November 30, 2008

Thought for today

When I write out a check and put it in the offering plate, I used to think, "I'm trusting you with my finances, God." Today I finally realized that what I'm really doing is saying, "God, I trust you to be able to take care of YOUR finances." It isn't mine and and never was...what a relief!

November 29, 2008

Oh, yea, and Happy Thanksgiving, too.

For the last several weeks one of my sisters was living with us. It was a consequence for unwise and rebellious behavior. No phone except to talk to family. No internet. But you know what? A life of punishment doesn't fit my world view. I upheld the phone and internet rules because I respect my parents (and agree with those consequences). I also treated my sister like an honored guest. I was careful not to judge or lecture. I tried to make sure she wasn't too bored being stuck here. I went out of my way to make sure she had what she wanted to eat. I could have made it hell, but I didn't. My excellent husband was with me 100%. And...
At her.
Yea, I know my previous post was all about not being angry at my sibs. However, THAT post was about being angry at Satan for the lies he's spreading in my family. This post is about being angry at her for choosing to do something that was blatantly wrong in complete disregard of being treated like a human and a guest instead of a prisoner. It feels right, this anger. It doesn't feel good. In fact, when I dwell on it, my head starts to hurt. But it feels right. I'm thinking it's because it's okay to be angry, but it isn't okay to use that anger to fuel resentment and bitterness. So instead of pondering how angry I am, I've been focusing on doing what I need to do to make things right. More than one innocent person has been wronged, my sister has shown that she has no desire to be trustworthy, and it's going to take her a long time to pay back what she stole (not to mention that now she really is a prisoner at home). I guess when it comes down to it, I feel more sad than anything else. I love her and hate to see her wreck her own life (even as I'm angry with her for causing harm to my friends by stealing from them).

In the meantime, a different sister has come to visit me voluntarily. I didn't think she would, although I was hoping against all reason when I invited her. Then she surprised us all, said yes, packed a bag, and came with me! Woohoo! I hope she stays past the weekend, but if she goes home tomorrow, I'll still be glad to have broken through at least one barrier one time. It gives me a sort of balancing stone against the disappointment from my last visitor. God is good, all the time.

Oh, yea...Happy late Thanksgiving, too.

November 17, 2008

reposting from my myspace

’Cuz you have to rant somewhere
Current mood: blessed
Category: Life

What to say, what to say? I opened this window intending to pour out a lot of rage and maybe some fury.

You must understand this, my dear brothers. Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.
James 1:19 (ISV)

Instead, I find myself repeating the Fruit of the Spirit lyrics from the Doughnut Man.

Do you know the fruits of the Spirit?
If you do then orange you glad?
Yes you feel berry happy
'Cause these fruits will never go bad...

Oh, love takes care of others.
Joy means that God makes me glad.
Peace be still and quiet.
Patience waits- and is not sad!
Kindness and goodness are nice to others.
Faithfulness has faith and hope.
Gentleness knows how to listen.
Self-control knows how to say no.

The rage and fury are still here, I'm just realizing that they were pointed in the wrong direction.

Thank you, heavenly Father, for speaking to me and stopping me before the words even made it onto the screen. You deleted them from my head so that I would not be tempted to post them. You save me from the regrets that always follow unrighteous anger.

Here's why I'm really so angry. Satan, my enemy and the enemy of my family, has been telling nasty lies as usual. Worse! There are people that I love who believe him! Worse still (for me)! I almost got caught up them, too!

Jesus, why does this happen over and over? Guard us, I pray. Deliver us from evil.

What are the lies? He tells my younger siblings, "Your parents don't really love you." He says, "They're only interested in what's good for them." He lies, "You can only depend on yourself, your friends, and the brothers and sisters close to your own age." He lies to the adults in my family, too. He deceives us with, "There's no hope. They'll never change. You are a failure. Why do you pour out your energy and time and love when they won't ever appreciate it?" He lies to us all by saying, "It's too hard to fix it. You're all alone and you can't fix it by yourself. It's too hard. Just give up, and in a few years it will all be past. Then you can go on with your own life."

His lies are endless. He twists the truth around and makes it ugly. He divides, and he conquers.

