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Monday, July 25, 2016

Just A Stepson ~

1 Timothy 5:8. But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. ESV

You guys know I work as a photographer.  Recently, I had a job that truly was more than I could stand and I ended up probably voicing more of my opinion than was necessary.  But, hey...you know. 

Picture a mom and dad, an adorable little 2 year old, and a very quiet young boy who was 12. The little one was definitely the “star”.  As we began the session, the mom said to me, “I just want the three of us in most of the family photos.  He's just my stepson,” pointing to the 12 year old.  This old heart broke.  Then it ran hot. Then I showed my butt some. I think I was madder at the dad who let this happen more than anything.  I told her as nicely as I could that I have “bonus” children of my own and I would not exclude a child and be the one who makes them feel less than welcome in your new family. 

God, I'm not supposed to be rude to customers, I know, but I was. Thank You for giving me the opportunity to be a mom to stepchildren. I know there were times I failed them miserably. Thank You for giving me the feeling that those two are MY children, although someone else gave birth to them, because they are part of my husband.  Sorry I showed out. Maybe it will help that dad show up for his son in the future.  Forgive me for “judging”.  I didn't cuss….does that count?


Monday, July 18, 2016

Not by Myself ~

Philippians 4:13  I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.  NIV

My life would be so much more peaceful if I would remember this verse.  I’m all good with praising God when things are going great in my life.  When things start to spiral, I tend to forget where my strength comes from.  

In a perfect, self-satisfying world, I could control everything.  Everybody would be nice and do things my way.  Nobody would give me problems.  My kids would behave.  My husband would clean up after himself.  My work clients would be all sunshine and roses.  But you know what?  Life is not perfect.  I have the wrong goal of being “self-satisfied”.  I know that in my heart, I’m supposed to give everything to God, especially in the times I struggle.  

God, I have no problem giving You all of the glory when things are good.  I fail miserably when I need You.  I try to take over and fix all of my problems without seeking Your guidance or submitting myself to You.  I’m still learning.  Things fall apart when I try to “do all things” by myself.  Help me remember where my strength really comes from.  Thank You for your grace.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

I'm Just Kidding ~

James 3:5  So too the tongue is a small part of the body, yet it has great pretensions. Think how small a flame sets a huge forest ablaze.  NIV
There is an old saying that there is just a little bit of truth in every sentence that is spoken; especially the ones that end in, “I’m just kidding”.  

I wish I had a nickel for every time I had my feelings hurt by someone speaking “I'm just kidding” words to or about me. I'd be living on a remote island with 24 hour a day maid service.

I wish I had a nickel for every time I had hurt someone by speaking “I'm just kidding” or sarcastic words to or about them. I'd buy the island.

Relationships are hard enough. How easy it is to fall into a pattern of snarking at each other. It starts off as a comment, followed by “I'm just kidding” when really you aren't. Feelings are hurt, then you want to defend yourself. Then anger flares. Before you know it, a full blown argument has begun.  The thing is, words destroy your self-confidence, your motivation, your hopes and dreams if you listen them.

God, today I ask You to help those who have fallen into the “snarky” trap in their relationship.  Give them strength to be bold and break the cycle.  Cover them with your grace.  And for me, please help me to remember this post and apply it in my life.  Teach me to talk about problems in an appropriate manner before they get to the “I’m just kidding” stage.