Simple Beauty of Family

imageThe name family conjures up so many images, both good and bad. In the modern world it is one of the most emotionally loaded words we have. We could have long discourses on the causes and talk about the “decline of the family” all of which is a genuine concern. Right now, in keeping with our 31 Days theme, I would like to talk about how family is a sources of simple beauty and comfort.

What I want to explore briefly is how we all unconsciously desire family. In Genesis God told Adam that it was not good for man to be alone. In the first few chapters we watch the whole beautiful first family descend in murder and estrangement. The story of God’s love for people doesn’t end there!

No matter where you are in relation to your family the story doesn’t end until Jesus Christ comes agin in glory to make all things new and right.

The story will not be over until some time in the future. We are all in the story and cannot yet see what twists and turns the plot will take. We do know that it all comes right in the end.

Family is a powerful name.

Everyone needs to be part of a family. Family is supposed to demonstrate unconditional love. Self-sacrificing love is the love that God created the world with and that is the kind of love family is designed to teach. We all want to receive this love, but it can be hard to give. What if we all give our families some of this love today, without expecting anything in return? Also spend some time with those who show us this kind of love, if not our family,perhaps our friends, Church members, neighbors, etc.

After all, we don’t know where the plot will go yet. We only know that we all somehow live “happily ever after” with God.

This post is part of Five Minute Friday with Kate Motaung and her marvelous group over there. It is also the second post in the series with 31 Days.  Check them out and see what others have to say using the links above or buttons below. God bless you for stopping by and join me in sharing a little grace today with those we call “family.”

imagehttps://pilgrimjourneythroughlife.com/

 

 

 

S.D.G.

Promoting my own material runs completely counter to my natural inclination and seems to fly in the face of Christians sensibilities. This is one area that I wish I could forget about.

Nevertheless, I occurs to me that there ought to be a difference between me and my work. As a Christian I believe that I am saved by the grace of God through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. This is true despite the fact that everything I do is not good. Even when I do accomplish a good work it is not by my wisdom, strength or power but by the grace of God. I am capable of no good thing apart from Christ. So, if any bit of my work is good it is because of the blessing of God. It did not come from me. The glory does not belong to me. My work, be it good or bad, is not my possession, like a lamp, but a living thing, like a dog. I can train it. I can send it in a particular direction. I will receive the blame if it digs or defaces my neighbor’s property. But if it should chance to save someone it will not be me that everyone will talk about. Rather, it will be that something so unexpected managed to do a great good.

Pointer

Pointer

Once the words are sent out into the world. They have a life of their own. If I modestly promote the words it is not myself that I draw attention to. The words are about what God has done. They are words that He has given. They are tools to share His love. I love the way Johann Sebastian Bach dedicated his music. He wrote, “Soli Deo Gloria/S.D.G.” or “To the glory of God alone.” I can invite others to come and see what God has done. Stop and reflect on His amazing grace. See His hand print in beauty everywhere. Marvel with me at His incredible love. Share with me the wonder and awe at God, our Creator, Redeemer and the Giver of all good gifts!
This post is part of a series On Being a Writer, by Ann Kroeker and Charity Singleton Craig, hosted by Kate Motaung.

Tearing Down the Walls

I am struggling to accept the place that God has put me in life. I have suffered with chronic illness all my life. I don’t like to talk about it and have always felt ashamed that I could not keep up with others. Eventually I discovered what is wrong with me. I take courage and write this, I have P.O.T.S. type Dysautnomia. (I faint from being upright for too long). How long it takes has varied widely over the years.

Learning how to manage my symptoms and new medicines have made a tremendous improvement in my condition. I am in my 40′s now. (That is something I can’t believe I shared). I am finally stronger, not normal, but closer, and I want my life back; the life I never had; the life I always expected to have. I want God to give me back the years that, “the locusts ate” (Joel 2:25).That looks to be impossible from here.

My Dad is now old and has mobility issues. I have become a caregiver. I was always supposed to write. I wrote for myself, but have been too insecure to share. I have always known what I want, the struggle has been to know what God wants.

I am reluctant to write about my health problems, loneliness, struggles and challenges. I was bullied as a child, and learned to try to hide my weakens as much as possible. Now I find myself sharing my words and life as I never thought possible. I am afraid of revealing too much of myself and regretting it later.

I have many times recognized how God has taught me through the illness great truths that I would never have learned otherwise. My tendency is to focus on my self-sufficiency. God has literally knocked me flat on my back repeatedly to teach me that He is in control. I have become aware that I am nothing without Him. I try to center my whole life around Him because I have become cognizant that nothing else is as important. Yet I still struggle with wanting things my way. Progress, “imperfect progress” as Lysa Terkeurst calls it in Unglued, that is what I have made. Each day I learn more from my time in Bible study and prayer.

The value of our lives is made up in what we spend our time on. My life may not resemble my dreams, but honestly, I have devoted more time to serving my parents, sister, Church, dogs and cats than any other pursuit. It has not been about fun, financial gain, or self-serving interests. I guess, if I had to appraise my life thus far, given the health I’ve had to work with, it has been well lived. I just tend to be dissatisfied.

Which leads me to my besetting sin, I struggle with perfectionism. What I have written is never good enough because it could always be better. What I have said is never right, because I do not always speak the most loving words possible. Nothing I do will ever be enough. That is why Jesus lives. He took all my frailties to the cross. I know this and daily I grow in this knowledge. Tomorrow will be better than today. Spring has come, plants are growing, I am growing in faith. I am growing in grace. His grace is enough!