Friday, November 29, 2013

Get with the times...

Get with the times.
Things are different now.
That was then, this is now.

We see and hear all the time that things are changing.  What was once considered taboo is now broadcast on prime time.  What was considered normal is condemned as being old-fashioned and out-of-date.  We are not allowed to call anything sin because "society has changed" and the old rules are "out of date."

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.  James 1:17

Our culture may be changing, but the Bible says that God doesn't change.  With God there is no variation because Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8

Why is that?  Why doesn't God change with the times?  If he's so smart, then why isn't he enlightened like the rest of us?

God doesn't change because God is perfect.  You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:48

The definition of perfect is "being entirely without fault or defect; flawless; satisfying all requirements; pure; total; complete."

If something is perfect, it doesn't have to change.  If something is perfect, it can't be improved upon.  If something is perfect it is flawless, total, and complete.  God doesn't have any defects that need changing.  His ways cannot be improved upon and his ways do not change.

We change because we are not perfect.  Society changes because society is not perfect.  But God does not change.  He does not have to get with the times; he created time.  He is not old-fashioned; he is eternal.  He is not out-of-date; he is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Am I perfect?  No I'm far from perfect.  Am I old-fashioned and out-of-date?  You bet I am.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Day 25--

Every day in November I post something I'm thankful for on facebook.  Day 25 is the day Anna died. What is there to be thankful for on this day?

I am thankful to be Anna's mom.  It was an honor and a privilege and a blessing beyond measure.

I am thankful for the people that I met along the way--doctors, nurses, art ladies, and other parents are people that I would never have met if I hadn't entered their world.

I am thankful for Junie B. Jones and butterflies.

I am thankful for the lives that were changed through our story.

I am thankful for the wisdom gained through suffering.

I am thankful that I have received comfort that I can use to comfort others.

I am thankful for a marriage that survived the death of a child.

I am thankful for my other children whose lives were forever impacted, but not defined, by their sister's death.

I am thankful for tested faith that is more precious than gold.

I am thankful for an eternal perspective.  What is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

I am thankful that I learned to trust God even though I can't understand him.

I am thankful for the 'missing feeling' that reminds me that this world is not my home.

I am thankful for a reunion to look forward to.

I am thankful that Anna taught me to live life while you can and to go to Sam's when you feel like it.

I am thankful for good friends who walked through the valley with us and who remember.

I am thankful that God can make beauty from ashes and change mourning to dancing.

I will always be sorry that she died, but I will never be sorry that she lived.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A woman's choice

Sex is good.  Sex is a gift.  Sex was created by our Creator.

Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. Genesis 2:24

It is in the beginning. Man. Woman. One flesh. Sex. It's not bad.  It's not dirty.  It's a part of life.  (But contrary to popular media, it is not the goal of life.)

Why did the Creator gift us with this gift?  Why did he make us this way with these body parts and these hormones?

Be fruitful and multiply... Genesis 1:28

Sex has a purpose... BABIES!!!!!  Oh sure, sex is fun.  Sex is pleasurable.  But it's not just for fun.  It was designed for multiplication.  God made it feel good so that we would do it.  (If getting pregnant was as painful as having babies, there would be a LOT less babies in this world!)

Babies are the result of sex.  Babies are miracles.  Babies are people.  And babies are known by GOD.

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:13-16

Even before babies are born, God sees them.  He knows them.  He knits them together.

The politicians debate a woman's right to choose.  Do I think women have a right to choose what they do with their bodies?  YES! Women have the right to choose to go outside God's original plan for sex. Women have the right to choose to reject becoming one flesh for life.  Women have the right to choose to have sex whenever and with whoever they please.  But when a woman's choice results in another person being created--someone who is fearfully and wonderfully made--that person has a right too. That person has the right to live.  
A woman's right to choose is not greater than another person's right to live.

So, yes a woman has a right to choose what she does with her body.  But the choice is made in the bedroom, or the back seat, or behind the school, or on the couch.  It's not made in an abortion clinic. 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Taking time to give thanks...

From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another.  John 1:16

Over two years ago I started a journal of things I am thankful for.  Today I have over two thousand entries!  If you have the gift/curse of seeing what's wrong instead of what's right (like I do) I recommend starting your own journal as a way to record and remember the good things in life.

Things like....

Church potlucks
Saturday morning walks with a friend
12 year old boys playing games in the pool
Sonic happy hour
Friends we haven't met yet
The Cheese Shop in Williamsburg
True stories
A movie at the Byrd theater
Making people laugh
King sized beds
Country fried steak at the Pink Cadillac Diner
An emergency room decorated with butterflies
Reading a book in the shade
Funny texts from Jacob
The first night of VBS
Dinner from a friend
Meeting heroes
Flowers in the kitchen window
Chick Fil A by the pool
A husband fixing breakfast

Don't ever stop giving thanks and counting your blessings--even on bad days.  Some days you just have to look harder.

In everything give thanks... 1 Thess. 5:18

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

How to live on days you would rather stay in bed

Today is Anna's birthday.
I LOVE birthdays, but what am I supposed to do for this one?  Is it a day of celebration or a day of mourning?  Is it a day of laughter or a day of tears?  Do I need to make a birthday cake?

How now then should I live?

These are the answers I found...

Live and keep God's word (Ps 119:17)
Live by faith (Hab 2:4)
Live and believe (Jn 11:25)
Live in God (Acts 17:28)
Live to the Lord (Ro 14:8)
Live for Christ  (2 Cor 5:15)
Live by faith (Gal 2:20)
Live by the Spirit (Gal 5 :25)
Live and bear fruit (Phil 1:22)
Live free (1 Pet 2:16)
Live as a servant of God (1 Pet 2:16)
Live through him (1 Jn 4:9)

I am not supposed to stay in bed today.

