yalandarose

December 20, 2012

A Thousand Years in the Rain

Filed under: Christianity, Faith — Tags: , , , — yalandarose @ 1:04 pm

rainLast year this time, I was crying in the threat of a lawsuit for being unable to pay my student loans

Last year this time, my car was threatening repossession

Last year this time, I was struggling to cover necessities

Last year this time, I couldn’t afford to buy my daughter any Christmas gifts

Last year this time, I was lonely, depressed, frustrated, anxious, helpless, and hopeless

This year right now, I am in good standing with my student loan debt

This year right now, my car payments are up to date

This year right now, our necessities are met

This year right now, my child has toys she won’t even play with

This year right now, I have positive friends that fill me with hope

A thousand years are but a day to the Lord (2 Peter 3:8)

So bless God whether He’s Pouring sunshine or storms.

Remember God’s Promise of His Rainbow (Genesis 9:12-15)  that comes after the rain.

Joy comes in the morning (Psalms 30:5), as long as you can make it through the night.

I’m a living testimony that if you don’t have blind faith, you have no faith at all.

So when it rains, keep your umbrella (and your hopes) up too.

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September 12, 2012

When Push Comes to Shove

Filed under: children, Christianity, Faith, God's Love — Tags: , , — yalandarose @ 3:29 pm

She had every reason to be confused, even hurt.  My daughter wasn’t doing anything wrong. She hadn’t pitched a fit or thrown a tantrum.  She was actually behaving extremely well. But I could tell by her eyes  what her mouth hadn’t formed the words to say, Why did I push her?

Shoved more like it, when she didn’t do anything to deserve it. No explanation, no warning, just a push causing her to stumble forward.

No, I hadn’t blown my top, I wasn’t in a hurry, so why did I seemingly punish her with no provocation, her eyes kept asking me.

To protect her.

One thing I do know about my daughter is her irrational fear of bugs and all things creepy crawly. One thing she was not aware of, was that there was a huge one on the other side of the door big enough to induce shock.

Since I was ahead of her, I was aware of the critter that would have frozen my daughter in her tracks preventing her from taking another step. So I gave her a swift push.

Though she stumbled, she landed safely. It was at the safety of our vehicle that I addressed the confusion in her eyes and tended to her bruised  – ego.

While not getting too descriptive, I informed her of the bug that was now behind her, and she then understood that the push was to protect her.

July 30, 2012

Happy Ending

Filed under: Christian living, Faith, God's Love — Tags: , , — yalandarose @ 4:40 pm

 I want to read, she wants to play is an incessant conflict between my daughter and I, not at the park or playground but over my laptop.  The laptop may as well be coin-operated because the minute I log on my time is fleeting.  I can usually buy more time by finding things for my daughter to do:  clean your room, take your bath, brush your teeth.

My daughter can buy more time by whining, demanding, and begging away my concentration, which is why I abruptly walked away from an essay I was reading before my patience and simultaneous computer time ran out.

She then wasted no time claiming her position in front of the monitor.

However, instead of moving the cursor up to her favorite game site, she scrolled down.

For a tot not yet in Kindergarten, I wondered how long the thousands of foreign words would hold her interest as she continued to scroll.

I watched as she purposefully stared at the screen as if she was looking for something substantial to take away from the article – other than my time.

She was still scrolling.

She stopped intermittently during her literary stroll of the essay to enjoy the view of a handful of clip art.

She then reached the end of her stroll and found whatever it was she was looking for- not at the end of the essay but at the very bottom of the webpage.

A smiley face.

Although the purpose of her search wasn’t clear to me, and I’m sure it wasn’t clear to her either, she kept going. Though at times she paused to enjoy the view, she found what she was looking for – a happy ending.

July 24, 2012

For giving.

Filed under: Christianity, Faith, God's Love — Tags: , , , , , — yalandarose @ 8:09 am

As a parent, there are a lot of things I teach my daughter about life.  As a child, there are a lot of things she teaches me about love.

I have to own up to some of my wrongs against her:

  • false accusation (I was just sure she made another mess)
  • losing my temper and/or patience (don’t worry, I always find it)
  • inflicting pain (I honestly didn’t see her when I turned around)

When I consider what I owe my daughter for my wrongs, all I can do is apologize.

