Monday, April 26, 2010

The importance of family connectedness

Here is an excerpt from a book I am reading called "The Dance of Intimacy" by Harriet G. Lerner, Ph.D. I have found the book to be very enlightening and helpful in my journey toward improving my levels of "connectedness".

“The ability to stay responsibly connected to family members, and to define a solid self in this arena, helps us to bring a more solid self to other intimate relationships. When family relationships have been especially painful and when there are cutoffs in the previous generations, maintaining connectedness is not easy. But distance or cutoff from family members is always a trade-off. The plus is that we avoid the strong uncomfortable feelings that contact with certain family members inevitably evokes. The costs are less tangible but no less dear. Family connectedness, even when these relationships are anxious and difficult, is a necessary prerequisite to conducting one’s own intimate relationships free from serious symptoms over time and free from excessive anxiety and reactivity. The more we manage intensity by cutting off from members of our own kinship group (extended family included), the more we bring that intensity into other relationships, especially into those with children, if we have them. In some situations it can take years to figure out how to reconnect with a particular family member, but if we can slowly move in this direction rather than in the direction of more cutoff, there are benefits to the self and the generations to come.” (Learner, 1989) p.98
Learner, H.G., & (1989). The Dance of intimacy. New York, NY: Harper & Row.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The importance of attitude by Chuck Swindoll

"The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude to me is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill ... The remarkable thing is you have a choice every day regarding the attitude you will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past...we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is ten percent what happens to me and ninety percent how I react to it.  (Amen!) And so it is with you. You are in charge of your attitude."

Chuck Swindoll

I'm Speechless by Avalon

Some can write a sonnet to describe the silvery words
The rising and the setting of the sun
Some can paint a picture in shades of vibrant color
It almost looks like heaven when they’re done

Lord when I try to speak from my heart
I don’t know where to start

When it comes to You I’m speechless
Nothing holds a candle to the wonder of Your love
I’m amazed by Your grace, Your forgiving embrace
And I’m finding words could never be enough
I’m speechless

I’ve tried to write the song
I’ve searched my heart for phrases
But they only catch a glimpse of all You are
If I lived a thousand lifetimes
I’d never come close to saying
Enough about the hope that I found in Your arms

Cause when I try to speak from my heart
I don’t know where to start

When it comes to You I’m speechless
Nothing holds a candle to the wonder of Your love
I’m amazed by Your grace, Your forgiving embrace
And I’m finding words could never be enough
I’m speechless

And when I see the setting of the sun
I can’t find the words, there’ll never be enough
I’m speechless, speechless at the wonders of Your love

When it comes to You I’m speechless
Nothing holds a candle to the wonder of Your love
I’m amazed by Your grace, Your forgiving embrace
And I’m finding words could never be enough
I’m speechless

When it comes to You, I’m speechless
Nothing, no one, compares to Your love
I’m amazed by Your grace, Your forgiving embrace
Ooh, I’m finding words could never be enough
I’m finding words could never be enough
I’m speechless, I’m speechless

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Before the Morning by Josh Wilson

Do you wonder why you have to
Feel the things that hurt you
If there’s a God who loves you where is He now

Maybe there are things you can’t see
And all those things are happening
To bring a better ending

Someday somehow you’ll see you’ll see

Would you dare would you dare to believe
That you still have a reason to sing
Cause the pain that you’ve been feeling
It can’t compare to the joy that’s coming
So hold on you gotta wait for the light
Press on and just fight the good fight
Cause the pain that you’ve been feeling
It’s just the dark before the morning

My friend you know how this all ends
You know where you’re going
You just don’t know how you’ll get there
So say a prayer

And hold on cause there’s good for those who love God
But life is not a snapshot
It might take a little time but you’ll see the bigger picture

Once you feel the weight of glory
All your pain will fade to memory

It’s just the hurt before the healing
Oh the pain that you’ve been feeling
It’s just the dark before the morning

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Lord I'm Amazed by You ...

YOU ABSOLUTELY WILL NOT BELIEVE THIS ... I know I still can't! This is just further proof that God has a purpose in everything that happens in our lives. I was totally blown away today by God's goodness in my life.

