Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Blessed be the Name of The Lord

I can in no way compare myself to Job. I have not experience the trials that he endured. I can say I admire his love for The Lord through it all.

Job1:21b says, "The Lord gave, and The Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of The Lord."

I wrote recently about my wonderful wonderful mother-in-law going to her home in heaven. My stepmother's grandmother passed away earlier this year. These passed two Saturdays held funerals for a cousin and an uncle. Yesterday, I received the news of my stepmother's grandfather passing away. "The Lord hath taken away." We are learning what this verse in Job really means. 

I think we understood it best when we found out I was expecting. "The Lord gave." God seems to be allowing some trials to come away because our baby is now with Him. "The Lord hath taken away."

After all of this I am choosing to say, "Blessed be the name of The Lord." 

Please forgive me if my blogging is not so consistent.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

My Children

As I shared in my last post, my mother-in-law passed away. We are all still grieving, which is natural. I will admit I still grieve about the loss of my own mother and passed away 15 years ago. My children are still struggling with the concept of the whole thing. 

My 3 year old daughter knows she is in heaven with Jesus, and that is good enough for her. My 4 1/2 year old son still has a lot of questions. We decided we wanted the children, all three, to attend the viewing and the funeral. We talked to the children from the day she passed away (Monday, September 30) until the viewing and funeral (Friday, October 4) about death heaven, old bodies, and new heavenly bodies. We tried to explain in their language, and answer all the questions they had.

While at the funeral our son got mad when they closed his Nana in the casket. This gave us a clue that he did not fully understand. He is struggling to comprehend that she is no longer here, and he regularly tells us he misses her and wants to talk to her. He asked us if she was hiding when we went to visit her grave. He thought the cometary was heaven, and he could see her if we went. Heaven, new and old bodies, are all theological ispdeas that we as adults can struggle with, so these concepts to children are that much harder for them to reason out. 

As days have been passing they seem to be understanding that she is no longer here to see us. My husbands parents live about 15 minutes away, so a week did not go by without us going to their house or them coming to ours. We also have helped care for her these past 6 months or so, That meant going over 3 or more times a week. Emma asked where she was the last time we went to their house, so we had to talk about it again. 

We are taking it one day at a time. 

This was at a local BBQ restaurant in July of 2013.

This was a trip to the zoo in June of this year.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Modesty, and Skirts, and Legalism, Oh My!

Legalism is defined as an over emphasis on a specific conduct or ideas. 

I am going to write this post, and I hope it is taken well. I honestly had it written once only to delete that whole idea and try again. Here is what God has laid on my heart, so know that this is for me more than you, you just get to hear what is going on in my head (I will appalogize in advance it is crazy in there). 

My family recently attended a function with many people my husband knew and grew up with. It was a celebration and everyone was happy and cordial. My husband and I were speaking with a lady he knew and as she was talking with us she seemed to be holding back a little, until she got to one point in the conversation when she stumbled through a description, at that point I said the word "legalistic". She started to open up more and the conversation continued to a point where we informed her we were in no way legalistic. She had come to the assumption that we were based solely on the fact that I and my daughters were wearing skirts. There is a group in our area that is very legalistic and if you do not fit into their "box" then you are not welcome. They are skirts only....*now let me stop right here. I am not grouping everyone who wears skirts into legalism and I am not saying everyone who wears pants is not legalistic. I am saying most people who are not skirts only have a certain view of those who are. That is what I want to discuss.*

I have shared here and there that I wear mostly skirts, but not always. It was at this particular event that made me stop and think about the message my clothing choice was sending. Let's take a look at clothing choices in today's society:

~ Scrubs- medical field, most of the time, I have also worn them working in child are
~ Uniform- the uniform itself will tell you who that person is, police officer, firefighter, army, navy, air force, repairman, football player
~ scantily clad- if she is standing on a street corner at 2am, you know what she does
~ dress suit- means a business person
Also certain elements of a normal casual dress will give you a clue:
~hard hat
~fishing boots
~paint on clothing

You get the idea, you are labeled by your outward appearance. Unfortunately the few legalists have made dressing in skirts only carry the legalism label. I can understand given recent problems with a certain Baptist church that like to protest things like military funerals, because of them Christians are now labeled haters. 

I have prayed and thought and searched my Bible these past several weeks as to whether or not how I am currently dressing is the way God would have us to go. This is what I found.

A scripture often quoted for modesty is what struck me the most. 

1 Peter 3:3-4

          3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; 4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in sight of God of great price.

This verse tells us, it is not what is on the outside. We are suppose to be about furthering the Gospel. We are not to concerned with the outward appearance. Our job, while we are here on the earth, is to serve God. We are to follow as He leads and point others to Him along the way. 

Now do not misunderstand me this is not a free pass to wear whatever we want, because it is difficult to lead someone to The Lord when they are to distracted by your body. We still have a responsibility to dress as a woman, and to dress modestly. 

The problem is when we over-emphasis things, like wearing skirts, that we become legalistic. I know too many people who have been either standoffish or completely turned off because of how they were treated by legalistic people (some where not "skirts only").

My point is I know that I have been getting too caught up in legalism. I thought once you were saved you should "look" a certain way, so that everyone you came across would look at you and say there is something different about her. I have come to realize that modesty does matter, but what matters even more is winning someone to Christ. Yes, as a daughter of the King of Kings, you should dress and carry yourself as one, but let's stop getting caught up in the legalism of it. 

Church picnic at a missionary's home

On my senior high school trip

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Reason for my absence

I have said before that my mother-in-law has been sick. She battled, cancer in 2010, Cushings Syndrome in 2012, and a return of cancer this year. Her cancer had returned to dormant after only 2 chemo treatments. She was still sick off and on, but last week seemed to be getting stronger. On Sunday evening, my father-in-law took her to the hospital because her blood pressure was low. The doctor decided to keep her, because she was dehydrated. He said they would also put her in ICU to keep an eye on her blood pressure. Around 1 am Monday morning her blood pressure fell dangerously low, and despite her fighting all day long, she entered her Savior's presents around 7pm that evening.

I am so great flu for the time and memories we have with her. She was a wonderful wonderful lady and she loved me like a daughter. When my mother passed away I prayed for a mother-in-law who could be like a mother to me and God answered my prayers with an amazing woman, and I am thankful that I have some great memories of her. 

If you could keep our family in your prayers while we process it all, and my young children who keep asking to see their Nana. Of course, Cathy Belle, 10 months old, will not remember her, but my 3 year old will have a vague memory, and so will my 4 year old. He, Ray-J, seems to understand since he told a friend that his Nana was in heaven in her new body. I pray they deal well with the funeral on Friday.