Her response?  “That’s OK mommy, I just love you.” (I could go on and on about how wonderful of a mom she says I am, but I guess it’s unnecessary to mention it here:)

Lesson learned? My daughter has forgiven my debts as God Has Forgiven mine.

Thankfully, God Loves us both too.

July 23, 2012

Reflection

Filed under: Christianity, Faith — Tags: , , , — yalandarose @ 7:04 pm

When someone tells you that he doesn’t believe in God, is it because he didn’t see God in you?

July 21, 2012

Don’t Work Like Your Job Depends On It

Filed under: Faith — Tags: , , , , , — yalandarose @ 4:24 pm

I was frustrated, angry, and disgruntled.  After receiving my 1% pay increase, I hated my job, and was beginning to hate my boss.

If money was a motivator, I was no longer motivated, and begin to work like it too.

Considering I spent most of my waking hours at work, I also begin to hate my life.

My work was boring, my routine was mundane, and considering it wasn’t enough to pay the bills or afford a decent place, it was also in vain.

I lost sight of why I was even coming to work.

My performance appraisal was evident that I wasn’t a model employee, and by my 1% pay increase, I was evidently a mad employee.

Then I realized, I wasn’t working for my supervisor, I was working for God.

“and all, whatever ye may do — out of soul work — as to the Lord, and not to men,” Colossians 3:23

Well rather, I was supposed to be working for God, but I was acting as if I was working for my supervisor –  someone at this point I loathed, so my heart and my mind was no longer in it.

But I loved God  – or at least claimed to love Him. But if I did, I would have kept His Commandments  and taken Colossians 3:23 to heart.

So my attitude about my supervisor and my job had to change.

I could no longer go on despising my boss.  How could I claim to love God, and hate my boss, whom I see 5 days a week?  (1 John 4:20) True to His Word, it is impossible to love God and hate anyone, including my boss.   To say that I can, would make me a liar and also a dishonest employee.

I also had to quit despising my job and complaining about my work. “ and all, whatever ye may do in word or in work, [do] all things in the name of the Lord Jesus — giving thanks to the God and Father, through Him.” Colossians 3:17

So I looked at my boss’s office and thought, what if that was God’s Throne?  Would I be delighted and prompt to do anything God Asked me to do?  Of course. Would I complain about my assigned tasks?  Of course not, I would gladly ask for more. Would I be late?  Absolutely not.

With this revelation, when I was tempted to sleep in, I was reminded of Proverbs 6:10-11 and again in Proverbs 24:33-34 (funny that is repeated) “A little sleep, a little slumber, A little clasping of the hands to rest, and thy poverty hath come as a traveler, And thy want as an armed man”

With recent layoffs in my area, this is not a far stretch.

I was then given a task in my inbox that put me to the test.  Since I was now working for God, I was now working on my project promptly and peacefully.  I refrained from asking “clarifying” questions, which was really a guise to gauge how little effort I needed to expend. No more, “do you want this, do you need that?” I was just going to do it, and give my boss more than was asked of me.

My pay still isn’t great, and it would be great if my job was my career. However, I am striving to be more like Christ, which means in this instance I have to act more like Paul, “I have known both to be abased, and I have known to abound; in everything and in all things I have been initiated, both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to be in want.” Philippians 4:12

As an under-employed layoff survivor, I think that verse was written for me.

July 20, 2012

First thing’s First

Filed under: Faith — Tags: , , , , , , — yalandarose @ 8:05 pm

“But seek ye first the reign of God and His righteousness, and all these shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33).

For the longest, I wondered and pondered about this verse because there are no helpful, step-by-step preferably illustrated accompanying instructions.  I asked God in prayer to provide insight on how to first seek His Kingdom and His Righteousness.

Over time, I became frustrated and discouraged because God Still Had Not Given me a roadmap, GPS tracker app, or even the slightest clue to begin searching for His Kingdom and Righteousness.

Then, one day it hit me.  If I wanted to first seek God’s Kingdom and Righteousness, just do what He Says.

