Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Bathing in His Peace When Life's Messy

Some days my Beth's needs feel so overwhelming and I wonder how we can keep up and be responsible for so much. One day we go for flu shots so we won't spread anything to her and then rush to speech and physical therapy and we're not back before 1:00 PM, and then school to squeeze in before our AWANA baking ministry begins in a frenzy to have treats out of the oven and cooled and packaged before 6:00 PM.

And Paul? Who's afraid of professional haircuts and sunflowers and throwing up, he keeps failing hearing tests from ear wax plastered to his eardrum, causing slurred speech and the dropping of syllables and a regular speech nightmare. When you can't hear well you don't know how your own speech sounds and you get careless and develop bad habits. And it becomes one more responsibility I have. One more pressure. I have to fix this problem, too, I tell myself, and how can I keep up and still live sanely and what if the wax keeps blocking again for the rest of his life?

And I say to God, haven't I tried so hard to keep my children healthy? Nursing them far beyond the normal and giving them the best of the best foods? And guarding their souls and their minds as I do their sleep habits? Can't I be awarded for effort, God. What does effort mean to you?

And Peter who is driven so nuts by OCD and tics that the doctor thinks a period of the smallest Prozac dose might help as the standard OCD treatment. And I want to say no but I see my son suffering and getting muscle aches from repetitive tic motions and his mind driven nuts by that sinister OCD voice. And every time he tells me his jaw is sore from one of his tics, and every time he lifts his leg up high as though he's going over a fence, making people stare at him, I want to scream to God....Enough already!

Most adults know that stress kills. Many things arise from it and how many of our issues were born from the seed of stress, I wonder? The headaches, the OCD and tics, the anxieties, the swollen joints? How many could be relieved if stress were lessened? And how can I lessen stress when every day has enough trouble of its own and I'm never enough?

My husband riles from an awful shingles rash making his nerves scream, and still spreading...something we know arose as a post-traumatic stress event. And do you know what he tells me recently? "I think most of my problem is that I just won't accept the burdens God's given us." 

Yes, I want to shout. Yes, you fight God. Why do you do that and isn't it so futile and how many years will you fight Him?

I don't fight God as a rule, but my hormones fight Him one week out of every month and I can't stop those chemicals. Those weeks I understand my husband better because I feel what he feels all the time. I don't know where control goes those weeks and please excuse me for my awful, ugly, lamenting posts sometimes?

On the same day I think I'll bust, I read about women in India selling their bodies for food and I want to cry about their pain and my self-centeredness. What do I have to be overwhelmed about?

Me, overwhelmed by speech homework and therapy homework and new dangerous drugs and shingles and tics, when someone's soul is being tortured, used, abused. Someone's soul. The souls of many women, no different than me in their hopes and dreams and their flesh and blood.

Ann Voskamp and her daughter, Hope, help these Indian women with the aid of a company called Freeset,  which works to save women from human trafficking by paying them well to make products instead of being the product. These women are not only given a paycheck that doesn't shame, but they get Jesus too and experience the best freedom of all.

And do you know what they feel? Gratitude.  About being a child of God. They aren't asking for trouble-free lives. They're rejoicing as recipients of the Greatest Gift. Communion with our Heavenly Father and the promise of Eternity with Him.

I strive as a mother and wife and I expect something from my striving. Some payment I an easier life?

But the Holy Spirit steers me toward something better than striving. He whispers it slow, as I drive home from a day of appointments. How about open arms for all that I give...both the beautiful and the messy? When you let go of your striving there's room for Me to shine.

I want to do that for you, Lord. Yes, I want to live the better life. The one lived in submission to you, giving thanks always in all circumstances.

So today I study verses about God's will and God's promises. Won't you read and contemplate them with me? Letting God's perfect peace wash over you? In a state of peace, we can give thanks with a sincere heart.

First we bathe in God's word and offer Him our sincere prayers, and then we bathe in His peace.

God's Will
1 Thessalonians 5:16-19 Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit.

Mark 3:34-35 And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.”

2 Corinthians 8:1-6 We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints —and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us. Accordingly, we urged Titus that as he had started, so he should complete among you this act of grace.
1 Peter 3:17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.

1 Peter 4:19 Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.

1 John 2:16-17 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.  And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.
Philippians 2:13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
1 Peter 2:15 For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men.
God's Promises
2 Peter 1:4 And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.

Isaiah 40:29-31
He gives power to the weak
and strength to the powerless.
Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion.
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.

Philippians 4:19 
And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.

Proverbs 1:33
But all who listen to me will live in peace,
untroubled by fear of harm.”

John 14:27
“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.

Romans 8:37-39
No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Matthew 11:28-29 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Romans 8:27 and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
Isaiah 30:21 And your ears will hear a word behind you, "This is the way, walk in it," whenever you turn to the right or to the left.
John 6:38-40 "For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. "And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. "For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him, may have eternal life; and I Myself will raise him up on the last day."
Jeremiah 29:11 'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.
James 1:5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.


Terri H said...

I was reading a friend's blog this morning, and I thought about you, about your boy, and your husband. I know that Peter's issues are complex and you have struggled through many treatments. As I read this post, I just wondered if you had read up on food dyes and their affect on some children's behavior? My friend, Brooke, has dedicated an entire website/blog to her experiences with her daughter and food dyes. The latest story was of a father who struggled with ADD and aggressive behaviors as a child, and whose son was the same. Maybe dye-free eating wouldn't help your Peter, but I felt led to share.

Terri H said...

I think the link I put in the last post might be broken. Sorry.

Christine said...

Yes, we've tried eliminating food dye and adding the recommended supplements.

ADHD sufferers have deficiencies in the way the brain deals with dopamine, an amino acid involved in regulation of movement, thought and behavior.

I think when eliminating food dyes or other foods helps, it may be that the person was allergic to something and the symptoms resulted from that, rather than from ADHD.

I see very little aggressive behavior, thank goodness, but that is common in some people with ADHD

Have a good day, Terri. And thank you!

Tesha said...

Thank you for your honest heart and sharing your struggles. I often hear myself complain only to be reminded by GOD how others suffer terribly....what do I have to complain about really? Praying for you and these struggles.