Sleep Eludes Me

Listening to every sound around me…my husband snoring, the ticking clock, the melting snow dripping from the roof. My mind is everywhere but not where I want it to be. Unwinding after a long pain filled day is difficult but trying to unwind knowing the love of your life is in constant pain is a whole other beast. 

We never want to see the people we love in pain. 

We pray and beseech God to take away their pain and heal them. But the pain continues, the illness is still there. God does heal and He’s healed us in the past. I have no doubt He will heal yet again…It’s this patience thing I have a problem with. Waiting has always been difficult for me. 

Waiting in lines. 

Waiting in traffic.

Waiting in the doctor’s office. 

Waiting on God. 

Waiting and knowing that one day the healing will come all the while doing what we need to do. 

Our part in the healing process. Yes, praying. Yes, getting anointed. Yes, fasting. Yes, focusing on the joys. Yes, remembering all the miraculous healing God has done for us. Yes, continuing on with life. Yes, putting all our faith and belief in God to do what’s best for us. 

Acting on what we know. 

Faith and patience go hand-in-hand. You can’t have one without the other. 

But in the wee hours of the morning when the house is quiet, you’ll find me praying for God’s intervention in helping my husband be whole again!

FACEBOOK FAITH

I went camping over the Labor Day weekend and my phone died. So I couldn’t be reached or reach out to anyone else. I couldn’t take photos and share my experience with the world. A dead phone can teach you quite a lot about yourself, your connectivity, and your faith. Four days of camping getting reconnected with my friends, my new “family”, God’s wonderful beauty up on Mt. Rainier, and especially reconnected with God.

Untethered to my phone gave me a new freedom, a sense of being I had only had when I didn’t have a cell phone in the first place, only six months ago. This freedom of being untethered also came with questions about my faith, which is something I think about much these days. How much does it really matter if people like what I write, like what I post, comment on what I share? Does it really matter if someone retweets what I tweet?

How much has social media molded and changed our faith? Everywhere we turn our lives are being recorded for the world to see, approve, and comment on. Is it anyone’s business but my own, what color my hair is? Or should I get a tattoo or not (no I’m not getting a tattoo, yes I do think they can be pretty, but I would never get one!) So many people’s faith or lack there-of is molded by what they read, see, or listen to on social media. We tend to look at social media like it’s the Truth.

Facebook Faith

In the book The Hyperlinked Life by Jun Young & David Kinnaman, a good short read, it explains the struggle we as Christians have with being hyperlinked, as the authors put it. They conducted a study of how difficult it is to live the world we have today tethered to social media, or hyperlinked as they put it.

The general findings of our study suggest that Christians grapple with the hyperlinked lifestyle, certainly as much as non-Christians and perhaps, in some cases, more so than non-Christians. This shouldn’t be surprising because the practices of a hyperlinked life are reshaping the spiritual disciplines of Christian faith. A friend shares his concern: “I’m having a hard time doing morning devotions. My first inclination is to reach for my phone and see what’s happening. At church, during the sermon, I use my phone to look up Scripture, but then I end up checking email, sports, news, and all that.”

Do you have Facebook Faith? Do you check in to your Facebook page before you check in with God? Can you turn off your phone during church? Yes, I know that most of us making a living by using their phones, myself included. But there is a time and a place to turn it off, and just ignore the tweets, the likes, and the comments.

As I said earlier, I went four days with no phone, and it was so liberating that when I finally got my phone charged and turned it back on I took all the forms social media . I’d rather have my faith molded by reading and studying God’s word, practicing meditative prayer, and connecting with the people around me on an intimate level. Yes, I’m still on social media but it is limited to my personal laptop, when it’s on.

Untether yourself from social media and you’ll soon realize that life gets less hectic, less stressful and you’ll get your life and your wellness back.

DAY 22: PUZZLED

Have you ever put together a puzzle then looked at it and just took it apart to do again sometime in the future? Our lives are similar to those puzzles but they are never finished. If our lives were finished what would be the point to waking up each morning?

