The dailiness of everything, ways to create and cope, help and heal, learn and live!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Release

Sunday morning I woke up and dragged myself and my boys to Kingdom Community at my church (Sunday School). I got there late and was too embarrassed to go in and interrupt the teacher so I hung outside. I saw our children's minister and began talking to him. Our oldest children just graduated from high school. We started talking about their future plans and how God is leading them. I started tearing up as I told him my fears for my babies. I did not do a good enough job. I failed them in so many areas. I have not prayed for them as I should. I did not make them do things I probably should have made them do, and now, in a few short weeks they will be away from me. And my heart cries.

In my discussion with him, I realized I am scared to death. I did not do right by my children and now they were going to fail at college because of me.

So Monday. I am slogging through this fear. I cannot see beyond it. I am totally captivated and en-mired in it. I accomplish nothing. I do not go to God. As a matter of fact, I start dredging up and making excuses for all of my failures. And I mention that God failed me in my mutterings. He has left me alone to dangle in my miserable little world (of MY creation). A friend texted me and sent me encouraging words from scripture and I ignored them. Instead of paying heed, I buried myself in reading and watching Netflix. I put off thinking at all by filling my mind with something that would keep me from both fear and accomplishing what I needed to. I envisioned things that were unholy and self serving. I did it until the wee hours of the morning. I did not want to lay my head down. I was mentally and physically fatigued to the point of wishing when I closed my eyes, I would not wake up again.

Now - I am not normally a melodramatic person. I truly hate drama. And yet - I reveled in it yesterday. I drummed it up and danced around it. Ridiculous.

I slept. Finally.

This morning my heavenly father - whose mercies are new every morning met me where I was - in the mess I had made in an unfettered mind run amuck. My mind was still and I went downstairs to a pot of coffee that had been made and left for me by my husband. And I sat with it and reached for my devotional book written for moms, and it led me to this scripture:

Romans 5 NIV

I am undone. The Gospel - so simple and so rewarding -  can be so offensive to an independent mind like my own. I think it is all up to me. The Gospel says it is not. I think that if I mess up, that my life and those touched by it will not prosper. The Gospel says that is not true.

My hope lies with a God who sacrificed his Son so that I might live an imperfect yet significant life. This life of struggle is a beautiful thing - when my mind is set correctly. The law which I am so set to follow and do on my own, only points me to Christ in my failure to be able to accomplish it. My "I got this" attitude is a smelly mess and serves no one well. Because honestly, I do not have this. I WANT to have this. I WANT to accomplish and prosper by my own hand. I WANT to be a person who is admired and loved by those accomplishments. But that is not possible. I end up failing and berating myself and utterly miserable.

The Gospel says that I have HOPE in the midst of my sin - my inabilities, my failures, my stubborn refusal to trust.

And the gem that truly makes my heart relax, my mind rest is this:

Romans 5:20b, 21 But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Grace. (the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.)  In spite of my failures, God holds out grace to me and to my children. Does God expect my perfection? My abilities? Even my consistency? No. He knows me. He knows my lack of ability, my inconsistency and my imperfection (vast ) - He sees it and loves me anyway. I cannot comprehend it. It is where I fail to trust him every time.

This morning I am praising God. He has raised me up in the midst of my misery to a new hope and fervor to be faithful to show him and his mercies to my family and to those who are much like me. They will be fine. He will show himself faithful to them, just as he has been to me. I pray they are better at listening and believing than I am. I pray they do not beat their heads against a wall in their attempt to do it all by themselves. But I am afraid they are much like me and will have the same struggles. But God is faithful. They will be fine.

I hope this finds someone and encourages them as it has me. God is gracious in his love toward us. On that we can rely.

God bless and keep you!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Hush Hush Saga - Books 1 - 4



I just finished reading The Hush Hush Saga by Becca Fitzpatrick. Young adult and teen readers will enjoy it.

The books are about a young girl named Nora who recently lost her father. Her mother works leaving her by herself very often. She is 16, a good student and has one very good friend. And a nemesis that plagues her named Marcie. She is in class with a dangerous, dark, very attractive boy that she is wary of. But when he gets placed as her partner for an assignment, she becomes intrigued by him. Of course this eventually leads to a romance that eventually reveals that she has nephilim blood. Nephilim being half angel, half human.