After lamenting that God Had Not Clearly Explained how to first seek His Kingdom and Righteousness, I realized His Instructions were included before and after this verse – several hundred pages worth.  Why didn’t I see that sooner?

Just do what He Says.

Some of His Instructions are indirectly explained in parables, while some are more direct: “Do not (insert sin)”, for example.

Based on the description of His Kingdom in Revelations 21, I thought seeking God’s Kingdom required some grandiose act, but in reality, seeking God’s Kingdom is not the result of just one act.

It’s the first thing you do before youact, even in the smallest of gestures.

For instance, the Bible says you shouldn’t swear or take oaths, but your word should suffice (Matthew 5:34-37, James 5:12).  Or simply, just do what you said you were going to do – even when you don’t feel like it.

I found myself honoring commitments to people I said I would do the following week – something I said months ago.

Swearing and oath-taking all resulted from sin: people simply did not keep their word.

Regardless of whether you are still caught up in whether or not to take the Bible literally, as a Christian, take it seriously.

Truly seeking God’s Kingdom and His Righteousness first prevents us from doing things we know are wrong  “just this once” based on James 4:17 “to him, then, knowing to do good, and not doing, sin it is to him.”

Recently, in the midst of my worrying, I realized I was not seeking God’s Kingdom first.  `Because of this I say to you, be not anxious for your life, what ye may eat, and what ye may drink, nor for your body, what ye may put on. Is not the life more than the nourishment, and the body than the clothing? (Matthew 6:25)

I was reminded by James 1:6-7, that if I doubted God, how could I expect anything from Him?

I was assured by Matthew 6:33 that my necessities would be added as long as I seek God’s Kingdom and His Righteousness first.

June 26, 2012

True Lenders Are Repaid By God

Filed under: Christianity, Faith, religion — Tags: , , — yalandarose @ 3:18 pm

`Give, and it shall be given to you; good measure, pressed, and shaken, and running over, they shall give into your bosom; for with that measure with which ye measure, it shall be measured to you again.’ Luke 6:38

I am so familiar with this verse that I can usually remember when and where I hear it – in church prior to the tithing and offering service.

However, it wasn’t until a recent experience that I begin to study the verses prior to this verse, and realized my whole life I have been hearing this verse out of context.

Recently, I loaned a relative a large sum of money.  As a single mom without a double income, a large sum doesn’t have to be in the double digits, but coincidentally this was.

Deep down, I hoped that I would get the money back, and worried what would happen if I didn’t.

I was so consumed with worry about the money, that I didn’t have room for grace.

and if ye lend [to those] of whom ye hope to receive back, what grace have ye? for also the sinful lend to sinners — that they may receive again as much.” Luke 6:34

Hoping for my money, instead of putting my hope and ultimately my faith in God reminded of the sinner I was instead of the saved person I was trying to become. I was humbled.

Then I got the call, my relative was ready to pay me in full.

Considering that was the call I was hoping for, I still struggled as I came upon, “…release, and ye shall be released.”  Luke 6:37

Should I have just forgiven the debt?

The setting for this internal conflict was on a hot, summer day in my car, with the AC blowing full blast – wondering that if I made the trip to collect the funds, would I be on the road to eternal damnation.

The punishing price of gas was a reprimand to turn off the engine and let down the windows while I continued to seek an answer from God.

Then I heard a loud commotion, which was previously muted by the running AC and engine.

Two men were loudly arguing over a debt owed to the other.

“Man, I need my money!  I got four kids!  You need to pay me right now!”

A woman suddenly appeared outside gathering 2 young children inside.

The other man just dismissively waved his hand as if he was swatting away a fly.

“I’m not leaving until I get my money!”  The aggressive debt collector said as he followed the other into the house where the children were called in most likely for their safety.

The two men were no longer in sight, but their argument was still in earshot – from across the street.

As the confrontation and the voices escalated, I became anxious  and I’m sure the children became frightened.

I couldn’t take or hear anymore.  I started my car and drove off.

I headed to my relative’s house to collect the payment. Beyond the greeting and the mutual departing thanks, no other words were passed.  For the sake of the children I just saw, if only it could have been that peaceful for them.