Puzzled Laura

When you take a puzzle out of the box, do you just start putting the pieces together? “No!” You work through a process that makes puzzle building easier. You turn over all the pieces so the design side is up. Then you separate the edge pieces from the rest because if you have the border done it’s easier to to work on the inside.

Our lives are like these pieces. When making a puzzle we try the different pieces to make sure we get the right one. In our lives it would look like this. The border is our family. If we have a solid family life then we can fill the inside easier. But some of us don’t have that solid border or there is a rift in the family. These are times when we need to try every mean possible to bridge that gap with our church family or our friends. When we have people supporting us it’s easier to work on the rest of our lives.

Some puzzles we can finish in a couple of hours. The bigger the puzzle the longer it takes. Our life is that bigger puzzle. Some pieces fit right away some don’t and need to get changed frequently. This comes to every part of our life. Health, education, faith, humor, fitness, wellness, feelings, and careers are just some of the pieces we try to fit together to complete our lives. We taste different foods before eating an entire meal of it. We research health remedies before taking them. Our days are filled with piecing tour lives together that makes sense to us.

My wish for you today: May your days reveal the beautiful pieces of your life!

DAY 16: JOURNEY OF MY HEART

A bit longer than my normal posts, but one that I think you’ll enjoy.

Journey of My Heart

Journey of My Heart

There are many pathways in life. The ones we choose to take and those we do not. There are paths that are well worn, with trampled grass and those without even a single footprint. Which path to take and which to abandon, we ask ourselves this every day with every decision we make. My heart feels the need to make this journey to find the real treasures of life

One such journey has taken me down the Acquisition Avenue. I thought that whoever had the most at the end of this life won a prize. I shopped with wild abandon. There is no prize worth acquiring things you “might someday use,” or clothes you bought in a size you want to wear, but don’t. I bought pictures that were never hung and art that sat in a closet. I was getting such a “good deal” I thought. I spent money I did not have. Acquisition Avenue was not where my treasure was kept, and all the things I acquired that were not needed I gave away.

My GPS unit took me to a bridge that I had not seen before, so I followed the voice and made my way to the Balanced Beam Bridge. This bridge was like no other, there was no traffic waiting to cross it. The beams were shiny and sparkling. Everything looked brand new. I wondered as I slowed down to take in this awesome structure, “What did this bridge connect to?”  “Where did it lead to?”  “Why hadn’t I seen this bridge before?” “Why is it void of traffic?” Then I saw the two red flashing stop signs on both sides of the bridge. I slowed down to a complete stop, and read the small words under the flashing lights, they read, “To get across bridge, middle of the road driving is recommended.” How did this pertain to my life? Is it like this when I go too far to the right I become fanatical about issues? Could it be when I swerve too far to the left I lose my equilibrium? Life is like this Balance Beam Bridge. I need to live in balance, in every situation. I now understand how to get to the other side of the bridge and cannot wait till I can see all the splendor the other side has to offer.

The next road is windy and dark; I have veered around its bends many times before. Depression Drive seems to call my name when trouble rears its ugly head.  It abounds in despair. The bones of faith, hope and love are scattered along its shoulders. This is such a discouraging place. It’s a selfish place. Caring for others on Depression Drive is not allowed because you would feel better when you aren’t  thinking the worst about yourself. I have deleted Depression Drive off the map of my heart journey, since having faith, hope and love leads you out of the darkness.

This brings us to the Faith Freeway. It is paved with prayers. Stepping out on this part of my journey is all about my faith. I ask myself, “Is this faith in myself, or someone or something else?” Some days I ask, “How much faith do I need?” I have to admit that there are those days that I need more faith, in myself, maybe, but most of all in my awesome Creator. Along of the Faith Freeway there are potholes of life that creates a slow down. These are the times I get down, and spend more time on my knees. The only way to make the pavement smooth again is to have that most important conversation of my day, in prayer.

On the left is an off ramp called Liars Lane. How many lies can a person tell? Most people including myself say they don’t lie. Does telling myself something that isn’t true count? Where does the lying stop? Liars Lane is an off ramp that leads to Chaos Circle, Depression Drive, and to anxiety and stress. The phrase “Fake it till you make it.” Should that be part of my repertoire on this heart journey to find my treasure? Is faking something the same as lying? The line has to be drawn and the words that I talk to myself need to be uplifting as they are when I talk to a friend. I need to speak the words of truth to myself. “I am beautiful.” “I can do anything I set my mind to.”  “I am a person of worth.” “My life means something.” “I am good for many things.” “I am a good person.”