The story begins the day, with the help of our family, we cleaned out our house from the flood. Everyone was throwing things away that were soaked by the flood waters or that could not be salvaged. I remember our son Andy looking at me with a metal box and saying "This looks like some keepsakes but all these letters are ruined anyway, you want to keep it?" And I specifically recall saying, "No, throw it out."

Later, as I looked at the huge pile of furniture and household belongings on our front lawn, I remember thinking, I hope that wasn't our love letters from before we married that we threw out in the pile. I could not bear to think of them being so exposed to the world, even if the ink on each page was smeared beyond recognition. Well, as we sorted through the items that were salvaged over the next few months and after finally moving into our new house, I still kept thinking ... "God, you know what happened to those love letters and if you wanted to, you could keep them safe and return them to me one day." I prayed that the "one day" would come but it never did and I eventually lost all hope.

Now, I used to keep lots of prayer journals and Bible study journals and saved everything I had written over the years. Often I wondered what my children would think if I died and they were to read the personal things I had written. But I could never bear to part with them. When the flood came, God took care of most of it for me. Most of what I had written was destroyed. I did keep a journal during Hurricane Rita and took it with me when we evacuated for Hurricane Ike and read it along the way and was reminded of God's goodness in our lives after Rita. I remember thinking, it will never be like that this time. Little did I know that we would end up losing our home, church, everything and have to start all over again.

Then after the fire, I started my blog and started writing again. I found it to be very "theraputic" for me during one of the lowest points in my life. It was as if I thought, this is somewhere safe to put my thoughts where no flood or fire can touch them. I realized over time that losing the things I had recorded and written and the family pictures that meant so much to me, felt like losing a part of myself. I even wrote about this very subject a couple of weeks ago on my blog on March 23 in a post entitled "Accept the Good".

Over the past few months I have been seeking to reconnect with my extended family and you will never believe what happened. I was able to visit by phone with my aunt and one of my cousins this past week. My cousin asked me about a Bible that belonged to our grandmother that she thought that I had. I told her that I did not remember having it but my memory is not that good and with the flood and the fire, I really had no idea if the Bible had been destroyed or not. But I agreed that I would look for it.

So after looking everywhere last night here at the house, I asked Jack to take me over to the storage buildings that are at the old house and we start looking through boxes for the Bible. We didn't find the Bible, but I did find a box full of pictures and said "Let's take that back home with us." When we got home I started rummaging through the pictures, and was SO SURPRISED to find every letter that I had written to Jack before we married !!! I did not find the ones he wrote to me, they must have been in the box that Andy threw away. But, it was very significant to me that the letters God returned to me were the very letters that I (capital I!) had written. For me, it was like finding a piece of myself that had been lost.

Besides the letters, I also found a framed 8x10 of our wedding picture and newspaper clippings from 1945 - 1946 of my parent's wedding announcement and an account of when my dad was wounded in Germany during WWII !!

I cannot begin to tell you how good it felt and the tears came pouring! No one, not even Jack can understand just how much it meant to me. Of course I sat down and read every one. God is so awesome!

And then the way it all happened and God's timing is so perfect too! The letters were there all along, but God knew that I needed to work through some things and He needed to prepare my heart so that He could remind me of just how much He really loves me. He really does want to give us the desires of our heart, but He first wants us to desire Him above all. Psalm 37:4 says "Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart." Isn't God good !!!

As the song goes ... Lord I'm amazed by You and how you love me.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

More Like Fallin' in Love by Jason Gray


Give me rules
I will break them
Give me lines
I will cross them
I need more than a truth to believe
I need a truth that lives, moves, and breathes
To sweep me off my feet
It ought to be

More like falling in love
Than something to believe in
More like losing my heart
Than giving my allegiance
Caught up, called out
Come take a look at me now
It's like I'm falling, oh
It's like I'm falling in love

Give me words
I'll misuse them
Obligations
I'll misplace them
'Cause all religion ever made of me
Was just a sinner with a stone tied to my feet
It never set me free
It's gotta be