Yes, I'm angry. I am not, however, angry with the family God blessed me with. We are guilty of being foolish and weak, but we are not guilty of the spite and hatred that has been planted in our heads by our enemy. We are only guilty of those things if we let those lies stand.

I am not angry at the siblings who believe that our mother's discipline is for her benefit. I have hope that someday they will value the good things she teaches.

I am not angry with the sister who says it is "bullshit" that she is loved by her adult siblings and parents. I am FURIOUS with Satan for contriving to blind her to our love for her.

I am not angry with the sister who disrupts our entire family with her rage and uses gossip and falsehood to stir up unrest in our siblings. I am contending and praying for her freedom.

I could go on and on and on. I could write it all out. I think, though, that I've made my point clear.

Thank you, amazing Father, for gently guiding me in Your way. Thank you for removing the fury I felt at my family and redirecting it properly. I claim freedom and truth for my family in your Son's name. I'm believing for Your miracle of release and protection.

If you're related to me and do actually read this...I love you, I love you, I love you. My ears and heart and home are open to you. We are not alone so long as we take shelter in our Father's house. We are not alone if we will stand together as family. It isn't too late, too hard, or too time consuming to build our family into something holy and beautiful. We have His blessing and support. I'm holding onto hope that we'll eventually have each others' blessing and support, too.

Love takes care of others- you would not be a part of this family if we did not love you.

Joy means that God makes me glad- in all of the turmoil, sometimes I forget, but nothing is comparable to the joy our whole family shared when you became a part of it.

Peace be still and quiet
- there's been no peace lately. Can't we take that back from our enemy?

Patience waits and is not sad
- sometimes it's hard not to be sad when I think of the mess our family is, but (as I tell Sean) I can wait with a good attitude!

Kindness and goodness are nice to others
- I'm starting with me. I will be kind and good, enabled by Christ's grace. I will be nice even when I want to shake you until your teeth rattle.

Faithfulness has faith and hope
- I believe that God can and is saving our family from our evil enemy Satan and from ourselves.

Gentleness knows how to listen- I know I'm not known for my gentleness or compassion, but I promise that if you talk to me, I will listen respectfully and keep your trust as the treasure it is.

Self-control knows how to say no- When I am angry. When I want to hurt you for the hurts you cause the people I love (including yourself). When my rage threatens to spill out into words or phone calls. I will pray and figure out exactly why I'm feeling the way I do before I type or say a word. I will listen quickly, anger slowly, and speak slowly. Your heart is more valuable than my desire to vent or rant.

To my family: I love you. I love you. I love you.

November 8, 2008

Hallelujahs Radio

I love Pandora. No, not the the mythical girl with the box full of nasties (and hope!). While I do like her story, I'm talking about

It's internet radio at it's very best. You sign up (it's free and legal!), then click "create a station." Upon prompting, you enter a song or an artist. Pandora hunts, finds music similar to your choice and plays song after song in that style (you can tell it never play a song again if you hate it's choice, or play more like this if you think it did well). Then it names your station after your initial choice. You can rename it. I named my first station "My Radio," gifted, yes? It's a fun conglomerate of all of my favorite christian bands. Today, though I made a station without considering what it would be called. I think I'll leave it. I was looking for music similar to Chris Rice's song Hallelujahs because Jess mentioned it one of her past blogs, and it reminded me that I love Chris Rice songs. Pandora obligingly made the station. It hasn't played that song yet, but I'm hoping we'll get to it. In the meantime, this is awesome music to have playing through the apartment. I looked back at it to approve a Chris Tomlin song and saw the name of my new station- Hallelujahs Radio. I think it's fabulous.

November 4, 2008

My blog rating

OnePlusYou Quizzes and Widgets

Created by OnePlusYou - Free Dating Sites

This rating was determined based on the presence of the following words:

* breast (1x)

November 3, 2008

just a note...

Yep, I'm a poor excuse for a blogger. I have pictures piling up waiting to be posted with little stories. I'll get to it soon, I promise.

Meanwhile, I've been reading Jessica Hopper's blog Mourning into Dancing. Jess has some pretty awesome things to say, it's worth the read. I'm still in September of '07, reading towards the present.