The orange caution signs along this path tell me that there is construction up ahead. I must slow down and take a detour now. Come with me as I get on the Moodiness Mile. Some days that this mile goes on for hundreds, sometimes thousands more miles than it should. Do I change my mood when I change my shoes? Do I go from being in my favorite pair of tennis shoes and being outgoing and fun loving; to wearing my stilettos which make me be witchy and mean? Is there a way to get rid of all this moodiness? How often have I made people around me uncomfortable because of my mood? I have fought with this Moodiness Mile for quite some time now, and frankly I am tired of it. It has not brought me any closer to my treasure nor has it made my journey any easier. Not to mention all the people I truly need to apologize to for making them so uncomfortable.

“Oh good, this detour is over. But look what is coming next!”  This ongoing journey gets to take a break and breathe a little; I am in the Patience Parking Lot. Sometimes my vehicle needs to be parked and I need to get out and walk. My GPS tells me that the Patience Parking Lot runs parallel with the Faith Freeway. I must have faith in order to have patience. Patience gives me reasons to stop and smell the fragrant flowers growing along the paths that I did not see before because I was in such a hurry to get to my destination. I now have time to enjoy and take in the beauty of the spectacular sunrise that greets me every morning. I find myself living in the Patience Parking Lot more now than ever before. I am not alone here as many of my friends are here to keep me company. The Patience Parking Lot will never be empty.  Patience is one part of my life that I have not mastered yet, I know I will park here again as there will be times on this journey of mine where I will need to have more patience.

I decided to get out and walk a bit. I made a wrong turn onto the Stressed Out Sidewalk. It is seemed like a popular place to be as there were so many people on it.  I thought this was a party. I was wrong. Now I am getting stressed out with each step I take, and these people seem to be walking in circles instead of actually getting anywhere. There are people here that look somewhat familiar to me, but I am really not sure. The anxiety has caused their bodies to hunch over, they are nervously twitching. They seem to look right through me, yet their eyes never make contact with mine. I don’t like this sidewalk. I have been related to these people, and I have been these people, more times than I care to speak about.  Hastily I got back into my vehicle, drove one block to my destination.

My destination is right here in front me. I found my treasure. Its name is Relationship Road. It has been here all along.  It is the relationships in my life that are my true treasures. My most important one is the relationship I choose to have with God. I never miss to call on him every morning, noon and night. I cherish the time I get to spend with God and His Word. This relationship makes all the others possible. Relationship Road is paved with the memories of my bonds to my parents, my siblings, my husband, my sons, my family and my friends. Travel down this road under the posted speed limit: of one moment at a time.

Throughout my journey my heart has learned how acquiring things is not the same as having a treasure. Living in balance is the only way to get through life. Helping others gets us out of being depressed. Faith and patience work hand-in-hand, you can’t have one without the other.  Being moody and stressed out makes the journey so much harder.  The true treasures of life are the people whose hearts we touch.

DAY 1: ALWAYS BE READY

Always be ready to ask or answer questions. Changing your life means you need to know exactly what it is that needs changing. If peace is what you are after, learn to ask questions that lead to peace. If financial stability is your focus, ask the right questions to the right people and your life will change. If you’re on the path towards health, then ask these questions of yourself.

Q & A

2 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF TODAY

1. Where is my focus?

2. Is my pain of failing greater than my pain of building?

These two questions can be used in all aspects of life, whether you are looking for a lower number on the scale, lead a stress free life, or more money in your pocket.  These two questions can propel you forward into a new life in 28 days.

Be ready to answer other people’s questions, with confidence. Read the news, study career articles, read up on alternative health therapies, study into your faith. Be ready to give your testimonial, your story, your answers. People are always looking for answers for different life questions, keep a notebook of what’s working in your life so you can share what works for you and your health issues, for example.

You never know who’s life you could change.