In my devotional today I read.........."Give up the illusion that you deserve a problem-free life. Part of you is still hungering for the resolution of all difficulties. This is a false hope! As I told My disciples, in the world you will have trouble. Link you hope not to problem solving in this life but to the promise of an eternity of problem -free life in heaven." Sarah Young....Jesus Calling. I like to cling to Romans 5:3...."We rejoice in our suffering, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character and character produces hope and hope does not put us to shame because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." No shame here! I'm reminded that I cannot cling to resolution or trying to understand why people act and hurt the way they do. I keep thinking of that old, silly song from my mom's time period "I never promised you a rose garden....". God never promised us a life of luxury and ease. Instead I expect opposition and resistance. Before this week came about, I had just come off of a fast and prayed for "God to wreck my life for Him." yikes! what on earth was I thinking? I'm just tired of not feeling challenged (totally my fault) and feeling like I don't sacrifice anything for my savior. I'm still not really giving up much for Him. This time period is difficult and so painful right now but I have to stay the course as I know that the more cracks that my life/vase has in it.........the more my light can shine out to others. Without those cracks, no light would escape from the vase. So, I guess I embrace the new cracks and changes. We shall ride the wave into the storm...........together. I'm so curious as to what He is going to do with us? What will I be writing about in 3 months? Where will we be? Who will we be serving? I'm a little excited. Life is a journey. :-)
Well, I guess birthdays are a pretty big deal in the Alexander House. I'm telling ya, it's worse than Christmas. Our kids ask about their bdays all year long. They cannot wait. It's not that we spend gobs of money, rent lost of fancy equipment, or throw gigantic parties with 20dollar party favors..............it's just that we make it seem so amazing. At this age, they are easy to please! (thank goodness) So, we emailed out some friends/family and had them write notes to Kennedy. We then snuck out to Krogers at 5:45 in the morning to buy 3 dozen helium balloons and attached the notes to the balloons. We then arranged all the balloons in the KK's room. Whens she awoke, she was surrounded by words of love. Breakfast was gf/df donuts, pancakes, and bacon. Lunch was at a restaurant that served gf/df food. Dinner was her favorite, spaghetti! She begged for 3 things for her bday. She wanted a locket with our pictures in it, a harmonica, and a guinea pig. She saved her allowance for the pet and we bought the cage etc...........Needless to say, she was thrilled. And, yes, I made a fairy cake at her request. Pappa and Nanna came and we've had a really nice time celebrating the bday! I think every child should feel this special, especially on his/her bday. Why not?! Making someone feel special cost us nothing, except time and words. Those are 2 things that we feel blessed to give. I was able to give her time this weekend but am not promised tomorrow. Just making the most of the time we do have. Love you Kennedy Berlynn Alexander!
So, now what??!! First things first.........Chattanooga Aquarium. Since our stay in Atlanta is much shorter than ever anticipated, I guess we best enjoy all the tourist stuff while we can. And so.........we hit the aquarium with some fun friends who showed us around! We spent all day looking at fish, chasing Lincoln, admiring the sharks, feeding otters, running in the park, eating ice cream, and talking. It was a much needed time for our family!
I have had the honor and privilege to walk through times with other friends. I've been able to observe and listen. At times, I was even able to add input (which now I wonder what on earth I was talking about?) Here I walk through challenging times. I wouldn't go as far as to call these times 'tragic', but certainly challenging. These tough moments are causing Paul and I to lean into Christ even more and into one another. It's actually been a bit of a blessing. Of course it stinks that we don't have a job. But we do have one another. We can conquer anything together! As I tracked off this morning to do my daily run, I began thinking "what are the questions I should be asking as I walk/run this road?" I believe it's important to ask: "What do You want to teach me, God?" "What can I take from this experience that will alter my future in a positive way?" and "How can my actions in this situation bring more glory to Your Name?" Now, I have to admit, these are not the questions I asked myself the night Paul told me the news. I was angry, hurt, frustrated and ready go into hot debate......... I've found that it's just fine to feel those things............but I have to allow my Father to guide those emotions and bring them back to Him. I must cling to IICor. 12:9 "My Grace is sufficient for you and my power is made perfect in weakness" Paul goes on to say "Therefore I will boast of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak , then I am strong." So here you have it..........pull up your "big girl boots" and deal with the insults and hardships. In perspective.....we don't deserve anything....except hell. I would be so foolish to say "but, we don't deserve this awful moment, God!!" I imagine, He might say "you are right, you deserve worse..." Staying away from feelings of entitlement, pride, and a deep pity party, are wise actions for us. It's time to press on and look for the road out and onto more. I'm 35 years old and have a lot to learn and lot of life to live. There is a lot left on my dash. I don't want to be so foolish as to think that God has already done His best in us and we are finished. As devastating as this whole thing has been, I must believe Jer.29:11, He has a future for us and plans to prosper us! His plans always include Him, which means LOTS of humble pie for me. I have to admit, as much as I love pie and desserts, humble pie tastes awful going down and I feel so full right now. Don't think I can eat anther piece.