Tag Archive | sacrifice

Fairytales: A Guest Post From Instagram

My 13-year-old daughter recently posted something on her Instagram that I wanted to share. I was blown away by her words. I fixed the spelling but left the punctuation as is.

prince on horse“You know the perfect fairytale has a prince and a princess, and in the tale, the princess is in danger and the prince comes to rescue her? Well let me tell you one of those fairytales right now.

It’s about a prince, a noble, kind, and truthful prince who loved his princess very much, but his princess was in danger, she was in danger of herself, she was broken.

The prince made it his mission to help her, for even though he loved her, he could not be with her if her shattered parts were never mended.princess by hedges

He sacrificed everything to be with her, fixed her with the power of his blood, and he took her and told her to trust him, he loved her with all of his heart, and he promised her that one day, she would be his bride, and they would live happily ever after in his kingdomperfect kingdom. The End.”

Sappy teenaged-girl story? Or a truth for the ages?

He loves us. Oh, how He loves us.

 

 

 

 

 

photoillustrations from: imgur.com and Pinterest (2)

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Why I’m Choosing To Do The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

alsa_logoI’m not really one to jump on a bandwagon. Unless it has to do with chocolate. So when my friend Alyson nominated me to do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, I hesitated. I didn’t want to do it just to do it. Because everyone else is doing it. I’ve watched the heart-wrenching video from Peter Frates. I know what it’s about. And I usually don’t give to organizations like that because my funds are so limited.

But raising awareness is good. Maybe not as good as raising money. But maybe if I make someone who has more money than I aware of something, they’ll be led to give. I changed my profile picture on Facebook to the Arabic “noon” to raise awareness of and show solidarity for the Christians in Iraq and the atrocities being perpetrated against them.

But did I want to jump on this bandwagon?

And then I remembered Anni.

I met Anni at a bridal shower for my friend Faith. I sat with her at the table and asked her to tell me her story. Anni is a beautiful, outgoing, faith-filled woman whose father has ALS. Anni is his caretaker. She has put her life on hold to honor him with her service. I was so impressed by Anni’s selfless attitude. She has a really hard life. But she has some really good friends. And she loves her dad.

Chances are, her dad is not going to be around a whole lot longer. Anni needs help with meals, with getting out of the house every once in awhile, with shopping, with housework. She can’t do it herself.

One thing that Anni said to me is that, though she appreciates beyond words the meals and supplies others bring for them, she can’t stand the term “beggars can’t be choosers.” She considers herself a beggar because she needs to ask for help. She wishes people would realize that she doesn’t like to have to ask, and she’d do it herself if she knew that wouldn’t kill her in the process. She’d like for people to ask her, “What can I make for you for dinner tonight? What do you really love that you haven’t had for awhile?” Why should she not get to choose just because she’s had to ask?

So, I’m doing it for Anni. I’m going to have my son pour a bucket of ice water over my head and post it on Facebook and Instagram because that’s what Pete Frates wants me to do. Though I have no funds to contribute, I hope I am raising the awareness of someone who does. You can give at this website.

Look around you. Is there someone who is taking care of a loved one who is terminally ill? Are they bearing the burden alone? Ask them what they need. Be there for them. They are there for someone else.

Like Anni.

Here’s me, being doused.

Always Keep Looking At Jesus

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This morning, the day before we celebrate Thanksgiving in America, I was reading a devotional by Pastor Ed Young. His last words to me today were these: Always keep looking at Jesus, and tell others what you see.

With so much controversy, meanness and downright hate we hear from everyone from the press to the people on the street these days, these words are brilliant. Always keep looking at Jesus, and tell others what you see.

Oh, if only everyone, even those who don’t follow Him, would do that, how much different would things be? When I look at Jesus, I see obedience. He always and only did what His Father told Him to do. He obeyed his earthly parents. The result of that was a perfect life, lived always at the center of the Father’s will. How did He do that? Well, being fully God Himself helped, but He listened. He often went off to a quiet place to pray. His food was to do the will of the One who sent Him.

When I look at Jesus, I see compassion. He healed those who came around Him—and even some who had to have someone come in their stead. He spoke kindly. He had life in His words for those who were dying. The only time he spoke roughly, it wasn’t to sinners, it was to those who thought they were godly, but were “whitewashed sepulchers.” They might look good on the outside, but inside, they held only death. Hypocrites. He had no tolerance for them. The lost He lead to life. I don’t know who said it, but I love this quote: Jesus did not come to make bad people good; He came to make dead people live. Jesus’ words brought life to those who heard Him.

When I look at Jesus, I see unconditional love. He knew people all around Him were bound for hell, and He loved them. He spent time with them—yes, sinners! He taught them. And then, in the act of ultimate love, He died for them. The Scriptures say that without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins. Without forgiveness, people perish. Ultimate love, ultimate compassion, ultimate obedience.

When people see me, hear me, read what I write, can they tell I’ve been looking at Jesus?

When you look at Jesus, what do you see?

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What Would I Do Without You?

Although I haven’t touched them for nearly two years, I am a scrapbooker. Once I began teaching, I just haven’t been able to save any mental space for working on my books. I’ll get back to them some day. But this was a quote I put in one of the early books for my kids:

“You are the trip I did not take;

You are the pearls I cannot buy;

You are my blue Italian lake;

You are my piece of foreign sky.”

This is from a poem by Anne Campbell. It speaks to me.

Motherhood, it seems, is all about sacrifice. Of course there are benefits, but often those don’t come until later. My friend Judy posted a poignant blog about the gifts her children have given her (read it here). I agree with every one of her points, although my life looks vastly different from hers. My kids are all still at home. Every day there is something that goes on that means I have to give up something that I would rather be doing. And yet, in raising my kids, there really is nothing that I would rather be doing.

Do I enjoy the silence in the house when they’re all off to school? Yes. But if the continued silence means I didn’t have the kids, I far prefer the chaos.

Do I wish that for even a day the house could stay clean? Yes. But if cleanliness meant my house was empty, then what’s a few dust bunnies? (OK, more than a few.)

Would I like to look out on a pristine yard? Who wouldn’t? But if nice grass meant no wild sword fights or games of fetch with the dog, then I welcome the lived-in look of the warn path the dog has made madly chasing his beloved ball.

My friend Ronnie once told me a house should be clean enough to be healthy and dirty enough to be happy. I have taken that on as my personal slogan.

Do I pester my kids about picking up and quieting down? Yes. But honestly, what would I do without them? They are my true Mother’s Day gift.

But I’m still looking forward to that steak dinner promised to me tomorrow.

Thankful today for:

270. the gift of See’s chocolate from my friend Lynn

271. waking up early on a day I could have slept in

272. 12 more days of school

273. a great first year of high school for my eldest

274. the cardinal couple that occasionally flits through our yard

275. that the alligators decide to wait until after our day in the lake to make their appearance

276. the pitter patter of little feet (and some not so little anymore)

277. family prayer

278. photographs