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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Loving Through the Ugly


I'm a parent, most days my kids bring me great joy, other times not so much. On those "not so much" days I want to pack my bags and come back when they're grown. As a responsible parent,I know I can't do that; its just a crazy fantasy to get me through their moments of bickering.

The latest "battle" stems from them sharing a bedroom. Each one wants the other to take the extra bedroom once their older brother moves out. Each one complains endlessly about the other, some valid points, mostly whining and selfish desires.

My oldest daughter tried to get me to take her side, by saying the youngest is messy and rude. At my wits end, I answered back "sometimes you just have to love through the ugly".  Now I'm a parent who likes to use small everyday events as teachable moments. In that instant, I knew our Heavenly Father was using this moment with my children to teach me as well.

You see, at some point in our lives and relationships, be it parent & child, siblings or husband & wife we have to love through the ugly. This by no means is a free pass to allow people mistreat you on a regular basis. What I'm trying to convey is that people including you and I, will have moments of ugliness. Occasions where we are less than grateful, courteous, understanding or loving. In these instances, wouldn't you want someone to be patient, kind & understanding enough to love us through our "ugly"?

It isn't easy, or even remotely pleasurable; more like waiting out a horrific storm. You don't have to agree with the transgression, but be wise enough to step back, let go of the need to be right, and go about your life. I can't promise that everything will turn out to our liking, but we have to try to see if the good out weighs the bad. Emotions, as wonderful as they are can often distort the truth when that's all we're focused on.

In teaching my girls this lesson, I'm thankful that God has loved me through many of my ugly moments, aren't you?

John 15:12 (NIV) - My command its this: Love each other as I have loved you.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The DIY Project

Garage sales, hand me downs, salvage yards
Used, worn out, broken, purpose served
Or is it?

In the hands of a skilled craftsman, a new vision is born.
Seen through the eyes of love, passion breathes new life.

What's rough around the edges, gets sanded down
Just enough to begin the change
Retaining the nicks and scrapes that gave it character.

Driftwood that becomes wall art
Scraps of metal welded into a sculpture
Random trinkets and gears whose shapes are captured in a photograph
The old tree stump that is now a rustic backyard table

Discarded no more
What's old now new
As if to say, "your first task complete, now lets prepare for the next"

In the hands of the skilled Creator
I've been given new life
Broken, abandoned, discouraged
He loved me anyway, He saw everything I was
He sees all I can be
Trusting His hands, to shape me
Old wounds turn to lessons
Lessons to compassion
Compassion to encouragement

Only the willingness to surrender
The faith to believe
Allows me to catch a glimpse of what He sees in me

I sometimes ask why, all this for me
In my heart, He whispers His sweet reply
Joy

I begin to understand
Like the joy that comes from seeing something in a new light
A DIY project if you will
In the skilled hands of the Creator I've been given new life.