Archive for August, 2015

Afraid of Struggle??

Posted: August 4, 2015 in World On The Edge

climbing

If we want to stand on the top of a mountain, we have to climb it first. And the climb might be a struggle.

Most of us don’t like the connotation of the word, ‘struggle.’ It evokes thoughts of difficulty. We don’t like difficulties.

We don’t like bumpy roads that cause us to lose equilibrium.

We don’t like to climb mountains that exhaust our strength.

We don’t want to swim a channel that seems much too wide for our meager swimming abilities.

Except struggle increases our balance, our muscle, our talents.

Struggle is the fire that hardens the clay of our lives and turns an earthen vessel into something altogether unearthly.

Struggle can produce people who are out of the ordinary, simply because they have had to work hard.
Some of the most commended men and women in history came from a personal struggle with poverty, or loneliness, or a physical setback, and more.

But often, we parents, don’t like to see our children struggle. We want to relieve them of difficulty. We like to ‘fix’ them. We want to save them from anything that hurts–even if they’ve concocted their own unsavory situation.

We should let them know we are there for them. But I think there are times when we shouldn’t be too quick to ‘save’ them. We should allow them to ‘save’ themselves, to strengthen their wings from within.

The moth in a cocoon struggles to get out of it, and by doing so, it grows stronger—strong enough to fly completely away from the cocoon that once tied and bound it.

And there are many children who grow up in extremely difficult circumstances, then struggle to get out, and eventually fly away, too, just like the butterfly.

Ever Felt Broken???

Posted: August 3, 2015 in World On The Edge

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My short story collection, Birds of a Feather, published by Wiseblood Books, is now available on Kindle as well as paperback.

Birds of a Feather is all about broken people.

Some of the characters don’t realize it at first. They are the ones who won’t see themselves as they really are.

Others are shattered, or left behind, by someone they’ve loved. But then, as in life, something changes for them, or more specifically in them. Some of the characters, but not all of them, recognize an offer of healing. The recognition comes when GRACE is offered.

God’s grace is infinitely available. We only have to want it, to take advantage of it. We only have to trust in Him. We only have to turn around and see Him behind us, possibly in the face and actions of a caring human being that He’s called to help us.

Our lives will change then; maybe in ways we never imagined, or maybe in the way we’ve prayed for. Whatever–we will be transformed.

Can we think of a time in our lives when we were so down, so miserable, that we couldn’t put one foot in front of the other? Grace is very present in these circumstances. It is a ‘waiting’ grace, waiting for us to take it.

Maybe we have to admit our weaknesses. Maybe we have to give up what is dragging us down. Maybe we need to dig deeper for courage, or patience with others, or let go of our anger, or forgive another–or maybe we just ignore its presence.

But we should never imagine that God is not present. Instead, we should imagine ourselves reaching out to Him, to realize that being broken at a given moment does not mean being broken forever.

And it is, after all, up to us.