God Kids Me Not

Four years ago, I wrote about not wanting to love my enemy and just to pray for her which I took no delight in doing but I had to.

A year ago, her sister reached out to me and sort of apologized by acknowledging that she finally found out the truth and we started talking.

Recently I learned that this ex-friend I talked about,  found Jesus and is on her way to mending broken relationships. I heard that she made an attempt to apologize to another friend that she slandered along with me but no mention of me,lol.

When I heard that, I said “seriously, Lord?” and yes, He answered and said “ what? you have a problem with that?” I remember I was laughing and shaking my head while doing dishes and having that conversation with the Lord.

I also remember when I was praying for her four years ago, I sort of mumbled the part where I said ” may she find someone to lead her to you and that you please work on her heart”. I guess I was acting stupid by believing that jamming my voice would somehow give a choppy signal to the Lord. 

God heard. God listened. God acted.screenshot_2014-06-07-13-02-49-1

He gave me peace in return for praying that and He went about doing His other business of  working on her. The point of this testimony is that God is in control. He is serious about His saving business and He answers our prayers, in His own time for His glory.

I immediately remember this verse:

So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.-Isaiah 55:11 

Those words echoed in my heart and I am humbled that it is not what I want nor my desire that causes answered prayers but His-all the time. We just need to be obedient despite ourselves and leave everything up to the Heavenly Father to put things in order, not for our glory but for His and His alone.

I am not gonna say, “be careful what you pray for” but rather I would like to challenge you and say “Go ahead and pray, then prepare to be amazed.”

I did and I was.

A David Begets An Absalom

The book of 2 Samuel is a treasure trove for filmmakers. Like a typical Hollywood movie the story involved lust, incest, violence, betrayal. It is suspenseful, heartbreaking and full of action.Amnon_and_Tamar_by_an_unknown_artist,_oil_on_canvas,_ca._1650-1700,_High_Museum_of_Art

The dysfunction was multi faceted but would not be difficult to pinpoint what started the mini plots.

Most of the issues are traceable to one man-David. As admired and loved by God he was equally flawed and sinful. How a valiant young boy rose to fame and down to infamy is what makes the story gripping.

From adultery to murder to a negligent parent,  David tried hard to spin his life around and was successful in doing so, but not without difficulty.

                                   David and Absalom                        Photo credit: http://www.freebibleimages.org 

His bad parenting resulted from his inability to handle his own pain. The guilt and grief drew a hedge between him and Absalom. His failure to confront the issue that was Tamar triggered a deep seated hatred not only between the siblings but eventually towards him. 

Absalom lashed out and performed attention-seeking activities, desperate for his father’s approval and maybe the guilt and  agony of killing his brother and the defiling of his sister.

If you are facing some family crisis or lacking parental skills, learn from David and talk to God. Our God is compassionate. His love is unconditional. If we confess our sins and ask for guidance He is more than willing to help.

He heals, He restores.

Do Children Make You Unhappy?

This morning I saw a teaser/headline about a study that said:”Having kids makes people unhappy”. Between making lunch and a phone call, I was unable to follow the story, but the headline kinda stuck in my head.

Moments later, my 8 year old niece who lives overseas called me. We talk daily and nightly. Some sessions are hilarious, some sessions are stressful I admit. This morning while I was talking to her and watching her on cam while dinner is on-going I witnessed what could be a story line for a reality show or a cartoon maybe. A rather interesting dynamic between her, her brother of 6 years and my sister. My niece doesn’t eat most vegetables and tonight’s menu included string beans. I’m telling you it was a good mix of funny, stressful and frustrating, crying, giggles and a lot of threatening haha. Giggles from the brother, threatening from me, frustration for my sister and crying for the little girl.

imagesLong story short, it was a remote attempt to make her eat the string beans, standing our ground ( her crying did not work) lots of encouragement and cheering and impressive  revelation from the youngest brother who for some reason was extra ordinarily cute tonight and displayed wisdom. “How can you say you don’t like string beans when you haven’t even tried it”, “You kept thinking you don’t like string beans, don’t over think it and just bite into it”. That kind of cuteness and wisdom. (My sister’s side remark was funny, too. “Good for you , you have wisdom”.)