I am supposed to live.

Anna Jane Salamy 5/29/02-11/25/07

Friday, May 17, 2013

Mama needs a new pair of shoes...

I needed a new pair of shoes, so last month for my birthday I got these.
They weren't the most expensive shoes and they weren't the cheapest either, but for some reason I had a hard time wearing them.  It wasn't that they didn't fit or that I didn't like the color, I just couldn't bring myself to wear them.  So I kept wearing my old shoes.

 (Ok, they are not quite this bad, but Jacob has my camera and I can't take a picture of my real shoes.)

Then last Sunday they announced in church that they were collecting shoes for the homeless.  I thought about my pink shoes--the ones I hadn't worn in two weeks; the ones that were still brand new.  Oh no Lord,  Not my pink shoes!  You don't want me to give up my pink shoes do you?  I need new shoes.  Do have to give up my pink shoes?  
We were at Monroe Park and helped pass out shoes to the homeless last year.  I remember how happy the people were.  It was fun to bless them.  It felt good to give.  After church, Richard told me that he felt like he needed to donate a pair of shoes. 
Really God?  TWO pairs of shoes?  
The next day I took my pink shoes back to Dick's and exchanged them for another pair that I liked that were less expensive.  I got back $30 in cash.  My new shoes cost $40 (I had a coupon) but they were the cheapest they had at Dick's.  Where could I get a pair for $30?  I thought about Walmart, but I didn't think it was right for me to buy my shoes at Dick's and buy someone else's at Walmart.  Then I thought about Kohl's.  I buy shoes there and they have a clearance rack.  So I drove straight to Kohl's and on the way I prayed, Lord could you help me find TWO pairs of shoes for $30?  Can you do that for me?  That was a crazy thing to ask for, but I needed two pairs--one for Richard and one for me.  When I got to Kohl's I headed straight to the clearance rack.  On the first rack there was a pair for $33 dollars.  On the second rack there was a pair for $23 dollars.  Then there on the bottom row of the last rack were two boxes of Avia tennis shoes.  One was size 11 and one was size 8.5 and they were marked 80% off.  I took them to the register and the total was $29.38.  
Two pairs of shoes regularly marked $69.99 each, for $30.

And my God will supply all your needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:19

If I had held onto to those pink shoes, all I would have is pink shoes.  
If I hold on to my stuff, then all I have is stuff.  
But if I hold on to God he will take care of my needs... and the needs of the people around me.

Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well. Matt. 6:33.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The cure for what ails you...

Feeling down?  Give thanks.
Feeling prideful?  Give thanks.
Feeling jealous?  Give thanks.
Feeling lonely?  Give thanks.

Don't underestimate the power of thanksgiving!

Are you still counting?  I am up to 1,660.  These are a few of my recent blessings...

A free bunny rabbit
Singing praises with the residents at Madison House
Meeting a blind Nepali with a heart for God and for her people
Jacob getting a part in West Side Story
The whole family singing the Jet song while riding in the car
A good cry
Our annual game night with friends
Richard cleaning up after the game night before I came downstairs the next morning
Belly laughs
Candy bar cake
Free Starbucks
Audra wearing my mom's 60 year old dress
Legs to walk
Someone to walk with
Snuggling up with blankets and beanbags in front of the fire
Quiet mornings
Sunrises over snowfalls
A God who never sleeps, who watches over me while I do
Letters from a nine year old girl in Ecuador
Sending invitations
Two hour Moms in Prayer meetings
A sympathy card from the vet
Talking to Will about right and wrong; hearing that he has done the right thing
Standing on the porch in the rain drinking hot tea
Eating outside at Carytown Burgers in January
Second chances

From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another. John 1:16

Thursday, February 14, 2013

You can't always get what you want

Valentines Day is overrated.
For the last nine years, we have spent this day in the hospital or at home with a sick kid.  Whose idea was it to put a romantic holiday in the middle of cold and flu season?  Today no one was physically sick, just grumpy.  And grumpiness is contagious.  Tonight after a dismal attempt at a dinner date, I ended up leaving the restaurant in tears.  The pressure had been building all day, but the back breaking straw was Richard pointing out that he dreads gift giving holidays (which may explain why Thanksgiving and Easter are his favorites.)  Apparently I don't receive gifts well.  I always knew that my sister was more fun to give to because she always gets excited and cries at everything, but I didn't realize that I was impossible to buy for.  At Christmas, after giving me a personal pie maker and seeing my reaction (or lack thereof), my friend commented, "You are hard to impress."  Then tonight Richard tells me how he can never find a gift that "touches my heart."  We've had versions of this conversation before and I always promise myself to act more excited next time.
Try giving me something and watch my reaction.  You will get a forced half-smile and a "thanks so much," before I set it aside.  It's true.  I am no fun to buy for.
The night went downhill from there as we drove home and started talking about the video of our Valentines Day breakfast in 2005.  While filming the kids opening their gifts, you can hear me saying, "Anna is sleeping in because she doesn't feel good this morning.  We'll let her open her gifts later."  It was before we ever heard the word CANCER.  Blissfully ignorant.
As I thought about Anna, I burst out in tears again, "I wonder if I liked presents before she died?"
And then I got it.
That's why I am so "hard to impress."
That's why nothing I get ever "touches my heart."
That's why everything  I get feels like "stuff."
It's because I never get what I really want.
It's because I can't.
Not in this life.
Because what is seen is temporary and I long for the eternal.