Tears to Joy

Tears to Joy: September 2013

Monday, September 30, 2013

Juggling or Fumbling?

As a kid, I was always fascinated by jugglers. How in the world could they balance and keep so much in the air moving at once was beyond me. I've tried so many times to learn to juggle, but have never got the hang of it (maybe because I am clumsy and uncoordinated).

Why is it then, that I continue to try and juggle so much in life that really does matter? I am notorious for biting off more than I can chew; I am at a stage in life where I am constantly struggling to juggle my schedule, and to be honest, I feel like I'm dropping the ball more than I am keeping it in the air.

My husband recently prayed that I would stop juggling and lay everything at the feet of Jesus. As I've pondered his remark, I realize that in order for me to do that, I have to be willing to let go. Why is it that I continue to cling tightly to responsibilities and commitments, when I know that I can't keep going at my current pace. What is it in me that wants to be Superwoman all the time? Why can't I relax and just be me? Can anybody else relate?

I know I haven't been faithful to blog recently, and that is because it is one of those juggling balls that I had to lay down for a while. I am currently doing a lot of soul searching in an attempt to prioritize and focus on God's calling for my life. Bear with me as my blog posts may be sporadic for a few weeks. Pray for me as I seek to not just do good things, but to sort out what are the tasks God has called me to do.


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Oh So Squirrely

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.
Isaiah 55:7-9.
Jogging with my golden retriever is always an adventure. Today we were running along, and just as I was finding my stride, WHOOSH!  Off she went. You see, my dog is a great running buddy until she gets distracted and then she has a mind of her own. We were jogging at a steady pace, when in the corner of her eye she spotted a squirrel to which she made a mad dash after it, dragging me behind her pulling me with her leash (and all along I thought I was leading her). I tightened up the leash and reigned her in and soon we were back in our groove, until...the next squirrel. This cycle continued for most of today's run.
As we ran, I couldn't help but think about how much like my retriever I am. I will be following the Lord faithfully, reading his Word, walking in obedience, when something grabs my attention. Sometimes the things that distract me are good things (like planning a wedding). Other times, sin leads me astray.
I really want to walk in obedience, but too often I want what I want and that gets in the way. As Sandy (my dog) and I were on the homestretch, she stopped, forcing me to stop as well. As I glanced back to see what had gained her attention, I was disgusted. She was stooped over licking a dead squirrel (what is it with dogs and squirrels anyway?). After I got over the sick feeling in my stomach, I began to wonder how often I went my own way and was content to "lick dead meat" instead of trusting God to lead me to his banquet table.
The prophet Isaiah told us centuries ago that God's ways are not our ways. If we truly believe that his ways are best, then why is it we stubbornly chase after the wind (or squirrels in this case) and settle for far less than God's best?


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Suicide Prevention Week: What You Can Do

This week is National Suicide Prevention Week. Sadly, I woke up this morning to a message from  friend who is a military chaplain overseas. She shared that yesterday (which was World Suicide Prevention Day), she conducted a memorial service for a fellow serviceman and friend who died by suicide. It breaks my heart each time I hear of another person who was so overcome with pain that they thought suicide was the only way out. 

People all over America are encouraged to light a single candle and place it near a window in memory of someone who died by suicide. Consider doing this, but I encourage you to take it a step further. Pray that God will help anyone who is currently considering suicide to find hope and peace. Pray that God will save lives as you light your candle. Pray for the families and friends who have been left behind.

I also wanted to share with you a hotline for people who are contemplating suicide. Write this number down and carry it with you.

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Saturday, September 7, 2013

Protecting our kids online

Parenting today comes with challenges never before experienced due to the rapid expansion of technology and its influence on our kids. I thought we were doing a pretty good job of monitoring our daughter's online activity, but we found out that despite our efforts, we needed to do more.  While at a friend's house, our daughter created a webpage/blog on a social networking site that we didn't even know existed. We found her page by googling her name.

We were bothered by the fact that she had not asked for permission, nor had she told us about this page. What really shocked us was that she put her contact information on the top of her profile, and invited her followers (most of whom were strangers) to contact her.

We had a long talk with our daughter about how dangerous this is, and she agreed to delete the account. The problem? She always logged on via her ipod touch, and once she signed out, she couldn't remember her password. She did not set up the account on her personal email, but used a friend's. Guess what? Her friend no longer has that account. This means that we cannot delete the account.

My husband and I have contacted the online site multiple times to no avail. There is no phone number listed on the site, and no one has answered our emails.

Why am I sharing this with you? I want parents everywhere to realize that it no longer matters that your child is a minor. They can navigate the internet and post information on the world wide web without your permission. I don't know about you, but this scares me to death. There are predators out there who are real threats to our kids. If we don't protect them, who will?

What are you doing to keep your kids cyber safe?