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Ridley is rocking in the swing next to me as I write. He's four months now and I find myself kissing all fifteen pounds of him, especially his little ankle rolls. His smile is contagious and I love it when he holds my hand as he feeds. This little boy has stolen my heart, and he does no wrong in my eyes. I am smitten by him, that is for sure.

A few nights ago, a status update from a girl I knew said that she needed prayers. She had lost her baby while delivering and was also losing a lot of blood. Tears sprung to my eyes as I imagined the physical and emotional pain she was enduring. I wanted to add my condoloscenes to the long list on her Facebook page, but they seemed so arbitrary. No amount of someone saying that they are sorry can bring back her baby. Sympathy seems to only go so far in the grandness of her trial.

I am so aware that so many women are hurting. Some have lost their babies, like my friend. Others can't even have babies, like another friend of mine. I watch on the news about another shooting and I see the shock and sadness on the faces of the victims' mothers. Innocence was victimized. It just doesn't seem fair.

Life isn't fair.

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Why do I get three children while my friend can have none? Why are so many babies born healthy but others are born still? Why do some women receive the gift of fortune while others are given gifts that add up to pennies? It doesn't make sense, how this life works.

We pray and we read scripture and we attend church and we turn our radios to the Christian channel. We say thank you and please and do all the right things but sometimes stuff happens that was completely not part of the plan. We become frustrated in our faith, exasperated and angry at God for not giving us what we want. When we are bent as far over as we can go, we want to look at him, straight in the eyes, and say I quit.

Jesus can feel our anger. He's angry too, you know. He's angry with our world and how we live in it. How we bow to our idols of media, fortune, and our own selfish ambitions. But, you know the difference between Jesus getting angry and you and I getting angry? Jesus can take our pain, we can't. He lets us vent and when we are done, he asks us to pick ourselves up and follow him.

Jesus is the way.

He's the way out of misfortune. He's the way out of sorrow, loss, and sadness. He's the way for us to stop thinking so much about ourselves and begin to think about others. Jesus unites us into a community of people that realize that without him, we are lost, angry, and discontent.

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Last Friday, I decided to take my girls and Ridley (yes, all three!) to Target with me to buy some birthday presents. But first, we had to return some craft supplies next door to Michael's. I had planned on letting the girls pick out a craft supply in Michael's but once we got inside, the buggy didn't fit Ridley's car seat carrier and it was too hard to walk around the store with his carrier on my arm and the shopping basket in the other so we just headed toward the return counter. Well, you know how stores love to put the useless toys at eye level right in the check out line? Oh yeah, you know what happens next. Of course, my girls want to get ten things that they seriously didn't need and I told them no. I was gentle in my answer, trying to keep them calm while the check-out girl did my return. But, they wouldn't listen to me and soon they both engaged in a tantrum of epic proportions and I ended up having to drag out two crying, screaming girls. It was seriously not fun.

I wanted to go home right then and there but I really needed to get some gifts so we went back to the car to cool off and to find a buggy to house my small band of children. The girls were still ballistic but I made them look at me as I told them that they can't always get what they want. Soon the wailing turned into shaky sobs and a little while later they both ceased their crying and calmed down. I reminded them just how much I loved them and you know what Adeline said? "Mommy, I forgive you."

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It hit me that as much as their behavior was rude and disrespectful to me that from their point of view, they were two little girls who were angry at their mommy. I had upset them and I hadn't apologized. Taking a deep breathe, I smiled and told her I forgave her too. Soon, we tried our shopping trip again and this time they did get a toy in Target, along with some popcorn and a cookie.

I share this story with you today because so often, our point of view to God is similar to my four year olds. We just expect to get whatever we ask for and when we don't, we get angry and throw a temper tantrum. We are rude, disrespectful, and child-like in our behavior. And to make matters worse, we blame God for not meeting our demands instead of apologizing for our actions.

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Yet, God forgives us. And somewhere in the future, he blesses us with our own toys and popcorn and cookies. Friend, I know you might be suffering right now. Suffering in a deep kind of way that makes you angry and question God's motives. But, please hang on to the truth that he loves you and is with you. It is his nature to give, even when life takes something away from us. Please don't misunderstand his, "No, not right now." Instead, remind yourself of all that you are fortunate to have.

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God has given me my husband, two girls and one little boy. I am so very {four}tunate to have these four people as my family. It's easy for me to get lost in the daily swirl of our schedule and forget to be grateful for life and love. But today? I realize my good fortune and I thank God for the people he has blessed me with.

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Take a moment, right now, and focus on your fortunes. Don't think about anyone else and what they have, just focus on what you have been given. Can you see God's grace, love, and mercy in your life? Even through whatever pain you might be enduring? Even if life doesn't seem fair?

Evaluate your fortunes and rest in that today. Be grateful, even when life isn't fair.

Till next time, let your light shine!

Blessings, christen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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