Sunday, May 9, 2010

Special Day Scripture: Mom

This week's Saturday Scripture was delayed in order to honor the most important women in the world. All of you!

Happy Mother's Day!

A good woman is hard to find,
and worth far more than diamonds.
Her husband trusts her without reserve,
and never has reason to regret it.
Never spiteful, she treats him generously
all her life long.

She shops around for the best yarns and cottons,
and enjoys knitting and sewing.
She's like a trading ship that sails to faraway places
and brings back exotic surprises.

She's up before dawn, preparing breakfast
for her family and organizing her day.
She looks over a field and buys it,
then, with money she's put aside, plants a garden.

First thing in the morning, she dresses for work,
rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.
She senses the worth of her work,
is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.

She's skilled in the crafts of home and hearth,
diligent in homemaking.
She's quick to assist anyone in need,
reaches out to help the poor.

She doesn't worry about her family when it snows;
their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear.
She makes her own clothing,
and dresses in colorful linens and silks.

Her husband is greatly respected
when he deliberates with the city fathers.
She designs gowns and sells them,
brings the sweaters she knits to the dress shops.

Her clothes are well-made and elegant,
and she always faces tomorrow with a smile.
When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say,
and she always says it kindly.

She keeps an eye on everyone in her household,
and keeps them all busy and productive.
Her children respect and bless her;
her husband joins in with words of praise:
"Many women have done wonderful things,
but you've outclassed them all!"

Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades.
The woman to be admired and praised
is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.
Give her everything she deserves!
Festoon her life with praises!

Proverbs 31:10-31
(The Message)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

On Our Hearts: Journey of Faith

This particular blog post and prayer is going to be a little personal. Here Micki will share with us an event that changed her life forever. Although Micki's circumstances may be a bit different from the rest of ours, I believe that we can all see a little of ourselves in her faith journey.

Ten years ago today, my life changed. At the time, most would have said for the worse given the circumstances, but I will just say it changed. On that day, I suffered many physical injuries as well as a traumatic brain injury. The memories I have are choppy at best. I had many physical injuries to deal with that left me at times unable to care for myself. Of my four limbs, only my left leg was un-injured, this made it hard to get around as you can imagine. The healing process was difficult and long. There were numerous surgeries, months and months of very limited mobility. I don’t have very many clear memories of the time, and have very fuzzy memories of my sisters wedding. I do remember laying flat on my back unable to care for myself and thinking ‘God, did you really need to get my attention that bad? Was I that lost that it really took you putting me here on my back unable to move, to get my attention?’ Now, I am not saying He created the accident to get my attention, but wow, it got my attention and I was in a position to do nothing but listen and seek.

The physical injuries and recovery took well over two years, but that was the easy part of the recovery as I look back. The hardest part was the brain injury. It is easy to describe to someone a broken arm, leg, or knee surgery, but it is hard to describe the mental and cognitive injuries. It is hard for someone to grasp the concept of not being able to read and comprehend what the words mean anymore. When I say my head felt like it was wrapped in cotton balls and I was trying to find my way out, not many can relate. The emotional volatility I experienced was so severe. I was unable to multitask, read and comprehend it, or hold a normal conversation. Often the words that came out of my mouth did not make any sense and I could not ‘find’ the words that I was looking for.

A few years ago someone asked me how I got through it. It sounded so ridiculous to me. Why would I choose to lay there and write my life off? Just because I had challenges didn’t mean that I couldn’t get some sort of life back. I basically had two choices: to lay there and let it get the best of me or try to be myself again. When I say get myself back it was more about accepting who I had become as a result of the accident and in a way grieving the loss of my old self. I had to realize I would not and will not ever be who I was, or have the exact same personality. But I know now that is ok.

During this time, I can only credit my faith for this success. I truly believe without it, I would have not made even one-fourth of the recovery I have made. Why? It was hard work. It was the hardest thing I have ever done. Marine Corps boot camp was easy compared to the rehab and battle I did. It was day in and day out with no or very little progress. Week after week of the same thing wondering if I improved at all, days and days of crying because I couldn’t stop. ‘Brain storms’ where I was so overwhelmed I could not do, think, or function. Through the fuzz, I had to keep holding on to the fact I could ‘get better’. My then boyfriend, now husband was amazing. He accepted me exactly how I was. It was ok not to be the old Micki.

Before the accident I was lost, a bit of a risk taker, I had a career but no real commitments. I only had as many possessions that I could pack up the car and leave. If I felt like moving I could, where I ended up I would. Of course that is not what happened. I have been married for almost 8 years and we have 2 young girls. I am so thankful for my life; for my experiences. I still struggle and am reminded daily of my injuries. Many days with physical pain and every day the cognitive challenges that remain. I have recovered well and adjusted. I have been taught many modifications, but daily I have to work at them.

I am no longer bitter, I am not sorry it happened. I am grateful for my faith. I am grateful for my family. I am thankful for each day and the challenges they present. For the gift of my family and for my husband accepting me for who I am today. I look at the world with a grateful heart and I am grateful to my God for my second chance.

Father God,

So many of us have our story, our battles we have fought. Today I just want to say thank you for mine. At many times in the past I have not been as forgiving or compassionate as I should have been. I am now ready to give it to you. It has taken years of you working on my heart to lift some bitterness. You are my God. I thank you for standing by me and being my companion during this journey.


"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6

Monday, May 3, 2010

On Our Hearts: Growth

I am always amazed this time of year of just how much things can change. The trees are rapidly turning green and flowers are sprouting up. It is as if there is new growth all around us. As if God touched His hand to the ground and encouraged each blade of grass to reach for the sun. Chances are as your children prepare for the end of the school year you're noticing just how much they have changed over the course of the year. Maybe you've noticed how much her hair has grown, how his feet are two shoe sizes bigger, or just how much more grown up they have become. And although we are adults and we don't tend to think of ourselves as growing (unless it's our midline), God is calling us to grow. He wants us to grow in Him, in our faith, and in our service. Take a moment to look back and see just how much you've grown. Are you stronger in your relationship with God? Are you relying more on Him? Have you grown in spiritual maturity? No matter where you are in your walk with the Lord, you can be assured that you have new growth just waiting to blossom.

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for the new growth that surrounds us in nature. As we look around we are reminded of Your grace and mercy in the renewal process. Through You all things can be made new again. We can have new perspectives, new desires, and new hope. Lord, we thank You for the growth that we have experienced in You. And although You have not finished Your work in us yet, we can see the growth that has taken place. You have planted the seeds of our faith and Your love has nurtured us. Lord, show us the areas in which You want us to grow more. May we be a vessel for Your nourishment and teaching, Lord. Reveal the dry, withered places of our heart that need tending. We are yet a tender flower waiting to bloom.


"The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring." Isaiah 58:11

Saturday, May 1, 2010