My sentimental journey

An ordinary girl's walk with an extraordinary God.


5 Comments

The Best Brother in The World

me huging troy with mumps

Comforting my brother when he had the mumps .

As we celebrate National Sibling day I want to take time to honor my brother and only sibling Troy. He has hands down been the best brother a gal could ever have. His long list of virtues could circle the globe with patience and joy steering the helm. God knew Troy would need a heavy arsenal of patience to grapple with the likes of me. Whether I ate his chocolate Valentines heart while he was at school, or sang “The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Music” repeatedly in the back seat of our Thunderbird, as he reminded a picture of calm. Rarely did I ruffle his feathers in the midst of my tomfoolery.

Like any good brother he brought protection and defense when situations proved dicey, even so far as telling my loving but frustrated mom when I was three, “Say something kind to her, she’s afraid of you”. Full of tenderhearted grace and laughter that simultaneously sparks a twinkle to his eyes. Troy has been a steady pillar of strength and unceasing joy to me and my family and undeniably his own as well.

Now that dementia has attacked his once strong body I reflect on God’s word that tells us, *“The rain falls on the just and unjust like”.  Becoming acutely aware we live in a fallen world where the excruciating truth is: bad things happen to good people; and no earthly umbrella is a worthy opponent against life’s blast of harsh realities.

My intentional steps move towards the cross laying the bitter blows of pain, loss and grief at the feet of Jesus. Solace found in the truth that You became, *” A man of sorrows and pains, and acquainted with grief, surely you have borne our, sicknesses, weaknesses and carried our sorrows”. A trustworthy Father to see us through dark hours of our soul as we find rest in all His good promises. Reminding myself this life is a mere dress rehearsal as we await the glory of heaven where * sighing and sadness shall flee and You will wipe away every tear from our eyes.

Today as I reminisce looking through copies of Troy’s baby book, I’m especially touched by what my mom recorded him telling her when I was two,  “I just love my sister, you got her because I wanted a sister “.  Heavenly Father, I want you to know, “I just love my brother, you got him because I wanted a brother” and I thank you that you picked the best one ever!

100_1044  “ Sometimes being a brother is even better than being a superhero.” –                                                                                                                                                                     Marc Brown

In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. Matthew 5:45

Isaiah 53:4 Amp Bible

Those the Lord has rescued will return.

They will enter Zion with singing;

everlasting joy will crown their heads.

Gladness and joy will overtake them,

and sorrow and sighing will flee away. Isaiah 51:11 NIV Bible


Leave a comment

Finding Your Joy

Image

After we positioned the desk in our bedroom it came with high hopes of it becoming a cozy little nook for me to write and study God’s word.  This snug little creative and emotional get away  morphed into a clutter “catch all” invoking in me no sense of calm or creativity.  Simply put, for two years its’ smooth top tempted me to lay unfolded clothes and disheveled stacks of paperwork on its inviting surface.  Sad to say I yielded to this temptation repeatedly.  Finally, on one particular day I decided it was high time that the desk was returned to its former glory.

Now cleared of its jumbled confusion it was off to the kitchen to fetch some hot tea. The cheery red letter “JOY” mug seemed like the perfect choice to steep my decaffeinated green tea. Plop went the teabag into the steaming hot water while I swirled in  tasty agava nectar.

Next on the list was to go about gathering my Bible, devotionals and journal. Though I was able to find both my Bible and devotions rather quickly, my personal journal was nowhere to be found. My joy was now cooling as quickly as my once pipping hot cup of tea. “Where is it Lord ?”  I asked needing  clear direction and resolve in  finding my missing journal.
Still nowhere in sight, trying very hard to savor the moment seated at my newly clutter free desk. Even though I had my bible, devotionals and lukewarm cup of tea, they were not comforting my nagging thoughts that my personal journal was lost. Just about then  my husband called on his lunch break, I proceeded to lament my dilemma  to him, he suggested perhaps it could have slid underneath  the back car seat…just like his Bible had done on Sunday.  After we finished our conversion I again headed out to the car this time hoping his suspicions would be correct. Now the weather was a heavy down pour as I began to trudge to our van. While leaning into the side opening numbing cold raindrops doused my lower back where my sweater and pants separated at the waist. Thus, spurring me to purposely lean in further, delving into a deeper more deliberate search. Sure enough right where my husband had suspected was my precious  journal. Displaying “FINDING YOUR JOY” boldly on  its cover, making me chuckle at its very appropriate and forgotten title. Usually the front cover is  hidden, bent back, journal pages open and ready to pour my heart onto.
Immediately my mind thought about joy the way James chapter 1 vs 2–4 writes about.  It reads: “Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations.  Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience.  But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be people perfectly and fully developed lacking in nothing.”

My idea of joy is not always God’s idea of finding joy.  It’s more than a flashy, splash of Joy written on a shiny white mug  and everything is going as planned. Rather, it is about being joyful even when your joy mug seems empty and your plans have went awry.  Happiness is based on circumstances  while JOY is found in the Lord. True joy is experienced and known in our hearts regardless of what our errant notions of it are.  Ever so slowly I’m learning the difference, experiencing joy that comes from the Lord and not my happenings. Finding joy when circumstances waver from my picture perfect scenario, trusting in a God whose way is best.

Thank you Jesus your word promises us everlasting joy and gladness shall be upon our heads. Fresh, abounding, overflowing joy from you, our strength and place of refuge. Holy Spirit may our lives be ripe with your love and peace, filling our cup with a continual supply of joy spilling over. Which by the way….sounds like  my cup of tea!

Galatians 5:22, 23  “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law”.