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Sunday, June 22, 2008

A Great Loss

This is dedicated to Rick and Carol Burrill who just lost their son, Ryan, in a car accident this morning. He was my second cousin and was 26 years old. I know that he will be terribly missed by all of his family and friends.

With Hope
by Steven Curtis Chapman

This is not at all how
We thought it was supposed to be
We had so many plans for you
We had so many dreams
And now you've gone away
And left us with the memories of your smile
And nothing we can say
And nothing we can do
Can take away the pain
The pain of losing you, but ...

We can cry with hope
We can say goodbye with hope
'Cause we know our goodbye is not the end, oh no
And we can grieve with hope
'Cause we believe with hope
(There's a place by God's grace)
There's a place where we'll see your face again
We'll see your face again

And never have I known
Anything so hard to understand
And never have I questioned more
The wisdom of God's plan
But through the cloud of tears
I see the Father's smile and say well done
And I imagine you
Where you wanted most to be
Seeing all your dreams come true
'Cause now you're home
And now you're free, and ...

We have this hope as an anchor
'Cause we believe that everything
God promised us is true, so ...

We wait with hope
And we ache with hope
We hold on with hope
We let go with hope

Saturday, June 21, 2008

It's a Sad, Sad World

Well, I just read a recent article about a group of teenage girls in a town in Massachusetts who made a pact with each other to get pregnant this year. They are all 16 or younger. When one of them gets pregnant they high-five each other and if one doesn't then they are disappointed.

The word that came to my mind first was: sadness. Plain old sadness. After that was: stupidity, immaturity, scariness, responsibility, grace.

I am almost 24 years old. I will be married 2 years in August, I have been graduated from high school for 6 years, I have lived on my own and given myself the chance to experience life. I can't imagine how different my life would be if I had a child at 15 or 16...I would have a kid almost 10 years old. I can't even imagine having a child right now! When I was 15 I was still hooked on the Backstreet Boys. I had posters of bands all over my room, I still got punished for disobeying my parents, I had a curfew, I whined about having to empty the dishwasher and got mad if I couldn't do something with a friend unless all my homework was done. There was no time I ever thought "I think having a baby would be a great addition to my life right now." I couldn't even handle my own changing hormones, life and mind. There is SO MUCH going on inside you that I can't even imagine how purposefully bringing a child into that environment would be a "great idea."

My dearest friend had a baby when she was 17. It was not planned. She was strong and wise to give it up for adoption. I believe that she would have made a wonderful mother, and I am not doubting that those girls will. The issue is this: no matter what age you have a child at you have to be prepared for it to CHANGE YOUR LIFE! Literally overnight. Whether you give it up for adoption or keep your baby and raise it yourself, it will alter your existence. It's not like a dog where you can train it to stay in a crate when you leave for a few hours. Every day of your life will involve this child. They need patience, attention, direction, discipline, love, TIME...they will consume you.

I'm guessing that a 15 year old mother doesn't have the money to leave the baby with a sitter all day or even for a weekend. That is when the child also becomes the responsibility of those around them. One of the girls apparently said "Oh, I think my parents would be fine with it and they would help me." If I had been in this situation and my parents found out that I had said that they would be furious! From the start, before she is even pregnant, she is laying at least half of the responsibility on her parents. Since she will most likely (well, hopefully) be in school after the baby is born her parents will probably be the ones looking after it. Also, what about weekends? What about getting together with friends after school or on weekends? Does she think that when she and her friends go to a coffee shop with all their babies they will look cool and mature? They won't. They will look way too young to have children and people will know it.

It's a sad fact but, people will judge them. I admit that I have been guilty of it myself. I don't believe that it's right because we never really know what the circumstance is for someone. All I wish is that the person will experience some grace in their life. If these girls are choosing to walk a hard road, then I hope that there will be at least one person in their life that will show them God's grace. Because Lord knows I have needed it at times in my life.

