Thursday, May 27, 2010

Live, Love and Laugh often

It has been so many days since I have blogged. Blogging takes time. It takes time for me to listen. Listen to my heart, listen to God and listen to life around me. So today happens to be the day to blog. Finally, I can hear and write above the clutter. Above the emotions and above the noise.

When I sit down to write though, I get so frustrated with myself. My heart is to be light but my writing becomes heavy I think. I really enjoy those who can write with a lot of humor. I love to laugh. In fact, our family has a policy that as long as you can laugh you can make it. And we do a lot of laughing. But then I sit down to write what is in my heart. What has been going on around me and what God is doing in the moment and I get so serious. Ugggh. I read my stuff sometimes and I am so thankful it is a blog and not a book. I would be so bored. Because some of my favorite things in life is laughter. I love the books that you can't put down because you laugh out loud. I love my friend Melissa's blog because she writes about being a Boy Mom and she is so funny. She helps you laugh with her and at yourself. My friend Donna, when she writes I can't put the book down and I know I have to be in the middle of all the characters lives. My friend Barbara writes so many adventures, you are just waiting around the next corner to find out what happens. But for some reason those styles do not evolve when I write. So for you and I , as we sit here and read/write on…I pray God tells you something and you do not get bored. I don't get bored with God…just the serious side of my nature.

But I can say my life is a constant adventure. I can say that though I may write in a serious tone, I live for that adventure I know God is doing. He does keep things very interesting for me. For the last several months I have spent most of my time in a hospital room and then the last two weeks at home. For six weeks of that time I have been sitting in a hospital room living life inside the 5th floor of the hospital. When you are in the hospital so long, your life becomes very different from home. You develop relationships with your Therapist, nurses, staff, families and patients. So you see a lot of characters that even become a play. I would love to see what Tyler Perry could do with a hospital setting. It could become quite comical. You also become attached to these people. Their lives, their heart aches, their struggles all become a part of your life. You see things through their eyes because the hospital is a great equalizer. There is no economic stratus in the hospital. There is no Mom that cannot empathize with you and you with her. Because you are all wanting to have the same outcome. A healthier child and to give them more life.

We met this wonderful Pastor and his wife, along with their daughter. The daughter's baby has struggled from birth and is in the unit at the hospital. He has been there for 90 something days. Can you imagine? But the sweetest, kindest people I have met. They have a love for the Lord that outshines anyone. The joy is amazing in them even within their struggles. They exemplify "Blessed are the weak for He will make them strong"… what a blessing and encouragement to Dean and I. They Pastor a church in Conyers, which I can't wait to visit, and have a very committed congregation. I could go on with story after story but my favorite is the Target story. Because this story is so amazing to me.

One day in Target, a very pregnant single Mom was trying on clothes. Her heart was heavy because of her situation. It is hard to hide a very pregnant belly. But, this Mom had started coming to church and had given her life over to Jesus a few months before. Her shame of being a pregnant lady out of marriage was still hanging over her head. The forgiveness of God she understood but still there are people who would not understand. She was very close to the Pastor's wife and was always being encouraged by them that God loves her and her baby all the same. But her concern was how would God use her even in her circumstances.

Until this day in Target. Today, this day in Target, the Glory of God would shine through this young lady more than she would have ever known. As she was trying on her clothes, trying to find something that would fit her she heard three girls in the other stall trying on clothes. They were talking , laughing and having fun. In time you heard the one girl express excitement over one dress. That one dress that would work perfectly for her job interview. The problem, as the girls pooled all their resources of money together there was just not enough to buy the dress. They all three left the stall with a heavy heart and hopes dashed. As the single(yet to be Mom) listened, she thought about how she could help them. She called the Pastor's wife to make sure she should do it. Should she even attempt to interfere. But her heart told her that God wanted her too. As she talked to the Pastor's wife, she had her confirmation that God was in her heart. So she picked the dress up where it had been discarded and took it to the register and paid for it. When she found the girls, she handed them the dress and a card. They were completely shocked. They just knew there had to be strings attached to it. She explained that there was nothing to be done. Go and be blessed and if they wanted to come to her church she had a card with the information. But nothing was required. Just a small gift for someone that was struggling.

The girls took the information and walked away. Completely Shocked. The girl with the interview decided to check out the church. When she did, eventually her and her whole family was saved and after several years are still attending that church.

How awesome is that. We have been talking about walking out our Faith at church that last couple of Sunday's I have been able to attend. To me , that is what church is all about. We see people all the time. We talk with them in the grocery line, at the post office, on our "power walk" or even over the driveway or our backyard fences. But when that still small voice says "Go ahead and give them a hand with their lawn" or "Pay for their groceries" or "bake that pie they like"… do we do it? Because the call of God is not always about going out on the mission field in Uganda…it is about your neighbor next door. And then the adventures begin. Because you are allowing God to move you through your life, touching, living and growing not only in God but also in relationship. That is where we learn so much. In relationships. I have to say I have been on both sides of this story. I have been the giver and I have been the one in need and a grocery worker come up and pay my bill. The sweetest, hardest woman I have ever met. I have also been the one to bake a meal and receive a wonderful meal. So through it all, I have learned so much. Not about others as much about me. About who I am, About Who God is growing me up to be and also how many times I have missed Him. How I have not listened and acknowledged the sweetest whisper to my ear. Those times must really hurt His heart.

That story so impacted me. Not because it was about the dress but it was about someone who was able to see how God could use them in a mighty way even though they may have just had a little to give. Like the widow's mite. It was not about the money, it was about the heart. I have been so blessed in my life. I have some pretty incredible friends. Sometimes they have been more a friend to me than I could ever be to them. But through it all….I have met the face of Jesus along that road through so many. I just encourage you to listen, laugh, learn and grow. If you do, I promise you will never be bored. Your writing may still be too serious but your heart will be full of love, compassion, care and most of Jesus.

In His Grip eternally