While driving back to the scene of the argument, I was hoping that I would not drive up to the scene of a crime.

I walked up the front porch and one of the men, met me outside.

“I didn’t mean to be nosy, but I overheard an argument about money owed to a man with 4 children, and I just came to pay it so his kids wouldn’t do without,” I explained.

No ma’am, we’re fine.” The second man then appeared, so I knew no one was hurt.

“Are you sure, because I would rather pay it for him so that the argument doesn’t escalate in front of the kids, and he doesn’t have to pay me back.”

“No ma’am.  We were just playing.  “See,” as the first man gestured at the other. “He’s alright.”

As I walked up the porch, I thought about how I could pay the man and show him relevant verses from my pocket Bible, but my conversation didn’t go as planned.

I hope by my actions that the man learned to forgive his debtor as I attempted to forgive his.

And I hope that I have fully learned that regardless of whether I was repaid or not, I should have forgiven the debt, as God Has Forgiven so many of mine.

“Forgive our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” Matthew 6:12

January 18, 2012

Defrauded? Suits Me!

Filed under: Christianity, Faith, God's Love, religion — Tags: , , , — yalandarose @ 4:25 pm

…Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded? 1 Cor. 6:7

The simple answer:  Who wants to be vulnerable, had, taken advantage of, walked on, stepped on, etc. etc. etc. especially in a society where we have rights and we judicially, litigiously and at times unmercifully enforce them.

The hard to swallow answer: It’s not about you.

I saw this verse as I was contemplating a lawsuit against my ex-husband. He initiated a quickie divorce against me so he could marry a woman I didn’t even know existed until after they were married.

The front door of our former home had become a revolving door when I moved out and she moved in less than a year later.

Concurring with the simple answer, I filed a lawsuit before she finished unpacking.

It seemed as if I had everything to gain – a house and half the assets. However, during our separation, I decided to quit focusing on my broken marriage, and start focusing on God’s Kingdom and His Righteousness first. With God’s Kingdom – an entire kingdom – at the forefront of my mind, suddenly a 2500sqft. house seemed quaint.

I also realized that if my ex-husband was willing to stoop that low to keep the house, he has already received his reward in full. (Reference Luke 6:24)

I started evaluating the real reason I filed the lawsuit in the first place. I wanted revenge, what was owed to me. But…I had to remind myself of my new commitment. Instead of seeking revenge, I committed myself to seeking God’s Kingdom and His Righteousness first. Vengeance is not mine, it, us, the universe, and everything in it is His. It’s not about me. It wasn’t my battle to fight. (Reference 1 Samuel 17:47) As a matter of fact, God Reminds us Whose battle it really is more than once in the Bible.

In fact, instead of me giving my ex-husband a piece of my mind, God Instructed, “The LORD Will Fight for you while you keep silent.” Exodus 14:14. It’s not about me at all.

The contents of my legal petition should have floored my ex-husband as I was when I learned that a man who couldn’t pay child support for his biological child was now providing room and board for a child that wasn’t even his. Yep, his stepson was now living in my daughter’s old room.

I couldn’t get over how unfair God seemed that my ex-husband and his new family seemed so happy and comfortable while my daughter and I were financially struggling. But, God Reminded me, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. (Gal. 6: 7-8.)

Then, I realized that they won’t be comfortable in that spacious house for long as God Said, “He who returns evil for good, evil will not depart from his house. Proverbs 17:13

And as far as my less than pleasant financial situation is concerned, “Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity than he who is perverse inspeech and is a fool. Proverbs 19:1

Besides, no matter how dire our situation gets, “The LORD Will Not Allow the [b]righteous to hunger…” Proverbs 10:3.

I was requesting spousal support, child support, and half of the assets. I was not going to tolerate a deadbeat dad. However, I realized God Loathes deadbeat parents as well. “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” 1 Cor. 6:7

That verse made me realize that my ex-husband wasn’t merely robbing his child, he was robbing God. What may floor you is that he is a minister.