Dinner ended and no child was harmed in the process, thankfully. Lol. Everyone was calm and my sister and I started assigning tasks to the kids.  “Okay, girl sweep the floor and wipe the table.” The little boy volunteered to do the sweeping and the night ended with “I love yous”, “I am proud of you”. Pat each other in the back, goodnight.

For someone not physically with them, I was tired. Then in my devotion I just started praying and praising the Father for these kids. I told God how it was tiring, frustrating and asked for forgiveness for yelling and just kind of delete any bad impression we might have done in the process of training and disciplining them. While praying and remembering the morning headline, God impressed upon me the following:

  1. Children are gifts and a blessing from the Lord. NO matter how tiring and frustrating and everything else in between, that is the fact the Lord reiterated in me.
  2. A baby is a joy. It is one of life’s amazing experience-giving birth to another human being.
  3. Children are a heritage from the Lord. Inheritance are worth a fortune, they are valuable. They are gems equivalent to precious stones.
"Let the little children come to me.."-Matthew 19:14 Photo credit:
“Let the little children come to me..”-Matthew 19:14
Photo credit:faithgateway.com

True, raising kids entail A LOT! You devote your life and time raising, providing and caring for them. That is parenthood. The responsibility is great but the stress and challenges that come with it should not cloud our judgment and take away the joy from these wonderful, valuable gifts.

Having kids is not just one task on our to-do list. It is a career, it is a lifestyle. We are not equipped with all the necessary skills and that is why we NEED TO PRAY for strength and wisdom and lift the kids to the Lord for protection and guidance.

Start children off on the way they should go,
    and even when they are old they will not turn from it.-Proverbs 22:6

  • Don’t be lazy to train your kids, they will thank you for it later.
  • Don’t just be a friend to your kids, be the disciplinarian and be the adult. Stand your ground, be firm but loving.
  • Spoiling them is not gonna be beneficial. Teach them fortitude and make them work for what they need. Make them work harder for what they want.
  • Teach them to listen to you, but be the voice of reason and truth.

Pray for them ALL the time. Cry out to God for wisdom and strength.

My nephews and nieces give me joy and stress sometimes lol. I may not have children but I started caring for my siblings at age 5. I grew up learning how to care for another human being early in life. I spent most of my life helping raise my nephews and nieces. It was not easy but it wasn’t that hard either. Our Heavenly Father is our anchor and the source of all strength, wisdom and understanding. It is always rewarding to hear them pray and interact with the Lord. They get the blessing, God gets the glory.

When you think you are helpless and at your wits end and unhappy,  you should try God and the bible sometimes. What have you got to lose?

The Beauty of Rediscovery

My trip to California was sweet. I was able to re-connect with old friends from church and my best friend.

My first day, my friends and I met in San Francisco and instead of going straight home they took me to Moraga and 16th. I worked in Sanfo for 3.5 years and I never once heard of the mosaic stairs. The artisan project was a beauty in itself with  succulents all around. But getting to the top to see a breath taking view of San Francisco was worth the climb. It was only 163 steps, but for someone who hates stairs it might as well be 1,163 steps! Did I mention it was free?

View from the top
Halfway to the top of the stairs


Mosaic Stairs
Mosaic Stairs

There are “hidden”treasures right under our noses. Sometimes our appetite for everything grandeur overlooks simple beauties.  The best things in life sometimes are free. Not everything expensive is the best, that is a fallacy.

We look hard and go extreme to experience wonders and sights, but there is beauty in simplicity. Re-discover and explore, for you might find gemstones hidden in plain sight.

Let me end by saying that in our spiritual life, we are bound to re-discover “hidden” treasures and wonders. Re-discover your first love and re-kindle the fire the first time you fell in love with Jesus.

God’s wonders never go stale. His mercies and love are always free, always fresh.

…The LORD’S loving-kindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.-Lamentations3:23

Go ahead, re-discover. Be amazed and be refreshed.