Triggers, Visions, and A Solid Foundation

A trigger.

The memories came whizzing at me without restraint. Past episodes that hadn’t been brought to the forefront of my mind in months, possibly years, were suddenly vivid and fresh, as if they had happened yesterday.   It’s not a matter of forgiveness; that’s been extended. It’s not a matter of lingering over hurts; the wounds are healed with only scars left behind.

But there are triggers.

And I couldn’t halt the memories that crashed into my present time without permission.

It still confuses me how one can believe her world is stable, built on truth, and that she lives in reality when, in fact, it’s all an illusion—whether created by herself or someone around her. And when the fallacy fades and reality is revealed, the firm ground she thought she was standing on disappears.

I saw myself back then. I envisioned the floor caving underneath of me and falling through the hole while all around me—that which I thought was concrete but in actuality feeble and weak—faded, slowly dissipating into thin air. And the drop was long and took a while. Yet in the end it was God who caught me and carried me until I could stand again—this time on a more solid foundation.

Woman Falling

And I wondered what that drop would look like today if my world again turned out to be an illusion. This time I imagined a short drop, causing only a slight tremor, as I live closer to the solid foundation. The drop would be relatively quick and without much damage. I chuckled at the thought of coming to an abrupt stop as my knees bent to absorb the shock—like jumping out of a window a foot off the ground.

Woman Falling

And I am thankful . . . oh so very thankful my Rock, my Foundation, my Lifeline is not that far away.

Has your world caved underneath you?

Are you far from your Foundation?

God’s Joy Found

There are days the pressure of life feels heavy—more so than normal. On one such day last week, I sought solace in the breathtaking beauty of His sunset.

More and more I find myself turning to God’s wondrous nature to uplift me. I bask in His unending brilliance and marvelous miracles seen in the touch of His hand.

In the comments below, share how you seek God’s peace and joy in the midst of life’s whirlwind.

Psalm 65:5-13

You answer us with awesome deeds of righteousness,
O God our Savior,

psalm 65.6
the hope of all the ends of the earth and the farthest seas,

psalm 65.10
who formed the mountains by your power,
having armed yourself with strength,

ocean waves
who stilled the roaring of the seas,
the roaring of their waves,
and the turmoil of the nations.
Those living far away fear your wonders ;

sunset on lake
where morning dawns and evening fades
you call forth songs of joy.

fall foilage
You care for the land and water it;

fall foilage
you enrich it abundantly.
The streams of God are filled with water
to provide the people with grain,
for so you have ordained it.

psalm 65.9
You drench its furrows
and level its ridges;
you soften it with showers

corn stalks
and bless its crops.
You crown the year with your bounty,
and your carts overflow with abundance.
The grasslands of the desert overflow;
the hills are clothed with gladness.

birds
The meadows are covered with flocks
and the valleys are mantled with grain;

sunset on lake
they shout for joy and sing.

Are We Killing Jesus?

Early last week I felt myself slipping into a mild depression. After some prayer I attributed it to the state of affairs in our government. Before I go any further, let me say I am not for a particular side—I don’t know enough about the issues to pick a side. If I followed my husband’s lead, I’d say both sides have good points and each contributes to the overall problem.

What saddens me (and ultimately depresses me) are the division, the dishonesty, and the selfishness of both parties. It’s an indication of the direction our country is headed.

Killing Jesus

I recently began reading Bill O’Reilly’s latest book Killing Jesus. During Jesus’ life, the Israelites were ruled by Caesar Augustus and then Tiberius. These tyrants were cruel, and ruthless, stopping at nothing to gain control and power and wealth. Their sole purpose for existence was self-centered (I won’t go into their private bedroom lives, which reading about left my mouth gaping open). Throughout the kingdom, their subjects were taxed so heavily they were barely able to feed themselves, and anyone showing signs of rebellion was beaten or killed. O’Reilly states, “The promise of God’s deliverance is the one shaft of daylight that comforts the oppressed people of Galilee.”

When I compare our government to that of Roman rule during the first century, I must admit that we’ve got it easy. Basically, there is no comparison. What do I have to complain about (or be depressed about)? We enjoy many freedoms in this country, and I believe it is the best country in which to reside.

However a problem still exists. Maybe C.J. Mahaney has captured it. He says, “Today, the greatest challenge facing American evangelicals is not persecution from the world, but seduction by the world.” We (Christians) are not being oppressed by an outside aggressor as in Jesus’ day, but instead are allowing the seductions of the world (food, sex, power, wealth, etc.) to infiltrate our ranks. In other words, Jesus isn’t being killed by an oppressing outside governmental force. We are slowly killing Him from within by ignoring Him and His teachings.*

Ultimately, though, in the midst of our rocky governmental issues, the answer is the same as it was for the Israelites so many years ago: Jesus.

He offered them hope.

He offers us hope.

The “promise of God’s deliverance” still stands.

That promise makes me want to sing with Adie:

Hallelujah, love is come
Hallelujah, God with us
Hope restored and death undone
Beautiful redemption song

*Let me clarify one point: I do not believe that being a Christian equals belonging to a particular party within the political system. Instead, I think if we want our government officials to act with Christian principles we must demonstrate them and hold fast to our beliefs. It is not a top -down effect, but rather a bottom-up effect.

Today Counts

clock

When making food choices, I sometimes pretend that today doesn’t count. I’m out of town or I’m celebrating or I’m with friends, etc. So I tell myself that today’s choices are somehow null and void and I’ll pick up my “right choice thinking” tomorrow. (Click here to read another post on this.)

What I am realizing is I periodically have this “today doesn’t count” attitude in other areas. Not all, though. For example, I always choose to brush my teeth and take a shower. (Aren’t you glad?) And in homeschooling, I know every day counts and organize each school year accordingly. I allow for 180 days of schooling and use an accommodating curriculum. That’s not to say we are rigid. This year we started two weeks early so we could take a two-week vacation in September. I planned for it because I know the choices I make today (every day) will affect tomorrow’s outcomes.

However I am not as disciplined in all areas of life. Therefore I must pause to consider if I give the most important areas proper attention on a daily basis. Or do I take this “today doesn’t count” attitude more often than I should? The choices I make today, whether deliberate and prayer-filled or impulsive and whimsical, will affect tomorrow and the next day and the next. There is a cumulative effect. The person I am next week, month, and year is a direct result of the minor decisions I make today. And, to further complicate matters, there is a trickledown effect. I, in fact, do not live in a bubble—my attitude, knowledge, and disposition rub off on those around me. The most effective way to teach my children self-discipline is to model it.

So which areas require daily cultivation in an intentional manner? I suggest you ask God to show you. For me, the list includes (but is not limited to): Bible reading, prayer, physical well-being, and relationships—with God, my husband, my children, my church family, and friends.

In which areas of life do you sometimes take a “today doesn’t count” attitude?

Will you prayerfully consider making a change today?