Another reason I started having second thoughts about the lawsuit is because again I was reminded that “…whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back.” Luke 6:30

Then I remembered my new commitment, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33

Only by the Grace of God, my daughter and I aren’t starving or naked! (reference Matthew 6:25-31)

While I was focusing on a house I can see (within a short commute), I was reminded that by faith I should be focusing on what I can’t see and what God Has In Store for me.  “while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.  Hebrews 4:18

Going through the emotional and financial toil of a lawsuit would cause me to sin in worry and would be taking time away from my life and my daughter. (reference Matthew 6:27) The details of the lawsuit were also causing me to be anxious about my situation when I should have invested that time praying. (Reference Philippians 4:6)

With all the worrying and anxiety of a lawsuit, I came across the verse, “for God is not a God of confusion but of peace…1 Corinthians 14:33.

I decided to refer to the Bible to see how God Really Wanted me to deal with my ex-husband. Referencing Matthew 18:15-17, if I couldn’t resolve the matter in the church, treat the person like a tax collector. I am personally not acquainted with any tax collectors, and am no longer acquainted with my ex-husband either. In other words, don’t try to reason with the insane. Just accept the fact they are spiritually (and sometimes mentally) ill.

I was also told to “bless those who curse you, pray for those who revile or mistreat you.” Luke 6:28

I know this sounds crazy but the reason I have been able to do this is because even though my ex-husband took the house and neglected to support his child, hey, at least he didn’t try to kill me!  I was merely duped out of a house and money. However, even while Stephen was being murdered by a group of people who clearly didn’t know God, he prayed “…Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” Acts 7:60

My ex-husband is oblivious to the fact that he has done anything wrong, and  those crucifying Jesus were ignorant to the fact that they were crucifying the actual Son of God and for that Jesus said “…Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34) before Jesus inherited the Kingdom.

Bible verses came from Biblegateway.com NASB version

January 17, 2012

Trampled Pearls

Filed under: Christian living, Christianity, Faith, God's Love — Tags: , , — yalandarose @ 8:59 pm

The scripture, “”Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces,” (Matthew 7:6 NASB) is advice I personally and painfully accepted.

It took me some time to discern when God Was Talking to me.  It hasn’t been as obvious as a burning bush or the Heavens opening, but I do become spiritually seasick when He Disapproves with my decisions. I get overcome with an uneasy feeling in my stomach as “unsettled as a wave of the sea,” James 1:6 NASB.

So, when I received my first marriage proposal after only a few weeks of dating, I wasn’t elated, I was well, seasick. It took one year of dating and finally living together before I finally accepted. But I still never recovered from the seasickness. Deep down, I knew I wasn’t making the right decision. However, I felt as if getting married had to better than shacking up, right?

Wrong.  I should have walked away.

Between my husband’s chronic unemployment and our constant moving to chase jobs, I was miserable. Eventually, I made him miserable, too. With the constant arguments, his infidelities, financial stress, job and residential changes, there was never any peace in our marriage. More than once, I have arrived home from work only to learn that he was fired that day, and arrive home the following week to learn that we were moving by the next. It was almost as if he thrived in chaos.

I kept telling him we needed to settle down, and after the baby was born, I began insisting we needed to settle down – all to no avail. Eventually, I was began to realize I could no longer deal with the confusion and could no longer raise our child in the midst of it either.

Lacking just one digit of the mark of the beast, we averaged six states in six years.  Subsequently, finding homes – residential and spiritual – had become something I had grown weary of. During the last year of our marriage, I was now homesick. After deciding that I was moving back to my hometown, I embarked once again on finding a lasting church home. While in Bible study, I came across the verse, “For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.” 1 Corinthians14:33 NASB.

I realized throughout all of the confusion, God had never ordained our marriage, and I no longer had one, so I walked away.

I am still devastated that I have taken the sacred vow of marriage and given it to a “dog.” After the ordeal, I was left with a trampled self-esteem and near financial ruin as supporting him tore my credit to pieces.

However, God Punishes those He Loves (Hebrews 12:6 NASB), and boy, have I learned a lesson!
But as my daughter turns another year today, I realize, everything does work for good for those who love the Lord (Romans 8:28 NASB).

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