Friday, September 24, 2010

It's one of those days where I have so much to say that I do not know exactly where to start. So many thoughts have come to me this day and they refuse to leave me.

Actually, I do know where to start....

Papa, You know precisely what should be recorded here, so I am looking to You to direct my thoughts.

Monday through Friday I receive a commentary in my inbox. It is from "A Slice of Infinity". There are a handful of writers that contribute at different times. I have a favorite. Her name is Jill Carattini. Often what she says resonates with me. Today's commentary was one of them.

Ms. Carattini spoke of something a friend had shared with her. When the woman was a child she was disappointed by a realization. What was it? The thought that God loved everyone equally. He has no favorites. What was the problem?

Jill addressed her disappointment. She said that we all love to be seen as the best, superior to others by someone. No one wants to be equal to everyone else, but desires to be extra-ordinary. She then went on to speak of God's extravagant love for us and all that He offers us through Christ. She closes with the thought that this indeed is favoritism.

I concur, yet, I also come from a slightly different angle. I am a mother and I truly love all four of my children equally. However, to an outside observer it may not have always seemed so. You see, it depends upon who needs more attention at any given time. There are times when one or the other needs to feel extra special and favored above others. Yes, even as adults, which they all are now.
The attention may come in the form of an extra call or text or, as often is the case, extra prayer.

If you asked my sons individually who they thought was my favorite, I wouldn't be surprised if each claimed that spot. actually, I hope that truly would be the case!
That is how it is with Papa. Most likely somewhere along this blog I mentioned the story that Brennan Manning related in His book "Abba's Child." It bears repeating.
He was on the beach one morning with his elderly uncle when he noticed that the older man was particularly happy. Brennan commented on the fact and his uncle admitted that he indeed was very happy. What was the source of this happiness? That his Abba was "especially fond of him"!
That is how I feel. My Papa is especially fond of me. He is also especially fond of you! He has a way of loving His children so that we each feel singled out by Him; singled out for extra love and care.

These are the thoughts that took up residence this morning. Others joined them and built upon them as the day progressed....

A blog that I follow also arrives in my inbox on a daily basis. I do not always stop to read all my mail right away, so sometimes it might be a day or two until I open it. I was a few days behind in this one, but the timing was right. "Heart to Heart with Holley" spoke of God's promise to set eveything right one day. No matter the pain, the struggle, the tears, the longing; all of it will be set right by His Hand.
Those are encouraging words because they are not just some woman's words, but they are drawn from the Words of God. And His Words are promises. He does not lie and since I know that He loves me extravagantly, I can rest in them.

Fast forward to later in my day and find me seated at the acupuncturist's with a book spread out before me and my hands gingerly holding the pages open. Gingerly because they had the look of a porcupine - with many needles sticking out of them! It does not feel very good to move them when they look like that!
The book was given to me a while ago by a good man that I know. As he gave me the book he informed me that he doesn't usually do this, but thought of me as he read it and felt I should have a copy.
The title is "He Loves Me!" and the author is Wayne Jacobsen.

I am finally getting around to reading it, as there is always a pile of books I am intending to read and I try to be fair and read them in the order that they arrived on the pile. Well, mostly, unless one just won't leave me alone until I pick it up!
To be honest I wasn't sure that the book would offer me anything fresh, as I am totally convinced that I am loved.
Well, I thought I was totally convinced.

A line in the book got my attention.
The author made this statement. "Most of our lives are spent living less loved."
He is saying not that God loves us less, but we cheat ourselves out of experiencing all the love that He is offering.
What robs us of receiving all of His love?
"Worry that God will ask us for some horrible sacrifice."
"Indulgence in sin."
"Giving in to anxiety in the crush of our circumstances."
"When we try to earn God's favor by our own efforts."
"Even when we get caught up in religious obligations to make ourselves acceptable to Him."

The truth is He does not want to hurt or punish us and all He allows into our lives is for our good. All we need to do is trust Him! Revel in His love.

I, like Brennan's uncle can be of good cheer because "I am loved by God as I am, not as I should be!"

Later today Papa underlined in my heart all He had been speaking to me. He amplified all these wonderful thoughts that were alive in my mind.
I truly detest paperwork and phone calls. Right now there is much of both. There has been this big omenous job that I have been pecking at half-heartedly. It is important so I have felt a bit guilty that I am not going full steam ahead with it. It is dealing with Social Security Disability.

My husband may not be able to go back to work this coming April. Should that be the case, he will need to be on the aforementioned. They want so much detailed information. It is overwhelming. Then there is setting up appointments, etc.
On top of this has been the concern of living on whatever they offer and all that goes witht that headache.
Added to the mix has been a company offer for Ray to retire early.

What is the right thing? How do we proceed?

Today many answers came. It is definitely not to our advantage to take that offer. Ray has been paying into long-term disability at work. It begins when the current one ends in April and will supplement Social Security. The topper was when I learned that the company who handles this will walk me through and also participate in the process with Social Security! It is to their advantage to do so!

Once more our needs and concerns are being addressed. Papa has it all in Hand. Maybe one day I will learn to stay still in His Hands and not rob myself of one moment of all He has for me. I do not want to live less loved!

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