Karen

Job’s Wife

September 20, 2017 in Family and Friends

When everything in your world starts rocking at once, you wonder if there’s something bigger going on that you just don’t know about. After all, perhaps Satan and God are duking it out over you like they once did over Job.  There doesn’t seem to be anything biblical that supports the idea that God would never do that to anyone else.  All I know is, that these seem to be our Job days. Just to give you a little run down of the events, it has gone something like this, all in the past two weeks.  First my mother was taken by ambulance to a hospital in upstate New York.  This happened just one hour after my husband and I got there to visit my parents.  We spent the next three days in the hospital and once we brought mom home with new medications and promises to take it as prescribed, we headed for home in Nashville. The hurricane hit Florida that same weekend and so my in-laws were taken to shelters. It was very stressful for everyone to say the least. The day after everyone returned from the shelters, my father-in-law passed away.  We were grief-stricken. The very next day after that, my father was taken by ambulance to an upstate New York hospital. It was becoming a little hard for me to breathe by then, but my dad came home after a couple days.  Whew! Stress!

Bruce prepared to leave for Florida to be with his mother and sister and his flight was cancelled one hour before we were leaving for the airport. We scrambled and found another flight that went to Tampa. While enroute to Tampa, he found out his rental car was cancelled. He couldn’t find a hotel. He wouldn’t arrive there because of delays until after midnight. We prayed. We felt frustrated by everything. We finally managed to find a hotel and another car. He’s now in Ft. Myers.

Yesterday, we had a tornado go through Nashville and a tree came down in our backyard. My step son had a tree come down on his house. This morning Bruce is in the emergency room in Florida with high blood pressure and the potential need for knee surgery. I’m not there. We’re stressed.  I feel like Job’s wife. Tomorrow Bruce’s mom has to have tests for a mass on her liver.

I know that we all go through seasons of challenging times. Personally, I’m waving the white flag. Of course, I won’t be waving it long because I’ll be packing the car to drive to Florida shortly. If you happen to be a prayer person, or just someone with an encouraging word, I’m pretty open to your thoughts. Everything is haywire!  All I know is God must have a huge plan for our lives because we’re going through a boatload of distractions.

Love to you all today.

Karen

One day at a time…okay, one step, one moment…just One!

December 3, 2009 in Inspirational

Concentration, routines, focus… all have a tendency to go out the window in December.  Finishing up the year end goals, setting up the New Year agendas, helping Santa with the shopping and ushering in world peace through the Infant King, all take time.  Any one of those things might make you start moving faster, running slightly, questioning your to-do list and everyone around you vying for attention.  Probably even your resolve to take life one day at a time is not really working.  You have to shift to one step, or one moment, anything that gets the multiple demands down to something manageable.  Here’s a simple suggestion, just start each day with the One.

Sometimes I try to imagine what the One was doing while He waited for His child of love to be born.  Did He work on His to-do list, anticipating the ways that the angels would tell the news or the earthly kings would celebrate?  Did He plan that stable where the baby would be born and stir up the known world with a mysterious sense that something big was indeed going to happen soon?   From what we know of the biblical accounts, He was busy.  He was building a game plan, getting all the players in place, setting the scene, getting the word out to the local sages of the day so they could start marketing His new plan.  Yes, He was taking care of all the details.  Some people were aware of what He was doing behind the scenes of course.  Some of His Angel VPs knew what was up, and certainly His key players, Mary and Joseph knew something amazing was happening.  The anticipated event must have kept all of them up many a night as they figured out just what it could all mean.

Like us, they had to take it one day at a time.  Oh, they could tell the future was going to be different.  They knew that things were going to change.  They knew, but they weren’t in control of any of it.  The One who planned this incredible event was the only one who knew how it would all play out.  He knew each day, each step, each moment, and all the ones that would follow that star-studded night in Bethlehem as well.

Perhaps as we anticipate the holidays, the end of the year options, the plans for another year and all those myriad of hopes and dreams that fill our minds like evening stars,  perhaps we could strive to remember the One.  The God of our hearts who orchestrated all that is, who knew you before you were born, who created the book of days and counts the hairs on your head, already knows your every need.  He knows how your efforts at that job will pan out, He knows how excited your kids will be when they discover their favorite things under the Christmas tree, and He knows that more than anything you need to take each day deliberately.  He knows that when you walk with Him, you won’t really have a need that slips by His attention.  You won’t have a worry that He isn’t already working on before you even get there.  He knows that all that is needed is for you to stop trying to do it all yourself, stop thinking it all depends on you, and start remembering that it all depends on Him.  After all, He planned for you to have an abundant life through the Divine presence of His infant Son.  He planned to turn on the Light of the World just for you.

So when everything seems like it is moving too fast…step aside from it…and concentrate on just one thing…the One who sees you, knows you, and loves you beyond measure!

Karen

Up Tight? Where’s the Light?

December 1, 2009 in Inspirational

Are you wound up a little too tight?  No big thing is really wrong, but every fiber of your being feels slightly undone, slightly at loose ends?  We all know there’s a level of stress that’s actually good for us, but what about that not so good level?  What do you do when you’re an ocean of emotion that feels on the brink of disaster?  As we close in on another big holiday, perhaps it’s good timing to look at some stress buster ideas, ways to remain at peace so we can actually see the Star that leads the way to Bethlehem.

Remembering to breathe is one of my first stress busters.  That’s right, make sure you’re actually breathing in and out, catching quiet moments to watch the waves of life and observe its flow in regular rhythms.

The next thing is to stretch…yes, reach for the sky!  Reach for your toes…slowly, intentionally, focusing on the beauty around you, the music in the background, the breeze through the window.  Watch the trees bending or the flowers dancing, but stretch and breathe and stretch and breathe.  Bending is so much better than breaking!

After that, try centering your heart and mind in an attitude of prayer or meditation.  Sit quietly and give God a chance to be God.  Be still and let Him hold you up, embrace your spirit and strengthen your heart.  Stretch your imagination so that it doesn’t stop until it is resting at His feet, breathe in the beauty around you and just be there, calmly and wholly in that moment.

When you’re ready to talk, share all the things that are weighing you down.  Write them on a list or add them to your journal pages.  Writing out your concerns gives you a place to put them that feels better than when you cram them down to your toes.  As you look at the list, select each one and send it away in prayer, knowing that you have done what you can, trusting that God will not rest until all is well with you.

Finally, for me, it’s always a matter of doing something else that keeps my mind busy.  Writing helps me, but so does taking a long walk, visiting with a friend over coffee, taking a nap, doing something out of my usual routine like creating a new recipe, or surfing the internet to learn something I don’t know much about.  Listening to music helps.  Diversion can be a good thing.

Whatever your stressbusters are, and please feel free to share them, find those things that help to give you emotional balance, mental stimulus in a positive way, or more energy. Ultimately you’re searching to have more faith in the fact that God is still in control and you matter to Him in every way.  You’re searching for peace…the very thing we wish for each other every Christmas.

I love holidays, they are precious and beautiful to me, especially the Christmas season.  Preparing to move is so stressful at this time of year.  You can be sure that I will be breathing, stretching, praying, and diverting my emotional threads daily to find the place of peace God has for me.  If you’re not moving at this season, then pack up all your cares and woes anyway and carry them to Bethlehem.  Give them up this Christmas to the One who came so that you could see the Star overhead and the magnificent light that always leads the way.  It shines even now for you!