Monthly Archives: November 2013

I Used to Dance

A friend of mine has recently done a very wonderful, yet very brave thing. He openly admitted he has recently been struggling with depression. Kudos to you friend. Not an easy thing to bring to the forefront. Most of us prefer to stay in denial.

Crohn’s Disease has taken its toll on me, but depression was one of the areas I refused to allow it to take me. But it did. So I did the only thing I knew I could do, deny it. It wasn’t easy to see at the time and I’ll admit, it is still a struggle for me. I’m not a sit on the sidelines kind of person. I’ve always been right in the middle of stuff enjoying life to the fullest. Being sidelined by a disease has been attacking me at the very core of who I am and who I always thought I was.

A patient God and a very loving husband and family have been going through this with me. Karl is actually glad that I’m finally admitting how much I had struggled during some of my lowest points with all that Crohn’s has taken from me. The best way I fight back? Finding every single way I can enjoy life to the fullest again – no matter what others think. I suppose it is best summed up in my thoughts that I shared with my friend.

When a child hears a happy tune – they giggle and dance for joy. When they get a favorite toy – expressions of happiness unlimited. When they see someone hurting they are ready to give all – immediately. Being an adult really sucks because so many people tell you to grow up. But I was much happier when I giggled and danced and gave all I had.

Crohn’s still gives me bad days, but I’m determined to giggle, dance and give like a little child, because life was meant to be lived happy and abundantly!

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Perfect Country

Everything has to be done in a certain way and there is always only one way to do it that is right. Getting the job done isn’t important. Getting all the details perfect first and doing it right (even if it’s late) is of most importance. Yes, my oldest son resides in Perfect Country. I, on the other hand, reside equally in Fun and Control countries. This really messes with Michael’s favorite vacation spot – Peace Country. I wouldn’t know much about it as I rarely visit there.

So what happens when I need something done a particular way? I humbly admit that I will get it done. That’s what control country residents do, but it may not be as precise as the job requires. I don’t ask my daughter to do it. She lives in Fun and Control countries as well. The request is made to Michael. Here, perfect country, please cut this into many pieces all exactly the same size with no crumbs. And he gets the job done, precisely.

Learning where our kids function best, what countries they are from, has helped us tremendously in knowing how to connect with them and knowing how to draw out their strengths. It seems a far more regular occurrence for parents (and teachers) to expect all children to behave in a certain way and move around in our world in only that one way. What a blessing we miss when we fail to see who they really are. What a blessing we miss in being able to focus them on their strengths and applaud them for a job well done!

Take the time to study your children. If you need some help, visit the Flag Page website where you will find more about the four countries: Fun, Control, Perfect and Peace. You can find it at http://www.flagpagetest.com.

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The Grace Covenants (Yes, plural)

Prosperity Gospel.

These words can frustrate a sincere preacher of the Word faster than my psychotic relative’s mood can change (actually, I have more than one psychotic relative, but that’s just my opinion). Sure everyone is going to sign up for your religion because all you have to do is pray to God and the blessings come!

Want a shocker? That’s the Old Covenant. Now unless you aren’t familiar with all this Christianese, let me explain as best I can. God called a people to be His special people. He would give them His precepts and decrees and He would, by His grace, live out these precepts and decrees in the lives of His people. They would serve Him and He would bless them so much that other nations would come running – wanting to know about Israel’s God. That was God’s first plan of using one people to draw all others to Himself. The Old Covenant.

The funny part is, there are many Christians today who don’t want to have anything to do with God’s precepts and decrees. After all – they claim – those were nailed to the cross. We want the new covenant. We shouldn’t have to keep some outdated law. We’re post modern! Okay, fine, take the second covenant. You know the one where Jesus says, take up your cross daily and follow Me. Heard of that one? Kind of flies in the face of that fake prosperity gospel, doesn’t it?

So we have a bunch of folks out there that want to party like the 1st Covenant and not have to worry about the rules like in their version of the 2nd Covenant. Pretty crazy, right? What am I saying? God tried it the blessings way first. He tried to reach us in the pocket book. What did we do? The Bible says God’s followers began to think all these blessings were their own doing and sometimes even attributed them to other gods. So the blessings were taken away. God’s people repented and got back in line. The blessings came back. Over and over again God dealt mercifully with this stubborn people. That’s the Old Covenant.

The New Covenant? Since God’s people wouldn’t stay on the blessings train, He brought out good works, self-sacrifice and service. Die daily to self and follow Me. You won’t have the blessings of this life, but you will have the assurance of the life to come. Others will see your good works and glorify God in heaven. It won’t be untold riches now attracting the heathens into our ranks, it’s our good works of selflessness.

Here’s the amazing part – it’s still the same thing. It’s still grace. We can’t die to self daily and serve others any more than we could keep every decree and precept in the Bible on our own. It has always been and always will be by God’s grace. Folks before the cross had to have faith in what God said He would do and those of us after must have faith that what God did is enough to cover our sins. Either covenant, either way, it’s still saved by grace through faith.

 

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The 11th Hour

It wasn’t called World War I, until after World War II. Before then it had simply been called what it was, “The Great War.” It was a costly war around the globe. Nothing like it had been seen before and all hoped that nothing like it would ever be seen again. So on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the war was officially ended.

Here in the United States, this Armistice Day became a federal holiday. Eventually it became what is known today as Veteran’s Day. So today we proudly honor our veterans and thank them for all they have sacrificed for our country.

The treated was signed with great thought put into every detail of the ceremony. This was a war to end all wars, so naturally the ceremony to end such a war had to be the ceremony to end all ceremonies. But we didn’t pay attention.

The Great War is now known as World War I, because we didn’t enforce the requirements of the treaty. World domination arose again and many more lives were lost. The atrocities that happened during World War II should keep us awake at night if we ever think we can let our guard down again.

Today we have very few living veterans of World War II, but I hope we will never forget all they have done for us. I hope we never forget the solemnity of the 11th hour. I hope we never allow atrocities and world domination to rear its ugly head again. Thank you veterans! Thank you for doing your part in protecting the freedoms of this great nation. I pray we will support you the most in doing our part to make sure there is never a World War III. We are grateful for our dedicated and devoted soldiers, but we should never treat them flippantly, by allowing war on a global scale to creep up on us again. Let us all remember the importance of the 11th hour. A war to end all wars. A ceremony to end all such ceremonies.

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Underlying

Arthritis. Yuck.

As I continue to engage in this war with Crohn’s Disease, I do end up in battles with arthritis. Crohn’s drops arthritides into the bloodstream and so my Crohnies and I can get Crohn’s induced arthritis. Not fun.

What I learned from my Rheumatologist yesterday is that the Crohn’s ulcers themselves do not have to be active and flaring in order for the arthritis to be active and giving me grief. In other words, the underlying cause of everything doesn’t have to be visibly active in order for some of its spinoffs to be actively attacking my body.

Reality check. I had no clue. I thought it was all or nothing and that I just didn’t have tons of ab pain whenever one of the other Crohn’s symptoms was manifesting itself. Nope. They can creep up at any time, even when the main culprit appears dormant. So right now I’m applying this little nugget to life in general. Hits me like a brick.

How many times have I thought things weren’t so bad because the main thing wasn’t going nuts? How many times have I put up with little relational issues that were stressful and harmful, because I thought the real big relationship killer wasn’t that active right now, so I could handle this other stuff? The reality is that even if the big bad issue isn’t “active” it is still what is feeding and prompting all of the little things.

Time to take a careful look at what is plaguing me. Time to stop jumping from one side issue to the next and focus on correcting the one underlying thing that is spawning it all. This isn’t going to be easy. God give me grace.

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