Friday, June 25, 2010

When TJ was first getting into gaming systems he had a game on his computer where he could build a theme park. He created roller coasters, decided where to place them, designed the know, all the things that go into great theme parks. Then, when his theme park was finally ready he would open the gates and let the people in.

He'd watch to see how they were liking the park (he could scroll over their heads and see what they were thinking). If anyone was having a negative thought, and if they were headed out of the park, TJ would intercept them and put them in the back of the park to make sure they would never get out. Sometimes he even tried to drown them in the duck ponds.
We chuckled at his strategy. The way he figured it, if they were having a bad time and they left the park they would tell others and his numbers would go down and if his numbers went down he wouldn't make millions of dollars.

Smart kid!

Only, I'm not having too much fun in this park, and it feels like God's picking me up and putting me in the very back. And that wouldn't be so bad if He were letting me float the days away on the little boat ride, but NO! I'm on the whirly thingy that makes you throw up when you finally get off. Maybe if I PROMISE not to tell everyone how awful this part of His park is He'll let me out!!


You know I'm kidding. The reality is that we live on a battlefield, not in a theme park. And sometimes we find ourselves in the "thick of it." We have a formidable foe (after all He had the audacity to take on the heavenly host and God Himself)---and even though he's out for blood (and nicks me at times) He will never win. I'll die on this field if I have to--singing "Victory in Jesus" while I go down.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Scream machines, Mind Benders and ...

So, life is full of ups and downs. But they all stay within certain limits. It's like the "scream machine" at Six Flags over Georgia. When I was a teenager we went there and stood in line for HOURS just to experience the thrill. I knew the roller coaster was going to take me up and down ridiculous hills, and around sharp curves I could see it all from the 2 hour line I was waiting in. I knew that even though it was going to take me high, shove me down and jerk me about--in about a minute and a half I'd get off and go recover on the antique merry go round.

When Dr. Caudill sat on the gurney beside me, wrapped his arm around me and said, "You've got cancer" I wept. Now, if you've walked that journey with me--you know that. I wept for several reasons--the first being because of the "C" word...but the grief that I felt had more to do with the end of my fairy tale life than it had to do with cancer. I sensed that the life I knew had just ended. And for that I grieved. Of course my grief soon turned to great faith, deep peace and almost laughter in the "pure joy" of the cancer journey. And when it was over I was just beginning to get my old life back. The "scream machine" one--with it's break-neck speed, highs and lows, sharp curves and abrupt stops.

God has been good to me! I've enjoyed my life...very much--even if it has made me a bit woozy at times. :) But, with this new twist I'm forced to realize that the grieving I felt that day was there because of what was coming next. God knew--and His Spirit that lives in me knew. Thankfully I was on a "need to know" basis and He didn't think I needed to know more then.

Just suffice it to say I was right to grieve. My fairy tale life is definitely over. And now, I'm fastened tightly in a metal box with a padded shoulder bar hooked over me and secured at my waist. But, unlike the "scream machine" I've got no idea where this ride's taking me. The hills keep getting higher, the speed faster and the curves sharper. It's more like the "mind bender" (another ride at Six Flags that includes loopty loops and was added a fews years later). Only there's no way to see where I'm headed or how long it will last. Not even a little bit (like space mountain at Disney world where eventually your eyes adjust to the dark and make out the shapes in the twinkly lights).

It's certainly NOT the "coaster" I know. Nor the one I stood in line for hours to enjoy. And I don't necessarily "feel Him" with me but I KNOW that God is still the Master of the Ride.

"For You are great and do marvelous deeds You alone are God." Psalm 86:10

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

To my blogging friends

When I created this blog I wanted it to be place where I could be utterly honest, and let the rest of the world (or at least the 2 or 3 who might pop in every once in a while) capture an inside glimpse of what life is like in my seat.

When my children were learning to drive--I wrote about it here. When they had their first wreck--I wrote about it here...boyfriends, proms, cancer...I wrote about it here.

But now something has happened that is more painful than cancer and more serious than car wrecks. And I'm not going to write about it here.

So--what do I write about?

How I cry myself to sleep at night? Or wake up at 4:30 in the morning to talk to God about it? I don't really know how to do vague and discreet. But for now it has to be. So...I'll blog a bit--maybe figure a way to share without sharing and invite you into this journey with me.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Excerpt from New Book

Meet Me at the Manger and I'll Lead You to the Cross

“The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth”.

We stood in a semi-circle when we arrived at the opening. Under our feet was a cold dirt floor and we were surrounded by stone walls. The air was cool and damp. The tour guide explained that stables in Jesus’ day were not made out of wood (as they are portrayed in most of our nativity scenes), but that they were carved out of stone. I envisioned this “stable” filled with dirty animals and weary travelers. He then pointed to a gold plate on the floor that marked the (exact) spot where Jesus was born. My imagination carried me back to that first Christmas Eve. I could almost hear the hustle and bustle of people as they crowded into the City of David to be counted in the census. I could imagine the inn keeper looking at Joseph’s desperate face and Mary’s obvious pain. I could almost see Mary double over with the next of a wave of contractions as Joseph rushed to spread blankets on the hard floor.

And then, I stared at that gold plate. And I wondered at the majesty and love of God that would allow His Son to be born into this world. I wondered at the glory of God that would allow His Son to come to us since we were unable to go to Him. I worshipped God in that cave because I knew that had the Word not become flesh and dwelt among us, we could never have the opportunity to even begin to experience His glory. I thanked God for being full of grace and truth.