My Journey to Joy

January 7, 2015

Praise

Filed under: Contemplations — aunthoddy @ 4:11 PM
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For so much of my life I’ve offered “cheap” praise to God.  You know the kind that just slides off your tongue in bright, happy moments.  Gratitude that comes easily in the midst of blessing and plenty.  Pat phrases and clichés, offered casually with very little thought.  I’ve tossed a happy “thank you” and breezed by a glib “wow, that’s awesome, God!”  And this is good.  And it’s right.

But I’m learning another praise.  One that comes from so deep inside it almost hurts to offer.  One that is gathered intentionally, by force of will.  Sometimes it takes a moment to tug it to the surface.  Then with jaw set, and often tears streaming, I give praise.  And I say “thank you, God…no matter what.”  And I say “you are good and faithful…even if.”  I don’t think this praise can come from a heart that hasn’t been broken; but it shines through and makes the brokenness so worthwhile.

“Though the fig tree do not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls,  yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.  GOD, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like hinds’ feet, he makes me tread upon my high places.”  Habakkuk 3:17-19

The waiting in adoption is impossible for me to describe.  Moment by moment I go from hope (we’re going to get another baby!) to despair (this will never really happen).  Both sides have validity.  And the not knowing can just eat at your soul.  But what is faith, but not knowing and choosing to trust?! 

I have a beautiful quote from Oswald Chambers hanging on the nursery door:  “Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and knows the One Who is leading”  And I do know the ONE, so much better than I did before this journey.  He has revealed Himself to me in such peace and comfort that defies my circumstances.

And so, again and again, maybe hundreds or thousands of times, I remind myself and God: “You are good.  You are working on our behalf.  You will be with us I trust you.”

And I choose to praise.  The awesome, loving God who walks by my side while I’m waiting.  And when I’m hurting.  And always.  Amen.

January 8, 2013

Songs for the Journey- Even If

Filed under: Songs for the Journey — aunthoddy @ 10:27 AM
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SiYAUNJPrMU

November 20, 2012

Songs for the Journey- Thanks

Filed under: Songs for the Journey — aunthoddy @ 5:05 AM
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ne6wz1S2lRE

May 1, 2012

Songs for the Journey- Peace

Filed under: Songs for the Journey — aunthoddy @ 5:00 AM
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April 12, 2012

Real

Filed under: Contemplations — aunthoddy @ 5:00 AM
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I remember hearing how bank employees are trained to spot counterfeit money.  Instead of going over what the fakes look like, they’re instructed to become very familiar with real money.  Then they will be able to tell the difference.

“…If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  John 8:31-32

I’ve been having some counterfeit in my life lately.  Thoughts like: God doesn’t care.  Prayer doesn’t change anything.  If God loved me, He wouldn’t let this happen…

“Cast your burden on the Lord [releasing the weight of it] and He will sustain you; He will never allow the [consistently] righteous to be moved (made to slip, fall, or fail).” Psalm 55:22 (AMP)

“Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.” 1 Peter 5:7 (AMP)

I know that it’s not about me and my problems; it’s always about God, and who He is.  A wise friend told me to look in the Psalms, and make a list of God’s attributes.  So that’s what I’ve been doing.  Looking at the Real Thing.  Seeing what is true.  Making a literal list of what God is like.    I’ve barely gotten started, and already it’s amazing!  God is…truthful (not a trickster)… Righteous… Good… Powerful… Holy… Merciful… He is my Deliverer… He is my Help… He is my Shield!  (and that’s just one psalm!)  He is my Light and Salvation.  He is the Strength of my Life!  He is Beautiful.  He never forsakes me.  He is the Reason I shouldn’t be afraid.

And suddenly, the counterfeits are so obvious!  How could I ever believe those, in light of Who my God has proved Himself to be, time and again?!  I just need to remember what’s real, what’s true, and Whose I am.

“Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”  Psalm 46:10

April 10, 2012

Songs for the Journey- Songs in the Night

Filed under: Songs for the Journey — aunthoddy @ 5:00 AM
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezovk5QkPgs&feature=related

March 20, 2012

Songs for the Journey- No More Night

Filed under: Songs for the Journey — aunthoddy @ 5:00 AM
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vX3HHtytDo

March 13, 2012

Songs for the Journey- How Emptiness Sings

Filed under: Songs for the Journey — aunthoddy @ 5:00 AM
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIv3rGa5pAQ&feature=player_embedded

March 6, 2012

Songs for the Journey- Wonderful, Merciful Savior

Filed under: Songs for the Journey — aunthoddy @ 5:00 AM
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiVvHxgHL5Q

January 12, 2012

Future

Filed under: Contemplations — aunthoddy @ 5:00 AM
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Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory!”  Revelation 19:7a

It’s hard to rejoice sometimes.  My head understands, but my emotions struggle with the undefined timeline.  I tend to make up “due dates” for things, subconsciously.  I arbitrarily decide when we should hear some news.  Those days I’m on pins and needles, over nothing, really.  And when they pass, and nothing seems to have changed…it’s hard.  Very, very hard.

The book of Revelation paints a picture of a future world.  A world put right side up…”

The world I’m living in is upside down and backward.  There is plenty of hurt.  Plenty of uncertainty.  And it can start to feel like that’s what’s real.  I’ve found myself thinking that we’ll never actually have a child, but just continue to “be in the process of adopting” indefinitely.

“…part of the sweetness of this moment is the anticipation of the moments to come…knowing what is ahead allows us to better savor what we have, to endure the difficulties, and to continue on with courage.”

It feels like we’re dangling from a tightrope.  I know I’ll never get to the other side if I let go, but holding on hurts, and I can’t see the end.  A huge part of our future seems to be in the hands of people who do not know or care about us.  Seems.  Not is.  The reality is that I’m not dangling from anything…I’m cradled in God’s hand.  And He is the one who determines my future, and He says it will be good.

Lord God, I praise you for my future, for You have promised that it is good.  Thank You that my ultimate end is with You in heaven.  I praise You for Your future redemption of the world and of all things in my life.  As I worship You now, I thank You that one day I will worship You face-to-face for all eternity.”  ~Stormie OMartian

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