More like falling in love
Than something to believe in
More like losing my heart
Than giving my allegiance
Caught up, called out
Come take a look at me now
It's like I'm falling, oh
It's like I'm falling in love

...It's like I'm falling in love, love, love
Deeper and deeper
It was love that made
Me a believer
In more than a name, a faith, a creed
Falling in love with Jesus brought the change in me

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

More Beautiful You by Jonny Diaz


Little girl fourteen flipping through a magazine
Says she wants to look that way
But her hair isn't straight her body isn't fake
And she's always felt overweight
Well little girl fourteen I wish that you could see
That beauty is within your heart
And you were made with such care
your skin your body and your hair
Are perfect just the way they are

There could never be a more beautiful you
Don't buy the lies disguises and hoops they make you jump through
You were made to fill a purpose that only you could do
So there could never be a more beautiful you

Little girl twenty-one the things that you've already done
Anything to get ahead
And you say you've got a man but he's got another plan
Only wants what you will do instead
Well little girl twenty-one you never thought that this would come
You starve yourself to play the part
But I can promise you there's a man whose love is true
And he'll treat you like the jewel you are

There could never be a more beautiful you
Don't buy the lies disguises and hoops they make you jump through
You were made to fill a purpose that only you could do
So there could never be a more beautiful you

So turn around you're not too far
To back away be who you are
To change your path go another way
It's not too late you can be saved
If you feel depressed with past regrets
The shameful nights hope to forget
Can disappear they can all be washed away
By the one who's strong can right your wrongs
Can rid your fears dry all your tears
And change the way you look at this big world
He will take your dark distorted view
And with His light He will show you truth
And again you'll see through the eyes of a little girl

There could never be a more beautiful you
Don't buy the lies disguises and hoops they make you jump through
You were made to fill a purpose that only you could do
So there could never be a more beautiful you

Monday, April 5, 2010

Taking Risks

I learned something about myself recently .... I learned that I am a risk-taker. Some prefer to call it an explorer or adventure seeker. Now there are certain things in which I don't enjoy taking risks. Take roller-coasters for instance. I have ridden the best of them, but it seems that the older I get, I prefer not to spend my time seeing my life flash before my eyes.

I always knew that my father was a risk-taker. He was a paratrooper in the armed services and earned the purple heart medal. He had an enterprenuerial spirit and owned his own business. He also taught himself to waterski although he never learned to swim. One would think that swimming would be a pre-requisite to waterskiing, maybe not. My brother is also an adverturer / explorer. He enjoys traveling the world and has a plan to see the 8 wonders of the world before he dies.  Now he's only 63 so this is a lifelong goal he should be able to accomplish.

My grandfather died when I was about 5 yrs old,

Life on God's Terms ... from The Message

"With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ's being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death.

God went for the jugular when he sent his own Son. He didn't deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In his Son, Jesus, he personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all. The law code, weakened as it always was by fractured human nature, could never have done that.

Friday, April 2, 2010

You're the One by Chris and Conrad


Time falls off the face of the earth
Every moment feels just like the first time, you
You found me
And the heavy things that were holding me down
You carried away and I seem to be weightless now
I'm weightless now

(Chorus:)
Theres nothing left to say
Nothing left to do
Nothing left to prove
I'm in love with You
You're the one
You're the one
So tell me can you see what you mean to me
That you'll never leave
I'm a fool for you
You're the one
You're the one

The world sure had me trapped under ice
Yeah I once was numb
But now I'm so alive
I'm so alive
Now I dont wanna take
One more breath
Without you here
To share it with
It's becoming clear
I cant live without you
Oh no

Theres nothing left to say
Nothing left to do
Nothing left to prove
I'm in love with You
You're the one
You're the one
So tell me can you see what you mean to me
That you'll never leave
I'm a fool for you
You're the one
You're the one

Oh and I wont see one more sunrise
Without you here with me

Theres nothing left to say
Nothing left to do
Nothing left to prove
I'm in love with You
You're the one
You're the one
So tell me can you see what you mean to me
That you'll never leave
I'm a fool for you
You're the one
You're the one