It was a pivotal time in my life. A time when I could have sold my soul to bitterness. Thankfully, Wyndham's wisdom (and humility) prevailed.
We had been in the ministry for eight years. I was 28 years old and Wyndham was 30. He had been preaching in a traditional type church for three years. We had led campus ministry for the previous five years, but this was his first preaching job. The church was growing, but the leadership was not united. In fact, one of the leaders would stand at the back door after Wyndham came down from the pulpit and pass out negative literature about us to the people who were leaving.
A young married woman recently made a passing comment that's been floating around my mind a lot. I'm finding that happens often during this new stage of parenting. Someone will make an innocent comment and it leads me on a trail to figure out the best way to handle a problem I didn't even know I had.
I have been thinking so much about how to live a life of contentment. In general anymore, I don't envy people who do the things I used to do – exercise, work a full-time job, travel, and all the other things I used to love. I realize I am on the journey I'm on for a purpose. Yet day-to-day contentment and peace can be such a challenge at times.
According to statistics listed by ESPN, Johnny Bench was the all-time best catcher in the history of MLB, and according to Bleacher Report, Roy Karkovice was the best all time defensive catcher in the history of MLB. I am sure there are those who would debate this. However, I want to go on record as saying I have found the best "catcher" of all, both defensive and offensive.
His name is Jehovah, the God of heaven and earth.
Gratitude is so good for our hearts. It reminds us to look past today's temporary troubles to see the big picture of God's everlasting care and concern. It reminds us that life is not as dark as it sometimes feels. It heals our wounds and protects us from bitterness. It reminds us of God's faithfulness in the past, which gives us confidence as we look to the future.
It's been half a year already...
Questions I ask myself:
1. What have I learned so far?
2. What areas of my character have I grown in?
3. How many people have I studied the Bible with?
4. How many women have I helped grow?
5. What's my new favorite thing to cook for my husband and I?
6. What books have I read so far? And am I on track for reading through to Bible as well?
7. What's my plan for the next six months?
I try to keep a spiritual fervour – I do. My husband and I fast, and I'm filled with joy. I prepare meals for guests, I stay up late to study the Bible with someone, I get up early to pray, I run my children to this event or that, and I brush off any feelings of overwhelm. I rejoice in all the blessings God has given me.
As expected, I've had another traumatic hospital experience that's prompted me to write this blog post. I wish that I wrote my best blog posts during times when I'm on the upswing in my faith and filled with overwhelming hope and good news; but if I've learned anything over the last four years as a quadriplegic, the hardest times have been the most fruitful times in terms of my spiritual growth.
I remember the day well. I wore a homemade dress—gold on the bottom, black and gold plaid on the top. I felt such a sense of relief as I walked down to the river to be baptized, knowing I would walk back out with my sins forgiven. I wondered what it would "feel" like to have God's spirit in me. That was 50 years ago — June 22, 1967.
I have a friend who has a habit of saying a certain phrase almost every time she prays publicly. It goes something like this: "Father God, I thank you that you stoop down to help me." Or, she might say." I thank you that you bend down to pay attention to me."