Monday, June 22, 2009

When the storms come

The past week has been stormy. Not the exciting, gives-me-delicious-shivers type of thunderstorms outside, but the emotional storms within. Work was stressful. My hormonal workup blood draw is coming up this week. I miss Grant. My dad's job is unstable.

And my friend at work was diagnosed with melanoma.

I'll never forget last Thursday morning when she first heard the news. The cardiology girls gathered around her, sharing tears and hugs and heartache. A million thoughts running through our heads and yet not knowing what to think at all. The fears and the questions. The what if's and the why's.

On Sunday at church, I listened as the Gospel of Mark was read, chapter 4, verses 35-41. The Apostles on the storm-rocked boat...fearful, questioning. Wondering about the outcome.

So they went to Jesus.

I love the fact that He wasn't worried about the storm. That the wind and the crashing sea were nothing that He couldn't handle, nothing unexpected or surprising. Yet He cared about His followers, knew their fear...

And calmed the storm.

My friend had an appointment today with her doctor. He was reassuring and encouraging. The lesion is so unusual that it's possible it isn't melanoma after all. She will still have to undergo testing, but there is hope.

I know that the Lord is close when storms rage in our lives. I know that even when it may seem like He is sleeping, He is very much aware of what is going on. He knows our fears and our questions, our hopes and our hurts. When we come to Him, He will either help us weather the difficulties--or He will calm the storm.

Because He is the one "even the wind and the sea obey."

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Summer Fun at Cedar Point

Waiting in line for the Top Thrill Dragster...note how well our happy, carefree smiles mask the fear beneath...

120mph is just a little fast for me...

My brothers and me...with the Power Tower looming behind us

Paying time at the old western jail

Let's try a gentle coaster now, shall we? These were my last moments with those nifty, blue-rimmed $1 sunglasses-- someone stole them while I waited in line for the next ride. Peter thinks I am better off without them. And maybe he's right as I look at this picture...

Ah, summertime memories.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Thoughts from Jeremiah

I've read it over and over and over again. In the morning on the way to work. Driving home from an appointment with my doctor. When I'm lonely and wishing Grant was there driving instead of me.

And it speaks to my heart and mind every time.

I first read Jeremiah 17:7-8 during the season of Lent. It was in a devotional I was using and the words were just what I needed that day. I tore the page out (don't worry, the devotional was just for 2009!) and posted it on the dashboard in my car to remind me of God's promises in that passage.

And now I realize the words weren't just what I needed that day...but words that I need every day.

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord

Ah, that word 'trust.' Such a difficult thing for us as humans, whether it be trust in one other or trust in the One above. Why is that? Are we afraid that to trust another means to become vulnerable, to risk our well-being (and fragile emotions!) to someone besides ourselves? Yet despite what it seems, to surrender that control to the Lord, to humbly admit we can't do it on our own, brings such peace--and blessings, as the verse says.

Whose hope is the Lord

Hope is one of my favourite words. The true meaning of it is so deep, so rich. Hope brings meaning and purpose to life. To hope means to hold on to the belief that good things are coming, that God has a good plan even if it's not like our plan.

He is like the tree planted besides the waters, that stretches out its roots to the stream

When I choose to trust in the Lord and let Him be my hope, I am stretching out my roots to His waters of grace, quenching my thirsty soul.

It fears not the heat when it comes, its leaves stay green

Trust and hope dispel fear. When we place our trust in God, not in a certain outcome, we know that no matter what happens, He is still God our Father with a good plan for His children. When the heat of difficulties come, we can withstand the fire and come out with new growth.

In the year of drought it shows no distress, but still bears fruit.

In times of waiting or even in times when I see nothing coming of my efforts to become who I want to be, I can wait patiently. I can continue to serve the Lord the best I am able, trusting He is working in my life quietly, and that someday I will see the fruits of this season.

-Jeremiah 17:7-8