Anywho, I just needed to rant a little about all of this. Issues like this hit deep down inside me and I need to share my feelings and my opinions. I hope that these girls find deep satisfaction outside of having children and that their lives are full and complete no matter what they choose to do.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Lagging Behind

I try to keep on top of things as best I can, but sometimes things just slip my mind and it can be a long time till it finds it's way back in there. For instance, a dentist appointment. The last time I had my teeth cleaned was two years's supposed to be every six months. Therefore, I'm already three behind and I'm about to be four. How can I not remember to do this?

Yesterday I finally got new glasses. In the course of moving for the fourth time last year I lost my sole pair. I rarely wore them so it doesn't surprise me. For a YEAR I have needed new glasses! So how does something so important and necessary like that take a stroll out of my brain?

I think the reason we forget to do these things is because they are so important. We remember to do little things more often because we face them on a day to day, week to week basis. The big things take time and effort. To set up a doctor's appointment you have to sit at the phone and try to get through for twenty minutes (at least for mine you do). Then you have to mark it on your calender, in your daytimer, on a post it note at work to make sure you book that time's a lot to do. I feel that this is the reason we forget to do those things. Remembering to pick up cheese at the grocery store for this weekend's mac and cheese themed dinner party is a lot easier to remember because it is so near in the future.

I'm no research scientist and maybe it's just me, but I have a lot of friends like this! Maybe we group! I know some people are adamant about those things and make sure to have their dentist appointment every six months and their doctor appointment booked a year in advance. Hopefully one day I will remember to stay on top of those things, but till then, I'll tell myself that two years between dentist appointments really can't be THAT bad...right?

Friday, June 6, 2008

C.S. Lewis Nailed It

I have always viewed C.S. Lewis as a very wise man. He seemed to have a very real relationship with God. By that I mean, it wasn't filled with pressure to prove outwardly his love for his Lord. He lived a simple life and allowed his faith to be simple. The original quote that inspired this song is this: "If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world."

C.S. Lewis Song
by Brooke Fraser

If I find in myself desires nothing in this world can satisfy,
I can only conclude that I was not made for here.
If the flesh that I fight is at best only light and momentary,
Then of course I'll feel nude when to where I'm destined I'm compared.

Speak to me in the light of the dawn
Mercy comes with the morning
I will sigh and with all creation groan as I wait for hope to come for me

Am I lost or just less found? On the straight or on the roundabout of the wrong way?
Is this a soul that stirs in me, is it breaking free, wanting to come alive?
'Cause my comfort would prefer for me to be numb
And avoid the impending birth of who I was born to become

For we, we are not long here
Our time is but a breath, so we better breathe it
And I, I was made to live, I was made to love, I was made to know You
Hope is coming for me
Hope, He's coming

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Lonely Days

Do you ever have lonely days? Days where nobody can fill that empty feeling inside you? Days when it feels like no one in the world sees you or acknowledges your presence? Sometimes these days can even make me feel sad; almost melancholy.

Whenever I stop to think about the fact that I am having a day like this I am reminded of an Amy Grant song*. It goes:

I love a lonely day
It makes me think of You
All alone, I can easily find Your love
I love a lonely day
It chases me to You
It clears my heart
Lets my very best part shine through
It's You

Most of the time on days like this I do start to think about God. I can't help it most of the time. It seems to be something that comes naturally. I don't know if it is like that for everyone but I have always found it easy to set my thoughts on Him. I have to admit that sometimes it can be a little uncomfortable. I mentioned in an earlier post that I can find it hard to express my feelings and that is no exception when it comes to my conversations with God.

When I start talking with Him I have no idea what He is going to say and sometimes that can unnerve me. I find it to be a gratifying challenge to open up to Him, though. For a moment my mind is immersed in thoughts of Him and not myself. I start to talk to Him about all of the things that are good in my life; my family, friends, a place to live, my puppy. And without realising it I have freed my heart of its loneliness. My God and I have become unified once again.

Anywho, I was just having one of those days today. If you find yourself feeling lonely challenge yourself to set your thoughts on Christ. I promise you that it will ease that feeling.

*I Love a Lonely Day
by Amy Grant