Thursday, May 22, 2008

Tragedy and Understanding...Two Words That Often Contradict Each Other

Tragedy: An event resulting in great loss or misfortune.

When tragedy strikes, our most often response is a simple "why?" "Why did this happen?" "How can good come out of this tragedy?" "Lord, what were you thinking?"

This morning I read a tragic story about a man who has deeply influenced my life and the lives of millions all across the world. Steven Curtis Chapman. Most of us know at least his name and some of us have been greatly impacted by his gifts and talents he has used through music. His love of music is great, but his love for his family is even greater. Yesterday, his youngest daughter, Maria, was struck and killed by their car in the gravel driveway of their home. While that is sad, the other half of this accident is that one of Steven's teenage sons was driving the car when it happened. Tragedy. As I read multiple news stories, I couldn't help but cry tears of pain and sadness for him, his family and his precious little girl. My heart aches for them right now. And then I was graciously reminded that the she is in Heaven, with our Father, our Lord, and my heart began to slowly feel the peace of the Lord. While we will never understand the ways of the Lord, one thing I know for sure is he is faithful to carry us through when we cannot walk on our own.

"I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you in the palm of my hands..." Isaiah 49:16

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your weary souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-29

I have no clue what it's like to lose a child, but I can almost guarantee that it truly is one of the most heart wrenching times in any mother or father's life.

To the Chapman family, my heart goes out to you. My prayers go out to you. May you find peace in the midst of tragedy and truly cast all your burdens on Christ, our author and perfector, our Healer, our Comforter, our Father, our Provider, our Daddy.

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Art of Snoozing

Monday mornings at our house start off like any other day of the week, at least they do for my husband. Aaron has the gift of discipline, something I lack in every area of my life, but especially when it comes to waking up and getting out of bed. While Aaron may hit the snooze once or twice, I on the other hand hit the snooze button most mornings until I know my alarm will automatically turn off, one hour later. And at 9 minute intervals, it’s not likely that I’m actually gaining anything by doing this, except the thrill and comfort of feeling my head hit the pillow over and over again. You see, I purposely bought a new alarm clock last year that only allowed the alarm to go off for one hour, and then the alarm would completely shut down. My reasoning: LAZINESS!! You see, my morning pillow time is precious to me! I HATE MORNINGS, especially MONDAYS!! And you know what makes it worse? When the sky is dark and filled with clouds or better yet, a soft rain is coming down and maybe a little thunder. Now that to me is the perfect sleeping in, bed in breakfast, HGTV watching morning! Needless to say, I’m not a morning person! In fact, I often find myself envying my husband, because he is up out of bed, making his breakfast, watching the morning news (or whatever cartoon is on), hopping in the shower and getting ready for work (even if he has no where to be!). Note that while he is doing all of this, I am still snoozing! He has his morning routine down and I am still struggling to even open my eye lids all the way! Don’t get me wrong, I’ve tried many different approaches to my morning routine (or lack thereof). I’ve tried to write out my schedule so as to have a “checklist” sort of “alarm”. I’ve tried moving my alarm clock across the room so I actually have to fully get out of bed to turn off the alarm. I’ve tried having Aaron rip the covers off me. I’ve tried having him tickle me. I’ve even tried to have my cell phone alarm get me out of bed (you know, that annoying sound your cell phone puts off when you have set an appointment or anything of that nature on it!). Nothing I’ve tried seems to work! Obviously, there are many days I just give up and give in to my natural tendencies and habits that I’ve carried for more than a decade. But then I have mornings like today, where I truly want to wake up early, go grab some Starbucks and sit and have some time with my Lord. Oddly enough (or maybe not at all), even that has not gotten me up early this morning.

It’s been said that people with healthy sleep habits tend to fall asleep within 10-20 minutes ( So what’s with the snooze? As a fellow blogger states, “The answer is obvious: 9 minutes is just enough time to almost fall back to sleep. This means that the snooze button is actually a torture device.” Wow, what an epiphany!

So, in the process of trying to better myself, have more energy and maybe even not be so moody, I will in fact attempt again, tomorrow morning (and possibly many more mornings after that) to actually get up when my alarm FIRST goes off! I mean, I figure I have three options here, I can 1.) Get up when I intend to get up (the first alarm) 2) Set the alarm to go off at a later time (the time I actually roll out of bed) since I obviously do have the extra time to kill, or 3) go about with my normal routine and just slap that snooze button every 9 minutes for about an hour!

Know that if you are a fellow snoozer, you are not alone, and there is hope for all of us!!

Be Blessed and Encouraged!