Monday, April 29, 2013

To the Faithful,

This past weekend, I heard a homily that really spoke to me but also left me with a heavy heart.  It was based on the readings of Acts 14:21-27, Revelation 21:1-5 and John 13:31-35.  I have put the readings below if you would like to read them.
You see, the preacher made a wonderful connection between all the readings.  When we are hurt, we should help and love the one who is hurting us.  “Love thy enemy.”  With all that has been going on in the world lately, it really has a great message.  It will not be easy.  Not in the slightest.  As I listened to him give such a wonderful homily, I was reminded of all that has been going on in my life.  I will not yet go into the details as it’s such a personal matter and I haven’t figured out a way to talk about it.  But as I sat there listening to him tell us how to forgive those who have and will hurt and wrong us, I couldn’t help but think, “But what if it’s God who is the one doing the hurting?”  Yup.  That’s how I feel.  I could deal if it was a person right in front of me.  What do you do when it’s God?  What do you do when you feel that He has turned His back? 
So much has happened in my life over the last 3-5 years.  I have been hurt by several people who you’d never want to be hurt by.  And I relied on Him to get through.  I even rationalized that He wanted me to do that.  To learn not to trust things or people of this world, but to rely on Him.  But over the last 18 months, and especially since the beginning of this year, I feel like He could change things, He could help me.  But, He hasn’t.  He sits back silently while I sit, trying to live a life for Him, for His glory, and I feel lost.  I cry.  I cry.  I cry.  I am hurting.  I have felt hurt before, really bad hurt.  But this, this lack of being near me, of feeling like He’s no longer there, like He doesn’t care, is a hurt that no one should feel.  For the first time in my life, I felt I knew what my purpose was in this world.  He gave that to me of this I’m sure.  So why, why would He leave me and not help me fulfill that purpose?
Don’t get me wrong, I still have faith in Him.  That doesn’t change.  But that is also why I am so hurt.  He loves all of us.  He is there for everyone.  Then why is He hurting me so? 
I have been listening to “Manifesto” by The City Harmonic this morning.  I do believe in Him.  Just sitting here so undeniably hurt.

Acts 14:21-27
The Return to Antioch in Syria

21 After they had proclaimed the good news to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, then on to Iconium and Antioch. 22 There they strengthened the souls of the disciples and encouraged them to continue in the faith, saying, “It is through many persecutions that we must enter the kingdom of God.” 23 And after they had appointed elders for them in each church, with prayer and fasting they entrusted them to the Lord in whom they had come to believe.
24 Then they passed through Pisidia and came to Pamphylia. 25 When they had spoken the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia. 26 From there they sailed back to Antioch, where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work that they had completed. 27 When they arrived, they called the church together and related all that God had done with them, and how he had opened a door of faith for the Gentiles.
Revelation 21:1-5

The New Heaven and the New Earth

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,

“See, the home of God is among mortals.
He will dwell with them;
they will be his peoples,
and God himself will be with them;
he will wipe every tear from their eyes.

Death will be no more;
mourning and crying and pain will be no more,
for the first things have passed away.”
And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

John 13:31-35

The New Commandment


31 When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. 32 If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. 33 Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ 34 I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.
35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Monday, April 22, 2013

To my fellow Earth Day enthusiasts,

Today is Earth Day and although I’m not a “tree hugger,” I have to admit to becoming more and more of one.  You see, I’ve literally worked next to a landfill for the better part of 5 years.  Some days the stench is bad, it seems to get into the building.  And when I go on mid-day walks, the sounds of trucks dumping more trash and the smell just gets me feeling a little sad.  What are we doing to the planet and what will our future generations inherit from all this?  Sometimes, I feel as though the people in the 1800’s had it right.  They tried to use everything that they could.
So, you ask, why say all this. Well, one of the areas we try very hard on to reduce our “garbage” is to cloth diaper our child.  I know, some people think us crazy or hippy, but we’ve truly enjoyed cloth diapering our daughter.  Now that we’re heading into the potty training phase (yippee on a no accident weekend), I get a little nostalgic and sad that I no longer have a baby in a cloth bum.  We don’t know if we’ll have any more children (subject for a future post potentially)and it was fun picking out what diaper she would wear and when she got older, her requesting which one she’d like to wear.
It has been fun researching what to put her in at night the last couple of months.  You see, she’s a heavy wetter and I wasn’t sure what, if any, cloth diaper would be able to contain her night issues.  We ended up putting a disposable diaper on her for the better part of a year at night because we were having so many issues.  Well, now, I have found two great solutions for the heavy wetter cloth diaper issue!!!  One diaper find was the Kawaii Overnight Diapers.  They are so very soft and absorb a TON.  They are not American made (I really try to stick with American diapers) but, I was desperate and had to find something.  You can only wash sheets so many nights in a row before going insane.  (smile)  A second diaper solution was the GMD prefolds.  When I started cloth diapering, I wanted to stay away from these as they intimidated me.  They seemed like they were like the ones my mom had me in back in the day and I heard all those horror stories.  However, with a cover, they are the most adsorbent solution I have found!  We purchased the XL Toddler in Organic Unbleached Cotton and could not be happier.  She knows she’s wet in the morning, and believe it or not, she still has room if she has a “morning accident!”  What a great treat!
If you have any more questions on cloth diapering and/or just are curious, please feel free to ask!  We love our cloth diaper experience and hope we get to do it again! (smile)
Happy Earth Day!  Reduce your carbon footprint by starting off small!  That's what we did and we're loving every minute of it.  (smile)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

To parents with children in carseats,

Carseats.  Not much to say about this.  HA!  So many people have their theories and so many many children are strapped in their carseats in ways that could be so much safer.  I'm not going to sit and discuss all the issues and problems and carseats that are out there.  I will however post a picture.  I think this picture best describes the type of carseat children should be in.  We kept Miss E rear facing until 2 years old, as is the recommended, and I know so many more people who keep their children rear facing longer.  This is just to help people to see what type of carseat their child should be in and at what age.  Like the page I first saw this on, I agree that this graphic should be posted wherever carseats are sold!

Just wanting people to stay informed!  Have a great Tuesday!