The whole angel thing is a separate and confused from what we traditionally think of angels as being. The archangels are selfish and manipulative. There are also fallen angels that live on Earth and - basically seem to be criminals. Patch - the dark, dangerous boy Nora falls for is a fallen angel. There is enmity between the archangels, fallen angels and the nephilim. Nephilim are considered a mistake and it appears the archangels and the fallen angels in the midst of their own quarreling, agree the nephilim are good for only one thing and that is during the month of Cheshvan they can be possessed by the fallen angels. The reason the fallen angels want to possess the nephilim is because they cannot feel. They sense emotion - but sensation from physical touch is withheld from them. Which means during that month they force the nephilim to swear fealty to them and possess their bodies to obtain sensation. Of course, this causes resentment and anger from the nephilim. There is unrest and the story is about this unrest and how Nora becomes an integral part of solving the problem, or of perpetuating it - you decide.

There is very little value to this book other than entertainment. Nora is a petty, immature - almost bratty at times, only child. She is shallow and really any fortitude she shows comes from - well - really - I don't know where it comes from. She is flat and I found no connection with her at all.

What she needs is what every other insecure teenager - or person in general - needs. Acceptance and love.

"Patch's hands fell on my hips, pulling me close. "Yeah. Need a demonstration?" He kissed me once. Then again, drawing it out with a few inventive maneuvers of his tongue. "I love you". "...He brushed the curls back off my face. "I never picture my life so complete. I never thought I'd have everything I want. You're everything to me Angel [Norah]."

"His words filled my heart to the brim. I loved him in a way I'd never be able to express in words. He was part of me. And I was part of him. Tethered together for the rest of eternity. I leaned in and kissed him. "I just might take you up on your offer...."

There is nothing wrong with needing love, or longing to be loved. I have a problem with it when our kiddos think it is the answer to everything - or that finding someone that loves you and you love back will make life perfect. But of course - everyone loves a happy ending and the girl gets the boy seems to be the one most prefer. (smile) Really the books I love are the ones that show the girl finds her worth in something other than the boy and he appreciates her for what she is...not just for being his.

It is a good story. I wanted to see what happened which led me easily and very quickly from book 1 - book 4. This could have easily been fit into one book though. Which seems to be the bent of the day. Charge $10 a piece for 4 books you would really only be willing to pay $15 for. Easy summer reading...that is my summation of the book. Get it from the library if you can.

Happy Reading Folks!


Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Review: Divergent Series - Veronica Roth

Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Dystopian, Fantasy, Science Fiction


Divergent is about a world that has long since had its World War III and is trying to piece itself back together. A group of people living within walls of a broken down Chicago, where Lake Michigan is all but gone. Five factions - a way of dividing society so it prospers - manage day to day lives. Abnegation is the government. They are selfless and are trusted to make and uphold laws because of their natural ability to deny themselves what they want most. Candor manages law. The Candors are honest to a fault - annoyingly so. So it stands to reason that they handle the law the same way. Amity are the food producers. They are kind and value peace above all things. They are silly and loving and will do whatever they need to in order to avoid conflict. Erudite are smart. They handle technology and science. This faction is where the doctors and the computer techs reside. And then there is Dauntless. They are the ones who guard the city and its people. They are the ones who keep the town safe and look to help those who cannot help themselves when it comes to violence. They are reckless and brave.

When the children of the city turn 16. They are tested for their traits and have to decide which faction suits them. They then go to live in that faction. They can choose to stay in their own, even if they test differently. But if they choose to go to a different faction, they are asked to cleave to their faction. They believe strongly in "faction before family".

Beatrice Prior is a small, colorless girl. She is seemingly timid. She tries to adhere to her Abnegation teachings, but feels she is not worthy of the selfless behavior her faction exhibits. The books are about about her choice and how she deals with it.

There are so many wonderful aspects to this story. Tris Prior is a small heroine that becomes larger than life as her story unfolds. Her small, paleness is outweighed by her ability to take several of her traits and use them. She becomes striking and brave and is strong beyond some of her larger more beautiful cohorts. She is not afraid to be who she is. She grows throughout the books. She is not perfect; She is flawed. Her journey is not easy. She fights her own frailties and flounders a bit. I love this about her.

Four is her trainer and her strong support. He is an amazing character in that he has very few fears. He guards those fears but allows himself to be vulnerable with Tris. His own story unfolds and makes someone seemingly invincible become wonderfully human.

Each faction has merit, but it also has its equal failings. Veronica Roth builds an amazing story around human traits that allows us to see that each person has potential to be their very best or very worst self. Our choices are what propel us to be more than we ever thought: Or end us.


I loved these books. Hated the movies. What's new?

The stories have language and premarital sex. It is not rampant. The kids are little adults. Seem to be much older than they actually are. Tris and Four's relationship is fairly balanced. It is very mature. Parents are present - but are background characters. They are also a mixed bag of good and bad. Some better than others.