Thursday, June 25, 2009

Seasons

Our foster son Jase came to live with us on February 3 and left us June 23. We knew the possibility of him leaving for a while now and when the time came we had complete peace. CPS (Child Protective Services) was very sensitive and was there 100% to talk with us. We never thought if something like this happened we would have peace, but we do. We served as a part of Jase's journey, were able to help him in so many ways, and so many people offered their unconditional love to him not knowing how long he would be in their lives.

I am convinced there are specific season's in our lives that are distinct with beginnings and ends. Each season is unique with its own challenges and accomplishments, and we all have the ability to take advantage of what these times have to offer. And it is upon completion of these test and trials (because this is really what life is anyway), that we learn who we were, who we really are, and most importantly who we wish become with the Lord's help. It is a grand adventure this thing we call life, and the possibilities of experiencing greater joy and greater sorrow all contribute to such an incredible journey, one that I wouldn't miss for anything because it is one that draws me closer to God.

And now what will this next season bring? Where to now? Ahhhh, what an adventure!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Define Hope Please

© 2009 Inspired by Grace
All rights reserved

Hope (as stated on Wikipedia) is a belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one's life. Hope is the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best. [1] Hopefulness is somewhat different from optimism in that hope is an emotional state, whereas optimism is a conclusion reached through a deliberate thought pattern that leads to a positive attitude.

When used in a religious context, hope carries a connotation of being aware of what Christians see as spiritual "truth"; see Hope (virtue). In Christian theology, hope is one of the three theological virtues (faith, hope, and charity), which are spiritual gifts of God. In contrast to the above, it is not a physical emotion but a spiritual grace. Hope is distinct from positive thinking, which refers to a therapeutic or systematic process used in psychology for reversing pessimism. The term false hope refers to a hope based entirely around a fantasy or an extremely unlikely outcome.

In some religious contexts hope changes from being a verb to a noun. For instance, when Christians say they have hope in God they are not saying they hope God will give them good things and make their lives happier but that God is in fact, their hope

Friday, June 12, 2009

Did You See Me?

I was there that day too. Small, scared, confused. But I acted like I was fine because that is what I am supposed to do. "Everything's fine, everything's ok, I'm ok, I'm ok." My chant, my song, my ease. That is what they want to hear, it is better this way. I'm a child, why would I know any different? The fact is, I do. The pain came first when I heard what happened. News, talk of hushed voices, ones that hoped I wouldn't hear, but I did. I heard it through what I saw. I heard it when I looked at faces, the people who looked at me differently as though they wished they could take away my new reality. God where are you? Did You see me?

She began to fade. Her scent, her clothes, her face even. I acted angry. I hit things. I even screamed bad words. Words I only knew from TV. I couldn't control what had been done. I couldn't control what I didn't know. "I didn't know. I don't know." Who did? Did anyone? What is wrong with me?

Maybe if I acted like I was fine, the way I am supposed to, it will be ok. Must we be taught to be real? Must we be explained how to mourn? How would I know when I feel wrong for crying? "Crying wont change it, crying wont bring her back, stop crying, stop feeling." How do I know what to do? Could you teach me? Could you show me?

It's ok to cry hear. It's ok to be confused here. They don't have answers, but they feel the same things too sometimes. I'm sad. I'm confused. Will this feeling go away? Do I want it to? If it does, does it mean that I have forgotten? That I don't love her anymore?

Please show me how to do this. Show me. Guide me, because I don't know. I'm too small. I'm too scared. I'm too confused. What is real? What is a lie? What becomes of death? What becomes of pain? The pain I feel will never go away. Will it become something else? Will it become easier? What it is that we so feel that never leaves us even through death?

I cried. I shook. I bowed my head, and You answered.

You said the answer to that is "Love."

*Gracey and I attended Camp Courage with the PET therapy team. We were able to minister to children who have faced the death of a loved one. During the evening service, I was blessed to witness raw emotions as the children lit candles in memory of the person they lost. I felt the questioning of a little girl who lost her mother. I watched her face and saw her struggle as she slowly walked up the aisle and pinned her mother's photo on a massive heart to symbolize she will always be a part of her. She lit the candle through blurring tears running down her face, and quietly sat down with her head bowed. This is her dialogue of the heart, a child's sorrow.

Having experienced loss, I felt like I wanted to take all those kids pain on myself. It is just too much for someone so young to feel. In my grief I could barely make sense of all I hurt about. To watch children have to go through something so terrible while not understanding what they feel makes my heart break. Yet children are so strong. It was an honor and privilege to see the courage of these kids. They seek answers and look to us to try and make sense of their world and pain. And it is our duty to show them that love is stronger than death. Jesus' love has given us hope, and hope in the Lord is never put to shame. (Romans 10:11) But hope doesn't mean we forget, or dismiss, or get over the people who shape who we are.

I was thankful to be in that chapel that evening with Gracey passed out from all her work that day. God showed me an aspect of His tenderness and I pray He will allow me to use this awareness for His glory.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Telethon

Gracey was a TV star a couple of weeks ago as we appeared on the Children's Miracle Network telethon at KTXS studios. She did her tricks on camera and had so much fun answering the phones to take donations for such a great cause. Here are some photos of that day. I wish I could post the actual segment with Gracey, but it is not available.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Drawn to Light

Perhaps within a mere glimmer of flame we truly see ourselves for what we are,
a simple shadow reflecting what it is we so desire,
a warmth,
a Light
a Hope.
So we fall into trance, swayed by each sparkles gleam,
falling deeper and deeper
allowing the dancing fire control
Yielded,
cocooned by darkness only to seek the Light
How noticeable it is
It cannot hide,
it is not covered
Rest focused eyes
Watch the dance of Life
you are safe now
for I touch all who turn their eyes to Me

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Struggle & Survival

I admire those who survive extreme hardship and continue allowing themselves to be positive people. No one greater could touch my heart then those who survived the Holocaust and bless those by telling their stories, even under the pain of recalling such horror. I've written on "Man's Search for Meaning" about a man who lived to tell his life in a concentration camp. "The Boy in the Stripped Pajamas," both the book and the movie, strongly portrayed the sad realities of that time. I have also recently read two other books that offer great wisdom, compassion, and raw truth of humanities ability to both love and be cruel at the same time.

Clara's War is an biography of a women who was only a child during the war and hid beneath the floor for over a year with 15 other people. Her recollection of the battle not just within countries, but within her own heart certainly gives perceptive to our lives and how much we have to be thankful for. She wrote after her sister was viciously murdered, "And now we all had to go on without her, our lucky charm. We were still alive, whether we wanted to be or not. I now knew there was no such thing as a broken heart. It will go on beating to taunt you and mock you and tell you that even in grief it is indestructible and full of love." (Clara's War pp. 160) Upon realizing how much one man sacrificed to keep her safe she wrote in her journal, "I knew I would have to lead a life worthy of having been saved." (Clara's War, pp. 326) This not only gave me chills about her life physically, yet also our lives spiritually.

I also read "A Lucky Child," another biography of a man who survived his childhood within the Nazi camps. His life meet some very difficult situations, yet somehow, he survived to tell of his past. Thomas Buergenthal, the author, wrote this book. One quote which stood out to me is, "It took me much longer to realize that one cannot hope to protect mankind from crimes such as those that were visited upon us unless one struggles to ever break the cycle of hatred and violence that invariably leads to ever more suffering by innocent human being." (A Lucky Child, pp. 163)