Sunday, February 13, 2011

Baby Miranda... and gratitude

     I just finished reading the story of Chad Cole, his wife and baby Miranda.  I cried, hard.  I cannot imagine the devastation of losing your best friend and life companion in an instant, then days later saying goodbye to your newborn baby.  Many people, myself included, would want to give up on life after experiencing such a heart-wrenching series of events.  But the power of prayer is so much bigger than our broken hearts.  This man has been drenched in love and support from thousands, many of whom he has never met.  Through the grace of God, Chad was able to sweetly sing goodbye to his daughter, letting her go quietly into Jesus' arms.  Thanks to the millions of prayers sent up on his behalf Chad is able to remain "clinging to the Rock".
     The power of prayer is unyielding.  God is so much bigger than our emotions, our grief.  He knows each tear that falls and He hears us before we even call out for Him.

     Before reading this emotional story I was feeling sorry for myself.  I was dwelling on life circumstances, wishing we were more financially secure, wishing I felt better, wanting our house to be perfect... I was focusing on things that I wanted changed instead of thanking God for the good He has provided.  My heart was clouded with ungrateful mutterings and envy.  I needed a reminder that my life is full of blessings and the Lord truly does have a plan.

     We may not live in the best house, but we have a roof over our heads and it is "home".  I may not always have the energy or motivation to complete my to-do list, but I have a loving husband who picks up the slack when I'm down.  I lost the "best Grandma in the world" a couple years back, but I have an angel in Heaven awaiting me with open arms.
     I often look at what others have and wish I could trade a little piece of my life for theirs, but why bother?  Everyone has blessings, everyone has their own gifts and weaknesses.  Every one of us is given individual trials, not one life the same as another.  We are all blessed, beautiful and beloved.  In the end we are all the same... loved, beautiful, chosen.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011


     I used to be am an addict.
     At seventeen I started smoking.  Don't ask me why because I truly don't know what prompted me to make that choice.   It was not about being "cool" or fitting in.  I wasn't trying to kill myself or get attention.  I was rebellious and self destructive, trying to grow up in all the wrong ways.  Never did the thought of long-term consequences cross into my diluted mind as I was filling it with chemicals.  I wasn't considering the fact that although I didn't want to be addicted, the chemicals were causing a reaction that would be impossible to duplicate without cigarettes.  The psychological effects also took hold with that very first drag.
     Now, nearly ten years later, the cravings still catch me off guard.  Not every day, not even once a month... but sometimes, when I smell fresh smoke, drink my coffee, have a bad day, or even when a quit smoking ad comes on the television... the irrational and nearly irresistible "need" for that hot nicotine stick takes precedence over any rational thought I may have had.
     Not since 2007 have I given in to the urge.  The cravings are strong but I remind myself that giving in for just a little fix is not worth it.  Not worth the pain I would cause my family, not worth the embarrassment of having to admit my deadly mistake once again.
     I wish I could say the cravings are easy to deal with, simple to ignore, but they are rather intense.  There have been a few times I was so close to caving it frightened me.  Sometimes there doesn't even need to be a specific stresser.

Maybe someday I will be free of my cravings, my nasty addiction.  But then, are alcoholics ever free from their addiction?  Do they ever truly "get over it"?  Does an alcoholic ever stop craving a drink every once in a while?  I think not.  I believe our addictions are always with us, constantly lurking.  We are all humans, every one of us fallen.  Our old nature wants us to give in, make ourselves feel good, take the easy way.  We don't have to give in.  It doesn't matter how strong the urge, how terribly we feel we need something.  Every one of us has a choice to make.  I will continue to make my choice.  I'm sure I will continue to be haunted but I will continue the fight.