigh.

That seems to be happening often … sighing. It is as though there is so much air in my lungs, from holding my breath, that it constantly needs to be forcefully emptied with a full, loud expression of sighing. It seems that I sigh so that my body feels it, and my ears hear it to remind my body that I am still alive. I wonder if I ran away to a tropical island would I still be sighing?

I reached into my purse to check the time on my cell phone, but where is it? Oh no, I left it in the car! Maybe mother had called me with an explanation of why she was not here. Maybe her car wouldn’t start, or she fell, or her alarm didn’t get set (no, that would not have delayed her. My mother has been awakening earlier all the time for the past few years. She even phoned me last week at three in the morning to tell me about her neighbor’s falling the night before. She had awakened, gotten dressed, and had breakfast without noticing the time on any of the clocks in her house. No, an alarm clock was definitely not the reason she was not here).

I stood and approached the Vulture lady, “I just realized my cell phone is in my car, I will go get it to see if mother has phoned me.”

“Alright then,” Vulture lady said sharply, “but I can only hold your appointment time for another fifteen minutes.”

I sighed, “very well then.”

Unfading – Part 1

Unfading – Part 3

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