Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Christmas Tree

I know Christmas is over, but these thoughts came to me before Christmas and I'm just getting around to writing them out.  Those who know me or have read some of my other posts know that many times random thoughts about random things come into my mind at random times, and that's just what this is.
I have been struggling with the Lord lately, some of it I'm sure comes from the pain I have been dealing with with my wrists, especially my right, even writing this is very difficult.  I just went to a wrist specialist today and she thinks it might be from arthritis.  I have some other tests and things to do for a more specific diagnosis.  So I struggle because I can't really use that hand for much without lots of pain.  I have been discouraged and frustrated because this makes me feel helpless and useless, along with the feeling of just constant pain.  Am I going to be able to feel normal again? Am I going to be able to do the things that I love, or even just normal things again?  And then Satan has also managed to throw in doubts- what if it doesn't heal completely, what about things that I love and enjoy, or what about desires and dreams that I still have, am I destined just to be a lonely, old lady for the rest of my life, not even able to fulfill my purpose or any purpose for that matter? I was driving around thinking about this when the Lord brought the Christmas Tree to my mind...
The Christmas tree lives out in the forest and just lives its life...basking in the sunshine, drinking up the rain, growing bigger and stronger each year with its other tree family and friends.  It enjoys the birds and other animals that often come to visit.  It even enjoys the beautiful snowflakes that come to cover its branches each winter.  Of course too much sun or rain or snow can become a burden for it at times, but it learns to appreciate them.  It would deal with other struggles as it would sadly see some of its family and friends cut down and taken away from it. But then the worst thing that the tree thought could happen did, the Christmas tree itself was cut became very discouraged.  It felt pain as it was thrown on a truck bed with many other trees around and on top of it.  At its new destination it just felt cold and lonely, it no longer had the soft, warm earth around it or the sweet creatures that used to visit, it had been removed from all that it knew well, and it wondered what was left for it as it sat on the cold lot.  One day that Christmas tree was surprised when someone picked it up and strapped it to the top of a car.  It was nervous, not knowing what was going to happen.  Eventually that car stopped at a house and that tree was carried inside where it was nice and warm.  It was placed in a nice holder and was given a nice drink, which was very welcome.  Then the people in the house crowded all around it and placed warm lights on it, and then placed beautiful decorations all around it on its branches.  As they did this the family was talking and laughing and enjoying each other, which made the tree feel even more warm.  The family then placed a lovely piece of fabric along the bottom of the tree, this made the tree feel very cozy.  For days the Christmas tree enjoyed being in the home with the family as they laughed, shared, sang, and prayed around that tree, making many precious memories.  Never had the tree felt so wonderful and special.  When it thought it had been cut down and not worth much to anyone, there was a greater purpose that it had to fulfill that it never even imagined.  This brought such a great joy to the tree more than it had ever felt before.
I felt that was a sweet reminder from the Lord that He never said anything was over and He still has a purpose and plans for me, even through this uncomfortable time.  It is all part of His wonderful plan for my life.  His plans are not my plans, His ways are not my ways...all I need is to trust Him and to allow myself to be used by Him to fulfill the purpose He has for me.
Thank you, Lord for this sweet reminder.  Help me not to believe or fall for Satan's lies.  While I have life in my body I know that I am here for some purpose, help me not to lose sight of that, and help me to fulfill it.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Who Am I?

No, I haven't lost my mind or had a sudden case of amnesia, don't worry. :)  (Wow, it's been almost a year since my last sad!  It's not that I haven't had things on my heart and mind, just haven't shared lately.)  This has been on my heart for a little bit, so I'm just finally taking the time to sit down and write it.

It's coming up on the third anniversary (if that's how you refer to it) of my mom's passing.  As it does, I definitely can't help but think of this.  There are many different labels in the world, very special ones, but it's been hard for me to realize I don't fit most of them.  (Please don't go crazy on me after reading the beginning, make sure to read all the way to the end so you will fully understand where this is going.)  In this world of labels, though I know I always am, I can't really count daughter as one of them anymore.  My mom and dad aren't here for me, I don't get loving daughter cards from them anymore.  I don't get to share fun memories of our family times with them anymore.  I don't have family vacations with them anymore.  I don't get introduced as the daughter of Buddy or Sandy anymore. Of course I will always be known as that and thought of as that, but it's not really quite an official title anymore, and that's been tough for me.
I'm also not really a sister, not in the sense that most people think of sisters.  I do have a half sister, and I love her, but we have never had a real relationship.  We have seen each other a few times and spent a little time with each other, but nothing lately.  I have a few vague memories, but that's it.  I remember her and her kids coming over to the house a few times, and going with her and her cousins to the circus, then it was great to see her at my dad's funeral, but that's about all I have for memories.  I got a card from her after my mom passed, but haven't seen her or heard from her since.  So, not really a sister, which is another special label, I see sweet posts about sisters all the time, but I can't relate, since I'm not really one.  Which also means I'm not really an aunt.  My niece and nephew don't really know me at all.  The youngest nephew I never got to meet, and he sadly has already passed away.  So, not an aunt either.
Then there's the really special labels (the big ones) you hear about all the time, whether it's on Facebook, or when you're out with friends, or in church, or wherever...the labels of wife and mother. Those are definitely labels that I cannot relate to at all.  I'm not a wife or mother, or even a girlfriend for that matter.  But those are very important labels in this world that people are very proud to own, and rightfully so...though it can be difficult for those that don't have or can't relate to those labels. And it's also many times equally as difficult for those that have those labels to relate to those that don't have them.  So, in this grand scheme of things, I have had to ask myself...who am I?   Of course Satan has had a big part in that, making me think of all the things I'm not and questioning who I really am.
But then...
The Lord shows up to remind me who I am.  He reminds me that I'm a child of the King!!  I'm royalty!  I am His child and He is my Father!!  I'm not a perfect daughter.  Many times it's a typical daddy/daughter relationship.  I complain about things I don't understand or don't like.  Sometimes I even have the nerve to tell him he must not love me because of certain things that happened, or because of things that He hasn't allowed to happen for me.  I have sometimes even (foolishly) given Him the silent treatment.  Yet he does what a Father does...He loves me anyway.  He draws me to Him and reminds me of that love, and reminds me who I am.  He reminds me that He will never leave me or forsake me.  He reminds me that He will always take care of me, provide for me, and protect me.  He reminds me that I am His daughter and that's the most important label I could ever have.
Lord, thank you for reminding me who I am in You!  Thank You for being my daddy!  Thank You for caring for me, for taking care of my needs, for providing for me, and for always being there for me.  Thank You for Your death on the cross so that I can be Yours.  Thank You for giving me the best label of Child of the King!