Saturday, December 26, 2009

The things that truly matter

I could tell you about how fabulous my Christmas was (it really was,) and how absolutely terrific my family is (they really are,) and how I survived my in-laws (just barely,) but I have something else on my mind.

I. Am. Blessed.

For whatever reason (~God~) my mind keeps returning to a child I've been praying for. I don't know him personally. I don't even know his family. They are friends of friends. His beautiful little face stuck in my mind. And I kept thinking, "that could be my child... my child suffering... my child in the hospital on Christmas fighting for his life..." How can I push that out of my mind? I can't and won't. (stop and pray for him, then continue...)

By chance (no, not really,) I found this post at Our Homeschool and Other Such Happenings, when looking for a homeschool lapbook plan. I cried. Okay, I downright sobbed uncontrollably right here at my computer. This woman loved and lost her baby. And her faith is carrying her through. She knows that God is faithful, no matter what. I just cannot fathom that kind of pain.

I have my children here and now. We played tickle monster this evening, gathered icicles to save in the freezer, watched a movie together and ate fudge from the neighbors. We read books before bed and sang Twinkle* Twinkle* Little Star. I was able to tell each one of them, "I love you more than all the stars in the sky and all of the sand on the beaches" (our nightly "goodbye.") I was able to give them all their "special kiss"-- lip kiss, noggin-knock, eskimo kiss, knuckles, and then a smooch blown from the door. I am so blessed to have them. I love them so much. I would give my life, health, possessions, anything for these children.

Sometimes ridiculous worries distract me. Unimportant things stress me out. Unnecessary things sap my energy. And I get anxious. I worry about what I don't have, rather than focusing on what I DO have.

When I step back and look at the big picture~ LIFE (the here and the later,) intentional living... oh, my, the little things fade away so fast.

It's "easier" on the heart to glaze over the rough things, like the children who live here at the shelter, and desperately need families to love and care for them. Check out the Arkansas Foster site to find out how to help. -(I've never thought it was a coincidence that my maiden name is Foster. People used to joke around that I was a "foster kid," but I'm sure it was just a sign of things to come, that one day we would feel called to be foster -->adoptive parents.)- Oh, it wouldn't be easy. Yes, there would be challenges. But can you imagine the rewards? The look on a child's face, when he is truly a part of your family? Loving and snuggling a child that might have otherwise been without a place to live?

How are the suffering child, the grieving mother and homeless children related?


PEOPLE hold value above all else. We are created for relationships. People are in pain around us. People need help. People need love.

My mind has been weighing these heavier things lately. I've been convicted about "singing a little louder." Everyone can do something. No excuses. That precious cancer-stricken boy needs prayer. His family needs support. That mother who lost her child needs our continual support and prayer. So many children in this country and abroad need families. Desperately. You can volunteer abroad in orphanages. Raise money to help, sponsor a child, commit to pray for the missionaries working there. everyone can do something. Did you hear me?

everyone can do something

I have my health, my children, my home, a husband who loves and adores me.

I take so much for granted.

I have so much to give. So much to be thankful for. So much love given and received: an armful of children. Really, I'm choking back tears right now, just thinking about my kids and how much I love them. I pray protection over them every night. I use The Power of a Praying Parent to cover their lives. But we are not guaranteed tomorrow.

And I thank God that He sent His Son, so that even when we are separated from those we love, it is only temporary. Mimi, I love you... I want to make the most of today. Every day.


Papaw and Mimi said...

Wendy, I was thinking about your blog, "The things that truly matter." I can easily relate to a lot of what you said because I've thought about many of those things all of my life. Three truths help guide me thinking through those complicated real-life realities. They deal with the Biblical teaching on history and its meaning: where is it going? why did God create us? how have the effects of the fall been so devastating? and many kindred questions.
But the three truths that help give us perspective in order to deal with life here-and-now. I'll start with the 2nd one: We've got to face the facts of our creaturehood, which means our finiteness, which means our great limitations. Responsibilities, yes, but only to the extent that God gives us those responsibilities. We're not "responsible" for everything or for all the problems we see around us. And we can all do a very limited number of things. The day, after all, only consists of 24 hours. In short, we're creatures and that's all God expects us to be. Each of us is only one. But how good it is that we can indeed make an important difference within that very limited sphere that we have time and energy to work in. (When you get to be 76, you really notice the limitations! My efficiency has been cut in half or even less compared to what I did "in my prime.")
That's the 2nd point. And it comes as a corollary to the first: namely that God is the Creator of all things and we are but creatures who take our place as finite creatures before the Infinite Creator of all things. God is both Sovereign and our Sovereign Lord. He does all things "according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will." Ephesians 1:11 His absolute control over "all things" make it possible for Him to "work all things together for good to them who love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose." Rom. 8:28
Related to all that is the concept of "calling," wherein God "calls" us or gives us responsibilities and adequate gifts to meet those responsibilities. And so we "do all things with our heart as unto the Lord," Col. 3:17,23 And our "calling" or "callings" differ according to our time of life. A child doesn't have the same calling as he will have when he gets to be a parent.
But it is God and not us and not man collectively who has responsibility for the work of His hands, for the Creation He created. He feeds the entire population of this world--in spite of their greed and waste. Jesus "lighteth everyone who comes into this world." John 1:9 He deals individually with each of us--with all 5 billion of us + the countless millions who have already lived and died. "He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, so they are still living." [ I AM the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob"--and they had already died--but were not dead; only their bodies were dead. Moses and Elijah appeared in physical form, you remember, with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. "In my flesh shall I see God" wrote Job--4000 years ago!]
I'm glad the responsibility for all of this is God's and not ours. "Shall not the Judge of all the earth, do right?" was Abraham's rhetorical question so many years ago.

Papaw and Mimi said...

And that brings us to my 3rd point: keep the perspective of eternity. That's why we are told to "set your minds and set your affections on things above and not on things of this earth." Col. 3:1ff. God is in the process of bringing about a restoration of His original creation which man ruined by the Fall. We know where He's going: "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." Rev. 21:4
We must face our limitations--and they are very great--but God is working out His purposes. Things are not going to continue as they are forever, but what will continue forever are those relationships you mentioned in your blog--and especially our relationship with our Lord as we get to know Him and understand Him better and better.
We "endure as seeing Him who is invisible" Heb. 11:27.
Here's the verse I've been pondering tonight and again this morning:
Isaiah 41:10 "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness."
Papaw (& Mimi)

Arato Girl said...

Wonderful post.

Just what are those Woods up to? said...

Intentional important. It seems like there are lots of "unexamined lives" out there being lived. I'm sure it's a fault in us all. Like you said, we all can do something, we all can help. What if we all did--how awesome would that be???

Anonymous said...

Found your website by accident for the 2nd time these days so I considered I would have a closer look. I've just began making my personal website and modeling it right after what you have completed. I hope mine might be as prosperous as yours.