Is This a Test?

why would God “test” us
He already knows our names
yes, there are times which are difficult
yes, there are times to pray
 
only recently have I realized
how much different I see this world
I don’t see tests
I don’t see the same ordeals
 
I see God challenging me
He knows which buttons to push
to get me going within His direction
even when it’s difficult
 
I don’t see Him “testing” me
I see him granting opportunities
opportunities to grow in faith
opportunities to decide which road to take
 
does God test you
does the universe torment you
or are you given choices to make
opportunities to decide your fate
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Filling the Cracks

our world is fallen
our lives are broken
but God is there
to fill the cracks
 
our earth is dying
we are responsible
but God is there
to inspire the impossible
 
we are at war
inside and out
but God is there
to create light within doubt
 
our hearts ache
we wound our Temples
but God is there
to walk with each mile
 
our world is fallen
our lives are broken
but God is there
as we seal the cracks

Answers?

What has changed
This past year was so different
What created this space
How did I handle all of it
 
There’s been frustrations and setbacks
There’s been anger and fear
Yet somehow through all of this
I am still here
 
No hospital visits required
No cutting or any self-harm
No retreating inside my head
Although the urges were there to act upon
 
What has changed
I’m different somehow
It seems to have started
After I left that town
 
I’m more aware now of His blessings
I see my world differently
There’s so much love and support
Which has helped me grow exponentially
 
I don’t need to know the answer
To how this change could be
All I need to know
Is that God is always beside me
 
He has placed me with a family
(a couple of families in fact)
Where grace and love are present
I don’t need more specifics than that
 
And with these gifts
I can give back
To all I encounter
To all that matters
 
Listen
Faith
Trust
Accept

I don't have all the answers and I am fine with that
 

Compliments

I can't hear
I won’t hear
I refuse
I belittle
 
Why?
Why not?
Do I deserve?
Are they true?
 
Compliments –
The truth –
Gifts from God
Noticed by others
 
Do I believe them?
Working on it
Do I accept them?
Working on it
 
“Thank you”
My current response
Remembering
These are my gifts and strengths

When I deny
I deny God’s blessings
I must try harder
I must accept
 
Compliments
I will accept
I thank you for noticing
I thank God for providing
 
I trust You
I love You
I’m learning
I’m growing into acceptance
 
Never stop growing
Never stop believing
Never stop trusting
Love, Love, Love

Prayers of the People

Our Father,

Thank You for the gifts of Your love, mercy, and comfort. You never leave any of us to fight our battles alone. We gather today as a community, a family. Let us help each other learn how to release our doubts, our fears, our prejudices…anything that holds us back from living as Christians. May we strengthen our own relationship with You by delivering acts of love and kindness, and showing forgiveness to others and towards ourselves. May we comfort each other through the darkness as we walk towards Your everlasting light.

We love You.

We trust You.

Amen

A Year of Thanksgiving

How long is a year
It seems to fly by
What have I learned
What have I tried
 
I’ve begun to truly understand
The power of prayer
I’m never alone
Because He is always there
 
A major lesson
Which sticks in my head
Is the need to slow down
To take life in
 
The strength behind words
What they truly mean
Has brought me closer
To a more faithful being
 
Flexibility – like cooked spaghetti –
Is an on-going lesson
I’m learning to “kiss the gray”
And to change my reactions
   
Taking care of my body
Has become a life-style
To strengthen my Temple
Both inside and out
 
I pray this coming year
Will bring more insights
Not through “New Year’s Resolutions”
But with growth and a love of life

Labels???

Major Depression
What does that mean?
Locked in a cage?
Feeling unclean?

Anxiety Disorders
Why give them a name?
All that these labels uncover
Is that I am insane

Every category I fit into
white, female, 36 years in age…
Mean nothing to me
I’m still lost in the waves

This ocean consumes all of me
My heart and beliefs
Things keep running together
I keep searching for peace

A few years ago
I found a label that includes
I had forgotten the lessons
I learned as a youth

Christian – it’s a label
But with a whole different tune
It’s positive and poetic
Without blinding the truth

This is a label
I choose to accept
This is a label
I need to protect

Our society puts labels
On everything in life
Even on our food items
How am I to know what is right?

The only label I need is
“a child of God”
I’m not picky about which religion
Because in this label we all belong.